My gorgeously furnished apartment contains a rather large and complicated television with a slot in the side for DVDs. I borrowed a couple of DVDs from the nearby VPL, invited a guy over and decided to give it a try – insert DVD into slot and press buttons on the remote. Eureka!! It worked. I need a guy around for back-up because technology is so frustrating – so if somebody is around to pitch in and help, should disaster strike, I can develop the courage to venture forth. A young man came to dinner a few weeks ago and I was able to navigate television viewing and now the world of movies and old TV series is open to me. What a life!! I am watching the British version of The Office. I did view the Americanized version several years ago. I was struck by the absolute superiority of the British version, believe me I was laughing so hard I may be evicted for Excessive Noise. That is a joke, these apartments are amazingly sound proof and even the loudest laugh in Vancouver (mine) would never be heard. But the superiority of the British version of The Office gave rise to anti USA sentiments on my part. Do those USA folks do anything right? It is to be remembered that yours truly was a USA resident for almost fifty years and did watch the American version and did laugh. But the British version had me on the floor howling.
The USA folks also remade House of Cards starring the now infamous Kevin Spacey. As much as I loved Keven Spacey and his performance the British version was far superior. It is rather embarrassing at this moment in time to admire Kevin Spacey but he is an excellent actor and I was a rabid fan of him and his work at The Old Vic. I do not condone Kevin’s behavior but there is a tendency to throw the baby away with the bath water. (whatever that expression may mean).
But in my never ending quest for positiveness we will now focus on an David Brooks, who is from the USA, an author, a columnist and political commentator. Friend Bruce sent me a link to a column which I devoured – that and several other linked stories.
Bruce: I hear your voice here, Alexis. The sentiment applies less well to Canada I think/hope.
Me: Thank you so much for this. You are great, I was just thinking of you.
Brooks traveled to the poshest educational institutions in the USA and reported back concluding that students expressed diminished expectations and little faith in big institutions. In his words: “The first thing to say is that this is a generation with diminished expectations. Their lived experience includes the Iraq war, the financial crisis, police brutality and Donald Trump — a series of moments when the big institutions failed to provide basic security, competence and accountability. “We’re the school shooting generation,” one Harvard student told me. Another said: “Wall Street tanked the country and no one got punished. The same with government.” Then Brooks questioned views on politics and politicians. ““I don’t believe in politicians; they have been corrupted. I don’t believe in intellectuals; they have been corrupted,” said one young woman at Yale. I asked a group of students from about 30 countries which of them believed that the people running their country were basically competent. Only one young man, from Germany, raised a hand. “The utopia of our parents is the dystopia of our age,” a Harvard student said, summarizing the general distemper.”
But what is more heart stopping is the desire for real connection amongst this elite group of students. “I was also struck by pervasive but subtle hunger for a change in the emotional tenor of life. “We’re more connected but we’re more apart,” one student lamented. Again and again, students expressed a hunger for social and emotional bonding, for a shift from guilt and accusation toward empathy. “How do you create relationship?” one student asked. That may be the longing that undergirds all others.” I so admire David Brooks, his quest for knowledge and information. I was tremendously impressed with his book Social Animal, it is downloaded on my iPad. I am so with it! Hahahahaha. So friend Bruce was so right when he said:”Alexis, I hear your voice here.” What is amazing is that Bruce and i met as students ourselves over fifty years ago.
But onward to some amusing conversations that took place here in Vancouver. I saw a man with a very cute dog who was not being obedient.
Me: That dog seems very stubborn.
He: She is!
Me: What is so funny is that it is probably genetic. People have kids and think if they just raise them right then everything will be ok. But so much is genetic and that is true also with dogs.
He: You are right! Abby has been to obedience school three times and there is no change.
So we laughed at the improbability of this conversation, I gave him my blog card (of course) and the conversation concluded:
Me: What is your name? What is your dog’s name?
He: I am Jesse and the dog is Abby.
Me: I love your dog’s name but Jessie is my mother’s first name. Not fond of that!
He: Well mine end with an e, not an ie and I am a guy and so there should not be any confusion.
Me: There will not be.
Then I was walking down Robson Street the other day and began a conversation with a man and a woman and their two children. They were visiting from Victoria. I have no idea how this came about but we passed by Victoria’s Secret, she and I ran inside so that she could show me the greatest sports bra she has ever owned. I did not even know about the downstairs with the sports section. I had commented previously that I did not understand the stuff at Victoria’s Secret, the uncomfortable sexy lingerie. I said something like: “I go from fully dressed to bare naked in about three seconds.” Well, I have given up that hobby and will go get measured and get a really good sports bra as I go to the gym all of the time.
Hottie: You can come for training at 9 or 11. Your choice.
Me: 9 please
Hottie: The early bird gets the worm.
Me: Are you the worm?
Then we had this conversation.
Me: Do you mind that I call you Hottie instead of your real name?
He: Alexis, you have been calling me that since June and this is the first time you asked!
Me: OMG, you are right! I am so sorry. So do you mind?
So all of this is true and no animals were killed in the making of this production.