Thursday, July 19, 2007

Horseflies and Positive Global Change

Originally uploaded by Contrary Goddess.

This guy fascinated me. He sounded like some big prop airplane flying around in the cow shed, and every time she would hear him, she would get nervous. Imagine that biting you and I guess nervous is a mild reaction. But the bigger a fly is, the slower he is, and the more easily killed. I stood up, took my shoe off, hit him in midair, and continued milking. After milking I scooped his remains into the feed bucket so I could get a photo. That is a quarter he's laid out on.

I should have thingfish up here to ID all the microfauna. There are the little green horseflies, and the worst bites are the triangle flies, and then the regular black flies that don't really bother except when they get really thick. Which reminds me, there are "cross bugs" in the garden I need to go spray. Whatever they are, they are horrid, eat everything. Pyrethrin kills them. And the Japanese beetles. Beetle traps just attract them to your area, so don't bother with those.

So, Zane over at Lichenology has nominated me as, tada, a Blogger for Positive Global Change. I suppose some would debate whether massive depopulation is a positive change or not, but I do appreciate the honor. As I appreciate his misgivings about the chain letter status of memes in general, and serious memes like this in particular. But heck, I've thought of a few memes I'd like to do too but they aren't nearly so catchy or PC as as positive global change so I'll just go with it.

Seriously, I don't really believe in global change but in personal change. When I started this, with the title "Life on the Farm", that is what I wanted my focus to be -- what we do here, every day. Take inspiration if you like. Or warning. And even when I go off ranting about rampant consumerism and the like, I always feel like that is off topic really, that what I'm really about, here, is chopping the wood, carrying the water, chopping the chicken's head off, carrying the scalding water, plucking the feathers. I'm not convinced of any human correlation to climate change (this makes me a flat earther I believe), but I am convinced of the bankruptcy of the consumerist, high CO2 lifestyle.

That said, what bloggers do I nominate as Bloggers for Positive Global Change?

*It starts with birth. And breastfeeding. But birth is really important. For babies, for mothers, for fathers, for sibs, for us all. It really needs to unfold, be allowed to happen, to not be mucked with. Few people understand this, and more's the pity, few midwives understand this. As far as I know, my midwife doesn't have a blog, but this one does and I swear I think she's got it:

*If Babylon is shorthand for our current captivity in consumerland, Eleutheros is Moses. (Yes, I know Moses led them out of Egypt, and that Babylon was much later, but Eleu is still Moses leading us out of Babylon, ok?) He doesn't post all that often but all his blogs and posts are worth considering and reconsidering.
How Many Miles from Babylon

*Continuing with the theme of personal responsibility and de-institutionalization, I nominate Ren. For goodness sakes, read some John Taylor Gatto, get familiar with the Industrial Schooling Complex and know that unschooling could well be the most important family change you can embrace. School is just prison light.
Learning in Freedom

I think I will leave it at three, although I could go through my whole sidebar and say why every one of them is a blogger for positive global change. Thanks to every one of you!

This meme was started by the folks at Climate of our Future and you can find the rules for it here.


zane said...

I remember those triangle flies from tree planting in Northern Ontario. Deer flies, we used to call them and they pack a bite. I remember the worst being when they would burrow into your hair and gnaw on your scalp. Little buggers.

Just wanted to say that I share your misgivings about global change, but I love all your nominations. Seems we have morphed the meme down to three. Meme lite.


the Contrary Goddess said...

Well, I might have gotten lazy and I'm thinking I really should have included JavaSeeker because **he quit his job** which is just . . . brave.

Mushy said...

Gees...I hate gettin' bit by those things...they really hurt! I kill everyone that happens by these parts and I'm in earshot!

Alecto said...

That fly needs to be taken to the taxidermist and mounted on a wall. Honestly, what a great shot. I just showed my husband and he's still cringing.
I get it about the breast feeding (that's another of my rants, we need to put WHAT? in our babies bellies?) I absolutely get it about the farm but I don't understand about unschooling. Your site is the first I'd ever heard of this and I've been googling all over the place trying to work it out. Maybe I'm just too stuck in structure and trying to apply what I don't know to what I do but I sure would love it if you wrote about it.

Ren said...

Come on over...I rant about school and unschooling often.

I'm honored to be tagged! Off to get inspiration at the other blogs.:)

the Contrary Goddess said...

Alecto -- start reading at John Holt and John Taylor Gatto. Especially Gatto's Seven Lesson Schoolteacher essay. And the Holt saying, Birds Fly, Fish Swim, Children Learn.

That said, everyone doesn't want the fruits of unschooling.

I guess over the years the thing that has really gotten me is the fakeness of everything schooling. Like the plays for schools (I've been to 'em) instead of REAL plays. The programs about things instead of the things themselves. Demonstrating a very limited range of knowledge (testing) instead of *having* a much wider one (living).

But in its simplest sense, kids really do learn to read if you just LET them. Not teach them, let them. I know that is a leap of faith but mine have (well, two are good readers, one is still rather a beginner but blossoming, and one likes the pictures). Not so young but now they are voracious.

My kids haven't needed a curriculum to learn to milk the goats, raise up chickens, fry an egg, fix a fence, or plant a beet, either. Not that you don't show them something about it, keep them from getting hurt. But you also don't force them, say, "I don't care that you just ate, now you are going to fry an egg," sort of "structure".

Maybe I should write a post.

Alecto said...

I love your passion, that's wonderful and I do get it. Yes, do write and I will go off and read and have a look at Ren as well. Thanks!

Madcap said...

I'd like to chime into the unschooling chorus, esp. about the reading. I have one who reads at what our facilitator says is college level, and one who's just beginning to sound things out. Almost the same age, but completely different schedules. And I'm so happy that they live in that freedom, to do things when they're actually ready rather than having to fit into someone else's arbitrary notion of what "X" age should be performing. The not-yet reader gathers complex information from all kinds of non-text sources and RETAINS it far better than I could ever hope to. And completely without my interference. They're just intensely curious, and I think ALL kids are intensely curious unless the fire's been tamped out.

the Contrary Goddess said...

MCM, at first I was thinking that me, you, Ren, Eleu, others, should write something definitive on unschooling, together! That could be interesting.

Then I went to SageFemme's site to see who she might have linked, and she linked Four Little Birds which I've now added to MY sidebar, and so if you are interested in unschooling, check that one out too.

It is interesting to me that I find unschooling almost impossible to write about and yet it provokes some of the strongest discussion. Too often defensive from schoolers. Hey, I'm all for the schoolers, I'm just not one. And I'm not for them trying to force it on my children.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Paranoia rears its head.

I am often misunderstood, mistaken, misalotofthings.

I just wanted to make clear that I was not experiencing Alecto as a defensive schooler. Which I don't think I implied in any way but I it often surprises me how how my words fall on someone else's ears.

As others have said, unschooling is like un-vaccinating -- there isn't some THING that you do instead, not a method of not doing it, etc. It is an empowering and individually responsible philosophy, lifestyle, paradigm.

Alecto said...

oh. I just now read your last comment and I didn't experience that at all!

Anonymous said...

As for me, I'm flattered to even be mentioned in the same post as some of those other bloggers.


Horsefly ID forthcoming, btw.


Anonymous said...

OK - based on the size, the eye color, and the wing pattern, the closest thing I can find is the American horsefly Tabanus americanus. Your specimen (a female, btw, therefore a biter) looks a little more stout-bodied than the ID photos on BugGuide, but that could be because it has been, shall we say, structurally compromised.


CG said...

we were astounded and amazed that the horsefly was a . . . horsefly! LOL! Sometimes you have to love bug guys.

Ren said...

I hadn't checked back at these comments and maybe now it's really pointless...but I still feel the need to respond again.

I have this idea rattling around in my brain, about a book. Maybe we can talk soon. I have written about unschooling for so many years, but something about multiple voices and blogs really appeals to me.

It's really, really difficult to explain the concept of just NOT doing school to anyone that hasn't even thought it a possibility to just scrap the whole thing all together. It's scary for most people...hell, it was a bit scary for me in the beginning.

School has done one thing very, very well....convincing millions of people that they need to be taught in order to learn. But they don't. I want to shake people up enough that they can reframe their experience the lense of learning rather than teaching.

Off to Dallas now, to do just that.:) School is a prison for sure. Parents are committing their children to this prison with smiles on their faces...committing a subtle yet very real kind of murder to the human spirit.