Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dear Readers

Do you people have any idea how hard a job this blog is? Exaggeration is usually the easiest way to parody someone, and Rod recently suggested that Maggie Gallagher needs to get her religion up with a straight face. Meanwhile, the Crunchys' dime-store Savonarola just blew the lid on the whole thing.

People, I want to keep the mockery flowing, but I need help. Even Ionesco would have a hard time with this bunch of huckleberries.

40 Comments:

Blogger Tom said...

Perhaps you could channel Savonarola's essay, "Once Burned, Twice Shy: Why I Am Not a Crunchy Conservative."

10:48 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

Parodying people who practice brinksmanship of one form or another is no easy task. It's one reason I both admire the work of Liberal Larry and fear for his sanity.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Casey said...

Even the e-mails on the crunchblog are sometimes beyond parody. Dreher just published one that sobbed:

"Our family lives in a suburb of Cleveland, shops at Wal-mart, and uses public schools. On the surface we look terrible!"

Thje e-mail goes on to beg Rod's forgiveness for living such a heinous life.

I don't know if this is a gag e-mail that fooled Dreher, or if this family really is deeply contrite for living in a suburb, using the public schools and shopping at Wal-Mart.

But that's the point, isn't it? You can't tell what is parody and what is reality on the crunchblog.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Rizzo said...

Casey: From that letter, I liked this comment:

"Invariably, people ask me how did you teach them to read at such a young age? When I tell them my children never watch TV, only an occasional movie of our choosing, and they listen to me read aloud every day, they are dismayed."

As opposed to the rest of us conservatives who lock our kids in the closet while we go out drinking. And then there's this:

"There is a right way to do things and an easy way. The crunchy way is choosing the higher road for your family and community whenever you can."

This is all nonsensical circular logic: The "crunchy way" is the virtuous way, and therefore whatever is virtuous can be claimed as "crunchy."

Teaching your kids to read is the right thing to do, therefore it is "crunchy." Next thing you know, potty training them and feeding them will be "crunchy" things to do as well.

You're right, these people are beyond parody.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Rizzo said...

And by "letter," I mean email.

What the hell? I'm not even that old.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Uncledave said...

Time for me to jump in. In defense of home schooling, Rob Dreher just posted a link about how a Long Island private school canceled the prom because it was getting out of hand (sex, booze, expenses, etc).

Um, Rob, this is not so much a defense of homeschooling as it is an example of a "mainstream conservative" organization fighting back against cultural decay. I guess this private school is now "crunchy"?

1:35 PM  
Blogger Casey said...

I don't know, I have real doubts about the sincerity of that "we look terrible" e-mail. My first question is the "terrible" comment itself. The e-mailer might be winking that public schools and suburbs are hardly the terrible things so many crunchies say they are.

Then the e-mail uses "quirky" to describe the family house, which just happens to be the adjective Jonah used in his romp-and-stomp destruction of Dreher yesterday.

The e-mail goes on to say that Wal-Mart is a necessary evil because it allows the family to buy organic food. Couldn't this be a sly dig at the contradictions many have noted in Rod Dreher's life choices?

The comment about school functions - "When we are at a school function and all the other kids are running around like maniacs, we say, our family doesn't do that" - looks like a leg pull to me rather than anything anybody would actually say at a school function.

This e-mail could be perfectly sincere. But that's the problem. Often you can't decide what is sincere and what is parody on the crunchblog.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Rizzo said...

Casey: I agree it's hard to tell. Upon reading it again, lines like these seem to be pulling Rod's leg:

"The reason we picked our particular part of town is because the nastiest/ seediest /most pornified places around here are the rural areas"

I live near Cleveland. The seediest, nastiest , most pornified places are near the airport, not out in the sticks.

And then this: "My children have devastating illnesses which are in part caused by environmental issues and "modern" foods."

Which might explain why they don't run around like maniacs.

But it seems to start out pretty sincere and end sincere, so I can't really tell. But it does seem over the top in its self-congratulatory tone.

2:07 PM  
Blogger G.J. said...

A note: there are new comments on the older posts as well. (Containing questions.)

2:27 PM  
Blogger Bubba said...

Are you referring to the "question" at the end of this comment thread?

I'm not sure I understand the question(s). It seemed less like an actual question and more like a really awkward way for you to repost from the CC blog two passages you liked.

The first passage didn't even have "sensible concerns," as you put it. It was just a run-of-the-mill suburbanites-are-spineless rant.

Besides, Paul asked whether you're a real priest, I reiterated the question, and you haven't answered it.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Casey said...

I googled "Fr. Jape" and lerned that it's a pseudonym from Bierce's classic, the Devil's Dictionary. In his foreword Bierce includes this mild joke:

"A conspicuous, and it is hoped not unpleasant, feature of the book is its abundant illustrative quotations from eminent poets, chief of whom is that learned and ingenious cleric, Father Gassalasca Jape, S.J., whose lines bear his initials. To Father Jape's kindly encouragement and assistance the author of the prose text is greatly indebted."

So I really doubt that Fr. Jape is a priest, a Jesuit, or even a Catholic. He called me a scurrying rodent on another thread, which doesn't sound too priest-like.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Rayne said...

Jape = Stegall - or they're fishin' from the same pond. The same circular,asinine "reasoning" -the same old playground name-calling when not able to formulate a coherent, cogent arguement. Not AT ALL Jesuitical!

4:24 PM  
Blogger The Contra Crunchy said...

Jape's blogger profile lists his homepage as

http://japery.newpantagruel.com/

IIRC the New Pantagruel (at least they got the gruel part right!) is one of the clubhouses for this crowd.

Folks, when the king starts responding to the jester, you know the jig is up.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Rayne said...

Oh my - you're right! The New Pantagruel is Stegall's (aka Fr. Jape, IMO) little self-created soapbox where guess who? James Rovira! is a contributor. Shocking! You're right about the jig being up, Contra Crunch - looks like Dreher's biggest cheerleader, Frederica Mathews-Something, just threw him a rope with which to climb up from that hole he was trying to shovel his way out of:

"Rod... would you answer a question? Earlier today you said:

'I’ve learned a lot from critics of the book.'

Like, what, fr'instance? Care to list off a few? Or is there anything you would change or present differently in the book, from your current perspective?"

Would an accurate translation be: "Rod, you've dug your own grave and there's no graceful way up. Let me help you climb out & then back away slowly; otherwise, they'll bury you."

5:52 PM  
Blogger Casey said...

Jape could be Stegall. Not sure, though. Jape shows more humor. Stegall hasn't put anything remotely funny on the crunchblog.

Frederica admits that the crunchblog could benefit from some cooling off. Translation: "We crunchies got our clock cleaned Wednesday. Let's freeze things with long dull mumbles for a few days."

7:49 PM  
Blogger Pauli said...

Bubba, why do you think that Gas. Jape would answer a direct yes or no question from a rodent? That's below a man of his wit and stature.

Casey, I think you're right about Jape not being Stegall. I originally (oh, a year ago) thought it might be. I actually emailed him because he did a really good article re: abortion with which I heartily agreed.

I realized at the time that it was obviously a pseudonym and traced it to its Biercian origin. I knew another priest, very articulate, who was supposed to be retired who used a pseudonym, but he wrote articles on traditional Catholic faith and morals. To read his stuff, I mean it could have been Fulton Sheen or Pope John Paul II. Nothing near controversial.

Recently Jape's material has seemed to become more curmudgeonly caustic, and ill-mannered. I don't mind being challenged, but I want to know who's challenging me. I think that anyone responding to ol' Padre Jape should add a simple question to the end of the comment:

Are you really a priest, or do you just play one on the internet?

8:40 PM  
Blogger key said...

You knuckleheads are exactly what's wrong with the so called "conservative' movement. I'm no fan of the this crunchy con packaging, but Dreher's thinking is far more conservative and even rigorous...unlike this dopey fratboy BS you idiot's seem to find enlightening....

11:06 PM  
Blogger key said...

You knuckleheads are exactly what's wrong with the so called "conservative' movement. I'm no fan of this crunchy con packaging, but Dreher's thinking is far more conservative and even more rigorous then this dopey fratboy BS you idiot's seem to find enlightening....

11:16 PM  
Blogger Pauli said...

Thanks, Key, for contributing to our big pile of BS. I feel enlightened by your presence already.

6:56 AM  
Blogger Rizzo said...

Key,

Does it upset you that we're poking a little fun at the self-importance of the crunchies and exposing their strawmen?

I have no doubt that Rod Dreher is an intelligent and thoughtful guy, who is deeply concerned about what the effects of his choices are on others. I’m not sure he’s more conservative than me, though. I’m not even convinced he’s a conservative at all. He seems to be defining conservativism as "things Rod Dreher believes," and that's where I have a problem.

However, I agree with much of the "bigger picture" issues and concerns that the Crunchies have. I only criticize the Crunchies because they’re not unique in bringing these things to light. Conservatives have been talking about this stuff for years. But along comes some self-important group who seem to believe that they’re the first to bring this stuff to the table. And I’m bothered by the inconsistency, triviality, and irrelevancy of some of their proposed solutions. I just don’t see, for example, how living in the suburbs makes you a bad conservative or even a bad person. In most cases, moving out of a drug-ridden, crime-infested neighborhood is called being a responsible parent, not some kind of selfish degenerate.

I am certainly willing to entertain a discussion or debate about what it means to be a conservative, but this Crunchy stuff misses the mark completely. It’s concerned with telling the rest of us how to be good people, not just good conservatives. Fine, but part of what it means to be a conservative (at least to me) is allowing others to determine what constitutes the "good life" for themselves, allowing them to pursue it as they see fit (within legal boundaries), and allowing them to possibly make some mistakes along the way.

7:19 AM  
Blogger Rayne said...

HILARIOUS POST FROM THE CC BLOG:

There is sin in every heart
[Jonah Goldberg 03/17 08:53 AM]

A cautionary tale:

A GERMAN organic farmer has admitted to feeding a elderly friend who died while visiting him to his pigs in order to claim his pension. The pigs were then later eaten by people who bought the meat at local butchers' shops.

Christian Roeben, 28, from Fritzlar, near Frankfurt, told locals who questioned him about his friend, Friedhelm Bogner, that he had left his sheltered housing unit and gone into a nursing home.

9:40 AM  
Blogger Bubba said...

To Key and others who loathe our opposition to crunchy conservatism, let me add something to a line Rizzo wrote:

"...part of what it means to be a conservative (at least to me) is allowing others to determine what constitutes the 'good life' for themselves, allowing them to pursue it as they see fit (within legal boundaries), and allowing them to possibly make some mistakes along the way."

The apparent crunchy response is that this sort of thinking elevates the individual above everything else -- one's biological family, one's religious family in the church, the local community, society, culture, etc.

There is another possibility: speaking for no one else, I agree with C.S. Lewis when he wrote (in the essay on "Membership") that Christianity offers something higher and better than both individualism and the homogeneity of totalitarianism: namely, the body of Christ, of which the biological family is a mere echo. To go from Jack Lewis to Bono, we're one, but we're not the same.

Obviously, legitimate participation in the church cannot be imposed upon the unwilling. Therefore -- and I think this is less obvious to you crunchies -- we must default either to individualism or to collectivism.

Because of the law of unintended consequences, collectivism is typically ineffective, but because of the dignity of the individual -- the individual, and not some vague collective abstraction, being made in the image of God -- collectivism is almost always immoral.

Individualism isn't perfect, and though there are libertarians who seem to think so, many conservatives who care deeply about social issues do not. But we still support individualism -- expressed in free markets, democratic governments, and religious freedom -- because it is almost always more moral than the alternative, because it is frequently more effective in meeting the most needs for the most people, and because it provides a much more fertile soil for the virtue that you and I both care about.


To put things another way, since legitimate membership in the body of Christ must be voluntary, every legitimate political program is premised either on individualism or on collectivism. Since crunchies reject individualism, it seems to me they necessarily are running to collectivism.

But it's very hard for me to see how a people can be made more virtuous by being made less free.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Casey said...

That post from Jonah was the liveliest thing on the crunchblog today. Everybody except Stegall seems to have gotten the message to turn down the volume. Mostly the crunchblog is just praising stay-at-home moms, with a long theological treatise tossed in by Frohnen.

But Stegall is still on his suburb-bashing. He's also whining that people are calling him un-American. By now I think Stegall has become an embarrassment to Rod and the other crunchies, but he just won't go away.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Casey said...

Not so irrelevant aside...

Our very suburban household just donated many hundreds of dollars worth of clothing, furniture, stereo equipment, etc., to the local Christian Coalition stores. The truck just came by and picked up all the stuff we had toted out to the garage.

My wife, who knows nothing about crunchy conservatism or the crunchblog or the counter-crunch site, commented to me today that she could have sold all the goodies at a garage sale and easily made over a thousand dollars.

I felt like telling her that she should have done the garage sale. After all, this would have been in keeping with the "suburban landscape of immediate gratification, fear, and selfish denizes of personal desire." A garage sale would also have promoted "suburbia and transience and rootlessness and materialism and sacrifice-free comfort from sea to shining sea."

Oh well, Stegall will say that we only made the contribution for tax purposes.

1:49 PM  
Blogger G.J. said...

Rayne--the associations and conspirations you note were already noted here, by me. Not news to NRO people. Goldberg went completely berzerk when the NYTimes' conservative anthropologist did that post-Buckley NR article and declared TNP the true Buckleyian spiritual heir, though bastards we may be.

You want my identity? I'm not going to disrobe and dangle for your delight.

9:10 PM  
Blogger Rayne said...

Aw, don't stomp your little feet, g.j. I certainly never suggested you "disrobe and dangle" on my account (oh, the DRAMA!) - I was only guessing at what I believe to be your (very thinly veiled) identity. Lighten up a bit, or don't hide behind a pseudonym - people might begin to think you Cruchies are, um, UPTIGHT or something.
Gee, looks like the NYTimes was wrong again in predicting conservative trends. Imagine that!

9:39 PM  
Blogger G.J. said...

This is as much as I'll give you guys: who is "Chuck Colson?" What is the biggest fallacious assumption about "authorship" in the romantic-modern era, which differentiates it from the ages past?

Pauli--I check my old mail. (Thanks to google desktop.) I see that in my absence then, Mr. Stegall replied to your kind note. Apparently you have met him, and he knew your brother and worked construction with some of your (I'm assuming) band-mates?

9:49 PM  
Blogger Casey said...

After the bashing they took this week, the crunchies seem to be hibernating. Nothing's been posted on the crunchblog since 1:00 PM Friday. And everybody except Stegall has stopped trashing the burbs.

My guess is that Dreher will hurry through the rest of his book and close the blog down. That would mean less time for Stegall to p.o. potential buyers of the book. Dreher already cut short the discussion of the burbs...except Stegall didn't get the memo.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Casey said...

The crunchblog has come back to life, but with a couple really strange posts from Rod. First, he publishes a long e-mail that trashes homeschooling and praises at least some public schools (the ones with Asian kids in them). Then he approvingly quotes a Salon article that dumps on Whole Foods.

Is Rod straying from the path of Crunchy Righteousness? Will Stegall, who just posted a glowering sermon on Original Sin (though Stegall himself is allowed "some hypocrisy") have to drag Rod back to the One True Way?

At least Stegall concedes that some of his comments have been "terribly offensive." I wonder if he got e-mails from suburban parents who have children in Iraq and Afghanistan, or who have even lost children in those wars. I hope he did.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Rayne said...

I don't know what to think of the latest about-face. I see what Dreher is attempting to do, but unfortunately for him there is the written word in the form of his BOOK(!) and past posts that contradicts today's inclusive, non-judgmental sentiments. He has irrevocably alienated his sympathetic readers of good-will who would have constituted much of his base. I include myself in that group - I am a 'Latin Mass' traditional Catholic, paleoconservative in my politics, live well BELOW my means and eat almost entirely organic RAW - but I'd be horrified to in any way be mistakenly identified with these snobs. This book (I've read it - twice) is nothing more than a sophomoric polemic against everyone and everything of every single conservative stripe save 'Crunchy' to the extent that Al Franken could have written it.
Re: Stegall's 'Come to Jesus' sermonette - too little, too late & WAY too insincere. Stegall (aka Jape - that's my story & I'm sticking to it!) reminds me why I posted a quote to my computer during my agnostic college days: "The best evidence that there is no God is the caliber of those who claim to serve Him."
This whole 'Crunchy Con' debacle is indeed a pitiful missed opportunity; when the dust settles, I'm afraid far more harm than good will have come from it.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Casey said...

Oh well, Dreher and Stegall have quickly repented of any tiny departures from Crunchy Dogma. Dreher just published an e-mail bashing anybody who dares to question home schooling, and Stegall published another long rant against the suburbs.

Most Americans live in suburbs, and more Americans by far send their kids to school instead of homeschooling them. So there's little hope the crunchies will ever achieve much of a following. They seem intent on p.o.ing most everybody in this country.

Anyway, I'm checking out of the crunchblog. It's become a platform for rants by a tiny bunch of intolerant ideologues. The Phi Beta Cons blog is far more interesting because it deals with real issues in education, without broad-brush smears against most Americans.

Keep having fun with the crunchies, but I'm too tired of them. Oh, Maggie Gallagher kindly said that Rod's book is at #36 on the Amazon sales list. Actually, it's at #807 and fading fast. Intemperate rants against most everybody don't tend to last long.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Pauli said...

Rizzo said:

> However, I agree with
> much of the "bigger
> picture" issues and concerns
> that the Crunchies have.

I think most of us share these concerns. It would be so nice if they could hear themselves speak, as Casey and others have pointed out time and again. They have hung out in the "amen corner" of their own tiny community for so long that they don't realize that conservatives routinely discuss all of this stuff.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Rayne said...

EXACTLY, Pauli!! This is hardly novel stuff, but the manner in which the book is written serves only to repel those who have been addressing and attempting to tackle these issues LONG before Dreher knew they existed. If you have to ridicule and demonize other people to make your point, the probability is you're not sure of your own position or you're not happy with it; also, I swear I've seen the Ugly Green Monster (Envy) rear his head on a few occasions when the criticism of other conservative lifestyles reaches a fevered pitch. The only demographic he appeals to is his somewhat addled "amen" corner (good one, P!): the angry social misfits - who, judging from his fan mail are hardly the joyful, jovial, merry band of crunchies he'd have us believe. Look no further than that seething bundle of joy, Stegall, who has an entire section in the book devoted to him.

7:29 PM  
Blogger Pauli said...

Japester said:

> Pauli--I check my old
> mail. (Thanks to google
> desktop.) I see that in my absence then,
> Mr. Stegall replied to your kind note.
> Apparently you have met him, and he knew
> your brother and worked construction with
> some of your (I'm assuming) band-mates?

I met Stegall briefly at a party when he lived in Pennsylvania in the mid-90's. My brother went to school with him. This was before he had a following and did all the research on military demographics. And of course it was pre-Pantgruel. I was in a rock band which he might have known about, but we had disbanded at least a year before our brief introduction.

One of my friends told me to check out the New Pant. about 1 year or so back. And I've said before, some of their stuff is OK until it starts mixing public policy and "old time gospel hour"-style preaching. The biggest example which I'd mentioned before is the Stegall vs. First Things issue which is about half-way down this page.

Since Stegall is smarter than I am, I venture, I couldn't quite grasp his "naked public square" article which is here and I appreciated when Father Neuhaus - who is far smarter than either of us laymen - explained why we squirm at some of this public-policy-preaching.

Neuhaus states: "I am not sure that we should want the kind of 'political theology' that Mr. Stegall apparently has in mind. The goal, rather, is a secular state in a confessional society in which government is democratically held accountable to the moral truth to which the Church bears witness."

This seemed to me to be a succinct summation of one of the things that is wrong with the method of the crunchies, esp. the New Pant'ers, if not the content of their message. It's like when the Lord came down the mountain and the disciples couldn't cast out a demon. Jesus does it, badda-bing! and they ask him why they couldn't. He says "This kind only comes out with prayer and fasting." Some problem's can't be exorcised by platform additions or policy shifts, but by transformation at the personal level. Otherwise you have big embarrassing mistakes occur like the abolition movement and political correctness.

So then I heard friends describe themselves as "crunchy cons" a few years back and at the time I wouldn't have put this together with the New Pant'ers. But they (our friends) seem to have this guilt about everything they do that they perceive to be "non-crunchy". The idea of people feeling guilty about shopping at "super-stores" to me has always fodder for comedy - films like "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" and "Waiting for Guffman" come to mind, they both . "Guffman" actually mentions Wal-Mart ("Lloyd is a high-school music teacher and he shops at Wal-Mart. He doesn't even support the town!!")

I think the fact that Japester feels the need to share with everyone that he knows who I am, I being a person with my first and last name and mugshot on my blogspot profile, and after he called us rodents or whatever, reveals a number of things: the success of this site which comments on and parodies crunchidom, the devastating effect which mild criticism of his Utopia has on someone who is avowedly against what he calls "niceness" and his saddening lack of a sense of humor.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Rizzo said...

Perhaps I was a bit unfair to the Crunchies earlier. They're now criticizing the "big box" organic food stores, namely Whole Foods Market. At least they've gained a little consistency here. Or at least Rod has.

Personally, where I am, the "local farmer's market," is at least a half hour away whereas there is a grocery store around the corner that I can walk to (that also carries organic food). So my concern for the benefits of organic produce will have to be tempered by my concern for the environment. Or is it worth driving an extra hour per week to buy food that is supposedly more environmentally friendly?

I'm so confused.

7:00 AM  
Blogger G.J. said...

You should run something about crunchy toilet use. "If its yellow, let it mellow..." Does Dreher practice this? Stegall? Could be a point of crunchy schism.

11:31 AM  
Blogger G.J. said...

As near as I can tell, Pauli, you've spilled a bunch of bilge--irrelevant anecdotes, dyslogistical cogitations, and behind it lies some kind of yeasty animus about Dreher, Stegall, and "utopian" phantansy Jesuits. You note your lack of familiarity with all of them, yet you also suggest yourself as having some kind of expert insight into their minds.

Maybe you've been possessed by the demon that comes from hanging about blogs too much: it makes you cranky toward anyone else in the bullshit-o-sphere who gets a lot of attention. The reaction phase of Scenesterism. (Check the last Harper's issue with the essay on the "flash mob" phenomenon by its author.)

You haven't winged anyone's utopia Pauli, and you seem to be the most humorless cuss around, frankly.

Your first intuition was correct. There is no reason to associate your guilty "crunchy" friends with TNP. Your point about casting out demons is, however, very TNP. You will not find "platform additions or policy shifts" getting any kind of focus in TNP articles. I can't think of a singel even remotely close example. Except the pre-election round-table in which several guilty-crunch center-left young academicians ponitificated freely. (Contrast their remarks with Stegall's introduction.) I would say one of the challenges of TNP for Stegall and his closest collaborators has been to deter and redirect guilty-crunch and policy-focused hangers-on.

You extract too much from RJN's concern about what Stegall means by "political theology." I am curious to see how Stegall will clarify his meaning, but I have no reason to think it is incompatible with Neuhaus's desire for "a secular state in a confessional society in which government is democratically held accountable to the moral truth to which the Church bears witness."

Additionally, I should like to reality-check your effort to wring a full critique/slam/dismissal of Stegall or TNP from one sentence on the FT blog. Another acocmpanying setence described TNP as "A lively Internet quarterly well worth a look."

11:56 AM  
Blogger Rayne said...

Oh dear. Looks like our faux-priest was seized with a sudden fit of apoplexy; hence, the incoherent diatribe. Not surprising that a megalomaniac hiding behind a fake identity (Fr. Jape) and referring to himself in the third person (Stegall) would come unhinged at a little humorous criticism. Hit a nerve, eh Pauli?!
Back to the ISSUE at hand.... have you seen Frederica Whatever-her-name-is draw the brilliant conclusion that the REAL bone of contention is the....drumroll, please..... book's SUBTITLE! Ah-ha! We've isolated the taproot of the controversy! According to her, the subtitle gives the impression(!) that Dreher & his crunchy posse are on a divinely (transcendental) inspired mission to redeem the world (or at least the Republican Party). Clearly she can't see this Messiah complex is FOR REAL. Good Lord, Contra Crunch was not kidding when he said these guys are BEYOND parody.

1:06 PM  
Blogger G.J. said...

People are such insanely predictable gulls. You use the technology, but understand nothing. If you decide to believe you know for a fact who is writing this comment (as opposed to the last, or the one before that...), I doubt anything I might say would change that factualized opinion.

3:21 PM  
Blogger SiliconValleySteve said...

I wrote the letter (more of a frustrated rant) that "trashes home schooling and praises at least some public schools."

I didn't mean to praise the public school, as it is much the same as every other, but to praise the disciplined and devoted families whose children attend it. I was getting sick and tired of the sanctimonious crap about how superior the people who homeschool are. My real opinion is that good families who are devoted to their kids do a good job in public, private and even home schooling. Since the crunchies are so critical and fussy about public and private schools, they need to know that there are reasons to criticize their choices and that some of us actually love our kids as much as they do and we wouldn't consider home schooling them for other than selfish reasons.

I personally know some of these folks and the ones I know live in paranoid echo chamber where only they know what's best. Like all paranoid cults, they keep falling out with each other over who is more pure. And they call it building community.

5:42 PM  

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