December 04, 2017

Honors

We are approaching our 100th independent birthday. 

These men made it happen.

As was noted by a commentator below the video, the men singing 
in the choir eradicated slavery from here. No deed more honorable
Both my grandfathers belonged to these troops, although their 
presence ceased already earlier than this performance: from my 
father's side in 1980's and from my mother's side in early 2000's.

I get tears every time listening to this. They have my utmost 
respect and eternal gratitude. 


'Take care, soon our brothers will be gone
Remember, that for them, this land cost dearly
Keep telling on, to grandchildren by songs
The memories must never fade'


I am, literally, one of those grandchildren.

December 03, 2017

Lot

Recently, a commentator wrote:

"Usually, men realize the level of oppression women experience only when the 
time comes for their own daughters."

How very true.

In this sense, it's harder for wives with their husbands than for daughters 
with their dads. For some very odd reason(s), men tend to want their daughters 
to reach their best with only sky as the limit, but for their wives, only within the 
limits of men's own achievements.


To all whom it may concern, 

may it be reminded, that all of us women are someone's daughters. 


Forget that and you'll find the fool's lot as the most proper place for yourself.

December 02, 2017

Paragraph

Now that the floodgates have opened - if not fully, at least distinctively wider than 
before - a confusion needs to be clarified.

The wave of admissions - mostly from women - of having survived harassment, 
has taken me by surprise. Sure, I knew it was happening also here in the West, but the 
extent is staggering. Especially considering, that the women telling about 
their painful memories, very likely are only a fraction.

Sometimes these discussions involve topics concerning the related circumstances. 
Where were they, when the incident occurred? Were there other people around? 
Were they drunk? And particularly, was the woman drunk? If so, how drunk? 
What the woman was wearing? 

All relationships, with varying proportions, go down to power struggles between 
the counterparts. Once one lets someone in his/her life, vulnerability develops. 
Even a short moment of shared time and space with specific circumstances may be 
enough for the power distribution to go awry. 

How the related blame should be dealt, is an odd but frequent sidetone in these 
discussions.

No matter how unconscious, flirtatious or seductively dressed the woman may be, 
none of them are acceptable invitations. Being flirty is no permission for others to 
come and grab

The only relevant dimension these cosmetics have, is probabilities.

Certain factors increase the risk for women to become assaulted or harassed. 
Some of them are related to where women go, are they alone, how drunk are they, and 
how are they equipped. 

The likelihood of a certain event to occur, and how the blame shall be distributed
should the event in question take place, are two entirely different things. The fact that 
women can have an effect on the likelihood of becoming assaulted, is not an accusation. 
It is, indeed, only a fact. 

Women can have an influence on some likelihoods, but by this, no responsibility of 
an unwanted approach can be poured on them.

What defines the correct address and magnitude for the due blame and punishment, is 
not the woman's decision to be in a certain place at a certain time wearing certain 
clothes. Instead, it is the decision of the attacker to proceed with an assault.

Or at least it should. 

November 22, 2017

Proposal

It has come to this.
A confession of substantial proportions needs to be made. 


I am a subscriber of Merriam-Webster's 'word of the day'.


Reason?

When given enough time and context, the line between trivial and 
fundamental is a very fine one.


While recently visiting their webpage, they made the most compelling 
proposition for a really long, long time in advertising history.

And, when one thinks of something compelling, advertisements 
rarely meet the required bar. This time it sunk right in. Once entering 
their homepage, a box popped up: 

'We know you're excited to learn a new word. We are too.'

Ok, a bit over the top... 'excitement' is not putting it mildly, but 
basically, they make a point. (Why would I bother using their webpage, 
if words were inconsequential? I'd just skip the word and wouldn't 
care.)

With the risk of tangling myself up in semantics (it's often fun, though), 
excitement of words is a symptom. Pragmatism and the deep need to avoid 
mental boredom are the causes. Even so, reading a text with painfully 
narrow vocabulary is frustrating to an agonizing extent - it might as well be 
added to the library of torturing mechanisms for prisoners. But digress...


Here comes the offer, then:

'Sign up for our Word of the Day daily newsletter and get excited 
every day!' 

Below this is the necessary box for e-mail address with a subscribe-button.

As for the reluctant visitors, to be able to close the box, they bother to offer 
an actual alternative for clicking the ordinary cross on the top right corner. 
Below the subscribe-button is a line written in gray color - more specifically, 
in the shade 'boring gray', saying:


'No thanks, I don't want to learn anything new.'


That has to be the most successful sarcastically tuned farewell to the 
disinterested audience I've come across in the internet. As if it was saying:


'No thanks, I'd rather haste my cognitive decay with ignorance.'


Bravo, Merriam-Webster. 

November 19, 2017

Companions

As afterwords to previous post, as depressing as the type of mental 
corrosion is, there are nice pastimes to try and overcome the related 
nausea.


Radio
Almost a friend-like companion. There's nearly a universe of decent 
discussion programs, which you can just switch on while doing 
your chores, cooking or whatnot. Sort of background music with 
dialogue. An absolute gem. Special picks: Roman Schatz, 
The Round Table, What's up?, Heikelä, Politicsradio.

Debates/conversational or sophisticating shows
Intelligence Squared (in at least the US, UK)
Real Time with Bill Maher (funny, although occasionally disagreeable)
Rubin Report (decent conversation, a variety of guests with different 
views)
Last Week Tonight (the domestic version also awesome)

British detective series
Poirot, Marple, Sherlock, Endeavor, Lewis, Gently, Grantchester, 
Death in Paradise. 

Theater
Actual working by real people. As a sidekick, if a film shows 
flaws indicating and reminding it's just a film, it's a setback. 
In theater, where everything is apparently fake, it's somehow 
not the same. Reminds me of Shakespeare and also of 
Broadway, NY. An ancient form of culture, which has overall 
changed very little over the centuries. 'Never repair a system 
unless it's broken.'

Newspapers
Of internationals, The New York Times, The Washington Post. 
Occasionally also Harvard Business Review (whatever articles 
happen to be available) and The Economist. Of domestic, HS.

Tea
An utterly-lovely handful to sip amidst anything. 
Warms up inside. Varieties are almost infinite. A quaint 
British addition to everyday life. Whittard's is par none. 
(Later added: also Ounce's teas are superb.)

Books (especially those from the library)
There's a weird but nice twist in reading and handling public 
property books. Library books have a sort of additional, 
corollary extra-story as they travel from one home to another. 
I've yet to try audio-books and electronic books (other than 
professional literature). I like the non-required plugging.

Music
The tales of tunes. Irreplaceable. A special mention to 
traditional Christmas choirs and classics such as Andy 
Williams and Nat King Cole. Soft jazz is nearly intoxicating.

Lost

The following stories are not fiction, alas.


"A middle-aged/early-elderly couple was on vacation abroad. 
Both of them had golf as a hobby, and went there to do the very thing. 
Recently, the couple had reunited after a break-up and moving apart, 
and this trip was a part of patching things up. 

They entered the golf-course. After their rounds it was time to see, 
who won. 

It turned out the woman did.

The man felt so deeply humiliated, defeated and disappointed, 
that they could no longer continue the vacation in necessary peace, 
and headed home earlier than planned."


--



"Right after the wife started to earn more money than her husband, 
he became angry, bitter and detached."


--



"Erm, yeah, if I was dating a woman who had a higher degree in 
education than I do, it would be bugging me, like an itch you cannot 
scratch off."


--


It should be 'attagirl!'.

Instead it's bitter whining.


Talk about shit-storms by men with allegorically tiny shoulders replacing 
their lost spines and even smaller actual brains. 

Whenever listing these events, there's a risk of performing a confirmation 
bias. Yet these freaking pea-brains seem to pop up way too often to be called 
only a 'marginal nuance'. 


A wise woman wants to be at her best - not just for herself, but also for the 
benefit of those around her. A wise woman seeks excellence to improve 
the things she can around her - not to defeat others. And damn it, 
that these douchebags fail to make the difference.


Good luck carving your peachy safe spaces, gents! With this obvious decline 
in your sense and civility, and the incline in number of educated women, it might 
get cluttered for you quite soon.


And boy if I'm appalled, that some women actually stay with these inexcusable 
dicks.


What _you_ choose, you accept. 
And vice versa.

November 14, 2017

Ahead

Finally some sense.

"They expressed concern about current, impending, or potential damage on planet Earth involving ozone depletion, freshwater availability, marine life depletion, ocean dead zones, forest loss, biodiversity destruction, climate change, and continued human population growth. They proclaimed that fundamental changes were urgently needed to avoid the consequences our present course would bring. "