Activity from Frowner

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"The problem is I'm black. That's the problem."
At some point in the aftermath, did a reporter ever go back to the clerk who called the cops and ask him why he was being a racist jagoff? It's a minor footnote, but all (justified) cop-blaming here is letting someone else off the hook.

I sure would like someone to follow up with the store clerk, because I'd like to be sure that it was a store clerk, and not the police just lying. I once was present for the whole of an incident… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:16 PM on August 29, 2014
(To clarify my anecdote: the study area was in a location where no one could have seen who was making noise if they were making noise, so the noise complaint itself could not have been motivated by race, and we knew there wasn't any noise; also the security guard told us (sotto voce, since we were white) that he just wanted the guys to move along - even though they were students and it was basically public space.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:18 PM on August 29, 2014
I don't think so. If he'd been wearing an immaculate suit and perfectly groomed, they'd have behaved just the same. Just ask the legions of well-dressed black men who have gotten the same treatment.

Oh, I'm not saying that the cops only single out black men who don't look conservative/formally dressed - it's just been my experience (I've done a little bit of activism about police brutality) that when cops are looking to hassle a black man, they do… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:35 PM on August 29, 2014

“It’s okay, because someday they’ll all be dead.”
A red clip meant “leave me alone.” A green clip, and you’d soon be making friends.

This is so brilliant. I wish I could wear such kind of clips for everyday interactions.

The whole "old fans versus new" thing really gets me down, because I would love to go to a boring convention that is all about books and academic panels and doesn't involve television, superhero movies or… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:54 PM on August 29, 2014

objectification and its effects on women
(The thing is, if your relationship is such that "if you loved me you would have sex with me right now regardless of what you want or how you feel" is primary way of getting sex, you have a bad relationship. There are all kinds of ways to have reasonable amounts of sex in a relationship, from directly negotiating to being in tune enough with each other that you both tend to want to have sex a reasonable amount of the time and are both happy. Believing that you should be able to pull… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:50 AM on August 28, 2014
Maybe the heterosexual dynamics are different. But in my experience with men, it's more than possible to stare at one's partner and be blown away by how beautiful they are without said action being dehumanizing or leading to sexual coercion. I mean, if you're with someone and you love them, part of that love is physical, no?

Partly, it's not as reciprocal between men and women. Women aren't encouraged to evaluate men physically in the same way or to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:37 AM on August 28, 2014
I was thinking about how I've been "objectified" all my life - even though I have never been sexually attractive to very many men, and now am basically sexually invisible as a butch person of indeterminate gender. But the reason I say that I've been "objectified" is that my worthlessness as a person - to most men - is pretty much all about the fact that I am unfuckable. Most men don't treat other men as worthless/boring/etc because they don't want to fuck… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:24 PM on August 28, 2014
What I was really thinking was "what is objectification", and it occurred to me that "objectifying" is usually framed as "using something as an object of desire" and that's where the confusion comes in, because it's sometimes fun to be desired. So I was thinking about being made into an object, and how that happens to women/non-men-people in all kinds of ways, and that [sexual objectification] is a subset of objectification in general, and can be… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:48 PM on August 28, 2014
IIRC, Freudians were very big on female narcissism, right?

Of course, there's a very simple explanation for female sexual "narcissism" - if you grow up being taught that being desired is the measure of your worth, and you receive almost no models for being actively desiring, and you receive almost no information about actual pleasure in being touched as part of sex, and you receive lots of messages about how most women… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:16 AM on August 29, 2014
And it's worth considering that in the US, at least, straight dudes are not expected to be the objects of desire. The straight male body is very often framed as disgusting, something that women put up with - the official narrative that straight men are hairy and smelly, etc etc., men's legs look gross in shorts, male genitals are smelly and of no interest. And of course, the fact that straight men are virtually always discouraged from any kind of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:35 AM on August 29, 2014
And one last thought that I meant to include in my previous comment, and then I'll knock it off - there's something really perverse in the "men are so gross" narrative, because it teaches men that women should have to have sex with men who are assumed to be gross and hairy and coarse and incapable of any form of bodily or sexual refinement (because men are "just like that" etc). It's basically saying "sex is categorically not fun for women, because… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:01 AM on August 29, 2014

SRLP and Laverne Cox
Oh my god, that poor little girl in the Connecticut case. I bet there are a hundred queer youth organizations who would work with her to organize housing, therapy and education if she could just be gotten out of state custody. I mean hell, she can come sleep on my sofa.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:00 AM on August 27, 2014
I recently learned that someone I respected a lot as a an anti-prison-pipeline activist had declined to make a statement about Cece MacDonald when the support committee (here in MPLS) had asked her to. I was really disappointed.

At the same time, I want to recognize that Laverne Cox is under a huge, ridiculous amount of pressure to be "the face" for trans women, especially trans women of color, and I could see how that would push someone to bad decisions -… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:40 AM on August 27, 2014
But the thing about CeCe McDonald is that it is possible to say "here is a nice college girl who was in the process of triumphing over adversity when she got jumped by a bunch of white trash racist nazi-sympathizers", and even the TERFs and anti-crime liberals have to deal with that narrative. While I was actually around - and did a very, very teeny-tiny bit of work for - CeCe's support committee and I recognize how incredibly difficult it was to deal with media bias, it's a different… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:11 AM on August 27, 2014
The link that ArmyOfKittens posted provides a lot more thoughtful analysis and brought home for me the ways in which Synthia was almost certainly victimized.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:34 PM on August 27, 2014

Parenting in the Internet Age: The Problem of Porn
So far, I feel like we're talking like "kids" is "boys". (And of course, the linked piece is about a son.)

I surmise that it's going to be a lot more likely that girls will be looking at really standard, male-centric straight (or fake lesbian) porn than that they'll be stumbling across woman-centered porn (even finding, like, yaoi or whatever is a bit of a different process).

Now, this is certainly no… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:17 AM on August 26, 2014
(In the commercial porn that I have seen - which I'd say is a reasonable and representative sample circa maybe five years ago, plus another reasonable and representative sample when I was in my late teens/early twenties - I'd say that my take-away was very much that it is fun for women because they enjoy being objectified and performing female sexuality, whereas it is fun for men because doing whatever sexual act itself is pleasurable. That was what really messed me up, because it took me a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:06 AM on August 27, 2014
Would it be too chatty to ask what the allure is in the choking/vomiting/blowjob porn? And is one expected to believe that the vomiting is fun for the performer, or is it framed as explicitly not fun? Certain of these extreme things seem like they could be framed as "la la by happy coincidence I am just another woman who enjoys submitting to really aggressive sex that crosses over into choking and weird bodily distortion"* but very few people… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:31 PM on August 27, 2014

"And I’m going to keep doing it, unless you pay me to stop."
There's a public health aspect to this - the more cramped the seating, the more difficult it is for passengers to move enough to prevent blood clots, which are a risk of sitting or lying in a very cramped position for extended periods. To me, this is the strongest argument against "I will recline unless you pay me" - what you're really saying is "unless you are very short, I can recline so that it's difficult for you to move your legs or even get out of your seat, putting you at… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:21 AM on August 27, 2014

I have only the vaguest memory of a life before fear.
I would never in all my life have expected Lena Dunham to write an essay, had some remote and melancholy parts that seemed not from the age of references-to-commercial-products-and-gentle-self-mockery-via-commercial-activities-engaged-in-during-childhood humor. I would be interested to read what she'll write when she's older.

More than her access to therapy, what jumped out at me was when she talks about furniture shopping with her boyfriend, and they buy a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:08 AM on August 26, 2014

Escalating Tensions in Ferguson, Missouri
Here in Minneapolis, a fleet of 7 enormous black helicopters is buzzing downtown buildings a few hundred feet from the ground from dusk until past midnight. I was directly under one last night, it was terrifying. The police say it is a DoD training exercise but they didn't announce it in advance, they won't say when it ends, and they won't say who authorized it or what the purpose is. I can't help but conclude they're trying to intimidate people into not protesting.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:26 AM on August 19, 2014
I just also fucking wish that all this media coverage with the warzone pictures could somehow be a little more about how people, real people, are actually living in the middle of that. It's not a movie.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:30 AM on August 19, 2014
If you haven't been watching the Twitters - someone whose tumblr I look at (she's a great comics artist and zine writer) linked to this round-upy thing here.

Some of this feels so familiar, because it's just the same stuff they do at hippie protests but accelerated - more tear gas, a lot more; undercovers; and I know a couple of people who have had cops threaten to kill them when they were behaving non-violently and appropriately at protests. Part of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:45 AM on August 19, 2014
That film with the police marching with guns drawn - frankly that scares the hell out of me. I just...that is just so non-standard for police repression in this country in the last twenty years. The rest of it is an intensification of stuff I've seen or friends have seen - I mean, I have seen people throw tear gas canisters back at police, I've seen lines of riot police; I've had friends who've gotten badly hurt by rubber bullets; I've… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:36 AM on August 19, 2014
(To my mind, there is at least a 50% possibility that the white "anarchists" are not actually anarchists - I think it's fairly possible that they're undercovers, since there are plenty of records of this kind of thing happening at protests run by actual white anarchists, and indeed, I've been in political milieux where there were very, very plausible white "anarchist" undercovers trying to get people to commit violence. I don't think there's any real way… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:59 AM on August 19, 2014
An unmarked black van, with a bunch of burly 30 to 40 somethings wearing and putting on Black Bloc gear.

This is from way, way upthread, but if you see something like this, those people are not anarchists, they are not Black Bloc, they are cops. I know from Black Bloc, I used to run around in that kind of crowd in the late nineties/early 2000s and I am still in a milieu where some people do… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:20 PM on August 19, 2014
I think Frowner is probably right re those guys in the van being cops, but I would caution against assuming burly 30-40 year olds doing militant protest are necessarily cops. My experience has been that a lot of veterans back from Iraq and Afghanistan are coming back angry and fit that age bracket.

True enough, but I would bet that anyone with a little common sense could pick them out from's sort of a cop gestalt, if you will, and one gets used to it.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:37 PM on August 19, 2014
Okay, I've been thinking about this - they were firing live ammo last night, but at what? Why? There's nothing documented about anyone shooting at them, despite various rumors, and certainly no sign that there was any significant gunfire aimed at them. So they weren't returning fire. Why were they shooting in the first place? I know "what were they thinking" isn't really a useful question, but still it seems stupid to the point of brainlessness, because if you… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:44 PM on August 19, 2014
Mass arrests also require somewhere to put people, and someone to watch the people, and someone to process the people, and if the cops don't have the equipment and space to do that, then they have several hundred angry, frightened folks just sitting there. The things that can go wrong are legion - the angry folks rise up, and they either break out (bad from a police perspective) or the cops have to fight them when the odds are poorer and the cops are more likely to need to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:47 AM on August 20, 2014
Also, it occurs to me that "there are three hundred people including the elderly and children being held at gunpoint in a mass arrest scenario with very little water in the heat AND it is going to take two days to get everyone processed and released" would be a fucking powderkeg situation in the media and on the street. It would give a lot of very upset and frightened non-arrested people time to organize, it would be incredibly bad media, it would probably get a lot… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:51 AM on August 20, 2014

Obviously I'm not sure what happened, and I hate to cast aspersions on anyone, but the same people tweeting about the church raid were also accused of misrepresenting/falsifying events the other night (Monday, iirc).

In these situations, things get really confusing. I once accidentally sent a small group of people out to [a place] based on nothing, because I had received an impassioned phone call from a friend who had gotten some bad… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:50 AM on August 20, 2014
During the G20 in Toronto, a very, very few people smashing windows and setting a cop car on fire provoked an enormous police overreaction and how many people arrested, again? Without charges?

No, "was used as a pretext for". And if there weren't a bottle-thrower, they would have made something up.

I swear to you up and down, I have been in what used to pass for violent protests (ie, no live ammo,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:03 AM on August 21, 2014
(I add that IME if there is one thing that will make the police flip the fuck out and escalate the situation, it would be combat veterans in full gear. I'm not saying that people shouldn't do that, because it's a way of contesting the legitimacy of the police and potentially a powerful symbolic action. I'm just saying that "don't do anything to inspire the police to smash" and "show up in combat gear [even though without weapons" are totally contradictory… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:06 AM on August 21, 2014
Would you have a good idea, then, about how to refer to the small handful of loose cannon protestors who pull that kind of loose-cannon shit? Because on the one hand I absolutely don't want to contribute to a protest-tone-argument thing, but on the other hand I want to be able to call out butt-cranks like this. I nearly got myself trampled to death at a march outside the RNC in 2004 when a group 20 feet behind me set fire to a dragon puppet in the middle of the march and everyone… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:30 AM on August 21, 2014
In Ferguson, young demonstrators are finding it’s not their grandparents’ protest: "“We were trained when we marched. We were taught if they spit on you, just wipe it off and continue marching. But we are dealing with a new breed of youngster. They say, ‘You better not spit on me.’"

And yet, when it was the older generation, just protesting at all was the equivalent of, like, throwing a tear gas canister… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:02 PM on August 22, 2014

But all these world heritage sites - it wouldn't mean anything if the global economy wasn't changing. If the economy itself wasn't becoming more and more dependent on financialization, more and more unequal and more and more services-for-the-well-off oriented, you could declare all the World Heritage sites you liked and people could still afford to live in the city center. I mean, Minneapolis sure isn't a World Heritage site, but huge chunks of it are ossifying in the same way, becoming… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:56 AM on August 22, 2014

Like taking a cold bath with someone you dislike
The thing is, all of these lean on the idea that "we" have intellectual opinions about Serious Literature, while they - for some value of "they" - are just lazy and ignorant. I mean, obviously, some of them are terrible, like the one of Beloved, but a lot of them are just informal and sort of flippant (like the On The Road one), and I mean really, why not? I could dress up my… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:20 AM on August 22, 2014
I also wonder how many of these were from classes where students were required to write and post reviews.

And honestly, the one where the writer was all "just once I would like a cheerful book in English class" - my god, it was nonstop grim grim grim mid-20th century fiction about people who were totally unself-aware all the way from mid-9th-grade through graduation. You would think that, like, James Thurber, Robertson Davies, Doris Lessing, Maxine Hong… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:25 AM on August 22, 2014
Er, I mean, we read that fiction from 9th grade to graduation. The characters were un-self-aware all their lives.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:27 AM on August 22, 2014
So so glad of the system in my school, which was basically going through the broad outline of Dutch/English literature and a basic understanding of literary tools in class while handing you a list of acceptable books to read for the exams, with the understanding that you had to read for this many points, then knock yourself out. Want to read something not on the list? Make a case for it and you could get it included.

What did you actually do in class?… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:50 AM on August 22, 2014

Club rats, sober alcoholics, the curious crowd, club kids, randoms.
I think a lot depends on how many people want to go dancing sober. In a large city, with the right planning, it might work. For a while I was helping organize a series of benefit events which were de facto sober until about 11pm, because the nerdier part of the crowd would show up early to dance and then leave when it got later and drunkier. (I personally don't really drink and love to dance, but I'm an outlier.)

I think the key… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:12 AM on August 22, 2014

and with a cat like that you know you should be cats
We do this around my house all the time. Although not always always nouns.

For instance, the Pogues' "Transmetropolitan" becomes much funnier and more cheerful when it goes

"At the time I was working for a kitten/
And he was the meanest bastard that you have ever seen/
To lose a single kipper would grieve him awful sore/
And then he'd get all pouty and just lie there on the floor....… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:04 PM on August 19, 2014
(At our house it has always been "psycho-kitten, qu'est-ce que c'est/meow meow meow meow, meow meow meow meooooww meow")
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:08 AM on August 21, 2014

You will also sense the life when you see the house's beating heart.
That is amazing. It's like if you were a multimillionaire twelve year old who read a lot of fantasy novels and wanted to be in a rock band.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:12 AM on August 21, 2014

"See you next year at the halloween parade" - Lou Reed's New York at 25
I still know virtually all the words to virtually all these. This was one of the albums that - and I don't even like it, or Lou Reed except the Velvets, because everyone likes the Velvets - made me who I am today. In my early teens, it made the world seem both knowable and a place where you had to think in political terms. Also, it made the world seem big, which is funny since it's just about New York.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 3:11 PM on August 18, 2014

occasionally, she wears flannel.
It's funny - I thought this piece was pretty good, and frankly, not to put too fine a point on it, I'm a queer person who came out late and had a lot of problems identifying what I wanted. I could easily see myself having drifted into an engagement.

I'd be interested to have a gender-and-sexuality breakdown of commenters who just hated this piece and thought it reflected poor character, because I suspect that most will be straight and/or dudes. And… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:33 AM on August 18, 2014

"Don’t shoot me"
Like, I mean that I don't think it's possible to be a Well-Meaning White Person and not be kind of a millstone sometimes. I think we need to do our best to be the most useful and the least nuisance that is possible. But I also realized that the black activists at this event, well, this isn't their first time at the rodeo - they are perfectly well aware that naive white people are going to be naive white people, and I think as long as I am doing my best to step back/step up as needed, it's okay… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:53 AM on August 15, 2014
I think it is SO SO important to point out that WHITE PEOPLE STEAL AND DO NOT GET SHOT. I know tons and tons of white kids who have stolen stuff, and sometimes they've been a bit stroppy with it. I know people who went through a "I shoplift to stick it to the man" phase and actively stole stuff just to steal stuff. I used to know a guy who broke a Starbucks window in a protest in 1999 - I mean, just stepped right up and broke it in front of God and everyone, on… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:44 AM on August 15, 2014
I was just casting my mind back over some violence that happened here in Minneapolis about ten years ago:

rioters destroyed a TV news car, set trash bins on fire, and there was some liquor store looting. Twenty-one people were prosecuted

Of course, those were college student hockey fans - jocks and frat bros - rioting after a hockey game. Somehow, the police managed to subdue a big crowd of violent drunks who were… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:35 AM on August 15, 2014

Aaaand the winner is...
Those engineers have some placid cats. You wouldn't get very far with those adorable tinfoil headpieces with The Best Cat In The World Or At Least In Frowner's House.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:29 AM on August 15, 2014

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