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The way you write this, there's an undercurrent of disapproval, somehow, that leaves me wondering: are you upset with your brother's wife? With your brother? Are you angry on some level that they got married only to have a divorce so quickly? Do… [more]
favorited 12 times
Ask MeFi comment - Last year

This is just like when I was five years old and my mother explained that the cat lady down the street was just a lady that liked cats. Some years ago, I worked in a large office building whose office culture was such that people would dress… [more]
favorited 13 times
MeFi comment - Last year

(I used to do a similar thing back in the early days of BMX where I would explain Canada to American kids in Northern Michigan. Stuff like how we have winter tires for our bikes with nails and that our dad's stood guard while we BMXed to protect… [more]
favorited 7 times
MeFi comment - Last year

Journalists are not expected to have encyclopedic knowledge, that's why they interview people. See, I have done some journalism - not at a very high level, it's true - but I virtually always researched my topic in the course of… [more]
favorited 6 times
MeFi comment - Last year

"All told, it sounds like the guy's probably a sleaze. But I'm afraid I'm never going to be comfortable with identifying a person as a sex offender on the basis of an unproven allegation rather than a conviction in a court of law. I'm just… [more]
favorited 17 times
MeFi comment - Last year

Is there a department secretary? I am a [well, not exactly] department secretary, and if a student came by and said that Dr. So-and-So was avoiding him and imperiling his funding, I would find Dr. So-and-So and make him sort the whole thing… [more]
favorited 1 time
Ask MeFi comment - Last year

*Actually, I was told 'moron' was racist, not ableist, but this was just a couple of people on Tumblr and absolutely nobody else has ever got on my case about it or showed any sign of it traumatising them, so I still use that word… [more]
favorited 1 time
MeFi comment - Last year

Mike Resnick: I’d say that just about every other cover [in the romance section] shows a man’s bare torso, lean and muscular, usually with a few more abs than Nature tends to provide. The man’s head is rarely portrayed. Clearly these are erotic… [more]
favorited 30 times
MeFi comment - Last year

Oh, no, wait, dude, you need to use Talking Heads' Born Under Punches - "well I'm a tumbler, born under punches...no thanks, I'm a government man!!!" I mean, you could just use Burning Down The House. Talking Heads were… [more]
favorited 1 time
Ask MeFi comment - Last year

Don’t say “bad”. “Bad” comes from the Old English “bæddel/bædling” which was a slur against effeminate men. Really. I’m not joking. It seems like, while baeddel was a slur, it's not entirely clear that it is the root for "bad"… [more]
favorited 14 times
MeFi comment - Last year

I doubt that you're in love with Beth, per se - you haven't been super emotionally intimate in a long time, you haven't shared much about your lives in a long time (except for the interlude when you weren't dating Alice), you have undoubtedly both… [more]
favorited 30 times
Ask MeFi comment - Last year

Oh, also, keep trying on the research front - talk to other faculty, see if you can help out in a lab during the year, see what opportunities arise. In general, faculty (at least around here) absolutely adore students (undergrad or… [more]
favorited 1 time
Ask MeFi comment - Last year

Just because no one is tracking every single person displaced by the increased frequency of extreme weather; doesn't mean they are not out there. There's a guy down my block who was a Katrina refugee. I think a mental block on this is… [more]
favorited 24 times
MeFi comment - Last year

This article is about a specific UK situation, right? Here is a thing that I think folks outside of long-term radical activist circles don't tend to realize (and, because I tend to hang around with cultural anarchists and do much more ad hoc… [more]
favorited 51 times
MeFi comment - Last year

Many white folks think it's rude to even mention the fact of racism, because they feel that talking about racism is controversial or divisive. This is usually, IME, an indicator that the white folks in question - whether they themselves are… [more]
favorited 69 times
Ask MeFi comment - Last year

The veterans thing is pretty tragic though, because that's supposed to be the government, free of the constraints of the market (no no don't laugh) and there's no reason for those applications to be stacked somewhere waiting to be gone through by… [more]
favorited 28 times
MeFi comment - Last year

Okay, the key part here is not the initial cruelty, it's the trajectory, the way it always works. What happens? Some kid (some kid I probably would have liked, some kid where as an utterly, literally friendless… [more]
favorited 41 times
MeFi comment - Last year

(I mean, I sometimes accidentally don't switch from "my mandarin is crap, your English is limited, we will both speak slowly" to "we are both fluent English-speakers and we will speak at a normal pace".) [more]
favorited 1 time
Ask MeFi comment - Last year

Honestly, I personally would take a little cooler or even one of those insulated lunch sacks with some dry/aged cheese (except I'm vegan now, so I personally can't). When I traveled to work in China some years ago, I just plain ol' packed a… [more]
favorited 1 time
Ask MeFi comment - Last year

"I'm fluent in English, I just didn't hear you", as roomthreeseventeen suggests, sounds great to me. I worry a little bit that I may do the very thing you complain about, partly because I spend a lot of time around people where I don't… [more]
favorited 2 times
Ask MeFi comment - Last year


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… [more]
favorited 7 times
MetaTalk comment - Last year

Anger can take a long time to work through. It's not as though you can simply name the source of deep-seated anger and then - presto! - it's gone. It's good that your wife is naming her anger and it's good that you're taking responsibility. But… [more]
favorited 12 times
Ask MeFi comment - Last year

I think it's worth asking what the "Free Mumia" case says about various activist cultures - it certainly has been a knee-jerk kind of thing and a lot of people's commitment to it is pretty shallow. Here's what springs to mind: 1. Mumia… [more]
favorited 50 times
MeFi comment - Last year

I did know a pair of twins who were never separate and who had real challenges in a post-BA professional training program because they had not until that time been apart in an educational setting. I mean, these challenges were an artifact of… [more]
favorited 1 time
Ask MeFi comment - Last year

A girl spontaneously talked to me at a bar the other day. She walked up to myself and a friend and said we should both be dancing (we had been) and that we shouldn't be afraid to get down (I'm really not), told me I'm not bad looking for a white… [more]
favorited 17 times
MeFi comment - Last year

Planned Parenthood will have a procedure in place for people who don't have a friend to bring them to the appointment. I've supported people who have had abortions; it has always been a simple and safe procedure for them with no complications… [more]
favorited 10 times
Ask MeFi comment - Last year

Buyouts?! WTF? It isn't really a "buyout" if the government gives you money for something worthless, is it? Why do people who persist in building on flood plains or other areas deserve any buyouts? In particular, this is a group of… [more]
favorited 9 times
MeFi comment - Last year

Okay, here is what I don't understand: why would you spend all this time printing out paper bits and pieces (as with the cupcakes) and assembling all this stuff and buying special paper and so on and then use nasty box cake and brownie… [more]
favorited 7 times
MeFi comment - Last year

Some caveats although I don't want to start an argument - these are just the things I think through in similar situations: 1. Around here, the police are corrupt, aggressive and violent, especially with people of color. If I call the police and… [more]
favorited 13 times
Ask MeFi comment - Last year

Why not find someone via the CP, though? Surely there are some young organizers or union members or campus socialists or something. Frankly, anyone outside of activist culture is going to find the CP thing really, really weird and maybe even… [more]
favorited 9 times
Ask MeFi comment - Last year

The thing is, everything is going to look terrible in ten years, gently amusing in twenty or thirty and delightfully nostalgic in half a century - even those blue tuxedos, I bet. Every decade has its own version of "timeless"… [more]
favorited 2 times
Ask MeFi comment - Last year

Intrusive thoughts, like everyone is saying, are really common. In my opinion (which is that of a layperson who's read some psychology) they are often-but-not-always "unacceptable" unconscious impulses and fears bursting to the surface… [more]
favorited 1 time
Ask MeFi comment - Last year

I just want to hop in and say that the whole no-shoes/some-smoking/cat-tree/shared-bathroom/couple thing would be totally normal in the activist circles in which I move. I don't think any of these things are deal-breakers unless you're looking to… [more]
favorited 1 time
Ask MeFi comment - Last year

Two thirds of men have affairs? Am I that weird? I always ask myself "who with?" since the statistics seem to come back that far more men have affairs than women. Are these mostly bisexual guys? Are women lying? Are men lying?… [more]
favorited 3 times
MeFi comment - Last year

As a secretary (well, really as someone whose role is mostly grants administration with some secretarial aspects - ah, to serve two masters! - and who is thus constantly needing to convey that I know what I'm talking about with numbers and budget… [more]
favorited 55 times
Ask MeFi comment - Last year

Unless your job description is "concierge", you are not being paid to manage your colleagues' personal lives. I've been an actual secretary for much of my adult career, and I've been asked to do personal things for people...hm, once or… [more]
favorited 12 times
Ask MeFi comment - Last year

Sounds like your husband's department may be full of nasty people. Some departments are - the tone can be set by a couple of snob/abusive faculty or a couple of charismatic asshole students. If your husband's department is horrible, your husband is… [more]
favorited 9 times
Ask MeFi comment - Last year


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… [more]
favorited 8 times
MetaTalk comment - Last year

(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… [more]
favorited 6 times
MetaTalk comment - Last year

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… [more]
favorited 13 times
MetaTalk comment - Last year

"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… [more]
favorited 2 times
MetaTalk comment - Last year

To return to the passport thing: Australians get a minimum of four weeks of vacation per year, plus public holidays. The last time I had a week off work was 2008. My "vacation"? Well, I am fortunate enough to be allowed to take two days… [more]
favorited 24 times
MeFi comment - Last year

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,… [more]
favorited 7 times
MetaTalk comment - Last year

You mean conversations like this? Those are the funniest cartoons ever. They validate my experience! [more]
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MetaTalk comment - Last year

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"… [more]
favorited 3 times
MetaTalk comment - Last year

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… [more]
favorited 1 time
MetaTalk comment - Last year

It's worth noting that Gray is the child of a dockworker and went to Oxford - as far as I can tell due to the massive "progressive" post-war reforms in the UK education system. I doubt very much that a dockworker's child, no matter how… [more]
favorited 1 time
MeFi comment - Last year

When I look back at your past questions, this seems to have been a pretty high-drama, lots-of-wrong-on-both-sides relationship. And you're in your late teens/early twenties, right? These two facts together suggest several things to me: 1. You… [more]
favorited 6 times
Ask MeFi comment - Last year

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