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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

If you don’t like homeschooling, wait till you hear about the new pet obsession of helicoptering parents: home college.

The struggle for indigenous rights in the Crimea.

Twitter wars are the weirdest invention of the recent years. Somebody says something, and it obviously comes out sounding reductive and stupid because what else can you do with 140 characters? So then people begin to write miles of explanatory or accusatory tweets, then lengthy articles explaining what the explanations meant appear, then there is more writing about the explanation of the explanation of the original explanation. Here is one example.

The author of this post seems to be more than aware that there have been endless attempts to explain the concept of privilege. But instead of questioning whether the concept that requires so much empty and boring verbiage should be canned altogether, she bravely writes another boring and convoluted explanation of how to “manage privilege responsibly.

And here is another tortured effort to explain privilege to the privileged with a very interesting Freudian slip: “Whether or not you are guilty of involvement in some kind of oppression (and, I mean, spoiler alert: you probably are), any marginalized person relating their lived experience should be something you take seriously.” A marginalized person is something. Some thing. More specifically, a thing that comes very useful at the time when you need to indulge in some delicious privilege-scratching.

Pedophiliac sadists in the Kansas legislature publicly fantasize about torturing children.

A Texas town spends $60,000,000 on a new high school football stadium. And it can’t even be used. Good job, people of Texas. You totally have your priorities right. Now, create an even more expensive non-functioning baseball court.

Therefore there is a Coasean deal to be had between America and Russia, where Russia gets to partition part of Ukraine, create a buffer against Europeanization and democratization, keep the larger Ukraine unit weak, and also keep its Black Sea fleet.  In turn Russia would do something less than totally sabotage all American plans for Syria and Iran.” Exactly.

But if you are looking for a very silly, childish and reductive analysis of Ukraine, there is always Ian Welsh to accommodate. Well, this is a guy who thinks that until 1991, Ukraine was a part of Russia, so what can you expect?

And here is more silliness from Ian Welsh: “Rational is not a synonym for “good”. It is often rational to be a complete scumbag and to act in ways which will hurt other people (or at least not help them.)” As we say in my culture, some people need to speak less and chew more carefully. Welsh obviously knows all about being a scumbag but rationality is definitely not his forte.

And in related news that touch upon the issue of mental health: “Even an FDA panel thought introducing Yo!Hypno to an already-mass-sleepwalking (to the point of falling over and dying) America was a bad idea; but somehow it got overruled, and soon all of America will be Hillbilly Heroin Heaven.

And more on the subject of disturbed people: “Man demonstrates gun safety to his girlfriend by putting gun to his head and shooting himself dead.”

A phenomenally interesting post about the way the products we use today were advertised 100 years (or even longer) ago. With cool pictures!

And since we are speaking about advertisement, here is a post on the greatest American copy-writer. These ad campaigns are really exceptionally talented. My favorite ones are the ads for the Episcopalian Church. And the whiskey. I like them so much that I want to grab a bottle and run to the nearest church to get converted. And here are more great ads from the same copy-writer. fellow Mad Men fans, you’ll love this stuff.

Karen of the Professor Is In blog used to publish intelligent, insightful posts. And then she hit her head over the kitchen counter (or something of the kind) and now publishes scary preachers and really ignorant, unhinged folks. Here is an example: “A recovering academic herself, Beck is finely attuned to the ways our internalized “social” selves drown out the “essential” inner voices that know what we really want.  Second only to our families of origin, perhaps, academic socialization has the loudest voice of all.” And there is more: “Each of us needs to cultivate an interior identity that is less dependent on, or subject to, our external circumstances.  Yes, I’m talking about meditation, prayer, nature hikes, interpretive dance, yoga, inspirational reading – whatever takes you out of your tortured academic head to a deeper wellspring of hope and self-knowledge.” Scary shit.

Good news: childhood obesity rates are plummeting. Feel free to share any insights as to what is causing this welcome change.

How to handle the anxieties that awaken when you write.

And the absolute best post I have read in a while: “Parenting is not about policing our kids.  It’s not about being “the bad guy,” or proving how tough you are, or that you’re the boss.  It’s about raising children to be independent, to be free and critical thinkers, to be competent adults. That won’t happen so long as we treat them like they’re incompetent possessions.” Brava!

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7 thoughts on “Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

  1. Here is the flipside of privilege scratching, which is always ignored. Somebody else has to carry the burden of your guilt. May as well be me.

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  2. Those 100-year-old ads were a lot of fun to look at. Thanks for posting the link! I was particularly impressed by all the varieties of Vaseline that used to exist. “Capsicum Vaseline” seems like it would be worthy of revival!

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  3. I’m more charitably disposed to the “Home College” possibility, if only because a focus on small, local, human-scale solutions is a necessary corrective to the “technology plus more bureaucracy will save higher ed!” nonsense being touted by the bean-counters. Thank you for leading me to the link! http://goodenoughprofessor.blogspot.com/2014/03/just-how-hard-is-it-to-get-your-living.html

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    • The victims of home-schooling could at least envision a glimmer of hope for liberation when they went to college. But even this is now being stolen from them. If there is some possibility that a homeschooled person will get at least somewhat socialized after the age of 18, with every passing year, this possibility evaporates. And once a person is past a 20-year mark of living under constant parental supervision and control, there is nothing that will ever dezombify such a person.

      I know people who are my age (late thirties) and who are living in complete attachment and subjection to their parents. Zero personal life, zero friendships, all of the money they make goes to the parents, and they don’t even contemplate the possibility of starting lives of their own.

      This is not about education. This is about abuse. And “homecolleging” is a new excuse for parental abuse extending for even longer.

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      • Based on what do you say this? Sure, home-schooling can be abusive, but it can also be a healthy, well-managed alternative to institutional education (which has its own pathologies). You’ve seen cases of the former, I’ve seen cases of the latter. I also know adults who went to conventional public school and four years of college and returned home to remain pathetically, painfully dependent on their parents. I’m not disagreeing that home schooling CAN be bad–I’m just puzzled about your confidence that it always and necessarily is. After all, home-schooling was the norm in the elite anglophone world for much of the 16th-19th centuries.

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        • “After all, home-schooling was the norm in the elite anglophone world for much of the 16th-19th centuries.”

          – The patriarchal family structure has suffered many serious blows since then. I believe this is a good thing.

          “I also know adults who went to conventional public school and four years of college and returned home to remain pathetically, painfully dependent on their parents.”

          – All poodles are dogs but not all dogs are poodles. I never said that homeschooling is the only strategy to destroy children’s agency and individuality.

          “I’m not disagreeing that home schooling CAN be bad–I’m just puzzled about your confidence that it always and necessarily is.”

          – If a person doesn’t get a chance to get socialized outside of the constant presence and control of a parent, if there is no escape from the parental gaze, where can this possibly lead but into poor socialization and loss of personal competence?

          I went to school at 7 and never attended any form of schooling before that. As a result, I still haven’t caught up with my peers in terms of socialization. Personal competence came very late to me and cost me dearly. In contrast, my sister was in daycare since the age of two and doesn’t have the same problems with socialization. But my case is a very mild one. There is a growing number of resources where victims of homeschooling are sharing stories about their plight. Of course, my story is nothing in comparison to what they go through.

          The first time I wrote about homeschooling, there were crowds of absolutely unhinged homeschooling parents who cyberbullied me and threatened me and my family members just for expressing my opinions on my own blog. I never experienced these degree of harassment before or since. At the same time, I got numerous emails from the victims of homeschooling who shared their own stories and thanked me for saying what they were always too terrified of saying. If I, an adult who is in no way connected to these bullying hysterics, could feel so terrified of them, then I don’t even want to imagine how a defenseless child whose whole world is reduced by force to the constant company of these bullies should feel.

          I strongly believe that homeschooling should be outlawed.

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      • Well then. I have no wish to be part of a vituperative home-schooling horde (that experience sounds truly horrific–I’m so sorry). My experience of home schoolers is much more limited: There have been various students over the years who seemed to be well-equipped for college (and to credit their home-schooling for that); one girl in a Girl Scout troop I led for a few years (her parents were eager to find opportunities for her and her brothers to mingle with peers) who seemed to have no trouble blending in and making friends with the girls in the troop, some of whom she also knew from sports activities. Libraries, local event schedules, cultural/science happenings around town where I live often seem to have mention of particular hours set aside for various homeschooling collaborations–which gives me the impression that a lot of homeschooling parents are actively trying to avoid insularity. But I may have an unusually rosy set of anecdata here. FWIW.

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