Monday, September 21, 2009

I'm on a diet

I used to eat a lot of shit. Emotionally speaking. Parents, teachers, adults of all kinds, and society as a whole seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time force-feeding me shit. They did/do it to all kids, of course, not just me. Being a basic mushroom-type kid, naturally I chewed, swallowed, and digested like an obedient little Stepford drone.

As I got older and started to utilize my own reasoning ability a bit, I thought that perhaps shit might possibly fall into that category of Things I Do Not Really Like. It seemed to me that shit was perhaps less delicious than okra and I wasn't very fond of okra. But far be it from me to rock the boat and push back against the entire weight of Adult Society. So I kept eating the shit I was offered like a gold-level member of the Clean Plate Club.

I eventually got to the point where I decided that I definitely did not like shit. In fact, I ultimately came to the conclusion that I actively disliked shit very much and I resolved to get myself onto a shit-free diet. This was not as easy as it sounds.

Someone's always lurking around the Traditional Parenting Kitchen, putting together a delicious-looking, deceptive farce of a shit sandwich, and trying to slip it onto my plate and my palate. You know what I'm talking about! Rich, thick, hearty slices of the bread of an unschooling life. Veggies from your personal unschooling Garden of Earthly Delights. (Not Bosch's!) A hint of delicious spiciness from the Creole mustard of intellectual curiosity. Mmmmmnnn, that looks fabulous!


But at the core, camouflaged inside all that unschooling-seeming goodness, is a great big steaming cow patty of control and coercion.

I'm here to tell you that nowadays I choose to be on a shit-free diet. I admit I'm still not always successful. Sometimes somebody sneaks one in on me and, operating on autopilot from old tapes, I chew and swallow like a compliant little prole. Unlike my younger self, who obediently swallowed the shit uncomplainingly and digested it unthinkingly, I'm usually reasonably adept nowadays at realizing what I've just swallowed and I spit it back up.

And I do my damnedest to avoid feeding my kids shit of any kind, even shit sandwiches. Maybe especially shit sandwiches. They have more sensitive and accurate shit-detectors than I ever did or ever will and they're a lot better at pre-rejecting proffered portions of pusillanimous putrescence. I can't tell you how happy that makes me.

Shit sandwiches are in my thoughts right now because there is just such a concoction being offered for consumption on the run.ning site. Couched in the camouflaging verbiage of unschooling, Someone Who Shall Remain Nameless is recommending timeouts like he uses with his son, with the defense: He can get out of timeout anytime he wants; all he has to do is take three deep breaths.

This, O Gentle Reader, is a classic shit sandwich prepared by a master chef.

You can surround the shitburger with all the leafy verbiage of unschooling you're able to create with your fertile pen. The bread of mutual respect. The lettuce of acceptance. The tomato of understanding. The sprouts of equitable public intercourse. Whatever. Try as you will to disguise it, hiding there at the core is that vile shitburger of control, coercion, and conditioning.

My advice, in case you haven't already guessed it: Try a shit-free diet. I think you'll like it. I think your kids will like it, too.

It's a healthier way to live.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Greybeards #17

Who shot the sheriff?



I did, that's who!

YouTube link

Greybeards #20

Ok, the first video is up. It was a learning-curve effort. There will be more and hopefully they'll be better. Title is because this was song #20 in our playlist.



Party on, Bill and Ted!

...and Greybeards, Hot Backup Chicks, and Good Vibrations Conference party animals!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

RIP, Mary Travers

This is a great loss to my musical universe. I first saw PP&M in the 60s and, most recently, in this very decade. Their music spoke to me and I'm glad Mary's voice will live on in their records.

Thank you, Mary. Requiescas in pace.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Good Vibrations Unschooling Conference

This morning I picked up a little U-haul trailer to carry all our stuff. We'll be loading today then we'll have a final night in our own beds before we hit the road tomorrow morning for San Diego. We'll spend a coupla days before the conference visiting family and then we'll see (some of) y'all on Thursday 9/10.

Party on, Bill and Ted!