Tribute to Gary Cooper
A fitting tribute to the iconic Gary Cooper. The song is largely an homage to one of my all time favourite movies, High Noon. High Noon is a great movie on morality, ethics and transcending ethical codes for the greater good. It features the heroic image of the sheriff doing his duty; not for any love or devotion to the people, but because of his own commitment to the oath he swore. His wife, the pacifist Quaker, for her part, in her own way, struggles with her duty and ends up actually transcending the ethical code imposed on her by her community for what is, arguably, the greater good.
Cooper imbues the character of Will Kane with very human expressions of doubt, fear and disappointment. But at the same time, he also imbues him with virtues of steadfastness and courage. The range of all these complex emotions are perfectly shown in Cooper's facial expressions. The still photo of Cooper's face and clear eyes reveal layers of meaning in one perfect moment. The cinematography is pitch perfect and some of the scenes in the clip illustrate not only Cooper's skill, but that of the director, the cinematographer, and supporting cast.
'Tis the Season to be...lonely?
A plethora of clinical literature has been published in the last year around the theme of loneleiness. More and more people are self-reporting feeling lonely, particuarly in those places that are the most wired.
Recruitment firm CEO Mark Gaisford posted the video on professional networking website LinkedIn in November. It has now received more than one million views and nearly 30,000 interactions. In the video, he discusses his own loneliness and makes an effort to meet new people.
I posted the You Tube upload of it.
During this season if you know someomne who might be alone. Call and make a point to see them Let them know you are thinking of them. Let them know they are seen, and known, and a part of life.
Comment on Anatoly Karlin's Book Review: Andrew Yang - the War on Normal People
Andrew Yang is one of the more interesting candidates in the American political landscape. His core issue is the role that automation has played in the unemployment ravaging the working class people all over the world. Manufacturing, in particular has taken a profound hit. Trump was able to effectively exploit this dynamic, particularly in the midwest. His prescription though, was to blame free trade, and offer up a nationalist vision complete with protectionist trade policy. Not that I necessarily disagree with at least some of these proposals but he misdiagnosed the problem.
The problem is not trade, it is automation. Automation is making these jobs obsolete argues Yang. In his review, Karlin writes:
The important takeaway in this is that the blame of white nationalism or "white-lash" misses an important fact that Karlin makes in another article: mortality rates amongst middle-aged White American males increased from 1999-2013.
Karlin bases his data on the research of Kase and Deaton (2015)
The current left is largely oblvious to this phenomenon and there are important ideological reasons for this oblvion which I will write about in further post.
The important point is that Yang has correctly diagnosed the issues facing Americans and many others and his prescription, at least for the USA, is a good one.
Suffice to say that economics is an important consideration and economics can and should not be measured by GDP but instead job participation. This is what politicans left and right need to be focussing on.
Without a free and open press, the distribution of differing ideas will become impossible and the free exchange of ideas is an essential aspect of human development. Freedom of expression is another human rights theme that I will return to this year as more concern is expressed surrounding "cancel culture" and internet censorship.
Themes of economic politics, freedom of expression, and human rights will be focussed for me throughout the next year.
The title of this blog is an allusion to the famous work of Blaise Pascal. This blog represents the variety of my interests and thoughts on any given day and are strung together, like Pascal's Pensees, in no particular order. I work in the field of mental health, education, and human rights. I write and am a human rights advocate. I enjoy poetry, jazz, spirituality, politics and a potpourri of other interests that you will see reflected in this blog.