Two Million!

What do Hong Kongers think? These man-in-the-street interviews give great insights and a variety of points-of-view. I have to find out more about the June 12th violence at the protest as that wasn’t covered in detail here.

I wonder what will happen. I’ve always doubted that Hong Kong can give up the “two systems” part of the “One Country; Two Systems” bargain. Yes, China may be more modern in thirty more years, but so will Hong Kong. I don’t think the PRC will catch up that fast. Also, just going from China to Hong Kong you can feel the freedom. It’s in the air somehow.

People want Carrie Lam, the leader of Hong Kong to step down, but China only will allow a leader whom they approve. Will a “new boss” make any difference? I doubt it. Is there any way Hong Kong can be free of China? Will there be another exodus as there was leading up to 1997 when affluent Hong Kongers fled to whichever Commonwealth nation they could before the hand off ceremony?

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Hoaxed

Featuring Scott Adams, Jordan Peterson, James O’Keefe of Project Veritas, communications professors, and other experts, this film by Mike Cenovich explores “Fake News.” The face-paced, Hoaxed will keep you stimulated as it presents the history of Fake News along with examples, past and present. It’s a must-see film, though you should also read and watch other

It taught me about the Operation Mockingbird, when the CIA paid American reporters to write the stories it wanted. At first that was supposed to apply just to foreign media outlets, but later spread to stories that were published domestically. Operation Mockingbird lasted from the 1950s till the 1980s when Senator Frank Church went public about this program.

The film’s structure builds and builds so that a viewer will see how pervasive Fake News is and how so many journalists are guilty. Each subject has a different take and vibe from Scott Adam’s low key personality to the electric Stefan Molyneux’s caffeinated monologue, which is a compelling connection between Plato’s cave story and our illusory view of the world via media.

While the film isn’t as sarcastic, its makers have learned from Michael Moore in how it cuts back and forth between news footage and commentary.

Hoaxed (running time 2 hours, 8 minutes) is available on Vimeo.

 

Sofubi

Until I saw this article in the Japan Times, I didn’t know anything about Japanese soft vinyl toys called sofubi. They’re sought after collectibles and when I went to eBay.com, the good ones cost $80 to $100 or more. according to the Japan Times, some cost up to $1000.

I can see that they’re an art form, but the price is hard to accept.

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’m looking outside my window at a a beautiful snowfall. It’s graceful and serene.

On Saturday my friend Maryann drove down from Wisconsin and we went to lunch at Michael Jordan’s Steak House before going to the Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibit of Ukiyo-e paintings. All the paintings came from the Weston collection. Ukiyo-e art depicts the “water trade” or the life of musicians, dancers, geishas, and concubines of the era from the 16th to early 19th centuries.

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I’ve started reading Crazy, Rich Asians, which has been flying off the shelves. Colline of Colline’s Blog recently finished it and that convinced me to get the book. I’m also loving Arnold Bennett’s The Old Wives’ Tale, which offers a witty look at small town 19th century middle class.

I did get a promotion at work, which goes into effect next week. In addition to assisting patrons, I’ll do more reference work and work on projects reaching out to local businesses and to seniors. Alas, I did not get the other job. A friend at that library mentioned that when she was who did get it, she realized that it was a foregone conclusion. There are a few more jobs, again all part time, that I’ll apply to. Fingers crossed.

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.

A Slow News Day?

I can not fathom how the Wall Street Journal placed a story about YouTube channels like The Strive Study, which is a channel that mainly consists of videos showing a woman studying. She does not teach study skills, she just studies. (She has another channel where she does share what she does on the weekend, etc.)

I have voiced concern of children watching other children play, as millions who watch Ryan’s Toy Review.


But watching someone study? Hundreds of thousands watch this med student or others.

I just don’t understand.


Here’s another.


And another.

I guess this might motivate people to study, but why is it literally front age news?

Mr Weinstein, et al

Ahh! Harvey Weinstein has been in the news so much. His behavior towards women appalls me, but I’m not surprised. It’s amazing that it took so long for his misdeeds to come to light, but it was the same with Bill Cosby.

What the news hasn’t said though and I suppose they can’t without proof, is that this is common in the entertainment business, and has been for years. Some famous cases involve Fatty Arbuckle, whose victim died, Errol Flynn, Louis Meyer who lusted after and groped Judy Garland in her teens, studio heads who lusted after Shirley Temple, and countless others whose victims probably never became famous and were too afraid to speak out.

As distasteful as this news story is, it’s good that it’s come to light again. From working in Hollywood, though never directly experiencing sexual harassment, I did routinely hear of horrid behavior. Most television writers’ rooms are despicable, i.e. very much like what was presented on The Comeback. Churlish writers will spew all kinds of disgusting talk like jokes about how many abortions they think a particular performer has had. Some secretaries, who had to work amidst profanity and vicious talk, sued Friends because it was a hostile work environment, but lost because the judge figured that kind of talk was necessary for creativity. (I disagree.)

I remember being asked in an interview for an assistant position if I would mind if the producers swore a lot or swore at me. Why would they have to? Note – the producers were women. I remember temping at a studio and hearing violent threats and horrible profanity spewing from more than one executive. When I was working in the human resources office, I remember a secretary calling in fear. She had run out of her office when her boss started throwing staplers and ash trays at her. He frequently used cocaine at work.

I’ve been told that secretaries in some offices are expected to schedule prostitutes for their bosses.

This problem goes way beyond one man. It’s the work culture and civil behavior is the exception.

I hope more people come forward and the business cleans up its act. This behavior should not be tolerated. Is it any wonder how much swearing, violence and salacious sexual relationships feature so much in today’s films and shows? I realize this dates back to the 1920s, when films were innocent by comparison, but do we need brutes deciding what films are made and what aren’t?

I think Harvey won’t be back in the States till whatever statute of limitations passes. His seeking help seems insincere and I hope he’s extradited if charges are made.

I do hope this emboldens women to speak up. I understand how hard that is, but if a man knows what he does will become public, perhaps he’ll act more civilly. Let’s stop this harassment.