A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
Wow! For a regular, low sun, mid winter, stay-at-home-and-eat-soup week, a lot of stuff happened in the world.
It turns out Vladimir Putin, the guy who does mean bastard even in his sleep, was accused of accumulating (“stealing” is such a hard word) tons of money — billions, apparently. Think about it! “Russian Oligarchy” has been a cliché for ruthless corruption ever since Boris Yeltsin discovered Smirnoff, and this is news? I don’t think so! If it was reported Putin was actually poor and was doing all his various vicious dictator stuff for free — that would be news.
Barbie now has three new sizes: curvy, petite and tall. Excellent marketing ploy by Mattel. Now little girls will be able to understand the total frustration of not being able to buy any cool clothes — that actually fit — long before they have to face that for real, as adults.
The world has gotten just a little grumpier. Facebook decided that we don’t have to automatically “Like” everything we set our eyes on, anymore. Apparently, Mark Zuckerberg thinks his customers are now mature enough to handle a few other emotions. They are (or will be) Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry. When journalists asked when these new emotions will be available (as in, “Are we there, yet?”) Zuckerberg answered, “Preettty soooon!”
When it comes to WTF moments, nothing beats the Italian government covering up nude statues because the Iranian leader, Hassan Rouhani, showed up in Rome for a visit. It seems Iranian politicos don’t like what goes on under our clothes, so the Italians chose to accommodate them. It’s like saying, “Yeah, we had this thing called the Renaissance, but if it bothers you, we’ll just shut up about it.” No big deal, really. After all, the Iranians have promised they don’t want to nuke us anymore, and besides, the last time Europe took a Moslem threat seriously was the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. The thing that blows me away, though, is there was no media outcry, no blogosphere explosion, no #ain’titawful on Twitter and not one arts organization — from the Ural Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean — got up on its hind legs and said, “Hold it! That’s the foundation of Western culture you’re messing with.” So much for artistic integrity!
What a week! I’m sure glad tomorrow’s Saturday.