Posts Tagged ‘news’

We have all now seen the viral R F Kelly interview.

I was one of the ones who presumed the lady was the nanny, and not his wife. Of course, those of us who did, are now happily castigated:

It’s all about reading the signals, aligning with experience, and about rail-roaded expectations.
Who now remembers the argument he was putting across? It was presented as a purely visual event.

Those of us who have siblings close in age recognised this: the older/wiser one goes there, does that, so the other follows. It is about learning to be part of a larger unit. We will need it when we go to school, to be obedient so we can take in, learn.
As they get older this can turn into utter frustration: being followed around all the time. I remember it, I did it: we trust our family more than neighbour kids. Something our parents taught us. So, when the older one needs a broader discourse, the younger does not understand, and thinks it’s business as usual.

The older child came in: she knew something was going on, with the computer, her dad talking to it. She played along.
Oh, but he pushed her away.
Maybe she was way too disruptive anyway. Maybe not. But what did we read from that?
And the other sailed in, in the arc.

This was piling it on: we knew the classic two set-up, so when the lady came in, with the expression of horror, it was a classic full three-set fail.

But how did she handle it? She did not assume the authority we presumed his wife would.
And, now knowing she was his wife, my heart bleeds a little for her predicament, how she was caught out here in her uncertainty to her position, status.

It is no longer so funny. I now read her moment of pain in this.
Why does it hurt; what do I read? My own embarrassments? Probably; me not measuring up to some wider discourse’s system of etiquette.
I read her crouching, and closing the door on hands and knees as not the wife-status behaviour of someone from my own very restricted cultural experience. I was wrong; this was her/South Korean etiquette.

This is how Brexit will be.
Our ignorance of others will be written large. Because this is how it was before Britain joined the Common Market, when anything continental was exotic, when foreigners were to be mocked, and Ealing Farce and Carry-Ons ruled the waves… on a very, very small pond.


I was right to be castigated. I did go the easy way, and assume. I did play along with the media game/online presentation.
Tiredness, loss of attention, over-exposure to the needs of a world, much of which is not my business – all these sap alertness and attention.

‘Pay attention, boy. Yes, you at the back.’


The Snooping Question

Posted: June 23, 2013 in Chat
Tags: , ,

The new reports on government snooping on populations of net and phone users raises a great many questions. UK’s GCHQ and USA’s NSA are alleged to be in cahoots in long-term snooping projects. The main information gathering has been underway for the last 18 months. Details of emails and ‘metadata’ are being copied and stored for future perusal.

What bemuses more than anything else in this operation is how all this greatly sophisticated technology is based on, depends upon, a rather medieval view of human behaviour.
It is like a super-streamlined futuristic vehicle that still runs on… internal combustion principles, or a nuclear reactor used for … boiling water, to run steam turbines.

I have this image of, in mercifully only a few year’s time, a TV (or equivalent for the period) entertainment show making fun of all our rather quaint and archaic ways. One of which would be this vast accumulation of redundant information. Why redundant? Because the basis that it was gathered on, the image of behaviour, was so laughably archaic.

The pressure to understand, to find explanations for extremist and seemingly mindless terrorist acts is forcing our hand at finding ways of coming to terms with what constitutes ‘normal’ human behaviour. I am thinking here of a multi-dimensional, that is multi-racial, multi-faith, multi-economic, understanding of behaviour.
This ‘forcing the hand’ is the way that developments tend to happen. The result is usually ad hoc, with a fill-in-the-gaps-later effect.

That we all have ‘weaknesses’ is still not fully accepted or understood. Our weaknesses are perhaps a major part of our empathy mechanism. They are still to us ‘weaknesses’, shameful, and suppressible defects of character, lack of moral fibre, backbone, or other semi-organic terms. Counselling is partly concerned with our owning them, embracing our content whether good or… less good. The result, when counseling goes well is one of empowerment, of humility (ouch – to churchy? Still relevant.).

Our strengths we tend to see when warped out of shape in competitive jobs, or by grief when catastrophe strikes. Between strength and weakness is, presumably everything else. This is usually the advertising image us, the us that is constantly streamed by every known channel at us: consumer us.
This is our point in time, our point of flux. The need for a sense of stability is also a basic, a given – it is in actuality an illusion of course, but the sense of it is very real to us. At present we are developing a new shape, maybe even growing up a little, taking on more adult responsibilities for other people, other foul-ups of previous generations.

No way will government or ultra-government analyses of our current activity help us on our way. If anything it just may hold us back a little.