Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Post One Hundred!

  I thought that I would take my hundredth post to review the first four months and look forward in my first blog. It seems like yesterday when I typed my first post and wondered how long I could say something that might be interesting to others. There was also a hard choice between posts that I thought were important but have a small audience and those which might have more general interest.  I have to admit that the posts which got the highest number of hits were not the ones that I had expected and that the more analytical posts of which I was the most proud and on which I spend the most effort often had far fewer hits.

Time out from blogging!

   The post with the highest overall score was BIXI followed by the William and Kate Wedding March and then Student Debt. The fastest rising post currently is the one on Duck Face. If you check “duck face” on Google, out of 3.1 million results returned for last week, I ranked number three. I decided that I would improve the photography and have more graphic representations of ideas although I wouldn’t decrease the Gunning fog index. I like precise words as in the difference between metonymy and synecdoche.

  This weekend I realised that I live in a very special city and take things for granted which don’t exist in other places. On Friday, I went to the International (Multi cultural) festival in Scarborough and on Saturday attended the Mexican festival on the harbour front. Sunday, I headed north to the Celtic festival in Unionville. I also went to the Eastern European art installation at the Power Plant, saw artists working in their workshops near Queen’s key and took my mother on a Garden tour around Guildwood, a local community. There wasn’t time to see Afrofest, a huge Toronto African community cultural event with 50,000 people, at Queen’s Park in downtown Toronto.

  The people are the most important part of my experience. Friday evening I was standing at a bus stop in the Scarborough suburbs on the way home after enjoying the International festival on Lawrence Avenue and in the space of twenty minutes spoke to a recent Russian émigré and a visiting school teacher from north eastern Brazil who was here on a holiday so during a short time on a quiet evening in a remote area of Toronto I had a discussion on contemporary Russian art and a dialogue on post Lula politics in Brazil.

International festival on Friday

 I have birthdays for two of my daughters this week so that means more restaurant reviews; lots of travelogues to do; catch up on some posts about which I’ve been thinking. My life experiences have been unique. How many people have spent part of their honeymoon in a tent on the side of a mountain in the middle of a hurricane or bargained for carpets in Turkey while drinking Raki? Lots of pseudo scientific papers to be dissected. Sometimes it’s not enough to say that you disagree with the conclusions and proper hatchet job has to be done before the research becomes received wisdom like the paper on student debt and self esteem.  Of course there is my 2011 research question – nihilism and the response.  I’ve been bogged down because as I’ve probed deeper in the areas which I outlined in my original schema I discovered that the reality is very different from the original perception. To give an example, all of the available information on the Japanese hikikomori stated that the individuals who were tagged with the label “acute social withdrawal syndrome” were for the most part male.  The New York Times said“though female hikikomori exist and may be under counted, experts estimate that about 80 percent of the hikikomori are male, some as young as 13 or 14 and some who live in their rooms for 15 years or more”; however, in a paper by Michael J. Dziesinski entitled “Hikikomori as a gendered issue”, he states that at the initial clinical assessment stage the ratio of men and women being evaluated for hikikomori is almost 1:1 but women were excluded because “In Japan, boys go outside; girls (stay) in the house. Therefore, boys who don’t go outside are a problem. Because girls who stay inside the home come outside for the purpose of marriage, the parents don’t (see) a problem. So, a girl becomes a little withdrawn, a hikikomori. But, the parents don’t yet understand this: “Ah, you are staying in the home, that’s fine”, they think.” So 20% of the adolescent female population in Japan are eliminated and according to the received wisdom as promulgated in official Japanese research and western media don’t exist.
Note male under hikikomori - wrong!

1 comment:

  1. I agree that your personal experiences sound unique. I am very glad that you have finally started a blog. Blogging is unpredictable. It's true that you never know which posts will be popular. Sometimes, I write a long and complex post where I put many of my cherished idea, and there is zero interest. And then I go to a restaurant, take a picture of sushi, and hundreds of people flock to the post that contains nothing but this not very good picture. :-)

    I'm definitely looking forward to more restaurant reviews, travelogues, pseudo-science bashing. The posts on hikikomori are also fascinating. Ive been trying to convince my husband that hikikomori exist but he doesn't believe me. He thinks it's an urban myth.