Okay, so I’ve been cooped up with sore wrists and a sore thumb from having (stupidly) tried to outsmart some overly stiff clay the other day. This has left me with more down time than is good for me (Read: Too much time sitting in front of the computer). Rather than simply going out of my skull (which I also did my fair share of) I decided to spend a solid hour and a quarter watching this video a friend posted on facebook:
The topic is an examination of the “unschooled” option for educating our children (not to be confused with “homeschooling”). Lately I have been thinking a lot about some of the shortcomings of our institutionalized education system, mostly from the standpoint of how we have gotten to the point of eliminating art as a valuable thing to expose students to. So this is a different but related topic. And hearing her own experiences was interesting. Of course there are so many factors why this may not be an option for every parent, but in a world where we seem to get led about by our noses much of the time, it was fascinating to hear of this alternative. I thought she handled it superbly.
Well it turns out that this woman is a fellow Athenian (Athens GA that is), and although I don’t think I’ve met her, her husband is someone I’ve seen around town for years as a local neighbor and (unbeknownst to me) frontman/songwriter for the band Neutral Milk Hotel. Small freakin’ world…. Well, the video also mentioned the documentary she made a few years ago, and I realized that although its been on my watchlist for months I still haven’t seen it.
Of course this sounds like something I would be totally captivated by. So I read the reviews and just to prove that you never know what deviltry those idle hands will get you into, I saw this reviewer’s summation of what the film was presenting:
“Postmoderns do not view human nature or value systems or civilizations as fixed entities but as flexible functions. This doesn’t mean that we should all become nihilists (or, I should say, it doesn’t have to mean that); what it means is that we should recognize that it is our responsibility to create the world that we want to live in. But this is tricky since in the postmodern world not everyone believes the same things or wants to live in the same kind of community/world. To some, a postmodern utopia would be a radical kind of democracy where the people are more empowered and the state less so; for others, a postmodern utopia might mean living in a community with others who share similar views on religion and social issues….
The word “revolution” is mentioned once or twice, but most of these thinkers are interested in a soft revolution — a slow dismantling of unfairly privileged institutions and practices that places some states, races, classes above others. To one or two of these thinkers, revolution means destroying everything and starting anew; but most of the thinkers on display here aren’t young revolutionaries, rather they are wizened academic professionals who want to reach out to the wider world beyond the borders of the campuses where they teach, and, in doing so, inspire positive change not just in students but in the minds and lives of filmgoers everywhere.
Postmodernism is not a proscriptive philosophy. It simply asks you to step outside what you know (or think you know) and to look at yourself and the world as things that do not have to be any particular way. No two people see the world the same way, so it should come as no surprise that no two postmodernists see the world the same way either. The postmodern idea is not to get everyone to think alike, but to allow people to understand that things can be viewed from many different angles and that no single perspective on life is definitive. Hence the value of ongoing dialogue with self and others.” Doug Anderson
I think if I had to choose a motto for my blog it would be this. I’ve just never heard it put so well.
So that’s what these idle hands have been up to today. Anyone see Astra’s film yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts.