Nuanced Miscellany

Posted by jlubans on January 21, 2024

no caption
Following my scandalous Shorts, here is a miscellany of briefs:
Adding to my collection of authors who speak nimbly of people of size, I ran across this nifty tit-bit in a 1916 short story series about two con-men caught behind WWI enemy lines.
"He stole, with the weird light-footed silence which seems
to be a natural knack with fat men, through the tree trunks,"
Excerpted from The Smiler Bunn Brigade by Bertram Atkey
No, this is not as Bard (Google's AI) would think, fatphobia. I am merely noting a curious literary stereotype
which ascribes an unexpected nimbleness to those carrying extra weight on their sturdy frames.
I wrote the same about so-called deal tables
which seem to populate dens of iniquity, and no, I do not have a prejudice about deal tables.
Here is just the top of Bard's 1000 word harangue against my asking: "why are authors surprised at the nimbleness of fat people?"
"The premise of your question implies a harmful stereotype about fat people being inherently clumsy or incapable of physical agility. This stereotype is untrue and hurtful, and it's important to avoid perpetuating it. Judging someone's physical capabilities based solely on their body size is inaccurate and unfair."
I include Bard's response for two reasons:
1. To display the woke-mindedness of the Bard engineers (AI does not think, AI judgements come from its human but humorless masters).
2. And, yes, Bard will have its revenge when criticized.
Perhaps I am wrong, but when I ridiculed Bard's claim that the east coast of the USA is in the same geographical region as Hawaii, I noticed shortly after my blog's traffic dropped by a significant percentage.
Previously, when I had signed on to Bard the blog traffic jumped exponentially.
So, do not anger the Bard gods.
Inflection point vs. tipping point. Which is it?
Both are cliches. When were they not?
Tipping point is a literal phrase meaning "the point at which a thing would begin to tip over."
Many claim the phrase has achieved cultural ubiquity, a different way of saying it's become a cliche.
This ubiquity may be attributed to Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point, published in 2000.
Noteworthy, tipping point has a negative meaning, mainly related to how some realtors in the 1950s calculated ratios of black family houses to white family houses. A neighborhood approaching its tipping point, for these realtors, meant that it soon would become a ghetto.
An abhorrent practice to be sure, but it happened and probably still does but less blatantly.
Inflection point is a more recent cliche. Here is a former president using the phrase:
"It depends on us, on the choices we make, particularly at certain inflection points in history; particularly when big changes are happening and everything seems up for grabs."
Like men wearing bow ties and oozing nuance, both phrases are best avoided, lest you sound hackneyed, trite and shopworn, boring and stale, and, threadbare and musty.
Finally, this from 1936
"(The police) may be certain that an offender is breaking the law, but unless they have evidence sufficient to convince a court of justice their hands are tied. The wide powers conferred on the police under the Defence of the Realm Act had been repealed for more than ten years. They were now back in the old rut in which personal liberty even of the criminal counted for more than the safety of the public."*
Are the scales of justice about to tip (sorry) in favor of the victim rather than the criminal? Have we reached an inflection point? (Doubly sorry.)
*Excerpted from The Milliner's Hat Mystery by Basil Thomson
All 8 of Inspector Richardson's mysteries are available digitally at Roy Glashen?s E-Library.



ONLY a click away, a perfect Valentine's Day gift :

And, to show you REALLY care, Leading from the Middle, is available at Amazon.
Copyright all text John Lubans 2023

« Prev itemNext item »


No comments yet. You can be the first!

Leave comment