spring, and some news

It seems that spring has been cancelled, or at least postponed. But the harsh sun is there, chasing my eyes or so it feels. I’m waiting for some improvement, for the green foliage of trees. But temperatures are still below zero — often a lot below, -10 in the evening, perhaps -5 during the day. (It’s unusually cold, they say. And I believe them.) Winter is a lot of fun. In december. Four straight months of snow, ice, cold — not so much fun anymore.

So I’m looking at summer photos. I think this weather a good enough reason.


It hasn’t been such a great week. I’ve been feeling irritated. I’ve been unable to do anything useful, which makes me even more irritated. It’s a truly bad circle of being irritated, when irritation feeds more irritation. I had nightmares. Then, yesterday, a man sat down next to us on the bus and started to pull on mr Dog’s tongue. You’ll think that was one of the nightmares, but no, it happened in reality. We were completely taken aback. Luckily, mr Dog didn’t bite, because he’s patient with stupid two-legged people.

And I’ve gone quite tired of running the blog. I try. And I try convincing myself that my interest in it will return, but perhaps it won’t. I hate moderating comments, too, but I couldn’t have it the way it was last fall. I hate getting complaints; it will do no good, so don’t complain, don’t comment, don’t instigate other people to comment — I’ll have none of it. But I guess there’s reason to suspect that moderating comments killed the vitality of discussions, if it didn’t actually kill the potential for discussions altogether. It’s not easy to know. Didn’t want it to be the way it was — not a place for loons, trolls or people who thrive on instigating fights –, but I don’t want it this way either. We’ll see. I’m not going back to unmoderated comments, that’s for sure.

I don’t know if it’s just one thing about the blog — I guess it’s more likely all of it, everything. I thought I was getting something out of it, and perhaps I did. Or perhaps I didn’t. The painful realisation that, possibly, it’s all been useless. A waste. Especially now that I see it die down, wither away. I wonder if it was ever worth it.


I suspect that I must have been imagining that all those wasted hours were not my life slipping away from me.


Anyway. There are some random scraps of news, which I reluctantly report (because they’re either boring, which means I don’t want to blog them, or sad):

Apparently some Steiner schools in the UK are still striving to obtain state funding within the free school scheme, but are meeting opposition. Meanwhile, a former student made himself known for holding some obnoxious opinions. Apparently, he’s also a star in some British tv series, Coronation Street, with which I’m unfamiliar. (Not sure it’s ever aired in Sweden, but don’t ask me, I’m a television ignoramus.) I’m certain he will be a star on all those lists of famous former waldorf students. Or perhaps he’ll be rejected — like those other former waldorf student celebrities who were appreciated as poster children only as long as they didn’t do anything stupid or unflattering and became known also for the wrong reasons. I guess that’s the problem with relying on the famous. They aren’t reliable. But please continue. Being celebrity crazy is so unappealing that I’m sure waldorf will scare away some people who are repelled by shallow celebrity culture. And whose first wish for their children is not that they become soap opera stars or television weather girls. Or whatever.

A teacher, who had been teaching in a public waldorf school in the US, wrote a letter to the school board saying that her conscience forbid her to remain a teacher at the school, and she had to leave. She felt she had become the employee of a cult, and forced to take part in things she couldn’t accept. Read her letter. That’s what happens when people find out how it works and when they — teachers, parents or even students — have not entered with their eyes open and fully informed. As far as I understand, the school must have been transformed from an ordinary public school into a waldorf school while she worked there, although it isn’t entirely clear. What is clear, I suppose, is that she wasn’t an anthroposophist.

In tragic news, an old cow barn belonging to a biodynamic farm in Järna burned down to the ground early today together with the adjacent dairy. 70 cows perished in the fire, which is now being investigated as a suspected arson (which I believe is more or less routine in such circumstances, and I really hope it isn’t arson, because such a cruelty is unimaginable). I’ll miss the cheese.  And I’ve been thinking about the agony of the cows all day. Here are a few surviving calves, who are incredibly adorable. Not many animals survived, but a few heifers were lucky not to be in the barn, if I understand it correctly, and they survived (along with those calves, I assume). All the dairy cows are gone.


12 thoughts on “spring, and some news

  1. Sorry to everyone if I sounded snappy in the post. But I think that me getting private emails because of this post kind of illustrates the problem here — last autumn’s debacle and moderating comments put people off from commenting in public — not sure what is putting people off more, writing openly or the moderation. No, I’m not angry with you — I’m angry with the loons, trolls and nitwits who wanted an outlet for their madness, who wanted to derail discussions and to went their grudges or to make people angry and to fight each other. I’m angry at getting complaints for not allowing it anymore. I’m angry at having to trash comments which are either nonsense or submitted with the hopeful wish that they’d go through if another name is used. I’m not dumb. That stuff has come to an end.

    So basically I’m left with having to moderate comments but there isn’t a lot of discussion anymore, and I don’t know if it’s even worth it then. If people rather stay in touch via email (or twitter or facebook for that matter), then that’s fine, I guess. I simply can’t feel motivated to keep comments open at all if the majority of decent and nice people find that commenting is better avoided. And I’m left ‘dealing’ with crazies.

    Some of whom think I’m an utter bore for not letting them trash and abuse my blog.

    And, to clarify, it’s not about positive or negative comments, it’s more about how I feel the old and lively discussion threads used to invigorate the blog, and that whole thing is more or less gone.

  2. too late last night to auto-translate the Swedish article about the cows – I didn’t realise any died.

    It’s certainly not been a waste of time! But it’s for you to decide if this is what you want to do. We’re all very grateful for your analysis. But you must only carry on in the way you want to, and if it’s interesting or fun. That’s the nature of blogging.

  3. All of them died, according to the newspapers, except a few heifers and calves that were in another space and could be rescued. The barn was completely destroyed — they had no chance. (Here they are, by the way, last spring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LK3KoR_6uQg.)


    It’s always so easy to see, with hindsight, what should have been done. (I shouldn’t have put an end to the stupidities much earlier.) Not sure what difference it would have made, but I feel like if I could time travel I would try it…

  4. Well, I will be sad if you give up the blog, Alicia. But Melanie is right, you must only do it if it is interesting or fun for you.

    I don’t always comment unless I see that I can contribute in some way to what is being discussed. I know I lack the fire, wit and panache of yourself, Melanie, Diana, Pete, and others, which make this blog so interesting to read. But I have always enjoyed reading what everyone has to say.

    In conversation with anthroposophists (you all know I am one of those strange tortured souls), over the last few years, I have frequently recommended the Ethereal Kiosk as something really worth reading, not simply because it is interesting and amusing, (though it is interesting and amusing) but because I find the case against Steiner and Waldorf so well argued here. Anthroposophy itself, Waldorf Schools and Rudolf Steiner are more often accurately portrayed here than anywhere else.

    And where else shall we turn for the insights of Canineosophy and the Dognity of Animal?

    What is also precious here, in the Ethereeal Kiosk, along with the ice-cream, is Alicia speaking so truthfully about herself and the existential questions which all thinking people like her face.

    “I don’t know if it’s just one thing about the blog — I guess it’s more likely all of it, everything. I thought I was getting something out of it, and perhaps I did. Or perhaps I didn’t. The painful realisation that, possibly, it’s all been useless. A waste. Especially now that I see it die down, wither away. I wonder if it was ever worth it.”

    Well for me it was (and is) definitely worth it. Even if it withers away or changes into something else. I feel that it is a place where souls who ‘hunger and thirst after justice’ have met and and shared thoughts and perceptions and a lot of fun.

  5. Thanks, Tom. It makes me happy to read.

    And, no, you certainly don’t ‘lack the fire, wit and panache’!

    I think those discussions are what spurred me and inspired me to go on — even writing about things that weren’t always entirely entertaining, they even made me write things that were more useful than fun, on occasion. Because I knew interesting things might happen. I’ve been spoilt with (by?) clever participants, truly. Without whom much of what I’ve written wouldn’t have been written. And lots of insights would never have been had or made.

    It’s so another thing to write without that.

    Basically, I tortured (well not literally, but you know) myself over moderating comments — thinking it’s not right and blah blah — and now I’m doing the same while thinking about closing comments altogether. When I didn’t moderate comments I used to think, and perhaps say, that it would depress me to have to police things and decide what gets published or not — having to make a decision every time — and the thing is: yes, it is depressing. It’s like I’m someone I don’t want to be. On the other hand, if I had let through some of the comments that have been submitted and if other people had taken the bite, we’d be back to stupid mud-slinging, derailings and a blog cluttered with nonsense. And it was so tiring, too. There’s no right way to do it, I suppose.

    If comments were completely shut off, I wouldn’t have to make any decisions. I’m not sure why that seems so appealing, but it does.

    (In any case, I will probably be writing, at least occasionally (and I have things I have already written that I might like to post… I think.) I can’t see myself stopping completely or forever. I think I have to focus, though. Or try to understand better what I want to write — because I’m far from sure. Oh, that’s perhaps partly responsible for my current intense feeling of it withering — me not knowing what to do. The feeling magnifies the sense of decay. Or something.)

    ‘(you all know I am one of those strange tortured souls)’

    yes, but with canineosophy to complement it, you’re not in a bad place — cosmic tail-wagging bringing relief to any tortured soul ;-) But, yes, you’re right, although canineosophy (we’re certain) is spreading fast, where else to go for the insights? Mr Dog might have to take over the blog. (Don’t worry, he would surely keep gigantic supplies of ice-cream! And meatballs. Hopefully not in the same jars.) Or open another one. Because we can’t neglect the dire need of canineosophy in the world. Of course not. Not the way things are. Humanity has a long way to go before it achieves a basic level of dognity, but we must plug along and do our best to further the noble aims.

    I fear mr Dog will soon feel inspired to preach, so I’d better stop…

  6. ” I really hope it isn’t arson, because such a cruelty is unimaginable). I’ll miss the cheese. ”

    Where else will we find someone who can put these two sentences together like this? To shut down this blog would be a real shame. To be honest, the only reason I haven’t participated more is that the recent blogs haven’t been in English. I’ve just been a little too busy to translate them. And then, I feel a little goofy popping into a Swedish blog with an English comment.

    Just forward any complaining emails to me… (or at least say you will)… that may cut down that problem… ;)

  7. Thank you very much, Pete! Also thank you for reminding to go shop some cheese this afternoon before the store closed. (‘Järna cheese’! http://twitpic.com/ce1fgm)

    You’re right, of course. Not only have I blogged much less, but have been writing less in english — I don’t think I’ve written more in swedish than before, but I’ve written so much less in english that the balance has changed… (And some, if not most, of the swedish ones aren’t exactly relevant in english anyway.)

    Thing is, the more I wrote in english, the more I was inspired to write even more — often because of the discussions. Now I feel I’ve written everything already (and written the same thing too many times…), which, of course, I haven’t. But somehow I’ve run out of inspiration.

    Haha! I’ll say it immediately — any ridiculous complaints may be forwarded to Pete! On the other hand, that might actually hold some appeal… So if the thought turns somebody on, I will clairvoyantly know this and then of course won’t forward.

    (Off topic, but this may entertain some of you. http://www.cracked.com/article_20312_5-insane-private-schools-you-wont-believe-actually-exist.html)

  8. It’s not a bad idea, but I think I would be… too scared to do that. Ideally, perhaps, when there are lively discussions they’re better conducted on discussion boards that aren’t personal blogs maintained by just one person… for several reasons. But it was fun to have such discussions here. As usual with me I both want something and do not want it at the same time. I wish I didn’t live in my brain…

    There was a time last fall, before I started to moderate comments, when I couldn’t follow all the comments. They were too many. A few days of not being present (enough) and things were completely out of hand.

Comments are closed.