Happy Monday (5th October 2020)

Happy Monday indeed! Did you know that putting an optimistic tone into what you are expressing has a potential to positively impact the mood of people on the receiving end of the interaction? Of course you knew that! So don’t be surprised at me sounding chirpy on a Monday – I like the start of the week as much as I like the end of it. Now onto the interesting part of this article:

What I’ve been reading – aside from news, I am now reaching back into books. I recently picked up a 600-pager called ‘Zimowla’. It’s unfortunately only available in Polish now, but if you happen to speak the language, it’s a strange and interesting read. If you don’t happen to speak Polish, the next book on my reading list is ‘Babel: Around the world in 20 languages’. Now that the daylight is becoming scarce again, books are a great friend to me.

Best thing I discovered recently – did you know that Iceland is rigged with livestream cameras? I love me a peaceful livestream and as I sit at my desk unable to travel because of the restrictions mounting again, I take a peek at some of the places I love. Iceland is one of them – you can find a list of available views on extremeiceland.is if that’s your thing too. I tend to just leave them open running in a tiny window as I work, so that once in a while I can peek away from the everyday life into another world.

What has been on my mind – the likely impact of Trump’s Covid diagnosis on the conspiracy theorists and ‘covid-sceptics’. Here’s the thing – there are still sceptics across the world claiming that Covid-19 is a hoax. That’s despite a whole roaster of heads of state, celebrities, medics and members of public falling ill with it, and a number of them tragically passing away. Will the world’s most important president’s illness convince the sceptics? Or are we to expect a whole new host of conspiracy nonsense spewed across FB and Instagram? What’s your guess? My concern for the presidential race is also there – while I have no love for Biden, he strikes me as more competent than Trump and slightly more socialist, which US population seems to really need right now. But what if Trump dies? Is Pence a reasonable candidate? What impact does this have on the US voters? And how does it impact the Supreme Court appointment? And will all this f*ck up the stock market? Because frankly, as a millennial, that’s where all my money (and hope) is right now.

What I’ve been watching – more than one thing recently, so I’ll limit myself to top 3, in order of when I watched them. Firstly, ‘This is Paris’ – Paris Hilton’s documentary, available on YouTube for free (it’s on her channel). If grew up around the same time as I have, you know that ‘The Simple Life’ and not the Kardashians are what got the reality TV started. It was Paris who was the selfies queen before selfies were a thing. The documentary, while exploring her public persona, is centered around her relationship with people, including her family, and the trauma she is yet to deal with fully caused by her family’s decision to send her away to a ‘boarding school’ in a rather terrible way. Worth a watch. My second choice is ‘RBG’ on Netflix. While I was familiar with Justice Rita Bader Ginsburg’s name, vaguely so, the controversy around the US Supreme Court and her recent passing has brought her name to the forefront of feminism and racial equality discussions not just in the US but also in Europe. The documentary focuses on her career as she paves the way for sex and racial equality through legislation. The documentary not only paints her career and legacy well, but it’s also a reminder that unless we point out why something is unfair, it won’t change. Lastly, I’ve watched ‘A Life On Our Planet’, David Attenborough’s witness statement also on Netflix. It’s chilling. Please watch it and take his comments around what we can do to heart.

Quote of the week – ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going’. I cannot stop thinking that this quote is really inspirational (because we’re all so tough), but also ever so toxic – because why would we want to keep going in a terrible environment? I don’t mean the Pandemic work environment – I mean overworked, underpaid, unfair, hostile environments. And yes, I am speaking from a place of privilege – I am living in a developed country and am able to influence my immediate surroundings in a way that removes obstructions. But if I was not in that place, would I be able to remove obstacles by design, act as a fair employer and avoid practices of exploitation to my staff, even if the going is tough?

Some of the aspects of this article clearly offer more questions than answers. In my books that’s a good thing – so as the week progresses, stay curious and ask questions too.

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