Ballyhoo Fiber Emporium
Sustainability in Every Skein!


Ballyhoo Fiber Emporium podcast for fiber artists and producers featuring farm tips, sheep education, industry guests, farm updates, and more!

Episode Fifty-Nine: Invasive Species

Starlings, barberpole worm, potato bugs, weeds, and Ravelry. What do they have in common? More than you think! Grab your cup and stay for the tea.


If you find yourself feeling some kinda way about this, I encourage you to carefully read and prayerfully consider the ban posted by RPGNet (the basis of Ravelry’s draft). They have linked to sources.

Internet culture has made us thoughtless, nasty, narcissistic, and isolated. We vehemently believe that each and every one of our opinions is worth stating, being heard, and must be agreed with. That’s true on YOUR page/site/podcast/space. You do NOT have that right in others’ spaces. Unless you are a legitimate stakeholder in Ravelry’s administrative proceedings, you have no more right to tell them what they should do than to tell me what I should say on this podcast. I therefore support Ravelry’s right and choice to stand up in this egalitarian manner.

If you feel their position is unfair to you personally because you somehow manage to support a destructive administration but claim that you don’t hate, might I suggest that you are feeling (many for the first time) the unfamiliar and uncomfortable sensation of lack of privilege? Yes indeed, being told your POV and experience is not valid or desired in the conversation is familiar to many. Welcome to non-white, non-binary, non-conservative Christian America.
Here’s the thing: evil triumphs when good [people] do nothing. In all this mess we have forgotten to be human, to be kind, to seek information and learn and form our own opinions. We have forgotten empathy. I want you to reflect this week on a single policy. Just pick one, any one, and put yourself on the receiving end. I want you to think about those affected as your family. Your BIPOC cousin. Your immigrant grandmother. Your gay sister. Your three year old son.
I want you to picture yourself in the middle of the land for which your entire life and generations of your family before you has been mortgaged. Picture it burned, flooded, covered in the bodies of your herd, the wreckage of the crop you spent $400k to plant, your home or equipment destroyed. Jump on the lovely internet and find out how many thousands of farmers are facing just that scenario, with a penny a pound bailout and children to feed. Look up prices for those commodities - pork, beef, corn, wheat - and ask yourself how much of that you use in your kitchen.
I want you to look at your spouse, your kids, your family. Imagine the patriarch of your family or household behaving personally in the same manner. You know to what I refer. If you need this message, I’m sure that you believe in a conservative set of moral guidelines that frown upon or prohibit adultery, pornography, nepotism, dishonesty in business, lying, putting stumbling blocks before the blind, etc. Your same values probably include honesty, respect for elders and for the law, helping the widow and orphan, kindness toward strangers, charity, leaving the corners of the field for the impoverished, and not doing to others what you find hateful to yourself.
So if you feel this policy is unfair to you, can you honestly - in the pit of your soul - say that you have not supported any policy, administration, or person acting in a manner that you would find personally hateful?

This is a time for quiet reflection and hard work. All of us have work to do, and we need to make sure that we are doing it together, unselfishly. Not all voices need to be heard. Not all opinions are deserving of attention. It is not the function of society to please the individual, but to provide fair means for the betterment of all. That means sometimes we will have to swallow a personal bitter pill. If that’s you this week, I’m sorry for ya. Drink that tea, think about how you can up the equity in our world and move forward. It’s not about You. It’s about Us.