Hey, I just realized I completely and totally used to have far fewer featured items, and more of my chit-chat, in my Friday Links. Welp, not sure what I should do about that, if anything. There’s just TOO MUCH AWESOME SHIT on the internet, you know?
“Of Spaces Familiar and Not-So Familiar” at TNC of The Atlantic’s blog. We just had the anniversary of the Challenger disaster. I remember watching this – live – as a third grader. I also remember studying the o-ring failure in some fancy-ass chemistry class at UW.
“Game Written by a 14-Year-Old Passes ‘Angry Birds’ as Top Free iPhone App” at School-Survival.net
“Dear Self Magazine & Her Campus” from Voice in Recovery. ViR is becoming a much-beloved blog.
“Walmart Plans to Sell Anti-Aging Makeup to Tweens” at Womanist Musings. Yes, this is for real. There’s nothing I need to add to what Renee has said.
“Medical Diagnosis in Pregnancy”. “Obstetric care for pregnant women is indeed focused on seeking out deviant results in an otherwise symptom-free patient. That’s why ‘regular’ care in pregnancy includes this huge battery of tests (well, that and the fact that these tests mean big business for hospitals). This is quite different from any other medical speciality. Generally doctors don’t seek out illnesses, unless they manifest.”
Aussie dust-up re: fat acceptance and health. Try: â€œUgh. Look at how fat that kid is.â€ by Dr. Samantha Thomas at The Discourse (the comments are good, but Kath’s kills me a little inside), “Let’s Get One Thing Straight”, posted by Elizabeth, and “Introducing Dastardly Donut” by Natalie. Hm, given all this, should I write a UB piece about “The Biggest Loser”, given one of my kids’ friends (who with her mother watches the show regularly) two days ago repeatedly snuck chocolate out of my cupboard (I would have said Yes if she’d just asked), then twice queried my Phoenix about her weight, then when I said, “Well, people’s bodies come in all shapes and sizes, right?” said, “Yeah”, and when I asked, “So is it OK to be fat?” responded, “Yeah. Because then you have to get skinny.” YIKES
“House Rules” by Anna Brown. They don’t really work. A piece from consensual living, reminded to me by reader Annie.
“The Magic Word” by Jeff Sabo:
“Traditional parenting often focuses on foundations like church, school, team sports, perseverance, and a host of other ideals that, they hope, will prepare their children to succeed in the real world. These parents believe that they can see the future and build a person who will succeed within it. It’s almost like a 20 year engineering project – meticulously planned, brilliantly executed, but perhaps without either passion or the ability to morph as the future becomes more clear, like building the perfect desktop computer in a world of iPads […] [W]e try control a variety of things – TV, food, sleep times, educational choices, friends and lovers – with generally positive intent, but often negative results.”
Hard to pick, but this (also by Jeff, who took a writing break but is thankfully back) is probably my favorite link this week: “The Beauty of HALO”
“People?” at Every Moment is Right. “[W]hen do we start treating children as people? When they start walking? Talking? Go to school? Leave the house? When we need their help?”
Culture & Pop Culture
“Asian Americans Still Largely Missing From Hollywood” at Colorlines
“Last Meals on Death Row” at howtobearetronaut
Debbie Gibson and Tiffany Singing â€œDonâ€™t Stop Believin” Together from TheRetroist. Less “rock”, more (dino)CROC, ladies!
Guess what’s guaranteed awesome? Weird Al’s children’s book.
Race and Class
“Where is the Kenyan Crocodile Hunter?” at What Tami Said. OK seriously, points for the first person who names a popular USian nature show with a host who isn’t a white male. I’m racking my brain, but then again my brain isn’t so hot sometimes.
“Let’s Talk About Pendleton” at Native Appropriations. I was just thinking about Pendleton in terms of appropriation the other day. The article is good; the comments are as well.
“Monster Valentine’s Cards for the Classroom” at makeandtakes; these won’t be as awesome as our Valentines, but they’re still pretty dern good.
Chinese New Year recipes; vegetarian steamed dumpling? 100 to yes.
Updates and News from DIY Life Zine – I highly recommend anything Idzie is working up. (& expect a zine announcement from yours truly soon as well)
“17 Images That Will Ruin Your Childhood” from Cracked
The New Terror Alert from TeamCoco. How I fervently WISH this were the case.
Today in 1983: Overdrawn at the Memory Bank premiered on television. Trigger warning for anti-anteater propaganda.
Thanks for featuring me again!
Oh my, I saw Overdrawn at the Memory Bank at some point in my childhood on PBS. A home sick day, or evening of babysitting perhaps after the children were asleep? I was by myself, probably under the age of 13, and I just drank that story in as sensible and plausible. I haven’t seen it again, but I imagine my early life exposure to Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, & Rod Serling in books and film helped to form the very special me that is here today. And Raul Julia- a pleasure to watch that actor perform 🙂 Kiss of the Spiderwoman anybody?
Thx for the memories!
You’re welcome! You do some great stuff!
OH YES do I remember and love Spider Woman, that was my 12-yr old viewing and loving it. I’ve liked JuliÃ¡ in everything I’ve seen him in, even the crap (OK, but I *didn’t* see Street Fighter, I admit). Overdrawn shows many scenes from Casablanca – the MST guys joke you shouldn’t put a really good film in your crappy film, and I agree.
Wow, I’m blown away by all those House Rules! It’s funny because my little Henry did come up with a “rule” one time, that he felt was really important to write down — so, in his journal on one of the pages it says, “Let’s not interrupt each other.” I can’t remember the specifics of how/why that got written down, but I’m guessing he got interrupted at some point and didn’t appreciate it. I loved that he came up with such an all-inclusive idea that we could all follow — it didn’t feel like an edict of any sort.
Anyway. Reading that article just reminded me of Henry’s idea and made me think of the stark difference between it and that 5 page list of rules.
I also loved the entry about treating kids like people.
Still going through the links, but I’m slow so I wanted to stop and comment on the “Last Meals on Death Row” deal.
I found it to be a coincidental post because this week I came up with an elaborate story in my head because once again I find myself mourning the loss of the Taco Bell Chilito. My twisted mind led me to the creation of a short story in which I frame myself for a crime that puts me on death row just so that I could request a Chilito as my last meal. They would either have to let me live or find the recipe and make me one. Win win.
There’s something about a burrito that has a chili-cheesiness so fluid that you can drink it that just makes it perfect. There have been entire websites setup to bring back the Chilito and the movement has fallen on deaf ears. I even found a manager that remembers it. I offered him $20 to make me one but he refused.
…and no, I don’t care if it contained real beef or not. Although, this was the mid-90’s so it probably had more beef in it than today’s menu. The Chilito was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious goodness.
I know I have a twisted imagination. I blame Stephen King…and my childhood of course (isn’t that the default answer for everything?) Not necesarily in that order. 😉
love your fat acceptance links. I’ve never been skinny but since I’m ill I’ve grown 15 kilo’s because of the medication. It’s hard to deal with this, to keep loving my body, to not feel ashamed, to accept what is, to still enjoy food and not think about every bite. Reading stuff like this helps.
Wow, the post on the two women talking about the fat kids…I was never “fat” as a kid, as in overweight, but I wasn’t skinny either (both of my brothers were), and “had to watch it” according to my mother (I am naturally curvy and muscular — so I always had a round rear end, thicker thighs). The conversation is the same kind of thing I have and still might hear from my mother and father, as it is perfectly acceptable to talk negatively about fat people in their minds. Even when this kind of talk wasn’t directed at me, I was well aware of how unacceptable it was to be heavy in my house — my mother and her constant talk about how “heavy” she was (constantly talking about her weight, and how “disgusting” it was that she had “let herself go” — oh, and did I mention that “letting herself go” meant reaching 115 pounds?), her constant talk about neighbors and their weight, my dad’s extremely negative comments about his ex-wife (the mother of my brothers)’s weight, the fact that we were absolutely allowed to make jokes about fat people in our home (hate speech in general was not discouraged), or discuss fat people we saw in public — all of it. Hearing all of this made me very aware, at a very young age, of weight and how unacceptable it would be if I were to grow to be “too heavy”.
These women at the pool — I feel for their kids. I hope they don’t end up with all of the weight obsession and disordered eating that I did.
BTW, on the above — I realize that saying I wasn’t overweight might be upsetting for some people/make me sound like an a-hole. I was trying share my experience with how far the anti-fat rhetoric can go, to say that there was intense pressure and negative commentary on me and my body and my eating habits from the time I was literally an infant. I was always “too fat” for them, by their standards. It made me very angry as an adult that there was always this focus on my weight being abnormal and my body not looking thin enough, although my weight was “average”.
Ugh, still feeling like this doesn’t sound right. Apologies, again, speaking about my own experience and adding descriptors so as to communicate who I was and am. I wish there were a delete and do-over option. Anyway, thanks for posting and echoing Josh, the fat acceptance links have been really helpful for me. I feel better about myself now at an “overweight” BMI than I did at an “underweight” one, thanks to a lot of introspection and ongoing work in this area.
And yes, I know that BMI is lame.
As far as fat acceptance, eating orders, discussion of childhood etc., it’s clear you are not only speaking in good faith but – in my opinion – you are sharing all-too-common household experiences, so thank you for that.
I am struck by how many young women are told by their mothers, “You’ll have to ‘watch it'” or, “You’ll always have to deal with X, Y, or Z horrible body issue” (flat chest, stooped posture, saddlebags, big booty, etc). All this from mothers while fathers stand by and stay silent. It’s really horrible but so common as to be almost endemic to USian girl childhood.
Maybe I’ll share my family stories sometime.
Thank you for your comments. If you’re liking the links, here’s another cool post to work one’s way through. I recommend the SP comments too. They are highly moderated which was confusing to me at first. I’ve come away a changed person for the better.
Oh, and fat acceptance isn’t just for fat people; it’s so crucial those with thin privilege take part and educate themselves too. Those with thin privilege have a real advantage in making the world a more human place: when they refute mainstream ideas of fat, worth, etc. they are less likely to be charged with saying stuff like that ONLY so they can lie on the couch and mainline pork gravy. Even I have relative thin privilege in regard to this discussion; I’m a US size 14 which is, say, very fat according to Hollywood but not so fat as to rate being a headless fattie. When I refute pro-dieting and orthorexic propaganda people seem to listen.
Interesting collection of links this time. I do take issue with some of the things said re: medical testing and OB care because I’ve been on the pregnant mama end of “there’s a problem with your baby” and I think that we as humans don’t know enough about how bodies work to say what is warranted in the way of testing. And as the wife of a medical provider I learn new things about what can affect my health on a daily basis.
“The Magic Word” reminded me of a woman from my dad’s church who was convinced that allowing co-ed dormitories in colleges would expose her daughter to “gay people and their lifestyle and lead her to believe it’s okay”. My observation to her was that, if her daughter identifies as hetero, the people she needs to be worrying about are the hetero males, not the gay ones and that, if she’s raised her daughter to believe as she does, she shouldn’t be worried about whether or not her daughter’s opinion of a “gay lifestyle” is different from hers. Sometimes the results of raising a child may look negative to the parent but the result may end up positive for others. I don’t know what this girl’s opinion of homosexuality is but I can only hope that if her mother taught her to be negative toward those who are gay, living away from her mother in a co-ed dorm allowed her positive experiences to change that sort of parental indoctrination.
Re: birth testing. It seems this issue is a personal one for you (it is for me too), and I respect that. I have a few thoughts on what you’ve written and I’ll probably sound like I’m coming on strong but I hope you read through why I think Laura’s piece was important.
“we as humans don’t know enough about how bodies work to say what is warranted in the way of testing”
So first – somehow doctor-humans do? Are you familiar with the history of what mainstream obstetric practices have done, and continue to do, to pregnant and birthing women? While we often find ourselves in the position to rely on “experts”, when experts practice with incredibly poor outcomes we also owe it to other families to analyze these practices and work for reform when needed.
Secondly, that “we don’t know enough” is very broad brushstroke to say about all pregnant women and their partners (if they have them). Speak out about your own experiences, please – and do take part in testing if you need and want to. But I have met many women and partners, including those who were on the “problem with your baby” end, who make a study and decide not to rely on what they’re told. These people self-educate, take full responsibility for their body and baby, and object to the dismal track record and harmful practices of obstetrics in America – with good cause (33 – 38% c-section rate anyone; second-to-highest mortality rate for mamas in so-called developed nations). Ultimately trusting the experts completely is a choice with risks, too. Pregnancy and birth aren’t risk-free no matter how you go about it and how much agency you can and do use, or how much you are not allowed to, or that you give away freely.
I think the points Laura/mamapoekie makes about the skewed framing and treatment of birth are very valid and need to be considered outside personal anecdotes. I’m not saying you’re personalizing the issue necessarily, but I haven noticed when people talk about neonatal, pregnancy, labor and birth reform, many people seem to do so.
Again, if your experience is that testing and interventions were helpful and you feel like it was a time of vulnerability for you and your baby, I can understand that (I had a rather highly-interventionist birth my first time). I think what Laura is posting about, and what I support, is a step back and a critical eye on birth culture and practices in this country. As for our individual birth outcomes, MOST mothers and their partners (if they have them) do the best they can with what they have. We should not feel personal shame if and when we are let down by those we are told we can trust categorically … but nor should we deny those working to improve things.
“I can only hope that if her mother taught her to be negative toward those who are gay, living away from her mother in a co-ed dorm allowed her positive experiences to change that sort of parental indoctrination.”
That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? What is the “I don’t want you to start thinking ‘it’s OK'” qualifier anyway? It’s so dehumanizing, narrow, and fear-based… and sad. In ways small and large we are always telling marginalized groups of people they aren’t “OK”, who they are.