Sunday Best, vol. 2

It is allegedly fall, the “weather” and “calendar” people claim, but the last few days have been hotter than a July spent in a sauna in the deepest pit of hell. Someone please tell “the experts” to fix this. My scarves have started sniffling in the closet, and my rainboots are striking from disuse. Hopefully the weather is more seasonally appropriate wherever you’re reading this.

This has been your blog small talk for the week. Carry on.

SERIOUS STUFF

R.L. Stollar has published a presentation called “Facing our Fears,” articulately exploring the importance of homeschool alumni speaking up about their experiences to ensure a better future for the movement. He focuses on child abuse, mental illness, and purity culture. It’s a long read, but if you’re involved in or are an alumni of the Christian home education community, take the time to hear him out:

“When it comes to the homeschool ‘conversation,’ — that is, the conversation about how we best educate our children in a Christian way — that conversation has been a monologue. … I want to point out to you how this monologue has been constructed in a way that specifically excludes dissenting opinions. Which means homeschool alumni feel guilty or afraid about speaking up. This is an important point because of the following fact: Homeschooling is not simply something done by parents; homeschooling is something that is also experienced by children. “

Osheta is doing 31 days of “Open When” letters. Loved this entry for when you’re worried:

“There’s something about worry the breaks down our ability to be truly human, to patiently engage others with love and respect, to lovingly hear the hearts of our babies. There’s something about worry that robs joy from our present: the crisp, fall morning and the goodbye kisses from my husband.”

Joshua Rothman critiques the mob mentality of internet outrage and activism with “In Facebook’s Courtroom” on The New Yorker:

“There can be something unsettling about the Web’s communal rage, even when that rage is justified. … Facebook, like much of the Web, is officially designed to encourage positivity; there is no “dislike” button, and the stated goal is to facilitate affiliation and belonging. But, over time, the site’s utopian social bureaucracy has been overwhelmed by the Kafkaesque churn of punishment.”

NOT SO SERIOUS STUFF

I had been intrigued by a trailer for Horns last year but didn’t get around to watching it until yesterday. It is unquestionably one of the stranger movies I’ve seen, doing some theologically-flimsy but still interesting things with devil/fallen angel symbolism. Daniel Radcliffe plays a young man accused of murdering his girlfriend; he claims innocence, but the townspeople judge him guilty. So, inexplicably, he grows horns — devilish mountain ram horns, which serve as a sort of scarlet letter and have a ring of Gyges effect on the people around him. Further strangeness ensues. The film doesn’t say anything especially new about human nature, but it says the same old stuff with much more originality than Hollywood generally produces. This is a weird movie, and the end kind of fizzled for me, but the story will stick with me a while; if you like offbeat murder mysteries with supernatural elements — and who doesn’t! — I recommend it. (Though if you’re sensitive to such things, there is some brief nudity, and some bizarre violence.)

It is officially Pumpkin Chocolate Baked Goods Season, and I am indulging this weekend in pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, using this recipe from How Does She? I usually add more cinnamon than is listed, along with a little nutmeg; and this time I substituted coconut oil for regular vegetable oil, since my boyfriend’s kitchen is sorely ill-equipped for baking, so they turned out a little more biscuit-textured than cookies should. But using the normal ingredients, these cookies are quite simple to make — yet when people taste them, they kowtow before you like Eddie Haskell when June Cleaver’s around. It’s fine. Just dust off your apron and roll with it, you domestic genius, you.

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