17 December 2009

Some of my best friends are k.a.'s

Ho ho hee hee! If only knitting addicts would boycott this blog, I could claim some readership! But before I get to them, I must say that my caution "If you're thinking of presents for any child, the 'gifts' of knitting addicts are SODDING" in Presents that go beyond themselves, sparked the question from Janine B:
"What do you have against knitting addicts???"

Nothing generic. Some of my best friends are knitting addicts, writing addicts, cooking addicts, etc. They don't need to reform because they don't inflict their problem on others. I don't say this as a blameless innocent. The baking addiction can lead to horrors, about which, possibly a confessional post.

But Janine B is no knitting addict. This discriminating and incredibly creative fine artist and designer is an expert in many fields including fibre arts. I've been meaning to list her incredible blog Feral Knitter.

Feral Knitter creations

Inspirational to many, educational on many levels, Feral Knitter is an exceptional publication that happens to be a blog. Janine's sense of colour, texture and form—always a sensual treat, even to this non-knitter. She is a teacher who takes the intimidation out of complexity, and is an observer and commentator about all kinds of interesting odds and sods—from books to the chaos that is life and intentions.

And—in a present of few words—she has given me the opportunity to have a long-repressed slagoff about out-of-control knitters whose droppings spatter innocents around the world, and whose knitted gifts corrupt little children—for this is the season when there kneed to be knitalyzers out in force.

Suffer the little children
In the tragically hilarious new choice being considered in our state of New South Wales' public schools, parents could be asked, Religion or Ethics? As Teresa Russell reports:
"Unless you have sent a child to a public school in New South Wales, you won't have come face-to-face with the madness that is known as 'non-scripture'. For one hour each week, usually first thing in the morning during prime learning time, every public primary school in the state must divide its students into different faiths to receive 'special religious education' (SRE) from a wide assortment of adults, known collectively as 'scripture teachers'. If a parent wants their child to opt out of SRE, that child is not entitled, under existing education policy, to any instruction during this period. The policy specifically states that learning in the areas of 'ethics, values, civics or general religious education' must not occur." — Antique religious education needs reform
Trust me. This is getting somewhere.
Associate Professor Philip Cam from the University of NSW is developing a program for an ethics class proposed as the alternative for students whose parents don't want them fed religious indoctrination. Interviewed by Heath Gilmore in the Sydney Morning Herald, there is only one example of a dilemma quoted from the professor.
''Our kids will talk about granny knitting a sweater you hate, but you tell granny you like it. Now Mill would say that's great, you didn't hurt her feelings, while Kant would rail against the lie."
There is nothing wrong with knitting addicts who restrict their gift-giving to consenting adults. The problem comes when it's done to minors, and all people who are put in the position of having to pretend to be grateful, which includes recipients of those horrible squares-for-love charity blankets cobbled of odds and sods. These wraps should have to be worn by the givers, and cleaned by them in conditions such as that of the recipients. These “wraps of love” as well as used clothes (which btw, have devastated livelihoods around the world. See also "dead white people's clothes") are as helpful as dead bras, which have also amazingly, been turned into a charity cup. It is a common misconception that poverty means a person has no eye for style or sense of self, when the opposite is the case.

A man receiving charity practically always hates his benefactor - it is a fixed characteristic of human nature; and, when he has fifty or a hundred others to back him, he will show it.
— George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London

The less one has, the more the small things matter, especially when dignity is one’s only possession. For instance, take any picture of starving people in Darfur and compare it to that of the crowd in a typical Western shopping center, and I rest my case.
Criminal acts of anti-style imposition are rife.
“Here is an account from a knitter whose “knitting life” was changed forever when she knit sweaters for orphans in Afghanistan: Knitting for others, especially those who don’t care about color or fit or a perfect increase or heel turn was liberating. The dozens of ideas that I had been incubating for years burst forth and suddenly I was working on several projects at once, trying many new constructions and techniques…released from my ego and the imagined criticism of finicky recipients among my friends and family…” — Knit Unto Others
When the real reason is to give an outlet to addicts, an outlet that has to consist of people outside of the addicts' communities, it should come as no surprise that people are starting to say NO. One quote from ABC News' Fijian bra program sparks charity debate:
"These kinds of projects really are only, I think, designed to focus on the donor, the person who feels good because they can give something that they would otherwise throw in the rubbish."
or, in the case of many sweaters knitted with undoubted love, hid by a child hopefully forever under a pile of last year's toys.

Further recommended reading:

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