A place for new ideas to settle.

05 August 2015

Wednesday Links -- 5 August 2015

Here's some of the stuff I've read about this week that's worth a comment or two.

Meet Rachel Paul, the Face of Juggalo Feminism. I... okay...?
Paul simultaneously resembles both a 1960s hippie feminist and a Juggalette. She wears wraps around her head. Walking around the Gathering, you'll see her in a wife-beater, but at night she wears long robes while working as a tarot reader in the Gathering's Bizzaro World tent.

"We don't turn people away [at the tarot tent]," Paul said. "It's important shit. We're like the camp counselors."
I... okay...?
Paul grew up as a "scrub" in inner-city Philadelphia. Today, she works a day job as an editor in publishing and uses her position to help young struggling ninjas and ninjettes. She recommends them for jobs and runs the Scrub House, a Detroit halfway house for Juggalos in need.

Paul clearly loves the Juggalos, but in 2013, she realized her family needed to grow up in some departments. The Gathering's annual Ms. Juggalette pageant devolved from a celebration of women's talents to an event focused on their bodies. Porn legend Ron Jeremy had started hosting the pageant, and according to Paul and several other Juggalos I spoke to this weekend, he dismissed contestants who refused to perform sexual acts on stage, like putting Faygo bottles in their vaginas.
I... okay...?

This week in Niche Online Dating Sites, a site for people to bond over conspiracy theories, witchcraft, faeries, Bigfeet (but only if they're into that), and alien abductions. But a good rule of thumb is still probably to run if your date expresses too keen an interest in cattle mutilation.

The comments sections of these Postmodern Jukebox videos—where quite a bit of talent gets put into covering contemporary pop songs in older styles—are rather interesting. I saw lots of "music was so good back in the 20s/30s/40s/50s!" style fake-stalgia, because most likely the commenters aren't collecting Social Security checks any time soon. The funny thing is, popular music (in my opinion) sucked more back in the 50s and earlier: sure, maybe Top 40 mass-market songs are sort of boring, but at least they're catchy-boring, because they're trying to appeal to easily-bored kids who'll just latch on to the next thing in a few days. Old songs from back then were just plain boring. Much better to get modern-updated versions of the old styles, than wish that the old styles still reigned.

In food news, eating chicken is morally fungible with luring, shooting, stalking, skinning, and exporting the skin of a prized and endangered lion out of its home country, while a moral philosopher is torn between his own veganism and his cat's obligate carnism, and nobody actually cares about GMO warning labels.

Skeleton jokes, because the ride never ends.

The original title to this amazingly conceited Slate "article" was "Grilling, Feminism, and Masculinity: A Grand Unified Theory," which was then changed to "Grillax, Bro" because I guess canning the whole thing wasn't an option any more. Thankfully the comments section seems to have banded together in denouncing this guy. I'm including it just so everyone can lament with me that somehow this passes muster on real sites that real people read.

A Google Chrome add-on that turns every instance of the word "Millennials" into "Snake People." I'm sure the analogous Firefox script wouldn't be that hard to cook up.

Because so many people read it and bought emergency kits, this blog has some much-needed factual amendments to the New Yorker earthquake story. Also: pictures and diagrams!

Not everything the Yorker puts out makes me frustrated: The Cicada's Love Affair With Prime Numbers

The name is dumb (and the price is steep) but the concept is neat—KnitYak is a Kickstarter-backed clothing project that produces randomly-patterned scarves using cellular automata. So the scarf pattern comes out all fractal-y and cool. And they're based in Seattle!

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