Weekly Photo Challenge: Sweet

 

Even when I’m fasting, like today, my eyes love to indulge.

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1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Wednesday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Just a few wonderful posts:

 

Fisticuffs?

At the Writers’ Theater Saturday, I was astounded. During the intermission an older couple went out into the lobby. They had put their coats on the empty seats beside them. While they were gone a middle aged couple, who’d seen empty seats besides their friends came, moved the first couple’s seats and made themselves comfortable planning to stay in their new seats.

The old man returns and is furious when he sees the new couple and their coats placed on his chair. He lays into the middle aged man, whose wife starts shouting at him.

“How would you like it if someone threw your coats around?”

Cool it. Your coats’ are fine.

“Are those your seats?”

“No, we were up in the obstructed view area. These seats were empty.”

“You can’t sit there. Those aren’t your seats.”

And on and on. As the argument escalated the middle aged wife got loud and was swearing. The old man swore back and insulted the seat stealing husband saying that he knew who wore the pants in that guy’s family. The husband just turned his head.

Everyone was staring. My friend, who knew the middle aged couple because their kids went to the same high school. The ushers didn’t intervene. They seemed to be afraid of the fighters. While both sides threatened to call in the ushers, neither did. In time the old man’s wife came back, and everyone calmed down.

I was just shocked that neither side would back down or apologize. I can’t get over the insults and swearing in public with strangers. How odd.

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Tour Guide

 

Chicago, my sweet home, offers loads of sights. Here’s just a few.

 

 

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Wednesday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Just a few wonderful posts:

 

Jordan B Peterson

I recently discovered Jordan Peterson’s videos through Scott Adams of Dilbert fame. I first saw Peterson’s interview with the British broadcaster where he eludes her attempt to make him seem like an offensive, non-PC, heartless villain. I’m enjoying learning more from this gentleman and scholar. (Yeah, I’ve noticed the dearth of gentlemen and scholars, too.)

What he says is straightforward, commonsense, and I think most people I know follow his advice already because they had parents who provided such wisdom. Yet I do know that we all have blindspots and that blame is a tempting easy-out. The video is a healthy reminder and we all need those from time to time.

Below is a sample of the videos Peterson has made himself. These videos are getting a lot of attention and call for more responsible, mature behavior from all of us. No more Peter Pan Complex.

What? Tide Pods?

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Don’t eat these! They’re poisonous!

I just learned that teens and 20-somethings are making videos of themselves eating detergent pods. The health risk is great and some have even died. This challenge has gone viral. I don’t get it. There seems to be no upside I can see in this behavior other than fame? There’s a lot of better ways to get attention.

I haven’t viewed any of these videos as I don’t want someone’s statistics on YouTube to go up.

“O mores, o tempora!”

Hillbilly Elegy

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J.D. Vance’s memoir Hillbilly Elegy takes readers to Kentucky and Southwest Ohio, home of the hillbillies, the real one’s who make the Clampetts look like straight-arrows. Vance explains his family history starting with his grandparents, Mamaw and Papaw, who like many in their hometown left Kentucky in search of a more stable life starting with a well-paying job in the steel industry. Economically, the family gains security.

However, alcoholism, verbal abuse and other destructive behavior held back Vance’s family. Papaw’s drinking and Mamaw’s outlandish responses to it caused their divorce. Though his grandparents always provided J.D. and his sister with the stability their mother, a single mom with a string of boyfriends and husbands, couldn’t provide.

He shows the hillbilly culture with all its highs and lows. The loyalty and chutzpah on the one hand and the lack of structure, financial and social capital on the other. Vance is candid about his mother’s drug use and series of boyfriends and husbands, about his grandmother’s temper and outbursts, about his sister’s responsibility and life choices. All along he explains how he thought about his family and his own successes and failures.

Vance also shares research that helped him understand the sociology and psychology which had been done about his culture. He shares his thoughts on what policies could help such at-risk families and where personal responsibility or tough love are the only answers.

Vance now is a big success with a good marriage and good job in California. He struggled growing up so much so that it’s a miracle he didn’t wind up dropping out of school and dealing drugs. Many times when Vance was stuck with a bad situation he chose a great option, all things considered.

It’s a fascinating read and it belongs near the top of any policymaker’s To Be Read List. My only criticism was that the end could have moved more swiftly. The parts where he goes into statistics and research could be more concise and more graceful. These are minor points.

I just learned that Ron Howard is making a film based on Hillbilly Elegy. Vance’s life is getting better and better.

Have to Disagree

Yesterday I had lunch with a colleague from China. We didn’t talk about politics much, but we touched upon the possibility of Oprah running for president (which I feel is entirely up to her and I’d decide her ability to run the country during the primaries). My friend mused that he just wished we’d get a president who’d unify the country.

I’ve thought this over and I have to say I disagree. It’s not that I love the tenor of vitriolic discourse, but I don’t mind disparate view points. We want differences. If you’ve read and agree with John Stuart Mills’ essay “On Liberty” you even want bad ideas to be freely expressed. I actually love brisk, lively debate.

What I’d like to see is more civility. I don’t care about a society having huge differences or a culture war. I just think such disagreements should be conducted with civility. So I don’t think we’re missing unity. I think we need more respect, more listening and more rationality.