Great Question Time this week in Tottenham, north London. Some audience members raised great issues and really showed how listening to passion and real life experience are very important factors when you want to learn about resolving problems in the UK or any country). That part of London has always had a bad problem with knife crime, (in the last 20 years anyway) so it was a natural venue for a rightful verbal attack on complacent politicians – it just happened to be the ones on the panel but I’m sure whoever was on there would have got an earful!
I didn’t really need a new phone apart from the screen being cracked which I’ve grown used to since last September. But the phone company gave me a call a couple of days ago, saying I’m already due a new phone – the two years with my current phone seem to have flown by. I pay a couple more quid for a few more minutes and download limit, and hey presto, I have a new gadget – I’m sure I’ll appreciate the minor improvements on this model – but really, I DON’T NEED IT!
The above must be a thought process people in the public eye such as politicians or media personalities go through, when they want to be dismissive but not prejudiced.
Let’s look at a few “neutral” words people use to slag someone off:
Hooligan – a rowdy Irish family mentioned in a song of the 1890s.
Charlatan – someone who deceives you, pretending that they have great knowledge about something, concealing their inferior knowledge, lack of mastery. Also meaning “quack”, a person selling dodgy medicine – charlatan comes from the French or Spanish word with the same spelling and etymologically comes from Italian ciarlare (to chatter) or Cerretano (a resident of Cerreto where there are many quacks).
Savage – French “sauvage” – wild – from Latin “silvaticus” – from the woods.
Others to look at:
A friend recommended me to try Waze as an alternative to Google Maps. Initially installing it, I found it an attractive app, very nice presentation of the map environment … and interesting features like full updates about what is coming ahead, even a red light. But for me, I found it awkward when i was in a hurry and hadn’t activated location on my phone… I couldn’t seem to backtrack and turn on location, or at least Waze wouldn’t recognise it. So in my usual morning rush, I was wasting precious seconds. Back to Google Maps!
Recently in my school job I was learning about the condition PDA – Pathological Demand Avoidance and ODD – Oppositional Defiant Disorder. The latter is a condition where children refuse to cede to adults’ authority, have mood swings and are often argumentative, irritable and vindictive.
As well as making me think how difficult it must be for a child to grow up with this condition, it also make me wonder how many of us “normal” adults who show defiance in our characters could actually be categorised as or associated with a type of disorder… Those stubborn, driven adults who wouldn’t listen to anyone else and just stuck to their rigid goals, and possibly achieved their goals? Or is flexibility key to success?
Also, we are seeing defiance now in public life. The electorate who defiantly vote for a populist leader to put 2 fingers up (or 1!) to what they perceive to be mainstream establishment; the gilets jaunes movement; people blaming bankers and politicians for all that’s wrong in society.
But when you go back to your very youngest years… your parent wants you to feed yourself. .. you’re quite happy being fed – no, I will not feed myself! A few years later… You can’t make me do my homework! Sonething tells me we also need a bit of defiance to survive…
If we simply have to have things available in the name of choice, surely we waste resources? I wonder for example why supermarkets keep stocking so much whole milk and skimmed milk when everyone goes for semi skimmed? I guess they probably make a loss on the other two but at least it shows they provide the magic of Choice! And they probably price competitors out of the market at the same time!
Beyond 100 Days – What is the point of this programme? The title itself was set up from an initial programme called 100 Days (of Trump). When the two journalists running it realised they didn’t really have much to say after a while about Trump’s clumsy start up, the revised title Beyond 100 Days really just seemed to be a pointless vehicle of the two said presenters to continue nattering about not very much and attempting to conduct an on screen flirt à la Kirsty and Phil or Steed and Emma Peel.
The frustrating this is, just like the other pointless BBC News feature Outside Source, they just present exactly the same news items, footage and perspectives as the previous few hours on the regular rolling news. Is the problem funding in BBC News, is it that they don’t really have the resources to find or forge other paths to newsworthy items?
Ok here’s the grumpy old man speaking…
Do you have to now say “very very frightening” after someone says the phrase thunder and lightning? Thunder and Lightning is quite an established phrase, and doesn’t need to be associated with something that quoted it in the first place!
It’s like a few years ago when Confused.com was prominent in the media. So then, I felt confused… DOT COM! Arggghhhhh….
Offer – Offrir
You might think that if you say Je t’offre it means I offer you something, but it actually means I give you something or I pay for something, like a drink or a meal.
Actually – Actuellement
Actuellement doesn’t mean actually but rather, now or currently.
You might assume by translating the two words that it means little son, but it actually means grandson.
Library – Librairie
To translate library, the French say bibliothèque, whereas the French word librairie means bookshop.
Serviette – Serviette
Although for we English speakers, a serviette is another word for a napkin, the origin of the word is French, and for them it means a towel.
En suite – En suite
There must be plenty of confusing situations where British tourists booking a hotel room or viewing flats ask “Is there an en suite?” A French person is likely to reply… “en suite… en suite…?” In French, en suite just means “following” or “after”.
I’ve realised now I’m bringing up young children, how dominant and influencial feminine/female imagery is in our society. It seems to me that the bottom line is, female/feminine people are generally supposed to appear edible, consumable like flowers and plants.
Look at supposedly masculine colours: blue/ grey / black / brown. We don’t tend to want to eat natural foods with those colours, do we?
The women who turn heads most on a Friday night in an average pub are dressed very colourfully, almost as if, in the traditional man’s eyes, they are on the menu. Obviously the power dynamics have changed over the decades, and those women wouldn’t necessarily agree they are treated as objects as in previous times, but it’s undeniable there’s a constant pressure for women to think about their appearance.
Also thinking about skirts and trousers, why is it that from a young age females are expected to expose their legs in public, but not males? I dont want to go into the murky world of culture that disallow women from wearing what they want, far from it, but I do wonder, what does this subliminally symbolise for us, bare legs for girls, covered legs for boys?
Assuming there’s some sexual element to this, it’s also worth considering how nylon tights represent a type of womanhood or sexualisation of the legs. It’s true that in certain circumstances men have worn tights (and skirts for that matter) but in mainstream culture it’s still a regular decision a girl or teenager makes, when to wear tights of a certain type, and what that symbolises.
Feminine – Gay
I started off this text by mentioning both female and feminine as keywords. A significant part of homosexual culture is men dressing, speaking and acting in a feminine way. British rockstars Freddie Mercury, Elton John and now Boy George are all having films made about them and it seems to strike a chord with the filmgoing public, the struggles of a gay man in 1970s/80s society and how they could express themselves in colourful, flamboyant and often “feminine” ways (while of course making great music!). It seems that the symbolism of male homosexuals acting feminine is much stronger than lesbians acting in a masculine way.