Day 211: Interwebzy things

I’ve functioned at sub-par productivity levels this whole week, my mindspace suddenly hogged by the the DNC. I don’t know why I suddenly got engrossed in watching the speeches at the convention, but I found myself waking up to catch up with the happenings of the previous day, for the last three days. And once you go down that tunnel, it’s hard to get a grip and crawl out because the videos are abundant and endless.

I realised today that regardless of which country you belong to, what your politics may be or the real, final implications of this election (no matter which way it goes), the fact that Hillary Clinton has made it this far is a seminal moment in the history of womankind. I was choked up at several points in many of the speeches where they spoke of this moment in history (from the perspective of what it means for women as a whole, than from the perspective of HRC as a person) with pride and joy, for what it stands for and what it means from this point on.

Of course, the downside (upside?) of suddenly tuning into the election at this juncture, and because I almost don’t read any news anymore, meant that I had so much catching up to do, so I was spent some time lost in the news, reading up on how things have gone so far. It’s been a few days of trawling the internet in ways I haven’t in a long time. And I may have ambled this way and that, so I’m sharing some of the finds that I liked reading.

Despite the overwhelmingly positive energy the DNC exuded, for the most part, when you considered it in isolation, panning out and looking at the events up until now and the delicate point at which things are so precariously balanced for America, you can’t help but feel a sinking sense of doom. The same kind of doom I felt in the run up to our election of 2014. Despite the glimmers of hope, there was the undeniable rise of an ugly beast, and we watched the news everyday, helplessly hoping against hope that what you know is going to happen, doesn’t actually happen. This Michael Moore piece nailed it for me, and the sense of gloom turned so big and real in my head. For someone who is otherwise so over the top and fatalistic in his views, this piece breaks it down quite logically, and raises real points that you can’t just refute as being silly and sensational.

At the end of day 2, HRC made history by being named the first woman presidential candidate the USA has ever had. Several newspapers honoured her by plastering their front pages with pictures of the other Clinton. Her husband. This piece mocks that hooplah. My favourite line – “He may lack current first lady Michelle Obama’s upper arm strength, but he makes up for it with a nice head of hair.”

I watched Hillary’s speech this morning, and I was so overwhelmingly inspired by her. People are mocking her intonation, delivery and choice of clothes, but really get over it, people. She slayed her male opponent with one heavyduty line after another, and I couldn’t keep up with all the lines I wanted to remember. But I found this amazing piece that collates some of twitter’s best reactions and comments on her speech, and it makes for such a fun read. My favourite line – “No you don’t, Donald!”

Closer home, things are imploding way faster than we imagined. I stay away from the news for the most part, but it’s difficult, and when it does eventually catch up with you, it’s the most grotesque, heinous happenings that do catch your eye. The Dalit uprising, our very own French Revolution is well underway and it is the one thing that has really shaken me up since last week. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about the group of men and what was done to them at the hands of that “cow protection squad”. And I worry about where this is all headed. It makes me often question the one-sided overly negative narratives we subject ourselves to online. And I wonder if in many ways this mode of constant consumption, of this endless stream of polarised, sensationalised news paints a picture far worse than it actually is? Mark Manson throws some light on whether the world is really going as crazy as we think it is.

The Establishment is fast becoming one of my most loved sites to visit. For its writing that is diverse, inclusive, relevant and powerful. And it’s run by women only. What’s not to love? Two pieces that made me sit up and notice, this past week. First, this scary but important commentary on physician abuse that made me feel like I could have written it, it so close home to what I have been through and felt so alone over. And two, this educative piece on the humanitarian crisis in Kashmir.

Have you read Richa Kaul Padte’s latest BuzzFeed essay on India’s domestic violence problem and all the various chinks in our systems and our culture that silence us, indirectly perpetrating it.

If you feel things are getting heavy around here, read this informative interview about what it’s like to be a food writer in the world right now. As an Indian writer who dabbles in writing about food sometimes I found this particularly relevant for where we are right now, and for the fraternity I belong to where food writing is and has been limited to a minute range of topics and styles. For the most part, food writing in its most common avatar is a glamorous thing to do, and only deals with an elitist perspective and take on the subject of food, as something to be consumed. I am increasingly becoming interested in the other aspects – politics, culture, history and trends related to food that we often gloss over thanks to the uni dimensional way in which we look at food these days.

While we’re talking about food, read this delicious piece of writing by Mahesh Rao that while it talks about food is really a commentary about our culture of excesses and over the top habits.

See this howlarious collection of tweets by Medieval Reactions that superimposes modern day issues on hugely appropriate pieces of historic art. I had tears from laughing so hard at this piece.

And, lastly I’m sharing another video by enthu cutlet VC, that endorses these group cycle rides that happen in Goa, that we sometimes participate in and always thoroughly enjoy. If you ever find yourself here, with a bike to spare, this is definitely an interesting and unique way to experience Goa.

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