Amber A’Lee Frost

Grid List
  • WV-13

    Whale Vomit: Syphilis, Baby

    Sam Kriss, Amber A’Lee Frost

    Amber and Sam rehash the news at home and abroad, from the Dutch election to the all-American Fat Leonard scandal, taking in along the way the great syphilis explosion of 2014 and George Orwell’s most romantic work, 1984.

  • Hey, Red, you can't please everyone. / donalruth

    The Constant Comrade

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    But reader, learn to take breaks! Remember, after all, the first act of the Paris Communards: they shot out the clocks.

  • WV-13

    The Baffler presents: Whale Vomit

    Amber A’Lee Frost, Sam Kriss

    Episode 1: Amber and Sam get the measure of the last fortnight’s most important news, covering everything from Trump’s well cooked steak with ketchup to Mark Zuckerberg’s presidential potential. With cameos from Carl Sagan, man in the state of nature, the nation of Sweden, and Dame Judi Dench.

  • spaztacular

    Plus-Size Proletarian

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    Mind and body cannot be divided (until we’re all uploaded to the cloud or transplanted into sexy robot bodies, of course). So while your guilt is an understandable result of our terrible atomized neoliberal society, it is ultimately a malfunction.

  • . / fdecomite

    The Long Haul

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    Like a lot of people, I spent the lead-up to the election expecting a Clinton victory and a rather business-as-usual political future. Even though I drifted to the left in the past year like many other millennial white guys (thanks Chapo!), I didn’t see it as a particularly awful outcome and planned a multi-month trip starting in December—a sort of once-in-a-lifetime, solo backpack around the world type deal I had been saving for since I graduated college.

  • The Library of Virginia

    Office-Droned Out

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    It can be difficult to balance what you can live with and what you can live on. It usually takes experimentation, trial and error. That’s a luxury most people don’t have these precarious days, but creativity helps, and you have a good sense of what will grind your psyche into dust and what won’t. Your friends, loved ones and family want you to be happy as well, and whatever vocation keeps you secure (both materially and psychologically) is what they will want for you. Just keep looking and keep hope; someday you will thrive, and until then, you will survive.

  • Our intrepid advice columnist fields a wave of "vanilla shame" / Bill McLaughlin

    Keeping Up with the Deviants

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    You’ve touched on a curious new phenomenon I’ve been observing: I have recently noticed that more often than not, modern, culturally progressive young people no longer shamefully confess to me their perversions. It’s sad, really—I live for prurient gossip, and there’s no better tea than a bit of horny shame.

    I have always been a champion of the pervert, who gets a bad rap despite being as harmless as any prude. As long as good manners are observed, the sexually eccentric are a charming bunch. Even if you’re of fairly conventional tastes, everyone should keep around a few deviants as friends. But as I said, it seems like no one is really embarrassed to be working through their kinks anymore. No longer am I privy to the deep-seated fear of anyone’s secret desires. No, now it’s the guilt and the fear of being “vanilla.” And I find that this casual repudiation of wholesome perversion is often rooted in the anxiety of trying to keep up with a more libertine partner or culture.

  • Everywhere you turn on this earth, unremarkable-looking creatures are getting it on. / Mark Spokes

    Looking Plain, Getting Laid

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    I am a twenty-one-year-old cisgendered, heterosexual woman, and I am not hot. I don’t mean that I am ugly, but I also don’t just need a makeover, and I don’t have low self-esteem; I just mean that I am not hot. A little fat, bad skin, a bit of a weak chin—that sort of thing. “Plain” might be the appropriate word for it, and honestly it generally doesn’t bother me. I am smart, I am nice, I am a good friend, and I have a lot of fun. These are the things that are important to me, and while I can be insecure about my appearance at times, mostly I don’t think about it.

  • On the menu this year: your relatives' bigotry, now unmasked. / Giuseppe Arcimboldo

    Advice for a Trumpland Thanksgiving

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    Conventional wisdom holds that “kitchen table activism” with kith and kin is somehow easier than talking to strangers, but I’ve never found that to be true. In my experience, people—especially conservative people—are more likely to accept disagreement from a stranger than they are their own family, especially if the dissenting leftist family member in question is younger than they are. But I wouldn’t close the door entirely. Things are about to change in this country, probably a lot, and not for the better. You don’t know what’s going to happen, and you don’t know how your family is going to interpret our murky future; people are irrational, but they often can shock you with moments of clarity, remorse, and contrition. If you decide for your own mental health to put some distance between you and your more deplorable kin, try not to burn any bridges; you may want to cross them again.

  • Learn from Beavis and Butt-Head, "work sucks!" flâneurs. / slworking2

    Your CV Groans with Guilt and Shame

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    We tell ourselves that our circumstances are our own fault because we find it more reassuring to believe that we are to blame for our woes as opposed to, say, capitalism or basic misfortune. The sociopolitical or existential threat of a world beyond our control is far more menacing than our own shortcomings; if it’s our fault, then we can improve ourselves, and better our situation. If we just have shit luck, perhaps exacerbated by the politics of our time, there’s nothing we can do about it.

  • Sometimes ideologies are closer than they appear. / Democratic Socialists of America; Hiro Protagonist2004

    How to Radicalize Your NeoLizard Friend

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    This guy is deep down the right-libertarian rabbit hole, but he’s also unsure enough that sometimes I think I could lead him down the right path. All I want to do is get him to channel that conspiratorial, paranoid energy into something resembling socialism, so that when he thinks about how frustrated he is, he thinks of neoliberalism instead of fluoride, lizards, and Hillary’s body doubles.

  • Beware the weekend warriors of woke Twitter, on the hunt for token non-white friends. / Ryan McGuire

    Token-Hunters: Your Friendship Is Not a Gift

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    “Say it to my face” may sound righteous and brave, but the smug boors who shout that slogan the loudest are often the ones least prepared to listen. If you try to tell this person how her tokenism makes you feel, it could mean a lot of work for you. Do you really have time to be handing out hankies?

  • Before you know it, you're a software engineer. / Thomas Hawk, Alex Barth

    From Punk House to Penthouse

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    Like many radicals, I assume, I burnt myself out in my early to mid-twenties trying to work on activist campaigns full time, and sold out a few years ago for an entry-level job at a software company. There are some legitimately great things about this job compared to being a full-time activist: the pay is great (by my standards), so I’m not living in a punk house with eight other people anymore.

  • This pretentious yuppie cupcake shop is the only place in America that shouldn't accept SNAP. / Rebecca Schley

    Friends on the Dole

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    Welcome to The Baffler’s agony corner, YOUR SORRY ASS, where Amber A’Lee Frost dispenses bossy, judgmental advice on how to live your life fairly, kindly, and with good humor. Send us your rants and pleas, please:… Read More »

  • Caption. / Chris Devers

    What We Talk about When We Talk about Bankers

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    I would suggest you go easy on the preaching or politicking. Don’t tone it down entirely, but as you hone your calm, convincing elevator pitch against capitalism, remember that people tend to mistake structural political problems for failures of character. They might know that some bankers are bad guys, but they likely believe that they would be benevolent bankers. Do they like their fathers? That’s the biggest question here. If they believe dad is a good guy, you’re not going to make much headway through the vilification of their seemingly congenital career path.

  • Is this what you want your sex life to look like? / Wendy House

    Khaki Sex Isn’t Casual Sex

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    If this arrangement of yours was actually casual, he wouldn’t care about running into you outside of scheduled visits. Maintaining the sort of distance and boundaries necessary for a sustained arrangement of “casual” sex actually precludes anything casual—it doesn’t just require good manners, it is the height of elaborate etiquette! Moreover, if this was actually casual, you wouldn’t care that he suspects you of harboring secret affections! You’d either ignore his paranoia or find it troubling enough to sideline the sex.

  • Why so worried, Mr. Pan? / Jennie Park

    Don’t Peter (Pan) Out

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    But, Mr. Pan, are you being obnoxious? Self-absorbed? Inconsiderate? Are you blowing sailors and doing whip-its at fancy dinner parties while the host passes the canapes aghast? Does your behavior affect others in a direct way, or are these people simply gossiping about things that don’t involve them? These are crucial questions that only you can answer, but it’s always important to remember that the line between bon vivant and thoughtless can be a little blurry.

  • Caption here / James Whatley

    Don’t Ignore My Evite or I’ll Snap

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    A thousand curses upon the impudent reprobates that would spurn your gestures of hospitality and goodwill! You have every right to take offense, and such a transgression is most certainly grounds for revenge. Unfortunately, retaliations—merited though they may be—might impede your future social life. If you develop a reputation as someone quick to the dueling pistols, more timid party-goers may be discouraged from attending your festivities.

  • Her married friends want her to fall into line.  / Khwairakpam Gajananda

    When the Married Say “Join Us”

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    It is often comforting to remember that undue concern from friends and family is the annoying but nearly inevitable result of a loving and devoted kinship network. However, the palliative potential of this affirmation wears thin very quickly, and good intentions can be even more grating than outright criticism. And to judge by the examples you’ve given here, your friends are adopting a posture that’s more critical than caring. However pure their motives, these friends sound like nosey, judgmental squares, and I can’t imagine suffering such foolishness. You my dear, have the patience of a honey bee scouring every corner of the hive for a faint aftertaste of sweetness.

  • Bertman

    Confession Booth

    Amber A’Lee Frost Issue No. 31

    Last fall, I taught my very first college class—an essay-writing course for freshmen. I was excited, but wary of first-time-teacher pitfalls, and so I asked my professor friends for as much advice as possible. After… Read More »

  • For the love of coitus, don't add spice. Han N

    This Is Your Sex Life on Sriracha

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    I maintain that for situations where the issue is anything other than monotony, “spicing it up” is an absurd recommendation for couples, and yet it persists! Indeed, in contrast to the foregoing bicycle metaphor (which was highly literary and is sure to be noted in my biography as reminiscent of Yeats), the metaphor of “spice” itself doesn’t even make sense in the context of adventurous sex. Spice is something you add to an already substantial dish to increase the complexity of its flavor; it is not a sly way of disguising a bland and meager meal.

  • 3452377596_f2dec8d042_o

    When the Instagram Snitch Is Your Honey

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    Explain to him the inappropriateness of his censorship; it was repressive in a way you find politically and aesthetically troubling (come on—nudity on a personal Instagram account should not be bowdlerized in this day and age). What’s more, it was personally hurtful, even as a petty little ruse. Why go behind your back like that? It sounds like you’re willing to have a conversation about this, so let him know this is absolutely the sort of thing you’d be willing to discuss, but it has to be discussed. You deserve an apology—or at least some professed remorse.

  • Sometimes the chemistry just isn't there. / Jim Hickcox

    When Laughter Dies on the Lips

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    The main thing here is to be forthright and sympathetic: you think he is a wonderful person, but you don’t see a future with him. You can explain further that you’re very different people, taking care to employ whatever euphemisms strike you as both honest and gentle—a difficult balance, I admit, but I know you can do it. And for heaven’s sake, Not Into Him, don’t waste a moment more of your or his time with this doomed attempt at romantic alchemy! Honey, he doesn’t make you laugh? I mean, what else even is there?

  • 2041045594_e51afaab45_o

    Advice for the Swamp-Assed

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    First of all, dear reader, you are a beautiful Fragrant Water Lily. The Nymphaea odorata, which flourishes in the swamps, is delicate in appearance—with a radial arrangement of petals ranging from alabaster to electric pink—yet also hearty and resilient. When weather is warm (or the body active) you emit only the sweetest of scents, and yes, you might glisten with a dewy luster. These are your charms, not your faults!

  • Spotting a familiar face among your sugar daddies is a hulking ethical burden. / Allison Carter

    On a Sugar Baby’s Conscience

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    Imagine my shock when I went to the homepage and recognized a face among the suggested profiles: a very close friend’s father. From what little I know about her parent’s relationship, they both seem happy, and—more important—monogamous. I felt pretty confident that my friend’s mother was unaware that her husband had registered an account on a site like that.

  • Man with a megaphone

    Squashing Call-Out Culture, Gently

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    It’s always a tragedy to see someone you care about going down the dark path of self-righteous self-flagellation, and that pain is only compounded by an increasingly insufferable online presence that you’re expected to respectfully support—or worse, vocally endorse. But all is not lost, my merciful male! Interventions are difficult, but surprisingly effective when deployed with care.

  • Remember: Babies will vomit, urinate, and/or defecate on all clothing indiscriminately. / Marco

    Bring On the Unisex Onesies

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    I commend you for pursuing a laissez-faire policy on gender socialization; the anguish we now see parents experiencing in vain attempts to create a genderless vacuum for their children puts undue pressure on us all. Despite the best efforts of feminist parenting and Marlo Thomas, children will learn gender roles because they live in a gendered world, but with support and love and exposure to a wide array of Broadway musicals, they will eventually figure out a way to navigate gender that suits them. Best not to sweat the dollies and trucks.

  • a man's face, blue, stares out from within a collage of women's bodies.

    Boys Will Be Men

    Amber A’Lee Frost Issue No. 30

    The first time I heard about Tucker Max I was still finishing up college, vaguely toying with the idea of getting a master’s degree in gender studies. But here, it seemed, was a popcult phenom… Read More »

  • Steve Brodner — Antonin Scalia

    Sympathy for the Devil

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    Scalia wasn’t merely “stagnant,” or even “a product of his time.” As a so-called constitutional originalist, he didn’t only prop up the small ideas of long-dead defected aristocrats as the bedrock of American civic life—he was an aggressively regressive “activist judge,” who fought tooth and nail against any meaningful rights that might be extended to less fortunate and/or historically disadvantaged Americans. He did so by distorting the language of his sacrosanct Constitution even when the document could be interpreted to advance more humane, civilized ends. And that’s because he was a shitty, bigoted person.

  • InAweOfGod'sCreation

    Letting the Draft In

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    My neurotic friend, you have stumbled on one of the more fraught conundrums facing we top etiquette specialists today—the distressing overlap between an anachronistic, sexist chivalry and plain good manners. The distinction between the two can be reduced to “etiquette versus manners.” Chivalry is cognate with etiquette here—an established set of rituals intended to project one’s breeding. While not without its retro charms, it is an outdated concept devised and enforced to consolidate power among the aristocracy, and should be viewed with suspicion when not outright disdained.

  • Phil Roeder

    My Kind of Misogyny: I Don’t Care If They Call a Warhawk “Cankles”

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    The Democratic primaries have prompted an intellectually invigorating turn in online feminist discourse. No, seriously, I mean it. It’s been weeks since I scrolled past a Beyoncé thinkpiece on Twitter, and I can’t remember the… Read More »

  • Illustration by John Cuneo of man wearing a GOP elephant T-shirt videotaping two naked people in bed with a dodo bird and a clutch of eggs.

    No Such Cuck

    Amber A’Lee Frost Issue No. 29

    A few months ago, the media class became fixated on a vulgar little portmanteau. Talking heads of every political orientation served up their piping hot takes on what Dave Weigel at the Washington Post christened… Read More »

  • The venue of the Left Forum 2015, John Jay College of Criminal Justice (best known as a “cop school”). / Vitor Pamplona

    Flakes Alive!

    Amber A’Lee Frost

    On not attending the Left Forum  A few weeks back in Manhattan, hundreds of socialists, communists, anarchists, and even few decent “small-d” democrats shuffled into the unlikely venue of the John Jay College of Criminal… Read More »