JJ to Unity-N-Diversity on Where Home Education is Heading

4 01 2008

My too-long comment for this thread:

I agree with sunniemom, that true individuality needs to prevail over organizational interests in the homeschooling community. I even agree with Mary Nix (who I imagine would rather I wouldn’t!), when she says some of us just can’t move on — I still hear stuck voices who can’t or won’t change and move on to new ideas, beyond old hierarchy and institutional models as constitutionally unfit for homeschooling. Never mind HSLDA and Christian controls, not even free, secular discussions among individuals at NHEN or HEM-AHA can or should present homeschooling to the public as any kind of hegemony.

But organized homeschool hegemony is the truth of this lingering division that some still nurse to justify their own supposedly individual advocacy “to protect homeschooling” — see Power of Story Worthy to Lead Education”:

Home education is becoming a recognized institution. We’ve long debated how best to protect and preserve home education’s freedoms, its public image, its representation and leadership, who can speak for home education and with what words. Some of us are presently discussing how home education’s leadership can transition from veterans to the next generation, but we haven’t agreed on what home education leadership IS yet.

It’s complicated! So [university president] Bollinger says to start with the foundation, honor fundamental principles.

“You can’t represent an institution without being consistent with its fundamental character,” he said. “If you try to oversimplify, ultimately it will catch up with you.”

I wrote the following about honoring home education’s fundamental character nearly three years ago:

. . .Another way of describing true freedom would be if no homeschooling family anywhere had to resist meddling do-gooders coming in uninvited to “help” them, whether down the block, in the local CPS office, the Statehouse, or especially across the Continent. . . How much honor and respect for local and self-determination can a national crusade really maintain, no matter how good its intentions? The only real hope I’ve seen is the NHEN model, not the HSLDA or NHELD or WSfH models.

See also “Dwarfing Pluto and Shrinking Ourselves: A Joyfully Unclear Meditation” and a thread at Daryl’s that was 100+ comments and made more sense as debate before those who were out-argued deleted their own comments, but it still bears some meaningful footprints —
“Damn Traitors!”

No conspiring in competition with other organizations, to control homeschooling with One Ring to Rule Them All — much less to cull upstart individuals from the herd to shut them up by stampeding them over a cliff, hanging them out to dry, maybe just stoning them to death. Mob justice against [gasp!] heretics — you know, those individuals who for whatever quirks seem, um, too strongly individual and therefore are resented, cast as dangerous to the established “voices” and their clearly defined pecking order and ritual ways and then scapegoated, whether the target du jour is Cheryl Lindsey-Seelhoff or JJ Ross, Ed.D. (that was the insider dig higher up in the thread, about “alphabet soup on both ends”, get it?)

Irrational fear of me as some Delphi Technique voodoo b/witch will be next, if the wacko contingent is still singing from the same old hymnal.

Ultimately “we’ as diverse Thinking Individuals who happen to home-educate can put our real, whole, unique selves out there every chance we get. That’s the best way to effectively counter ALL groupthink attempts to pronounce rules and definitions over all of us, through any lobby or law, any general homeschooling support organization, any viral editorial or corporate stance. Let a thousand homeschool stories bloom (including commercial and volunteer hybrids for the experimental scientists among us, even sowing wildflower seeds of anarchy along the public highways if you’re so inclined!) with each of us expressing our own ideas and living our own values.

It is wearying but worth it imo.

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Holy Iowa! Fear of a Huck Planet . . .

4 01 2008

New on The Revealer, a review of religion and the press published at NYU’s Center for Religion and Media:

“Holy Iowa!” — If tonight’s Iowa results prove anything, it’s that religion isn’t leaving politics when W. rides back to Texas.

Also don’t miss “Fear of a Huck Planet” which suggests it’s class warfare, not holy war, this candidate brings to the party — I thought we were done with trailer park stereotypes for southern-bred presidents but I guess not! Finally, if like me, you worry the Iowa winners portend crazy religion governing us all no matter which wing rules the executive branch next time around, see if the Revealer’s interview with Jon Stewart offers any comfort:

So you don’t think [Ann Coulter’s] brand of extremism represents the future of politics?

What you generally get from politicians is “Vote for me or we shall all perish!” In a puff of smoke, or rising waters. . . There’s no way to fool-proof the world. You cannot out-engineer crazy.

[JJ flashes on good girl Meg Ryan in “French Kiss” having a Dorothy in Oz-like moment of truth about the lesson she’s learned from her adventure: “and you just can’t do it — there’s no home safe enough . . .”]

. . .The majority of the world is not savage. Yeah, you put us in a certain situation of depravity and everyone will revert to some sort of Lord of the Flies format. But for the most part, it’s an incredibly civil society.

I’m not saying that we’re not an economic disaster away from being demagogues. Or that the line between acts of madness and acts of goodness isn’t tenuous. But people’s general tendency is to not want trouble. If you were to give Iraq a choice right now between the freedom to assemble and the ability to shop without shrapnel going through your skull, my guess is they’d give up freedom of assembly. Freedom is overrated. I’m a law-and-order guy. I’m not anti-authority. There’s a big difference between not trusting institutions blindly and just being against authority. . .

There’s a lot of talk now that we are becoming a fascist state. But what Bush has basically done is reinstitute everything we used to do to people in the Fifties and Sixties. I mean, it’s not even the worst of what we used to do. It seems like as civilization moves forward, the pitches and swings moderate.
. . . It’s only through nostalgia that every decade is better in hindsight than it was.

People feel like the world’s gotten out of control. The world has never been more in control. . .
The defining issue is the power of the individual. For good and for bad. The individual is more empowered in this day and age than ever in the history of the world. You’re more connected, it’s easier to generate ideas and movements, and it’s easier to create havoc.

. . .The reason I don’t worry about society is, nineteen people knocked down two buildings and killed thousands. Hundreds of people ran into those buildings to save them.
I’ll take those odds. . .