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.
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?” 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?
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?
OK, I’ll get it myself.
Is anyone else sick of Greece, Greeks and their attitude right now?
After years of overspending, cooking the books and tax evasion, Greece’s party is coming to an end. Trouble is, they got rather accustomed to the party lifestyle and paying for it all on a credit card.
Now, it’s all caught up with them and the monthly credit card statement has arrived, only to their shock, instead owing a few grand, they owe in excess of €300B.
Like the rest of us who have overindulged at one point in our life, it’s time to figure out how to pay off the credit card.
I kind of love how the gay community took to using the term “Love wins” to celebrate their victory in the Supreme Court a couple of weeks ago allowing them to marry in the United States in the same way that heterosexual couples can get married.
The gay community was using the term to express that the act, existence and expression has won out as a result of the decision and that millions of people can now love equally in the eyes of the United States government.
For a long time, “love wins” has been used by Christians to indicate how the teachings of Jesus (of love, not hate) reign supreme and should govern their actions. In fact, if you’ll notice, it’s part of my tagline on this very website. I believe that Christians ought to be known by their acts of love, rather than their bible bashing, vindication or bullhorn ministry.
Gosh darn it. What the heck is going on in this effing place?
One of my pet peeves is people who use friendly replacements for swear words. As in replacing “God damn it” with “gosh darn it”.
The reason it bothers me so is that it’s a religious response intended to make these swear words more acceptable. However, the fact is, everyone knows that when you say “what the heck”, you really mean “what the hell”, so you just look like a hypocrite by trying to create a phrase equivalent to the original without actually saying it, thus alleviating you from the repercussions of saying it.
What a fucking joke. Stop being such a pussy and say what you mean. Stop giving a damn about what people will think of you and if the original phrase isn’t appropriate for the audience in front of you (e.g. kids or church) then perhaps you should reconsider whether your replacement phrase is appropriate as well, because we all know what you want to say, so just spit it out.
Tiered tax rates are very commonplace in most developed societies. However, I’ve never really understood why and I don’t know why flat rate taxes get laughed at whenever they’re proposed.
I get that those who earn more have more of a capacity to pay tax, but does that mean they should? I’m not so convinced. That idea is thrown around in the name of the fairness, but what could be more fair than everyone paying the same amount of tax for every dollar they earn?
After all, high-earners would still be paying much more because they’re earning much more. To me, a flat rate tax would simplify things and level the playing field. You just pay a set number of cents of every dollar you earn to the taxman: I really don’t understand why this is so lambasted when viewing it from a purely intellectual point of view (rather than getting angry that it might mean that you personally might be paying more tax).
Seems to me that it’s just a political tool to appeal to the masses while still pulling in as much tax revenue as is needed.
By definition the weekend is the end of the week. People’s definition of the weekend may vary slightly but I think that most people would agree that includes most or all of Saturday and Sunday.
So why then do Americans insist on putting Sunday at the beginning of the week in calendars and diaries? It just seems to be another example of religiosity creeping in to American culture and dictating that Sunday should come first in the week because it is the holy day.
And once again, America just looks silly and goes by a convention that no one else in the world observes.
The way in which we talk to and about pregnant women (and their husbands/boyfriends) is a little bizarre as far as I’m concerned.
Just yesterday, we met with our midwife who made a good point that there comes a point in a woman’s pregnancy where she is now undeniably pregnant (maybe at 5 or 6 months in) where people feel her body is now an acceptable conversation piece.
Aside from just being plain awkward, there are certain things which make the expectant mother feel bad. This is by no means exhaustive, but it’s just some of the things that we’ve experienced over the past 2 years that have caused irritation:
I haven’t paid attention to this “news story” where fast food workers in the US are demanding $15/hr for the work they do, but an opinion piece from Matt Walsh (Fast Food Workers: You Don’t Deserve $15 an Hour to Flip Burgers, and That’s OK) caught my eye on Facebook and I proceeded to read through his thought process.
Matt’s thoughtfully crafted article is an excellent rebuttal to the orders of fast food workers. Jobs are paid commensurate with their implicit value and as Matt elegantly puts it:
So, real talk: Your job isn’t worth 15 bucks an hour. Sure, as a human being, you’re priceless. As a child of God, you’re precious, a work of art, a freaking miracle. But your job wrapping hamburgers in foil and putting them in paper bags — that has a price tag, and the price tag ain’t anywhere close to the one our economy and society puts on teachers and mechanics.