Friday, March 30, 2007
although there is a serious lack of material in this category of The Underground Baby League I'd like to point out. Guess I'll have to get The Dragon of the Honk and Tonk out here to improvise a few costumes and pix one of these days so we can get the corner on this underappreciated market.
if only it were acceptable to wrap yer kid in tin foil and shuffle them off to some Mechanical Wizard's Academy. Aren't we supposed to stimulate their little mind-boxes with fresh fruit from the imagination tree? Well let's kick into high gear and take them back a century plus-half, garb 'em up 'er down and toss those babes out on the cobblestones to garner themselves a little living, wot?
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Getting ready to go to Walla Walla for four days with my girls and Hannah, been full to brimming with gardening and personal emotional realignment, a little surgery from the inside out. Being in a relationship again so soon, even a good one, strains me at times. I find myself scared without knowing why, a smell I can place but not locate. I trudge through the monotony of chores and bills, checks and balancing acts, searching the small stuff for some substance to shore up my sore heart and patch me through 'til tomorrow.
My hard-copy zine of Pirate Papa got reviewed in Green Anarchy's magazine. Not a very good review, but Zerzan gave me a good word after Felonious Skunk wound his way through a long-winded, self-deprecating piece of boredom. I took offense at first but then I just felt sorry for him. He's a new father and doesn't think fathers are interesting? Watch out buddy. You're in for a ride. Any publicity is good publicity in my opinion and if you don't like my work then don't waste your time reading it.
Even if I didn't like his review I suppose I've taken a few tips from it and changed the attitude of Pirate Papa a bit, less journaling and more journalism as of late. Then again, maybe that's just due to the fact that my time has been swallowed whole by spring and the world and the beauty encapsulated within a toddler's blossoming eyes and big, big mouth.
A few links I've turned up in my internet travels:
Dads & Daughters - WE ARE the only organization dedicated to maximizing the power and potential of father-daughter relationships. We support fathers and stepfathers no matter where they are. We work hard to make a better life for every girl.
WE BELIEVE that all dads and daughters benefit when fathers and stepfathers actively and deeply engage in the lives of their daughters and help transform the pervasive cultural messages that devalue girls and women.
Divorced Dads Matter - Practical Information and Support for Divorced and Divorcing Dads
Good Parenting Resolutions
Family Pride is the national non-profit organization committed to securing family equality for all loving families, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer parents, guardians and allies. Our work consists of strategically linked initiatives—broad in scope, but simple in vision—love, justice, family, equality. We make change. We share information. We build community. We are visible.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
I'm glad there's some decent articles, books and discussion boards kicking this idea around the edges of the mainstream in more productive ways than when I was in D.A.R.E. so many years ago. What a joke that was. You ever try parenting on weed!??! Enjoy the articles I dug up:
Is it always wrong for kids to smoke marijuana? Two families discuss their pot-smoking kids.
Kids and pot; a controversial topic if there ever was one, with many pot advocates buying into the prohibitionists' idea that it's always bad for children to use marijuana.
"Protecting kids from drugs" is the mantra of justification for prohibitionists who want adults thrown in jail for using cannabis. But it isn't just anti-potties who decry underage cannabis use. For example, at a marijuana rally, three high school kids came up and asked me if I would smoke with them. I did and found them to be witty, savvy, fun people. When I returned to the activist's booth I'd been at, however, one of the powerhouses of the marijuana movement told me I was immoral for smoking with the kids.
"We believe it's wrong for kids to get high," I was told. "You're setting a bad example."
I was surprised that a person who publicly states that the cannabis plant is a healing herb with medicinal, spiritual and industrial uses would so vehemently oppose its use by young people. I realized then that it would be helpful to discuss kids and pot, and to solicit a dialogue on the subject between this magazine and its readers.
We want to hear what you have to say about the issue, and I'll be sharing what I've learned as a marijuana writer and researcher.
In future articles you'll read about high school students who got tired of drug dogs and strip searches and stood up to their oppressors, and a tribe of pot-smoking pygmies with kids who smoke African weed while running through jungles and climbing trees. You'll think about dilemmas faced by parents, whose love for herb is complicated by prohibition and love for their children.
In the world of enlightened cannabis use, there are no pot crimes, but there are choices. Should kids get high? What happens to them when they do? Why do they use pot? What should parents and society do about it, if anything? Let's answer these questions together.
Communication and experimentation
I was at an Oregon farmer's home photographing his grow room. His ten-year- old son, Jeremy, was cooking dinner, some kind of Thai recipe, with coconut milk, lemon grass, and cannabis leaves.
It smelled wonderful, but I was wondering if Jeremy was going to partake of what I assumed would be a psychoactive supper. I saw him tong a fat Indica leaf from the soup and pop it in his mouth, which pretty much answered my unspoken question: he used pot.
At dinner, I questioned Jeremy and his dad about marijuana use as I greedily slurped down the delicious soup.
Jeremy's father John told me that Jeremy had asked him two years ago about the plants in the garage, about the wacky tobaccy dad smoked after a day on the tractor.
"It was obvious the boy wanted to try some," said John, a single father who'd raised Jeremy since age 7 when the boy's mother was killed in a car wreck.
"I told him, 'Go ahead,' but it's strong stuff and you best not smoke up all my stash,"...Read More...
Tips for talking to your children about marijuana.
Kids and Pot: Scary? Not!
Adults Teach Small Children To Smoke Pot - Youtube
A good message board discussion on this topic
It's Just a Plant: a Children's Story of Marijuana - written by a former DARE Officer.
The above book causes a bit of a stir, all the way up to Congress
Friday, March 23, 2007
* affectionate for father in Latin and various Romance languages
o hence, Pope in various languages
o also, Papar (Culdees), Irish monks
o many languages (often unrelated) have words with labial consonants and open vowels as their word for "father" and "mother"; /papa/ is just one example. A discussion of this phenomenon can be found in the article Mama and papa.
o some people also refer to their grandfathers as "papa".
* P in the NATO phonetic alphabet
* Papa class submarine
* pāpa in Sanskrit, the concept of sin in Hinduism
* Potato in Spanish, in some dialects slang for "food"
* Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961), nickname
* Nick "Papa" Kho, former professional pick-up artist and part owner in the pick-up and seduction company Real Social Dynamics
* Papa Bouba Diop (born 1978), a football (soccer) player from Senegal.
* Rav Papa (?-375), a Babylonian Amora from the Talmud
* Rangi and Papa, the primordial parents according to Māori mythology
* Pápa, a town in Hungary
* Papa Stour
in arts and popular culture:
* Papa (drama), a South Korean drama
* Papa Lazarou, a fictional character from The League of Gentlemen.
* Papa (song), from the popular BBC film/Tv Film Gideon's Daughter.
* Professional and Amateur Pinball Association
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Feeding Your Family: Organic Veggies on a Budget"Anybody who's shopped for organically-grown produce has probably experienced the sticker-shock that goes along with it. It's a fact that in most cases organically-grown supermarket produce is more expensive than its non-organic counterpart, but I think a larger number of parents would likely grab the organic stuff if the two were closer in price..."Read More...
I'm really lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest, where we have superb access to organic, locally grown foods without expending much effort. But, with the current trend of 'going green' being set by places of such ill-repute as Fred Myer and Wal_Mart hopefully everyone will soon be informed as to the benefits, politics, pitfalls and corporate scams revolving around the food we eat.
I would add to this nice little snippet from Strollerderby a few things: Food Co-Ops are a great way to save money, support local agriculture and dine on organic foods without signing on to a yearly CSA plan, which some family incomes cannot logically support (directory of food cooperatives); I would also recommend growing your own food! Check out the book Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades by Steve Solomon, or, if you live in an urban area, research rooftop gardens to see if your building can support one or start a kitchen garden. Think you have no room? Ha!
Think again. In a hundred square feet with twenty minutes a day one can grow enough fruit and vegetables to heavily supplement their family's food needs. And, if you live in a tiny apartment you'd still be shocked at the amount of plants you could cram in there and the money you'll save growing your own food. Also, I'd like to throw a few reasons why Organic Foods are awesome (this is from Wikipedia):
For the environment
In several surveys that have looked at smaller studies to build an overall comparison between conventional and organic systems of farming a general agreement on benefits has been built. In these surveys it has been found that:
- Organic farms do not release synthetic pesticides into the environment—some of which have the potential to harm local wildlife.
- Organic farms are better than conventional farms at sustaining diverse ecosystems, i.e., populations of plants and insects, as well as animals.
- When calculated either per unit area or per unit of yield, organic farms use less energy and produce less waste, e.g., waste such as packaging materials for chemicals.
One study found a 20% smaller yield from organic farms using 50% less fertilizer and 97% less pesticide. Studies comparing yields have had mixed results. Supporters claim that organically managed soil has a higher quality and higher water retention. This may help increase yields for organic farms in drought years. One study of two organic farming systems and one conventional found that, in one year's severe crop season drought, organic soybean yields were 52% and 96% higher than the conventional system and organic maize yields were 37% higher in one system, but 62% lower in the other. Studies are also consistent in showing that organic farms are more energy efficient.
For those who work on farms, there have been many studies on the health effects of pesticide exposure. Even when pesticides are used correctly, they still end up in the air and bodies of farm workers. Through these studies, organophosphate pesticides have become associated with acute health problems such as abdominal pain, dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, as well as skin and eye problems. In addition, there have been many other studies that have found pesticide exposure is associated with more severe health problems such as respiratory problems, memory disorders, dermatologic conditions, cancer, depression, neurologic deficits, miscarriages, and birth defects. Summaries of peer-reviewed research have examined the link between pesticide exposure and neurological outcomes and cancer in organophosphate-exposed workers.
A study published by the National Research Council in 1993 determined that for infants and children, the major source of exposure to pesticides is through diet.A recent study in 2006 measured the levels of organophosphorus pesticide exposure in 23 schoolchildren before and after replacing their diet with organic food. In this study it was found that levels of organophosphorus pesticide exposure dropped dramatically and immediately when the children switched to an organic diet.
Most conventionally grown foods contain pesticides and herbicide residues. There is controversial data on the health implications of certain pesticides. The herbicide Atrazine, for example, has been shown in some experiments to be a teratogen, even at concentrations as low as 0.1 part per billion, to emasculate male frogs by causing their gonads to produce eggs – effectively turning males into hermaphrodites.
The US Environmental Protection Agency and state agencies periodically review the licensing of suspect pesticides, but the process of de-listing is slow. One example of this slow process is exemplified by the pesticide Dichlorvos, or DDVP, which as recently as the year 2006 the EPA proposed its continued sale. The EPA has almost banned this pesticide on several occasions since the 1970s, but it never did so despite considerable evidence that suggests DDVP is not only carcinogenic but dangerous to the human nervous system – especially in children.
"A global and social transformation is taking place being manifested through the media, television, corporations, government agencies, the United Nations, and the educational system. The agents of change and the social engineers wish to purge our children's beliefs, value systems, their independence and individuality; their aim being to replace them with more global beliefs, universal values, and interdependence thus molding their fragile little minds, shifting them into group think. All the while with the state trying to undermine parental authority and influence, playing a greater role in a child's life and contributing to the further breakup of the family.
There is a battle on for our children's hearts and minds. With the educational system assuming direct control and responsibility for the development of children's attitudes and values, and through mental health screening, the government will be incorporating social and emotional development, a place where it does not seemingly belong. John Dewy, considered to be the father of progressive education said, “the society or groups is most important, and that independent individualists have a form of insanity.” Much of his teachings have become dominant in the American public school system..."Read More...
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Their vocabulary and articulatory skills progress in amazing leaps and bounds, stop dead for a few days and then explode again, roman candles reflected in the mudpuddles and pools of apple juice beneath the kitchen table. I come to consider each day a dance of different activities, best choreographed by exhausted parents moments before each step must be made. This is the part where we collectively sigh and think to ourselves how we all feel that way sometimes but thank goodness we have a few things going for us, some semblance of a plan and a basic grasp on the art of the long view. Right?
The number of times a day I am brought to the brink of tears by some beautiful twist of Lyli’s little pink tongue or by some gracious act (often a rarity) by Scarleht on behalf of her temporarily beloved twin sister steadily increases with each passing week. Back and forth their mercurial moods rage on a pendulum anything but pacified. And I sit, seaside, watching their tides roll in. And it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever born and birthed witness to.
Childcare is a part of this problem. Parents who need to work to pay for housing, clothing, and groceries need to pay for childcare, and the average monthly cost of childcare in 2003 was $340. Single women are again hit disproportionately by this problem. Although men like the author of this sentence may talk a lot about gender equality and feminism, we rarely pull equal weight in the home, whether the work involved is the raising of our own children or the doing of the dishes. Even in dual-income families, women still do the vast majority of this ‘reproductive labor.’ Increasingly, we recognize the importance of supporting parents and children in this culture. Once they have children, new parents - especially mothers - often find themselves marginalized and overworked by the very movements that they helped build. Dependable childcare is often not provided at events. This is a problem for all parents, but women are perhaps the hardest hit. Across nearly every category, women still do the vast bulk of childraising. While women are doing this most vital of labors, radical men tend to have more relative freedom to engage in public work, union organizing, or activism. By default, men continue to dominate our institutions, set our priorities, and find themselves as the most active members of our union... Read More at the Embassy of Arcturus
Monday, March 19, 2007
"Anarchist Parenting" is a forum dedicated to the sharing of practices and experiences which relate towards non-coercive parenting, child care and community support (or building such support structures) in a society in which strong emphasis is placed on hierarchy, domination and isolation of the nuclear family.
This is a place intended for the discussion of how parents and other child caregivers do and should treat and relate to children and young people, while focusing on the anarchist perspective. This forum also explores how various forms of hierarchy and domination, such as the State, capitalism and patriarchy, affect and relate to child-raising. This is also a place to exchange ideas on how to overcome the hierarchy and domination that exists in the area of parenting and child care.
Though it may touch on it, this is not specifically a forum for the discussion of schooling or educational approaches. Nor is this a forum for the discussion of anarchism or youth liberation in general.
This e-mail list exists to have an informative, respectful, and open discussion about anarchist parenting. With this being the case, it must be clear that anyone who persists in behavior contrary to this will be kicked and banned from the list. Here are some clear examples
of the behavior I am talking about:
- flaming or personally insulting other list members (including guilt-tripping others about their parenting methods)
- inhibiting a clear understanding of anarchism by continually insisting that anarchism is "pro-capitalism" or "pro-chaos".
- spamming the list with commercial advertisements
The TCS List, dedicated to discussing Taking Children Seriously and it's implications. To subscribe to this list, send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org saying (in the body of the message)
subscribe TCS your-first-name your-last-name
then follow the instructions to confirm your subscription.
The Radical Unschoolers List, dedicated to all families who choose to radically unschool their children. To subscribe to this list, just send a blank message to: RULemail@example.com
The Anarchist Education List - "Discussion of various facets of anarchist thought as relates specifically to education." To join, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the words: "subscribe anoked-l" in the BODY of the message.
The Anarchist Teachers list A list for anarchist and anti-authoritarian teachers, educators, schoolworkers, free skool instructors, and educational workers. You don't have to teach a class
in anarchism to join. If you teach math, but consider yourself an anarchist, please feel free to join. If you work in a school cafeteria, you can also join.
To subscribe, send an email to: email@example.com with the message: "subscribe teachers" in the body of the message.
The Organise class struggle anarchist list, dedicated to discussing class struggle anarchism and related matters. To join this list, please go to: http://flag.blackened.net
Thursday, March 15, 2007
...Organizing themselves and imagining strategies to defeat the Architects of Despair was not an easy task for these mamas. They came from different places and spoke different languages. Sora was from Chile; Olivia was a black woman whose family lived in Bushwick for as long as she could remember; Celia was from Ecuador, and there were other mamas who came from around the world. Despite their differences, they created a new organization called Pachamama: the Bushwick Childcare Cooperative.
Pachamama means something like “Mother Earth” in Aymara, an Incan language. It was a good name because it reflected the Latin American roots of many of the mothers, yet still had the word “mama” in it, so people who spoke English could understand the name too. With a room full of toys and games in the Sista II Sista office, and with lots of determination, they invited more mamas to join them in raising their children together…Read More...
And another article on the same topic from Zapagringo.
More links and articles:
Regeneración Childcare NYC is a network of awesome childcare volunteers in New York City. We provide childcare to facilitate the participation of low-income mothers of color in building movements for collective liberation.
How Collective Childcare Liberated Women in Maoist China
Children of Che: Childcare and education in Cuba - An interesting book I came across awhile back.
Community Child Care Co-operative is a not-for-profit organisation established in 1978 to promote, support and advocate for quality children’s services, meeting the needs of children, their families and the community. - God, Australia is so cool.
Friday, March 9, 2007
Now this is what I'm talkin' about. Living in Olympia, I know a lot of girls who have gone glass... but they usually espoused local economy or support-your-local-glass-blower reasoning, not enviro/health/what the hell am I putting in my cooter? logic. There are a ton of links on these various articles too for the blossoming green-kink in all of us. Solar vibrators? Sweet. Thanks to Treehugger, we now have a few alternatives to choose from:
How to Buy a Green Sex Toy - So you eat organic veggies, drive a hybrid, and use eco-friendly detergent? What about sex toys? Make sure you are sitting comfortably to learn about what chemicals you may be taking to bed with you. Do you dare to go green between your organic sheets? TreeHuggerTV gets the sweet lowdown with a report inspired by writer Emily Gertz. The phthalates found in traditional sex toys can cause cancer, damage our reproductive systems, impair sperm, and damage the planet. Watch the vox pops in the streets as people realise that the objects they’ve been using to pleasure themselves and their partners might have longer terms effects on their bodies than they wanted. Carolyn Riccardi, Education Coordinator at Babeland, gives us a tour of PVC-free green sex toys that keep us sexy and healthy. Love the earth while you make love!
Sustainable Sex Toys - For treehuggers, it can be hard to get through the day without guilty, pre-occupied micro-decisions. You might regretfully take a cab rather than the bus, or grab Styrofoam take-away instead of just sitting down and eating from a plate. In the bedroom, it can be an accomplishment to wade through all of the cultural pollutants and just enjoy ambivalence-free pleasures. So, once you’ve happily integrated one into your life, who wants to worry about a carcinogenic dildo? Or non-biodegradable paddles whose ultimate punishment will mean an eternity of landfill stink? Not sexy. We have assembled an array of toys and info for you and your partner(s) in crime! Be sure and let us know what we’ve missed.
How to Green Your Sex Life - Whether you’re single and playing the field, settled down with that special someone, or someplace in between, most of us consider good, satisfying, sexy sex an important part of this complete breakfast. It might not be the first thing we think of while working towards a sustainable and graceful life on this fragile planet, but there’s a lot we can do to make our sex lives greener. In the process of greening the ecological footprint of our love making, we might also open up some new doors to deeper pleasure, satisfaction, and romantic connection.
Naughty by Nature: Ever thought about the toxins in your sex toys? - Many popular erotic toys are made of polyvinyl chlorides (PVC) -- plastics long decried by eco-activists for the toxins released during their manufacture and disposal -- and softened with phthalates, a controversial family of chemicals. These include invitingly soft "jelly" or "cyberskin" items, which have grown popular in the last decade or so, says Carol Queen, Ph.D., "staff sexologist" for the San Francisco-based adult toy boutique Good Vibrations. "It's actually difficult for a store today to carry plenty of items and yet avoid PVC," Queen says. "Its use has gotten pretty ubiquitous among the large purveyors, because it's cheap and easy to work with."
Thursday, March 8, 2007
this is the way the volvo ends, this is the way the volvo ends, this is the way the volvo ends, not with a whimper but a bang
Day is filled with computer work, shirked household chores lazily accomplished in sloth time and eventually completely abandoned and put off "until tomorrow" (wink wink), curse words over my broken volvo. Tried to start old Puff up to go to the post office (have to ship everything priority now goddammit) and she spat something out her tail or mouth, couldn't tell which but I suspect, from the plume of smoke issuing from her nostril region, it was something under the hood. Couldn't get 'er to turn over after that. Had a talk with the girls about "member 'ast time tow twuck come 'n take-ah owr cah away?" a few tears when "papa not fixxxxx it!!!!" right away. Lyli issues with an adorable whine: "Papa get in ouh an' fix 'eyo things and tuhrn... it... on!" So we walk out to the mailbox instead and they get totally wiped out running over a quarter mile. I carry them most of the way back to the house until my arms cramp, mail crammed in the back of my pants down my long-johns. It's windy and Lyli & Scarleht's sun-kissed hair blows back in golden slivers, their little bright blue eyes squinting into the afternoon sun. We enter the house, eat some leftovers from breakfast and the girls excuse themselves for a nap. I try not to take it personally that they sometimes just want to go to bed with each other and not me. Then I come to my senses and revel in the bliss of independent twins.
Work is piled up around my house in the form of piles of books and stacks of boxes full of more books, bookshelves full of books, gardening I need to get crackin' on, wood to be split, housework (&*% *#$% $% &*$%&$), computer work and springtime yard work. Sometimes I loathe working on the computer but I suppose I enjoy at least having a wide variety of different things to do on one. Although that does tend to just cause things to back up even more at times. I sort my e-mail for an hour. Whittle it down from 159 to 67 and then quit in disgust. Glance at myspace inbox at all the unreplied incoming messages. Decide to delete the 22+ superfluous messages from the answering machine instead. Instead of cleaning I try to just not make anything else dirty (excepting dishes of course). Tow truck gets here, drags volvo away to mechanics again. Rent due again in two days. I shudder at the frail balance of my bulimic checking account. Put more books online until my brain is fried. Make dinner and cuddle with the girls to watch a movie. I fall asleep. 7:00? 8:00?
Wake up at 9:15. Girls have gone to bed on their own sometime. Window is clean but rest of downstairs trashed. At least they dig playing with empty cardboard boxes. I try to read, fail. Sit and think about old friends lost in the wind. Put more books online. Fret a bit. Watch The Godfather. Stop fretting. Try to psych myself up to see a show in Portland later tonight. Should probably nap with the girls before Emma arrives tomorrrow so I'm not absolutely shellshocked.
Lyli and Scarleht have been really high energy the last few days, an energy I assume can only come from me, since it appears to have a directly proportional draining effect on me as it shoots them through the roof. I take my vitamins and a quick shower (that was this morning after breakfast, I just got around to typing it now).
At least their obnoxiously high energy levels are filled with giggles and practical jokes and light-hearted piercing shrieks and circles run around in. At least we live in this beautiful place.
More books online. Remember to eat a little snack. Prepare to collapse. Replay upon awakening with minor modifications.