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Trigger warnings needed in classroom?
Obviously, there's some local culture stuff around trigger warnings - I definitely know people who feel that they should never, ever be uncomfortable reading or watching something, and that no work of art with "problematic" content can possibly be worth encountering whether because of its other virtues or its importance to a particular field. It's certainly possible to create a little bubble of silliness around this kind of stuff.

But then,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:36 AM on March 5, 2014
I am also interested in the trigger warning as a cultural pattern, though, both in the ways that it oversimplifies and fetishizes consent and the ways that it figures the individual as always-ill.

Like, it's totally okay to show/post/discuss/work with whatever as long as you cover it in trigger warnings so that everyone "consents"...It's very easy to avoid looking at the cultural pressures behind "consent", and to... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:44 AM on March 5, 2014
Yeah, I think that it's easy to assume that people who get really upset about something are faking/oversensitive/etc, even if you yourself also have "triggers". But they are not, in general! And I think most people actually just push on through if the material is relevant or interesting - it's just easier for them to be prepared.

I have, for instance, a weird thing. It's a total surprise to me and not something that I control or want:... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:49 AM on March 5, 2014
professors make any material involving classism, racism, sexism, ableism, etc. etc. 'optional'.

Optional if it's not necessary. One good thing that all this business does, IMO, is it pushes us to rethink certain curriculum decisions. I know that I am often in situations where it is assumed that the more "macho" and "realistic" something is in its descriptions of violence, sexual assault, etc, something is, the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:28 AM on March 5, 2014
This whole "but we can't have trigger warnings because they won't prevent everyone everywhere from being triggered" theme that's coming up here....well, yes, life is imperfect. The purpose of socialism, as Orwell remarked, is not to make life perfect but to make it less miserable.

I add that I have provided "trigger warnings" when teaching. It isn't actually that big a deal in general. You just do the best you can, and you try... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:37 AM on March 5, 2014
O.K., so, again, describe specifically what the policy will say such that the potentially negative consequences I can foresee are prevented. Will it specifically say that the policy is purely advisory and that the student has no recourse whatsoever if triggering material is included/arises without warning? If so, it's no much of a policy, is it? If the policy is enforceable in some way and the student does have recourse to action of some kind (i.e., if it is an actual requirement placed... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:57 AM on March 5, 2014
I think one reason to have a policy about trigger warnings is to push people to think about triggers. It would be nice if just saying to faculty "hey think about triggering material and be cautious" were enough, but some faculty tune that stuff out, some are actively opposed, some decide to troll*, some are just busy, some are new faculty struggling to figure out all kinds of stuff....A policy makes sure that everyone addresses something, even if no policy can solve all of its... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:37 AM on March 5, 2014
For those who have had not the pleasure, Cooper depicts sex acts and sexualized violence in painstaking detail. I had to stop reading once I hit the three- or four-page excerpt of the book in which a character is, shall we say, manually disemboweled. We read several books that semester that had sexual content, but the things that went down in those books was fairly extreme and upsetting. Cooper isn't as widely-written or the subject of as much controversy as someone like Bret Easton... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:35 PM on March 5, 2014
But if someone's inability to read about sexual violence means they can't read William Burroughs, Dennis Cooper, or Kathy Acker, then they should not pass a American Queer Literature class

Wait, what? Seriously? Seriously? Just how much queer literature have you read? There's a great deal more than those three writers, and sexualized violence is not the only topic queer people write about (In any case, there's a... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:32 AM on March 7, 2014
Another thought on queer literature, violence and triggers: what bothers people is really individual. The person who can read Acker might not be able to read Allison, the person who can read some Acker might not be able to read all of it. That's why it seem so silly to me to have any kind of absolutist standpoint.

I've read virtually everything Dorothy Allison has written, including her critical work. I really like her. The only thing that bothers me is a short story... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:57 AM on March 8, 2014

12/12/72
If you are interested in rich people hijinks in the seventies, I highly recommend The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris. It's....well, it's a rather loosely structured book which is primarily about the people around Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld from the very beginnings of their careers through the nineties. A lot of it is pretty sad, actually, but there's certainly some lively descriptions of parties.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:21 AM on March 7, 2014

Administrative, not faculty, salaries are driving rising tuition

I can grumble with the best of them about the increasing number of administrators and part-time faculty in higher ed, but, to be honest, it's nice to have administrators dedicated to things like making sure Blackboard works, or that students are getting the class advising they need from someone who does it full-time and can handle emergencies, or that someone is looking for students failing all their classes as their full-time job. The growth of part-time faculty is more
... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:20 AM on March 6, 2014

"Anti-oppression has become a commodity"
Jezebel is a Gawker blog. They are absolutely people who are thinking about niche and brand.

What we kind of haven't gotten into - and what is suggested in beginning terms in the post - is the way that anti-oppression is recuperated by capitalism. In this instance, the issue isn't whether someone should or should not write 101 posts - it is that it is now possible to make varying degrees of a living by writing in the general... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:13 PM on March 4, 2014

Baltimore-Smalltimore
That last article is really neat. It breaks stuff out in just an excellent way (and also uses words to explain the graphs, which is good because I find it really hard to get information from graphs) and I particularly liked the way it built to the final argument of how "diversity" can be used as an anti-black rhetoric when it means undervaluing majority-black spaces and over-valuing majority white/substantially white spaces. That's really very smart, and it's a good reminder to say... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:43 AM on March 4, 2014

She used to look good to me...
It sounds to me like this is perhaps not just Janelle Monae but also Deep Cotton? (You may notice them in the videos for "Tightrope" and "Q.U.E.E.N.") Not that I don't adore Janelle Monae just all by her self, but also she has a wonderful sense for people to collaborate with.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:06 PM on March 3, 2014
Listening to this without any real preconceptions yay or nay, it has that Glee/High School Musical sound.

But it doesn't. I strongly suggest several listens (I mean, if you're the sort of person who does several listens) I am a huge fan of Janelle Monae's first album; when I heard her second, I was kind of disappointed because while it was more polished, it also seemed a bit blander. But that was because I had... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:02 AM on March 4, 2014

All in all, this isn't bad.
I lived in Beijing in 2001-2002 and it was nothing like this. At this time of year, it was all bright blue sky and winter wind, and even at other times, I never noticed anything really bad. There was certainly pollution - but it was much better than Shanghai - you could leave things outside and they wouldn't get filthy with coal smoke, and frankly Beijing just wasn't as smelly as Shanghai (although Shanghai is a jewel among cities, all things considered). It's amazing to me that in a decade... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:02 PM on March 3, 2014

71
(Rehabilitation in prisons does a number of things: it legitimates the prison ideologically because "it's not just about punishment"; it blunts criticism of other prison conditions; it exerts some social control over prisoners because it is such a desirable alleviation of boredom and loneliness that people will do a great deal to participate; and it extracts labor, since some "rehabilitation" programs are really "working for 30 cents an hour" programs. As I... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:30 AM on March 3, 2014

The biggest data breach ever in the UK
The society of actuaries which obtained the information used it to provide guidance to insurance companies about how to set their prices for critical illness cover, suggesting higher premiums could be justified for most customers below the age of 50.

Isn't that nice. I wonder what "could be justified" means exactly, other than "we need some window-dressing on the gouging-people part and $5000 is pretty cheap".
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:29 AM on March 3, 2014

But you should see the size of the ones that got away
So now, a thing that jumped out at me: those giant fish in the early photos are a species called goliath grouper, which is now protected. It can't legally be caught as a trophy fish. There still are goliath grouper, and they're still (as far as I know) pretty big. Did anyone parse this story better than I could and separate out the whole "we are no longer legally able to catch the super giant fish, what does this mean for the average size of catch" thing? I can... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:31 AM on March 3, 2014
The point is that where you'd used to be able to haul in a catch of monster groupers on a daytrip, now the only thing you can catch are a half dozen yellowtail, which are really common and not that impressive. It's an indication the entire area has been fished out. Looking at those trophy pics, it's no wonder why.

But isn't it illegal to catch goliath grouper? That's what I was wondering about - goliath grouper is protected now, its population is... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:06 AM on March 3, 2014

Normcore: millennials reject individualism for inclusion
What people take for relentless minimalism is a side effect of too much exposure to the reactor-cores of fashion. This has resulted in a remorseless paring-down of what she can and will wear. She is, literally, allergic to fashion. She can only tolerate things that could have been worn, to a general lack of comment, during any year between 1945 and 2000. She’s a design-free zone, a one-woman school of anti whose very austerity periodically threatens to spawn its own cult.”... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:51 PM on February 26, 2014

I really think there is actually something to this, if you can get past the fact that the slideshow only features stylists. People do seem to be striving to look as much like each other as possible and I find it a bit disconcerting. The 'look at this fucking hipster' trend of the last 10 years, furiously belittling anyone who wears anything different, is all about judging (and sometimes wishing violence on) people solely on how they dress.
... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:56 PM on February 26, 2014
...I was just looking at a photo on a fashion tumblr of a guy wearing expensive marled tapered sweatpants, a half-tucked-in black tee, a structured charcoal twill jacket and laced up yellow-tan workboots - not unlike Wolverine 1000 miles, but they look more expensive to my eye. It struck me that this is precisely the type of outfit that is an artifact of tumblr (by way of street fashion blogs) in that it would be exceedingly messy if you actually wore it around, but the variety of textures and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:38 AM on February 28, 2014

"the tide-turner, the shiny hinge"
I enjoyed the Harry Potter books, but there's nothing in them that, to my eye, suggests that Rowling had the kind of meticulous, detailed world-building in mind when she wrote them that many of the books' fans want to speculate about. That is, I just can't see the books as fruitful for this kind of analysis and argument (which, of course, is no reason that others shouldn't engage in it and enjoy it--I'm not kvetching about people doing this, just remarking on my own sense of their being... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:21 AM on February 24, 2014
general cruelty and all-around inefficient weirdness that Hogwarts has

It's not just cruelty and inefficient weirdness, it's the way those are normalized. Like, if you read Orwell's essay on his private school experience, "Such, Such Were the Joys", or Connolly's "Enemies of Promise" or really any of the loads and loads of horrible-school-experience essays similar to them (or if you read Young... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:03 AM on February 24, 2014
Complaining that it's a poorly designed game when that's pretty much explicitly what she was setting out to do seems weird to me, as I don't see what making Quidditch a well-designed game would add to the experience of the books.

Maybe a problem with Quidditch is that its nonsense nature doesn't really suit the rest of the books? I can imagine a book where there's a ludicrous and incoherent game as a key piece, either because the author wants the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:34 AM on February 25, 2014
IIRC, the only really, indubitably working class wizard we actually see is the guy who drives the Night Bus, and he has a comic prole accent and spots. And the actual shit work is all done by the happy house elves - so happy in their servitude that they don't even want to be free - Winky worships her abusive master. They also speak a comic patois.

Rowling thinks she is very progressive, anti-sexist, anti-racist, etc....but her... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:25 AM on February 27, 2014

It matters to me
You can still get copies of Huggybear CDs if you are willing to pay.

Or, if you are me, you still have your "Weaponry Listens To Love" CD" and your Bikini Kill/Huggybear split EP and an old, old Huggybear spraypaint logo t-shirt that you bought at Motoroil Industrial Coffee/Speedboat Gallery from the incredibly scary member of the band who was at the merch table. I also made my own Huggybear t-shirt by tracing the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:12 PM on February 26, 2014
The Our Troubled Youth EP wasn't shit. It was just about the only riot grrl production which really spoke to me - all the other stuff seemed to be for, like, cool non-abject girls who wore cute vintage dresses and were adorkably trangressive. Huggybear wasn't about being liked, and the EP is just blistering. God, it really takes me back to a particular terrible winter and being so cold and having an awful coat and being so miserable I'm... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:15 PM on February 26, 2014

Riot Grrrrrl was a lot less white than most rock subcultures in the 90s though. Especially in DC.


Well yeah. I think Riot Grrrl was pretty good in a lot of ways and there sure were important riot grrrl participants of color. Plus there was some consciously anti-racist discourse, at least where I was. It's not that I think we should all hang our heads in shame or something - it's that the whole "ooooh it was so... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:41 PM on February 26, 2014
It's also so weird to realize that I actually was there - I mean, I remember that shit. I went to shows - although not really the important shows, except for Huggybear - I read all those fanzines people talk about like Hungry Girl and Hit It Or Quit It, I met some of those people, I wore the whole ripped up vintage dress and tatty too-small cardigan and fake fur coat and dark lipstick and combat boots... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:44 PM on February 26, 2014

The Long, Slow Surrender of American Liberals By Adolph Reed Jr.
If this thread gets distracted into a general conversation about whether or not Communism failed - i.e. the same conversation that conservatives and idiots always attempt to start every time someone discusses improving progressive organisation - then it will be a great shame.

I was just thinking that this is one of the big reasons that the left gets messed up - we actually think it's worth our time to respond to red-baiting from the... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:29 AM on February 26, 2014
A constant problem in these conversations is that most people don't actually have any kind of accurate understanding of left history, particularly but not uniquely communism. (I mean, it's difficult enough to have an "accurate" "understanding" of any kind of history, yes, but there are particular considerations here.) There is an incredible amount of myth-making from the right and the center about what various left movements have actually done and advocated and what... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:25 AM on February 26, 2014
(The two most promising projects I've ever been part of both broke down because of rape by a male organizer of a female organizer and the ensuing refusal of the other men in the project to deal with this. Both projects had previously had ongoing problems about gender - women being silenced, bad meeting structure that resulted in centering men, prioritizing of a macho organizing style under the rubric of "being serious", reluctance to challenge sexist bullshit because "our... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:56 AM on February 26, 2014

Nobody needs to see "Interiors" anyway....
Okay, I am very excited about this list, because it appears to be a list of Movies Where Frowner Would Like Every Single One Of Them (except the Woody Allen, of course). I am simultaneously ignorant and picky about film (I know, what an attractive combination) and all the movies on the list that I've actually seen are ones I like a lot (the Fassbinder, the Varda and Car Wash, pretty much). And these are also the kinds of movies my friends will like, I think,... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:13 AM on February 22, 2014

Wall Street Debutants' Big Party
Other spoiler: it's just like Doonesbury cartoons from, like, the seventies. As nice as it is to have my prejudices gratified (that, at the highest level, capitalism - meaning actual capitalists, a small group of actually-existing people - organizes itself openly around racism, misogyny and homophobia), it's still somehow depressing.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:25 AM on February 18, 2014

No triggers afaik
What exactly are you advocating? Instead of printing this report, should the Nobel Women’s Initiative have compelled Sudanese rape victims to do a speaking tour in which they repeatedly recount the horrors they've gone through?

I bet there are Sudanese women activists or village elders or educated expatriates or local women who have worked with NGOs who could talk about the situation from their perspective. In almost any community that isn't just... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:13 PM on February 17, 2014
(I just want to say that, like, I have met people from Sudan. This idea that "we can't actually import women from a crisis area who are themselves in crisis and therefore it's okay to have no Sudanese people here speaking about this issue" is kind of silly. People get around. There are diasporas. There are people who have lived in a crisis area who do not live there now; there are people who lived in an area which was formerly in crisis and is not in crisis now.... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:36 AM on February 18, 2014

"Looks like we're... looks like we're shy one horse."
Oh my god yes, this is a massive, massive classic. Worth seeing on the big screen if you ever get the chance, absolutely.

It's such a weird movie, and it has this bizarre optimism about frontiers - consider the ending sequence. I think part of that is because the movie is basically about the aftermath of Italian fascism as much as it is about the US West, and the "frontier" at the end is really a temporal frontier, a political frontier where popular... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:21 AM on February 16, 2014

You believe that true love is a zero-sum game traded in sex.

Up to that point in the article, I just thought it sounded, for my mostly-introverted self, exhausting. And really the province of the young, all those parties and late night shows and seeing in the dawn together. Not that this couldn't be part of life at any point, but it's hard to manage with the ordinary responsibilities of adulthood.


That's the thing - nominally I have a non-monogamous relationship but in reality I have an "oh god... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:39 PM on February 15, 2014
Frowner, I think you and I define poly differently. I have been in many poly relationships where I was only involved with one other person (who happened to see others as well).

We may move in different kinds of social circles or just experience social dynamics differently - but what I notice is that there's a huge difference between "I am seeing Lila who is also seeing Joe, but I would find it easy to date other people if I wanted" and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:27 PM on February 15, 2014

The final frontier of intimacy
I cannot even imagine. My precious and well-selected volumes - my first edition of Always Coming Home, my priceless sixties radical publications, my fascinating collection of minor feminist novels of the eighties - commingling with someone else's foolish, crass and middlebrow book collection? I do not think so. And it would break up all my beautiful shelving arrangements - how all the Freud is banished to a bottom shelf in the corner and how... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:19 AM on February 11, 2014
Sort of on topic: have you ever noticed that if you lend a woman a book, she'll eventually bring it back, but guys never do? Seriously, not one guy that I've ever known that I lent a book to ever gave it back. One class act said he'd bring it next week and then disappeared, never to be seen again. Some of them have been all, "Oh, I already gave it to someone else." What, you don't ask first?

Perhaps this is a sign of my own gender... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:48 PM on February 12, 2014

An Idea Whose Time Has Come, Or Gone
But then of course there's the whole contemporary trope - which we might call the "transgressive bourgeois" - of someone who Has Their Own Taste, and is too Bold! and Individual! to like what the "tastemakers" approve of. I notice that there's a whole slew of things that it's transgressive-bourgeois-fashionable to like - schlocky cinema (different varieties come into and out of fashion), certain types of softcore porn (again, what is fashionable varies every few years),... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:40 PM on February 12, 2014

Helping you beat Turnitin.com Since 2012
Of course, it would be a bidding site. Not enough to be a place where broke and displaced academics sell their work, it has to be a place where broke and displaced academics strive to undercut each other so they can sell their work for the lowest possible price.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:45 AM on February 10, 2014

Building a Foundational Library for the Long Now
I don't think I would include so much science fiction or honestly, even any fiction. I suppose there are arguments which could make me change my mind, but cannot think of one. Its an interesting question.

I absolutely adore science fiction and I don't think I'd include any either, except such as fell under the "fiction we want to save because it's fiction" category. Science fiction isn't an instruction manual, and when people treat it that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:48 AM on February 7, 2014

A rare liberal acknowledgement of the failure of liberal race policies.
Still reading the FA but my first thought on reading the first paragraph was "so they hired a white dude to write a series on integration for Black History Month?". Maybe they could do something really radical like ask a black writer to weigh in.

A white guy who doesn't know any black people, too! I mean, of all the white people to pick.

A white guy who also has not read any James Baldwin and... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:26 PM on February 6, 2014
The other thing that occurs to me on reflection is that this piece is written as if "the left" (or "liberals") were exclusively white people - as if there are no black voters or activists. It's really written with a tone of "politics is something done by white people, either in the interests of black people or against their interests". I don't mean "oh there are black people in the voting process so whatever happens is okay", just that this article does... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:48 PM on February 6, 2014

If you’re a gay man, pose outdoors
Of course, if you use all the right buzzwords, then you actually end up having to date, like, a surfing investment banker who cares deeply about his/her abs and who, apparently, uses the word "mating" in his or her profile.

It's funny how much more depressing humanity is when contemplated in the aggregate than in the form of "people around me I might personally actually date".
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:40 PM on February 6, 2014

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