Photo by author of Alcatraz taken during ferry ride
Yesterday I heard someone say: “long time no see.” I don’t understand the enduring popularity of this “phrase.” Is it that difficult to say, “haven’t seen you in a long time”? Or is it that “long time no see” is so damn cute? Long time not want to hear.
Then there’s “no can do.” I’ve been hearing this one since I was a child too. There’s no excuse for it. How about, “I can’t do it” or even “I can’t” or even simply “can’t.” No can tolerate this one.
The hilarious question: “working hard or hardly working?” is long past its expiration date too.
As a child I was always baffled by this one: “age before beauty.” Huh? Did that mean an older person should go before a beautiful one? Isn’t it potentially insulting? I think this one is fading out of use. Good riddance.
Heard it again this morning while watching a footie match. Commentator said, “I was just thinking in my head.” It’s as bad as: “I thought to myself.” Let’s be clear, one can only think to themself and one can only think within their own head. Try to do otherwise and if you succeed, let me know.
I saw a tweet today in which someone had a collage of twelve famous actresses past and present and asked which three you’d choose if you were cast a movie. Among the twelve were Bette Davis, Cate Blanchett, Katharine Hepburn and Whoopi Goldberg. I looked at the replies and noted the various choices people made as well as comments regarding great actresses who were not included — apparently there have been more than twelve great actresses that have graced the screen. There were also several comments about the lack of diversity among the twelve as only two people of color were included. This gave me pause. What is the obligation of the person creating such a tweet? Can you not merely name your twelve favorites? Do you have to include a certain number of actresses of color and if so, how many? There were two of twelve. Would people have complained if there were four? Should half the list been women of color? What is the right amount? Certainly there need be some. One person objected to the fact that there were no Asian or Indian actresses. Should you be expected to have one Asian, one Indian, at least two African-American actresses? How about Latinas? There should be at least one. How about LGBTQ actresses? Again, at least one. Someone else pointed out that most of the actresses were from the last fifty years of film. Should each decade of Hollywood history been represented? There were no Jewish actress. Can the author of the tweet be rightfully accused of anti-semitism? And why just Hollywood? There were no French, Scandinavian or Italian actresses. No Jeanne Moreau, Liv Ullman or Monica Vitti. So let’s see where we are, we need two African American, one Latina, one LGBTQ, one Indian, one Asian, one Jew, at least two representing different countries. We’re up to nine so I’m guessing the last three can be regular straight American white ladies — but we need to have them from different eras. Then we’re all set. Have fun making your list.
But seriously folks, it is an issue. If you’re asked who your favorite authors are you better include some women and some African Americans, not to mention representatives of other minority groups. And having just one of each is going to seem like tokenism. If you create a poster for a reading program in schools you better have an equal number of boys and girls and representatives of as many ethnic groups as you can and don’t forget a kid who uses a wheelchair. I don’t say this is wrong, but it is predicable, just as seeing nothing but white kids being depicted in text books was the way it was when I was a kid. We’ve made great progress in making sure all groups are represented (less progress in making sure there’ll all treated equally and all have the same opportunities in life — but one thing at a time). But do we need to worry about the fact that all of Bob’s favorite singers are white? Do we need to vilify someone on Twitter for creating a list that reflects their interests but doesn’t celebrate diversity? How far do our obligations go? Should the people who directed their ire at the list of twelve actresses have directed their ire at a greater evil, one that is more pernicious or threatening? Surely picking on one private citizen's montage of twelve actresses is not the best use of one's time.
Took the ferry into Sausalito Thursday with the missus. There is something wonderfully satisfying about being on the water. It's calming, almost to the point of being re-assuring. The movement of the boat, the waves, the salty air, the briskness of the wind. Wonderful therapy. Sausalito is a nice little town that boasts incredible views of the bay in general and San Francisco in particular. There are restaurants aplenty, many of which serve seafood (yummy, my favorite). Of course many of these fine eateries are priced for the tourist trade which is to safe they are more expensive than comparable restaurants that are by landfills or factories. We found an inexpensive Mom and Pop fish and chip shop. Reasonably priced and delicious. We strolled around soaking in the views and slurping down gelatos. There was a bookstore we stopped in -- I can never resist them -- that was well curated. I actually managed not to buy anything. We encountered people throughout our journey. During our walk to the BART station, riding the train, queuing for the ferry, on the ride itself, in Sausalito, on the ride back, again on BART and during our walk home. None of them spit on me as did one gent earlier in the week as I detailed in the previous post. Indeed, all our encounters with fellow Homo sapiens were quite pleasant. That's usually the way it is. Nice day.