The Names They Gave Me.
From the essay:
" 'Your name is Tasbeeh. Don’t let them call you by anything else.'
My mother speaks to me in Arabic; the command sounds more forceful in her mother tongue, a Libyan dialect that is all sharp edges and hard, guttural sounds. I am seven years old and it has never occurred to me to disobey my mother. Until twelve years old, I would believe God gave her the supernatural ability to tell when I’m lying.
'Don’t let them give you an English nickname,' my mother insists once again, 'I didn’t raise amreekan
My mother spits out this last word with venom. Amreekan. Americans. It sounds like a curse coming out of her mouth."
By Tasbeeh Herwees in The Toast.
posted by sweetkid
on Jan 17, 2014 -
Passweird - Passwords too gross to steal.
This website will create for you a password that is not only secure*, but is also so utterly repulsive that not even the most hardened criminal, identity thief, NSA agent, or jealous boyfriend would ever want to use it. *ish, but probably not. Don't use these for real.
posted by Rock Steady
on Dec 30, 2013 -
This year's critical darling essay collection -- Junot Diaz's favorite read of the year (#)
, Michael Robbins's pick for best book of the year (#)
-- is White Girls
by Hilton Als. Mentions of Als are infrequent on Metafilter, so I thought I would share a Readlist collection of his stuff
(that has a bit of overlap with the book).
posted by AceRock
on Dec 16, 2013 -
[T]he parrhesia in social media may set individuals against one another in pointless struggles for authenticity while precluding them from uniting politically to fight for shared goals against those remote elites. The satisfaction of those games, the “self” and “truth” that emerges from those compulsions [...] make the present tolerable or even pleasurable while altering nothing about a general condition that makes people feel overburdened, depressed, precarious, excluded, humiliated. There is a pale satisfaction in making a limited truth in the moment, even if it has no effect on the distribution of power or the way one is known by society.
In a series of recent posts at The New Inquiry
, Rob Horning writes about the construction of the self in social media as novelistic pleasure
, ego depletion
, and Foucauldian truth game
posted by RogerB
on Nov 23, 2013 -
"So why might a guy want to go on the lam? [The author of How To Disappear Completely and Never Be Found
] lists three categories: legal, financial and psychological. He missed one. Scepticism: a cynical itch to find out whether the advice is sound and, if so, whether it's still relevant almost 30 years after it was published. Which is how I came to be...a 'lamster'
." [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange
on Sep 18, 2013 -
This St. George's Day sees news of the next attempt
to redress Britain's superhero shortage: Englishman
, who looks like Iron Man crossed with a mediaeval crusader.
The series promises “brand new, quintessentially English characters, including Greenbelt and Dry Stone Wall”. [more inside]
posted by acb
on Apr 23, 2013 -
Are Your Facebook Friends Stressing You Out? (Yes.)
- "The finding, which is similar to one determined last year, is nice as a headline: It's both unexpected (friends! stressing you out! ha!) and ironic (the currency of the social web, taking value rather than adding it!). What's interesting, though, is the why of the matter: the idea that, the report theorizes, the wider your Facebook network, the more likely it is that something you say or do on the site will end up offending one of that network's members... Unsurprisingly, per the study's survey of more than 300 Facebook users, 'adding employers or parents resulted in the greatest increase in anxiety.'" [more inside]
posted by flex
on Nov 27, 2012 -
You can accurately judge a person just by looking at their shoes, psychologists say.
"Researchers at the University of Kansas found that people were able to correctly judge a stranger's age, gender, income, political affiliation, emotional and other important personality traits just by looking at the person's shoes." Virginia Postrel responded
: "The study made a solid contribution to research on first impressions, but it was hardly earthshaking. By getting so much attention, however, it demonstrated a sociological truth: People love to talk about shoes. Even those who dismissed the research as silly often felt compelled to call radio stations or comment on websites, providing details about their own choices. Why this fascination with footwear? " [more inside]
posted by flex
on Oct 15, 2012 -
The person you used to be still tells you what to do
: "We work from conclusions made years ago, usually with no idea of when we made them, or why. Most of our standing impressions are probably based on a single experience — one instance of unpleasantness or disappointment that turned you off of entire categories of recreational activities, lifestyles and creative pursuits, forever." (via notnamed)
posted by flex
on Oct 8, 2012 -
"I don't see anything anti-American about not wanting to become an American citizen; it's similar to the fact that I don't know how to swim. I'm not anti-water; it just never mattered that much to me and my life is fine without it." Why I'm Still Not An American
, an essay from a British green-card-holder with complex roots and complex feelings.
posted by Phire
on Sep 17, 2012 -
"Take everything you know and imagine about Freddie Mercury
: the iconic British rock star, the philandering partier, the serial maker of testosteroned-anthems, and flip it around to something less familiar: Farrokh Bulsara, a demure, bucktoothed Indian boy in a Bombay boarding school, listening to Lata Mangeshkar, playing cricket." -- Janaki Challa writes about the contradiction in the openly gay image of Freddie Mercury the performer and his much more private cultural identity off it.
posted by MartinWisse
on Sep 6, 2012 -
From Bible-Belt Pastor to Atheist Leader.
Jerry DeWitt is a former Pentecostal pastor in the evangelical parish of DeRidder, Louisiana who slowly lost his religious faith. Last Fall, he went public with his atheism, committing what he calls "identity suicide," and instantly becoming "the most disliked person in town." Since then, Mr. DeWitt's lost his job, his wife, his community and may be losing his house, but is still persevering and working
to help others
who find themselves in similar circumstances. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Aug 27, 2012 -
"Truman told Jack that he was frankly surprised that anyone who knew him well did not immediately recognize the inspiration behind Holly Golightly. And yet, everyone seems to agree that the true identity of Holly Golightly, nee Lula Mae Barnes, is a great mystery, and that her true inspiration can never be known. Well, that was yesterday, this is today. I’m here to clear that up. Spoiler: it was Truman’s mom. Mystery solved. Let’s break this down and find all the parallels between the two, if their virtually identical birth names were not enough." Lillie Mae Faulk – The Real Holly Golightly
, from The Gloss's Shelved Dolls
series. [more inside]
posted by taz
on Jul 12, 2012 -
The National Association of Afro-Swedes calls for the resignation of Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Roth after photos and video surfaced of this "living" cake
, which was part of a celebration of World Art Day. The cake's creator talks
a bit about the cake.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy
on Apr 19, 2012 -
On August 31, 2004, a naked, bruised man was discovered
behind a Burger King at the intersection of Interstate 95 and Highway 17 in Richmond Hill, Georgia. He had no memory
of who he was. Fingerprint and DNA searches were unsuccessful
. His identity continues
to remain missing
posted by vidur
on Dec 5, 2011 -
Male, Female, X - you know what you are
Australian passport holders will now get to choose what gender they want to be listed as, with the choices including 'X' for intersex.
(Apologies for the single link. An amazing topic, but I am not the most knowledgeable on this and hope those who are can come and comment on it).
posted by Megami
on Sep 15, 2011 -
Odessa, Texas, may be best known for its Permian Panthers high school football team. Their 1988 season was chronicled H. G. Bissinger's non-fiction book Friday Night Lights
, which in turn inspired a movie
and a tv show
. But in 2010, it was another Permian Panthers -- the school's lesser-known basketball team -- that received media attention when it came to light that their star point guard, 16-year-old Jerry Joseph, was in fact a twentytwo-year-old man named Guerdwich Montimere
. Now Montimere is facing up to twenty years in jail, but not for lying about his age on the basketball court. During his time at Permian High, he had sex with a fifteen-year-old girl.
posted by Georgina
on Jul 11, 2011 -
What Do You Do When Your Only Online Identity is a Pseudonym?
In a move reminiscent of recent Facebook purges, a well-known Second Life user (whose only online presence is pseudonymous) finds his new Google+ account deleted
, allegedly for not being a real person. Whether this move is directly related to the limited-beta status of Google+ or not, questions remain for those who have been 'unpersoned' by Facebook and hopeful that Google's laissez-faire attitude toward personal identification would make G+ a friendlier environment - particularly given Google's encouragement - as recently as February of this year
- to "be who you want to be" when using Google services.
posted by tpoh.org
on Jul 8, 2011 -
"How is one to know which aspect
of a person counts as that person’s true self
?" Does it lie "precisely in our suppressed urges and unacknowledged emotions, while our ability to reflect is just a hindrance that gets in the way of this true self’s expression?" Or is "the most distinctive and essential to a human being is the capacity for rational reflection?" Or is the authentic self "the ideologically-validated
posted by AceRock
on Jun 9, 2011 -