Tag Archives: society

Millennials Will Become Their Parents, Too

From Reddit:

“Yeah, you don’t read tabloids but you check out TMZ and Buzzfeed articles, or juicy gossip about celebrities on reddit.

“You don’t listen to talk radio but you listen to podcasts.

“You don’t write a newsletter or a “zine” but you’ve got a blog.

“You don’t watch cheesy TV shows like Dynasty, Hawaii five o, or V and you didn’t fall for the remakes, no you watch edgy shit like the walking dead, homeland, game of thrones and breaking bad.

“Of course you’re not going to clip coupons, but that trendy breakfast place has a groupon this week.

“No you don’t order stupid shit off TV or from magazine ads, you order subscription boxes or stuff off amazon that you heard about on a podcast or reddit.

“You don’t fall for fad diets or fitness trends, slim fast shakes, hanging upside down, exerciser belts, trampolines, low fat diets, Atkins, buns of steel, aspartame, ha! But you switched from sugar to stevia, you lost like 15 pounds on Keto, but you switched to the slow carb diet because it made a lot more sense, but it was sort of hard so now you’re pretty much just doing paleo with a cheat day once a week (still waiting for your soylent order) but it’s okay because you’re doing kettle bells on your vibration plate and running a lot since you got your open toed shoes, not to mention your bosu ball and battle ropes.

“Groovy? More like epic.

“You’re too smart for pyramid schemes and Amway and don’t give a shit about tupperware or mary kay parties, but you did just fund a couple awesome kickstarters, one for potato salad, another for some metal beans that keep your coffee hot and one for a phone that looks like it’d be cool if somebody built it and you now realize the campaign was to raise awareness so somebody would build it someday, hopefully (do I still get one if google bought the idea?).
Those old photos of your mom with feathered bangs and crimped hair are hilarious, unlike the super cool shaved patch on the side of your head.

“Chia pets? Dancing cans? Singing fish? Pet rocks? Please. Oh by the way your dancing groot, useless box, mine craft torch lamp and usb portal turret just arrived.

“Who actually writes letters to the editor? Who actually writes a response to somebody who wrote a letter to the editor? But seriously most of the comments in this thread are wrong if not downright hilarious and here’s why…  We all become our parents one way or another, even if you become the exact opposite you just become the yin to their yang.”

Full discussion http://np.reddit.com/r/Showerthoughts/comments/2lobk0/the_reddit_front_page_is_the_millenials_morning/clwp73e?context=3

Infographic from http://thecharisgroup.org/2013/07/20/what-your-church-must-do-to-connect-with-millennials/

Personal Integrity as Mental Illness

A thread about the Russian TV anchor quitting in the midst of reporting on the crisis in Ukraine comments on personal integrity:

“Our society has an implicit tendancy to view human beings as tabulae rasae with no inner life or essence, therefore social planners attempt to design society in a way that tightly controls and manipulates people “for their own good”. This is not seen as a violation of human freedom and dignity, because freedom and dignity are not recognised by the behaviourist philosophy that animates all social institutions.

That’s why our society is constructed in such a way that there is no incentive to deviate from your assigned role, because your role is considered to be something that is purely imposed on you externally so that you may fulfill the obligations of your social contract. Therefore, actions stemming from ones own sense of integrity are dismissed and marginalised, and ones personal actions are always interpreted through the reductionist lens of self-interest and the degree of your adherence to arbitrary social and legal rules. Acts of personal integrity that objectively seem to go against your immediate social interests are seen as suspicious veiled acts of self-interest at best, and signs of mental illness at worst.”

Full thread http://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/1zo1q2/russia_today_anchor_quits_on_air/

Image is of Russian TV newscaster Liz Wahl as she quits her job http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/russia-today-anchor-liz-wahl-686372

How Denying Black Soldiers FHA Loans Denied Black Families Post-War Prosperity

I’ve always thought this is such a big piece of the puzzle. From Reddit:

“In reality, the great depression pretty much evened the playing field as far as wealth. The problem we have today evolved as a result of GI’s returning from WWII. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers came home, bought a house, and started a family. But black soldiers were denied the opportunity. The Federal Hosing Administration would not insure loans to black families, and even if they did, often times developers wouldn’t sell to black families. So, whites got suburbia, blacks were limited to inner city developments. So while white families were building equity in their homes, black families were renters and getting nothing out of it. Eventually, black families that were responsible had saved up enough to by a nice new home in suburbia, but there was a great fear from the white community (a fear pushed by the slimiest realtors) that the influx of black families would depress real estate values. White people flooded out to newer developments, which of course made the real estate values plummet. Black families, having finally bought a house, got to immediately see their life savings go down the drain with their now worthless property.

After World War Two, America had a chance to fully bring the black community into the fold with every other ethnic group (all of whom were able to join the middle class after the war) but instead we dropped the ball big time, leaving a lasting schism in our society.”

Full comment http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/1witn6/what_actually_controversial_opinion_do_you_have/cf2j3h7

Image from http://thetruthnews.info/

Frames, Feminism and Men’s Rights Advocates

“Feminism seeks to address gender inequality not just because doing so benefits women and girls, but because the presence of sexual discrimination and sexual violence is bad for everyone. … In the MRA view, mens and women’s interests sit in opposition to each other – if women win, men lose. When mens rights activists call for men to stand up because “feminism has gone too far”, they are implicitly stating that women and men can’t both benefit from gender equality. Whenever women gain power, men must lose it, and feminism has caused men to lose so much power that they must now fight to take some back. The gender struggle is a zero-sum game. So, feminists and mens rights activists disagree on two fronts: They disagree about the facts – whether women really have gained “too much” power at the expense of men (feminists would argue that living in a sexist society makes it difficult for men to recognise the true extent of the male privilege they still enjoy). But more importantly, they disagree on how the issue is framed; the MRA view men’s and women’s rights as being in opposition to each other, while mainstream feminists see gender equality as a net good to everyone.

Commenter on Metafilter

Venn diagram from Angstier Than Thou

Too Many Laywers Correlates to Societal Collapse

Probably in the Jared-Diamond-ist/’just too pat’ department: “Past waves of political instability, such as the civil wars of the late Roman Republic, the French Wars of Religion, and the American Civil War, had many interlinking causes and circumstances unique to their age. But a common thread in the eras we studied was elite overproduction. The other two important elements were stagnating and declining living standards of the general population and increasing indebtedness of the state. Elite overproduction generally leads to more intra-elite competition that gradually undermines the spirit of cooperation, which is followed by ideological polarization and fragmentation of the political class. This happens because the more contenders there are, the more of them end up on the losing side.”

via Will Too Many Lawyers Destroy American Society? Ask Peter Turchin – Businessweek.

Peforming Ethnicity

“…I spent a day agonizing over whether to wear glasses or not to a meeting I was attending for a gay organization where I was making a substantial accessibility proposal. I have pretty poor vision, but since my day job is in academia, I never wear glasses – because then I get weird whispering and comments about how smart Asians are, with the nasty implication that I only got my job and only get my grades due to my racial background. But in this circumstance, knowing my audience of gay, middle-aged white men – I was acutely aware of my appearance could easily be pigeonholed into that of a young Asian “twink” – and how easily that could potentially defeat my proposal.

“So I wore the glasses. It went well. Only one of the men made a pass at me by saying out loud to the board during the meeting, right in my face, how much he liked his Asian men to be aggressive. But otherwise my proposal was accepted.

“But this event made me realize how much tailoring my outfit and tailoring my appearance to even the smallest tweaks and ornaments has become just one of those every-day things that I do. I never really consciously picked up this skillset – I probably learned it from watching my parents, seamlessly blend from situation to situation by shedding clothes and picking up ornaments and signifiers like a chameleon changes colors to match its environment. Certain things signify humility. Certain things impart an aura of confidence. Of modernness, of tradition; of being western, of being eastern. Who is your audience? What rapport do you want to build? What messages are you sending?

“Sometimes I catch myself changing outfits multiple times a day as I move from place to place, environment to environment and audience to audience. I’ve never really considered this to be a fixation on fashion or anything – it’s just one of those things that you, as a person of color, have to do to survive in a culture that tends to be a little hostile to your existence. More so if you don’t blend properly.

“I don’t really mind the rules. In fact, I rather enjoy this skillset, if I may admit guiltily: I like being able to suddenly fit in anywhere I go with a sudden unbuttoning of the collar, loosening of a tie, switch of a belt. I know it’s not really fair, but it doesn’t matter because inequality and inequity is pretty much the polluted air that I breathe anyway – it’s always there as a nagging reminder of how much of an outsider I am, but in some respects, you learn not to notice the adaptations you’ve made to compensate after a while.

“Sometimes I try to explain this to my white friends, and they always tell me: fuck the rules! Why do you care what people think of you? You should just do whatever you want!

“I don’t know; maybe I should be angrier about it. But they don’t seem to get it. The $4.99 that I pay for a button-up shirt at the thrift store buys me more than just the shirt. It buys me job security; it buys me insurance from violence on the streets; it buys me some relief from the vicious gossip that goes around about me if I don’t show up with an appropriate appearance – one that straddles the line between following the rules and breaking them, a good minority, neither threatening nor a stereotype.”

A few extra dollars a month, a few hours spent shopping, a few extra loads of laundry. Even if it’s unfair, it’s not a big deal. Is this really the hill I want to die on?”

Commenter on Metafilter

Here’s What The Police Will Do

Commenter on Metafilter: “Here is what the police will do:

Whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want to. They are tiny gods, moving among us, deciding who gets shot today and who merely gets hauled away. Any attempt to assert your rights will result in you either being arrested (because you HAVE done something illegal, know it or not) or even worse — being flagged in the system for continued harassment. The police hate a smart ass.

And here’s the thing — you think there are rules. There aren’t. The police will lie to you, they will beat you up, they will gas you, they will restrain you, they will hit in places where the bruises don’t show, and then they will lie about it on the stand.

Assuming you actually have the gumption to bring a case to trial. So much easier and cheaper to just plead out. Because taking a case to trial just ties up everyone’s time — the judge resents you, the prosecutor resents you, your attorney resents you: why not just plead out, you’re only going to make them angrier.

My attorney said that to me.

He was right, but I’d rather do jail time than the newfangled Orwellian nightmare that is “court diversion” wherein they set a series of increasingly elaborate bureaucratic hurdles in your path and threaten you with jail at each one. Fuck that, I’ll just do the time up front.

I live in what is by any metric is one of the more murderous cities in a nation known for murder and I am not scared of gangs. Gangs have rules. Gangs have codes. I’m scared of COPS.

I have been beaten up, seriously on the ground bleeding in a fetal position, three times in my life. Once by a gang of street thugs in a New York City park. And twice by the police.

I have had guns pulled on me three times. Once by a scared kid in a parking lot who fled before trying to rob me. And twice by police SWAT teams searching my house.

The police have made their point to me quite clearly.

I am terrified of them.

Commenter on Metafilter

Why We Need Sean Hannity

“But the public doesn’t care about this stuff, right? So how do you get Joe America to talk about it in his living room? You give him a little hit of testosterone. Getting to the next step required substituting emotional response for intellectual response. Reality TV, chat boards, talk radio…there were dozens of new vehicles to reinforce confirmation bias. Once an individual was addicted to the hate buzz of stating his opinion, arguing about it, and thereby reinforcing what he already believed, he was primed to respond that way to other issues. Think tanks started building interlaced latticeworks of issues. How can you take an issue like climate change, where 99% of peer-reviewed research supports it, and polarize it? You link it to other social identities. We now have clusters of identities that travel together: religious, conservative, global warming skeptic, Chick-fil-a eater. It’s increasingly difficult to disassociate from one without disassociating from all. Sean Hannity and others like him exist because we need him: we need the constant reinforcement to keep these identities together. We get an ego boast and hormonal jolt; the think tanks get foot soldiers.”

via sorrykids comments on Why is it permissible for public voices to be this way now? What can we really do about it?.

A Transwoman Learns How (Some) Men Relate to Women

“One night I was talking to a guy on chat, and he kind of threw out this really sexual thing to me. It took me by surprise and I basically said what the fuck? And then he got rude. He called me a bitch and said I was rejecting him all of a sudden, and got really mean. I was like, what???? Then it happened again with another guy. Then again. And again!  … Guys would be talking to me all nice and then all of a sudden they start wanting more, and getting pretty graphic with the sex talk and I would say hey cut it out, then they’d call me a tease, a bitch, whatever. I hadn’t even said anything sexual, I was usually just talking about music or games or whatever. One night I just burst out crying because I was totally confused why this kept happening. Then my wife gave me the rundown…

  • When a guy says hello in chat, don’t answer right away. Wait a minute or so.
  • In chat, always wait before saying or answering anything. Don’t speak right after they do.
  • Don’t ask a lot of questions to a guy in chat or real life.
  • If a guy looks at you in real life, don’t look him in the eyes: look down or away.
  • When out in public, basically don’t even look at guys in the eyes at all.

Those may seem ridiculous or harsh or whatever. Point is, these “rules” work for me. I follow these steps, and guys have stopped making such obvious advances and then getting mad because I don’t want to have sex with them. I never realized that by being so open and friendly that I was apparently giving them the all clear sign. The “rules” she told me are lessons she had learned and built on having grown up as female in a female world. I had no idea about this stuff, having been brought up as male.”

throwaway_trans comments on Do women ever avoid being friendly/nice with men for fear of being labelled a flirt/tease etc.