On The Ning Nang Nong

Discussion in 'Education & Personal Growth' started by Iravati, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. okonomi

    okonomi New IL'ite

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    Going to funerals presents the problem of how much pathos should one put out at any specific bereaved. We often do not know how much those who were left behind wanted to be left behind.....or... they may have already been open to the shifting possibilities in life;), before the visitor (or the biography reader) comes along and tries to foist a sad face on the scheme.

    Why is that A-320 model of the Airbus more prone to sticky undercarriages -- the ones that refuse to come down when wanted-- ? Aren't all foldable things, like baby carriages, get their ideas from origami ?
     
  2. Iravati

    Iravati Finest Post Winner

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    Stone soup: Christmas Truce of 1914

    When hungry armies meet, apart from combat, very strange things can happen. The Swiss army might have stirred only a broth but the Western Front (British and German) rustled up incredible potpourri in their defiant murmurings of armistice. The Christmas truce of 1914, as it was referred to thereafter in history, was one such legendary stone soup foregathering with affable fun between warring lines.

    Late on Christmas Eve 1914, men of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) heard German troops in the trenches opposite them singing carols and patriotic songs and saw lanterns and small fir trees along their trenches. Messages began to be shouted between the trenches.

    The following day, British and German soldiers met in no man's land and exchanged gifts, took photographs and some played impromptu games of football. They also buried casualties and repaired trenches and dugouts. After Boxing Day, meetings in no man's land dwindled out.

    The truce was not observed everywhere along the Western Front. Elsewhere the fighting continued and casualties did occur on Christmas Day. Some officers were unhappy at the truce and worried that it would undermine fighting spirit.

    In recent times, the 'Christmas truce of 1914' narrative was revived on two occasions to widespread cheer.

    (1) Sainsbury ad based on this theme.
    (2) Dr Who Christmas Episode (2017).

    Here's the ad.

     
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  3. Iravati

    Iravati Finest Post Winner

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    I feel no different about funerals. Are these mourners crying inconsolable grief over the loss of a person or the unpleasantness of having to deal with a mannered situation? Is that grief welled up from the loss of an untimely death or such grief is behooving to the conventional and sorrowful undertaking.

    I realized grief is rarely personal but always circumstantial. We mourn as a social custom more than personal expression.

    Few years ago, a friend passed away. I was talking to him the day before and I woke up the next day with messages that he is dead. I was surprised. Surely, they got the wrong person. How can he die? But he was! I was startled. I looked up FB and the outpour of grief puzzled me. Friends with condolences ..I am unable to think of anything ...I am deeply saddened ...I am lost ....I am torn ...RIP ....this is terrible ...I am disturbed ...I am unable to come out of the shock.

    But, let me tell you ...the fated call I had with him the day before was on the topic of customary friends, faces you are friends with because you bond over social etiquette than over trusted intimacy. And he mentioned that though he was exceedingly gregarious, he doesn't consider anyone close to him.

    Should I ease the pain of those mourners by informing them that though he liked the chatty presence of indiscriminate friends in his life, he didn't consider everyone as his fond mates. Should I squeal to them? Or may be they too are aware...oh ...this is just another death yet we must muster untold pathos because it is customary and humane and then drift to the next death.

    How much contrived pathos for a funeral, no one is sure, but dramatic homage to mark the somber occasion even over guised bonds is necessitated in condolences/funerals.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  4. okonomi

    okonomi New IL'ite

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    Could one contrive emotions of various sorts ? On cue, and only for a temporary gig, like an actor, to earn a living ?
    Money may not be able to buy love, but here in Japan, it can certainly buy the appearance of love—and appearance, as the dapper Ishii Yuichi insists, is everything. As a man whose business involves becoming other people, Yuichi would know. The handsome and charming 36-year-old is on call to be your best friend, your husband, your father, or even a mourner at your funeral.
    The Booming Japanese Rent-a-Friend Business
    His 8-year-old company, Family Romance, provides professional actors to fill any role in the personal lives of clients. With a burgeoning staff of 800 or so actors, ranging from infants to the elderly, the organization prides itself on being able to provide a surrogate for almost any conceivable situation.

    In a recent magazine article, on the same subject of "Rent-a-whomever", the author arranges to get a massage in her Tokyo Hotel room.
    [​IMG]She describes it:
    Two hours later, a smiling young woman knocked on the door, waited to be asked inside, took off her shoes, and gave me a form to sign. The form said that I agreed not to demand a sexual massage, and that if I was a man I would keep the hotel-room door ajar. Everything contributed to the dreamlike atmosphere: her soft voice and sure touch, the fact that I was lying on the bed, and the compactness of Tokyo hotel rooms, which meant that she periodically had to move things around to make enough room to stand. At some point, I realized that she was kneeling next to me on the bed. How strange that it was somehow O.K. for us to be in bed like this together. “Your shoulders are so hard!” she said, somehow releasing the muscles with her fingers. I felt full of love and gratitude, and thought about how the fact that I was paying her, which could have felt uncomfortable, was instead a source of joy and relief, because it meant that I didn’t have to think about anything at all. I could just relax. It felt like unconditional love—the kind you don’t get, or ask for, from people in your life, because they have needs, too, and you always have to take turns. I didn’t have togive her a massage or listen to her problems, because I had given her money, with which she could do anything she wanted: pay bills, buy an aquamarine coat, or even hire someone to give her a massage or listen to her problems. This hour, during which she paid attention to me and I didn’t pay attention to her, wasn’t going to be entered in a ledger where she could accumulate resentment toward me over the years. I didn’t have to feel guilty: that was what I was paying for. [I was amused at this thought, thinking how much of life's anguish expressed in internet forums come from tallies of accounts from such ledgers - okonomi:smiley:]

    I’d started off assuming that the rental schema somehow undercut the idea of unconditional love. Now I found myself wondering whether it was even possible to get unconditional love without paying.

    One quote attributed to Gabriel Garcia Marquez goes (I paraphrase) something like :" I think all I say; but not say all I think".
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  5. Iravati

    Iravati Finest Post Winner

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    @okonomi

    You bring in interesting themes for Ning discussions. The rent-a-person ministration is culturally bold encroachment. Tell you, offline, we are a ragtag of uninhibited social thinkers who indulge in observing the subversive and game-changing phenomenon with wit and intrigue. I am happy to have known you online with the same wit and acumen in dissecting these post-modern transgressions. Slightly tied up to respond in full, will catch up more tonight. (Just a seen-read-thinking about your post memo.)
     
  6. okonomi

    okonomi New IL'ite

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    :blush: @Iravati You are an odd one:thumbsup:. I would have like-click'ed to convey the seen-read-thought notion, especially if I am planning to come back to it later.

    I liked the Newyorker article better than the Atlantic one. In the NY'er the author can come around to see the rationale in the lease (much longer term than a rent) of a relationship. The family member lease business in Japan works, because we now have small (nuclear) families, and the public-face we project for outsiders' view/consumption can be sustained with less effort. While reading that piece, I thought of couples (real, and fictional) who wait years to go their separate ways, usually until after children leave home for college. In a manner of speaking, that too is a mutual lease of a spousal role; however, in such cases, there'd be a ledger of peeves/frustrations etc.. that accumulate over the years.
     
  7. Iravati

    Iravati Finest Post Winner

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    Arey! The parsimonious Like would have conveyed the 'seen-read' aspect of the interaction but what about the 'thinking' influence? I am mulling on it.

    Hehe! Kidding! I am averse to liking posts because the notion of like is hurriedly vague in social media. Moreover, it is too loaded. I read it, I enjoyed it, I endorse it, I think you might be slighted if I don't demonstrate a reaction so I instantly reciprocated. I prefer to chat away in a personal interaction to articulate my reaction.

    You are yourself quite an odd contributor here whilst bringing in talks of the wide and the wild. I prefer the variety and wide-ranging over trite and popular reasoning. Again, in certain rational forums, these topics are not too provocative or too tendentious just know thy immediate audience and I can assure you that I enjoy your natural humor and exploratory berth and your cosmopolitan and rational voice.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  8. Iravati

    Iravati Finest Post Winner

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    Closer to home, last week, I was watching the trailer and interviews of the critically acclaimed film Nadigaiyar Thilagam. The descendants from both families - Ganesan and Savitri spoke about the patriarch of the family. In one such interview, the daughters stated: "over the years, my dad has been vilified in the media as a womanizer but he isn't a cruel philanderer. He didn't espouse radical notions of love and companionship and polygamy, just that he had personal notions of how he would like to conduct love in his life. He was ahead of his times in his amorous dealings. I am sure this current generation would empathize with his private needs."

    I was intrigued at that last line. The current generation ...would they ...can they be sympathetic to his personal expression of love and relationships over the conventional promiscuous label. I don't know. It takes a lot of comparative human understanding to even realize that the wants and needs of some men/women vary from other's pedestrian and complacent indulgence.

    But the whole contractual (not necessarily mercenary) reminds me of the sensational marriage of Jonas Salk and Françoise Gilot.

    "While the sun was setting over Santa Monica Bay, Salk asked Gilot to marry him. She later recounted the scene to Rose in her television interview. When Jonas proposed, she had replied, “A relationship would be all right, but I don’t want to get married.”
    “Why not?” he asked.
    “Because I don’t want to live with anybody more than six months a year. That’s it. I need my own time to myself, plus I have my children.”
    Jonas handed her a piece of paper. “Write down everything that you don’t want,” he directed. “I’ll give you an hour.” Françoise proceeded to write down those elements that would make the marriage unsuitable for her.
    Jonas read it over. “Very good. It fits my life perfectly.”
    “But we don’t know each other,” she cautioned, “and it may be disastrous because you’re a scientist, and our lives are very far apart.”
    “No,” Jonas countered, in what seemed more like a business transaction than a romantic moment, “even if we’re not so happy, at least we’ll be like a citadel; we’ll be a fortress for each other.”
    Françoise thought about it. Both felt exhausted by the world and sought a refuge. “In that case, let’s try,” she replied."

    And the arrangement worked for them! Would the current generation understand? Who knows!
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  9. Iravati

    Iravati Finest Post Winner

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    For some period now, I have started exercising caution in my speech based on the audience and the timing. Earlier, I was blurt-some! I had this verbal incontinence to flush my thoughts and dump them unceremonious on the other person. Well, this is ....this ..! However, few incidents (and David Hume's treatises on human nature) disabused me of the futility in arguing to reason over emotion with a high-strung opponent. Hence, I refrain engaging anyone who is obscenely emotional over impressive sentience.

    Again, that blighted kairos changed me.

    In rhetoric, kairos is "a passing instant when an opening appears which must be driven through with force if success is to be achieved."

    Kairos was central to the Sophists, who stressed the rhetor's ability to adapt to and take advantage of changing, contingent circumstances. In Panathenaicus, Isocrates writes that educated people are those “who manage well the circumstances which they encounter day by day, and who possess a judgment which is accurate in meeting occasions as they arise and rarely misses the expedient course of action".

    Kairos fits into the Sophistic scheme of rhetoric in conjunction with the ideas of prepon and dynaton. As stated by Poulakos, Prepon deals with the notion that "what is said must conform to both audience and occasion." Dynaton has to do with the idea of the possible, or what the speaker is attempting to convince the audience of. Kairos in the Sophistic context is based on the thought that speech must happen at a certain time in order for it to be most effective. If rhetoric is to be meaningful and successful, it must be presented at the right moment, or else it will not have the same impact on the members of the audience.

    My Greek is a sham! So, if prepon is the setting (audience and notion) and dynaton is content (your opinion), ensure that it is said only during kairos (right time).

    If I suspect that the agitated prepon is belligerent or non-receptive in their misplaced tirade then I dare embroil with their ham-fisted reasoning until a kairos opens up through which they might be willing to sense their fallacious and untenable counterpoint. Till then, don't even bother to indulge errant counterweights and not say all I think.
     
  10. okonomi

    okonomi New IL'ite

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    Yes, that was a lot. Quite a lot more than just a like-click. When I came upon this thread, I had wondered if there is a segue between posts. And then I saw that an interlocutor who knows her kairos (never heard of this word before !) is what this thread could use. Talking of interlocutors, the character Mr. Banerjee was a useful one in All-about-H_Hatterr of your book recommendations. Need a Corrosively confounding conflicts with the world for that book ? A happy disposition to enjoy playful language (homo ludens ?) would be more like the requisite mood for that book.

    Perhaps G.V.Desani could also be a book to recover from reading J.P.Sartre's Existentialism & Humanism. Earlier on this thread there was the mention of Broccoli (good for one to read, but nobody likes it) and Cabbage (healthy but boring) books. Which of those recommended books (never mind the type of child; those are some tough readings for grownups as well) are Broccoli's and which are Cabbages ? [Desani is a dessert].

    If the kid is a girl, she can probably handle a lot more complex books than a boy of the same age and schooling.
     

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