November 2007


Here at Not Be Televised, we we being just me like to ponder the big questions.  Like, ‘Is there a certain brain chemistry behind religious belief?’ or ‘Why are people threatened by women in power?’ or ‘Why should I care what celebrities had for lunch?’

Today, we address: ‘Why does Paige knit?’

In the great scheme of things, it’s a minor question, but important in terms of self-analysis.  I’d like to say that I knit to subvert the dominant domestic paradigm and that I am totally incognito as a young liberal with pointy sticks, sticking it to The Man (no pun intended), but to be honest, that really doesn’t have much conscious bearing on things.  Nor do I do it to be Miss Junior Suzie Homemaker.  Or to reclaim lost historical traditions or to kick consumerism in the shins.  Anyone who’s gone to an independent yarn store knows that’s crap.

I’m just not that good a person, either as a liberal or a conservative.  I do it because I like to make stuff.

Now, why do I like to make stuff?  Besides ‘it’s fun’,  I figure there are several psychologically rooted reasons:

  1. I like being complimented and recognised for positive things I have produced, e.g. LOOKITMELOOKITLOOKMOMMYLOOK!  This is probably symptomatic of my generation being told we could do anything and then finding out we can’t, validation ueber alles.
  2. I’m a child of the computer age and find it difficult to focus on anything if I’m not multi-tasking.
  3. I like the personal pride of creating something new from raw parts.  Also, the fact that I can select my own colors and styles and size means there’s satisfaction there.  It’s definitely NOT cheaper, though.
  4. Let’s face it, there’s something inherently soothing about being able to stab soft yarn with pointy needles and make it bend to your will.  It does wonders for frustration.

So generally, I don’t knit from any real sense of personal altruism or social welfare, unless you count not unleashing my stressed out days on the universe.  Sorry.  When you look at it from this perspective, though, everyone can and should be crafty, if they enjoy it.  There’s no reason to say ‘only women should knit and crochet’ or ‘knitting and crocheting isn’t feminist’.  It’s working off reasoning and social norms that are no longer relevant.

Heck, I wouldn’t want to mess with anyone with some size 2 dpns, is all I’m saying.

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It was with some trepidation that I read this article on the DVD release of old school Sesame Street, though not without fascination either.  The changing tides of pop culture is what I academically cut my teeth on.  (Be warned, it’s from the NYT Magazine and therefore contains more than your RDA of snooty sardonicism.)

What really gets to me is that CTW has seen the need to slap a warning on the set, a warning that you shouldn’t show it to your wee ones.  Virginia Heffernan explains in her article that it shows things that, today, just ain’t right.  Some examples she gives I can go along with, like talking to strangers, but others just seem to be conjecture, like Cookie Monster seeming like an addict, and the Street being far, far more dingy.

But she also reveals something poignant, which is that Sesame Street was looking to meet an unmet need for inner city wee ones; can we say that the show even remotely targets them now?  And that maybe we coddle the heck out of our kids today (cookies ARE a sometimes food, but does that mean we can’t enjoy eating them?  heck, what happened to the balance of Captain Vegetable?!).

I’m somewhat mixed on this, really, because I came in with a smaller sea change; before the CGI and the like, but after the original period, when Mr. Hooper was going to retire, Snuffy had just become real, and Maria and Luis finally tied the knot.  This was a world where you could do stop-motion animation with cookies and it was amazing.  Was it a better time, overall?  No, definitely not.

But I daresay it was a better time for Sesame Street than today.  This was before they had to compete, before I want that yesterday, planned activities, and instant gratification became de rigeur for three-year-olds; when diversity meant respecting and being interested in other people.

It sure as heck wasn’t perfect.  But at least it wasn’t business as usual for kids’ TV.

At least it wasn’t boring.

Why keep my mind from wandering?  And why not inflict it on the world? 

The weather here’s unseasonably warm.  Frighteningly so.  As in, 60 degrees out right now.  The part that’s odd is how it can be the same temperature inside as it was Friday, but I psychosomatically feel warmer; psychosomatically being your ten cent word of the day.

The Socks That Rock yarn came in Friday’s mail (a very impressive turnaround time for being shipped Tuesday), and I spent most of Friday night winding it.  Is there any good way to wind a skein of yarn by hand?  I mean, srsly.  No matter how hard I try, I end up with tangles.
It is beautiful, though.  Slightly shiny, and caramelly coloured and…I want my own, but I really don’t have space for it at the moment.  Do need more neutral colored socks for work, though.  Maybe next year.

I’m quite zen today, which is a bit odd for me.  (If you don’t know me in person–let’s just say that it’s a wonder my blood pressure isn’t ridiculous from time to time.)  I’m reading Richard Dawkins, though, so don’t be surprised if this changes soon.  I can’t decide whether I really appreciate what he has to say, or if it makes me furious that he seems so unkeen on religious agnosticism.

I want to make up my mind about Benazir Bhutto, but I’m not sure what I feel yet.  I don’t like this sort of unsurety, usually my feelings are certain even if they’re completely off-base.  Hrm.  I have to admit it was good to see all of the Pakistani women out en force.

Completely off topic: if anyone can recommend a good foundation that’s not excessively priced but not cheap, I’d appreciate it–going to the mall later for something else and I might stop at Sephora.  I’m having a Pizza Face day (anyone who can tell me where that’s from gets brownie points) and I’m nearly 24.

– I ordered my first skein of Socks That Rock this past Sunday.  I feel like it’s some sort of young knitter’s rite of passage, like buying the Malabrigo for the corset top.  Baby’s First STR for Baby’s First Toe-Ups, or maybe a Stitch Knitsvah?  Magic Loop, however, will have to wait.

– Drews, in the Tosa Village, is closing.  While I feel sick about it, I also probably will scoop up a bunch of yarn.  Drews has been my source for the same craft supplies at prices lower than the chains.  Very sad.

– My coworker was eating a leftover sandwich, and commented that he had been really hungry because he hadn’t had dinner or breakfast.  I asked him why not, and he said that he’d been to a funeral last night and got back too late.

Wherein I said, ‘well, wasn’t there dinner at the funeral?’

He had no idea what I was on about.  So I had to explain.

I’m not sure if this is a Lutheran thing or what, but almost all the funerals I’ve been to or heard about have had a sort of gathering afterwards.  You have the funeral, then you go to the cemetary, then you go somewhere (the church hall, someone’s house) and have a meal.  The meal usually involves hot ham and rolls–FYI, in case of my untimely demise, I would rather have turkey or maybe tacos or something–and potluck items.  These aren’t supplied by the family, but by the women of the church.  I had to bake brownies for my mother last month for a funeral she didn’t have time to bake for.

Say what one might about Lutherans, and I have plenty to say, I think a meal is a good idea.  It’s not a PARTY, but it sort of revives everyone.  Besides, after all that, one’s usually starving.

Speaking of, it needs to be lunch time.

Not that Stevie Nicks knows anything about winter here in the Midwest. 

My apologies again for the time span between posts.  Mostly, I’m just too addlepated to hook up my camera to my computer and download the pictures I’ve taken for Blog Stalker 2.  I’m also not quite sure what to write about here, as I haven’t baked much, my current knitting projects are gifty, and politics just makes me tired.  Maybe I should have signed up for NaBloWriMo or whatever it’s called.  Who chose November, anyway, for all this?  They could have picked something more convenient.

In a startling turn of events, it’s finally become somewhere approaching cold here, or as they say on the weather reports when they don’t want people to panic, ‘seasonal’.  Just say cold, guys.

My fears aren’t of the temperature (though Betsy’s engine balks if it’s below 50), but more of snow–I can’t remember if I blogged about last year’s November 30 to December 1 massive snowfall.  It’s the one thing we don’t need, as we are moving across town right after Christmas.  Bing Crosby be darned; I won’t be dreaming of white then, I’ll probably be dreaming of boxes.  And packing, I hate packing.  Packing and snow nightmares, wonder what Freud would say.  So I’m thinking that the corset top won’t get blocked until after all of this, just for space reasons.  I may hibernate it on Ravelry, much as it breaks my heart to do so.

In the midst of all of this prep (included in the prep work: keeping my mother sane) comes my 24th birthday and Thanksgiving.  I can tell you this, I don’t want any STUFF this birthday.  ‘Cause I’ll have to pack it.

Speaking of pack, I won’t be surprised if the tension of every single Packers game this year kills someone with a heart condition.  It’s one heck of a season.  I might make an exception to the rule of no birthday stuff for some custom Packer-coloured Scout’s Swag yarn, though.