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Robin M

Book a Week 2016 - W2: Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters

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Hmm, well I really disliked both Fanny and Emma.  But probably Emma more - she made a lot of trouble for other people.

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Jane, you asked in the Alan Rickman thread if there are audio books read by him. Here is the list available at audible. I've often considered downloading Return of the Native just for his voice alone.

 

I always envied Marianne in the scene near the end of the movie version of Sense and Sensibility when Colonel Brandon is reading aloud to her. Of course she finally falls in love with him -- what passionate, romantic woman wouldn't?!

I had thought I had borrowed Rickman reading The Return of the Native from my library previously but could not find it listed in the catalog. Thanks Jenn.

 

To Pam and idnib: what haunts me in the analysis is enslavement. Please let me join you for mint tea.

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Hmm, well I really disliked both Fanny and Emma. But probably Emma more - she made a lot of trouble for other people.

Yes! Emma is by far the most annoying!

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Nooooo! Emma is....over-enthusiastic. At worst. I must stop up my ears if anti-Emma sentiment is to be freely expressed :)

Edited by StellaM
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The best I can say about Emma is she grew up. That I'll give her points for, since not everybody does.

 

I hate that book, which is a crying shame because Mr Knightley is my favourite Austen hero. Or he would be, if his tastes ran my way instead of towards Emma.  :laugh:

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The best I can say about Emma is she grew up. That I'll give her points for, since not everybody does.

 

I hate that book, which is a crying shame because Mr Knightley is my favourite Austen hero. Or he would be, if his tastes ran my way instead of towards Emma.  :laugh:

 

This is a serious challenge to our friendship, Rosie. 

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This is a serious challenge to our friendship, Rosie. 

 

I see this clearly.

 

I've been reading your posts here and thinking that this explains all those times we find ourselves talking past each other and not quite knowing why.

 

Huzzah for Jane Austen's social commentary! Without her, would Sadie and I have been able to negotiate friendship into the future? Still relevant in the 21st century!

 

 

:laugh:

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I love that Emma is so flawed! Yet so lively! So distinctly un-Jane Fairfaxish! So capable of learning ( ultimately, after making lots of mistakes...ahem...perhaps here we have the key to my love of Emma.)

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That's all an act. 

 

Does Jane have a secret life ? Another identity ? Is she really a burlesque dancer ? 

 

Man, if I wrote fanfic, The Other Life of Jane Fairfax would be a good story.

 

I might have to read this.

 

 'Jane Bites Back'.

Edited by StellaM
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Does Jane have a secret life ? Another identity ? Is she really a burlesque dancer ? 

 

I'll read it and I have a bunch of mates who would too.

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I'll read it and I have a bunch of mates who would too.

 

You're on. My prose is pretty pedestrian, and I'll have to do some research, but expect - hmm - Risque Miss F (working title only) - before February.

Edited by StellaM
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You're on. My prose is pretty pedestrian, and I'll have to do some research, but expect - hmm - Risque Miss F (working title only) - before February.

 

A chick I know in Sydney performs burlesque in her spare time. Her and her mates will love it!

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I like Hemingway  :leaving:

 

Me too! We can go lurk in the corners together!

 

I'd love to join the tea group discussing Between the World and Me. So if you gals ever meet up, let me know!

 

Jane, what kind of workshop did you do? Sounds intriguing!

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Still inching through Neurotribes. Bettelheim was sure a jerk. I feel kind of dirty for having one of his books on my shelf. 

 

I had to smile while reading the chapter about ham radio operators. We used to go to church with a man who talked about nothing but ham radio 24/7, and I have privately wondered if he has asperger's syndrome. 

 

I was looking with interest at the mushroom logs in the Territorial seed catalog, but I wouldn't be able to babysit it properly. Anything in my garden has to thrive with benign neglect. 

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Fanny, bless her heart, always struck me as being on the spectrum. Emma is just young and spoiled and clueless. I can't imagine what Mr. Knightly sees in her, though, perhaps what he actually sees in her would get a more honest treatment in a bodice-ripper romance! 

 

My favorite character in all the Austen books, the one I most love to hate, is Mrs. Elton. Good ol' meddling, gossiping, know it all Augusta, or shall we call her Mrs. E, with her family, the Sucklings of Maple Grove who drive a barouche landau. The scenes with her are some of the most pointed comedies in all of Austen.

 

 

Edited by JennW in SoCal
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Does Jane have a secret life ? Another identity ? Is she really a burlesque dancer ? 

 

Man, if I wrote fanfic, The Other Life of Jane Fairfax would be a good story.

 

I might have to read this.

 

 'Jane Bites Back'.

Fun! I'd read that. Jane could use some liveliness. 

 

 

Trying hard to get my snatched moments of reading for pleasure between planning co-op classes I'm teaching, starting my class, and you know that little thing called home schooling a high schooler, middle schooler, and first grader. Plus, that finicky thing called a house that never keeps itself clean and tidy. I also fantasize about how much easier my life would be if food and drink magically appeared ala Hogwarts style. Oh, to have a house elf. My elf would be a Free Elf though.  

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My favorite character in all the Austen books, the one I most love to hate, is Mrs. Elton. Good ol' meddling, gossiping, know it all Augusta, or shall we call her Mrs. E, with her family, the Sucklings of Maple Grove who drive a barouche landau. The scenes with her are some of the most pointed comedies in all of Austen.

 

Oh no. I want to punch her in the face.

 

I don't think I usually want to punch fictional characters in the face?

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Bag over head, I've tried a few times to read Austen and have never been able to get very far. I've only read Hemingway's Old Man, I quite enjoyed it.

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Jane deserves nothing. Not even a piano. Jane is too prim for words.

 

 

Does Jane have a secret life ? Another identity ? Is she really a burlesque dancer ? 

 

 

 

Jane could use some liveliness. 

 

 

:leaving: I feel you people are talking about me!  :laugh:

 

Me too! We can go lurk in the corners together!

 

I'd love to join the tea group discussing Between the World and Me. So if you gals ever meet up, let me know!

 

Jane, what kind of workshop did you do? Sounds intriguing!

 

The shiitake mushroom workshop was for farmers and individuals who wanted to learn more about growing them.  It included a hands on session. 

 

Shiitakes are inoculated into freshly cut logs of certain hardwoods like oak or sweet gum.  Essentially you drill holes every four or eight inches around the log, place this sawdust that has mushroom spores in the holes, paint wax over the sawdust.  Then you hope for the best.  Theoretically we should have mushrooms within a year or so--and then for at least five more years.

 

Fortunately we did not have to cut the logs!  But we did do the drilling, inoculating, and wax painting.  Interesting people in attendance.

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I like Hemingway  :leaving:

 

Aw, that's okay. Plenty of people like him. You're in good company.

 

Nooooo! Emma is....over-enthusiastic. At worst. I must stop up my ears if anti-Emma sentiment is to be freely expressed :)

 

And young. Emma had the potential to grow up and grow out of her selfishness. And I believe she did.

 

Me too! We can go lurk in the corners together!

 

 

 

See, Mom-ninja? I told you so. :D

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Our country's system is explicitly designed (in theory) to protect from the tyranny of the majority.

 

For example: The theory is that one's "race" shouldn't impact whether one is picked up for a possible crime, whether/how one is charged for a crime, or the length of sentence.

 

Yes, the people who administer them shape their flavor, but we the people can (and should) hold our officials accountable, shine light on the injustices, call out the systemic discrimination, speak up...

 

I don't think we can wait for everyone's hearts to change (have you seen the chart about when that would have decriminalized "miscegenation"?).

 

I don't believe any of the major improvements we've seen in systems, in public opinions, have come about through random natural drift, or any improvement in human nature, they've been worked for, campaigned for, fought for... and on many different levels.

 

 

What is hard now, with these problems, is that we aren't dealing with the overt bigotry, the nasty names, the conscious *intentional* discrimination, we are dealing with the more complex layers, the ones that have been built up in our society over many, many years...

I,m obviously having trouble explaining what I mean. : ) I don,t think we should wait for all people,s hearts to change, either. That would require us to evolve physically, I think? which is surely happening, but not something I want to wait for lol. Nor do I want the sort of catastrophy that would cause a quick evolutionary change. I do think that true change depends on us changing culturally. I think this is possible. We,ve come far this way. I am working towards more cultural change.

 

Our system of government may have been designed to protect the minority from the majority but it has been in use when there were slaves, when there was segregation, when Native American children were being forcably removed from their homes to be sent to boarding schools, etc. That is enough to make me think the system is only as fair as those administering it. I went to college in the south for a bit. Many of the white boys had confederate flags as wall decorations. Some of them are probably the people administering our system now.

 

I do think our culture is changing, but it is slow, mostly generation to generation slow, and yes, we have to work at it. I find it encouraging, for instance, that more and more people are finally questioning that confederate flag. I don,t think that will keep John Doe 1 from making snap judgements about John Doe 2 based on appearence but I do think it is a sign of a small bit of cultural progress towards equality. Small.

 

I worry about our system more for a different reason. I worry that now, with technology, a few people can do something which effects huge swaths of our world. I worry that our deliberately slow-to-change government will be unable to deal with problema like that, and that cultural change will be to slow. And I worry that the whole thing is an IS, not a WILL BE, or even worse, a WAS.

 

If what I,m saying makes no sense, just ignore it. I can,t believe I am even discussing this. I am so unqualified. I,m from a small New England town. The only government I really have anything to do with is town meeting. I think towns and cities are a more promising place to look for change than federal governments, and a good place to work for change. : )

 

Nan

 

Eta - All I really wanted to do was figure out why Pam thought we weren,t making progress. And to figure out the whole racial prejudice father or son thing, earlier. Pam - your recent post (which I just read) explains both these. Thank you!

Edited by Nan in Mass
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:leaving: I feel you people are talking about me! :laugh:

 

 

The shiitake mushroom workshop was for farmers and individuals who wanted to learn more about growing them. It included a hands on session.

 

Shiitakes are inoculated into freshly cut logs of certain hardwoods like oak or sweet gum. Essentially you drill holes every four or eight inches around the log, place this sawdust that has mushroom spores in the holes, paint wax over the sawdust. Then you hope for the best. Theoretically we should have mushrooms within a year or so--and then for at least five more years.

 

Fortunately we did not have to cut the logs! But we did do the drilling, inoculating, and wax painting. Interesting people in attendance.

My husband would be in heaven! He's been slowly working up to this for a year - there is mushroom goo "brewing" in mason jars on top of my kitchen cupboards as I type, and a stack of select logs under the snow in the yard, waiting patiently to be drilled.

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Re: whether Coates' analysis is rooted in idea that American concept of race is seen through a black/white lens, into which other minorities sort of force-fit:

I agree... while the book is not speaking, at all, to the lived experiences of other minority groups (either the so-called Model Minorities like the Jews, then, or East Asians, now, who grab fierce hold of The Dream and save/invest/educate/work 20-hour-days so as to succeed within it in the next generation, or other groups with a much more mixed experience and response), I think the gist of his argument is that race here is a construct that has been derived first from POWER. The exertion of power came first, and the construct of race evolved as a justification of that power:

 

 

Americans believe in the reality of ‘race’ as a defined, indubitable feature of the natural world. Racism — the need to ascribe bone-deep features to people and then humiliate, reduce and destroy them — inevitably follows from this inalterable condition. In this way, racism is rendered as the innocent daughter of Mother Nature, and one is left to deplore the Middle Passage or the Trail of Tears the way one deplores an earthquake…

 

But race is the child of racism, not the father. And the process of naming ‘the people’ has never been a matter of genealogy and physiognomy as one of hierarchy. Difference in hue and hair is old. But the belief in the pre-eminence of hue and hair, the notion that these factors… signify deeper attributes, which are indelible — this is the new idea at the heart of these new people who have been brought up hopelessly, tragically, to believe that they are white. (p. 7)

 

His racial lens is binary, based on dominance, not hue or hair. And -- although this is not at all the focus of his book -- I think he would likely sort other minorities by how they have fallen out, on that power dynamic. Those Dream-chasers who have managed (perhaps over a generation or two) to come out on the power-wielding side, even if their initial experiences here were extremely difficult -- the Polish and Irish and Italian Catholics, the Jews, (I think) the Chinese, would I think be for the purpose of his analysis count as "white"; whereas in his lens the experiences of South Asian Muslims and Latinos would I think be more aligned to the "black" experience.

 

I believe he was writing to a black audience. Or, actually -- to people who find themselves on his side of the exertion of dominance.

 

If you feel the need to have something equivalent to The Talk with your son, about how his the plunder and pillage of his brown body is sanctioned, even "heritage" in this country, before sending him out to the world... then I think he is talking to you. If you believe that your son will be treated by law enforcement differently than another upper middle class kid "who believes himself to be white," then he is talking to you.

 

He tells the story of growing up in one type of Baltimore neighborhood, and contrasts that experience with the nice upper middle class life his son is growing up in. Sure, there are differences. Yet he still fears for the safety of his son. (And not irrationally so, either.)

 

(idnib, now I'll ask that you forgive me if I sound aggressive... I truly wish we could all sit around together drinking mint tea or something...)

 

 

 

 

 

re: tending one's own garden:

I worry about this all the time.

I worry about the tending you own garden bit also. No escaping that when the first thing my son said when I told him we were going to homeschool him for a year, something he didn,t know was possible, was, "But won,t that bring down the public school system?" This, I think, is a damned if you do and damned if you don,t situation.

 

And I worry about Eliana,s bit about speaking up when you see something wrong. My youngest is involved in campus rape prevention. He is trying to convince girls (and guys) that if everyone just yelled loudly whenever someone touched them in a way they didn,t like, the frat parties would improve. It wouldn,t help keep people from being raped in lonely places, but as he pointed out, it would help change the segment of our culture which somehow seems to think frat party incidents are culturally acceptable to everyone. The problem is that yelling is culturally unacceptable, also. Another damned if you do and damned if you don,t situation. I think both of them boil down to the way change normally happens (at least in my world) - a few people yell and bad things happen to them but then a few more do and bad things happen to them but it makes people start to think and then more people decide to yell and the bad things still happen but some get away with yelling and gradually, as more and more people yell, more and more people decide that maybe the yelling is justified and eventually, people stop doing things that will result in being yelled at, and finally, they teach their children it is not ok to do those things. They also teach not to yell. (I look at being pacifist as a form of yelling. Ironically.) My question is whether this is the way it works everywhere? My son is at a geekie techie school, so this approach might actually work more quickly than in the world at large. But culturally, is this process of change more or less universal? Or not?

 

Pam, this post explains why you commented that you thought we weren,t making progress. If progress is measured by counting how many still need to have "that talk", then I can see why you are feeling discouraged. If you measure progress by the certainty of something catastrophically bad happening to you personally if you are a minority, then I think we are making progress. Not enough to say we have arrived at the goal of equality and relax, but progress.

 

And your explanation of the sides of the power struggle explains your father-son comments. I think it might be too simple a lens to explain a situation containing so many individuals and so much time, but I at least understand what you were talking about.

 

And not to mitigate the seriousness of "that talk" when you aren,t the "majority, which is probably exponentially worse, but don,t we all have "that talk" with our teens? Teen boys are viewed as threatening, being different than the person you are near is viewed as threatening, and teens of both sexes are viewed as desirable bodies. I know I did. I hated having to do it but I was scared not to.

 

Nan

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JK Rowling is a huge Austen fan and has said the cat was named after that Mrs. Norris, because she's a busybody like her human counterpart.

I read the series in French. Many of the names are different. And I never remember names. I don,t know if I missed the reference or just don,t remember it. Either is likely lol. Cool, now I know, though!

 

Nan

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Wow, this is a very active thread, I'm not sure I'll be able to keep up with it!

 

Re: Austen, I love her! Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book and I read it every year or two. Sense and Sensibility is probably my next favorite of hers. Mansfield Park was hard for me to get into. I actually gave up the first time and had to go back to it and try again. I don't remember much from Emma, maybe I need to give that one another read.

 

I finished Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier last night. I thought it was excellent! I have enjoyed every Marillier book I've read, but this one ranks right up next to my favorite, Daughter of the Forest. For anyone not familiar with her, I would describe her work as Celtic Fantasy.

 

Now I need to actually pick up The Explosive Child as I meant to do before but got too wrapped up in Heart's Blood.

 

 

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re: Better or Worse, and what nudges us from one state to the other...

 

But do you really think we are worse now than we were? I don,t. I don,t necessarily rhink we are that much better, since people are people, but worse?

Nan

People are people, yes.  Some combination of better selves and less-good selves, with a strong inclination to believe and defend in the Better, and a bit tetchy about that less-good side.  I don't think that bit has changed much since ancient times.

 

 

What gives me hope on my sunnier days is evidence that although our basic nature has not changed, we nonetheless are, over the long sweep of history, upping the collective ethical game.  Which we clearly have -- as Rebecca Goldstein put it in one of her novels: "To assert that there has been no cumulative progress in discovering moral truths is as grossly false as to say there’s been no cumulative progress made in science. We’ve discovered that slavery is wrong, we’ve discovered that burning heretics in autos-da-fe is wrong, we’ve discovered that depriving people of rights on the basis of race or religion is wrong, we’ve discovered that the legal ownership of women is wrong."  At a 40,000 foot view, I believe this, though there have certainly been fits and starts along the way.

 

If people are people, and human nature hasn't changed, then: Why? How?  If it is true that the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice, what are the *mechanisms* by which that slow progression from Worse to Better occurs?  I am coming to understand that this is THE question on a collective social justice basis, and also among the, I dunno, top 5 questions for individual ethics as well.

 

 

You've framed the progression in terms of "cultural" change, which is certainly a piece of change...

 

... I don,t think we should wait for all people,s hearts to change, either. That would require us to evolve physically, I think? which is surely happening, but not something I want to wait for lol. Nor do I want the sort of catastrophy that would cause a quick evolutionary change. I do think that true change depends on us changing culturally. I think this is possible. We,ve come far this way. I am working towards more cultural change.

...I do think our culture is changing, but it is slow, mostly generation to generation slow, and yes, we have to work at it. I find it encouraging, for instance, that more and more people are finally questioning that confederate flag. I don,t think that will keep John Doe 1 from making snap judgements about John Doe 2 based on appearence but I do think it is a sign of a small bit of cultural progress towards equality. Small.

... but as Eliana already jumped in and said more eloquently than I am about to, we're sunk if we wait for cultural attitudes to change first -- 

 

...I don't think we can wait for everyone's hearts to change (have you seen the chart about when that would have decriminalized "miscegenation"?). 

 

I don't believe any of the major improvements we've seen in systems, in public opinions, have come about through random natural drift, or any improvement in human nature, they've been worked for, campaigned for, fought for... and on many different levels. 

... and sometimes hearts and minds only change *after* a process of political activism that brings visibility about the lived experience of people at the margins of society through which light is shone on injustice.

 

 

In this country, the rule of law and particularly the judiciary system in enforcing the law have historically been such mechanisms.  

 

...To Pam and idnib: what haunts me in the analysis is enslavement. Please let me join you for mint tea.

 

True, our nationhood began with entrenched legal slavery and the 3/5 clause, and it took a civil war to launch the "moral arc" of our narrative history... and true, that progression has certainly proceeded with fits and starts.  The Black Codes aimed among other things at keeping blacks disenfranchised were as stark an example of Tyranny of the Majority as it's possible for me to imagine.

 

But those codes gave rise to the 14th Amendment, whose equal protection clause has been a critical structural "mechanism" for this country's progression from Worse to Better... and much of the progress attained by blacks, women and most recently LBGT populations is attributable to working within the judiciary system on the basis of equal protection under existing law.  Publicity aimed at engendering political support for changes to redress injustice has also been a priority.  Cultural change on issues like segregated swimming pools, women being fired upon getting pregnant, LBGT parnters' ability to name one another as insurance beneficiaries, or "miscegenation" followed legal and legislative action.

 

So I've always thought of our legal and judiciary systems -- albeit imperfect for sure-- as mechanisms for progress towards greater justice on that narrative arc of history.  

 

 

Michele Alexander's book left me in a state of incandescent rage because it outlines numerous places and stages at which those systems are currently failing -- reversing, even -- in that noble role, and have instead become an agent for the largest proportionate incarceration in the history of the world which is overwhelmingly race-based.  She systematically works through data at each stage of the process, from "discretionary" traffic and pedestrian stops by LEO all the way through to the post-prison-release stage, and documents jarring racial discrepancies at every.single.stage.  How is this possible in a colorblind society?  

 

(Well, Nan, if you read the book I'll come up to MA for mint tea...  :laugh: ...)

 

... but the soundbyte synthesis of Alexander's book is, we don't have a colorblind society; we have a color-denying society.  Her indictment is that we collectively are all too happy to push blacks (particularly black men) into the margins of society, we do not want to look at how their experience with LEO and prosecution is very very different, we have embraced mandatory sentencing and disenfranchising legislation, and we are secretly relieved that so many black men are behind bars.  We are very happy to write them off -- permanently, as it turns out, given what she demonstrates about the functional impossibility of re-integration after prison -- as Individuals who have made Bad Choices rather than face the complexity and discomfort of looking at systemic factors.

 

 

 

 


This is an uncomfortable construct, and I resisted it through the first half of the book.  But the more it sat with me, the more other pieces began to fall into place... there is not-knowing, and then there is refusing-to-look and refusing-to-hear-what-others-are-saying-about-their-lived-experience... the former is an error of omission, the latter gets much closer to complicity and even a kind of commision.  (Eliana, I will look up your Job midrash now...)

 

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Nan, we were posting on the same subject at the same time, which just goes to show, again, our peculiar and enriching syncopation...

 

 

...Pam, this post explains why you commented that you thought we weren,t making progress. If progress is measured by counting how many still need to have "that talk", then I can see why you are feeling discouraged. If you measure progress by the certainty of something catastrophically bad happening to you personally if you are a minority, then I think we are making progress. Not enough to say we have arrived at the goal of equality and relax, but progress.

And your explanation of the sides of the power struggle explains your father-son comments. I think it might be too simple a lens to explain a situation containing so many individuals and so much time, but I at least understand what you were talking about.

 

___________

 

And not to mitigate the seriousness of "that talk" when you aren,t the "majority, which is probably exponentially worse, but don,t we all have "that talk" with our teens? Teen boys are viewed as threatening, being different than the person you are near is viewed as threatening, and teens of both sexes are viewed as desirable bodies. I know I did. I hated having to do it but I was scared not to.

Nan

 

re: measuring progress by the % of families feeling the need to have The Talk -- I don't that that *is* how I'd look to measure; aside from being too subjective to be measurable from a practical research perspective, it is more fundamentally too indirect.  Black parents "feel the need" to have The Talk not because of some subjective emotional state in which they "feel" victimized, but because of an external reality, of differential discretionary stop rates, differential frisk rates, differential charge rates, differential prosecutorial treatment (the outcome of which is, blacks overwhelmingly accept plea bargains even when evidence is unlikely to support jury conviction), differential sentencing, differential fine imposition and... on and on.  Those external factors CAN be measured-- Alexander's book is a fine example on a macro basis, and the DOJ Ferguson report is equally fine on a micro level.

 

Your insight about "the certainty of something catastrophically bad happening to you personally if you are a minority" is interesting, and gets to the idea of "exceptionalism," the idea that if we have a black president and also Oprah, then the work is largely done... my reading of both Coates and Alexander is that this justification actually sustains the myth that we have a colorblind society even though the data (as well as Reports From the Field on blacks' actually lived experience) is pretty clear that race does still in fact matter a great deal.  Exceptions like Obama and Oprah enable us to deny that structural factors exist (and to not-look at data that might rock that sanguine certainty),

 

______

 

re: Don't we all have some version of The Talk with our teens?  Well, yes, but, mostly no.  I mean, yes, keep your cool with LEOs, speak calmly and respectfully, sure.  My 17 year old son is as frontal-lobe-challenged as the average, and sure, we've talked.  But do I really fear his being body-frisked, physically roughed up, or shot by LEO if an encounter which begins with, say, playing dopey music a bit loud outside the movie theater?  No.  Not really. It's not the same.

 

 

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My husband would be in heaven! He's been slowly working up to this for a year - there is mushroom goo "brewing" in mason jars on top of my kitchen cupboards as I type, and a stack of select logs under the snow in the yard, waiting patiently to be drilled.

 

Your husband probably knows this but if he is going to grow shiitakes he'll need freshly cut logs.

 

Jane, where do you keep these logs once they are seeded?

 

Nan

 

In an area that is mostly (80-90%) shaded.  Our property is partially wooded but otherwise one could use shade cloth. The logs need some water in droughts but they pretty much take care of themselves...except for squirrels which apparently like mushrooms.

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re: Better or Worse, and what nudges us from one state to the other...

 

People are people, yes. Some combination of better selves and less-good selves, with a strong inclination to believe and defend in the Better, and a bit tetchy about that less-good side. I don't think that bit has changed much since ancient times.

 

 

What gives me hope on my sunnier days is evidence that although our basic nature has not changed, we nonetheless are, over the long sweep of history, upping the collective ethical game. Which we clearly have -- as Rebecca Goldstein put it in one of her novels: "To assert that there has been no cumulative progress in discovering moral truths is as grossly false as to say there’s been no cumulative progress made in science. We’ve discovered that slavery is wrong, we’ve discovered that burning heretics in autos-da-fe is wrong, we’ve discovered that depriving people of rights on the basis of race or religion is wrong, we’ve discovered that the legal ownership of women is wrong." At a 40,000 foot view, I believe this, though there have certainly been fits and starts along the way.

 

If people are people, and human nature hasn't changed, then: Why? How? If it is true that the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice, what are the *mechanisms* by which that slow progression from Worse to Better occurs? I am coming to understand that this is THE question on a collective social justice basis, and also among the, I dunno, top 5 questions for individual ethics as well.

 

 

You've framed the progression in terms of "cultural" change, which is certainly a piece of change...

 

... but as Eliana already jumped in and said more eloquently than I am about to, we're sunk if we wait for cultural attitudes to change first --

 

... and sometimes hearts and minds only change *after* a process of political activism that brings visibility about the lived experience of people at the margins of society through which light is shone on injustice.

 

 

In this country, the rule of law and particularly the judiciary system in enforcing the law have historically been such mechanisms.

 

 

True, our nationhood began with entrenched legal slavery and the 3/5 clause, and it took a civil war to launch the "moral arc" of our narrative history... and true, that progression has certainly proceeded with fits and starts. The Black Codes aimed among other things at keeping blacks disenfranchised were as stark an example of Tyranny of the Majority as it's possible for me to imagine.

 

But those codes gave rise to the 14th Amendment, whose equal protection clause has been a critical structural "mechanism" for this country's progression from Worse to Better... and much of the progress attained by blacks, women and most recently LBGT populations is attributable to working within the judiciary system on the basis of equal protection under existing law. Publicity aimed at engendering political support for changes to redress injustice has also been a priority. Cultural change on issues like segregated swimming pools, women being fired upon getting pregnant, LBGT parnters' ability to name one another as insurance beneficiaries, or "miscegenation" followed legal and legislative action.

 

So I've always thought of our legal and judiciary systems -- albeit imperfect for sure-- as mechanisms for progress towards greater justice on that narrative arc of history.

 

 

Michele Alexander's book left me in a state of incandescent rage because it outlines numerous places and stages at which those systems are currently failing -- reversing, even -- in that noble role, and have instead become an agent for the largest proportionate incarceration in the history of the world which is overwhelmingly race-based. She systematically works through data at each stage of the process, from "discretionary" traffic and pedestrian stops by LEO all the way through to the post-prison-release stage, and documents jarring racial discrepancies at every.single.stage. How is this possible in a colorblind society?

 

(Well, Nan, if you read the book I'll come up to MA for mint tea... :laugh: ...)

 

... but the soundbyte synthesis of Alexander's book is, we don't have a colorblind society; we have a color-denying society. Her indictment is that we collectively are all too happy to push blacks (particularly black men) into the margins of society, we do not want to look at how their experience with LEO and prosecution is very very different, we have embraced mandatory sentencing and disenfranchising legislation, and we are secretly relieved that so many black men are behind bars. We are very happy to write them off -- permanently, as it turns out, given what she demonstrates about the functional impossibility of re-integration after prison -- as Individuals who have made Bad Choices rather than face the complexity and discomfort of looking at systemic factors.

 

 

 

 

 

This is an uncomfortable construct, and I resisted it through the first half of the book. But the more it sat with me, the more other pieces began to fall into place... there is not-knowing, and then there is refusing-to-look and refusing-to-hear-what-others-are-saying-about-their-lived-experience... the former is an error of omission, the latter gets much closer to complicity and even a kind of commision. (Eliana, I will look up your Job midrash now...)

If you will come have tea with me, I will read the book. : ) But, I still can,t tell if I am just being obtuse about something or whether I am just not communicating well. I think part of the problem might be that I have been tactfully trying not to say, "How could you not already know this?" when you write about things like our justice system being biased and there being some scary diminishments of safeguards in the name of public safety recently and other things. I,m having trouble figuring out whether you know something new that I don,t, OR whether you had a better opinion of the state of things than I did before you read that book. I,m finding the latter a little hard to swallow, since you,ve read so much more widely than I have. There. Now I,ve been unforgivably blunt. In my efforts not to say this to you and Eliana, I have somehow made it seem like I think we should just wait for change to happen rather than work for it, and that change isn,t ever going to happen, and that changing the system isn,t part of what makes change. One look at my face early on would probably have fixed that. I agree wholeheartedly that this is not a good way to have this discussion. Tea would be so much better. I,m not great at communicating even face to face. I will read your book. Which one is it again? Can what it says be extrapolated from things like the dorm room confederate flags and what our officials were doing during the hurricane that wiped out New Orleans and of the following story and similar situations? My son was walking through a small town in the south with a Japanese boy and a Native American boy. They were picked up by the police and put in a cruiser. They asked my son where they were headed, he named a local church, and they let him back out of the car immediately with a warning to be careful. They told the other two boys that they were taking them back to the station. The Japanese boy promptly lost his English and began protesting nonstop in Japanese. The policemen didn,t know what to do with him and couldn,t communicate, so they let him back out of the car after awhile. They took the Native American boy, who was fluent in English (and probably two other languages as well) back to the station. They didn,t want to release the boy, even to his grandfather. It took the adults in the group all day to get him back. He was 12 or 13. The sad part is that this was no surprise to anyone, not me when I heard about it later, not my son, and certainly not to the Native Americans in the group. Will the book tell me something I haven,t already figured out?

 

Hugs,

Nan

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So, I have just finished the biography of Elizabeth May.  Overall, it wasn't a bad read - it ends quite optiminstically and with real concrete directions that she feels would make a difference to the functioning of Canadian democracy.  THis is one of the things I really appreciateabout her as a politician - she isn't interested in arguments that score points, and she is one of the very few that notices the details of the political process and how they change, and speaks out about it.  THings she identifies: as issues:

 

1) media monopolies  - she suggests that we should as individuals look at supporting small independent newspapers - often weeklies or even bi-weeklies - if we have them available; that we should write letters to the editor and hold media to account in their reporting; comment on news websites.

 

2) Electoral reform needs to happen to have a better functioning Parliament and to re-engage voters. 

 

3) The PMO's office needs to return to its proper focus, she suggests that slashing its budget by half would be a good start.

 

4) MPs need to remember that their primary job is to represent constituents, not the party.  To this end, MPs need to be encouraged to speak their minds rather than be cowed by party strategists to keep to a particular script.  She also advocates the removal of the rule that requires the party leader to sign candidate's nomination forms.

 

There were also a few chapters that made me angry - one about Canada showing characteristics of becoming a petro-state.  This was quite interesting in light of the recent price drops in oil which show the lack of wisdom in that approach.  The other was about the last Conservative government and their actions n the sciences, including closing down research stations, burning books, and firing swathes of public scientists - even canning the census.  Given that my husband is a scientist in the civil service, this was particularly anger-inducing.

 

Anyway - all in all this was a nice book, and I think a good introduction to someone interested in finding out something about the Green Party.  It suffers a little stylistically - my impression is that it was rushed out a bit in preparation for an election.

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:leaving: I feel you people are talking about me!  :laugh:

 

:lol:  Those quotes would be hilarious if we were!

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Nan, we were posting on the same subject at the same time, which just goes to show, again, our peculiar and enriching syncopation...

 

 

 

re: measuring progress by the % of families feeling the need to have The Talk -- I don't that that *is* how I'd look to measure; aside from being too subjective to be measurable from a practical research perspective, it is more fundamentally too indirect. Black parents "feel the need" to have The Talk not because of some subjective emotional state in which they "feel" victimized, but because of an external reality, of differential discretionary stop rates, differential frisk rates, differential charge rates, differential prosecutorial treatment (the outcome of which is, blacks overwhelmingly accept plea bargains even when evidence is unlikely to support jury conviction), differential sentencing, differential fine imposition and... on and on. Those external factors CAN be measured-- Alexander's book is a fine example on a macro basis, and the DOJ Ferguson report is equally fine on a micro level.

 

Your insight about "the certainty of something catastrophically bad happening to you personally if you are a minority" is interesting, and gets to the idea of "exceptionalism," the idea that if we have a black president and also Oprah, then the work is largely done... my reading of both Coates and Alexander is that this justification actually sustains the myth that we have a colorblind society even though the data (as well as Reports From the Field on blacks' actually lived experience) is pretty clear that race does still in fact matter a great deal. Exceptions like Obama and Oprah enable us to deny that structural factors exist (and to not-look at data that might rock that sanguine certainty),

 

______

 

re: Don't we all have some version of The Talk with our teens? Well, yes, but, mostly no. I mean, yes, keep your cool with LEOs, speak calmly and respectfully, sure. My 17 year old son is as frontal-lobe-challenged as the average, and sure, we've talked. But do I really fear his being body-frisked, physically roughed up, or shot by LEO if an encounter which begins with, say, playing dopey music a bit loud outside the movie theater? No. Not really. It's not the same.

More simultaneous posts. : )

 

Starting with the last first - no, not that talk, although I,ve had that one as well. I mean the talk where you explain that being a teenaged boy automatically makes you seem threatening to some people, that you have to take that into account when you deal with people and go to extra effort not to do anything that seems suspicious. And the one about being old enough now that guys may hit on you and that is no reflection on your own orientation or behaviour, but you need to remember things like safety in numbers because some people don,t believe that each person has a right to say no. And I did say that this talk would be exponentially worse if you weren,t caucasian. Obviously, I was wrong about everyone having that talk in some form or another.

 

I felt like the reaction of segments of the population to having a black president was anything but an indication that we had arrived at the goal of equality. Not that it was any surprise. The surprise was that he actually is still alive. I didn,t think he was going to live through the first day. I can see how some people might think this, but I don,t think those are the people... You know what? I think some of this comes down to us talking about different things. When I think about the people who think we,ve reached our goal because we have a black president, I think good - those people at least have that goal. They aren,t like my old neighbor who thinks something has gone very wrong with the world these last few years, he doesn,t quite know what but he,s sure things have changed a lot and not for the better. My neighbor is much more of a problem, but I probably can,t reach him to change him, so I am unlikely to choose him as someone I (personally) will try to recruit in my efforts to change the world. I,ll target the reached-our-goal-now people, because I have ha

lf a chance of getting them to help, if I can hit them at a time in their life when they have some energy to spare and can convince them we aren,t there yet without branding myself as a crackpot conspiratorialist or extremist and scaring them off with too much depressing information all at once making them give up before they,ve begun. I will wait for something bigger than I can manufacture to change my neighbor. Maybe his daughter will make an interracial marriage and he,ll fall in love with his beautiful cafe au lait grandson. Or maybe something so bad that he can,t ignore it will happen right under his nose and wake him up. He doesn,t mean to be a bad person. But anyway, I think of people in these terms - reachable/unreachable, time and energy to work for change or not. I have trouble lumping the ones who want change together with the ones who don,t and tarring them all with the same brush. On the other hand, if you want to track down the philosophical roots of the problems and be analytical rather than practical, then yes, I can see why you would lump those two types together. I think we might have been switching lenses from analytical to practical and back and some incomprehension resulted?

 

Nan

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Hi guys.  I finally finished Rabbit, Run.  I'm not sure how I feel about it.  For about 4/5 of the book at least, I was sure I was going to say it stunk.  Then I started to feel like I could relate to Harry in a way.  Then it got crazy and ended at the edge of a cliff.  I hate when books do that.

 

I could relate to Harry being dissatisfied without really knowing why or what to do about it.  And (to a much lesser degree), I could relate to shirking [putting off] some responsibilities because I feel like there is supposed to be something more, and maybe I will find it if I look down this other path for a moment.  So that got me thinking about why I do the things I do, and why I feel the way I feel sometimes.  I still haven't gotten to the "what should I do instead" part yet.  ;)  Though we all know the answer to that.

 

Up next is a Stephen King book - Wolves of the Calla?  I assume it will not be deeply gratifying or anything like that.  :P

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PS My inclination now is to go delete all my posts because they probably sound so idiotic. Or naive. Or something. I,m leaving them only because I don,t think anything I say at this point will make me sound more idiotic than I already have and I want to try to at least explain that I don,t think we have arrived at equality or that we never will, both of which I seem to have managed to say by accident in my earlier posts. These last ones can,t make things worse, I guess. : )

 

Nan, who wants to go back to talking about something she knows something about rather than muddling about in the dark

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I also started Anne of Green Gables as a read-aloud for my kids.  I am not sure it was the best choice for the moment.  I had wanted to read Heidi next, but I got the girls this book and movie for Christmas, and figured I should read it before they tried to watch the DVD.  So far nobody is hanging on every word - but the first chapter starts kind of slow for a 9yo.

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Your husband probably knows this but if he is going to grow shiitakes he'll need freshly cut logs.

 

 

In an area that is mostly (80-90%) shaded. Our property is partially wooded but otherwise one could use shade cloth. The logs need some water in droughts but they pretty much take care of themselves...except for squirrels which apparently like mushrooms.

Well, I will await your results with interest. Personally, I,m betting something else will eat them before you get to them. So many things live in dead wood,,,

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In my efforts not to say this to you and Eliana, I have somehow made it seem like I think we should just wait for change to happen rather than work for it, and that change isn,t ever going to happen, and that changing the system isn,t part of what makes change. One look at my face early on would probably have fixed that. I agree wholeheartedly that this is not a good way to have this discussion. Tea would be so much better.

 

I didn't think you were saying that at all, for what it's worth. Yes, tea would be better. The nuances of what I want to explain are too difficult to communicate, or more likely I lack the skills to concisely write what I'm thinking into the small text box.

 

PS My inclination now is to go delete all my posts because they probably sound so idiotic. Or naive. Or something. I,m leaving them only because I don,t think anything I say at this point will make me sound more idiotic than I already have and I want to try to at least explain that I don,t think we have arrived at equality or that we never will, both of which I seem to have managed to say by accident in my earlier posts. These last ones can,t make things worse, I guess. : )

 

I think you're being too hard on yourself! I enjoyed reading your thoughts and hope you don't delete them.  :grouphug:

Edited by idnib
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So many things live in dead wood,,,

 

There's the first line for an interesting novel.

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re: but... but... didn't you already KNOW that racial bias exists?     and: Tea would be so much better

If you will come have tea with me, I will read the book. : ) But, I still can,t tell if I am just being obtuse about something or whether I am just not communicating well. I think part of the problem might be that I have been tactfully trying not to say, "How could you not already know this?" when you write about things like our justice system being biased and there being some scary diminishments of safeguards in the name of public safety recently and other things. I,m having trouble figuring out whether you know something new that I don,t, OR whether you had a better opinion of the state of things than I did before you read that book. I,m finding the latter a little hard to swallow, since you,ve read so much more widely than I have.

 

There. Now I,ve been unforgivably blunt. In my efforts not to say this to you and Eliana, I have somehow made it seem like I think we should just wait for change to happen rather than work for it, and that change isn,t ever going to happen, and that changing the system isn,t part of what makes change. One look at my face early on would probably have fixed that. I agree wholeheartedly that this is not a good way to have this discussion. Tea would be so much better. I,m not great at communicating even face to face. I will read your book. Which one is it again?

 

________

 

Can what it says be extrapolated from things like the dorm room confederate flags and what our officials were doing during the hurricane that wiped out New Orleans and of the following story and similar situations? My son was walking through a small town in the south with a Japanese boy and a Native American boy. They were picked up by the police and put in a cruiser. They asked my son where they were headed, he named a local church, and they let him back out of the car immediately with a warning to be careful. They told the other two boys that they were taking them back to the station. The Japanese boy promptly lost his English and began protesting nonstop in Japanese. The policemen didn,t know what to do with him and couldn,t communicate, so they let him back out of the car after awhile. They took the Native American boy, who was fluent in English (and probably two other languages as well) back to the station. They didn,t want to release the boy, even to his grandfather. It took the adults in the group all day to get him back. He was 12 or 13. The sad part is that this was no surprise to anyone, not me when I heard about it later, not my son, and certainly not to the Native Americans in the group. Will the book tell me something I haven,t already figured out?

Hugs,
Nan

I will come up for tea.  

 

The two books are Ta-Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me, and Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.  Coates' is a personal address from father to son that I think can be thought of as an amplified elaboration on The Talk; Alexander's is a scholarly analysis of a series of small and large changes in legislation, law enforcement, sentencing and access to services, dating back to the Reagan administration and ratified and extended by all subsequent administrations of both parties thereafter, have had the effect of sanctioning and in some cases actually encouraging differential treatment based on race, with the results that the US now has a higher % of its total population behind bars than any other, with black men imprisoned for small-amount drug possession (for which whites are rarely convicted and even less often jailed even though prevalence of drug USE is roughly equivalent by race) overwhelmingly filling those ranks.

 

Coates' is personal; Alexander's is structural.  You seem already to be well attuned to the personal?  So maybe if you only have the oomph to tackle one, Alexander's might be the one that would have more "news" for you?

 

To your question of "how could this possibly be NEWS to you?": first,   :lol: , and second, well... yes.  Alexander's, at least, did open my eyes to some very granular, mechanics-of-HOW structural dominance is being enforced... and how those mechanics operate even without that explicit individual Intent that is maybe being elevated into something of an idol... And perhaps I did have an unrealistically rosy assessment of the integrity of the legal system as well, at least at the appellate level.

 

 

 

 

More simultaneous posts. : )

Starting with the last first - no, not that talk, although I,ve had that one as well. I mean the talk where you explain that being a teenaged boy automatically makes you seem threatening to some people, that you have to take that into account when you deal with people and go to extra effort not to do anything that seems suspicious. And the one about being old enough now that guys may hit on you and that is no reflection on your own orientation or behaviour, but you need to remember things like safety in numbers because some people don,t believe that each person has a right to say no. And I did say that this talk would be exponentially worse if you weren,t caucasian. Obviously, I was wrong about everyone having that talk in some form or another.

I felt like the reaction of segments of the population to having a black president was anything but an indication that we had arrived at the goal of equality. Not that it was any surprise. The surprise was that he actually is still alive. I didn,t think he was going to live through the first day. I can see how some people might think this, but I don,t think those are the people... You know what? I think some of this comes down to us talking about different things. When I think about the people who think we,ve reached our goal because we have a black president, I think good - those people at least have that goal. They aren,t like my old neighbor who thinks something has gone very wrong with the world these last few years, he doesn,t quite know what but he,s sure things have changed a lot and not for the better. My neighbor is much more of a problem, but I probably can,t reach him to change him, so I am unlikely to choose him as someone I (personally) will try to recruit in my efforts to change the world. I,ll target the reached-our-goal-now people, because I have ha
lf a chance of getting them to help, if I can hit them at a time in their life when they have some energy to spare and can convince them we aren,t there yet without branding myself as a crackpot conspiratorialist or extremist and scaring them off with too much depressing information all at once making them give up before they,ve begun. I will wait for something bigger than I can manufacture to change my neighbor. Maybe his daughter will make an interracial marriage and he,ll fall in love with his beautiful cafe au lait grandson. Or maybe something so bad that he can,t ignore it will happen right under his nose and wake him up. He doesn,t mean to be a bad person. But anyway, I think of people in these terms - reachable/unreachable, time and energy to work for change or not. I have trouble lumping the ones who want change together with the ones who don,t and tarring them all with the same brush. On the other hand, if you want to track down the philosophical roots of the problems and be analytical rather than practical, then yes, I can see why you would lump those two types together. I think we might have been switching lenses from analytical to practical and back and some incomprehension resulted?

Nan

I wonder if maybe our back-and-forth (I prefer to think of it as syncopation, by the way, not incomprehension... :lol: ) maybe reflects a difference in orientation  in how social change is effected -- you see it as a one by one by one changing of individual minds; whereas I'm more inclined to see systems and patterns?

 

(When I step back, I believe in both, by the way; and different people are more inclined to/better at one mode than the other... it takes all kinds to heal a fractured world...)

 

 

 

PS My inclination now is to go delete all my posts because they probably sound so idiotic. Or naive. Or something. I,m leaving them only because I don,t think anything I say at this point will make me sound more idiotic than I already have and I want to try to at least explain that I don,t think we have arrived at equality or that we never will, both of which I seem to have managed to say by accident in my earlier posts. These last ones can,t make things worse, I guess. : )

Nan, who wants to go back to talking about something she knows something about rather than muddling about in the dark

I hope you don't.

 

It's a dangerous business, going out the door... but I truly believe we have as a society to find a way to talk about this stuff.  Back to Crucial Conversations and Peace on Earth and all that, lol.

 

 

Nan dear, I am shortly to log out for the evening and will be back tomorrow night.  We will have tea.  Shalom and  :grouphug: .

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I also started Anne of Green Gables as a read-aloud for my kids.  I am not sure it was the best choice for the moment.  I had wanted to read Heidi next, but I got the girls this book and movie for Christmas, and figured I should read it before they tried to watch the DVD.  So far nobody is hanging on every word - but the first chapter starts kind of slow for a 9yo.

Don't give up too soon... it starts slow.  My youngest and I did it when she was 9; she ultimately was entranced but it took a while.

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My husband would be in heaven! He's been slowly working up to this for a year - there is mushroom goo "brewing" in mason jars on top of my kitchen cupboards as I type, and a stack of select logs under the snow in the yard, waiting patiently to be drilled.

 

 

:leaving: I feel you people are talking about me!  :laugh:

 

 

The shiitake mushroom workshop was for farmers and individuals who wanted to learn more about growing them.  It included a hands on session. 

 

Shiitakes are inoculated into freshly cut logs of certain hardwoods like oak or sweet gum.  Essentially you drill holes every four or eight inches around the log, place this sawdust that has mushroom spores in the holes, paint wax over the sawdust.  Then you hope for the best.  Theoretically we should have mushrooms within a year or so--and then for at least five more years.

 

Fortunately we did not have to cut the logs!  But we did do the drilling, inoculating, and wax painting.  Interesting people in attendance.

I have this on my to-do list too, seems one of the easier things to get started and also seems there is a decent market if you want to sell them.

 

 

 

Made a library run and picked up TH White's Once and Future King, to continue my King Arthur kick. I also picked up a short non-fic by Rowling and requested Gaiman and Pratchett's Good Omens, it is one of the few Gaiman books I didn't read last year during my Gaiman kick. My plan is to finish the Feel Younger book today and dig into Once and Future King tomorrow, we'll see if I can resist, it will speed up my reading if nothing else.

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Finished my re-read of Emma. Sorry to say that I adore the titular character as much as ever, and am not sure there's quite enough of Jane to stretch to a short story. 

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Finished my re-read of Emma. Sorry to say that I adore the titular character as much as ever, and am not sure there's quite enough of Jane to stretch to a short story.

I'm still reading Emma, and am almost done with A Wizard of Earthsea, which I had read as a teen. I'd forgotten much of the story. My teen years are in the distant past! My older brothers had quite a bit of sf and I borrowed theirs...LeGuin, Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, Larry Niven, and some others.

 

I haven't read all the posts of this huge thread but I do love hearing about everyone else's books. So many delicious doughnuts in that bakery window!

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PS My inclination now is to go delete all my posts because they probably sound so idiotic. Or naive. Or something. I,m leaving them only because I don,t think anything I say at this point will make me sound more idiotic than I already have and I want to try to at least explain that I don,t think we have arrived at equality or that we never will, both of which I seem to have managed to say by accident in my earlier posts. These last ones can,t make things worse, I guess. : )

 

Nan, who wants to go back to talking about something she knows something about rather than muddling about in the dark

Nope, you mustn't delete anything. And you don't sound idiotic. You are trying to work something out and alot of times when we do so, whether it is on paper or verbally, our thoughts revolve and go on tangents, circling until we come to some sort of conclusion.    I was reading all your posts this morning during breakfast and wanted to respond but didn't have the time. My two cents - then we'll move on to something else.  It sounded a lot more eloquent in my head this morning but  here goes.   It's baby steps, educating ourselves and educating our children. Isn't that why we are homeschooling? We can't look at it as if we aren't taking anything away from the public schools. We are determining our children's future by exposing them to more than they can receive in the school. Do you want a conformist or one who thinks. The one who thinks is the one who can change the world.  

 

Once we read a book that opens our eyes, we take baby steps in understanding and then decided what can I do to change things, to improve things.  It begins with each individual and how that individual affects another. Just by your conversation here on the thread, you have enlightened, educated, made us think.  It's like taking off the blindfold and seeing something for the first time and wondering why didn't I see it sooner.  Because you weren't ready. It's basically all about awareness and how we each treat our fellow human beings.  It all kind of flows from there, like paying it forward.

 

Be kind, educate your family, your clan, your community and see where it flows. But don't drive yourself crazy trying to figure out how to change the world.  Baby steps. That's all we can do. Hope this makes sense. 

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I have this on my to-do list too, seems one of the easier things to get started and also seems there is a decent market if you want to sell them.

 

 

 

Made a library run and picked up TH White's Once and Future King, to continue my King Arthur kick. I also picked up a short non-fic by Rowling and requested Gaiman and Pratchett's Good Omens, it is one of the few Gaiman books I didn't read last year during my Gaiman kick. My plan is to finish the Feel Younger book today and dig into Once and Future King tomorrow, we'll see if I can resist, it will speed up my reading if nothing else.

 

 

I love Once and Future King, it's one of my favorite books.  Sadly, I have not been able to get any of my children to feel the same way.  Maybe someday, my youngest (who just turned 11) will love it.  

 

Good Omens was such a fun book, 2 authors who I wish could have worked together some more. 

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This afternoon I finished K. J. Charles' A Fashionable Indulgence: A Society of Gentlemen Novel (Society of Gentlemen Series Book 1) which is a romance featuring two men set in regency era England; I enjoyed it.

 

"In the first novel of an explosive new series from K. J. Charles, a young gentleman and his elegant mentor fight for love in a world of wealth, power, and manipulation.

When he learns that he could be the heir to an unexpected fortune, Harry Vane rejects his past as a Radical fighting for government reform and sets about wooing his lovely cousin. But his heart is captured instead by the most beautiful, chic man he’s ever met: the dandy tasked with instructing him in the manners and style of the ton. Harry’s new station demands conformity—and yet the one thing he desires is a taste of the wrong pair of lips.

After witnessing firsthand the horrors of Waterloo, Julius Norreys sought refuge behind the luxurious facade of the upper crust. Now he concerns himself exclusively with the cut of his coat and the quality of his boots. And yet his protégé is so unblemished by cynicism that he inspires the first flare of genuine desire Julius has felt in years. He cannot protect Harry from the worst excesses of society. But together they can withstand the high price of passion."

 

I'm ready to read more in this series.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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