‘Wolfs to Woofs’ – what does it mean to be human?

Start 13:59

I’m sitting with five texts:  Russell (2005), Bell (2003), Bell & Russell (1999), Nat Geo“Wolf to Woof”, and a Sunday Dispatches (Sunday Independent, Oct 12 2008) article that begins with “If we carry on consuming resources like there’s no tomorrow, there won’t be one”.  The article, written by Tony Davenport, is pretty bleak.  He follows up his opening statement with the hope that ‘It’s not as bad as you [I] might imagine [and I do all the time imagine how bad it is] and  then quickly dumps me [the reader] back into the vivid imaginings of gigantic holes in the ozone layer, arid landscapes, parching lips.. with the words: “it’s worse”!

Not fair.

Not fair.

So here I am stuck in this strange triangle that I started to think about yesterday.  Each of the triangle’s three points force me to stop and look at what and why I am writing this PhD.  The tip (because it’s an equilateral triangle) is Polo’s story.  The second point of the triangle is angled by my sense of responsibility as an ‘activist’, ‘educator’, ‘citizen’.  A responsibility that comes from a desperation to do something about what Davenport describes as the ‘tipping point’. 

[Does anyone really care?

Do I really care? 

Shouldn’t I just get a delicious dinner and bottle of wine, and drink with friends and forget it all?  What in heaven’s name can I do?

Why do I still use the word ‘heaven’ when I don’t believe there is one?!

Need to get out of my head and back onto the page.]

I use the word ‘heaven’ because it is an example of the cultural use of the language that shaped me.

Need to not take the ‘retreat response’ that Russell cites in her piece about McKenzie’s writing on the “poststructural turn in social sciences and education research..” (p 433)

[Why is it a turn? 

The word suggests to me some kind of ‘fit’ or  ‘black out’.

Some level of unconsciousness. 

A polite parlour way of saying someone lost it in the head.

Back onto the page]

That is why I am stuck in the triangle because no matter which way I move I can’t find a way to satisfy this need to ‘make a difference’ to ‘do something’.  The story will help, but only so far.  I also need to be ‘out there’, being active, vocal and ‘teaching’ others.  [how smug]. I find academia, the third point of my triangle, comforting at the moment.  It’s soothing knowing that there are individuals grappling with “counter acting negative and repressive attitudes that fuel discrimination and injustice…[and] the systemic iniquities that threaten humans and other animals alike”. (Bell & Russell, p 69).

After reading that, I went to read the ”Wolfs to Woofs” article.  Will come back to discuss:

Human non-human – particularly the choice of words used to express the relationship.

Feminist dominance of narrative inquiry and CR

Language, voice and representation

Critical realism as centre point of my triangle.

Finish 16:56

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