Okay: In the role playing game known as The Real World, “Straight White Male” is the lowest difficulty setting there is...
As the game progresses, your goal is to gain points, apportion them wisely, and level up. If you start with fewer points and fewer of them in critical stat categories, or choose poorly regarding the skills you decide to level up on, then the game will still be difficult for you. But because you’re playing on the “Straight White Male” setting, gaining points and leveling up will still by default be easier, all other things being equal, than for another player using a higher difficulty setting.
Likewise, it’s certainly possible someone playing at a higher difficulty setting is progressing more quickly than you are, because they had more points initially given to them by the computer and/or their highest stats are wealth, intelligence and constitution and/or simply because they play the game better than you do. It doesn’t change the fact you are still playing on the lowest difficulty setting.
MeFi's own John Scalzi
provides an excellent, relatable metaphor for explaining the realities of race and gender without invoking the dreaded word "privilege". [more inside]
posted by Jon_Evil
on May 15, 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 -
Deep vein thrombosis
is generally a topic that comes up with regards to airline seating and other periods of prolonged immobility (previously
). Anna Brown
was a homeless woman and constantly on the move, so doctors in the emergency room thought that her complaints of leg pain were just drug-seeking behavior. Unfortunately, drug seeking is a major problem
in ERs in the United States. [more inside]
posted by gracedissolved
on Mar 31, 2012 -
The Chicago Reader's current cover story, "The Color of His Skin," (parts 1
,) revisits the murder of a black man on Chicago's South Side in 1970 by a gang of white teens. Last September, a similar article by the same author, "The Price of Intolerance," (parts 1
,) examined an incident from 1971, in which a twelve year old boy and thirteen year old girl were killed.
posted by zarq
on Mar 7, 2012 -
"So I'm literally walking around and talking to people, "Is there a black-owned restaurant, or a black-owned dry cleaner?" and folks are looking at me like I'm insane. And if I didn't know this, I'm sure that folks outside the black community don't have this as part of their reality or part of their picture for black America. When we talk about black people, the black situation, problems in the black community, you know, we start with, "Black kids are least likely to graduate from school; black unemployment is four times higher than the national average," all these numbers. But why can't we include that over 90 percent of businesses in the black community are not owned by black people or local residents? If we were to add that to the conversation, maybe folks would say, "Oh, well no wonder things are so bad there," and start thinking about things in a different way instead of allowing those awful numbers to be a reflection of our propensities. Why is it that my people are just supposed to be the perpetual consumer class, and everyone else is supposed to benefit from our money?"
posted by empath
on Feb 23, 2012 -
A reformed skinhead, Bryon Widner was desperate to rid himself of the racist tattoos that covered his face - so desperate that he turned to former enemies for help, and was willing to endure months of pain in a journey from racism
. [more inside]
posted by mannequito
on Oct 31, 2011 -
This week has seen a lot of discussion of the American criminal justice system and its failings, and a lot of concern about what can be done to fix it.
In 1947, a working class black man looked like he was about to have the full weight of the system brought down on him for taking justice into his own hands. But after Chicago leftists - including labor unions, religious leaders, artists, civil rights activists & others - launched a movement, James Hickman was set free
after an all-white jury, in a trial presided over by a white judge, failed to convict, and the DA chose not to re-try because of the magnitude of public support for Hickman.
According to a review
in The Nation, a new book
tells the story in a way that turns the typical right-wing biases of the true crime genre on their head. [more inside]
posted by univac
on Sep 22, 2011 -
Deeply Embarrassed White People Talk Awkwardly About Race. 'Once I realized I was racist, it was, well, what am I going to do about it?' says Winn, a mild-mannered white guy in his 30s. 'That shifts the defensiveness.' [...] 'The test of how racist you are is not how many people of color you can count as friends,' I recall someone telling me—I can't remember who now. 'It's how many white people you're willing to talk to about racism.'
posted by shakespeherian
on Sep 7, 2011 -
is, in his own words, "big in the music business like a barnacle is big in shipping". Performing solo with acoustic guitar, his original music
(including songs about Old White Men
and the planet Pluto
) and some well-chosen covers
, as well as his on-stage banter
, have charmed audiences all over
* for umpteen years. He has made a reply to CeeLo's infamous song
, performed alongside Arlo Guthrie while having an attack of gout
and in his spare time, he makes free-flying models
of antique airplanes
. But sadly, he has just gotten the most publicity of his career... as an unwilling participant in one airline's Security Theater
. (Story picked up by The Consumerist
, the Economist
, and James Fallows at the Atlantic
.) [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop
on Aug 26, 2011 -
Ta-nehisi Coates sparks months of debate with his contention that The Civil War Isn't Tragic
. "The Civil War is our revolution. It ended slavery, and birthed both modern America, and modern black America.
That can never be tragic to me." [more inside]
posted by Danila
on Aug 25, 2011 -