Friday, January 12, 2007

community parenting, pt 1

Random moments are the best.

Banana and I headed to one of our usual joints for dinner after work. I was fried and had exhausted most of the dinner options at home. The grocery store was a proposition I didn't want to mess with, not to mention the dishes that still needed to be finished. (These are the occasional joys of single parenting.)

At said restaurant, a hip sushi joint near our house, we ran into our closest parent-and-kid friends. As it turned out, they were waiting for another family of mutual friends. Suddenly, the night had a whole different shape, and in the end, we were five parents and five kids. The kids had a great time. The parents all had a good time until Parent D decided her five year-old had had enough. Her husband (Parent E) stayed with the other two kids. In general, the dynamic functioned like this: we all watched all of the kids; we all managed difficulties and policed each other's kids; there were no boundaries.

This is what community is meant to be. This is what Hillary Clinton meant when she wrote It Takes a Village. We are not just responsible for ourselves. We are responsible for our community. The end result is in how the kids deal with the world. When Kid 2 fell, I picked her up, and she clung to me until she was ready to get back to play. When Banana was being a little contentious, other parents corrected her. That's how it should work. Kids need a world that both loves them and holds them in check--and that isn't just the two people most responsible for rearing them.

As a single dad, I am realizing that I have to accept this more than most. Oy.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

ethics and politics -- silliness

According to Nancy Pelosi, Iraq is the greatest moral and ethical issue facing the American people today. The greatest...

I have to agree that Iraq is an important moral and ethical issue, but it is unequivocally not the most important. No. There are too many moral and ethical issues be-deviling us as a society. Certainly Al Gore is right when he describes global warming as the most important moral and ethical issue facing us. Certainly those who look at the health care debacle in this country as the most important moral and ethical issue facing us have a point. Do I need to go any further?

Any of these issues affect our future and our children's future greatly. Shouldn't our greatest moral and ethical obligation be trying to leave a better world for our children? Neither more wars, nor bigger cars, nor richer HMOs will achieve this. It's beyond sad.

Sigh... another idealist fades into the night.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Okay, back to more interesting matters...

Anyone who is around me lately knows that Wilco is almost certainly my favorite band. I practically worship the ground Tweedy walks on--the first Loose Fur album was a deep and wonderful soundtrack through some very tough times. Anyway, a good friend (thanks, Berkley!) gave me the Wilco book for Christmas. Funny thing about it: the more I read, the more I like them. Their low-fi approach to creating really remarkable music matches with my aesthetics in some powerful ways--for instance, insisting on using an old Royal manual for type effects rather than finding a font that almost approximates the look.