The sad circumstances of the death of RBG

It is sad that upon hearing the news of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it didn’t take but 3 seconds for me to start considering and dreading the political implications rather than being able to mourn her loss.

It’s a great shame because she was a truly memorable and remarkable justice who left a true legacy in her wake. Women and minorities were afforded much greater protection under the law thanks to her. I spent the weekend remembering her, watching RBG and reading up on her life’s work.

The balance between oversharing and pulling back from sharing publicly

I’ve been posting a lot less here in the last few years. When I look back at when I was posting here the most between 2014 & 2016, I was posting about all sorts of stuff with some regularity.

These days, I’m a busier guy for sure. That’s definitely playing a part. However, I’ve also been hesitant to post about some things which I definitely wasn’t shy to post about 5 years ago. It’s not that I have less to say because God only knows there’s been so much to talk about in just this year alone. There’s a lot on my mind and maybe I’ll get back into the habit of posting again because I find the writing cathartic.

A new law for short cars

I’m introducing a new law for short cars which I think will receive overwhelming support from the public. Here it is:

All vehicles shall park such that the end of their vehicle is aligned with roadside end of a parking space rather than the wall/sidewalk end.

Why might you ask? Well, I was just bitten again by this situation – a situation I’m sure you’re all very familiar with. You’re driving around the car park looking for a space and 10 spaces in front of you, you see an open space, so you commit, line up, turn in before slamming on the brakes because you realise there’s a teeny tiny car or a motorbike parked there.

All cars are now required to park such that their car is visible from the driving lane to avoid these infuriating incidences.

Coming to terms with Trump

Preface: I’m keenly aware that as someone who has no voting rights in the USA, my words carry little weight, however, I’m also raising children (most notably, a daughter) in this environment, so I’m exercising my voice on behalf of my children who will one day have the ability to shape the world in which they live.

I’ve very much come to terms with the fact that Trump will be the next President. It’s done and I accept that.

What is much harder to come to terms with is the fact that people think this town jester who:

  • mocks the disabled,
  • lusts after and assaults women like an immature and dangerous college student,
  • considers “religion” to be an appropriate factor in determining one’s suitability for entering the country,
  • perpetuated the longstanding lie that Obama was born in Kenya
  • adjusts his limp backbone based on the response he gets from the people,
  • claims business acumen when his wealth would be double what it is today if he’d have retired in 1982 and invested in the S&P500,
  • derides people based on their looks despite looking like an orange-tinted, wig-adorned, plump corpse himself,
  • etc., etc. ad nauseam

is someone that a (near) majority of the people consider to be fit to serve in the highest office in the USA. It’s an absolute mockery.

“Donald Trump didn’t come out of nowhere”

I typically try to stay out of political discussions, mostly because the opportunity for meaningful, thought-provoking and intelligent discussion has all but evaporated these days and because as a British citizen, I am little more than a bystander in American politics.

On a broader note, I saw this video this morning of a speech that President Obama made, where he criticised the GOP for creating an environment in which Donald Trump could succeed, abandoning him at the eleventh hour because openly bragging about sexual assault is apparently one step too far, and then trying to benefit politically from ditching him.

He brings to light the fact that the GOP has promoted, fostered and cultivated such extreme and disparate positions that there is simply no unity in the party anymore. Donald Trump is the prime example of this, saying what his brain tells him to and then recanting, flip-flopping and swerving in response to popular consensus, rather than stating his honest views and sticking by them.

Fleeting thoughts on Brexit result

Yesterday, the UK held an historic referendum in which it decided whether to remain in the European Union which it joined in 1973 or leave it altogether (Brexit).

Early this morning despite a tight race, the result was declared in favour of leaving the EU. I was very much in favour of remaining in the EU. I’m not very good at coherently collecting my thoughts into a single unified article, so here’s some thoughts I have on the whole matter:

Orlando

Obviously the events of Saturday night were horrific and devastating.

But what do we do with all of that? We might be quick to offer “thoughts and prayers” to those involved, or to comment on how tragic, scary and senseless it all is.

However in a week, America will get bored of hearing about it and our drive to do something about it will have all but vanished.

I think people resort to offering “thoughts and prayers” out of a numbness and an acceptance that “this is just what happens here. It’s bound to happen and there’s no way to solve it.”

When did the news stop becoming the news?

A couple of years ago, the building that I work in installed televisions at the elevator landings. I’ve no idea why, but I guess they figure that people want to be constantly bombarded with news and media and the 15 seconds that we spend waiting for the lift is a perfect opportunity to cram in some utterly important information.

I never watch or consume American news. I very quickly grew tired of the talking heads, strongly biased views, selective withholding of stories and hype that became so overwhelming. Instead, both because I consider them to be (far) more neutral, reasonable and factual, and because I had an interest in continuing to follow British news after moving to the States, I rely heavily on the BBC for my news.

The thing that irks me the most about American news is that it’s just not news. To me, news is a factual, neutral reporting of events that are of importance to society. What most of us now know as news has devolved into highly-pointed delivery of largely irrelevant stories which have been spun into hyper-dramatic segments that don’t particularly focus on what happened and what its implications are, but rather create situations, possibilities, hypotheticals and outright lies that draw in the drama-hungry American audience.

Comparing films to their respective book

Creating films from books is nothing new. Since the dawn of cinema, screenwriters have taken the success of literature and used that to create cinematic masterpieces. One of the earliest films I can think of – Gone With The Wind (1939) – was adapted from a book that was published 3 years prior.

However, films are not books. They are materially different media and to make a point of comparing a film to its literary genesis is pointless. If you’re a fan of literature – creating characters in your mind and taking artistic license to join the dots in the story – then by all means continue to do so, but to expect the same experience from a film is foolish.

Do you mind?

“Do you mind?” is a phrase that should be removed from everyday usage I’ve decided. It’s because the response to the question and the resulting action do not match which almost always requires clarification.

Do you mind picking up some milk from the shop?

Yes.

So you’ll get it?

No, I have other things to do.

Can we just agree that it’s ambiguous and there’s always a better way to ask the question?

Can you pick up some milk from the shop?

No.

OK, I’ll get it myself.

Much better.