You could spend a couple of minutes try to tease out the influences that are so obvious in this one or you could just accept that at this moment in our culture it is virtually impossible to create anything that is not essentially an amalgamation of everything that came before it and simply enjoy it for what it is. I know what I'm gonna choose!
To those of us for whom life is an incessant montage of badly-lighted scenes detailing mistakes made and opportunities squandered, this endless winter has been something of a comfort in that we are no longer alone: It's dark out there for everyone now. Oh, you're a little down because it is cold and gray all the time? WELCOME TO MY WORLD. Huh, you never really realized just how sad things can get at 5:15 of a Wednesday evening? MY LIFE IS AN ENDLESS SERIES OF WEDNESDAY EVENING, 5:15s. Perhaps "comfort" is not the appropriate word, though: What I am trying to convey is the small sense of belonging we melancholics finally feel now that everyone around us has grasped just how empty, meaningless and sorrowful it all is, and how even the sharpest sparkle on things that seem streaked with salvation is only the errant reflection from a sliver of sun that was meant to shine for someone else. Sadly, though, just as we are getting comfortable with the idea that we are part of the larger group, along comes the clock to save the rest of you: this Sunday everything goes an hour ahead. When you are living in your bright new world, one that is suffused with light and joy, please every now and then give a thought to those of us left behind, those of us for whom the darkness never ends. You know who we are now. You were once like us. Spring forward.
Photo by Jeffrey Zeldman, via Flickr
Heather Doney and Rachel Coleman are co-founders of Homeschooling’s Invisible Children, a site that documents abuse under the cover of homeschooling. Recently, they launched a new organization, the Coalition for Responsible Home Education, which raises awareness of the need for homeschooling reform, provides public policy guidance through research, and advocates for responsible home education practices.
How did you two meet?
Rachel Coleman: Heather and I both do academic research on homeschooling, and we were both in a Facebook group that dealt with spiritual abuse and some other negative aspects of conservative Christian homeschooling culture.
Heather Doney: Both of us were eldest daughters of families raised in the Quiverfull movement, where adherents reject birth control and have "as many children as God gives you,” so we had a lot in common: research interests, big family/big sister stuff, an interest in class differences in homeschooling.
How big are your families?
HD: I'm the eldest of 10, six girls and four boys.
RC: I’m the oldest of 12 children, seven girls and five boys.
How did you come up with the idea for Homeschooling's Invisible Children (HIC)?
RC: Heather and I were finding more and more cases of child abuse concealed by homeschooling, and at first I tried keeping a list of links, but I needed a better way to organize them. We decided putting them together in a blog might be a way to do that, while raising awareness at the same time.
You were both homeschooled yourselves, right?
RC: Yes. My parents started homeschooling me because my mom wasn’t sure I could handle all-day kindergarten (I took very long naps), and all-day kindergarten was the only option where we lived. It worked pretty well for our family, so I was homeschooled through high school alongside my siblings.
HD: I was homeschooled, but my education was pretty nonexistent. My family was very poor. We lived in inner-city New Orleans, which had a terrible school district, but my parents' homeschooling was even worse. There was no oversight. I was the only one of us kids to even learn how to read. It was only through an intervention by my grandparents that I gained access to intensive tutoring and started public school in 9th grade.
What do you mean by no oversight?
HD: My parents registered as a private school in Louisiana when I was six, which homeschoolers can do, and no one checked on us again. We never had to take standardized tests or report to anyone.
Is it like that in every state?
RC: 25 states have no assessment mechanism whatsoever. Most of the states that do have some assessment requirements also have loopholes—this is how Heather’s family fell through the cracks. Louisiana’s homeschool law requires parents to either create an annual portfolio of their students’ work or have their children tested each year. However, when parents in Louisiana choose to homeschool under the private school law instead of under the homeschool law, which is perfectly legal, there are no assessments or even subject requirements. Heather’s parents were literally not actually required by law to educate her, and there was no system in place for checking up on her and her siblings’ wellbeing.
Sadly, this lack of accountability is the norm for homeschooling law, not the exception. READ MORE
Even if you are having the best morning in your life thus far—and let's be honest, you almost certainly are not—this will make it a little brighter. For this rest of us this is probably as good as it's going to get all day, so let's take the time to fully appreciate it.
With Leah McGrath Goodman's identification of the founder of Bitcoin at Newsweek (not really a slam-dunk case? But, I'll take it, for now?), the greater Bitcoin-Internet is aghast. How dare this magazine expose this person? Not only are the comments on the piece itself entirely about how outrageous the reveal is, certainly Reddit is AFLAME.
● "This is unbelievable. How can we, as a community, protect Satoshi? It's on us. He gave us this gift. What can we do for him? I'm thinking bounties on the heads of any criminal that touches Satoshi? Is that too rash?"
● "This is scary as hell. This thing makes me so angry for some reason."
● "Leah McGrath Goodman, you are a BITCH!"
● "This article is horribly written and seems fake."
MEANWHILE. Here's the tackiest thing I've ever seen from a news publication.
Hitting the paywall on Newsweek's piece on true identity of bitcoin's creator? Free summary: http://t.co/mFdNz1Zive
— Christopher Mims (@mims) March 6, 2014
It's every dog for himself on the Internet. I guess the Bitcoiners were right, economies really are a race to the bottom of human behavior!
The Academy Awards are a meaningless popularity contest decided by out-of-touch old white men in suits with the help of an occasional white lady. But if your movie wins one, an Oscar can help make a significant difference in how posterity treats it and, more immediately, in how much money it makes. 12 Years a Slave, which raked in a very respectful $140,000,000 worldwide before it won Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay, is beginning to enjoy its Oscar bump–or perhaps, bumps:
12 Years will make a major expansion in U.S. theaters — Fox Searchlight will be playing the movie in more than 1,000 theaters — even though the slavery drama comes out on DVD Tuesday. … Beyond the big screen, best picture winner 12 Years a Slave is getting a post-Oscar bump for the book it was based on. The 19th-century memoir by ex-slave Solomon Northup jumped from No. 326 on Amazon.com before Sunday night's Academy Awards ceremony to No. 19 on Monday afternoon.
According to the New York Times, the movie launched its source material to the bestseller lists this past fall. Now its trajectory is steep enough that Oscar-winning director Alfonso (“Gravity”) Cuaron could be called in to film it. When your intrepid author checked on Tuesday, March 4, the paperback remained in the top 20, while the Kindle version had jumped to #17 overall and #2 on several specific lists:
• #2 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Sociology > Race Relations
• #2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > History > Americas > United States
• #2 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Nonfiction
People are rediscovering a lost classic and paying for the privilege! Terrific. But in a case like that of 12 Years a Slave, when the memoirist is long-since deceased, who profits from the book’s Oscar bump? Not to be all Upworthy about it, but the answer may surprise you.
As I have no musical training I lack the formal vocabulary with which to adequately discuss the kind of beat that carries songs like this along, but I can very definitely say that it is a sound I rather enjoy, signifying as it does both propulsion and possibility. It is difficult to know with music—with anything, really, but music in particular—if these feelings are subjective or universal, so give this one a listen and see if you don't nod along. [Via]
It was the night of my sister Kelly's 30th birthday party, and I was anxious. We’d encouraged guests to come in costume to fit the 1920s theme, and before anyone showed up, I helped my sister into the incredible flapper dress she’d found, beige with sheer paneling and sequins in all the right places. She set her black bob-cut wig and sparkling headband in place, swiped a bold rose color across her lips. I wanted Kelly to love the way she looked, because it was her party, but secretly all I could think about was if I’d look better: he was coming.
We'd been having sexless sleepovers for a couple weeks. I'd seen him that morning and kissed him goodbye. I was nervous because I knew we might have sex that night, and I thought looking perfect would help me relax. But I knew the thing making me scared was my secret, which I hadn’t told him. I hadn't ever told any guy my secret: I lost my virginity at 18, got sober at 23 and that night, at 25, I had never once had sober sex, sex without some drug in my system. READ MORE
I drink a lot, some weeks nearly everyday, some weeks once or twice, and once I've started (usually when I get home from work) I always keep going until I go to bed. I'm OK if I do it alone, but if I communicate with people in any way while I'm not sober and then the next day I don't remember each and every word of the conversations I start panicking and feeling I did something horrible.
I've had a rough life, but I've worked hard and, after a couple of psychiatrists that didn't help much and 1.5 years of therapy that did, I'm finally, at 29, in a very good place. I have very interesting and kind sisters and friends, a job I really like, lots of projects and great dates with myself and crime novels in new restaurants every Friday night.
A year ago I cut my narcissistic abusive parents out of my life for good, and now I'm working (pretty successfully) on being less productive, going on more adventures and not chasing after unavailable pigs who didn't even read my comics. I'm starting to think men liked me more when I was deranged and full of anger and that's a bit upsetting, but I'm very happy with my life in general.
A few months ago my therapist and I decided I was ready for a break so I'm not seeing her at the moment, and I was drinking much less during my time with her and never addressed this, so I ask you.
I'm not a loud drunk. I don't cry, vomit, derail the conversation, break stuff, put myself or others in danger. I'm polite and mostly dance or sit around having fun and being nice to people. Then what's the problem? How do I stop waking in panic the next day, going over my memories looking for the part where I screwed up and now everyone hates me?
I was raped while I was in a K-hole once (or twice), so I could just be getting triggered by the feeling of not-quite-remembering the night before. Or maybe it's just my mother inside my head going all "Look at what you've done, you relaxed and had fun and probably forgot to stop the horrid real you from shining through, and who's going to love you now?" I don't know. I struggle with the idea of loveability being subjective, a lot. A part of me will never stop looking for the exact formula.
Or maybe those are just excuses and I'm just a good ol' drunk.
I'm not hurting anybody (but me, and only by panicking) and I don't want to stop drinking if I don't have to. Can you think of another way of stopping the panic?
Thanks a lot!
You should stop drinking. READ MORE
On the one hand it is terrible that this astounding historical record of human civilization disintegrates in front of us while we are apparently unable to do anything about it, but when you realize that we are not too far away from everything looking like this it seems like preserving what will soon be just another pile of garbage in which our species once celebrated its supposed superiority is probably more effort than it's worth.