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Here's a box of chocolates; it is your duty to eat them.

People like order in their lives. This does not go down well with those who feel that social restraints of any sort are a bad thing, but these people are a distinct, if very noisy, minority. Most of us want social rules of some sort – not oppressive ones, of course – but rules that govern the way we conduct ourselves towards others. We want people to queue correctly.

We like it when people don’t chew with their mouth open. We love it – although we may be cowed into not saying this – when an able-bodied person gives up a seat to somebody who is clearly frailer. Personally, I like it when anybody gives up a seat on a train to anybody else, frail or not. (Novelist Alexander McCall Smith discusses Jane Austen's Emma in The Daily Mail.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Nov 11, 2014 - 35 comments

They look nothing alike but they love each other.

"2013. In my Medieval Literature class at the University of Pittsburgh, we’re talking about Margery Kempe, a 14th century English woman who wanted very, very much to be a saint, one of the few roles an ambitious woman of her time could aspire to achieve. She talked a monk into writing down her dictated autobiography, a sort of proto-memoir/self-hagiography that – along with a lengthy explanation of how she convinced God to make her a virgin again after having 14 children – includes visions of interacting with the Christ child. There’s one in which she explains to Mary, the mother of God, how to diaper the baby." [more inside]
posted by jetlagaddict on Nov 10, 2014 - 15 comments

Fumigation: A Love Story

“Your head is like obsidian,” she says to you, her hand passing North and South and East and West smooth across the surface, erasing away smudges, blood stains (but not scars, no, not scars, never scars) and the exoskeletons of memories bashed against a windshield.
You recall all you learned from geology classes as she continues to stroke your head. The glass forms because something very hot turns very cold, very quickly. This explains what’s happening right now — your body cooling rapidly against hers. Her skin broils, it could turn you into a naked volcanic glass statue and you would not really be surprised. And you would not mind.
Short fiction by Mónica Teresa Ortiz. (Two illustrations contain nonsexual nudity.)
posted by Banknote of the year on Nov 6, 2014 - 7 comments

PET ME HARDER

Following a sucessful Kickstarter, the puppet crew is back for DON'T HUGE ME I'M SCARED 3 (Previously, Previously)
posted by The Whelk on Nov 1, 2014 - 19 comments

Because you need more in life than love.

Love is not Enough is a fantastic breakdown why Love, as many people imagine it, is not all that is needed for a healthy relationship. It then provides realistic suggestions as to what you do need when choosing a partner. [more inside]
posted by quin on Oct 30, 2014 - 31 comments

The Brown Sisters, in forty portraits

Who are these sisters? We’re never told (though we know their names: from left, Heather, Mimi, Bebe and Laurie; Bebe, of the penetrating gaze, is Nixon’s wife). The human impulse is to look for clues, but soon we dispense with our anthropological scrutiny — Irish? Yankee, quite likely, with their decidedly glamour-neutral attitudes — and our curiosity becomes piqued instead by their undaunted stares. All four sisters almost always look directly at the camera, as if to make contact, even if their gazes are guarded or restrained.*
posted by Toekneesan on Oct 3, 2014 - 15 comments

SIMILO

SIMILO. "2065. The entire planet is hit by the effects of climate change. One of the few places that remain habitable is Antarctica, where corporations have built private cities. Hebe and Ciro get back together again. She is looking for love. He is searching for his own identity." [NSFW, Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 21, 2014 - 9 comments

"distinctly queer and contemporary, as if retrofitting a classic car"

"Longings and Desires", a Slate.com book review by Amanda Katz:
[Sarah] Waters, who was born in Wales in 1966, has carved out an unusual spot in fiction. Her six novels, beginning with Tipping the Velvet in 1998, could be called historical fiction, but that doesn’t begin to capture their appeal. It is closer to say that she is creating pitch-perfect popular fiction of an earlier time, but swapping out its original moral engine for a sensibility that is distinctly queer and contemporary, as if retrofitting a classic car.

Her books offer something like an alternate reality—a literary one, if not a historical one. There may have been lesbian male impersonators working the London music halls in the 1890s, as in Tipping the Velvet, but there were certainly not mainstream novels devoted to their inner lives and sexual exploits. Waters gives such characters their say in books that imitate earlier crowd-pleasers in their structure, slang, and atmosphere, but that are powered by queer longing, defiant identity politics, and lusty, occasionally downright kinky sex. (An exception is her last novel, The Little Stranger.) The most masterful of these books so far is Fingersmith, a Wilkie Collins-esque tale full of genuinely shocking twists (thieves, double-crossing, asylums, mistaken identity, just go read it). The saddest is The Night Watch, a tale told in reverse of a group of entwined characters during and after World War II. But among many readers she is still most beloved for Tipping the Velvet, a deliriously paced coming-of-age story that is impossible to read in public without blushing.
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 20, 2014 - 29 comments

A Post About Buzzfeed and Tinder? Just, Ew, No. Moving On

A Buzzfeed writer exercises her semiotics and gathers a bunch of stock photos to recreate Tinder, the quick glance social dating app, to find out why we swipe. [more inside]
posted by notyou on Sep 12, 2014 - 47 comments

Just do it already

"And yes, I get that sexuality is fluid and all of that, but honestly, can't they just do it and get it over with? Either that, or shut up about it." Are Sherlock and Watson Gonna Bone, or What? [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 10, 2014 - 202 comments

Because you aren't being you

A lot of women out there are afraid of being something. The template for us is pretty clear: We are meant to have clean skin, a pleasant demeanor, and a nice rack. I'm not speaking up against nice racks, Lord knows. But there are lots of ladies around me, everywhere I go, who hesitate to say what they're thinking and feeling. They go with the flow, they never make waves. And eventually, they don't even seem to know what makes them who they are. They live to serve. They read the books that other people are reading. They say the pleasant things that other people are saying. They never put their needs first, unless it indirectly serves someone else — a manicure, some highlights. They make sure everyone around them is 100 percent satisfied. Like grocery-store managers. Like customer service reps. Like masseuses who also give free happy endings. Ask Polly on "Why Don’t the Men I Date Ever Truly Love Me?"
posted by shivohum on Sep 9, 2014 - 170 comments

“‘Only you can know how crappy that feels,’ Maya said, empathizing.”

The Academy, by Monica Seles. Yes, that Monica Seles has written a young adult romance series. Grantland writer Brian Phillips provides "62 scalding takeaways from The Academy, by M. Seles,1 Books 1 and 2."
posted by Tevin on Aug 28, 2014 - 59 comments

Love the one you're with.

Don't do what you love. "We rarely hear the advice of the person who did what they loved and stayed poor or was horribly injured for it. Professional gamblers, stuntmen, washed up cartoonists like myself: we don’t give speeches at corporate events. We aren’t paid to go to the World Domination Summit and make people feel bad. We don’t land book deals or speak on Good Morning America." [more inside]
posted by mecran01 on Aug 23, 2014 - 76 comments

occasionally, she wears flannel.

when my boyfriend proposed, I cried — more like panic tears. but I wasn't certain I should end it — until I met her
posted by yeoz on Aug 18, 2014 - 115 comments

A Boy and His Dog

A young boy named Owen who has a very rare muscle condition called Schwartz Jampel Syndrome, as well as agoraphobia, had his life changed when his parents rescued a young Anatolian Shepherd named Haatchi who lost a leg after being deliberately tied to a railroad line in North London and hit by a train.
posted by gman on Aug 6, 2014 - 19 comments

A new language of love.

The Love App. Digital life and couples culture in South Korea.
posted by xowie on Aug 6, 2014 - 5 comments

My Life After Manson

Olivia Klaus's Op-Doc (9 minutes) on Patricia Krenwinkel, who was one of Charles Manson's Family members, convicted of seven counts of first-degree murder, and currently the longest-serving woman in California's prisons: "I would now have to be fully responsible for the damage, the wreckage and the horror."
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Aug 5, 2014 - 42 comments

The Not So United States of Infographics

One of the more ubiquitous formats for "infographics" these days is the U.S.A. Map Comparing Individual States and promoting interstate rivalries. After all, wherever you live in the U.S. of A., you need bragging rights for something, right?

Recently, Business Insider featured "27 Maps That Explain America" including ones that compared each state's percentage of residents with passports, most overrepresented job in every state, percentage of each state's population with a 4-year degree, number of billionaires in each state, number of Starbucks locations in each state, states' stances on climate change (judged by Think Progress), fast food consumption and exercise frequency (detail in a weird format here and here), and cavities per capita.

But Business Insider is certainly not the only site 'mapping the states'... [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Aug 1, 2014 - 29 comments

"it is wise to be appropriately pessimistic here"

How we end up marrying the wrong people [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 18, 2014 - 55 comments

"Identity is always something to be cherished."

I Am Loveworthy: How a Transgender Woman Found Love. (Previously, by the same writer.) Useful resources for participating in the discussion: Ohio U's Trans 101* : Primer and Vocabulary guide; GLAAD's Transgender Media and Education Program
posted by Lexica on Jul 13, 2014 - 18 comments

"it was clear, immediately, they wanted to be together"

For these endangered lemurs, it was love at first sight
There's puppy love, there's muskrat love, but there is nothing like the love of two middle-aged, critically endangered lemurs.… Dern, 17, had lost her mate at the Waco, Texas, zoo several months ago, and Anthony, 16, had recently been separated from his brother when he was sent to another zoo. Although both were accustomed to living with ring-tailed lemurs, it wasn't the same…. Both were lonely.

posted by Lexica on Jul 8, 2014 - 13 comments

"the fact that your Indian parents have fallen in American love"

The Arranged Marriage That Ended Happily Ever After: How My Parents Fell In Love, 30 Years Later
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 30, 2014 - 36 comments

On the illusion of infinite happiness

For it is the future generation in its entire individual determination which forces itself into existence through the medium of all this strife and trouble...That growing affection of two lovers for each other is in reality the will to live of the new being, of which they shall become the parents...The lovers have a longing to be really united and made one being, and to live as such for the rest of their lives; and this longing is fulfilled in the children born to them, in whom the qualities inherited from both, but combined and united in one being, are perpetuated...Therefore Nature attains her ends by implanting in the individual a certain illusion by which something which is in reality advantageous to the species alone seems to be advantageous to himself... Arthur Schopenhauer on the Metaphysics of Love.
posted by shivohum on Jun 17, 2014 - 11 comments

contempt, they found, is the number one factor that tears couples apart

science says lasting relationships come down to—you guessed it—kindness and generosity.
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Jun 17, 2014 - 91 comments

Alan spilled water on me while I was trying to sleep.

Claire Meyer and Alan Linic, a twentysomething couple in Chicago, have been keeping a public record of every fight they have fought since August of 2013.
posted by SkylitDrawl on Jun 6, 2014 - 78 comments

Ryland's Story

The stirring story of Ryland Whittington's family. (SLYT)
posted by growabrain on Jun 2, 2014 - 18 comments

Your crush mileage may vary.

May 7 is International Tell Your Crush Day. Maybe you found this site after someone told you they had a crush on you. Maybe you thought of the same holiday and we beat you to registering this username. Perhaps you’ve been a fan all along and have always wanted more propaganda to peruse while at work.
posted by aka burlap on May 2, 2014 - 113 comments

Friendship delivers what love promises but fails to provide

Friendship uniquely requires mutual self-knowledge and will. It takes two competent, willing people to be friends. You cannot impose a friendship on someone, although you can impose a crush, a lawsuit, or an obsession. If friendship is not reciprocated, it simply ceases to exist or, rather, it never existed in the first place. Andrew Sullivan's book Love Undetectable, illuminated via BrainPickings.
posted by Athanassiel on Apr 28, 2014 - 27 comments

A Northern California Love Song

♫ ♫ Well, you came out of nowhere like a Berkeley pedestrian
You stole my heart just like a San Francisco crackhead stole my bike
You drive me crazy like those West Marin hippies
But you're the kind of Northern Californian that I like ♫ ♫
[more inside]
posted by Lexica on Apr 20, 2014 - 20 comments

In sickness and in health...

A couple's final journey. "Chris MacLellan and Bernard Richard Schiffer never exchanged “for better or for worse” vows. As a gay couple, marriage wasn’t an option in Florida. Instead, they lived together and loved each other for 11 years."
posted by HuronBob on Apr 17, 2014 - 27 comments

Burnin' for you

The county vibrated with fire engines groaning over gravel driveways. The county vibrated with suspicion. The county went about its business. The county burned down. People assumed that the culprit must be someone who lived among them, and people would be right. It would be a love story. [more inside]
posted by maggieb on Apr 10, 2014 - 11 comments

"Here's a tape of our little visit."

In 2000, Conan O'Brien taped a comedy segment at the NYC offices of Foote, Cone & Belding. The premise: take a chainsaw-wielding furniture huckster from Texas, and try to turn him into a star using a top-tier ad campaign. In the segment, Conan is introduced to a team of FCB copywriters, who dutifully come up with an appropriately ridiculous TV ad.
The segment went as planned; Just another remote for Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Little did he know where it would lead. Conan and one of the on-camera copywriters took a shine to each other, and stayed in touch. Two years later, Conan O'Brien and Liza Powel were married. Today they live in Hollywood with their two kids.
In a 2012 interview, Conan told CNN's Piers Morgan: "Somewhere, in the vault at NBC, there's footage of me literally falling for my wife on camera."
Roll the tape.
posted by Silky Slim on Apr 10, 2014 - 46 comments

I like large parties because they're so intimate

Save the date: You are invited to Boss Wedding! [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Apr 9, 2014 - 45 comments

Then the game gets interesting again as you will be back to trains.

Crates in video games. (previously) Trains in video games. Birds in video games. Wall art in video games. Luchadores in video games. Foliage in video games. (previously) Logic in video games. Easter eggs (secret content) in video games. Normal eggs (and other food) in video games. Toilets in video games. Improved women's armor in video games (slightly NSFW). (previously) Bears in video games. Mickey Mouse in video games. Love in video games.
posted by Evilspork on Mar 18, 2014 - 21 comments

Love is the Answer

Vasa Real, a central Stockholm high school with special classes for Jewish pupils was covered in Nazi graffiti on Monday morning, leaving a parent in tears and fearing the rise of fascism in Europe. [more inside]
posted by three blind mice on Mar 11, 2014 - 43 comments

Just when you think you have everything figured out...

"The world has a sick sense of humor and throws you for a loop." (via Permatemp Corporation.) [more inside]
posted by simulacra on Mar 5, 2014 - 1 comment

Does love compute?

In 1966, I started one of the world’s first computer dating services. One problem: I had no computer.
posted by Chrysostom on Mar 5, 2014 - 18 comments

Extra innings

"Why am I not constantly grieving?" The wonderful Roger Angell on love, loss, sex, death, time, and the view from age 94.
posted by Miko on Feb 17, 2014 - 31 comments

the work of looking at love, rather than being in it

Looking At Love, a selection of photographers' images of other couples, from the New Yorker. Be sure to click through to the photographers' websites, where there are many more fantastic photos! Deslided. NSFW. Happy Valentine's Day!
posted by Quilford on Feb 14, 2014 - 2 comments

So yeah, don't even worry about it, it's just an e-card, not a big deal

Just in time for Valentine's Day, Scarleteen launches rad e-cards for "hookups or friends with benefits, open or poly relationships, friendships, sexually exclusive relationships, exes turned friends, and even the love relationship one has with oneself." Art by Isabella Rotman.
posted by DarlingBri on Feb 9, 2014 - 16 comments

Love Is A Data Field

How a Math Genius Hacked OkCupid to Find True Love
“I think that what I did is just a slightly more algorithmic, large-scale, and machine-learning-based version of what everyone does on the site,” McKinlay says. Everyone tries to create an optimal profile—he just had the data to engineer one.
[more inside]
posted by kyp on Jan 21, 2014 - 101 comments

A Vimeo short about love and loss

I went through a pretty rough break up this year and it was not great. I wrote and made this in the midst of all that. It's a tombstone and love letter and I hope you enjoy it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 14, 2014 - 14 comments

We had some good years

Over his long career, the renowned photojournalist Art Shay, 91, has taken thousands of photographs of kings, presidents, Hollywood celebs, and sports stars—chronicling people’s lives and news stories all over the world for such magazines as Time, Life, and Chicago. But his favorite subject of all was his wife of 67 years, Florence. Sometimes Florence would be the focal point of his photos—front and center, smiling, dancing, or reading. Life Through a Leica
posted by timshel on Jan 14, 2014 - 7 comments

Who wouldn't go?

Special Santa! Special Santa! Special Santas!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Dec 23, 2013 - 27 comments

When you wish upon a star...

Brenda Schmitz wrote a letter to STAR 102.5′s Christmas Wish in August of 2011 – one month before she passed away from ovarian cancer at the age of 46. She asked her friend to send us her wish once her husband David had found someone else to love him and to help take care of their four boys. David has found someone and Brenda's Christmas wish has been granted.
posted by NoraCharles on Dec 22, 2013 - 51 comments

At least three disturbing lessons about love.

So take the film on its own titular terms. What does Love Actually tell us about love, actually? Well, I think it tells us a number of things, most of them wrong and a few of them appalling. Now, anyone who goes to the cineplex with any regularity knows that the last decade has seen more than its share of bad romantic comedies. But Love Actually is exceptional in that it is not merely, like so many other entries in the genre, unromantic. Rather, it is emphatically, almost shockingly, anti-romantic. Love Actually Is the Least Romantic Film of All Time
posted by davidjmcgee on Dec 7, 2013 - 105 comments

Mad Love

Chris Sims examines Harley Quinn, one of the most misused and misunderstood characters in comics, taking in her Batman:The Animated Series debut played by Arleen Sorkin (audio), through to The Batman Adventures: Mad Love and the New 52 incarnation which recently drew ire with a controversial try-out page for artists.
posted by Artw on Dec 6, 2013 - 40 comments

Love and Alienation

On Graduate School and 'Love' is yet another commentary on the economics of academic work. A younger student chimes in on the role of education in life: "much of education is oriented, for better or worse, toward making a living, rather than making a life." [more inside]
posted by eviemath on Nov 24, 2013 - 53 comments

Angel Haze Finally Does Justice To Macklemore’s “Same Love”

Angel Haze, who last year described her pansexuality to the Guardian and who was previously featured on metafilter for her heart-wrenching rap that transforms Eminem's "Cleaning Out My Closet" from an adolescent boy's angry confessional to a young woman's crushing autobiography[ALL KINDS OF TRIGGERS], has released her version of Macklemore’s “Same Love” (Previously) (Previouslier), which just slays with its honesty and vision.
Same Love by Angel Haze
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Oct 24, 2013 - 45 comments

Eva Wiseman's love story.

This weekend, The Observer's Eva Wiseman decided to use her newspaper column to tell a love story.
posted by feelinglistless on Oct 20, 2013 - 5 comments

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