I liked shopping for books at Waterstones, but I suppose that all has to stop now: Waterstones says it can’t pay living wage, as 1,300 authors support staff appeal
No doubt someone will ask how they will ever pay a living wage if people boycott the chain, but that’s unfairly saddling everyone else for its poor management – although, I suppose to shareholders, and the market in general, it’s seen as good management.
To my mind, if you can’t pay a living wage, you can’t afford your real staff costs and you’ve got a problem. And of course, the excuses from the top of the company would be much easier to swallow if those sitting there weren’t so well remunerated despite their inability to pay a living wage. Apparently (if Wikipedia is correct) the managing director lives with his family “…in a 4 storey house in Hampstead. They have a second house in Suffolk, and a third in Scotland.”
I don’t begrudge people making money, but it seems to me that it might make it easier to own several properties if you don’t have to pay your employees fairly…
People seem to be leaping to the defense of Marie Kondo, saying that her comments on books were misunderstood or misinterpreted as in: Keep your tidy, spark-joy hands off my book piles, Marie Kondo.
I think they’ve all missed the obvious problem with her fame and reputation though: the fact that she’s making a substantial living at telling adults how to tidy up after themselves.
I don’t care whether its books, coffee cups or lego bricks. When did swathes of adults become so infantilised that they need to follow a Netflix show to understand how to tidy up after themselves and de-clutter their lives?
The ‘system’ has conditioned people into mindless acquisition, and now the system will tell them how to fix the situation (presumably with the aim of getting them to acquire more and then purge – ad infinitum!).
Don’t defend Marie, just ignore her and she’ll go away!
…but you can become famous now for telling people how to tidy up, and Marie Kondo has her own show on Netflix on this very subject. I only became aware of her after Lifehacker posted something about her advice on getting rid of books.
It’s bad enough that people feel the need to watch this sort of thing (and that she probably makes a living at it), but to compound it by telling people to cut down to no more than an arbitrary number of books in their house is puzzling. Perhaps if people had more books, they would be better educated and there would be less call for these sorts of lifestyle gurus to peddle their vacuous nonsense.
Apparently people are freaking out that the BBC’s new adaptation of Les Misérables doesn’t have any songs in it.
I don’t know if this is down to general stupidity or simple ignorance about the original Victor Hugo novel. I’ll try not to pass judgement on the levels of ignorance in this country, but instead pose it as a question: are people really this stupid that they think the BBC left the songs out?
Maybe I’m taking the issue too seriously and go with the more humorous retorts. As one bright spark tweeted, “Victor Hugo just messaged. He’s livid that the BBC have taken all the songs out of his musical.”
I don’t know how long it’s been there, but I only noticed The Bard on the platform at Charing Cross tube station the other day.
Apparently it’s a poem called On the Portrait of Shakespeare by Ben Johnson and was opposite Shakespeare’s portrait on the inside of the First Folio edition.
I’m resolved to keep my eyes open for more such things…
Reading The Asshole Survival Guide: How to Deal with People Who Treat You Like Dirt by Robert I Sutton. We all have to deal with such people (increasingly) everyday, and this is full of good advice on how to deal with them and escape with some sanity. The sequel to the workplace classic, The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilised Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t
Listening to Rainier Fog by Alice in Chains. Nuff said, it’s heavy on the guitars and heavy on the melodies. Alice don’t make bad albums!
I like to finish books once I’ve started them, but yesterday I gave up after thirty pages of disappointment and just left one on a train for someone else to find.
The Fuzzy and the Techie was recommended in a recent newspaper review. It tries to address the Humanities Vs STEM debate and calls for a the two fields to work together for the betterment of technology; to make it more human.
The author makes his point well very early on, but writes in a style that just didn’t sit well with me. It’s not quite businessy, and not quite academic but because of its breezy simplicity, made me think that – ironically – though it’s probably aimed at the more sympathetic humanities audience, he’d probably pitched it at time-poor and thinly (as opposed to widely) read techies.
I abandoned it with a note in the front cover to say that I hoped that whoever finds it will enjoy it. It will probably just end up in the bin the next time someone cleans the train though…