Carrie McLaren is a guest blogger at Boing Boing and coauthor of Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture. She lives in Brooklyn, the former home of her now defunct Stay Free! magazine.
You could burn most every guide to parenting babies and the world would suffer no great loss, but, as the mother of a one-year-old, I feel compelled to endorse a few standout pieces of writing that have helped me survive babycare.
First, Jeff Vogel's diary of raising his daughter Cordelia, as an infant, then toddler.
I watched TV, peacefully, with Cordelia lying on the couch next to me. She made some mildly fussy noises, so I picked her up, took her into the nursery, and checked her diaper. I then found that she had shat out, conservatively, 70% of her body weight. The waste product flowed around the diaper like the wind passes by a stick. I had to cross myself. It was majestic... I am almost positive that she can unhinge her hip bones.
Second: this bit of fiction by the late, great postmodern writer Donald Barthelme:
The first thing the baby did wrong was to tear pages out of her books. So we made a rule that each time she tore a page out of a book she had to stay alone in her room for four hours, behind the closed door. She was tearing out about a page a day, in the beginning, and the rule worked fairly well, although the crying and screaming from behind the closed door were unnerving...
Finally, Tom Scocca's "Underparenting" column at theawl.com is excellent.
(via Daniel Radosh, Daddytypes)
Inequality in Children’s Contexts, USC Sociologist Ann Owens’s paper in American Sociological Review (Scihub mirror), investigates the factors that contribute most to the unequal lives of wealthy and poor American children, and concludes that the single most significant factor is the neighborhood that the children’s parents live in.
The Freedom of Information Act specifies that government agencies must give a discount to “educational institutions” when they file requests, but for years, agencies led by the Department of Defense have argued that this discount only applies to faculty, not students, who would have to pay full rate even though they generally have less money […]
Last week, 30 students used a House Judiciary Committee hearing room to hold a debate on mass surveillance in America.
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