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Monday, June 18, 2012

NeverSeconds, Politics, Lunch and Nagging Questions...

A "NeverSeconds" school lunch image by Martha.
I always find the most interesting things on Wired.  Today I found an article about something called "NeverSeconds."  A blog about school lunches.

The idea is that a 9 year old Scottish girl named Martha has decided to take a camera to her school and photograph her lunches and post them, with ratings no less.

Her helpful dad makes various notes on some posts and kids from all over the world send in their lunch photos as well.

After some time the school officials find out and ask her to stop.  A "ruckus" breaks out with various back and forth between Martha's parents and the school officials.

Martha becomes involved with a British charity called Mary's Meals - a charity serving meals to children world wide.

At the bottom of the blog is a page counter that ticks off about one every second with close to six million hits as of today (June 18).

What's troubling about all this is that its very similar in nature to "Catfish," which I wrote about a while back in "Wolf's Reality Test: Crocumentaries and the Fall of Civilization.

Catfish is a movie about "Nev Schulman" - a New Yorker who lives with his brother Ariel and Henry Joost in New York.  The story centers on Abby Pierce, an eight-year-old child artist from Ishpeming, Michigan, who creates wondrous paintings.  As things progress we discover that the entire "Abbey" operation including the paintings is actually run by Abbey's mother Angela - for what purpose its never exactly clear - supposedly to fulfill her emotional needs with friends on Facebook.

The point of my post is not that there is anything wrong with Martha or NeverSeconds. But I do wonder about the separation between the reality of an internet "presence" (like the characters in Catfish create) and the "real world."

I have grandchildren in the age range of both Abbey and Martha.

Their mother is not interested in creating an exposure for her children like the parents of both Abbey and Martha.

Is this really children expressing themselves or exploitation?

I cannot really say that I blame her - particularly with all the crimes related to kidnapping, perversion, and so on popular with trolling internet pedophiles.

Now I write blogs and whore for internet attention - but with the explicit purpose of exposing myself to business reasons; and I am an adult.

Martha's and Abbey's parents have allowed their children to become "internet famous" without I think really understanding or appreciating the full ramifications of what that means.

The adult author of the Wired article is admittedly captivated by "NeverSeconds" - which is also odd.

While in general I think everyone who pays into "public school" (here in the US public means open to anyone who lives in the district, in Martha's case public means "private") should be interested in what children are being fed its hard to understand what makes this particular blog so appealing.

I suggest that the author march down to the local school and attempt to involve herself in what's going on there because I think that would be far more interesting.

Clearly nine year old Scottish Martha has uncovered the politics of something as supposedly simple as a nutritious school lunch.

To bad no one else in the US has the same interests to find out what's going on in their own local school district.


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