Again, nothing of consequence

Who me? No, I haven’t gone anywhere, just madly writing an essay on the ethics of comedy. I know, take something that’s perfectly fun and theorise it to death, why don’t you. Funny thing is, I’ve also got a gig tonight, which is probably, for reasons I will explain when I’ve got more time, my last until Fringe next year. Don’t think I’ll worry about telling tonight’s punters (see how groovy I am, I call them punters) that I can, with reference to Kant, justify the use of my husband, my children and my dead parents to make said punters laugh.  And further, if said punters don’t laugh, maybe my use of family members it isn’t so justified.

Anyhooo, and still with the overthinking…

I am quite troubled by my chidren’s participation – via school – in the Premier’s Reading Challenge and the Healthy Lunchbox Challenge (can’t find any info about the South Australian one on the web, but google it and you’ll get the idea).

I totally get that schools need to encourage reading, healthy food and so on. I applaud creative efforts to encourage such activities and do not want to be pain in the arse PC parent who gets all uptight about everything. But you know what – reading and eating well should not be described as a challenge. Nor should they be turned into fucking competitions.

That is all.

0 thoughts on “Again, nothing of consequence”

  1. Yes, describing them as a challenge does seem a little counter-productive. Does it mean that post-challenge it is assumed that unhealthy eating and not-reading will be reinstated as the norm?

  2. you are too right. it’s a sad comment on where we are today that reading and eating healthy lunches are seen as things that need to be made into some sort of challenge/ competition.

    i reckon we need a basic manners and courtesy challenge, myself!

  3. I think, as a child, I always read less during the MS Read-a-thon. I’d get tied up in knots trying to find the little booklet, write down the name of the books I’d read, and keep track of the adults I’d suckered. It was easier, all up, to read less.

    I’m with Cristy, reading and eating really should be modelled as every day activities not special occasions. Diets, afterall, don’t work.

  4. You’re right – uptight PC parents suck and should all be tapped on their mushy heads with ball-peen hammers until they bother us no more.
    That said, I absolutely agree with you. I think calling it a “Challenge” is responding to all the competitive deadheads who don’t read or eat fruit and are likely to spend significant portions of their lives worrying about football scores and bragging about the time they ate a whole family-sized grease bomb.
    “Challenge” rather than “Absolute Necessity” is simply a better marketing term to the people who need it most.

    I had a massive argument with someone the other day about the slim target demographic of “Fringe Family Day” (ie. adults with young children).
    ‘If it’s about families, why aren’t all the gay families with no children invited? How about extended groups of adults?’
    I was told that I was getting into semantics and subsequently lost a lot of sleep.

  5. My daughters got the patented “my mother is mad” rant from hell this morning.

    “I’ve put fruit in your lunchboxes,” I said. “I expect you to eat it.”


    “I’m getting tired of all these notices coming home from school, telling me how to feed you. Goddamit – I know how to make a healthy lunch. I pack you healthy lunches. But you don’t eat them.

    Dumbstruck silence.

    Eat your fruit!


    I think I will use the next healthy eating notice that comes home from school to make paper darts and fly them into the local McDonalds.

  6. I found the (NSW) Premier’s Reading Challenge really good for getting the names of lots of good children’s books to give as presents to my own and other people’s children. I also got a huge ‘what a good parent am I’ feeling when I discovered that we already have a large number of the recommended books at home. I actually did all the reading with my 5 yr old, went on line and put all the books in, and we got a laminated certificate from his school. I would have read him the books anyway (we just read a book from the list each night, instead of just a random book) and I could have saved myself a hour of dealing with the slow internet database. So really, if you read to your kids regularly that’s pretty much all you need to do to complete the challenge. Then you just have to decide whether you can be bothered entering all the info online. Or get the librarian at school to do it for you.
    We haven’t had the healthy eating notice yet. I’m sure it’s coming.

  7. FXH – D’Arcy’s came home in his schoolbag uneaten yesterday. “???” I said. “I don’t like vegemite sandwiches” he said. I merely sighed. It doesn’t seem to matter what I put in his lunchbox, he won’t eat it. I suspect the healthy lunch challlenge would work for him.

    So,3C I’m with you, and also with Deborah. We know what healthy food is, but getting the kids to eat it is the challenge!

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