The Power of Social Media

I have actually wondered whether this entirely unknown to me person called Tom Petty is dead or alive after all. Group emotions are infectious.

People Are Saying

People who are in Catalonia right now say that the reports about the 892 victims of police brutality are a total lie. By last count, there are 4 people hospitalized after the clashes. The rest is all fake photos and hype. I have no idea what’s true. I’m simply retelling.

People are also saying – and that’s something I know for a fact is true – that there was real police brutality in Spain throughout the anti-austerity protests, and none of it made it into the international press. 

Post-It Cruelty

I bought a used book online, and it arrived in perfect condition, as advertised. Except that on page 1 there is a post-it that somebody must have used to prepare an in-class presentation on the novel. Item 1 on the Post-It says, “We only find out at the very end that Martin’s father is dead.”

Oh, thank you so much, dumbass, for killing the book for me. 

Why Russia Supports Catalan Independentists

The reason why Russia is hysterically and obsessively supporting the Catalan independentists is that, in the Russians’ eyes, it all somehow legitimizes “separatists” in the Ukrainian Donbass region. But it doesn’t legitimize Chechen separatism, of course. 

Also, of course, anything that allows them to conclude that Western democracy doesn’t work is a good thing. 

The Best and the Worst

Some people when they enter into a relationship bring out the worst in each other. Some bring out the best. It isn’t a magical process. It’s simply the way their neuroses lock into each other. Like pieces of a Lego puzzle that can lock into each other to bring forth something beautiful or something ugly. 

Sometimes it’s best to stop futzing with the pieces and just accept that nothing good can be designed out of them.

Language Test

What I didn’t like about the citizenship exam is the language test part. All it entailed was reading aloud “Who can vote?” and writing the sentence”Citizens can vote.” You don’t need to have any language competence at all to do this. 

I’d prefer for there to be a real language test and for free language courses being offered to immigrants. There’s a ton of time between filing the paperwork and the exam. This would also mean new employment opportunities. You don’t need qualified teachers for this. A conversation group with several immigrants and a couple native speakers would suffice. Immigrants and natives would be brought together and allowed to interact, which is a great educational opportunity for everybody.

Pro forma tests like this one are worse than no testing because you send a very dubious message to people.