Sunday, December 21, 2014

The trendiest activity of 2014? Outrage!

2014 presented its fair share of clothes and activities for trendy people to follow (see Viva Creative video). But perhaps one of the trendiest things to do this year was be outraged.  Slate magazine called this "The Year of Outrage", documenting "about how outrage has taken over our lives."

The article features an interactive graphic of what they call "the rage-a-day calendar".  The entire article can be found here.

The Slate piece notes that the outrage often jumps immediately from level 1 to 10...
"...Regardless of the gravity of the offense, which can make each outrage feel forgettable, replaceable. The bottomlessness of our rage has a numbing effect." (Link)
One of the most interesting layers about this article came from the accompanying piece in the always great Slate Political Gabfest podcast.
"There are people... who get off of Twitter and Facebook because... there is this toxicity that comes in from these 'immediately right to the harshest level' debates that come into what used to be polite society." (Link)
This Slate article came out not too long after Wild Fell (and "Life, Measured Out In Labradors") author Michael Rowe wrote "The ability to maintain perspective, one of the oldest and most valuable lessons we learn in life, could be the one most quickly lost," in his article:
Many of the younger generations don't subscribe to cable television.  Perhaps one reason is the toxicity of their "news" shows.  If so, one has to wonder if the biggest challenge of the evolving social media landscape will be people similarly having to balance being highly connected and, well, not.

This amusing video from Viva Create pokes fun at some of the popular non-verbal messaging of the year. (Click on the picture or here to go to their site to watch their video.) 

Bell bottom jeans are out.  Outrage is in.  Here, an outrage a day, both worthy and not.  Source: (Link)

Of course, social media can also provide access to the antithesis of outrage.  Here, for example, is nothing but a four minute drive through a snowy Royal Deeside, posted by Balmoral Castle's Twitter feed (Link):

Friday, December 19, 2014

New England's Best Skiing, and Vintage Skiing in Vermont (Updated)

Photos from our personal archives
Today, favorite places in New England to ski include (from the comments section).

New Hampshire

From the archives:


Who do you tip for the holidays?

Several people have asked about the strategies for holiday tipping.   How do you decide who to tip and how much?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Week Before Christmas

Despite this warmer-than-normal December in New England,  there hasn't been that one day, mid December, where it is not only warm enough for people to be wearing short sleeve shirts, but insects seem to hatch as well.

But December has still presented many spectacularly clear and bright days where it is nice just to be outside and enjoy all of the Christmas decorations in the country and in town.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Delivering the Tree

Faulkner's Island Light, United States Coast Guard.  Photo from our personal archives.
Delivering the Christmas Tree to those stationed over the holidays at Falkner Island (also called Faulkner's Island) Light, United States Coast Guard, Connecticut, December, 1972.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Old Connecticut Skating Photographs

Skating season is starting up again.  Here are some photographs from our personal archives, from the 1950's. 1960's, and 1970's.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Different Luxury

Both current issues of Barron's and The Economist arrived with articles on various forms of luxury.  Barron's writes about Sir Richard Branson entering the cruise ship market, and The Economist describes the paradox of luxury goods, discussing such brands as Louis Vuitton, Cartier, and Gucci.
  • The Economist's Exclusively for everybody (Link)
  • Barron's Carnival and Royal Caribbean Will Cruise Higher (Link)
Such articles can feel completely disconnected from one's own experience and aspirations.  There is a pleasure to being around "world-class" goods to be sure.  There was a time when walking down various New York streets meant predictable exposure to streams of beautiful suits and overcoats, and exquisite shoes and bags.

But the luxury described in these articles strikes almost no chord.

The one exception is the notion of  genuine "artisan goods".  Having said that, through the channels of brands and boutiques, these items' costs are so absurdly inflated as to sour the experience.   There is so much more joy instead in the opportunity to find classic products with an artisan soul, from raw milk to world class leather goods, that are not part of the luxury marketing machinery, with high-but-fair prices going more directly to the artisans themselves.

It is fresh food, a walk with friends and animals through interesting terrain, as well as clothes that meet one's own needs and aesthetic, that represent something so much more luxurious than any Kate Spade or Prada bag, or Royal Caribbean cruise.  Is this viewpoint looking backwards or perhaps, looking ahead?

Books mentioned in the comments section:
Other mentions: