friday journey into hyper(link)space

Posted by on Dec 10, 2010 in dailies | 6 comments

History
“Faces of War” at Smithsonian.com
An incredibly sad, touching, and interesting story, including photos and video almost a century old.

Human Rights
“Spanking Traumatizes Children” by Laurie Couture
If there’s any link here I’m hoping my readers read, it’s this one. Whether you have a growing child, a grown child, or you do not have children, it is deeply relevant to our human condition. Moreover, it is probably the best piece I’ve read regarding spanking (and our concepts of “abuse” vs. socially-supported oppressive tactics on children). In fact it’s so good I’ve been intentionally curating this Friday links post to be more brief than usual, in hopes readers give this particular entry the consideration it deserves.

“Child Abuse is Not Funny & Cartoons Are Violent” by Wendy Priesnitz
I’d read many snarky opinions on the supposedly worthless venture of changing one’s Facebook profile pic to raise awareness of child abuse. Wendy’s piece is excellent, inclusive, intelligent, and doesn’t snark for snark’s sake. It’s perfect.

“The Disservice of a ‘Rigorous’ Education” by Steve Nelson at HuffPo
“At each end of the economic spectrum, we are pressing children harder and harder in the service of a ‘rigorous’ education [...] Mariposa is not simply 37 pounds of raw material that wants a certain processing and finishing before she can be shipped to market and considered to have value. She is of value now, and if she dies of a disease or accident when she is 12 years old, the sixth year of her life will not as a result be robbed of meaning.”

Pop Culture
quick hit: how to meet ‘girls” IE respect the cock at Underbellie
I totally wrote this!

Soul-Sucking Science “Study” of the Week
“Pop psych mag cites evolutionary evidence for female fickleness”; Twisty has a great response to the recent Psychology Today piece “The Double Life of Women”. Still, as brilliant as Twisty is and as much as her words are like soothing nectar to my parched women’s lib pinko throat – I must offer a trigger warning with regards to the cited article: misogyny and rape-apologism; warnings also for unabashed oppositional sexism, mansplaining, and evo-psyche inanity.

“Here at Spinster HQ we were unable to locate any research on, for example, the fickleness of female flatworms. Maybe they like to sport around in spandex when it’s that time of the month, but published studies omit to mention it. So this guy, in his attempt to science-ize an enormously detrimental sexist stereotype, grossly mischaracterizes the scope of the planet’s animalian diversity to further his own anthrocentric worldview.”

Craft
Stick Weaving at Craft
Why is it I can picture so many of my crafty readers making some lovely stuff? I think this would be particularly pretty to have a group get together and adorn a tree thusly!

The Pocket Tissue Pack tutorial posted at Sew Mama Sew looked rather fun – quick, attractive, yes hardly a “must-have” needed item in one’s life but that’s okay too. Using two pieces of 6″ by 7″ fabric scraps is just my speed as, given how much I sew, I often have a lot of scraps. I donate many to a local charity shop at a low-income apartment complex, but I have a fair bit in my own supplies.

Food Dresses! ’nuff said.

Tweet of the Week
From @micwatt:
“I bet a duck could outrun me if I was chasing it, but I also think that if a duck was chasing me I could outrun the duck. Isn’t that wild?”

My brother explains: “It’s not just casually philosophical.  I think this is a very logical assumption.  It’s a psychology thing.  If you’re being chased by something you suspect wants to eat you, but they don’t really, you’ll try harder to escape than they will to catch. If you’re being chased by something you suspect wants to eat your soul, but they don’t really, you’ll try harder to escape than they will to catch and use their little bill to suck out your essence through your ear.”

Finally:

For those of us who celebrate this time of year, I wish you peace and joy. Well, I wish that for those who aren’t celebrating too. My family celebrates Christmas / yuletide. It’s a wonderful time of planning and lots of creating (less buying). I can’t post much of anything because of prying eyes. This picture should suffice!

Editor note: Lately after I put tonnes* of work into the Friday links it seems readers have been coming along and posting a brief (or not) completely- or mostly-argumentative point to just ONE aspect of ONE of the articles without even a friendly handshake or reference to points of agreement, or other links. No one’s getting spanked and it’s just a whiff of a trend I’ve observed. I don’t want to turn off the comments on my Friday link posts. So as a measure to prevent that, may I suggest that if there’s something about an article that sticks in your craw and the only thing you can think to write here is a rebuttal to a specific aspect of one of these many articles I did not write, you can post your points in a separate blogpost of your own (which I will happily link to) and/or comment at the source instead (you can send me your comment link and I’ll post it here too). I’d like to keep the conversation interesting here and less niggle-y.

* see, in the metric system. That means it’s even MORE work that you might be thinking!

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6 Comments

  1. Could you clarify your Editor Note? I’ve read it several times but I’m not sure exactly what you mean and now I’m hesitant to comment.

  2. @Kidsync
    Hm, I mean I could attempt to clarify but it seems like I’d have to write and write. When I curate a series of works that someone else wrote or drew or whatever, it’s been frustrating to see people coming in out of the blue (sometimes people who rarely read, or maybe they read often yet hardly ever post a comment) and arguing TO ME about a point made in the linked article – as I’ve said, to the exclusion of anything else in the article they might agree on, let alone anything else in the Friday links list, and often without any curiosity about whether I endorse this one element or no.

    I’m not trying to give weird “rules” to my those who comment here (got something like 2,200 comments so far and I’ve only excluded two) but trying to express my feelings because I do have them.

    Short answer, my blog is my space I make public and occasionally hustle my sweet ass on, and sometimes it seems like I’m being picked at and I just like to give readers reminders to check their stuff before type-type-typing away and remember there’s a human being here who doesn’t always want the mickey taken out of her on every “issues” post. If I was writing risk-free entries I could assure the personal “picking” never happened… but none of us want that.

    Does that make sense?

  3. I think I’ve got it.

    The “Faces of War” video really captured my attention for some reason. I think it was the combination of how focused the workers were along with seeing such old technology being handled as if it were cutting edge (which it probably was). Just cool to watch.

    The “Spanking Traumatizes Children” piece is very good. It’s not just about why not to spank, but explains that the way our society views children overall is problematic. Years ago I was blind to it. Hopefully this article will help others reconsider old paradigms.

    The “Child Abuse is Not Funny & Cartoons Are Violent” was difficult for me to read because I loved my cartoons. The FB thing was more of a nostalgic thing for me. I had no expectations of it making a real difference. My pic of the black lion from Voltron certainly represents a violent cartoon, but the violence (good vs. bad) always seemed justified to me. Maybe that’s what Wendy was trying to point out.

    But, it was a robot…made out of other robots…and they were LIONS! C’mon!

    I do have a great example though that has been with me for years because of how intense it was. My youngest brother and I were watching some cartoon (he was 5 or 6 I think). It seemed like a WB style but I can’t remmber exactly what it was. In the cartoon, a young squirrel (or maybe a chipmunk) did something he wasn’t supposed to do and was to receive a spanking for it. The parent (or maybe it was a teacher) sat down, put him over his/her knee and began to swat away with a paddle. My brother instantly began to cry uncontrollably. I’ll never forget his mixed looked of genuine empathy and helplessness. It was terrible. It took me a long time to calm him down, but he was never “ok” with it.

    “The Disservice of a ‘Rigorous’ Education”
    It still boggles my mind that I only recently (about two years ago) realized what this piece points out. Even though I homeschool my daughter, I can’t help but ponder ways to help public school kids survive the “factory” with their creativity and passion in tact. Some of them do, so there should be some common factors that could be discovered and reinforced.

    The “Tweet of the Week” definitely earned the title. It had me laughing and sharing a few times.

    I always struggle with “the holidays”. It’s generaly a rough time of year for at least half of my family. I also resent the commercial side of it more and more every year. I seriously just want to tell all of the stores to get bent and make my own holiday calendar that shifts all holidays (that typically “require” gifts) forward a few days in order to take advantage of clearance sales. Maybe I’m just being cheap. I think more than anything I just resent being told that I should buy something for someone on a certain day. After all, if I find the perfect gift for someone on May 6th…what’s wrong with that? Why do I have a predetermined obligation on December 25th. It’s not like Jesus is standing there saying, “Dude! No gift? What’s the deal?”

    The pic of Santa does help though. Thanks!

  4. @Kidsync
    The “Faces of War” video was sort of my secret favorite of all posted here. Then again archived images and video and old photographs fascinate me… and the subject of course was astounding and one I’d never thought of previous.

    “Cartoons are violent” – I can’t speak for Wendy but I know her (a bit) personally and so I was slightly surprised to hear of the few people think she is condemning violence in cartoons, or cartoons themselves, broad brush-stroke and in entirety. The way I took it (I could be wrong!) she’s pointing out that the violence in cartoons, like so many aspects of our culture, likely further facilitates children being desensitized to their own oppression. If she is saying what I think she is, I totally agree with her. My kids watch cartoons with violence. In fact my children are allowed total freedom in what they watch (and we watch what they watch, and we don’t have television which means there’s a lot they aren’t exposed to in the grisly “CSI” vein etc… and if we see them watching something objectionable we talk about it) so I’m no entertainment purist so far, if anyone was taking that away from me posting her link.

    The cartoon/FB thing *backlash* bugged me because of the snarky articles about how it wouldn’t make a difference to change avatars. Absolutely, I get that (altho’ I will note the few people I know who DID change their avatar, were abuse survivors themselves, and they have the right to process and deal however they see fit), although I also don’t get how cynical articles get a lot done either! Plus I plant my tongue firmly in cheek when someone is shitty about FB “activism” when their primary activism is blog-writing. Ha. Wendy’s article was awesome IMO because yes, we need to do more than FB avatars, and she had some ideas. And she wasn’t MEAN. Hee.

    The story of your brother is quite moving… Empathy is such a wonderful thing but also can be heartbreaking to observe. I swear my children get more empathetic every day. It doesn’t make someone weaker, but stronger. I think often we our empathy crushed out of us or squeezed into Acceptable vs. Non-Acceptable categories, or we learn to manipulate or perform empathy rather than experience it. And that’s too bad.

    It is good you were there for your brother while he had that experience.

    As for Voltron, OF COURSE, a metal lion is probably the best kind of lion, didn’t it have laser-eyes too? Sadly I grew up without television so I have no particular fond memories of cartoons. The only shows I remember watching were the occasional viewing of the original “Star Trek” and (weirdly) “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” – but that was over by 1984 when I was about seven so I don’t remember the shows much.

    Re: holidays -

    I think more than anything I just resent being told that I should buy something for someone on a certain day.

    I know! I end up feeling foolish and judge myself as extravagant if I consider a gift any other time besides holidays or birthdays; then I feel guilty if I fuck up and miss Christmas or birthdays. In fact both those experiences are really strong for me. Ugh.

    What I resent this time of year are the general assumptions A. *everyone* celebrates Christmas and B. *everyone* is having a great time too! While the holiday-season-suicide-urban-legend has been debunked, I swear every year I hear of a lot of suffering during this season. Plus we often end up thrown in with family which can be hard. It’s a great opportunity to check in with family and friends and really ask how they’re doing, and mean it.

    Thanks for an awesome, awesome multifaceted comment.

  5. Thanks so much for the trip down memory lane! In the mid-seventies my mom went back to college and was majoring in art and design and, being the seventies, she did a lot of spinning of wool into yarn and many weaving projects. In fact, she did several larger pieces of stick weaving that were really cool, including one that was sort of like a mobile and hung in our basement toy/play area. I did some little projects while she was working on hers but hadn’t thought about that until I looked at this. So thanks.

  6. @Jen
    If she went to college art and design in the seventies and didn’t come home with a lot of assy macrame owls you were luck! (those seem to be back IN vogue these days, too)

    We have a Fiber Arts Festival here past Elma. It is always amazing to see people do fiber work from the beginning, as in animals –> fiber –> carding –> spinning etc. I am truly in awe!

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