rosco's recent activity

  1. Comment on Advocating for rich civilians in ~talk

    rosco
    Link Parent
    I see the logic in your reasoning and I'm left with a lingering feeling of doubt. It may be irrational, but I feel like that perspective ends up delaying or hindering structural change. Fixing our...

    I see the logic in your reasoning and I'm left with a lingering feeling of doubt. It may be irrational, but I feel like that perspective ends up delaying or hindering structural change. Fixing our current feels like a non-urgent issue with that narrative, "we'll get to it eventually, but in the meantime look at all the great stuff those rich folks are doing". I know that isn't what you're saying, but I think we need the threat of Malcom X to make the movement of Martin Luther King possible. When Bill Gates and other .01%ers are actively backing legislation to make them pay less in taxes, I do think it's a bad thing for us to applaud their polio programs. A properly funded CDC could also erratic Polio.

    I think I'll continue letting all the folks who are happy to endorse the great charity and donations of the .01% take on that mantle while I continue to tell anyone who will listen why philanthropy is a joke.

    12 votes
  2. Comment on Thread from r/MensLib: No man should be called a "neckbeard" or a "loser" in ~life

    rosco
    Link Parent
    Thanks for the link, I hadn't read that comment. To me it feels like the 'neckbeard' label is something that we do pretty commonly as a society, ascribe negative personality traits to unattractive...

    Thanks for the link, I hadn't read that comment.

    To me it feels like the 'neckbeard' label is something that we do pretty commonly as a society, ascribe negative personality traits to unattractive physical features. It's really shitty and I'm sorry for being complicit in doing so. If I'm being honest, the online connotation that feels personality based has it has bled out into my real life where a neckbeard becomes based on physical traits. I think for me there still requires a hybrid of behavior with physical traits for it to fall into the category of 'neckbeard'. I won't see an un-showered, obese man and think 'oh a neckbeard' but I might after hearing him disparage a woman in an attempt to 'neg' her. To your point I'd probably just think 'what a prick' he was attractive.

    I've been thinking this all through as I reply to comments and I'm trying to distill what I think on the topic. Everyone is bringing up great points. I might be generalizing, but it does feel like there is a subset of men that fall into the category of unhygienic, chronically online, and misogynistic. I want to be able to talk about the problematic effect they have on online and our culture at large but I don't think there is a good label for it. I don't really use the term 'neckbeard' in real life or online, but when it gets brought up it definitely doesn't make me bristle. Which lends credence to your point that the female perspective is more known and critiqued.

    I find that point at odds with other part of the original post though:

    Unfortunately this is a term that is used everyday to belittle people, most commonly men. It is not technically a gendered insult but let’s be real, it’s almost always used against men and rarely (if ever) used against women.
    It’s a term used to establish a toxic dominance hierarchy among men (and only men, as women are exempt from this imposed competition).
    Let men have intrinsic value just like women do and let’s value them and free them from this toxic expectations and hierarchies!

    It feels like these excerpts exclude the female perspective you bring up. Not that it's less accepted to say land whale than neckbeard, but that land whale isn't a thing. That women don't have a toxic hierarchy. That women might feel like they don't have intrinsic value. I'm not trying to tear down the MensLib community, it's good to have an outlet to air these issues and generally I agree with most of their points. You're right it's not exclusively a space for men, but I would be pretty shocked if there were more that 10% women on that subreddit as Reddit as a whole already skews pretty hard towards males.

    I think some of this kind of feels like the PragerU videos. There are enough kernels of truth within them that I agree with that it's easy to then use those arguments to justify more radical stances. I'm not saying that's what going on here, but I'd be disappointed if I didn't see a critique of that line of thinking brought up to steady the ship. Any the comment you linked is a great example of that critique. I have a friends who will say "Ugh, it's so hard to be a man" in a cheeky voice whenever conversation tend to head this direction and it's a light way of checking us if we're missing perspectives.

    (For the movie references, they're just examples of movies where the main character is a woman that is perceived as a loser. If you haven't seen them and have the chance, I'd say She's All That is the most commonly referenced but Romy and Michele is definitely the funniest).

    3 votes
  3. Comment on Thread from r/MensLib: No man should be called a "neckbeard" or a "loser" in ~life

    rosco
    Link Parent
    I think another interesting question on top of what you're talking about is how do you prevent benign labels from become an insult? (ie. Incel, anti-vaxer, white-supremacist). I think one issue we...

    I think another interesting question on top of what you're talking about is how do you prevent benign labels from become an insult? (ie. Incel, anti-vaxer, white-supremacist). I think one issue we have with discourse around these topics is that the label takes power away from the argument. I felt like as soon as Trump blew the dog whistle and called it the "China-virus" and conflated it with racist talking points legitimacy was taken away from the real line of questioning: why was there suppression of information when it was first discovered, what ramifications does that have, and what foreign policy do we need to we prevent that in the future? Conversations about real issues got lost in the noise of racism, bad faith arguments, and conspiracy theories.

    I think the same can apply to the 'neckbeard' conversation. I'd like to be able to talk about the problematic parts of what I'm struggling to re-name from 'neckbeard culture'. It feels like there is a growing number of men who have turned to the internet as a place to build community and develop a sense of self/world view. It feels like a lot of the places (4Chan, pockets of Reddit, pockets of Youtube) push them towards misogynistic, entitled, and racist behavior. In the past I would have called these neckbeards, but as skybrain pointed out,

    When we want to talk about people in any serious way, first you have to say who you're talking about and using an insult for that is a bad start.

    But what can we call a group like that without it becoming an insult?

    5 votes
  4. Comment on Thread from r/MensLib: No man should be called a "neckbeard" or a "loser" in ~life

    rosco
    Link Parent
    That's a fair assessment. I don't endorse insulting these communities, I feel like two things are being conflated: overweight/unhygienic folks with poor/misogynistic behavior. In my own...

    I think we can keep things simple by saying it's a form of name-calling and this is usually bad, whatever form it takes.

    That's a fair assessment.

    I don't endorse insulting these communities, I feel like two things are being conflated: overweight/unhygienic folks with poor/misogynistic behavior. In my own experience, I know many overweight, unshaven, chronically unhygienic men who have amazing personalities, lead fulfilling lives, and tend to be social butterflies. To me the original post felt like it read as the "neckbeard" or 'loser" labels applied carte blanche to the overweight or under-showered. I was heavy handed in my use of those terms and I'm sorry.

    I guess my question is, what do you call someone who falls into the group that actively disparages women without it becoming an insult? I completely agree with your point ->

    When we want to talk about people in any serious way, first you have to say who you're talking about and using an insult for that is a bad start.

    But when you talk about a group with negatively perceived traits from mainstream society, originally benign labels often become an insult: Incel, baby boomer... I realize 'neckbeard' has always been an insult so it's a bad example, but what do we categorize groups with this behavior set as? Or am i missing the point completely and we just shouldn't categorize so readily.

    Happy to share stories. Checking in that you're looking to bridge the gap between what each of us is imagining as 'neckbeard culture'.

    5 votes
  5. Comment on Thread from r/MensLib: No man should be called a "neckbeard" or a "loser" in ~life

    rosco
    Link
    I don't think I agree with the sentiment of this post. It feels like the two main points are: There is nothing wrong with being a neckbeard, particularly regarding physical traits. Women aren't...

    I don't think I agree with the sentiment of this post. It feels like the two main points are:

    1. There is nothing wrong with being a neckbeard, particularly regarding physical traits.
    2. Women aren't considered losers and aren't subjected to the same level of judgement.

    Regarding point one, I think there is a larger issue at play than just "people make fun of men that look and smell weird." I agree with thread consensus that many of the physical characteristics of a neckbeard can be associated with poor mental health (autism, depression, previous trauma...), but hygiene and physical appearance are only one aspect of the traditional neckbeard or a loser archetype. I think the larger component lies in the 'neckbeards' treatment of others, particularly women. There are lots of programs, groups, and forums, generally comprised solely of men, that take sad men and turn them into aggressive, entitled men. I got cajoled into sitting through a 'Real Social Dynamics' meeting by a friend who would fall into the neckbeard category. A short detour from grabbing a pint turned out to be a 2 hour lecture in a room with about 200 other men and 3 women on how devious women are and how badly you need to treat them in order for them to show you affection. It was mind blowing. The man on stage was selling misogyny and the audience was eating it up. Nearly every single man in the room fell into the loser/neckbeard appearance category.

    This kind of seems like a chicken/egg scenario: Young men get called losers and are belittled due to abnormal appearance and behavior. Sad young men become embittered at society and find echo chambers for their experience. With their negative beliefs in society reinforced they present the prototypical 'neckbeard' personality traits: aggression towards women, intellectual superiority, and in a lot of cases a weird brand of racism. These behaviors and personalities get associated with the common physical characteristics and hygiene of neckbeards, society responds harshly, and we return to step one. To be honest, typing that out put in two minds. To the point of the original thread, if we cull the poor treatment of these types of men would it stop them from finding solace in misogynistic groups? Possibly, but if we are centering a cultural groups needs, I'm not sure if neckbeards is the group I would place highest priority on. While there are obviously some issues we need to address as a society like mental health and our treatment of obese people, targeting male specific groups feels off. Which leads to point 2 of the thread: Women aren't considered losers and aren't subjected to the same level of judgement.

    I'm almost not sure where to start with this one. Women can't be losers? Woman losers are the subject of so many films, across so many eras. She's All That, Never Have I Ever, Never Been Kissed, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion... the list goes on and on. These movies obviously resonate with women because they feel the same treatment as men. This narrative in the thread feels like an erasure of women's perspectives, from a group that is exclusively male, that views women as not enduring similar issues. And that perspective takes us back to the point above, neckbeards have a very shallow understanding and negative perspective on women in general. If mainstream media isn't convincing, maybe we can point to the female neckbeard: the social justice warrior or the crazy cat lady. Both are associated with similar body image and hygiene characteristics and are disparaged by mainstream society. They are the female losers. They aren't on 4chan, they have Tumbler. It feels like only men without mixed gender social circles wouldn't identify the female loser.

    While I agree we should identify and stop bullying in youth and adult circles, the thread in and of itself feels like it sums up the issues with neckbeard culture. They systematically ignore women's lived experience in favor for some idealized fantasy and co-opt issues that aren't solely theirs. They ignore or minimize the problematic parts of neckbeard culture and place blame on society at large.

    16 votes
  6. Comment on Why Dutch bikes are better (and why you should want one) in ~enviro

    rosco
    Link Parent
    Man, your experience hits so hard. I haven't experienced the level of abuse you have, but have had smaller tastes of it (and I've never attended city meetings on bicycle infrastructure). I used to...

    Man, your experience hits so hard. I haven't experienced the level of abuse you have, but have had smaller tastes of it (and I've never attended city meetings on bicycle infrastructure). I used to commute in Oakland and the near misses with agro drivers were just about daily. Just last week I had a local woman stand in the middle of a single track trail with her arms out wide screaming "THIS AREA IS FOR WAAAAALKING!!!" in the heart of one of our largest MTB areas. The majority of my bike commuting experience is also in California and the attitude towards bike commuters seems so at odds with the Northern California 'ethos' (or maybe just perceived ethos after looking at results from state/county propositions). My partner and I with a few neighbors will be putting in a formal request for bike parking in Monterey in the next month or so and your story of the father has me less confident in the results.

    Sometimes I wonder if the issue could be reframed (a la, lets get these bikers off of the road for cars and into a protected bike lane where they can't slow you down), or if any perceived benefit for cyclists is felt as a loss to those who hate them. What am I saying, obviously it's the latter.

    Do you think there is any hope for expanding bicycle infrastructure? Like could we attach the issue to more palatable movements like climate resiliency or community equity? It just feels like there is so much promise but I don't know how to assuage their rage. Why is that rage even there? I don't understand.

    6 votes
  7. Comment on Tyranny, slavery and Columbia U - Interview with N. Korea defector Yeonmi Park in ~humanities

    rosco
    Link Parent
    Yeah, this is my biggest qualm with Peterson. He "rationalizes" absurd points of view by juxtaposing them against unrelated entities. Let's pull back and ask the question "Are we really going to...

    Yeah, this is my biggest qualm with Peterson. He "rationalizes" absurd points of view by juxtaposing them against unrelated entities. Let's pull back and ask the question "Are we really going to compare he/her/they pronoun usage at Columbia with the brutal regime in North Korea?" How was 1/3rd of this 2 hour podcast dedicated to this? Purposefully, because it move forward a narrative that suit Peterson's regressive world views. Even if his points feel like they have a basis in science, he is arbitrarily selecting and highlighting evidence that suits his goals.

    10 votes
  8. Comment on Why Dutch bikes are better (and why you should want one) in ~enviro

    rosco
    Link Parent
    I love Dutch biking culture and could not agree with more with his assertion: In North America bikes are seen as the territory of children and assholes. When I pop on my neighborhood Nextdoor, I...

    I love Dutch biking culture and could not agree with more with his assertion: In North America bikes are seen as the territory of children and assholes. When I pop on my neighborhood Nextdoor, I am always greeted with stories of outrage at the onerous cyclist, the unnecessary bike lane expansions, and general ire for our death defying two wheeled friends. It is such a bummer. I know others have brought up the points of climate and geography. However, being from the SF Bay Area with Dutch levels of elevation changes and one of the mildest climates in the US, I think we can agree that is not the main factor hindering the wide scale adoption of bikes as a viable method of transit.

    I love Not Just Bikes, and their videos on Stroads and infrastructure does more to convince me of hurdles to adoption than merely the design of the bike. London saw a boom of commuting cyclists due to expanded infrastructure programs (though quick note that while Boris has claimed ownership of the boom in bicycles the plans and funding were arranged by the Labor party before Boris held that position) and other studies have backed up that improved infrastructure increases bicycle commuting and hobbyist use. Ok little infrastructure side rant over.

    One of the communities I would love to highlight is the Xbike community, particularly in the United States. I think they are such an interesting take on cycling because their focus on bikes that can handle all terrain reflects our terrible infrastructure and need for adaptable bikes. The group is literally building machines to overcome our shitty roads and poorly linked trails. They are the punks of the transportation world. They even take the Walmart bikes u/spctrvl was referencing and turn them into a thing of beauty.

    Ok, last point on Dutch vs NA bike culture. The bike black market. So many of the Omafiets you see riding around Amsterdam have been purchased for around 50 euros at one of the second hand markets around the city. Everyone who buys them knows they are stolen and there isn't a negative stigma around that. One of the nicest perspectives I heard about it while living there was that is was "an informal, non-governmental tax that provides support to the homeless and addicted communities of the Netherlands." If you had your bike stolen, "oh well, just head to the market on Saturday and grab another." The bikes are cheap, plentiful, and the attitude about them is laissez faire. I think this is another benefit he doesn't talk about. Bikes are pretty easy to steal, and in big cities it is going to happen. To contrast North America bikes are expensive and there is a very, very punishment oriented flavor of our criminal justice system. Compound that with poor infrastructure and widespread negative associations with cyclists (as Not just Bikes gets into) it's a miracle that anyone cycles. But then again, it just goes to show how magical biking is that we still frequently see it here (if a less than our European cousins do).

    8 votes
  9. Comment on What the rich don’t want to admit about the poor in ~finance

    rosco
    Link Parent
    I had the same thought. We could eliminate poverty with 1/5th of the federal budget? Let's get on that. If you compound the direct savings on programs like unemployment, medicare, or welfare with...

    I had the same thought. We could eliminate poverty with 1/5th of the federal budget? Let's get on that. If you compound the direct savings on programs like unemployment, medicare, or welfare with the indirect savings on social programs, negative health outcomes, bankruptcy, or defaults and the increased consumer spending, forget the progressive agenda, this should be a staunch fiscal conservative's wet dream. It's ludicrous that those arguing for fiscal responsibility always seem to be arguing for fiscal consolidation.

    On the "smaller piece of the pie" note, I think we will see losses from these changes but where we will see them is misplaced. I agree with you that in the long run the vaaaaaast majority of folks stands to gain from workers benefits. But that top decimal percentage (.1%) will lose their proportional wealth, and they are the ones with the means to sow fear that anyone with a 401k that has ridden in an Uber is set to have their life turned upside down. The über rich would have less proportionally and as such wouldn't be able to prey off of the desperation and misery of the lower classes. That is the loss I think about when we talk about "a smaller slice of the pie". I say let them eat slivers.

    7 votes
  10. Comment on What the rich don’t want to admit about the poor in ~finance

    rosco
    Link Parent
    It's addressed, be it subtly in the article: But to your point, we rarely, if ever talk about impacts on profits. It is unfortunate but understandable that the shoes everyone finds easiest to fit...

    It's addressed, be it subtly in the article:

    Hamilton, to his credit, was honest about these trade-offs. “Progressives don’t like to talk about this,” he told me. “They want this kumbaya moment. They want to say equity is great for everyone when it’s not. We need to shift our values. The capitalist class stands to lose from this policy, that’s unambiguous. They will have better resourced workers they can’t exploit through wages. Their consumer products and services would be more expensive.”

    But to your point, we rarely, if ever talk about impacts on profits. It is unfortunate but understandable that the shoes everyone finds easiest to fit into are the owner/share holder. "Why would I want to subsidize my workers salaries?" feels like a very common defense from someone who, surprise surprise, is weighing in hypothetically. I think that is part of the toxic nature of the American dream. We are always the boss, never the peon. Why would we have to imagine their perspective?

    11 votes
  11. Comment on Is anyone else here trying to understand or deal with how 'time flies by' with age? in ~talk

    rosco
    Link Parent
    I agree that has something to do with it, but I feel like your brain is also more active in your youth. Things are new, you're constantly learning, your brain is on overdrive. Then we hit the...

    I agree that has something to do with it, but I feel like your brain is also more active in your youth. Things are new, you're constantly learning, your brain is on overdrive. Then we hit the working world and for most of us it becomes rinse, wash, repeat. Put some new inputs in your brain and see if things slow down.

    5 votes
  12. Comment on Is anyone else here trying to understand or deal with how 'time flies by' with age? in ~talk

    rosco
    Link Parent
    Oh sweet! I'll definitely check that out.

    Oh sweet! I'll definitely check that out.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on Is anyone else here trying to understand or deal with how 'time flies by' with age? in ~talk

    rosco
    Link
    I have wrestled with this issue quite a bit. I think the "time warp" comes from repetition. When your life has a consistent, almost unchanging routine, time flies. Your brain isn't having to...

    I have wrestled with this issue quite a bit. I think the "time warp" comes from repetition. When your life has a consistent, almost unchanging routine, time flies. Your brain isn't having to process much and you can get by on autopilot. The clearest version of this is when you do an out and back hike or drive to a new place, the leg back feels waaaaaay shorter than the one going out.

    I had this revelation while on a 5 month bike tour. We were rained on for over a month and it felt like a lifetime. Every day was different, every day we spent considerable energy figuring out our route, where to set up camp, communicate in different languages while shopping. Not one task of our day was easy and so our days dragged on, but in a fulfilling way instead of a frustrating way. I tried to take some of these lessons into the pandemic with me. Do weird physical projects, take remote language lessons through the adult school, try out new hobbies...

    It doesn't change the fact that I'm getting older but it prevents months from just slipping away.

    16 votes
  14. Comment on Farewell, millennial lifestyle subsidy in ~life

    rosco
    Link
    Does anyone else find the framing of this article odd? This feels like a "sympathy for the devil" piece. It is incredibly sympathetic to the VCs underwriting the subversion of our functional...

    Does anyone else find the framing of this article odd? This feels like a "sympathy for the devil" piece. It is incredibly sympathetic to the VCs underwriting the subversion of our functional systems and lobs the blame squarely at millennials. It's the classic trope of blame the consumer. The reason these companies are able to exist in the first place is because millennials face unstable employment, stagnant wages, and astronomical increases in the costs of necessities (housing, food, healthcare). Is it surprising that a generation that has had to subsidize their income by joining the gig economy is looking for ways to save on their bills? Let's take a moment to recognize that while many affluent city dwellers have benefitted from this system (and in many cases it's the same folks who work the backend of those apps), millennials writ large have paid the price. Who is delivering your Doordash meal. Who is driving your Uber. Who is walking your dog on Wag. VCs are capitalizing on the volatility and misery created by the 08 recession and trying to propagate a system that extends it. The article also misses the part where in most instances, owners are not actually making boatloads off of these apps (a la the story where the owner ordered his own pizzas), they are being ruined by them. It's called creating a captive market and it is what Getty and Rockefeller did in the early 20th century. It is the reason we our federal government has monopoly busting powers. This leads me to the question: Why is this article blaming the consumer and not those creating this precarious system. Talk about a love letter to the seedy underbelly of the Bay Area that is VCs.

    2/10 would not empathize with again.

    13 votes
  15. Comment on What's the cheapest food that makes you really happy? in ~talk

    rosco
    Link Parent
    Ah, mistook your argument. I totally agree with all your points. We have evolved to seek out calorie dense food. Restaurant are also guilty of ridiculous portion sizes. I think it would be...

    Ah, mistook your argument. I totally agree with all your points. We have evolved to seek out calorie dense food. Restaurant are also guilty of ridiculous portion sizes.

    I think it would be interesting to compare calorie consumption and meal size across types of restaurants. Fast food is an easy category, I think others would be harder to discern. From poking around on google scholar it looks like strip mall chains like Applebees fall into the no man lands of fast casual (and as per your assertion they are more caloric than fast food). I find these places to be the biggest drivers of absurd portion sizes and calorie dense meals. It feels like the logic is "who cares if your lasagna is terrible when you have a bucket of it." From there possibly entering the realm of mom and pops that haven't optimized their menu for the biggest return per customer. Three tiers? This paper actually looks into it and sides with your main point. But I would love to see calories of the average eater rather than the menu item.

    I think one of the factors overlooked in fast food calorie consumption of fast foods is how often someone actually orders "X" item as a meal. For reference, when I would go to say McDonalds or Wendy's, I wouldn't just get a chicken sandwich. The menus are made to be mix and match. Anecdotally, my usual Wendy's order was 2 spicy chicken sandwiches (510 cals each), fries (med fry, 420 cals), and a frosty (medium, 460 cals). That is a total of 1900 calories. That is dangerously close to the ideal average daily intake of 2000 for women and 2500 for men to pack into one meal. Sometimes I might even throw in an order of chicken nuggets or two. It's pretty easy for calories to add up with fast food.

    The same can be said for restaurants, but it feels more like a linear experience of appetizer, entree, possible dessert vs the free for all of fast food. That said, the calorie density of restaurant portions is likely higher. I think it might matter more if you are in an 'optimized' (read, franchise) eating experience vs a one off restaurant. I think this all leaves me to agree with your conclusion, diet is complicated. But I'd love to think through a tangible way of comparing across the spectrum and it would be great to hear what you think.

    2 votes
  16. Comment on What's the cheapest food that makes you really happy? in ~talk

    rosco
    Link Parent
    Even as a pretty ardent supporter of indulging in fast food i think the statement: is pretty disingenuous. Pound for pound fast food is incredibly calorie dense. Which, for those looking to get...

    Even as a pretty ardent supporter of indulging in fast food i think the statement:

    Fast food is often much healthier for you than eating at a restaurant.

    is pretty disingenuous. Pound for pound fast food is incredibly calorie dense. Which, for those looking to get calories on a budget is a great idea, but as someone who lives in a country with obesity problems I don't think that's what the majority of the US population is after. And while fast food menus are scrutinized, by some, it is because they were identified as one of the main contributing factors of widespread obesity. If we compared fast food to Applebees, Cheesecake Factory, or Olive Garden I think the statement would be correct (as those restaurants are effectively expensive/huge portion fast food); but by and large I would say eating at a one off restaurant is not going to be less healthy than fast food.

    I think you also nailed the mega-corp destruction of mom and pops as another real issue.

    Finally, I think their negative environmental impact and propensity for syphoning wealth out of communities are also big problems.

    That said, I also love to get in on a tacobell bean burrito, mcdonalds chicken sandwich, or wendy's frosty. But I do think people should know what they are consuming and understand the impacts before indulging.

    4 votes
  17. Comment on Where'd You Go? in ~life

    rosco
    Link Parent
    Sorry man, I have misconstrued your comments. I read it as you weren't supportive of movements trying to identify and call out toxic masculinity. I read that wrong and jumped on the dog pile,...

    Sorry man, I have misconstrued your comments. I read it as you weren't supportive of movements trying to identify and call out toxic masculinity. I read that wrong and jumped on the dog pile, that's on me. The same goes for the constantly online comment. I read "Everyone is on Facebook. We are constantly on Reddit." and made a leap. Your original post felt like it held ire for women, I misread that and I'm sorry. The "I've been where you are now" was feeling frustrated and in an echo chamber of men, particularly on reddit, that tend to remove nuance and reduce issues to be male centric. It sounds like I'm off the mark.

    I also appreciate you calling out that we're collectively on a tangent and something of a dog pile. I think my knee jerk reaction with content like this is to think of what kind of narratives this comic can incite or give credence to. It's something similar to listening to early Jordan Peterson interviews and feeling like his messaging could be used to justify some pretty negative, sexist beliefs. I don't think the artist is there, but it feels like it edges that way. There is a problem if typical, run of the mill white dudes are feeling suicidal from these discussions, but some of it feels like it's saying "hey these ideas are too radical and we need to cool it." I don't know if I agree with that sentiment.

    To your question of the artists experience: Like him, I'm in a pretty socially progressive bubble. Often conversations come up with assertions I had never considered or sometimes ones that really challenge my own perspective. Sometimes there is real ire behind the words and it makes me uncomfortable. The most common of these circle gender, race, and power dynamics. I think with all conversations that make me reflect on my own negative impacts they aren't necessarily fun to have in the moment but tend to lead to the most growth. I chew on them longer. Like the artist, fear of judgement can definitely make me hesitate to really engage in these conversations meaningfully. I think some of the questions the artist raises around "wokeness" and "allyship" are interesting, but I also think they can lead to or reinforce negative narratives like "nothing will be good enough". It leads to "what's the point" or "they're irrational" or worst of all "they are dangerous". That isn't to say men shouldn't have an outlet to discuss how hearing "all men are trash" or "all white men should die except my dad" makes them feel, but personally the artists version of it felt pretty shallow and self centered. It's like when Louis CK complains in his new comedy special that we all know his kink is jerking off in front of women. Like, yeah that's true dawg, but we know about it cause it's pretty fucked up and you finally got called out for it. Sure it's a bummer for you, but it's more of a bummer for the women who felt they had the sit there while you awkwardly jerked off at them. It just feels narcissistic. If you want to see a mature way to handle a similar situation watch Aziz Ansari's new stand up special. It feels like a man honestly grappling with his part in the metoo movement and his position in power/gender dynamics at large. I have a friend who will causally drop "it's tough to be a man" when we get into this territory in our discussions. I appreciate it. It makes me think about how much my opinions are colored by my own, selfish views.

    On the judgement front, I think one of the issues I run up against is something I call "ser vs estar". In Spanish Ser is a characteristic and Estar is a condition. In the context of this comic it could be used to say "if the artist writes a feminist comic that IS cool (estar) but if people find out some terrible secret like the ex thing, then he IS a man (ser) and as such, trash. It's the feeling that no matter how many estars you do you will always be compensating for the ser, you are always going to be a man. I do feel that way in real life sometimes, but it is so infrequent and only in the most extreme settings, I don't find it to be incredibly impactful on my life. At worst I feel temporary exclusion and at best I grow from trying to understand why those opinions get formed. That said, I'm not in the same space as this man and maybe it really does permeate all of his interactions. I can't speak to that.

    I'm not sure why but this comic leaves me with an "icky" feeling but it does. It feels like it plays into the really negative stereotypes of feminism. It feels a little like fear mongering, similar to the comics who complain that their careers were ruined because someone took their joke poorly when in actuality it was just racism veiled in humor, like Shane Gillis. The old friends I have that go down rabbit holes like the artist are the same ones who are into Real Social Dynamics.

    I think my issue with the comic is that it uses hyperbole and stereotype to drive a self centered narrative that doesn't feel true to real life. Like someone is taking online interactions and projecting them into a real world story. It's easy to get people aboard when your opponent is "men are trash". We all get riled up by that, but it undermines the valid complaints around gender dynamics behind that sentiment. The piece feels like fear mongering to me.

    5 votes
  18. Comment on Where'd You Go? in ~life

    rosco
    Link Parent
    I share a number of your views but disagree that we can't separate out "toxic masculinity" from being a generally good dude or progressive male role model. It sounds like your dad didn't succumb...

    I meant it largely in the same sense that you use toxic masculinity. The reason I didn't use the same terminology is because there are links between masculine traits considered "toxic" and neutral or positive masculine traits. Aggression plays a part in drive, confidence, assertiveness and courage. Violence, or a willingness to use it, plays a part in being a "protector". Domineering plays a part in leadership. There is no such thing as purely toxic traits for men or women, just an over balance of some trait or another. We as a society have decided that certain masculine coded traits are unacceptable, and this isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, characteristics are not a grab bag you can pull select items from and leave the rest.

    I share a number of your views but disagree that we can't separate out "toxic masculinity" from being a generally good dude or progressive male role model. It sounds like your dad didn't succumb to toxic masculinity. I'm sure you've experienced "violence, or a willingness to use it" that has absolutely no connection to "being a protector". With aggressiveness, it is the same. There is a distinction between being confident and cocky. It feels like your conflating traits to justify the shitty stuff associated with men. Like, well you can't have a leader without a rapist. And that is just patently untrue. Toxic masculinity isn't about gutting all of the underlying "masculine" traits, it's identifying and calling them out when they become harmful. The common defense of negative male actions usually starts with "well apparently we can't do that anymore" or "geez where is the line, I just don't know anymore." You can be confident without being coercive, you can be firm without being threatening, you can be assertive without being domineering. I honestly think it's a pretty anti-male stance to say we aren't smart enough or empathetic enough to know the difference.

    I've been where you are now, and hopefully without this sounding condescending, I think it has a lot to do with being online a lot. For me it was specifically reddit. Go out and talk to some women about this stuff. Go talk with men. Sometimes you will hear some jarring opinions like "there should be no all male spaces outside of those exclusively held in support of women". But it following up about why someone feels that way you can hear about what personal experiences led them to that decision the same way your personal history has informed yours. The beautiful part about taking it offline is that I can disagree with that person without getting shouted down by the masses, because no one else is looking on. No one pulls up a chair or busts out the popcorn to watch the blood bath.

    3 votes
  19. Comment on You can help rebuild Notre Dame by sponsoring a statue in ~arts

    rosco
    Link
    Just want to jump in here to say: yes you probably can donate to help rebuild Notre Dame, one of the most well known cultural heritage monuments. A monument centered in one of the richest cities...

    Just want to jump in here to say: yes you probably can donate to help rebuild Notre Dame, one of the most well known cultural heritage monuments. A monument centered in one of the richest cities in the world. A monument support by a long colonialist financial network. Yes, you can support Notre Dame. But maybe this is the moment to succumb to the thought of "If I don't do it someone else will" and look to some of the more endangered, less protected cultural monuments on our vast and interesting planet. Do you want to stick with catholic cathedrals? Why not support the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Cuenca, Ecuador. How about something that is actually endangered and needs the funding. The valley of Bagan suffered a massive earthquake in 2016 that damaged nearly 1500 of the 4000 temples littered throughout the valley. They could use some funding. A number of the temples that could be saved are going to be torn down due to a serious lack of funds. Or how about if we look to the middle east to the Great Mosque of Aleppo that was destroyed by ISIL during their expanse in 2015. They are also incredibly short on funds and I have a sneaking suspicion they don't have the national capabilities at the moment to finance it domestically. It always baffles me when I see these programs crop up like rabbits in the spring to "save" monuments that do not need collective or philanthropic support. The cathedral has an endowment it will be fine. Check out where you can support protection, management, and restoration work in places like Syria, Libya, Madagascar, or Columbia. They desperately need your dollars and unlike what people often think, there are really passionate, capable folks maintaining these places on a shoestring budget.

    14 votes
  20. Comment on The end of "The End of San Francisco" in ~life

    rosco
    Link
    I'm of two minds about this article. On one hand I appreciate the nuanced narratives around the housing crisis in San Francisco. It isn't just tech bros, this is a world wide phenomenon at the...
    • Exemplary

    I'm of two minds about this article. On one hand I appreciate the nuanced narratives around the housing crisis in San Francisco. It isn't just tech bros, this is a world wide phenomenon at the moment, and in SF specifically it has been happening for decades. I think there is a lot to say about NIMBYs, archaic building codes, the commodification of the housing market, and the huge number of Millennials on the brink of buying their first home. It is a complex issue and we can't just blame Brad and Chad for that. On the other hand, this feels like an excuse for the negative ramifications the tech bro/finance bro has wreaked on the bay area in general. They are correct, the tech bro is not the root of all issues around cost in the bay area -- but they are the loud, obnoxious pointed tip of that spear.

    I'm going to admit to a bias as I was born and raised in the area with a family that does not work anywhere near tech. The inflated real estate market and shifting culture are big issues I grapple with, a lot. I'm sure the orchard workers of the 1920-80s would have issues with me and I'm sure the longshore men and miners would have plenty to say about them. Unless you're Ama Mutsan, Ramaytush, Ohlone, or Muwekma there is some wrestling you have to do with as your place as a colonializer or gentrifier. And i grapple with that as well, but I think the issue most folks have with mythic the tech bro is their often apparent hate of San Francisco and eagerness to make a shitpot of money and get out of dodge. To me it doesn't feel like Brad want's to live in SF. He isn't excited to be here. The running joke between him and the other bros at Twitch, Uber, or Andreessen Horowitz is how sick it's going to be to take their vested interests and go set down roots in some bastion of nice, rich, white, conservative values. Oh to live out their days in Bend or Boulder or Bellingham. Where being progressive is recycling, buying local microbrews, and wearing organic cotton Lululemons. This is the tech bro I have an issue with, but I admit there can be another side to that coin.

    I've met plenty of people who are incredibly excited to be living in San Francisco. Folks who may work for apple, but who grew up reading Jack Kerouac or Armistead Maupin and were excited by the thought of living in a place known for progressive politics and art. Someone who wants to become part of the community. To join some of the local clubs. To get to know their local bartenders. To volunteer with some of their neighborhood organizations. In short, to try and make San Francisco to make a better place for all San Franciscans to live. And this is what the article overlooks. When people are "gatekeeping" SF, it is from the marauders who are only there to extract resources and capital. For those that move here in earnest, it is fine to be disappointed in a place that is rough around the edges. That the real SF isn't the same without rose colored glasses or may not live up to the hype of a hippie imagination. We do have some glaring problems with drug abuse, wealth inequality, and poor public transit. But when they become a detached article on "human decency" or Brad tweeting that he "pays too much is rent to have to step around human shit". Fuck that shit.

    I think that is where Margaret Cho's words ring true to me. The same way writers of the 60s-70s probably rang true to the folks feeling the squeeze then. It's a frustrating process being forced out of your home, born in or found. I agree, SF isn't ending, it's changing. But right now, as we always have, we get to say if we think that's a good thing. We get to cry fowl and point out why it sucks. And then often we do get to, or have to, leave. So, is the changing landscape in SF totally the tech bros fault? No, it's not. Do I still have a particular ire for them? Abso-fucking-lutely!

    11 votes