This is a reckoning
Written by Kevin Pringle
20 March 2021
This week’s Read on the Street comes with little in the way of commentary, other than to urge men to reflect deeply on the first article. It’s impossible to believe other than that if men had to live with the daily fear described by Ellen Halliday, it would be regarded as the national and indeed global crisis it is.
May we all get some reading and thinking time this weekend.
1. ‘I AM HERE!’
Today, 44 years after the first Reclaim the Night march in Leeds, women still fear to walk on the streets after dark. The stories are countless – calculating safer routes, straying off the course to avoid dark parks, one earphone out, keys in knuckles. Ellen Halliday’s story is just one of them, but it speaks for millions when it says:
“What does a woman dream of, when she walks through the streets? Of the freedom not just to walk but to wander. To saunter, meander – hell, skip. To explore…To stand alone in a darkened street without fear, and shout to the rooftops, ‘I AM HERE!’”
Read in Tortoise
2. West Lothian’s sleeping giants
The “sleeping giants” of West Lothian – waste bings generated by Scotland’s shale oil industry in the 19th and 20th centuries – transformed the landscape and have themselves been transformed by time and nature. Read about how they are now havens for flora and fauna, including rare plant species.
Read in The Guardian
3. High self-esteem is overrated
In this beautifully written piece for The Times, James Marriott takes on the presumption that high self-esteem is “the root of human flourishing, success and happiness.” In fact, it’s rather the opposite – at best an unattractive trait, at worst a catalyst for failure. Better to be self-punishing, he concludes, and work for the esteem of others.
Read in The Times
4. Rio de Janeiro’s deepening crisis
In Rio de Janeiro, Covid-19 and the accompanying recession have worsened the outlook of a city where a third of young people are unemployed. Sixty per cent of the city’s area now lies under the control of gangs: drug traffickers as well as militias, who wage urban warfare against the city authorities.
Read in the FT
5. A pandemic silver lining for the world’s fastest shrinking nation
There is nothing new about young people leaving the Balkans behind in search of work or education abroad. What is new, however, is that many of them are starting to return. As the pandemic struck Europe last March, thousands of young Bulgarians living abroad returned home, to find a very different country from the one had they left. Better job prospects and a less stressful life has prompted some to stay for good.
Read in Balkan Insight
And finally… Imagine a world without celebrity culture
A year ago, Wonder Woman and Justice League star Gal Gadot unleashed her now infamous cover of Imagine – to date, one of the worst things to emerge during lockdown – on the unsuspecting world. This piece explores how the sorry saga and a three-minute Instagram video changed our relationship with the celebrity class during the pandemic – quite possibly forever.
Read in The Telegraph