Word of the Week

Ghosting (n.) the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.

Perhaps you’ve learned that people are ending personal relationships by just disappearing, but I was surprised by a BBC article on a new trend of people leaving their job without communicating to their employer. I understand it can be tough to talk with a overbearing boss, but it’s something a mature person recognizes it’s necessary and actually good for him or her to do as it builds courage.

Again, Japan is featured, but I understand that because until now, in Japan you stayed in a job for life so they aren’t used to having to quit and as a vertical society bosses do have a power that they don’t in the West.

I am more surprised by ghosting in the West. Here’s a passage from the article:

Chris Yoko, who runs a web design company in the US state of Virginia, had a bizarre experience with a contractor who was meant to be completing a digital project from home.

“This guy had just started with us – he seemed like a good fit, seemed like a genuinely good guy. We get him started with a pretty simple project by our standards. He agreed, [but] Thursday comes along – there’s nothing there.”

Multiple emails and phone messages got no response. The man missed another meeting on the project. In the end, amid total silence from the contractor, the work was given to someone else.

A short while later, a man purporting to be a friend of the contractor got in touch via email. He said the man had died in a car accident and requested some tax files that the family needed. But something felt off, so Yoko checked the contractor’s Twitter account.

On social media, it appeared the contractor was very much alive. In fact, he’d just responded to a tweet from a cousin about attending a family gathering.

“He replied to this person with a picture of himself with a handle of whiskey in his hand saying: ‘Not only am I coming but I’m bringing this’,” says Yoko. “I screenshotted that and forwarded it to the guy and said: ‘Hey some good news, looks like he’s just fine!’.”

What do you think of ghosting?

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This I Couldn’t Believe


I saw on Inside Lens, a Japanese TV documentary that in Japan people rent “friends” if their real friends aren’t attractive enough for Instagram and social media photos or they rent families if they’re lonely. (That video’s not on YouTube.) Here Conan O’Brien used such a service.


Renting friends or family has such a melancholy feeling, but this other Japanese trend bothers me more. You can pay someone to apologize for you.

Huh?

While the service is costly at $400-500 USD, I still think these customers are getting off easy.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I’ve caught a cold and have been mainly staying home, drinking tea, reading a bit and resting.

I did read the selection for this month’s Great Books discussion at the library. We read and discussed Darwin’s Moral Sense of Man, rather a dry read in my opinion. I do accept Darwin’s ideas, which I think are pervasive nowadays, but I’m not all that interested in natural history, which he describes in detail. I did appreciate a woman who clarified the idea of Natural Selection. I mistakenly thought our choices in mates and behavior determined the survival of the fittest, but it’s all about how nature chooses. We’re just little pawns as far as that goes. Our group leader rambled a lot and as has become usual the discussion goes all over the place with tangents like robots and Trump getting mixed in. The Great Books Foundation aims to gather people to discuss an influential text and stick to analyzing it and not roaming all over the place, which is too easy to do.

I ran into a childhood friend’s mother at the library. Her daughter an I were great friends from first to third grade. In fourth grade I changed schools and later I moved so we lost touch. It was nice to hear a little bit about Laura and what she’s doing now. I do hope my old friend drops by one day.

There’s a new opening at my library and Wednesday I’ll interview for this position, which is a step up, but alas still part time. still my fingers are crossed. I haven’t heard from the other library yet about whom they’ve chosen. Skokie’s a well respected library so I know it’s quite competitive.

I’ve been quite disappointed with PBS NewsHour, which I count on as a sound news source, but they were in error twice last week. First they broadcast the Buzzfeed story that Cohen testified that President Trump told him to lie. The Mueller team soon stated that this was not the case. While the story was amended, I’d love to see an apology tonight and a statement that they should have investigated the veracity of Buzzfeed’s report, which was written by a known plagiarizer. Next there’s the mess with the boys from the Catholic school and a stand off involving a Native American man and the Black Hebrews. Originally, the boys were reported to mock the Native American and to be troublemakers. Later a more complete video was shared online and it became clear that the boys weren’t in the wrong. Again, the media, including PBS rushed to boradcast a story before they found out all the facts. It’s disgraceful because these errors impact people’s reputations or understanding of the  government.  With the boys, people have contacted the colleges they applied to and asked that these kids get rejected. They’ve discovered their contact information and have harassed and threatened them and their relatives. A mob mentality has been unleashed and it’s hard to contain it. Again, I hope to see PBS and other channels apologize and vow to adhere to a higher standard.

I got the Moone Boy series DVDs and finally saw the final series. I love this Irish sitcom, about pre-teen Martin Moone and his imaginary friend Sean. It’s not to be missed.

Day for Night

In the film world Day for Night refers to shooting a night scene during the day using a filter over the camera lens. I’d read a bit about the making of this film in Truffaut’s biography.

But when I started watching this film about making a film, I wasn’t sure I’d like it. Early on I felt Day for Night was too self-aware, however I soon warmed up to Jacqueline Bissett, Jean-Pierre Léaud and François Truffaut himself as soon as their vulnerabilities became clear and the success or completion of the film was in jeopardy. Bissett plays a fragile woman who’s recently recovered from a nervous breakdown. As usual, Léaud is a n alter-ego for Truffaut. It’s not new territory, but he carries it off like no one else can.

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When the film gets into the actors various relationships and the hanky-panky that takes place, I got more into the film and it won me over. It caught the 1970s well.

Also, Truffaut’s montages were creative and engaging, without overdoing it. I’d say this isn’t a must-see, but it is an entertaining film. Given Truffaut’s biography, I’d say the hanky-panky shown, it’s true to life. I felt it was a realistic view of filmmaking, which shows the art, business and relationships of a film crew.

 

Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday 453 : 19 January 2019

I’ve gone with a look through the archives for cigarette themed images. First I found this image in an anti-smoking story

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Harpers Young People, 187

_______ (<– not shown) want all the boys who are in the habit of smoking* cigarettes, of who are beginning to learn how to smoke them, to pay attention while we tell them of a sad event that recently took place ill one of our Eastern cities. Among-the number of bright boys who had set out to become business men was a lad fifteen years of age, employed in a lawyer’s office. During- his leisure hours and on Sundays lie was in the habit of smoking cigarettes, the smoke of which he inhaled. From this he passed to chewing tobacco, and it is said that when he was not smoking a cigarette he always had tobacco in his mouth, and occasionally combined the two. His parents endeavored to break him of the habit, but all they could _____(alas not legible). His health soon began to fail rapidly, and his family, who were not aware that tobacco would have such injurious effects, fancied that his weakness was caused by the close confinement which lie had to undergo at his place of business.

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UK Archives, 1966

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UK Archives 1966

Appealing to people’s sense of luxury to get them to stop smoking.

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1960s

Now, of course, there were plenty of ads for smoking. Here are some that stuck me as outrageous.

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Santa, shame on you!

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Baby, you’re all wrong

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