In true lockdown fashion, it’s been a busy week of wearing nothing but baggy clothing and working the days away in front of my laptop. Here are some things that have sparked some joy:
If I could sit down and have dinner with anyone, it would be Thom Yorke. His mind and music are fascinating. During a lunch break, I watched his short musical film, Anima, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson: a mind-bending visual piece with the most incredible choreography.
Over the 15 minutes, every viewer will extract and experience something different. But for me, it’s a masterly work all about connection. We are trapped in the same reality of chasing money in pursuit of happiness. But Thom Yorke questions how this reality might differ if you find the right person to share it with.
The Guardian’s Today in Focus podcast asked, ‘Is the government ready to lead the fight against the climate crisis?’
The government have laid out aspirational goals, one of which is to go “net zero” by 2050. Going net zero means removing as many emissions as we produce, which is vital if we’re to get a grip on climate breakdown. However, there is little information on the steps we will take to get there.
With the British government hosting COP26 in Glasgow later this year, this is potentially the last opportunity for the world to avert the global climate catastrophe. Another podcast I love on the climate crisis is Outrage + Optimism, which I shouted out in my Underland review.
On a less serious note, I’ve been crying laughing at Alan Carr’s Life’s a Beach podcast. With summer holidays still looking uncertain, he and his guests reminisce on holiday highlights and mishaps.
Paul McCartney, Bicep, and a new discovery, Babe Rainbow, have carried me through the working week. Listening to the latter, I want nothing more than to sit on a warm beach watching the sunset with them playing in the background. On Saturday, I spent my afternoon doodling away to Stevie Wonder’s ‘Songs In the Key of Life’, an album of awe-inspiring scope, which I dug out of/stole from my Dad’s extensive vinyl collection.
Browsing books but reading little. That said, I did start No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram by Sarah Frier, which won Business Book of the Year 2020, and it’s fascinating so far. I’m also making snails-pace progress with the intimidating French classic, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, which I’m buddy reading with Audrey. Meanwhile, the Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist reveal has prompted me to boost a couple of books up my reading list; Piranesi, Luster, and Ali Smith’s Summer.
Sophie Baggott’s article in The Guardian, “What I learned from reading books by women from every country in the world”, inspired me this week. A project that challenged her, surprised her, and enlightened her.
“This project really brought home the fact that so many issues women face are universal. It’s predictable and appalling that violence against women was such a recurring theme.”
It reminded me of the importance of broadening our bookcases beyond the canon, and the power of connectivity literature brings.