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Weekend Reads: Summer Activities, a New Way to Look at the Autism Spectrum and Shut Up About the Trophy

Happy Memorial Day Weekend Readers!  It’s the unofficial start of Summer here in the US of A, as well as a day to remember those who have fallen in service to others. So kinda happy/sad.

No summer kickoff is complete without a list of 10 Summer activities for a toddle and/or a preschooler.  The internet wants you to make messes with your kids!

In case you hate Summer and are already pining for school to start, Barnes and Noble lists 5 books about the joys and perils of middle school.

This is why men don’t stand up to harassment. 

Up against strict abortion laws, Texas women turn to do it yourself abortions.  Coming soon to HGTV?

Rebecca Burgess published a wonderful comic at The Mighty explaining a better, more nuanced, and certainly more colorful way to look at the autism spectrum.  (That goes to her Tumblr btw, check out all her coolness!)

Lunarbaboon explains how to be a Real Man. 

Novelist, screenwriter and game designer Chuck Wendig, who already ruined Star Wars in his novel Aftermath by positing that there are probably gay people in a galaxy far far away and that it wouldn’t actually be all that big a deal (snark,) has penned a must read post on our societies obsession with competition and disdain for the value of participation. 

It’s a criticism pointed at millennials. Or, wait — Gen Y. No! Wait. Gen X.

SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY SOMEONE DECIDED THAT YOU ONLY DESERVED A REWARD IF YOU ACHIEVED TRUE APOTHEOSIS. YOU ONLY GET THE GOLDEN CUP IF YOU SLAUGHTER THE OTHER TEAM AND WEAR THEIR SKIN AS A CAPE AND TRANSFORM INTO THE GREAT BEAST WHO WILL DESTROY THE WORLD. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE CHAMPION, HIGHLANDER. EAT YOUR WEAKER FOES. REMAIN STANDING ATOP A HILL OF INFINITE CARCASSES.

Except, that’s kinda horseshitty, isn’t it?

When did we become so cynical about participation?

So sour-faced about people who are doing stuff?

I didn’t get an award for participating even though that’s the whole point of me being there. Everyone should’ve been hopping up and down because HEY HOLY CRAP YOU’RE HERE ON THE FIELD AND YOU’RE SCARED AND YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND THAT’S EXCITING AND DAMNIT IF IT’S NOT A VICTORY JUST FOR SHOWING UP AND PUTTING IN THE TIME. Doing a new thing! Being present! Partaking in the task at hand! I wanted to feel good for that, not for enduring an onerous afterschool program driving me to be an elementary school soccer champion and by the way did I mention I fucking hate soccer. I would’ve been happy with a participation trophy — and no, I wouldn’t have gotten confused thinking that somehow it was equal to actually being the winner, because winning still feels like winning. Kids aren’t confused by participation trophies. They’re not idiots. Yet we disdain participation because it is expected.

 

The 70’s were very weird. But they still had summertime…

You can follow Mungo Jerry @MungoJerryLTD because why wouldn’t you?

Featured Image Credit Abby Doench, who is learning to draw on the computer with Autodesk Sketchbook.

 

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Lou Doench

Lou Doench

Lou Doench is a 48 year old father of three. Twelve years ago he married the coolest woman in the world and gave up the lucrative career of being a photography student to become a stay at home husband and Dad, or SAHD. An atheist geek, or a geeky atheist if you prefer, Lou likes reading, photography, video gaming, disc golf, baseball and Dr. Who. He has been playing Dungeons and Dragons since 1976. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also an excellent home cook, not that his children would know because they only eat Mac & Cheese. Follow Lou on Twitter @blotzphoto or check out his photography at www.flickr.com/photos/blotz/

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