Questions in the Society & Culture category.
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February 28

When is Escapism not Escapism?

I notice that a lot of the things people seem to be watching on Netflix and Hulu, like Outlander, and The Handmaid's Tale, are about war and political upheaval. I know there is also a lot of binging on funny stuff like Schitts Creek and Jane the Virgin. [more inside]
posted by CollectiveMind at 1:39 PM - 5 answers

Can a nature-loving introvert find a home in Chicago's North Shore?

I am considering a job in Chicagoland. Specifically, the office is in one of the North Shore suburbs. My concern is that I lived in the North Shore suburbs of Boston for years and I found them to be a soulless parade of money and consumption, and I never felt at home. [more inside]
posted by Dr_Janeway at 5:15 AM - 6 answers

February 27

Why are there no comedy vicars in American sitcoms?

Having finally started watching Miranda now that it has been adapted for a US audience, I was reminded that Anglican vicars and Catholic priests are stock figures in traditional British sitcoms. That's not true in the US, or at least I'm not aware of them beyond Father Mulcahey in M*A*S*H (who was a fully-formed character). Was there ever a time when clerical characters were part of mainstream American comedy? [more inside]
posted by holgate at 9:22 PM - 36 answers

February 25

Could there be a zoom icebreaker that doesn't suck?

Looking for a mildly controversial question to ask during a ~10 person zoom break-out group that will actually be fun to argue about AND that participants can answer visually with what they're wearing or an item from around their house. Think "would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck?", but with household items (since few people have teeny horses or giant ducks around the house). [more inside]
posted by Jaclyn at 11:05 PM - 44 answers

Experiences/descriptions of 20thC illegal gambling

I am interested in hearing about or reading about cultures of illegal gambling businesses in physical places, in the twentieth century, but before the era of the internet. [more inside]
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 9:54 PM - 16 answers

February 24

Spear maiden, wolf of winter myth?

A bit back, I stumbled down a wikipedia hole of mythological solstice narratives, and one from a linked citation page stuck out: Every year, the wolf of winter chases the spring/sun/dawn maiden, getting closer and closer. The wolf finally starts to swallow the maiden on the fall equinox; the winter solstice is when the spear of the spring/sun/dawn maiden finally starts to pierce the wolf's belly and the vernal equinox is when she's fully out again. I believe it was of Slavic or Baltic origin. There are a lot of similar stories, but this one stuck out and I want to track down the origin and the mythology site I found it on. More on the specific details inside — I've already reread a lot of the Wikipedia pages that I was skimming, but haven't found the exact story again. [more inside]
posted by klangklangston at 1:13 PM - 0 answers

February 22

Purple Lighting for Banquets - Regional?

After going to three different banquet venues for weddings in NYC area (Long Island, NJ) and stopping by some hotels that are very wedding-focused, I've seen something that is common to all them: purple mood lighting. Is this a NY/NJ thing? A Northeastern US Thing? or something else? I've been to 40 weddings in the South and Midwest and have never seen this color (though mind you, most of these have not been at banquet venues) If it is, why??
posted by sandmanwv at 11:56 AM - 10 answers

February 20

Learning to adult in middle age

I've lived all my life with others, but eventually that will change, and the idea of being on my own in middle age is both exciting and terrifying. I could use some stories of what it's like. [more inside]
posted by The otter lady at 10:11 AM - 17 answers

February 15

The radical left, libertarians, and interpreting Yugoslavia

I'm seeing competing narratives on what happened in Yugoslavia. I am not trying to legitimate them but don't understand the political landscape. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 1:47 PM - 17 answers

February 11

Do Latinxes say "Latinx"?

How is gender-neutral language to reference people, a la "Latinx" as used by some in the U.S., handled in the Spanish-speaking world - if at all? How common are such usages, and are they catching on? Feel free speak of any part of the Spanish-speaking world that you might have knowledge of. I'm even curious about Spanish-speakers in the U.S.; if they actually say "Latinx", how do they pronounce it?
posted by Mechitar at 7:30 PM - 23 answers

Help me find this snowclone/meme thing

I have this snowclone/meme stuck on the tip of my tongue. It goes like "something something, X is Y" but those aren't the actual words. It's just sort of... the rhythm of it? Can you help me remember what I am thinking of?
posted by joshuaconner at 4:15 PM - 4 answers

February 10

Help me find this series of essays on the MCU

I’m trying to locate a series of essays that I believe were published in the lead-up to Avengers: Endgame, reviewing the whole MCU from start to finish. [more inside]
posted by gauche at 8:19 PM - 4 answers

Nazi flag with Airborne (?) patches sewn on?

Uncle passed; we found behind a large, heavy red piece of material, with large swastika in the middle. There were dozens of military patches sewn on it. Some in English, (Mars Attack Force, Philippine Army, Honor Guard, but mostly symbols. Any clue what this might be? One theory was that GIs might have kept a captured flag and put their patches on it.
posted by ebesan at 7:44 PM - 38 answers

Friend is a Tankie

Trying to talk to a friend who is sliding into black and white thinking in regards to authoritarian communist countries. [more inside]
posted by myelin sheath at 5:30 PM - 23 answers

Taking the really long view

I'd really like to read a great book (or two?) about the earliest migrations of people to the North/South American continent (I'm not even sure what to call that...). I'm talking WAAAAAAYYYYY back in time, not the colonial or even pre-colonial period. [more inside]
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 9:53 AM - 5 answers

February 9

Shift compliment

Someone caught on to the idea I appreciate a certain compliment. Now people do it regularly, but it isn't what they think. Help. [more inside]
posted by firstdaffodils at 8:56 PM - 16 answers

February 1

Effective Altruism: Trans people in the UK

I'm trying to work out the most good I can do for trans people in the UK with my money. Ideally, I'm trying to get the biggest impact for my money so although I've given to crowdfunding legal fees agains the recent Bell v Tavistock case, I'm looking for something more directly useful to people. [more inside]
posted by Braeburn at 5:24 AM - 2 answers

January 31

Name this mystery bell tower

We bought a college chair from an estate sale, and it has this building on the seat back. The most obvious candidates (Nassau Hall in Princeton; the Baker Bell Tower in Dartmouth) don't quite fit because the main building isn't as tall. It must be iconic to alumni, though. Any idea where it is?
posted by holgate at 3:33 PM - 8 answers

January 30

Virtual dance party- tonight?

I’d like to attend a virtual dance party. Music- popular edm, club music, reggaeton. Preferably one of those where you can go on video and see other people on video dancing. Is this still happening in 2021. Looking for 8-10pm ish eastern us time.
posted by sandmanwv at 12:54 PM - 3 answers

January 29

Suggestions for upbeat "beat the shit" media?

Please suggest your best upbeat media audio and visual media which fits with the spirit of "beat the shit!" [more inside]
posted by knapah at 4:31 PM - 15 answers

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