Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Seven Quick Takes


After the recent discussion of fantasy, I thought we might be in the mood for something... sizzling.

None of my puns on this are fit to print, so you guys go to town.


I was recently accused of "hating" for being insufficiently supportive of someone's pet project. And of course, it rankled deeply, and forced me to see the error of my ways, because I'm still in middle school and can be properly abashed by being called a big meanie.

No, no, friends. Accusations of "hating" are the last shrill defense of those unable to articulate why their particular favored institution should be above reproach. Dr. Boli knows what I'm talking about:
One of the most efficacious methods of bringing about the downfall of the establishment is to equip yourself with a large supply of stickers that say “HATING” in large white letters on a red background.What good will that do? you ask. Ah, but this is the clever part: you will affix those stickers to stop signs all over the city, neatly centered under the word “STOP,” so that the signs will now read “STOP HATING.” The entire military-industrial complex will be confounded by your apt repurposing of already-ubiquitous signage. 


Are you not reading Dr. Boli? Hater. His history of the Roman Empire is everything it should be.


Bearing meditates on the fallacy of homeschoolers taking Dorothy Sayers's conception of the Trivium-based school too literally.

Did you catch that bit -- that at the start of her "school" the children have already been taught to read, write, and do arithmetic?  We're on our own for that part, homeschoolers.Sayers' imaginary school is not, actually, a plan (and she takes pain to point this out).  Nor is it a reconstruction of the medieval trivium in any way -- significantly, she stresses, "It does not matter, for the moment, whether it [the trivium] was devised for small children or for older students, or how long people were supposed to take over it."No, this school she describes is a rhetorical device.  The point of the description is to create vivid pictures in the readers' minds, of children arguing, or finding Cassiopeia in the night sky, or examining portraits of the Kings of England, or carefully studying maps.  This is just an illustration to motivate readers to hear and accept her philosophy of education, which she emphasizes by making it the very last sentence of the essay:For the sole true end of education is simply this: to teach men how to learn for themselves; and whatever instruction fails to do this is effort spent in vain.This is a philosophy that appeals to me, and it is why I go around telling people that I am a "classical homeschooler."  Not because I think my homeschool should be split up into Grammar and Rhetoric and Dialectic (although I sometimes use those terms to describe the level of mental process that is engaged by a particular book or curriculum).  I tell people I am a "classical homeschooler" because I believe my job is to teach my kids how to teach themselves.

Also: Sayers never taught any children.


I was driving along bobbing my head amiably to the oldies station, when I was jolted out of my complacency by the familiar opening strains of "Play That Funky Music." I mean, normally the only time I ever hear it at every wedding reception, but that's also the only time I ever hear the BlackEyed Peas, no oldsters. As soon as possible I plunked myself in front of YouTube, and sure enough, this song dates back to 1976. That wasn't a long time ago when I was young, let me tell you whippersnappers.

And now the kids have it in their ears, and beg, "Mom, can we listen to that song from two years before you were born?" Humph.


Of course, my problems could be much, much worse.


Well, I'm fresh out of other people's cleverness. Have a lovely weekend, all!


Anonymous said...

The band "Wild Cherry" was from Steubenville, OH.

Anonymous said...

I think that Dorothy Sayers did teach at a girls' school for a while.

MrsDarwin said...

First Dean Martin and then Wild Cherry? Go Steuby!

This reminds me of the movie "That Thing You Do" where the promoter tells the band that they could play Steubenville. "Steubenville? Steubenville!?" exclaims one of the guys, as if this was some unparalleled apex of glory.

Anonymous said...

Re: the bacon, it was unfair to post that on Facebook. So many quips instantly arose...and none that I wanted to share with hundreds of people.

John Henry

MrsDarwin said...

John Henry, I post this stuff because I like to make people suffer.

Anonymous said...


John Henry

Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP said...

'I was recently accused of "hating" for being insufficiently supportive of someone's pet project.'

So you're the hater who's been holding Alphonse back! My, my....