Sunday, March 04, 2012

on the guardian and immigrants and words and passive aggressive status updates

Å is for åen


whenever i don't blog for a few days, i end up feeling intensely bottled up with all kinds of small, unrelated thoughts. luckily, the genre of blog lends itself well to that.  it's dreary and a bit cold out this morning, so i feel justified in staying tucked up in bed with the laptop and a big mug of tea (which husband just delivered to me), and getting all those niggling little thoughts out onto the page.

i read an article in the guardian about the food revolution and all those celebrity chefs like jamie oliver and nigella lawson, who claim to be down-to-earth, but actually have full-time gardeners and housekeepers that enable them to live their "normal" lives. class warfare (bitterness?) is rife in the article and i'm on the whole unconvinced by the arguments, tho' glaser makes some interesting points. i turn to nigella and jamie's cookbooks time and again and don't find them the least inaccessible to either my daily cooking needs nor the everyday shelves of my grocery stores. it strikes me as a classic case of trying to make a mountain of a molehill. and at the end, it's apparent she's trying to sell her own book, which is precisely what she denigrates jamie and nigella for doing. hmm....

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i got a large photography book from the library yesterday. i wasn't looking for it and just happened past it on a shelf. a photographer named henrik saxgren went around scandinavia photographing immigrants. the book, published in 2006, is called krig og kærlighed - om indvandringen i norden (war and love - on immigration in the north). immigrants were photographed in their homes in norway, denmark, finland, iceland and sweden. he also photographed the camps where asylum-seekers are housed in each country. those make for some very stark photos. and the stories are even starker. i'm not finished with the book (page 104 of 266) and already i feel haunted by many of the stories. long hours in fish processing plants in harsh conditions seems to be a regular theme. not all of the stories are of immigrants fleeing war and strife in their own countries, but there are also tales of love. another recurring theme is men who were lured to scandinavia by tall, beautiful, blonde girls, only to be left stranded by them when the dream bubble burst. unable to go once the fires of love go out because they don't want to leave their children behind, they're left without network or love. i remarked to husband that the same could happen to me, but he just brought me a second cup of tea, so it looks like i'm good for the moment.

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last evening, i got bored on pinterest.

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i was reading blogs yesterday afternoon and i am struck by how often people misuse their/they're/there, it's/its, lay/lie, your/you're. and how often those same people are also homeschooling their children.

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and speaking of words, sewist/sewer/seamstress is causing a big stir and even a follow-up over at the craftsy blog. personally, i hate the word sewist - it sounds made-up and pretentious. seamstress has the weight of tradition behind it and carries a continuity with a historical line of amazing women who sew. and sewer, well, i think that rules itself out in how easily it can be misunderstood as pipes carrying poo.

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in other word-related thoughts, extranjera and i had a little discussion on facebook on friday after i used the danish word mindrebegavede. it is basically the word for retarded, but to my ear, expresses it more delicately - lesser gifted (if i translate literally). i had just heard a tween use the very local colloquial "ik' aw" about 25 times in the course of a 2-minute story. this is the equivalent of ending every phrase with "like, ya know?" and does, in fact, make the speaker sound, well, lesser gifted. so instead of screaming, i put up a little passive aggressive status update on facebook. because if facebook is for nothing else, it is THE place to get all of your passive aggressions out of your system.

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and on that note, i think i'll wander off and find something productive to do. like change around the dining room.  happy sunday, one and all.

4 comments:

jessica wilson said...

I have to again exclaim how thrilled I am that you blog. I find your words and thoughts most comforting in that you manage to put forth ideas I struggle to let loose. I haven't posted a proper wordy post in a long while so now my head is fuller than full and I pop up awake in the middle of the night with the most lovely compositions spewing forth and no pen or laptop at hand to catch them. Boo! You inspire me to be more me and I thank you.

celkalee said...

I rather enjoy when you sort out all these random thoughts and put them to page. I try not to think too much anymore, it doesn't seem to help much.

The whole sewer, sewist, seamstress debate is tiresome. No matter what your preference, there is a pro and con. I am choosing "thread-wrangler" for now. My word. I do not necessarily prescribe to the need to categorize myself because I am so much more than that. However, there is obviously a need among many to define their themselves within the context of their work. "Fiber-artist" is also popular but I find that more pretentious than sewist.

As always, love the fog photo's.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I spend way to much time on Pinterest... but lately I'm wondering if anyone over about 30 years old or 110 pounds post photos, especially of fashion. Sometimes it makes me feel very old.... but I keep going back :-)

I've never thought about the sewing term. Hmmm, I'll have to think on that one.

Have a great week, xo jj

Sammi said...

These are my favourite posts, the random ones about everything. I feel the same about their/ there and they're. I also think people who homeschool their children should be forced to take a teaching qualification and have passed both their English GCSE and A Level equivalent with at least a B grade. I am not a fan of homeschooling.

It's seamstress. I don't care if people think it's an old fashioned word and they're trying to make things look cool. A seamstress is a fabulous thing. I would choose someone who called themselves a seamstress over a sewist any day, particularly since it throws little red lines up under the word when I type it.

I fear I am the only person in the world who does not like pinterest. I am tumblr all the way!