Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: A Classical Education: Chapter 4 Going On 5

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  • Tamsin6,

    Just noticed you said it was based on an incidence at Ikea. Surely for that, there is extra added pathos. Or even bathos.

    London • Since Dec 2007 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Ross: WhoopZ. I stand corrected re Mr FraZier. (Didn't our friend Barthes have something to say about that S/Z problem?) Sometimes I'm bilingually pedantic, sometimes I'm illiterate in both dialects of English. Drives my spellchecker bonkers.

    Rob: *blush* I am not worthy to touch the hem of Socrates' toga. I saw that dude in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, and he was smart. (Also, ahem, one "s", no "z". Whereas David Haywood actually loves it if you spell his name with a few random extraneous letters - try him).

    Carol: funny you should ask!

    And Tamsin: yes, the bathos of Ikea -- and the mega-bathos of living only five minutes from one! What were we in a hurry for, anyway? Cheap dishbrushes, a smoked salmon salad, and a bit of exercise on a rainy day. Ikea is our personal mallwalk, the world's best-decorated indoor gym.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    My heart gives a little flutter every time I see there is a new report from Busytown.

    And that is why I write: to set hearts aflutter, wherever they may be. Thank you, Patrick!

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Edit - o yeah. Y'know, there's this thing called Wi-ki-pae-di-a?
    Marvellous eh?

    Had a decent argument about the marvellousness thereof at a conference last weekend. Apparently the tight-knit circle of nerds who control Wikipedia in their iron fist will callously delete anything scientists try to add to make it more useful and/or accurate, laughing as they do so. Or...something of that nature.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Lovely post Jolisa. I'm a bit out of step here lately. Out of touch, out of tune, and out of time maybe also, but your posts are always somehow self-affirming and remind me of why this place can by quite special.

    On the part of our three, as one of those philosophy graduates, when miss 4 (now 6) stared wistfully out the window of the car one day and proclaimed "zero is exactly the same as nothing" I thought she would be all right, although we'll wait until she's at least 8 to introduce her to Sartre and Husserl. Might see how she goes on 'Wittgenstein for Beginners' though. Graphic philosophy! Who knew?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    Lovely - whenever you write about them I am struck with the urge to hang out with your boys and listen to their charming wisdom.

    Carol My guys have never read Footrot Flats but we get "What the..!" pretty often. Due to the influence of Terry Pratchett's Wee Free Men the other exclamations of choice around here are "crivens" and "Oh waily waily".

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    One of the downsides of learning philosophy - discovering paradox does not end in "Just because, all right!". That's when the fun actually begins. But only for me. Perhaps it's all the same - "Don't go there because Daddy will get angry" isn't too far removed from "Don't go there, because Daddy will get really, really boring".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10647 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    "Don't go there, because Daddy will get really, really boring".

    Don't go there, because daddy got his angst on?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    Might see how she goes on 'Wittgenstein for Beginners' though. Graphic philosophy! Who knew?

    Graphic philosophy, you say? Do check out
    Logicomix. Aforementioned lad loved it, as did our book group.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 823 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    Lovely piece of writing Jolisa - thank your boys, not just their ater-may - as for

    Islander: Iway etbay ooyay owknay igpay atinLay, though? (Darn, bet I conjugated that wrong. Someone will correct me.)

    You only got "I" wrong - it's I-yay not I-way.

    U-yay eed-nay onetic-phay elling-spay, en-way u-yay ip-flay erds-way.

    Translates to:

    You need phonetic spelling when you flip words.

    Us-play erds-way at-they art-stay ith-way owls-vay eed-nay owel-vay iddls-may en-way ipped-flay.

    Translation:

    Plus words that start with vowels need vowel middles when flipped.

    Pig latin is fascinating because only children can learn it - and they can learn it almost instantly. It is incomprehensible to adults, and often remains so, often despite great effort.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    Oh, pfft. Didn't do Greek. Did do Latin.

    Blum blum blum bli blo blo
    Bla bla bla blorum blis blis!

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Logicomix

    Looks cool. And Greeks you say?

    Written by;
    Apostolos Doxiadis
    Christos H. Papadimitriou
    Alecos Papadatos
    &
    Annie Di Donna, who is French.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    It's a truly gorgeous book, Recordari. Happily, your excellent Auckland public library seems to have a few copies.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 823 posts Report Reply

  • Julian Melville,

    ARDLE ARDLE ARDLE ARDLE ARDLE :)

    Love it! (I wonder if it's a universal language? It certainly happens here)

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Logicomix was my seasonal gift to the (then 14 yr old) offspring last year. She read it cover to cover and started asking a bunch of logic and philosophy questions immediately after and hasn't really stopped. Recommended.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Thanks for the recommendations. Having this somewhat possessive nature with regards to books & music, I was pleased to find Time Out had one copy in stock, which now has my name on it. Sounds to me like one of those books to own, so that siblings can read it too, at their leisure. If they can get it off me.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    I know what you mean, Recordari, I like having my own copies of books too. However I can't pretend to understand my partner's enthusiasm for acquiring DVDs - I'm happy just to rent them now and then. Not that I can complain as the books pile up into seismically-unstable heaps ..

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 823 posts Report Reply

  • sally jones,

    Brilliant post Jolisa. Laughed a whole lot (and cried a bit).

    My boy, who at that age jumped up and down in the waves on Takapuna beach exclaiming 'Life is just one big beautiful thing' and watching the lava flow from a Hawaiian volcano on TV said: 'If my soft toys were to get up and walk around it wouldn't be as incredible as this!', and at the age of six spelt out 'effing' on the scrabble board and protested when we said that wasn't a word, 'But you always use it", has just now, aged 17, dissed the entire PA enterprise as a waste of space for old people. And that ain't the half of it!!! Cynicism doesn't cover it, we need a whole new word for what he's got.

    Something changes when the wonder goes. Is it disappointment in the world (the mother, the father) or do some of us just get too big for our boots, or maybe we realise we're just so very small and can't handle it? Don't know. Probably bad parenting in this case, the 'effing' is a bit of a giveaway. Still think he's one big beautiful thing though, soppy old sap that I am - like most mums about their sons (sorry, too much liquid tonight - enough said...).

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    has just now, aged 17, dissed the entire PA enterprise as a waste of space for old people

    Like I say, when he moves on from Bebo, let's talk

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie, in reply to sally jones,

    Don't worry Sally. We start wondering at other things and relearn how to enjoy our uncertainty. Even if it's worrying.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I think my certainty only lasted about five minutes, if I ever had it. Then things get wondrous again. </sap>

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to sally jones,

    You know what I think it is, Sally? I think that all children are born with and carry with them, to a certain age, their native intuition/gut instincts/call it what you like. And then the voices start - the negative ones - telling them what and who to trust, what and who to like, and they start taking notice, and absorbing the negativity parlayed to them by adults, and before you know it, they turn into us. And then, if you are lucky, and you understand in time that other peoples' opinions aren't important, your intuition comes back. Or rather doesn't come back, because it never went away. More that you can hear it,because you are willing to listen to it again. Never met a gut instinct I didn't like.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • sally jones, in reply to Tim Michie,

    Tim:

    Don’t worry Sally. We start wondering at other things and relearn how to enjoy our uncertainty. Even if it’s worrying.

    Danielle:

    I think my certainty only lasted about five minutes, if I ever had it. Then things get wondrous again

    Yes, indeed. Standard maternal overreaction. It's a reflex and a disease (in my case). Plus he's battling scholarship calculus at the moment, which I am assured (on the authority of one) is quite unachievable. Not such a wondrous prospect for him. His mother should be more understanding...

    'Other things' to wonder at Tim...? I'm afraid he's inherited the late developer gene in that respect, if I read you right. But quite enough said on that matter for now - and forever...

    Sacha:

    Like I say, when he moves on from Bebo, let’s talk

    Well that I still don't know much about, I'm afraid. I did ask him and he seemed to agree that Bebo was old. He's a gamer/YouTuber, not much Facebook, as far I know.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • sally jones, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Jackie:
    Very thoughtful, as always. I hope you're right.
    It's interesting how different childhood and adulthood are, when you think about it. In adulthood we're much more in the world - and it's a BIG place, kinda scary really. But as a child I think much of the time we're lost (and found - protected) within our own childhood, if that makes sense. Kind of self absorbed in a way that adult relationships and responsibilities make more difficult, and not so cool.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to sally jones,

    Well that I still don’t know much about, I’m afraid.

    Unsubtle put-down for him. As you were.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

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