I heart Taylor Swift

This ought to be a piece in Saturday’s Grauniad magazine, written by Howard Jacobson, who always comes across as slightly creepy, like the Latin master at a girls school. He’s like the evil twin of Michael Rosen, who would be the English master, loved by all the girls, who would suspect he is gay, which he isn’t, but they like to think so, so that they can hug him and squeal when they get their A level results, without having to worry about the whole creepy uncle thing.

All of which is, fairly obviously, me talking about me.

I am so not allowed to like Taylor Swift.

In order to like her, you have to be a thirteen-year old girl (I know that’s wrong, more like eight-year old), or the mother of a thirteen-year old girl (hopefully not the creepy kind that wang on about being mistaken for sisters, in a botox-sad way), or flamboyantly, Julian Clary on steroidsedly, GAY. Smithers off of the Simpsons has a Taylor Swift shrine, obvs.

Fathers of eight-year old princesses HAVE to like Taylor Swift, so that doesn’t count. If they actually DO like Taylor, they have to redouble their efforts to project that ‘I’m only doing this because that’s how much I love my daughter, how dare you think otherwise, you bastard’ thing.

Loved that that Ariane Grande concert (no, me neither, not until, you know) had lots of dads hanging around waiting for their teenage daughters who were simply screaming the whole evening, I imagine. I can picture the dads, in their casual wear, Clarkson jeans and new but unfashionable trainers, lots of Man U shirts, ugh, in some sort of roped-off area, rolling their eyes at each other, checking their phones. (Yes, there was a bomb, I’m not talking about that.)

There’s a thread here. (Please tell me who I’ve missed out.)

Madonna soon became annoying.

Kylie was typecast as the absinthe fairy in Moulin Rouge. (BTW, has Baz Luhrman done Midsummer Night’s Dream? If not, why the fuck not?)

Gaga grew up and started singing properly. She is a proper singer now, sang with Tony Bennett: that’s proper.

Katy Perry, I’m sorry, Katy who?

And now…

I heart TS.

(Not for the music: it’s pleasant enough pop fluff, quite inventive in it’s way. More the videos. I’m realising that the pop song isn’t the artform anymore: it’s the video. I never watch bloody videos unless somebody tells me to, somebody being some pundit, not a real person or even a friend on Facepuke. I hate being made to watch video pieces online, ‘vlogs’ FFS, that could just as easily be articles, I won’t sit through them. I can read twenty times faster than the pace of some dick orating his or her exquisitely mannered vid (No offence Eddie Nuttall, I know you understand).

Clever, sophisticated, expensive, witty videos, like seeing the brain of a snarky thirteen year old girl materialising briefly on your telly.

 

Here’s a piece about her latest vid, (yes I did find it coz there was a link on the page of that thing about the mum and her weasel). Now I’m off to actually watch the vid, whilst listening to Ahmad Jamal charmingly eviscerate Secret Love, my dad’s favourite song when sung by the toothsome Kathy Kirby, in 1962. You should check him out, he’s what Taylor Swift would sound like if she were a 1950s jazz pianist.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2017/08/28/taylor-swift-knows-youve-been-making-fun-of-her-heres-how-her-new-video-responds/?tid=pm_lifestyle_pop&utm_term=.b28f7e5672b6

 

 

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“Your daughter is willful and determined. I wish all children — especially girls — were allowed to roam free. May she never change.”

From the Washington Post, via Facebook
~

Dear strangers, please stop telling me my active daughter might get hurt

 November 1, 2016
supergirl
Here’s the link, read that first, appreciate its goodness, then come back here for my half-baked.
 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2016/11/01/dear-strangers-please-stop-telling-me-my-daughter-is-in-danger/?utm_term=.a75a1f3a2730
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These half-baked musings are lifted directly from Facebook, I’m making no attempt to disguise that. I’m also assuming that my lovely friends won’t mind…
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Comments
Arthur Battram
Arthur Battram How did you find this, Penny Wilson? One of your colonial chums, I bet.
That mum is you. Mother Of The UberWeasel.
The author is a doppelganger personality of you.
Now we need to know if the supergirl (probably a model photographed for the article, shame) becomes WHATSHEISDESTINEDTOBE. So we’ll just have to wait.
What’s interesting about this is Penny Wilson. You are a mum. And your motherness is always present in your playwork. I can’t think of another playworker who has their motherness so clearly woven into their playwork. Contention: most women playworkers are doing older sister, or older brother, even the ones that are mums?

 · Reply · 12 mins · Edited

Manage

Arthur Battram
Arthur Battram Actually, Eddie Nuttall, that piece you did here on FB about taking Jesse on a Felix daytrip, *that* was evidence of burgeoning fatherness in your playwork.
My playwork was just older brother stuff. 

I have no understanding of what older playworkers are like.

(I mean the ones that keep doing playwork, not the ones like me that move into training, or [shudder] management.)
I used to see playwork as a ‘young person’s game’.
Some male playworkers just carry on with the older brother schtick until it becomes embarrassing. Not ’embarrassing dad’ embarrassing: that’s the point, they aren’t channeling any fatherness.
You’ll all know one.
Even the ones that are dads don’t bring their dadness to work.

I find all this fascinating.

I’m surely in a minority.

Great Big Story : A Fold Apart: Origamist Robert Lang’s Incredible Paper Creations

https://www.greatbigstory.com/stories/folded-universe-the-astonishing-beauty-of-origami

Just astonishing.

And the practical applications are also breathtaking.

Organisation, management. 

One side of A4 indeed, o, managers.

Listening: kids are really really good at it, and managers are mainly awful at it…

The first word of Miles Davis’ autobiography is LISTEN. He described jazz as being about “freedom and space to hear things”

I often declare that I will write a book called “Everything I Learnt About Management I Learnt From Playworking.” A bit like a preschool version of Mark McCormack’s  “Things they don’t teach you at Springfield Elementary”. (But I digress,and I’m also in danger of revealing my punchline.)

🎶 You can’t improvise if you don’t listen.

🏭 You can’t manage if you don’t listen. 

🗽You can’t lead if you don’t listen. 

Here are somebody else’s wise words about listening: please listen…

“They are always listening. Not just to the words we say to them, but those we say in their presence to others. That is their real learning environment. When we managers take that seriously, that’s when our people begin to make us better managers, the kind who think about the words they say and the tones we use with the people in our lives. They make us work to become the managers we’ve always wanted to be, if only because that’s the sort of person we want them to be.

“Our staff don’t learn anything from obedience other than how to command and control, a dubious education at best. They learn everything else by listening (and watching, of course). Real learning requires processing, repetition, time, and experience to fully comprehend. It takes place on their schedule, not yours, which is why it can seem as if they are not listening. But they are: know it, and strive to be the manager you want them to be. That’s the real work of management.”

Read more here:

https://goo.gl/bNNIOq

Thinking in Systems

 Donella H. Meadows
“So, what is a system? A system is a set of things—people, cells, molecules, or whatever—interconnected in such a way that they produce their own pattern of behavior over time. 

A system is an interconnected set of elements that is coherently organized in a way that achieves something. We can’t impose our will on a system. We can listen to what the system tells us, and discover how its properties and our values can work together to bring forth something much better than could ever be produced by our will alone.

There are no separate systems. The world is a continuum. Where to draw a boundary around a system depends on the purpose of the discussion.

We know a tremendous amount about how the world works, but not nearly enough. Our knowledge is amazing; our ignorance even more so… 

You can drive a system crazy by muddying its information streams. Purposes are deduced from behavior, not from rhetoric or stated goals.

Missing information flows is one of the most common causes of system malfunction. Adding or restoring information can be a powerful intervention, usually much easier and cheaper than rebuilding physical infrastructure. 

Remember, always, that everything you know, and everything everyone knows, is only a model. Get your model out there where it can be viewed. Invite others to challenge your assumptions and add their own.

Thou shalt not distort, delay, or withhold information.”

― Donella H. Meadows, 

Thinking in Systems: A Primer
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donella_Meadows
Donella H. Meadows (March 13, 1941 – February 20, 2001) was a pioneering American environmental scientist, teacher, and writer. She is best known as lead author of the influential book “The Limits to Growth” and “Thinking in Systems: a Primer”

( from the excellent: https://creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com )

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