friday, friday, gettin’ down on friday

Friday links, or also, things I tweet and email to friends/family and then notice these people post them to Facebook to madcap happy responses. I miss the days of my Facebook account. I had many fans. Am I tempted to go back? Narp.

1. At design-fetish, from two years ago: “Retrofied Modern Movie Posters”. I sent these to my husband – a local and volunteer poster-designer, who wrote me in return (smugly), “I know.” Whatevs. A couple days later I stumbled (in a totally different space) on another such concept – but hello, a poster with major spoilers? Oh hell no.

2. I have one quibble with the self identified “world’s 9 most brilliantly pointless street fliers” curated at someecards. The “pointless” should be replaced with “fucking awesome!” because I peed a little. The last example had me at Hello.

3. I recently stumbled on the Antonio Buehler article “Who SHOULD Homeschool?”. I’m quite impressed as it is pretty frank and hard-hitting while emphatically laying to rest many myths propagated and ignorance perpetrated about the homeschooling option. Probably other people aren’t that impressed, but for me, he tackles a discussion many people pussyfoot around. On that note, I’d advise not clicking through unless you can read with an open mind, and as per usual if you have a refution or comment, please do leave it at the source material and link back through comments here if you like.

4. At the same time and in a similar vein, I found Buehler’s previously-published article, “Who Should NOT Homeschool” to be, as far as I’m concerned, compassionate and realistic in many ways… although I am a bit confused and have some concerns I haven’t satisfied. Beuhler seems to advocate for homeschooling purely in terms of achievement (which is a schema also embraced, however poorly consummated, by the schooling model). I’m wondering what worldview he holds for those who’d homeschool for holistic reasons, personal empowerment, and the mental, emotional, and physical health of our little human beings – regardless of the status, titles, or pay they end up commanding in their adult state.

5. Anita Sarkeesian challenges the mainstream tendency to celebrate so-called “feminist” film roles in this vlog: “True Grit, Mattie Ross and Feminism?”. There’s nothing I can say here that will add to Sarkeesian’s excellent analysis; the six plus minutes are well-spent. If you don’t know the term androcentrism, it’s long-past time you remedied that.

6. The Boston Globe “The Big Picture” feature contains a photo-essay of the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster in Japan. The images of the very old and the very young are especially difficult for me. I also find myself wondering about the experiences of the rescue workers. They are faced with such colossal devastation, yet every moment they are making a positive difference – saving lives and moving people to tears and prayer.

7. At The Noble Savage, Amity Reed writes “Sleep, my pretty, sleep”, regarding a strategy to perserve mental health when the world seems a dark and scary place.

8. At What Tami Said: “Stop Being ‘Shocked’ by ‘Isms'”. I’ve heard this point before, and I am in whole-hearted agreement. I love how Tami writes because she is rational yet well-equipped to discuss emotional realities; she also has a succinct delivery on complex subjects that I rather envy. And good lord, any “progressive” or liberal reading here, please do click through.

9. Crafting: I’m pretty sure the Super Secret Waffle Cult is behind many nefarious breakfast pastry plots. And by the way, I would totally make up some of these crepe paper flowers except that within a week they’d be clotted with cat hair; no longer so “fresh”.

10. Sasson shirts. I don’t need to write any further, except to say this is what I like to put on after I’ve had a hard day bringing much love, happiness, and saxiness to the world.

11. The tribute to Dwayne McDuffie at Racialicious is sweet and informative. In particular I enjoyed the video interview where McDuffie makes some excellent points regarding the inclusion of racial minority characters in a white-dominated field. It is So. Worth. Watching!

12. Sent to me by friend and reader Bex: “Deb Roy: The Birth of a Word”. At 4:57 I STARTED CRYING. Also at the end. The big ticket/mass media/marketing opportunity items were less important to me than the reflection of the “feedback loop” of raising our young – in other words, it isn’t just us influencing them; we respond in Pavlovian kind.

13. Random Parenting Thought 2 – Behaviourism v Unconditional Parenting at Analytical Armadillo. I would cite Behaviorism as just about the number one mainstream US parenting principle (even if adherents, parents and non-parenting adults alike, wouldn’t self-identify it as such). It’s crap, and limited, and fear-based – and yet it prevails. Ed. note, see comments for a discussion of the meaning of “Behaviorism”.

14. Local! “Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain memorialized with guitar sculpture in Washington” (that would be Aberdeen, Washington) from (written by local reporter Steven Friederich). I notice Mayor Bill Simpson can’t help farting in the general direction (most locals with his views on Cobain however think our log/rape’n’pillage history and serial killer/boomtown murder rate are totally honorable/colorful and deserve the museums & memorabilia devoted to them. Etc.). What’s interesting to me is people still come from all over the world to explore Kurt Cobain’s life, to find clues, to look deeper into the birthplace of music that resonates with them. On a related note, Aberdeen and surrounding area has mostly whizzed this responsibility (and opportunity) down the leg, although as this newspiece indicates, many people are trying to do right by our historical record.

15. Guest-posting at Authentic Parenting, Meredeth Barth writes, “Just a Child”, her response to an average parenting mag’s average kind of article (“25 Manners Kids Should Know”). Of course I related to much of this, but today I’m reflecting that mainstream “experts” often aren’t really experts, but rather those who repeat and reify the views we’re finding comforting, convenient, etc. Most parenting “experts” today espouse a lot of twaddle (sadly, some of it quite harmful), and I’m sad to think of how much I’ve bought into, and how hard it continues to be to un-learn these tenets and simultaneously forge better relationships.

16. Awful Library Books discussed a potential shelving of Not in Room 204, a children’s book dealing with a child’s experience of sexual abuse by a father. The original post (specifically the submitter’s concerns) and many comments made me incredibly sad, or angry – some comments made little jests, some claimed the book was “too creepy” for children to handle and it might give them nightmares (ah yes, the perpetuated belief kids aren’t smart/are too fragile, etc. – while we hold they are, apparently, equipped to handle being abused in their homes without a lifeline). Fortunately better heads pervailed in the commentariat. I liked what Sarah, a librarian, had to say (3/17/11 4:54 PM): “This book handles the subject responsibly and respectfully. It’s crucial that we don’t hide information from kids even if it makes us uncomfortable; sometimes their lives depend on getting their hands on a book like this.” Leigha (3/17/11 10:56 PM) makes a great point about a handful of responses regarding access: “All the comments about how it’s a good book to have because it’s in the adult section anyway and the kid would need it read to them seem to be missing one key point…it’s normally (like for the girl in the book) one of the parents DOING the molesting. Do you really think a child molester is going to read this book to their kid? And I doubt anyone else would unless they suspected something. If it’s not where the kids themselves can get it, it’s pretty much worthless.” Me, I’m still saddened, and gobsmacked, that one of the most prevalent forms of abuse against children, and one the child is least able to get help for, is still so under-discussed and meets with so many so-called well-intentioned adults’ pressure to keep it under wraps.

17. Tonight the 7th Street Theatre here in Hoquiam is showing Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. As I have been doing for about four years, I designed the movie program (shoehorning in the popular trivia section, and deciding which trivia had merit, and imagining some the fantasy-geek rage I might inspire if I got any of it wrong). Anyway, whilst up late finishing that up I stumbled on this image which left me giggling.

"What the fuck are you Tolkien about?"

For those whom it applies, I hope you have a lovely Friday night and a fabulous weekend!


10 thoughts on “friday, friday, gettin’ down on friday

  1. Thanks for the wonderful links. Thanks, especially, for the Noble Savage one. Unfortunately, I don’t agree with the commenter who thinks “characters like Beryl are in a minority.” I wish I could enjoy such characters rather than letting them get to me. But the advice is good. I’ll go make like a laptop now.

  2. Thanks for getting the saxiness stuck in my head again. It always makes me feel better.

    “He needs to go outside…” LOL

  3. On link #13- Behaviourism v Unconditional Parenting at Analytical Armadillo:

    I’m confused about the application of the term Behaviorism in your comment and have been confused about the differences (perceived, promoted, and actual) between behaviorism and various parenting methodology proponents who are anti-punishment/reward. From my perspective, that aspect of behaviorism (influencing consequences) represents only one of several dimensions of the philosophy (this seems to be a mildly decent write up for a quick hit: Another dimension of specific applied behaviorism, I think also called behavior management, is influencing antecedents- whatever circumstances & environments that precede a target behavior. Many of the “anti-behaviorist” authors I’ve read, including Alfie Kohn and Naomi Aldort, focus a tremendous amount of energy on changing the antecedents in order to prevent behavior that parents (and surely at times children) find troubling. The antecedent in this case often being the parent’s (or other adult’s or society’s) behavior or expectation.

    This type of focus on antecedents is in direct line with behaviorism, especially the concept that the only behavior an individual can change is their own. In this sense, the parent cannot stop a child from screaming, but the parent can stop themselves from overstimulating the child during the hour before the screaming starts. That is classic behaviorist theory working there: that behavior does not occur in isolation but is related to other conditions in the environment/experience.

    I do find that the Analytical Armadillo aptly notes some major limitations of applying behaviorist theory as the total and absolute underpinnings of life, learning and everything. And Kohn and others have done an excellent job demonstrating that manipulating consequences in particular (positive and negative outcomes explicitly designed and delivered to increase or decrease the presence of specific observable behaviors) interferes with internal drives and intrinsic motivations. The demonstrated negative effect of this behaviorist element (meted, engineered consequences = reduced self-identification & determination) when applied to parent-child relationships and education are of great concern to me.

    I also agree with Armadillo that behaviorist theory and practice alone don’t account for the view held by many that children are inherently incorrect or uncooperative and need to be manipulated. I think there are many people out there in the world who believe this, and that they apply the behaviorist strategy of manipulating consequences to meet that end, but in my own study of behaviorism (it saturated my undergrad education in education- I’m spending much time as a parent now studying deeply alternatives to consequence manipulation), I have not come across such value judgments. Like so many things in life, I think that behaviorism is a tool that has some positive applications, concerning untrained overuse, and dangerous applications.

  4. @Wendy
    Beryl isn’t “rare”, in fact we are all Beryl at one time or another. Also, the actual Beryl is probably capable of more intelligence and compassion, but she was terrified and upset and probably damaged in some way. I wish her healing, and I feel sad for all those who heard her that day and had their own anxiety and fear ramp up.

    I have EVEN MORE sexy sax scheduled for next Tuesday! FOR REALZ

    After reading your comment (and thank you for taking the discussion to a rigorous examination of terms) I would probably change my verbiage to cite mainstream parenting as often based on behavior modification informed with a rich legacy of poisonous pedagogy. I can see how you’d view Kohn & Aldort as behaviorists merely focussed on antecedents rather than consequences (and you know more about the Work than I do). So being more rigorous, I’d claim we all function using behaviorist strategies. But for myself, I’d say that when my interest is in the behavior play more than experiencing awareness of myself and my child, I am going astray.

    Also, I could see how a behaviorist model focussed on antecedents to be very limiting as well (particularly considering how children grow so fast… and how they often perceive attempts to “manage” them, however relatively humanely employed and logically-based).

    Thank you so much for your points!

  5. “particularly considering how children grow so fast… and how they often perceive attempts to “manage” them”

    You’re both using language well above my head, but I sure do understand this part. The frequency in which I try to “manage” Kylie increases in direct proportion to my level of frustration or impatience at the time. Understanding this makes it pure torture for me because I instantly recognize that I am trying to manage the situation (and her) which is clearly the path of least resistance and rarely achieves positive results. I can even see it on her face as she scans mine for answers. It’s a look of “I’m being manipulated here and I don’t understand why that is necessary.” When this happens, I try to stop, take a deep breath and think about the reasons that I am slipping. Then I explain to her why I’m frustrated and/or how we can reach an agreement that suits both of us.

    Adults (and kids) that witness this, look at me like I’m breaking some kind of rule. But as you know, the results of treating kids like the people that they are can have Incredible results. And yes, that’s Incredible with a captital “I”.

    Also, it may be wrong to feel pride toward her behavior when it comes to challenging people that exercise ageism against her, but I can’t help it. She begins every conversation with a person of any age on even ground. She can’t seem to see it any other way, and I treasure that. I’ve watched her defend her position in a conversation against adults that flat out tell her she is wrong (including me). I will do everything in my power to help her maintain that spirit of never conceding her position to someone simply because they claim superiority over her.

    …and yes, she does admit when she’s wrong. Which is more than I can say for most adults.

  6. @Kelly- Poisonous Pedagogy- that’s a new term for me, but the type of concept that I think investigation of should be included in teacher and parenting preparation study. I did study the Pedagogy of the Oppressed at Evergreen, but once I entered my mainstream BA program to finish my teaching degree, that type of deep reflection on the purpose of education and the structure of power was no longer the curricular focus. We did study humanist, constructivist, and behaviorist theorists in relation to the how and why of various stages of cognitive/social/psychological development and how that relates to learning.

    Your clarification about the distinction between behavior modification and behaviorist theories does illustrate better for me the negative ramifications of behaviorism that you are wanting parents to question. Also, I’d like to be clear that I don’t find Kohn and Aldort to be behaviorists in disguise, but rather that some of the strategies they promote clearly act in part upon the principle that our choices and actions influence the behaviors of others, yet their large-scale rejection of even positive consequences used to encourage desirable behaviors seems to paint all behaviorist concepts with the broad, bad, brush.

    I think that an awareness of behaviorist principles, that both antecedents and consequences can influence a child’s behavior and that behavior is related to many factors in a child’s life, can produce “aha” moments for individuals who formerly believed (or were raised via the notion) that children’s acts are random or designed to drive adults crazy out of willful malice. For some then, this knowledge could be a stepping stone toward a different conception: that how a child feels is important for it’s own sake, what a child wants, loves, thinks- developing a unique and self-inspired personal perspective uninformed by external punishment or reward. I agree that this huge part of life is not nurtured and as we’ve already discussed, can be greatly harmed when behavior modification is the primary or common relationship model for a young child with parents, teachers, and others influencing their growth.

    Thank you so much for continuing to share your thoughts and resources on this topic 🙂

  7. Not in Room 204

    I am pleased to say that we have 8 copies in TRL. Two are in easy fiction (little kid’s section) 6 are also in the easy section, but with the Parent/Teacher Resources. I will ask about this choice. Place a hold on this if you have a TRL library card!

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