The 333 Challenge

Recently I was talking to a friend about things that I spend a lot of my time, energy, and in some cases even money on, but I don’t want people to know I spend a lot of my time, energy and in some cases money on: things like eating healthy and staying in shape, but also decluttering or minimalizing my possessions and practices like mindfulness or yoga. I think part of the reason I want to keep these pursuits on the down low is because I perceive stereotypes around them that I do not want to be associated with. Yes, I exercise, but I’m not a fitgirl and I definitely do not run a Pinterest page on Marie Kondo, even though I do sometimes watch her show on Netflix. I also think I experience a lot of pressure, in the seemingly transparent age of social media, to make things like healthy lifestyle choices appear effortless. And I also want you to think I am deep and intellectual and spend all my time reading Tolstoy or something rather than trying to decide which of my six million handbags truly sparks joy in me.

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Celebrating The End of Authenticity

A few weeks ago I attended a concert by a band named Thinner Lizzy. They performed songs by the Irish hardrock band Thin Lizzy, but they were all just middle-aged fans of the band. Their drummer wasn’t the best I’ve ever heard, and their singer couldn’t always keep track of the lyrics. Nonetheless I had a wonderful time, because the people on the stage performing were visibly enjoying themselves so goddamned much. Perhaps their performance wasn’t exactly true to the material they were performing, but it was heartwarmingly joyful. This encounter made me think about the concept of authenticity in arts and culture, which I think is vastly overrated.

Then, as I was browsing Wikipedia in my free time (does anyone else do that?) this definition caught my attention:

“Authenticity in art is the different ways in which a work of art or an artistic performance may be considered authentic.”

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Bandersnatch: A Review

Disclaimer: This article contains mild spoilers for the Black Mirror episode Bandersnatch

On December 28th 2018 Netflix released a new episode of its hit-series Black Mirror. The episode, Bandersnatch, has an interactive format. Throughout the narrative, viewers are offered choices, and each combination of decisions leads the protagonist on a different path. You can use your remote control to select on of the offered options, or your mouse, touchpad or touchscreen if you are on a laptop or mobile device. As you select your choice, a thin white line at the bottom of the screen shows you how much time you have left to make your decision. Continue reading “Bandersnatch: A Review”

The Importance of Being Earnest: A Review

In the week of November 5th the Queen’s English Theatre Company (QETC) put on a number of performances of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest at the brand-new CC Amstel Theatre in Amsterdam.

Earnest is often seen as Wilde’s cleverest play, and it’s easy to understand why. The storylines are rife with intrigue and cases of mistaken identity. Wilde’s use of language and his skill with double entendres and witticisms is unparalleled. The play features some memorable characters, including the impressive dowager Lady Bracknell who shows uncanny similarities to Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess in Downton Abbey.

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Writing About Music: Look Now

Writing about music has always been a challenge for me; if you could put it into words there’d be no need to write a song about it, right? As a wise man once said, even though no one is really sure who he was: “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture”.

Even so, life is all about challenging yourself, so I’ve decided to write something about the music I’m currently listening to. Maybe you’ll like it, too.

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Why Aren’t The Japanese Shagging?

People in the Land of the Rising Sun might be spanking the monkey, but they’re not playing hide-the-salami. Why? And what does this mean for the future of Japanese society?

The Japanese media has diagnosed a ‘celibacy syndrome’: young people in Japan are not engaging in sex, and it’s a harbinger of a national crisis.The population is aging as well as decreasing, and this trend has been going on since 2007. [1] Between the ages of 18 and 34, 61% of men and 49% of women were not dating or in any sort of romantic or sexual relationship, [2] and a third of people under 30 had never dated at all. [3]

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