So you think you know words..
http://www.etymologic.com/index.cgi -they could at least tell me what the right answer is when I get it wrong! Ach, they are forcing me to look stuff up! Correction, they do tell the right answer, i’m just tired, better try and sleep!
Remember that 80’s song by Berlin ‘No More Words’ Berlin was awesome, my favorite is’Riding on the Metro’. I should be doing better at this than I am -English professor folks- but can’t seem to stopplaying this, because I just really like words- their meanings, their origins.. the finding of ones I ‘ve never heard. When I find one I’ve never heard before , it’s like that Monty Python flick where the natives find a Coke bottle and think it is freaking Holy Grail. OK so maybe it’s not quite like that. Sometimes I make up my own words , like ‘White Suprivilegacy’ which I used in the rants section, among others.
The endless search for truth and understanding –
But even with all this, gosh damn I still admit to enjoying a few chapters of ‘Janet and Mark’ -60’s and earlier school readers where wholesome , white , suburban kids frolicking in an endless loop of redundant happiness. Girls even still wore dresses.
Note that some of these texts are actually earlier editions and some have been diversity-ized. The sellers of these collectibles know that people look for the non-integrated editions, thus many put this in the descriptions. I am somewhat of a collector of old children’s books, and the ones that aren’t collectible yet, that the library has given away because , well, maybe the people in them were all White, or maybe it said something about Indians, or like in the book ‘The Story of the Wheel,’ it spoke of the White man bringing the Wheel to America, and the ‘Brown people.’. I have many books about early America, from Daniel Boone, to explorers.. all discarded by the library as no good, though the books are in fine shape. The way things are going , a kind of “revisionist history” as it were, of throwing away our history, in the future kids might think Obama refused to give up his seat for Hillary, and Columbus discovered pizza.
Reminds me of that Pink Floyd song-
So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
I think that song was about the war, about trading your life to fight- That element is still relevant as well now, very relevant- – but in the sense I am thinking about right now, it is the small, every day, common stuff that we take for granted. How society wants to re-write and knock down everything that was, as if it were all crap because we weren’t always fair. Or Equal. They don’t want us to take credit for anything- they qualify our successes by saying we only achieved this or that at someone else’s expense, thus making all the good things we’ve done >lesser than, they want to strip us of those things, and rob the following generations of even the knowledge of our history- and that is why I salvage these throwaway library books and sometimes pass them on to others ,especially when I can find ones that don’t have all the usual library markings.
Society wants us to think new is better, constantly throw stuff away- things that we discovered , built, invented, created, all of us- we are trading something beautiful and wonderful for total crud when we do this, constantly remaking ourselves and our lives and going into debt in the quest for accumulata. After the yard sales of the weekend, there are boxes left at the donation trucks. Yes, I have ‘dived’ them and I see no problem with it. The people want to leave the stuff after the donation guy leaves because they don’t want him to reject their stuff, so they are choosing to leave it there in public. Also there is no law saying one can’t take stuff, the law (out here anyway) is leaving stuff- they don’t want people dumping garbage, but you can legally take stuff. Becase of the quality and consition (as well as tags) I can tell people are buying more than they need, buying impulsively, donating unwanted gifts- and/or move an awful lot.
I have the one featured in this auction, they have others in their store- http://cgi.ebay.com/THREE-OF-US-READER-GUY-BOND-CHILDRENS-BOOK-HOMESCHOOL_W0QQitemZ180205819222QQcmdZViewItem
If you’re a ‘purist’, you’ll want McGuffey’s readers-vilified for being sexist , racist and anti-semitic
McGuffey’s are unique – the print, the illustrations, they are the kind books you’d expect the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ kids to have, and not expensive! The re-prints aren’t anyway. Oh, and of course they have ‘hate approved’, menaing anything from The Bad Old Days contains some kind of word or reference to something that does not reflect how things are today. Although it may benefit me to some degree for the libraries to get rid of the old books, it still irks me that not only is the thinking ‘It’s Not OK (toddler-talk) to have things in books that could possibly offend anyone…’ but it is also Not Okay that that is how life was, that was reality- they are trying to undo the past by getting rid of all associations and mentions that might make someone say “huh, that’s different- how come everyone in this book isn’t the standard multi-culti grouping of white, brown, black ,yellow, whatever. ? What is that thing the mom is wearing on her dress and why is she home? How come the boy is outside playing with an airplane and the girl is helping her mom make cupcakes? ” What do we take from this? Is it that the books are so horribly sexistly incorrect that kids will point out all the differences from today- no , that can’t be it- that would be a good thing if kids were inclined to do that. No, maybe it is because there is a certain idyllic-ness that comes across when one sees these books- just like when kids ‘play house’, they want to imitate sex roles- In this way, these books are subversive, dangerous in that they portray life That Way as desirable, somehting that undoes the whole Woman as Astronaut and Man as …umm, I don’t know- really what other role is there for a man to be other than to lead, protect and provide? Was thinking about this when looking at the collecton and noticing the farther back one goes looking at these books, the more one sees that is the ONLY thing a man is doing. They show him going to work, reading the paper, eating dinner, and sometimes tossing a football with his son. He’s not making scrapbooks, he’s not making fiesta wraps and grooving out on the rooftop serenading a cat-faced moon- you know- the popularity of books for kids where everydaylife has to be completely otherworldly every second. Guess that must help people to forget the Bad Old Days, right? See, when IN the old days stories were about knights and kings and kicking ass in battles- people really did that even if there were doofy made up creatures then too.
Ok yeah, I’ll grant you that not every woman is going to be Betty Crocker/femme fatale and not every man is going to be Magnus Magnussen/CEO- but besides the concept of traditional roles, there is the now conspicuous absence of having anything greater than ourselves to aspire to. These sex roles, these UberMensches and UberFrau/Goddesses provided some kind of mental huge arrow that said- Ok you may not get all the way there, but here is the general direction, more or less. Of course there are those who are ‘hormonally challenged’- you know, boyish girls and sissy boys. There’s just no way there aren’t going to be those, but we don’t ALL have to be like that- neither fish nor fowl -you know, the kids who have to be outrageous because they feel if they aren’t, they are boring or that someone has ‘put them in a box’. When the world is becoming more and more outrageous, of course thsoe who aren’t are going to be viewed as “socially inept”. In other words, it’s normal to be inept around people that look like this :