Things that drive me crazy, Issue 49

There are just some of the things that drive me crazy!

Sustainable Fashion – An Oxymoron

“Fashion” industry brands compete for the best possible “sustainable” rankings. Regardless, designers and brands pump out new styles, fits, and colours season after season. This does not encourage real sustainability. Yes, it is important to:

  1. Ensure healthy labour conditions and fair pay
  2. Consider the environment when selecting raw materials

However, it is more important to encourage consumersto re-wear quality clothing year after year. We should adapt the Patagonia mantra to “re-use, repair, recycle”. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to recycle those synthetic exercise clothes that have a lingering odour, regardless of how often washed. So, buy Merino wool tee shirts at Icebreaker

Sustainability begins with us, the consumers. Buy better, buy less!

My Bad

Is it really so hard to say “my mistake”? or even “oops”? “My bad” makes the user sound like a two-year old. I live in Québec. So the first time I saw this term used, I thought it was just an honest mistake. I wanted to suggest a more grammatically correct alternative to the writer. I resisted.  Maybe I would have had to say “my badder”!

Lose your ice cream cone - say oops! Late for an appointment - say I am sorry!
OOOOPS! is much more descriptive than “My Bad”

Reach Out

I cringe every time I hear this expression, often uttered breathlessly. It seems to be used almost universally to replace shorter, more descriptive actions such as to call, to visit, to check-in, or to follow-up. I confess, I have used this phrase. You can’t see me but I blush every time that I do. 

Reaching out! Used too often! Consider alternatives!
Reaching out! Scary, no?

“I” after a Preposition

You know! “Between you and I” or “With him and I”! It is “between you and ME” or “with him and ME”. Can you imagine what the same mistake would sound like in French? It would be “entre vous et je” or “avec lui et je”. Sounds awful.  I am sure that I have been lulled into this same error when, in a long conversation, the incorrect form has been used consistently. 

Would you say seats for you and I? No - so why would you say  "there is too much space between you and I"?
Seats for you and me!

Woke, Socialist, Conservative as Insults

How did this happen? Definitions:

Socialist – someone who believes in a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. 

Conservative – someone who holds political views that favour free enterprise, private ownership, and socially traditional ideas.

Polarization of politics
And never the twain shall meet

Woke – a term that refers to awareness of issues that concern social justice and racial justice.

Certainly, socialists and conservatives have different points of view that generate creative tension. But, it is this creative tension that can often lead to good policy. My personal politics are ill-defined, so to insult me it would have to be so-con. 

Now, it is possible to be too “awake”!  I read a short article this week which suggested that there are ethics committees debating the deletion of the term “mother” from official legal language as it is not inclusive enough. 

This is just the start of some of the “things that drive me crazy”.

We Should Know Better

August 26, 2023

I know! I am going to sound like a grumpy old man. Maybe that is because I am. I have been scratching my head in wonderment at the Taylor Swift phenomena. Is she an Incredible song writer, composer, and performer? I really don’t know! A discussion for another time? But probably not. At my age […]

Not in My Back Yard

August 4, 2023

Don’t build it! At least, Not In My Back Yard ! I acted as an advisor  in the sale of a beautifully natural, 14-acre urban waterfront estate. Existing zoning allowed for the development of 30 to 35 single-family homes, which after road dedication would leave very little green space. I did not think that was […]

Glasgow – That Dear Green Place

July 31, 2023

We were visiting Glasgow (literally that Dear Green Place in Gaelic) to see where my father was born, grew up, and went to University. Fortunately for me, my cousin John from Australia had just visited and had met with historians, Bruce Downie  and Norry Wilson.  So,  we too arranged to meet them in the Govanhill […]

Vienna on Top Again

June 25, 2023

Vienna on top again. This week both Monocle Magazine and The Economist unveiled their quality of life / most liveable city indexes. There are differences in the way each publication sets its index. So it is even more impressive that once again, Vienna tops both lists. I am a bit lazy today so rather than […]

Large interior courtyards

From Hot Bedding to Superblocks

June 20, 2023

Many Viennese went from hot bedding to superblocks overnight. Could they even imagine  an apartment complex 1000 metres long built along two streets with even more massive landscaped courtyards? Could they conceive of 1400 apartment units built to house 5000 people on 56,000 square metres or 38 acres of land.  Or a vertical build-out that […]

Vienna – the World’s Most Livable City

June 16, 2023

Vienna had been a poor city even before the First World War. “Normal” housing arrangements  meant six to eight people sharing one room and a kitchen. Then, in early 1919, just after the Armistice,  the cost of living tripled in two months. Bed lodgers could no longer afford their 8-hours a day in a shared […]