In 2017, there are about 1 million black people married to nonblack people in America.

About half have kids under 18, and 70% are black guys married to nonblack women, while 30% are black women married to nonblack men.

There’s about 63 million married couples, of which around 24 million have kids under 18.

There’s about 4 million black-black married couples, of which 1/3 have kids under 18.  This means interracial marriage makes up 25% of black married households for school-aged kids but only 1/6 for black married households with no kids under 18.

 

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Saturday update #2

Haven’t written any fiction for the day, but if I manage it today or tomorrow I will post a Monday update.  This week was full of family emergencies that weren’t compatible with writing what I wanted to.  A poll about posting excerpts is below.  It’s worth considering.

Conservatives won’t attack the universities because universities are their baby factories.

This is something that is not immediately obvious to many conservative commentators, including far right ones, because the acceptable fringe subcultures who are anti-college but still married with kids are very loud and are in fact massively overrepresented in conservative media.  There’s also demographic lag, since the true culmination of college as guaranteed path to motherhood in the married class didn’t really hit until the internet era and there’s a lot of women who had babies in the 80s and 90s whose experiences 20+ years ago as non-college married mothers are also overrepresented.

Conservatives are in a real bind by relying on college as the baby factory, though.  The number of first births is declining year after year and is not in fact being offset by increases in third and higher births by women who are already mothers.  The conversion of middle class parenting and childrearing into a college-microcosm, where all interactions are mediated by a credentialed array of third parties (you don’t teach your kid domestic skills informally, they go to cooking and sweeping and mopping classes) and there is, simply, no organic social interaction (you have to join groups that meet at specific times for specific kinds of “play-based movement”) has been fertility inhibiting and it’s getting more and more so each year.

Even meal preparation has taken on college norms, consisting of carefully measured meal kits to be prepared according to precise and “scientific” instructions, or literal cafeteria-style eating in a upscale grocery store’s deli section.  Same chairs and tables and general set up as a college campus, only the food’s a little more expensive.

Obviously a lot of college moms love this brave new world where they never have to give up the mentality and practices of their college years once they graduate.  But it’s driving women who don’t want to live such a tightly structured life just to be moms away from motherhood entirely.

Liberals are in a bind, too, but progressive views don’t include a substantial pro-family ideological component, so the fertility shredding effects of motherhood turning more and more into the world’s longest advanced college degree don’t affect their group norms the same way.  Conservatives, though, do have that pro-family ideological aspect and if they don’t figure out how to baby factory some other way, then in the long run there will be a small, extremely rigid hard core having the same 2-4 kids, and this raises wider social questions about how we can ever hope to have normal sex roles when those people are completely pushed out of the reproductive race.

Hippies of the Religious Right, Chapter Two: The Counterculture

So in Chapter Two, Shires has a brief discussion of the counterculture.  He drops all the right names (Roszak, Ellul) and along the way breaks down the appeal of the counterculture for what became Christian hippies.

The major thing for the “Chrippies” was that they wanted to keep the Golden Rule, freedom and expressive individualism of their parents’ modernist, secular approach to life and belief, but drop the conformism and money-hunger.  They “logic trapped” their parents by pointing out their obvious hypocrisies.

We in the future now might look at how easily and smoothly hypocrisy is dismissed as irrelevant in general political discourse, but the younger Silents and older Boomers were able to pull off confronting hypocrisy because their parents were in fact behaving in an untraditional way.  The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit was two-faced in a way that was historically rather new and thus freshly and particularly susceptible to cries of Hypocrite.  And the children of these parents took advantage of it, pressing that advantage as hard as they could most chances they got.

When you present an adulterer as a moral exemplar people might think you’re a hypocrite.

But the eagerness to trap their parents and authority figures in nets of hypocrisy exposed something Shires presents rather neutrally, the way in which freedom as a movement and ideal superseded the Civil Rights Movement rapidly.  People born from 1944-1960 had an 86% rate of formal religious training (Sunday school, catechism class, and the like) and while this filled many of them (the future Chrippies, what Shires terms the “spiritually sensitive”) with a longing for faith as a seamless garment, with life and belief as one, in practice they sought freedom from orthodox spiritual direction, instead delving into drugs as a path towards that goal of a seamless garment of life-faith.

The use of drugs for individualized spiritual awakening is an interesting contrast to the Dexedrine housewives of the postwar and 1950s timeframe.  The mainstream use of drugs to enforce conformity, particularly with women’s highly constrained and very modern form of the housewife role, is not mentioned by Shires, being outside the scope of his work.  But it something to consider for the era he’s speaking of.

Shires also discusses the original “We have to be intolerant of intolerance!” that was a prominent theme among these seekers and spiritually sensitive youth pursuing an ideal of pure love.  Weirdly, he downplays the sex-cult aspects that arose out of this love-worship.  He mentions an example of humane, saving love from M.A.S.H. the movie, in which a suicidal doctor is brought back with the love of his coworkers via them staging a pretend Last Supper and dosing him with a sleeping draught…only for him to be revived in “Heaven” where a beautiful nurse has sex with him.  Not exactly Biblically grounded (a recurring phrase Shires uses regarding the spiritually sensitive who became what I’m terming Chrippies or Christian hippies).

Shires describes the nurse as “compassionate and compliant”.  This implicit approval for “free love” with Christian sprinkles explains some of the odder acceptable fringes that flowered in the wake of the Jesus movement and the Christian hippies it produced.

Shires’ own language reveals some telling things about what roles women were to play as some of them rebelled against the artificial and novel form of the housewife role their parents and older sisters were performing.

Anyhow.  On to Chapter Three!

Saturday writing update #1

Going to try something new to get more fiction done and “out in the world”.  And that is the one thing I haven’t tried: stating what I’ve done at regular intervals.

I usually work on two projects at a time out of a project pool of 10-12 ideas.  Currently I’m working on a “hard sf” novella and a post-apocalyptic or far-future short story.  The novella is complete as a story in its current form, but I have some backstory and details of the local setting I want to add in that will probably double the length.  The short story is perhaps 5-7 days in a row of writing to complete and yes I have performance/success anxiety over taking that last little step.  The other little catch with the short story is that it’s part of what I think will be 3-8 interlinked stories set in a common world.  Something like “The World Inside” by Robert Silverberg without all the pervotron parts.   So my brain doesn’t think of finishing one story as completing the mission, and maybe simply writing that out will help me over the hurdle and do the other stories too.

Anyway, long story short, this week I watched a documentary for backstory details on the novella and got some great ones to work in and I made no progress on the short story.  The plan for next week (I start weeks on Sundays) is to finish the short story and do an outline of the revisions to the novella.  I don’t think I need to see more than two or three more documentaries to get the kinds of details I want in the novella (food, social customs, male and female roles, clothing, how the houses and buildings look).

I have a lot on my plate this calendar year and the biggest obstacle to getting back to writing fiction regularly (3x/week or more) is that my days are filled up with kid-related logistics until next school year or another child is potty-trained, whichever comes first.  I used to find it strange how people would go off somewhere and binge-write for a few weeks a year and then nothing the rest of the year.  It’s usually a man thing, but it might end up being a mom thing in my case.  We’ll see how these updates help with avoiding that.

The Malachite Bathroom that never was.

We thought about it, because malachite is really, really, really impressive when used for walls and flooring.  But you don’t exactly get a range of color choices, so we didn’t.

Yes, we thought this would have been neat for a private home.

Also impressive for fixtures. We might yet copy this sink.

It’s medieval, just not terribly Western medieval.

 

Why we still have globomegacorp, Barnes and Noble edition

They throw crumbs to us and we gratefully accept them.  Barnes and Noble started selling pleasing-looking, original-text editions of classic adult and children’s literature (yes, even including Tarzan and Barsoooooooommmmmmm) for 10 dollars each, 20-25 each for multi-book omnibuses of 3-5 novels.

It’s not something the local bookstore can do.

Anyway there goes the book budget for this month.  But building the youth library just got a little less stressful.

ETA Momnotes: There were a bunch of moms with little kids there.  But the Asian moms had 1 kid and grandma in tow.  They looked suspiciously less harried than the other moms (including me) with 1-2 kids in tow and no other woman there alongside.  One was practically mellow and super chill.  But then grandma was doing all the chasing when her little guy would make a break for a new play area.

The only thing I did different from the other grandma-less moms was tell my kids that I wasn’t going to tail them every step and if they didn’t want to play 10 feet away from me in direct line of sight, then they were going to watch me go through books.  So that’s what they did.  I hope I got 50% less tantrum for standing my free-range ground.  These things are hard to measure.