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Showing posts from February, 2010

Why I Don't Want Nice Children

It starts like this: the word comes from the Latin nescius meaning ignorant and came to English via Old French essentially meaning stupid. By the time the mid-eighteenth century comes to be the meaning has been changed to pleasant or agreeable. Nice moved from insulting to innocuous.
So tell me, should I have stupid or pleasant children? I say neither. The former meaning should be obvious as to why nice should be avoided. The latter? Do you truly want your children to be pleasant? That’s unremarkable, blah, and mediocre. I want them to be kind, compassionate, thoughtful and reflective, and concerned about and willing to work for justice. Nice, in any form, just doesn’t do that. Hey, nice outfit, by the way.

Tombwood

Tombwood
Originally uploaded by IAmnotHamlet Taken during the "Naked Trees and Cold Feet" class.

A seed

A seed
Originally uploaded by IAmnotHamlet Testing connection to blog from Flickr.

Suburban Renewal

Kill yer grass! That's not what Doug Tallamy calls for directly in Bringing Nature Home, but he might as well have. According to his research there exists in the continental U.S. only 3-5% of undisturbed area left. Now, he doesn't quite define what this means (I take it as areas of no permanent human activity), but his point is that we have plowed under most of the habitat that used to exist here. We have plowed it under for farmland and malls, for highways and hospitals, but we've eradicated the majority of space that non-human creatures use as habitat. To make things worse in the place of native plants--which are absolutely necessary to life on this spherical rock (all plants are necessary in their proper place)--we have planted ornamentals that have no enemies here (meaning the U.S.) nothing to check their spread and therefore nothing to feed on them, plants that don't support the life that is supposed to be here.
I've covered Tallamy's doom and gloom sc…