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MeFites, What Purse Do You Carry?
I have the best bag, everyone! I'm sorry, it's true. Why is my bag the best? My bag is the best because it is identical to the $295 J Peterman mailbag except that I got it on eBay used for $35, it has no brand name on it and it's in reddish brown weather resistant leather.

In it I carry my favorite three scarves, a hat, a leatherman pocket tool, my favorite tee shirt, the necklace I wore at my great-aunt's funeral and have never been able to make myself wear again,... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 2:03 PM on July 22, 2014
Clearly, many mefites will in future be identifiable by our West Elm pouches. I bought two, even though I am not precisely in funds, because I was so allured by their beautiful blues and because my existing old Baggu nylon pouches are too soft, even though they're very nicely made.
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 1:38 PM on July 25, 2014

Meta Comment Deletion What Fors?
I love the moderation here. I used to do a little part time moderation on a small site and it was goddamn hard and I wasn't very good at it, so I find the smoothness and grace of the moderation on metafilter extra impressive. Why, just this morning I was noticing a depressing and awful comment on a thread - one where I'd thought "I could flag this, but it's just someone giving their true, real, ignorant opinion so it probably won't do any good, I'll just feel glum about humans... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 5:48 PM on April 2, 2014

Please tell me what I can and can't say about religion on MetaFilter.
Perhaps you might want to consider what you want to achieve when you break out the celestial teapot business. Is the thread actually one where people are going to be convinced by your argument because they are looking for a new perspective on religion? Is the thread one where people are going to be angry because, for example, we're discussing bias against Muslims and you drop in to make noises about how dumb Islam is? Is the thread one where people want to discuss theology... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 12:06 PM on September 14, 2013
I'm generally fine with this unless your beliefs are abhorrent. I once had an "Intercessor for God" (that's what he called himself) tell me the reason my mother was dying of cancer was because she was relying on chemo instead of faith. He also told this to my mother. That guy died a couple years later from an easily treated medical condition. Simple blood thinners and he'd still be alive. Guess his faith wasn't strong enough. I couldn't tell this man I thought he was one of... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 2:44 PM on September 15, 2013

Can't do theory
I ended up wondering why so many of us have such strong emotional responses to anything you can label "theory" - so much ressentiment, in particular, if you want a theory word.

Honestly, I bet most of the people who were all "this is so opaque I cannot read it" could have read it just fine if they hadn't been so emotionally undone by the presence of theory-words. I don't think it's a difficult piece, and as a broad generality people who comment... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 8:11 PM on July 9, 2013
As I said, I really didn't find a lot of theoretical jargon in this piece. I don't think that's what tripped people up. But if you think there were particular words that threw people into a state of anxiety I'd love to know what they were.

Some preliminary responses based on my experience with people as they talk about theory. I think that often folks' response to theory-talk is unconsciously hostile rather than consciously so.... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 8:46 AM on July 10, 2013
This is absolutely true, and what I was trying to get at in this hasty comment. For those who have grown to understand and enjoy reading densely referential theoretical texts, it's worth thinking about why you have such a comfort level with them - what forms of privilege contributed to your having access to that experience and the knowledge and background and confidence to involve yourself with them. It's a form of capital and so it is indeed subject to comparison-based class... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 3:03 PM on July 10, 2013
I add that the biggest thing I had to do in order to be able to figure out and pursue my own intellectual interests was to stop the narrative I had about myself as someone who was a priori unwelcome, excluded, incapable and useless in a world where others were at home. This was not an easy process, but I really, really regret the time I spent filled with churning anger and the conviction that if I were only more privileged in various ways I would enjoy a free, natural and... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 3:07 PM on July 10, 2013
I really don't see how my raising this point renders working-class intellectuals invisible. Given my own background, that would be a ridiculous thing for me to do. It seems to me that it's absolutely essential to share stories like "there was a time this was difficult for me, and I worked at it using the resources I had around me to understand it better." This approach, for those interested, is learnable. We had a situation here where people interested in content about women... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 5:01 PM on July 10, 2013
i think it takes MORE privilege to follow the 'clear' writing that deanc talks about, since that's actually unnatural compared to a looser discourse

I really wish that we could inhabit a world in which it's accepted that different kinds of writing do different things and are intended for different people and purposes - and that we could not turn this into "some kind of writing are for the smart people, and... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 6:51 AM on July 11, 2013
Or, to put it in simple terms, I think Frowner would be REALLY surprised to discover that she occupies a rarefied position of social privilege and access to usable social capital above that of most other MeFi readers taking issue with the essay. "Check you privilege" is the LAST thing I would think about saying to Frowner or Charlamagne In Sweatpants in this conversation, whatever our disagreements.

I don't think Miko was saying "check... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 7:49 AM on July 11, 2013

Nonviolent Communication
The thing I have observed about non-violent communication is that there has to be a certain level of trust, either in the process or in the group involved, for it to work correctly. Non-violent communication is totally like therapy, in that when your therapist [ahem] tell you to ground yourself or asks you what your body is feeling in the moment or asks you to use a feeling word rather than a judging word, it seems really, really woo and self-indulgent and stupid if you're not... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 8:20 AM on June 14, 2013
"Why do you feel that X word is particularly important to you? Does it convey a particular meaning that you feel Y word is insufficient for?"

I would just like to throw out there that this sort of response at best puts me immediately into the high side of passive-aggressive mode with a good chance of sending me into a frothing rage.


And see, that's precisely because although metafilter is awesome and people actually... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 8:25 AM on June 14, 2013
If you are generally in favor of those horrible policies that hurt people, it makes sense that you would prefer people to discuss them with the first formulation rather than the second.

People are making such interesting observations that I want to post once more even though I'm posting several times close together - I apologize!

This just made me think about how non-violent communication can be theater rather than conversation,... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 8:28 AM on June 14, 2013
Say what you mean.

The thing is, I find that a lot of NVC techniques have helped me to figure out what I mean, and to listen carefully for what other people mean too. I find that intentional communication and careful question-asking are really, really helpful in teasing out the different factors in why I think what I do - like, am I angry because I'm recapitulating my interactions with my dad? am I being too influenced by my... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 9:31 AM on June 14, 2013
(The difference between, say, beginning with "Charlemagne in Sweatpants, you are one of the fightiest people on Metafilter" and "CiS, you get in fights several times a week.")

And yet, there's also the discomfort that comes from hearing what other people are really feeling and observing. For me, that's been a tough part of NVC and one I still often dread a bit. It's easy to discount "Frowner, you are one of the most... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 9:39 AM on June 14, 2013

An excerpt from Daniel Dennett's new book, Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking, outlines seven of Dennett's tools for thinking. His second tool is "respect your opponent":


As I know only too well from academia, though, there is bleed-over - you get so used to everyone being all "although I agree with Frowner about Piranesi's influence on 18th century engraving, I nonetheless feel [polite statements to the effect... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 10:29 AM on June 14, 2013
I really liked corb's explanation of the principles, though. That makes sense and I can see how a general application could be of use. One thing I remember my dad telling me, though, is that the book(s ?) have a list of what is "really" an emotion, and if it's not on the list you can't say it. So, you can't say "I feel upset," instead you have to consult the list for an approved emotion. That's not exactly how my dad described it, but that was my understanding.... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 12:19 PM on June 14, 2013

You mean conversations like this?


Those are the funniest cartoons ever. They validate my experience!
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 12:34 PM on June 14, 2013
That would be a great conversation, but what I saw was less talking about the subject of the conversation and more talking about the conversation itself. Instead of "what qualities do you assess to determine value?" it was "your saying that makes me feel like you are judging the way I raised my children" and then "you suspecting my intentions with regards to judging your parenting make me feel sad at the thought that you don't trust me" and endless, ENDLESS,... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 12:50 PM on June 14, 2013

Which are your favorite comments to tell at parties?
Unfortunately that higher vs lower standards in cleaning thingy often seems pretty split along gender lines...

One reason it is split along gender lines is that so often large percentages of the laundry, dishes, childcare, and various other house duties default to the female person....and it embitters you real quick to realize that you will always have to do a giant sink of other people's dishes before you cook the shared meal/clean... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 1:04 PM on February 13, 2013

Is the word "Cracker" acceptable on MetaFilter?
If you are unaware of a horrifying narrative about white people, go ask someone who uses "cracker" as a slur against all white people what their horrifying narrative is.

Isn't the point about the "horrifying narrative about white people" that it's true? At least, the longer I live on this planet as a white person, the more I become convinced of that - both because of things I discover in my own thinking and... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 10:44 AM on January 29, 2013
That's the exact excuse racists use for using "n****r".

Yes, and some people say that the earth was created 4,000 years ago while the rest of us assert that it wasn't; some people say that men are the real victims of feminism; et patati et patata. If one is going to say that no one can make claims about white supremacy because the historical record is too murky...well, there's not much possibility of a conversation there, is what I'd say.
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 10:54 AM on January 29, 2013
Yeah, Frowner, that's pretty weak. The "cracker isn't nearly as insulting as other words" thing is probably a valid argument. "It's okay to insult white people because white people are awful" is bullshit and terrible.

All I can say is that as someone who has been white my whole life, I've seen both myself and other white people be terrible in our whiteness. I would be very surprised, honestly,... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 11:02 AM on January 29, 2013
Use whatever words you like, but I think it's disingenuous to imply that people who avoid a word are doing it because we/they have a problem pointing out anyone's failings.

Now, I am perfectly willing to believe that here on Metafilter, where there's a fairly strong community and people can be pretty thoughtful, the folks who don't like to use or hear "cracker" (or any similar phrase)...that those folks are completely sincere and really... [more]
posted to MetaTalk by Frowner at 11:10 AM on January 29, 2013

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