The Netflix algorithm has almost figured me out.
On Saturday, THe Global Day of Rage, Angela and I decided to occupy Morley Field with a group of radical 2-4 yr olds.
Our Demands: 1) More cake. 2) Sustainable toys. 3) A statue of Dora on the national mall. 4) Shared decision-making. 5) Face painting, a klown, and a piñata!
We will add that the working class in the United States, because of its high standard of living, does not clearly see the contradictions existing in US society. To the US working class, these contradictions, which are blunted, appear incomprehensible and they cannot gain clear consciousness of their own exploitation as long as they continue to get the crumbs that US imperialism tosses to them from the feast – Ernesto Che Guevara
It’s such an interesting problem. My desire to give my kids everything they deserve versus the desire to live in a more just and equitable world. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Kids don’t really need much. Love. Intellectual stimulation (fun). Attention. I’m sure if they could articulate it they would appreciate wholesome food and appropriate shelter. And if they had a sense of history they would be happy not to have to work in the mill. The children’s birthday party might be a good metaphor for the system. You can’t show up at these things without a gift. The culture demands it! The economy depends on you and I to buy things we don’t need. The economy demands that people waste their time doing meaningless work. The parents who throw the party are going to feed you and you want to show that you like their kid so you go to a store and buy something. We almost got the little girl here a Mr. Potato Head. And then we wondered what happened to our Mr. Potato Heads? They have probably already floated up out of the landfill, migrated into the ocean where some poor dolphin choked on the spare funny nose. The world just doesn’t need any more plastic crap. We ended up getting a cloth Dora-the-Explora doll, thinking, at the very least, it would biodegrade. We didn’t check to see if it was made by a less-fortunate kid in a sweatshop in Mexico. We should have. There’s no excuse. How can we change our rituals? How can we change the system? How can we preserve what’s good about children’s birthday parties – enjoying a beautiful day in the park, sharing delicious food, community bonding, watching kids laugh – without screwing up this two-year old’s environment, or forcing some kid half way around the world into slavery? tChe Guevara didn’t have faith that we could change as long as our kids were living the good life. He claimed that we couldn’t see what was going on in Africa, say, as long as we were so well fed. Apparently, we can’t see what’s going on in Detroit or Los Angeles or New York. The people occupying streets and public squares around the country are starting to see. Circumstances are forcing them to see. They seem to have come to the realization that the system has to change. They don’t know how to do it. No one does. They are ordinary people. But a more just world can only be built by ordinary people. We don’t need leaders or scientists or politicians to tell us what is good about a children’s birthday party.
I should have added the caveat that all these food documentaries information should be evaluated by individuals. Yesterday, we watched Food Matters which contained many specious health claims — that you won’t be tired in the afternoon, you won’t get sick, you can reverse cancer– if you drink a liter of water in the morning and megadose vitamins. Bollocks. I think the old adage ‘You Are what you eat,’ contains some truth, but don’t expect miracles.
Started reading Ivan Illich’s Tools for Conviviality, which I bought for 33¢ at The Friends of the Library Book Sale. I’ve picked up shelves of books there over the past two years. Illich might say that we seem to be losing sight of what is important. We don’t want healthcare, we want health. We don’t want to go into debt for a degree that says we know something, we want to know something. The obvious problem presents itself — If you don’t have a degree, they will say you don’t know anything. Illich warns of this trap.
Once they accept the authority of an agency to define and their level of knowledge, they easily go on to accept the authority of other agencies to define for them their level of appropriate health or mobility. 
There was a picture from a political rally floating around on the internet “Homescholers for Perry” which I noticed was re-posted by professional teachers. I should remind them that plenty of public school graduates can’t spell. I like that the US provides a free education for everyone. I don’t like that our schools are factories trying to create an ideal product (student) and that kids who don’t fit the mold are discarded like defective units.