Harrassment

There has been a lot of headline news over the past few weeks about a certain producer who is accused of various sexual assaults over a fairly lengthy period of time. I have no idea what he did or did not do, and no doubt these things will come out later, if you care. Yesterday there was another story about a well-known actor who has also been accused of things with a 14 year old boy. His response was, basically, I don’t remember, it was a long time ago, I was drunk and anyway I am gay. I have no idea what that all means, either, and my level of interest is fairly minimal. Note that I am NOT defending anyone, just not that interested. If these people really did bad things, they must be punished.

I have a few thoughts, mainly coming from the Jimmy Savile incidents some years ago. Savile, of course, was dead. No-one spoke out about him when he was alive, in a way that anyone took notice of anyway. JS could not defend himself. Once the first allegations came out, it was like a flood gate. Same in the first example here. Many of Savile’s accusers were investigated. It was shown that some had simply fabricated stories in an attempt to get money. It may be, I don’t know, that the same has happened here, that people are saying they too were sexually assaulted but maybe they weren’t, they just want some fame and some money. I don’t know, but if there is even one person who is simply making up a story to ‘cash in’, then it devalues all the others.

I was involved in a conversation about this the other day. Someone remarked that more than 50% of women reported sexual harrassment in the workplace. I asked a simple question, what does that mean. There was a fairly lengthy discussion about this. One vaguely known tv actor has said that he was sexually harrassed when someone touched his arm. My friends seemed not to know. Does it have a clear definition?

My friends concluded that, if you FELT you had been sexually harrassed, then you HAD BEEN sexually harrassed. It didn’t have to be real at all.

I am not trying to diminish these events, if they have occurred, but some of it seems a bit mad to me.

4K

I bought a new tv some time ago. It’s a Sony, and they are all now Android tvs. I have grumbled about it elsewhere: it’s not the set, it’s the Android.

Well, just the other day I managed to complete the second half of the project and bought a 4K bluray player.

Now, since my tv was made, something called HDR (High Dynamic Range) has been implemented on some discs, but I don’t have that obviously.

The player is also Sony, and is a bargain at under £300 in many places. It comes with a free film, and mine had a cable to connect to the tv.

So, I have been looking at a few films, Underworld: Blood Wars, Wonder Woman etc. But the highlight was the original Blade Runner, yes, originally shot on film, which looked spectacular.

Except, some parts are shot on regular 35mm and the effects are on 65mm are are noticeably less grainy.

What 4K does is makes the problems easier to spot.

Hopefully more titles will be available soon. Close Encounters… is coming soon.

 

Christmas

Here we are in mid-October. Christmas approaches. Christmas films have been on tv since about June. The shopping channels have been having Xmas in June since March. Restaurants have been taking booking since the summer, and are now saying they are sold out. Food delivery companies are warning that there are only a few delivery slots available. By Boxing Day it will all be over, the shops will be open, sales will be on.

I m not a religious person at all, and the connection between this December holiday and religion is not clear really. What annoys me that, within a few years, it will be Christmas, or preparation for Christmas, all through the year.

I appreciate it’s good marketing, improves the sales, but it is very annoying. When I was little, shops closed on Christmas Eve and re-opened after the New Year. For a family, you had to get food in for an awful long time. There were two tv channels to watch, people came round to our house and drank beer, days were gloomy and everyone hated their presents.

Ah, happy days.

Too complicated?

I have a friend who had a really expensive, (analogue) roll film (35mm) camera from a very good and well-known manufacturer, complete with accessories, lenses and all that stuff. He used it a lot, for family snaps, holidays and more, like a super point and shoot machine. One day he was grumbling to me: “it’s really complicated, has all these features that I don’t use…” and etc.

A year or so ago, maybe more, he bought a digital camera from the same manufacturer. This is not a dig at the manufacturer at all, or their products, they are a super company that make great kit.

So, he bought a very expensive and very complicated device. When I say complicated, I mean it has dials and switches and touch screens and menus and sub-menus… You get the idea.

He was talking to me again. “It’s got all these features, there are so many I can’t understand them all. I will never use half of them. What a waste of money.”

I used to teach people to use products like Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop. I got a similar reaction: too many tools, things I would never use, really confusing etc

My answer was always the same: you use what you want to use and ignore the rest. The set of features you use will be different from what I use. The manufacturer has to provide them all, at a price point, so the camera meets the needs of as many people as possible. The only problem, surely, is if something is missing that you really need.

If, in the end, all you want is a point and shoot camera, which is really what my friend wanted, save a few thousands, get a very good smaller camera and put the rest to a holiday.

My camera is a Sony NEX-7, no longer made but there are similar things. It has some unusual features. There’s no wifi, no touch screen for start, dials with no labels on.

It has a proper viewfinder, OK, electronic, but good enough to show the shot nicely and exposure information. The lens is pretty good, it’s fast, 24MPx, I thought I wouldn’t like the handling, but I do.

Why this choice? Well, the viewfinder means I can hold the camera close to my body, it’s easier to see in bright daylight, it’s not away from your body so it’s more stable. Why no touch screen? Well, I have a big nose. What I like about the dials is that you can assign them to the things you actually use. It suits the way you work, however quirky that is. And it takes super pictures…