Activity from Frowner

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How to Lose Weight in 4 Easy Steps
The funny thing is that I started going to the gym and stopped caring about dating - not friendships or doing stuff, just about dating. I mean, really stopped caring. It makes me question what I was doing dating people in the first place, since there doesn't seem to have been anything involved except insecurity and the need for something to think about, now all replaced by wondering what the hell kind of exercises that one guy was doing last night and where can I learn to do… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:06 AM on February 3, 2015
The anti-humanist mix tape (or really, playlist; I'm old, it's always a mix tape to me even though I haven't had a cassette player since 2007) in its present iteration is basically a lot of acid house and the very coldest-sounding untz-untz dance music I could possibly find. Plus lots of Gang of Four, Meat Beat Manifesto's "I Got The Fear" and "Asbestos Lead Asbestos", a particularly depressing song called "Coup" and Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:47 AM on February 3, 2015
The horrible ex-girlfriend "fucking around with gross and terrible people"

Yeah, I did not care for that. I am willing to write a certain amount of it off as "at the time I felt like my "horrible" ex-girlfriend was fucking around with gross and terrible people, which is part of my whole description of feeling angry and miserable and like eating only skinless chicken breast".

I… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:12 AM on February 3, 2015

"I know because I vaccinated both of them"
That Roald Dahl piece linked by Artw is just unbearably sad. I never thought that I would feel particular pity for Roald Dahl, but now I do.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:17 AM on February 2, 2015
Okay, but if we didn't vaccinate most people for tetanus in advance, could we give them a rabies-like post-exposure vaccine? (That would have its own drawbacks, right, since probably a lot more people get unexpected punctures than get bat exposure.)

I would rather have the vaccine, just so I don't have the surprise-stray-nail-in-the-backyard and have to sit there wondering if I'm going to get lockjaw.

And how does this all play out with… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:27 AM on February 3, 2015
(I take remote risks very seriously, for the record. My doctor knows this only too well.

But on the other hand, I was the one who said "hm, I bet that faint thumping noise means something really bad about the engine" and everyone else said nonsense and we just barely made it home and the engine was basically a brick. And it wasn't even my car.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:28 AM on February 3, 2015

It disturbs me that this person appears to be doing some of the same obscure-yet-snob reading that I am doing (Sebald and Wojnarowicz in particular - I mean, there are lots of difficult names in the world). I wonder if we've read the same book reviews, or if they're the one who wrote the reviews. Is it the zeitgeist driving us both, or am I alone the dedicated follower of intellectual fashion?

Also, if you grow up around Chicago,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:20 AM on February 2, 2015
Goethe on the other hand...

Amusingly, my father made much of the correct pronunciation of "Goethe", "Maugham" and "Evelyn Waugh" and as a result no one in my English classes ever knew who I was talking about.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:46 AM on February 2, 2015
A friend did know a guy who had read quite a lot of continental theory as basically a lonely little nerd in the provinces and for whom Michel Foucault was "Michael Fuckallt". Which seems appropriate in a number of ways.

Also, seriously, this kid had read all this Foucault totally off his own bat just because he wanted to and with no peers around to talk about it or to be motivating. Which impressed me even when I was young and snobbish.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:49 AM on February 2, 2015
My ex and I also liked to pronounce Leicester in an "American" accent - "Say, can you tell me the way to Lie-Chester Square? Is it near Edin-boro?" (We were easily amused.)

In America, we feel that you people are just too lazy to pronounce all the syllables. Marylebone, Cholmondeley, Worcestershire...anyone else would be embarrassed.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:13 AM on February 2, 2015
Also, I grew up near Des Moines, which is pronounced Dez Moynes. And Joliet, pronounced Joelee-ette.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:14 AM on February 2, 2015
I think I am thinking of Dez Playnes. It's been a while, and around here everything is named all kinds of rural-utopian names - Eden Prairie and so on - which are unevocative but easy to pronounce.

Dez Playnes!!! I never actually went to Dez Playnes, though, or even Joelee-ette. They remained far, exotic destinations for my entire childhood. Gosh, I kind of miss Chicagoland.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:22 AM on February 2, 2015

How To Tell If You Are In A Soft Science Fiction Novel

Today I woke up, blearily picked up my cell phone, and read this: Racism no longer exists now that all of humanity has banded together to speak English, vote democratically, adhere to 20th-century American social standards... and wanted to roll out of bed just so I could go bang my head into my desk.

I wonder if a clearer way to write Ortberg's comment would be "Race no longer exists now that everyone speaks English and votes… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:31 AM on January 30, 2015
I mean as a history/politics/culture dork I'd love to read science fiction where everything is mostly hunky dory but we have some obscure political scheme that is not commonly understood by early 21st century Americans, but I also understand that the market for this is probably not large.

Perhaps you would like Samuel Delany's novel Triton? They certainly have a novel political system. Or John Varley's short stories published in the horribly-named… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:35 AM on January 30, 2015
As for race, gender, etc...all I can say is that it gets very, very tricky to actually write that well when you are both trying to show the future as being better on that score, while still respecting those differences and showing empathy for your readers who live in the really real world where it isn't all that great--especially when societies have launched into outer space and morphed into their own things. I don't think that taking on an attitude of "we don't see color (in the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:56 AM on January 30, 2015

Buy high, sell low
The issue isn't, I think, that it might cost rich people a little bit of money; it's that letting climate change play out is actively beneficial. Look at the interview with the developer - climate change brings investment opportunities!

Think about all the things that people are going to have to buy as climate change gets worse - all the air conditioners and heaters and building repair materials and hot weather stuff and cold weather stuff - and all… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:59 PM on January 29, 2015

A Bike Lock You'll Never Forget to Bring
Actually, this looks pretty good to me! I have an old and battered bike, so no one is likely to break out any plasma cutters (seriously? is that a thing now?) and I would love not to have to dink around with a U-lock.

Basically, I need to lock my bike to keep joy riders and random spiteful people from grabbing it, not because it is so beautiful and valuable that it could be resold.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:55 AM on January 28, 2015
So here is the question - does bike theft vary city by city? I've had a bunch of cheap bikes stolen in the past, but that was because I either left them for all eternity like a terrible person or had only a cable lock because I was stupid. I've had an unlocked junk bike stolen off my porch, but really I'd left it unlocked because I was going to get rid of it and it was very cheap and terrible and not even really good for parts. But the whole "I locked my ordinary bike-year-round bike… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:58 AM on January 28, 2015

The youth of Greece are revolting
I have limitless confidence that the oligarchs will once again manipulate the economy in order to bring down the new government, and their bought-and-paid media will scream "See? I told you so!"

But they are truculent in Greece. They will absolutely burn shit down. To the Greek activists I have met, Syriza is moderate. And there's still a lot of memories of the civil war and the right wing coup in the sixties - anything… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:32 AM on January 26, 2015
The male youth of Greece is up in revolt. Anarchy, riots in the street, etc

You know, there are women activists in Greece, some of whom are anarchists and riot in the streets.

And the implication that all these women - whoever they're dating! - are focused immediately on getting married and producing a kid and buying a house, and of course they're thinking of politics primarily in terms of "how will… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:50 AM on January 26, 2015
I wonder about the symbolic importance of Greece - it's this country on the periphery of Europe, it's small, it hasn't been rich in a very, very long time, it has some symbolic weight because of its ancient history, it's weak in international terms, it's sort of halfway between Western Europe and the middle east. It's striking that it has such giant weight in international terms - the British backing the right in the civil war, for instance, and the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:42 AM on January 26, 2015

A nice thought, but if that were really the motivation, the US probably could have been more effective at appearing to be non-monsters to the developing world by, you know, actually not being monsters in the developing world.

No, it's not a nice thought - it's actually true. LBJ and his advisors, for instance, were well aware of the propaganda traction that the Soviets and their allies made out of racism in the US. This isn't even in… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:04 AM on January 26, 2015
You know what really gave Communism traction in the developing world? Popular opposition to the mass-murdering authoritarian juntas installed by the CIA.

Yabbut we are totally talking at cross purposes here, and I am really confused about why. None of this has anything to do with what gave communism traction among people outside the US state department; none of this has anything to do with the US really, truly not wanting to be… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:37 PM on January 26, 2015
And just to clarify - "modulated certain of its policies to the left" doesn't mean "became left"; it means "were less right-wing than they would have liked to be".
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:39 PM on January 26, 2015

The Aging of Abercrombie & Fitch
“Every single aspect that you can imagine that affected the airplane or our behavior in it was controlled by Abercrombie & Fitch, specifically, Michael Jeffries and Matthew Smith.” The four male crew members (models provided to Abercrombie) had to wear jeans, boxers, polo shirts, and flip-flops. The manual specified the seating arrangements for Jeffries’s three dogs, the length of the spoon Smith required for his tea, and the proper way to respond to requests (“No problem”), fold… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:03 AM on January 23, 2015
"I'd like a quarter-scale rhinoceros in dark brown leather, thank you"

Oh my god, I would like a quarter-scale rhinoceros in dark brown leather. Especially if it had cute little button eyes. It's a good thing I wasn't old enough for a credit card back then.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:20 AM on January 23, 2015
So on a quick Google I see that Jonathan Adler's now selling them.

But they're backordered, yoink!!!

(Actually, I bet it would be easy to make out out of a sturdy twill. I once made a corduroy horse on similar lines - smaller, but the same logic applied.)
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:28 AM on January 23, 2015
Not that I want to get in the way of a high-end Arthur Conan Doyle porno or anything, but you don't need to use a quarter scale leather-covered rhinocerous with cute little button eyes for anything; you just put it in the corner of the room and contemplate it - the pleasure of its company is enough. I have a vintage Magneto plush toy which serves the same purpose, although it is not quarter scale and covered in leather with cute little button eyes. (Which… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:08 PM on January 23, 2015

Why sell Thin Mints when you could be starting a revolution?
I have my reservations about children acting out parental political causes whether it is "radical brownies", "antiabortion picketers", "children's crusade for christ or ....(you name it)", manning picket lines"etc. The political cause (liberal, conservative, radical, reactionary) is irrelevant to me. Teenagers, yes/maybe, preteens no. I have no data or scientific support for my concerns--just does not feel right. Much different if the groups are… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:07 AM on January 23, 2015

The dream of the 1890s is alive in Portland
Did I really just read an entire article about the creation of Oregon as a whites-only territory that did not mention the indigenous people who were already living there?

It did mention violence against native people in passing, but yeah.

I was just looking - here in Minnesota - at a poster copy of the documents that ceded land for the UMN in 1851 and 1867 and thinking about how all this, too, is stolen land. It wasn't ours… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:36 PM on January 22, 2015

The new male body
On the one hand, I really support body modifications - I think there's something interesting, perverse, powerful, radical when people decide that they're going to transform themselves in new ways. So part of me looks at these bodies - which look weird to me, it makes me really anxious to see all the muscles in that much detail, like something is going to rupture - and I think oh wow, this is sort of neat and anti-Romantic/Natural and post-human and weird,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:02 AM on January 21, 2015
On the other hand, have you ever thought about what it would feel like to be hugged by Chris Evans? Because I have. A lot.

Long ago I dated a guy who was really built - he lifted heavy objects for a living, had played sports in school and was just sort of naturally mesomorphic anyway. A prince among men, too - he had his problems, but he was an absolutely magnificent boyfriend. Also very handsome in a big-nosed and strong-featured… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:01 AM on January 21, 2015
I'll also just go ahead and throw it out there that literally nobody in my life has ever said "you looked better before you started working out!" to me. Before, people mostly told me they were "concerned" about my body or outright called it "gross," as in, like, to my face.

These were terrible, horrible people though, right? The kind of people who kick tiny adorable kittens? And metafilter should send our strike force to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:24 PM on January 21, 2015
"Your body is not appealing to me" is not the same as "your body is disgusting [as a body]". Admittedly, "shaming" people for having a highly socially-desirable body type isn't quite the same thing as shaming them for failing to live up to social norms, and I know only too well that it's cathartic to witness someone who gets nothing but praise for their beauty encounter, for the first time, the idea that they are not a universal attractor....but… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:25 AM on January 22, 2015
Honestly, I would like it if I never had to hear bullshit "that body is so gross" stuff ever again.

I would love it in particular, in fact, if I didn't have to hear it about old people, the disabled, and significantly fat people, because people I love fall into all those categories and hearing some little twit call some old guy at the beach "gross" because he has wrinkles and veins really makes me want to kill. ("You don't want to look at… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:40 AM on January 22, 2015

The estate we’re in: how working class people became the ‘problem’
This makes me wonder if "working class" is defined differently in the UK. I'm assuming a council estate is similar to a housing project, and the "working class" people I know are very proud to NOT live in housing projects. Like, the "we are the 54 percent" crowd.

If I understand it correctly, there is a LOT more "public" housing (even now) in the UK than in the US and people who live in it are (or have been,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:28 AM on January 21, 2015
Also, if you want to read a really interesting book about the UK in the seventies, which was when the groundwork was laid for Thatcher and her horrible ilk, you could do worse than When The Lights Went Out: What really happened in Britain in the Seventies. It's extremely readable and the author is really interested in understanding what all the people involved thought they were doing in addition to actual outcomes.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:31 AM on January 21, 2015
This reminds me of a Pat Barker novel, The Century's Daughter (also published as Liza's England. (Pat Barker wrote the Regeneration trilogy about WH Rivers, Siegfried Sasson, Wilfred Owen, anti-war Britons, shell shock, WWI and stuff.) It was written in the early-mid eighties and the characters are reflecting that conditions are deteriorating for working people under Thatcher - the elderly working class woman, who is living in some kind of perfectly decent council housing,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:45 AM on January 21, 2015
That was the feeling I got when reading about didn't seem like there was a huge quantity of class mobility. It just seemed so incredible to me back when I was reading novels and memoirs that the possibility was even available. We've got plenty of things here in the US that are nominally equalizing but really favor the middle class, certainly, but they are always so stingy and limited in scope, and they have so little potential that the whole idea of "you can… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:12 AM on January 21, 2015

Almost as appealing as a nailclipper next to a plate of eggs
I wonder what this writer would think of a book with an even more complicated and longer-ago setting and which follows even more distant literary conventions - maybe Moby Dick or Great Expectations or something. Gutting the floating corpse of a whale for the fat? Who does that? Why would anyone have a wooden leg instead of one of those cool prosthetics? This boat would rent for $10,000 a day in New York!
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:54 AM on January 21, 2015

Karl Lagerfeld's Muse: Brad.
Karl Lagerfeld has a sad life, I always think. He's so brilliant and talented - and he really is, I have never really liked contemporary Chanel, but he is awfully, awfully good and zeitgeisty - and all this skill and brilliance and being-widely-read and everything churns around inside him and spits out in mean little phrases designed to be quoted, meanly, around the world.

I mean, I think he's actually had a pretty sad life - at least, there are… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:31 PM on January 17, 2015
Karl Lagerfeld actually did a lot of very interesting fashion-y stuff - if you want a trashy yet very informative book that's equal parts Karl Lagerfeld bio, Yves Saint Laurent bio and general popular culture in late sixties through mid-eighties France, I recommend The Beautiful Fall. It's full of various kinds of scuttlebutt, of course, but there are some quite interesting interviews with important fashion people and also a bunch of former models, artists… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:37 PM on January 18, 2015

Runs smiling face infinitely looped
“I do believe that if we have information about your emotional experiences we can help you be in a more positive mood and influence your wellness,” she said. She had been reading about how to deal with difficult experiences. “The consistent advice was you have to take care of yourself, be in a good place, so that you can handle everything else,” she said. “I think there is an opportunity to build a very, very simple app that pushes out funny content or inspiring content three times a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:33 AM on January 18, 2015
Isn't this really basically a bad singularity? Where we all teach ourselves to comply with feelings that machines want us to have? I mean, if we're all having appropriate feelings in sync with what the Google-NSA-Facebook-industrial-complex wants us to feel, aren't we sort of some kind of collective being? All of our feelings will sync - work-readiness where we need to be work-ready, angry where capital needs to destroy something, sexy where we are needed to buy sex toys and… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:36 AM on January 18, 2015

"Please use the brand-new desk lamp we just purchased for you."
I've gotten emails/memos like this my entire working life. whats the story here?

My immediate assumption was a story of "wow, creative class people working at fancy places with expensive chairs are supposed to be catered to because they are the future, the disruptors, etc - not like regular office drones who could be replaced by trained monkeys organized via an Uber-like platform!!! It's shocking the elite people aren't allowed… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:39 PM on January 14, 2015

First on the list: Cut the disabled people

Well they certainly are shooting themselves in the foot if they decide to cut SSI disability. There are millions of people who could not find employment during the recent economic shitfest and decided to get on disability. Cut them out and you end up with these people back in U3 unemployment counts.

And those people will be driving wages and working conditions down, because they will be desperate for any work that they… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:57 AM on January 13, 2015

"discard anything that doesn’t spark joy"
The trouble is, I have a lot of possessions and they mostly do give me joy. If I got rid of all the (inessential - can't get rid of the interview suit or the hairdryer or the doing-unpleasant-muddy-tasks shoes, etc) joyless things I would still have about fifty squillion things, and I know because I've done it before. Honestly, I'd much rather just have a large Thing Archive, not least because it has been very gratifying in the past to think "gee I wish I had a [nice present for someone,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:31 PM on January 11, 2015

I personally rarely meet a parody of William Carlos Williams that I don't like. Which is odd because I like William Carlos Williams just fine, and I actually like that plums poem. Although I did not like it when my housemates ate all my special vegan lemon gingersnaps.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:31 PM on January 8, 2015
I don't know if "saving" was the right word, but I probably would have eaten them for breakfast if there had been any left. But no, there was just a sad empty bag on the counter with a few crumbs rattling around within. Rather as if WCM had left the plum pits sitting there on the table for someone else to clean up.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:35 PM on January 8, 2015

I said “I feel like these characters should be guys.” She said, “Why?”
I always thought I identified "he" as a genderless pronoun and was perfectly comfortable with "The Rights of Man", "when the candidate is confronted with ten potions, he must...." and so on. It was only when I started reading some science fiction that used different defaults that I realized how I had been creating a kind of "genderless man" in my head. He wasn't quite a regular man - the "Rights of Man"… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:39 PM on January 8, 2015

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