Archive for the ‘War’ Category

Service of Shining a Spotlight on a Wrong by Committing a Wrong: Is that Right?

Monday, October 31st, 2022

It’s tough when you are passionate about a situation that too many ignore. So how do you draw attention to it? That’s a challenge that marketing people address daily. It also causes some to lose sight of what they stand for.

Here’s an example of someone who got it right. I admired a political commercial featuring New Jersey Representative Tom Malinowski that I saw the day after Nancy Pelosi’s husband was viciously attacked in his home. It featured the representative’s valiant mother and the principles she taught him. He did not join the fray of colleagues who are neck and neck in midterm races on both sides of the aisle who try to whip up supporters’ emotions by verbally assaulting the opponent.

On the other hand, blatant examples of going to extremes while losing the point are wars to defend religion. Aren’t religions supposed to provide a roadmap to guide people to live good and peaceful lives?

Similarly, I am flummoxed by environmental activists who think they shine the right spotlight on the crises by defacing famous pictures in museums and/or pasting their hands on picture frames and walls. International media reported mashed potatoes tossed by members of Last Generation on Claude Monet’s “Grainstacks,” in the Museum Barberini in Potsdam, Germany.

According to The New York Times, “Across Europe, climate protesters have sought to capture headlines in recent months by engaging in similar stunts tied to beloved pieces in the art world. In Britain, activists glued themselves to about a half-dozen masterpieces, including a 16th-century copy of ‘The Last Supper’ at the Royal Academy, a major art museum in London. And in Italy, activists glued themselves to a sculpture held in the Vatican and to works in the Uffizi Gallery, in Florence.”

The group “Just Stop Oil” attacked The Last Supper. Firstpostcom reported: “According to Deutsche Welle, the 500 year-old painting, attributed to Giampietrino, is a full-scale copy of the famous work by Vinci, who is thought to have been Giampietrino’s master. Just Stop Oil defines itself as a ‘coalition of groups working together to ensure the government commits to halting new fossil fuel licensing and production,’ as stated on the initiative’s website.” The group “said that they have been targeting art, as it is ‘part of our collective culture,’ adding, ‘We love our history and culture too much to just allow it all to be destroyed.’”

At London’s National Gallery two from Just Stop Oil covered John Constable’s painting “The Hay Wain” with a replica of the image and pasted their hands to the frame.

Newsweek reported “On October 14, two activists from the campaign Just Stop Oil threw cans of tomato soup at Vincent van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers painting before gluing themselves to the wall at London’s National Gallery. Nine days later, two activists from the German group Letze Generation smeared Monet’s Les Meules with mashed potatoes.”

There’s a risk to cockamamie or extreme initiatives and claims even if backed by valid propositions. Hate speech incentivizes the insane to perform violent acts; a religious war is an oxymoron that kills supporters and enemies alike and frustrated environmental activists who attack beloved objects of art claiming that they don’t want the environment to destroy the work–while potentially doing just that–get known but not for the right reasons. Does such behavior baffle and potentially turn off supporters?

Service of Two Sides of a Tennis Court

Monday, May 2nd, 2022


Image by Bessi from Pixabay

Wimbledon is off limits to Russian and Belarusian tennis players because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to NPR’s Rachel Treisman, “U.K. Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said last month that ‘nobody flying the flag for Russia should be allowed or enabled’ to play in it.”

The players impacted are, as ranked by the Association of Tennis Professionals, the top two in men’s tennis, Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev, as well as two other men in the top 30 as well as the 4th ranked woman, Aryna Sabalenka.

Last week I heard valid arguments pro and con from former sportscaster, now radio morning show host Len Berman, and guest Arthur Caplan, PhD, director of NYU Langone’s Division of Medical Ethics.

Dr. Caplan said that we can’t let the players show up at Wimbledon or at any sports event and he hoped that the US Open follows suit. Russia has committed war crimes, shelled apartment buildings, leveled another country and given that we aren’t going to war we have only two potential weapons: financial and turning Putin into a pariah.

Len disagreed with Dr. C and in a rare show of solidarity his co-host at the WOR 710 morning radio show, Michael Riedel, agreed. Beman felt that it’s not right to take it out on [star] players who have nothing to do with the war.

Dr. Caplan responded that he fears that Putin et al will say “look at what our country can achieve–” He’ll make something of it.

What do you think? Should politics impact whether athletes compete in international competition?


Image by anais_anais29 from Pixabay

Service of Living Underground

Monday, February 28th, 2022


Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

What happened last week was a one-off: The shower water turned freezing and I shivered rushing to clean away a head full of cream rinse.

The next day was the first of the war in Ukraine. I saw Clarissa Ward, #CNN #News, reporting from a subway in Kharkiv. It was filled with families fleeing bombing, most standing--at least where the camera captured them--as there wasn't enough room to sit. Others huddled in darkened subway cars.

And I grumbled about a dose of cold water?

Ward and many others equated the readymade shelter to London subways during the WWII blitz. One mother, sandwiched between her nine and six year olds, carried a quarter bag of what looked like chips which she showed Ward when asked “do you have any food?” Ward asked her why she seemed so calm. “For the children,” the mother replied quietly.

Subways are homes to many others around the world. David Meyer wrote “Hundreds of people are living in NYC subway stations and tunnels, MTA says.” According to Meyer in his New York Post article, a subway task force studying underground incidents recently uncovered 29 “homeless encampments” in 89 stations and tunnels–housing some 350 people.

Euphemisms are the language of civil servants. When a person is found on subway tracks–whether they are suicidal, fall, are pushed or for any other reason–they call it a “track intrusion.” According to Meyer, “Taskforce Leader Jamie Torres-Springer says that homeless tunnel encampments directly lead to track intrusions.”

Lisa Daglian of the MTA’s Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee told Meyer: “Nobody should be living in the subway system, whether it’s in a subway car, whether it’s in a subway station, whether it’s in a subway tunnel. That is not a home. There needs to be sufficient housing for people to live.”

Do you find yourself complaining about minor mishaps or discomfort and then reprimand yourself when you compare them to real problems? Can you imagine looking to a subway for shelter during hostilities–whether as the result of an invasion or the war on poverty?

Service of What’s Going On? We Were Nice to One Another for a While

Monday, July 19th, 2021

Image by Methawee Krasaeden from Pixabay

Certain friends would reprimand me when I complained about service. They’d say, “The person is paid so little. What can you expect?” That was never a viable excuse for me. I don’t think that clients or customers should be penalized for that reason.

Today there’s a new excuse for bad behavior or flaunting the rules. Some say “Oh, but the poor things have been cooped up so long because of the pandemic.” So? I should be put in danger or yelled at because somebody is sick of social distancing or wearing a mask and is asked to do so? I feel no pity. And there’s another difference: The perpetrators of grouch and grump are customers.

We are so spoiled. If this was a traditional war would these people go for a stroll during bombing while whining that they’d had enough of being stuck in a basement or subway platform? This is a kind of war–against a silent enemy we can’t see.

We’ve recently seen fisticuffs over mask-wearing on national news between passengers on planes.

Apt Cape Cod friend’s comment on the restaurant’s Facebook page: “Please let your staff know that there are more nice people in the world than not-so-nice ones! Jocelyn”

Neil Vigdor wrote about “The owners of Apt Cape Cod, a farm-to-table restaurant in Brewster, Mass., [that] drew a line in the sand against customers’ rude behavior since being allowed to fully reopen.” In his New York Times article he reported “The verbal abuse from rude customers got so bad, the owners of one farm-to-table restaurant on Cape Cod said that some of their employees cried.” All one waitress had done was to tell a customer that the restaurant wasn’t yet open so she couldn’t submit his takeout order. He blew his top.

Vigdor wrote: “So Ms. Felt Castellano and her spouse, Regina Felt Castellano, who is also the head chef and co-owner, announced on Facebook that the restaurant would close for part of that same day to treat the restaurant’s employees to a ‘day of kindness.'”

The attitude is spreading like a rash. Here’s an example of what another industry is faced with. An excerpt of a comment by Liese Swann on Apt Cape Cod’s Facebook page follows: “My spouse works in home improvement retail, part of management. The stories he comes home with now are simply unreal. He hung up the phone on one abusive customer, and his staff looked at him wide-eyed and said “We can do that?” They were mightily cheered when he said yes. Some of these customers threaten to call the state AG’s office because the manufacturer can’t supply their order fast enough! As soon as that phrase comes out of their mouths, management has no choice but to cut off the conversation and refuse their calls…..they cannot comprehend that their kitchen cabinets or new washer and dryer set simply can’t be conjured up out of thin air. And they throw temper tantrums at people who have no control over manufacturing and shipping. It’s completely unacceptable.”

Nasty bares its ugly teeth where I live too.  I was sad to learn that tenants in my apartment building are acting badly. We had been so good for so long!

We have received almost daily notices from building management requesting that we please continue to wear masks in public spaces because of the rampant Delta Covid-19 variant that, wrote the manager, is up 23 percent in our neighborhood. Another reason he gave: so many tenants travel internationally. [He didn’t mention our proximity to a major NYC hospital and its many specialty satellites.] In one reminder the manager wrote: “Some residents have cursed at others for asking them to comply. This behavior is unacceptable. We all want to feel safe.”

Are people continuing to keep their cool where your life takes you or have you begun to see fraying at the seams of good behavior? Do you excuse the short-tempered people because Covid 19 has confined them and they are fed up? What else do you think is going on?

Image by klimkin from Pixabay

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