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Take it easy babe
Most people just don't have the ability to hear lyrics when they're focusing on something else. They just automatically tune the words out. Some small percentage of us are cursed with the inability not to hear them, just as we're cursed with the inability not to read text that's right in front of us. I've had a number of conversations with people where I was all "oh my god, that song they were playing was so [racist/gross/creepy]" and my... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:21 AM on June 10, 2014
On the other hand "uh, I don't have time, we play racist and sexist stuff all the time so chill out, I can't do anything about it" and "no one else has complained" are really, really crap answers from a customer service standpoint. I've worked plenty of shitty jobs where I had to cover for stuff I did not control, and there are all kinds of ways to handle that better.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:27 AM on June 10, 2014
"Colored" can be used in a racist way, but is there racism in the song because of it?

I have heard many, many unfavorable remarks about this song from women of color. I'm not saying that every person of color on the planet is going to be bothered by it, but I've definitely heard from enough people who find it racist that I do not feel good at all about listening to it.

On a personal level, I think... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:34 AM on June 10, 2014
I don't know, the first person the author talked to doesn't sound very deft, but is actually significantly more honest than I think might be hoped for from a customer service person. "It’s just like the radio in your car. There are all kinds of songs playing on different stations" would be weaselly coming from someone with the power to change things, but as a description, it seems pretty accurate to me. He admits honestly that some of the songs are "racist, sexist, and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:39 AM on June 10, 2014
You know, when I am in an environment where I have to hear a lot of misogynist pop culture stuff just to do some ordinary thing, you could envision my experience as a cartoon panel where I am walking through a space and all the open area is written over with "remember that our culture has contempt for you remember that our culture has contempt for you remember that our culture has contempt for you remember that our culture has contempt for you remember that our culture... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:23 PM on June 10, 2014
Ok, so what is the suggestion then? Do we form a government body to determine what songs are deemed unacceptable for public consumption? And then decide what businesses are not allowed to play those songs? Should this be the law for hold music, music in commercials, music on public radio stations? Should only music without lyrics be played in supermarkets? What about atonal music, which historically has offended lots of people. Should that also be banned? Should only music which follows... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:49 PM on June 10, 2014
Can you expand on this because it sounds accidental.

Well, in the sense of "I did not plan to play something racist", it was accidental. But in a larger cultural sense it wasn't - I was not in the habit of thinking "huh, this song contains actual lyrics about how this guy is white, and yet he is singing in patois, that's kind of gross". I also wasn't attuned enough to the fact that my audience isn't... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:02 PM on June 10, 2014
For the same reason that most reasonable people don't consider Senatorial crusades against violent video games or violent movies or whatever to be appropriate or productive responses to real-life violence. Because such efforts simplify away and ultimately attempt to censor (notwithstanding the hugely disingenuous objection that people like the author are "only providing feedback!") art on the basis of subjective (and usually really lame) preferences and interpretations, when... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:14 PM on June 10, 2014
Can I go back to this derail for a second? Snow grew up in a low-income, Jamaican neighborhood in Toronto, and worked with a Jamaican-born DJ to record a lot of dancehall songs, including some that became hits in Jamaica. He's a lot closer to Eminem than Vanilla Ice, and MC Shan guests on the track (and had a long working relationship with Snow). Further, describing the lyrics about "how this guy is white" is kind of disingenuous — he says that when people see him, they want... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:34 PM on June 11, 2014

Trigger warning: Child Abuse

I wonder if the behavior existed before the achievements that put her on a pedestal. I know that large amounts of money can turn otherwise cool people into selfish assholes, but does it naturally follow that the adulation associated with having a 'fan club' turns 95% of people into hedonistic assholes?


MSB was never an appealing personality. I don't have my copy of The Secret Feminist Cabal to hand for the details, but... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:36 AM on June 11, 2014
I just have to say that the harassment thing at Wiscon seems very, very shocking to me.

It's really disappointing how often this stuff boils down to whose ox is gored - your friend is a harasser; my friend is just misunderstood.

I think it's really, really important for people to scaffold these things in advance - what do you plan to do if someone you know and like is... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:52 AM on June 11, 2014
That's totally not what the reviewers at the time made that book out to be about. They presented it as just sort of dull nihilism. Now I need to go find it.

Hm, I suspect they presented it as a sort of dull nihilism because it didn't seem plausible to them that a woman could possibly, possibly have reasons for not wanting to be treated quite literally as a brood sow on a random planet with no medical care in the company of about eight other people,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:40 PM on June 11, 2014
Frowner, I skimmed the wikipedia entry on it just now and that reminded me that one review I remember clearly was by Spider Robinson. I don't remember him mentioning the breeding aspects at all -- he just presented it as an anti-social decision, with the sex of the narrator being incidental. Having learned more about Russ since then, I suppose it shouldn't surprise me that mainstream characters would find her ideas a bit challenging. A lot of folks in SF are very heavily invested in the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:58 PM on June 11, 2014
Do you remember the name of this story? I've always been interested in Joanna Russ's work and I didn't know We Who Are About To... was a direct response to another work, particularly not a MZB work.

I don't, off the top of my head - she talks about it in one of the reviews or essays in The Country You Have Never Seen. If I have the chance, I'll look it up tonight.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:13 PM on June 11, 2014
I would assume that's the novel Darkover Landfall, which describes the first years of colonization, including the obligation of all the women to breed.

It is, now that you mention it. And now that I remember that, I think there's some stuff about Russ's comments on it in The Secret Feminist Cabal.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:23 PM on June 11, 2014

“Got any of dem Zoh’s?”
I wonder how much chronic pain could be prevented by better working conditions, earlier and better access to medical care, better access to mental health care and better pay which could provide better food, gym memberships, etc. All the younger-than-sixties people I know with chronic pain basically got there either from bad working conditions and no downtime or a spiral of depression/poverty/poor life choices/untreated injury/weight gain/inability to exercise/more injury. Now, obviously there... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:57 AM on June 11, 2014

40 Maps about food in America
(On the jump in obesity - it's worth noting that in 1998, the standards for overweight and obese were changed, lowered by about ten pounds each. So people who were not previously considered overweight became overweight overnight, same with people who were overweight becoming "obese". That's not to say that the obesity rate hasn't risen, but if you're not correcting for the redefinition in 1998, you're getting a much greater rise than is really born out by actual change in weight/size.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:36 AM on June 10, 2014

First they came for your raw milk, then your Parmigiano Reggiano
So wait, there will be no more imported aged cheese? No more real parmesan? No more aged gouda? This is awful. I mean, I'm vegan about 95% of the time, but when I fall off the wagon, I want to fall into the parmesan, so to speak. And not the rubbery fake kind, either.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:38 AM on June 10, 2014
Okay, today after work I am going to the cheese store. Time to stock up.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:40 AM on June 10, 2014
The whole "craft cheese is too small a threat for Big Cheese to bother" - I don't think that this is how government tends to operate. I have not noticed, for example, that tiny useless hippie groups get left alone because they are "too small a threat" - speaking as someone who has been a member of many tiny useless hippie groups, I've been repeatedly startled by the amount of effort the state has put into busting things up, harassing people, etc, when my impression has been... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:00 AM on June 10, 2014
This utterly profound change came from exactly the focus that is turning out to be inconvenient for people who like stinky cheese, the obsessive adherence to evidence based hygenic practices like Clean-In-Place technology and rigorous microbiological standards that at least have a hard time working well with undefined cultures or food contact surfaces left alone for years at a time.

See, as a broad generality I agree with all the "it's not about... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:02 AM on June 10, 2014

What Happens When Low Wage Workers Suddenly Get a Living Wage?
I have a union job at a place that was unionized less than ten years before I was hired. So there's lots of living memory about how things were before. The main thing - and I remember this from when I was working temp jobs - is that before, they had lots of long, long term temp workers - the record was something like twenty years. Twenty years as a temp! There was a moderate wage increase when the union came in, but the real benefits for pink collar workers are in job... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:33 AM on June 6, 2014
I think it's interesting to hear so many people refer to this as a "living/fair wage", but when you actually read the nitty-gritty, what are they talking about? "Private school", "a 2, 3 bedroom apartment in a good neighborhood." These are great, aspirational things to hope for, but they're definitely not the bog standard minimum.

The guy who is talking about the 2-3 bedroom apartment in a good neighborhood has a partner... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:00 AM on June 6, 2014
For instance, there was a recent transit strike in my area and the dominant narrative seemed to be "I'm a precarious worker and these greedy unionists are inconveniencing me from making money at my job!" Yeah, maybe it would be better if everyone linked arms and sang Solidarity Forever. But as it stands, there are many that see unions as antagonistic to their interests, and that's not an entirely fictional construction, unfortunately.

The... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:44 AM on June 6, 2014
When McDonald's gets their union, the Dairy Queen people don't get union benefits -- my experience is, you either are lucky enough to get a union card, or you don't, and if you don't get a union card, you don't get the benefit of being in a union. You want a union card? Sorry, you're not working for a union shop, you can't be in our union. When McDonald's opens a new restaurant, starts hiring 50 people, and they get 80 union-member applications and 150 non-union applications, guess who... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:42 AM on June 6, 2014
And that comes back to my fundamental statement: I'm not anti-union, I'm just not a fan of the exclusionary way unions operate. I did a quick google of "how do I become a {union name} member?" and they are pretty much universally "you either get a job at a union shop or you organize your non-union shop". The guy who's just trying to make ends meet and can't risk shaking the apple cart by trying to unionize their employer doesn't have many options. You all make it... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:52 AM on June 6, 2014
I'm a programmer too, and I don't know a ton about unions. But I've been part of one in the past, and my husband is in one now. Let's say McDonald's has a union and it's employees get $25/hour. Wendy's workers have no union and get $8/hour. There are at least two possible scenarios here to get all these workers into a union. First, a Restaurant Worker's Union is created and covers BOTH the McDonald's and Wendy's employees. This is how my husband's union works. The second scenario is... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:59 PM on June 6, 2014
The anecdote that serves as my model for union resentment is from a friend who in college had a food service job where he worked the same number of hours as the union workers, was not allowed to join the union due to an agreement between the school and the union, but still had to pay dues out of his minimum wage paycheck. He was absolutely furious at being fucked by both sides.

And yet, you're not out here saying that academic bureaucracy is bad,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:21 PM on June 6, 2014
(I add that a retainer for a lawyer or paying a union steward's union work hours costs just about as much if you have ten people in your union as if you have a hundred. Some costs scale up and down, but any union has fixed expenses that get harder and harder to meet as you have fewer members.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:23 PM on June 6, 2014
The anecdote that serves as my model for union resentment is from a friend who in college had a food service job where he worked the same number of hours as the union workers, was not allowed to join the union due to an agreement between the school and the union, but still had to pay dues out of his minimum wage paycheck. He was absolutely furious at being fucked by both sides.

I want to add that I think making the student pay dues was a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:36 PM on June 6, 2014
I worked at a movie theater in high school. Cashiers had a union. No one else did. So you had more than one tier of worker in the same business, and only some of them were unionized.

And I point this out just to clarify - that is generally not the union's choice. Tiers of workers in one shop create a bad situation for unions - bad feeling, wage pressure, incentive to shift duties to the non-union people, incentive... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:41 PM on June 6, 2014
In this case, I have no idea. I worked there two years and was never approached by anyone interested in unionizing the ushers. Except for the ticket booths, all workers' tasks were segregated by job category.

I know I'm posting a lot, and I'll slow it down after this one.

The thing is, union campaigns are really difficult and labor intensive. And they generally do not happen by someone who is from the union but not an employee... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:56 PM on June 6, 2014

Nothing to see here. Move along
It seems that Ireland has been the center of widespread child abuse scandals - Magdalen homes, industrial schools. Certainly Ireland is not the only country where this has happened (the U.S. has had many child abuse scandals as well) but there seems to have been a lot of focus on Ireland as a place where institutionalized child abuse (as in industrial schools and orphanages) has been particularly widespread and woven into the fabric of everyday life. I wonder why this is? I mean from a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:28 AM on June 6, 2014
Or, you know. Indian schools, where this shit was still happening in the 70s.

That's true, and I knew about it, and yet I didn't think of it. Racism in action in my own forgetting.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:43 AM on June 6, 2014
Something that I think I knew but did not put together with contemporary Irish history: the English penal laws prevented Catholics from basically doing anything - getting an education, living certain places, being in government, owning land permanently rather than having a long lease, owning a horse valued over five pounds, teaching - and were in place through most of the 17th and 18th centuries. And of course, add in the tradition of government by English... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:25 PM on June 6, 2014
And it was a long and bloody struggle, too. Not quite as bad as in the Americas, but with battles and mass killings.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:26 PM on June 6, 2014

“Let’s, Like, Demolish Laundry”
“I’m positive that we could go on Craigslist and post an ad for a delivery driver, and find plenty of people with crappy cars who would work for minimum wage,” he says, grabbing his laptop and flopping onto a couch in the Washio break room. “But I mean, you are going to get crappy people who don’t want to put their best effort forward and have a shitty vehicle that looks not nice. We decided to go a different route, where we can have premium people doing ­premium work.” He presses play... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:07 PM on June 5, 2014

I'm not clear on why this is more sinister than other delivery services. But I'm a Bay Area software engineer with a philosophy degree, so I guess no more could be expected.


See, this is one reason that I actually want to do my own laundry. I don't want to become the kind of person who feels that some underpaid immigrant somewhere should do my laundry for a pittance at any hour of day or night so that it can be returned... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:20 PM on June 5, 2014
You know what's even worse? I've heard there are services where you can call someone or even go online and order food to be delivered to your house!

Yeah, and most of those are shit jobs dependent on a long chain of shitty food production and delivery jobs, jobs which immiserate workers all around the world. When those workers are paid a living wage, then we'll talk. Otherwise it's just Shoe Event Horizon all the way down.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:31 PM on June 5, 2014
This whole "only hot young people with late model cars can be hired to schlepp techbros' laundry" business: what it's really about is the decline of available work and the decline of regular wages. Even people with jobs are eager to do a little laundry delivery on the side because everyone is broke. Because everyone is on average so desperate, the techbros can require stupidly entitled things from their workers. In fifteen years, you'll have to be under thirty... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:14 PM on June 5, 2014

Let's Face It, Leaves Are Dumb
Seriously, what do people have against leaves? This is like the "Slate says YA is dumb" thread only for food.

I like leaves. I grew up eating iceberg lettuce salads every night - and when I asked my parents about it later, they said "Oh, we like spinach and dark leafy greens better, but we couldn't afford them and we could afford iceberg". So frankly, I'm thrilled with some arugula and spinach and romaine and escarole and so on,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 4:44 PM on June 5, 2014

Against YA
What interests me is why "YA" has taken off among an older demographic. It isn't more sophisticated, as far as I can tell - I have a bunch of YA books from the seventies and early eighties (Norma Fox Mazer, ME Kerr, etc) that are pretty smart and well-written and complex and often have really "unsatisfying" endings, and yet those books weren't widely read by adults. (Although if you'd like an older YA recommendation, you should... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:27 PM on June 5, 2014
(The main thing I notice consistently about YA is that it is easier to read than literary fiction, whether that's Dickens, Wharton, Delany, or whomever. So I surmise that some people read YA who would normally have read junk adult fiction but are now reading YA, and some people read YA because they are no longer interested in/capable of more difficult stuff. Even awesome YA novels generally just aren't as complex in terms of characterization and ideas as a reasonably good... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:33 PM on June 5, 2014

J.C. Leyendecker
This is great - I've often wondered about those very kind of images, since they're posted on men's style blogs all the time, collected in manly-man men's style books, etc, and yet are so obviously the product of a gay sensibility. There are quite a few ads - even up through the fifties - which look to me like they're produced gay ad men.

Did Leyendecker ever chuckle, I wonder, as he turned in his work?
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:09 AM on June 5, 2014
Posted, that is, by men who have a lot invested in just how straight and "perfect heterosexual gentleman who gets all the ladies" they are.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:10 AM on June 5, 2014

They told me I was gonna have to work for a living
I thought the really important part of Debt was actually the whole "money did not arise from barter, here is how early trade and distribution of resources happened" - in short, the anthropology part. The issue with the various-awful-things-we-lump-together-misleadingly-as-"capitalism" isn't bound up in how you measure GDP or if more people work as clerks or whatever, it's the narrative which says "from the very... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:32 AM on June 4, 2014
(Also, I thought the post the Graeber was responding to on CT was really patronizing in tone and if it had been aimed at me, I probably would have stewed over it until I did something really stupid, rude and lacking in self-control, just as he did.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:34 AM on June 4, 2014

hmmmm?
I took "schlock" in this context to mean more "songs that evoke the feelings that people really do have but do not admit because they are excessive/embarrassing/pathetic/ridiculous". Because I am a total music snob, I am unfamiliar with the vast, vast majority of these songs and artists, but surely most people have felt some kind of great saccharine welling-up of "if you don't love me I'll just die" or "everything I do, I do it for you"... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:22 AM on June 4, 2014

Conflict of Exclusivity Within the LGBT Community
Why is excluding people on the basis of self-gender-designation OK, when excluding people on the basis of genitalia is not? What if it was a No-Jews weekend? No-Blacks? No-People-Who-Consider-Themselves-Mixed-Race-Or-Nonwhite?

Oppressions may rhyme, but they are not identical. The kinds of harm that are done to women in a misogynist society are not the same as the kinds of harm that are done to Jews in an... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:00 PM on June 3, 2014
I think I'd be more comfortable with this development if it didn't also involve a fair number of ugly stereotypes of LGB sexuality (especially bisexuality) coupled with aggressive identity policing based on those stereotypes. I think one of the low points for me lately was getting my hands on Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Science Fiction edited by Brit Mandelo. Then I read reviews along the lines of "bisexuality is not sexual fluidity." Which makes me want to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:03 AM on June 4, 2014

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