It’s the season to celebrate the Original Influencer, who famously was betrayed by one of his 12 followers back in the biblical days. It is also spring, the French elections and President Macron channeling Serge Gainsbourg so hard lately, it makes one clutch one’s pearls and brace for a reggae version of the Marseillaise being blasted from Le stereo at his victory ball (for win he must).
While there are absolutely no good news anywhere, the world schleps along and we must drag our unwilling feet with it. The one silver lining is that everything will soon be so expensive that nobody can afford to do anything anymore. It shall end all the bad things from continuing, and there already are no good things left at that point anyway, so.
But the world turns, and brought to us, even if for a brief moment only, Harry and Meghan who showed how one does white Land Rover correctly. See for yourself. One does like a bit of healthy rivalry between the royals’ PR-teams, does one not?
Meghan also, as per usual, did everything wrong at the Invictus Games in the Netherlands by prancing about in wildly expensive clothes and jewellery, which she had paid for herself with Spotify-money, earned from the single podcast episode she appeared in two yers ago (it is not the fool who asks, right?).
Then, a couple of books to be recommended:
All’s Well by Mona Awad. A story about a college theatre director Miranda with chronic back pain and painkiller dependency, who finds herself in the middle of a looming personal and career failure for losing her students’ support to play and produce Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well. Female pain, woman at her breaking point – despite banal undercurrents that surely have saturated the market for some time, All’s Well is a nice distraction, which I think should be the main qualifier for any literature/entertainment these days.
The Trouble With Happiness by Tove Ditlevsen is a collection of (very) short stories, and if you haven’t read her Copenhagen Trilogy, (why have you not read it, by the way?), you might start immersing yourself in her world with these easily digestible pieces.
Intact – A Defence of the Unmodified Body by Clare Chambers. This is probably for the more acquired tastes, but extremely interesting nevertheless. Chambers is a political philosopher and Intact her analysis of the politics and power dynamics that structure our society and have people go through extreme bodily modifications from body-building, implants and plastic surgery and the role hierarchies such as sex, race, disability, age and class play.
While she defends every individual’s right to change their bodies, she also argues that the social pressures to modify undermine equality. Essentially feminist (and since feminism in the meanwhile has become everybody’s mother, herewith Chamber’s reminder: Feminism is about women: it’s by them and for them. And so feminism is grounded on the idea that there is such a thing as being a woman, most basically, and that there is such a thing as women’s interests, even if those can be hard to define.) but covering a lot of other ground, too, Intact is an excellent, objective reader also to help navigate some of the more topical discussions around women’s rights.
Also what I didn’t know is this: In the UN’s lowest standard for treating inmates in prisons, the opportunity to manage facial hair is explicitly mentioned, but not menstrual management.
And speaking of bodily hair, spring and Macron, I will retreat to shave my pins. Merci pour votre compréhension.
Photo of Macron: Soazig de la Moissonnière, and congratulations to her. The photo truly is epic.