Friday links, better late than never!
Furor over the supposed superiority of Chinese mothers! This little WSJ article got people rather fired up. And it should. I first heard mention by Jim Lin on Twitter – entirely pissed at anyone claiming they can “speak for the entire Chinese Am[erican] population”.
Other criticisms and responses followed; here are two I enjoyed:
“Tales of a Chinese daughter: On the superiority or not of Amy Chua’s Chinese mothers” by Elaine Chow. Some sobering realities of pushed-to-perform Chinese adult children.
“I’m Not a Chinese Mother (Obviously!)” at Rational Jenn’s blog. Are “Western” and “Chinese” methods really so different at heart?
Human Rights & Heartbreak
Hm, is this Lego depiction of Stephen Hawkings “wrong”? Or is it a very-well executed likeness (like so many others) of someone who should be not pitied or laughed at for his physicality and existence? TABs, check your shit!
“The Agonizing Last Words of Bill Zeller”. A rape victim speaks out and speaks his last. Deeply devastating to read; trigger-warning, obviously.
“Mass dying of animals plotted on Google map”
The Great Gatsby in 3D. For real? Perhaps. Ta-Nehesi Coates’ take.
“I miss Patrick Swayze”. Me too.
Felt Hot Pads at The Purl Bee
Men’s shirt sewalong at Male Pattern Boldness, starting February 1st. I have this pattern. Any readers want to join?
Super-Special Adultist Roundup Bonus Edition!
“The Unspeakable, in Its Jammies” by Michael Chabon
A father edits Huck Finn whilst reading aloud to his children and writes about it (in what appears to be a self-congratulatory and patriarchal way but – perhaps I am reading into it) and people puke in their mouths about how awesome a dad he is. Yes, predictably the commentstream is full of glowing praise that may be at least partially (or like, lots) inspired by a darling-status afforded the author by the neo-progressive literati blah-blah.
Make no mistake, and I do realize the previous paragraph represents a slight binge of as-disavowed-during-2011 snark, sharing one’s love (of literature, of the arts, of sport, of fishing, of political history, of engine rebuilds on giant Ford trucks) is an awesome prerogative for parents/carers; we grownups also have the responsibility to protect our children when needed and to share our values with them (although they are not always learning the values we think we’re teaching). I pass no particular referendum on Chabon’s parenting choices as expressed but rather I am disturbed by the response and the template this response furthers. Namely, that of a “progressive” and adultist parent’s agenda: good literature (if it’s so good why do so many think they need to force it on children and tell them what to think? Our efforts are needed in nurturing children so they can choose and ingest from an authentic and whole place), “teaching”, and values lectured into your kids’ faces – because kids aren’t smart or complex enough to form their own opinions AND (this part bugs me most) kids don’t need to be asked for their thoughts, and listened to – before a discussion commences. Notice the rather lengthy lecture directed to a seven and nine year old who apparently sit rapt on daddy’s knee, or if they don’t, at least not one person in the commentstream besides myself suggest value in asking what the children’s perspectives were on race, social order, and class at conversation outset (make no mistake, children have perspectives) because these things are formed top-down (one comment: “Seven year old recognizes “Injun” as offensive but needs an explanation of “nigger”?” Yeah, I wondered about that too.).
Believe it or not, when you ask kids and really listen, and ask a bit more? You can learn a lot. Up to and including some humility and a little less developed role of self-importance.
“Children learn how to make good decisions by making decisions, not by following directions.” – Alfie Kohn
I’ve been watching more “Reno 911!” (very sad the newer season I’m watching changed actors; now women are significantly less represented on the cast). It’s pretty impossible to pick from all the excellence but I did find a Terry clip I thought I’d share.