Monday, 30 January 2017

Some more about opinions and invitations!

Taking up something I mentioned at the end of yesterday's post, we should be wary of putting people into categories. We've seen suggestions that some people's opinions are perhaps less important because they are "only actors". Now I've been reading about a young journalist, Lauren Duca, who writes for Teen Vogue. Be careful not to dismiss her as fluffy and frivolous because she gives advice on make-up and boyfriends.

She has been explaining how people are being "gaslighted" by the mass of stuff coming out of the White House. She says all the "alternative facts" have a purpose: “The goal is not even to convince the public of their ‘alternative facts’ so much as it to sow doubt on any account. That way, they can convince the public to throw their hands up, and say ‘well, I can’t get any of this straight’. So then there’s no accountability.”

The term “gaslighting” takes its name from the 1944 Ingrid Bergman film Gaslight, which has gained currency as a metaphor for shifting blame for dishonest behaviour onto victims. “Suddenly, I’m beginning not to trust my memory at all,” Bergman says in the film as her husband’s deceitfulness causes her to question her sanity.

Lauren Duca has argued that Trump's contradictory claims during his election campaign are responsible for undermining democracy. “Trump won the presidency by gaslight,” she wrote. “His rise to power has awakened a force of bigotry by condoning and encouraging hatred, but also by normalising deception.”

On Fox news an interviewer tried to dismiss her as young and frivolous and said she should stick to fashion commentary about thigh boots. To this she replied, "A woman can love Ariana Grande and her thigh-high boots and still discuss politics,” and went on to dismiss her host: “You’re actually just being a partisan hack who’s just attacking me ad nauseam and not even allowing me to speak.”

Good for her!

At a time when mosques go up in flames - in a place called Victoria, in Texas - and gunmen attack people going to pray - in Quebec - we all need to speak out.

Maybe people would rather read what more established journalists have to say. This is journalist Jon Snow's post on Facebook:

"Facebook asks me 'what's on your mind'! I hardly dare say what is on my mind. Trump's ban on Muslims from seven countries, which effects many hundreds of thousands of dual citizens...including Israelis who have dual citizenship with Syria and other Muslim countries. So I suppose we have to say that Trump has now decided to ban Israelis. Britain's abject failure to condemn the ban immediately is also on my mind.

I'm thinking too about the reporting of 'truth' I have already Tweeted...some of Trump's behaviour is so far-fetched that one fears that, in reporting it, one will be damned for editorial bias!

These are the most dangerous of times - for those of us born since the Second World War. It behoves us all to speak the truth and to call out the prejudice, the hatred, and the bigotry that beset the world.

As we seem to be so fond of about a referendum to ask which Head of State we should subject the Monarch to inviting!"

On a much lighter note, here's someone who should be turning down an invitation, according to Stuart Heritage, writing in the Guardian about Bradley Wiggins, indeed SIR Bradley Wiggins, who is seemingly about to take part in a reality TV show called The Jump. As I understand it, those who agree to take part go through some kind of ski lessons and training and are then filmed going down a ski-jump. Most are minor celebrities, escapees from other reality shows, who maybe don't realise what they are letting themselves in for. Proper athletes, like Sir Brad, should know better, especially as several people have sustained quite serious injuries.

Read all about it in this article.

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