12.10.2012

Homemade Tutus and Too Many Choices

Masha and I are taking the rest of the Advent and Christmas season off of the blogalectic, which should allow us to do things like spend time with family and make Christmas presents. (See below for this week's short post, however.) I celebrated the decision by spending some of my writing time making the first of the tutus for my little nieces.

Craft tip for the tall person: stand chairs on the dining table, string project between them.
In case anyone else wants to try: I combined this how-to with this one and am using ribbon instead of elastic. Also, I used five yards, tops, of tulle for the one pictured. For the littlest of my nieces, I'm using fabric scraps.

Masha's most recent question:
I know that the loss of human contact in our culture is not the fault of the ebook, and I have no problem with it’s existence, I just worry about it’s effect. George, Jenna, does this worry you at all? What do you think, everyone, am I just ridiculous to want a physical thing that can be asked about and then set aside? Is there a way to share ebooks? Do you ever regret having too many choices?
There are so many possible things to say here; this question certainly deserves an essay. Maybe several. But for now:

1. I don't think she's ridiculous at all for wanting "a physical thing that can be asked about and then set aside." Any more than I think I'm ridiculous for wanting chant and hymns at Mass instead of "Anthem" and "The Summons".

2. I don't think ebooks are the problem for most people; it seems likely that Smartphones and social media take countless more heads out of the Real World than books in any form ever do. A determined introvert like myself doesn't often need an ereader to isolate myself from fellow travelers on an airplane.

3. That final question: yes. Oh, heavens, yes. But it's a good problem to have. The overabundance of choices arises in large part from the instant availability of nearly infinite free information, and I love having free information instantly available. I don't know what people did before the internet, but it's a constant source of exhaustion despite its virtues, and I've never learned how to regulate my relationship to it properly. Maybe someday.

Thoughts?

7 comments:

  1. Did you ever do Ballet? You look very much a dancer in this photo! I think those tutus are adorable!

    I think you're right that ebooks take fewer people away from life than smart phones and ipods..but it's the whole thing together..they all seem to be symptoms of the same trouble..that we're a people in desperate need of distraction. And I guess this would be an argument, less for the introvert whose hunting down an escape after eight hours in the same airport than it is for the person who is lonely by himself and needs a way to both not interact and still be distracted. To keep himself cut off from his fellow man, and cut off from his own interior life...does that make sense?

    The sort of people who can't sit alone at a table without having some sort of screen to make it look as though he's busy, and to make sure his thoughts won't turn to reflection..Is this turning into a whole different thought?..If it is, just ignore it and I'll bring it back sometime after the holidays. :)

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  2. As Socrates said before drinking the hemlock, "Introspection is overrated. Look where it got me." ;)

    Anyway, lots of things to say but no time to say them right now. Preparing for a funeral most of this week.

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  3. Masha, yep--seven months of ballet when I was about twenty. I still can't make proper fifth position, and my extension is lousy, but the classes did wonders for my posture and for making my long stick-figure limbs look less gawky. ;)

    You're totally welcome to revisit this topic after the new year. There's so much that can be said. And I'm glad you mentioned iPods, because frankly, the steady intake of pop music is probably a more serious problem than social media, and wearing earbuds in a public place (jogs, airplanes and the like excepted by nature) is the height of rudeness as far as I'm concerned.

    I think screens, connectivity, and instant access are highly addictive in part because they provide an escape route from the interior life and uncomfortable interactions. I wouldn't outlaw them any more than I'd outlaw liquor, but it seems like we should educate ourselves and our children on the dangers thereof just as we do--or ought to do--over alcohol.

    The people who prize reflection, however, would seem to be the people who would have prized it before the screens existed. Bored people who don't handle reflection very well will presumably always find less-than-worthy things to do with their time...

    George, haha. And shoot--I was looking forward to your thoughts. :) Sorry to hear about the funeral, though. I hope it's blessed with comfort and hope.

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  4. Hmm...I was thinking mainly of coming back to the whole introverts and the culture of social rejection thing..I know what you mean about ipod wearing, I don't mind at all jogging with music, but most of the people I meet walking around town - even inside - are wearing earbuds (my husband even works with guy who manages to talk on his phone & listen to his ipod AT THE SAME TIME)..outlawing is not my way either, but I'd like to see a revival of manners & maybe a bit of social judgement..Less judgement having to do with whether or not someone goes out on Saturday night and more judging of the inability to leave the gadgets behind for while. I agree 100% with:

    "I think screens, connectivity, and instant access are highly addictive in part because they provide an escape route from the interior life and uncomfortable interactions. I wouldn't outlaw them any more than I'd outlaw liquor, but it seems like we should educate ourselves and our children on the dangers thereof just as we do--or ought to do--over alcohol."

    And George, I was looking forward to your thoughts too! I've really enjoyed learning from your recent comments.

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    1. Introverts and the culture of social rejection is a perfectly good topic. Feel free. :)

      I hope I didn't sound like I meant to suggest you'd outlaw the gadgets. I didn't mean that. But anyway, if I were a manager and caught someone on my team wearing earbuds while talking on the phone, I'd do some outlawing in a hurry. :P And yeah, I'm all in favor of reviving manners and having some little stigma around matters of basic impoliteness.

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  5. YES to all the above!!!

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  6. (Including how cute those tutus are and the fact that I can easily envision you in Swan Lake :)

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