Tea With Chris is a roundup of recommended links, posted every Friday. Here are a few of our favourite things from the Internet this week:
Carl: Astra Taylor wrote a Kindle Single on Unschooling that has sparked some useful debate: A Slate article slammed it harshly, advocating a position that I’ve long sympathized with, that we have an obligation to support and participate in the institution of public education; Conor Friedersdorf in the Atlantic took issue with that; and Astra herself wrote a thoughtful and balanced rebuttal in n+1. I strongly believe that (like most things about education) this is an ethical and political issue that doesn’t get rigorous enough consideration, and one with deep contradictions that are hard to work out. When I was a student myself, I spent a lot of time passionately reading and thinking about alternatives to the way schools restrict, control and segregate; as an adult, I’ve become more alarmed about the erosion of public schooling as a basic pillar of democratic society – I was even more gut-level enraged by Rick Santorum’s statement that as president he would homeschool his kids in the White House than by the rest of his idiotic stances. Whatever your personal stake in it, this conversation is vital to have and to expand.
On another note altogether, the great English singer and musician Robert Wyatt took a look back through his own lifelong sentimental education in music in a Pitchfork interview this week, including his struggles with alcohol, disability, anxiety and politics. (I suspect he’s a little revisionist about his Leninist past, but then which of us isn’t?) It is candid, funny, painful and enlightening.
Finally, in the Torontopian department, the Toronto Standard‘s Sarah Nicole Prickett takes a look at the diverse state of youthful collective creativity here, in a piece both heartening and informative, even if it never quite overcomes (though it tries) its historical nearsightedness.
Chris: Three decades ago, somebody watched a test screening of Videodrome and didn’t love it quite as much as me or Carl or (probably) Margaux.
Emma Healey wrote a sharply incisive response to “So Many Feelings,” Molly Fischer’s dismissive essay about “ladyblogs,” supporting “an acknowledgement of the fact that the experience of being a woman is inextricable from the need to waste time at work, or look at things that make you laugh, or find a community whose sensibilities and interests and tastes are familiar to you—whose existence makes you feel, in some small way, less alone.”