COLOURING WITHOUT THE LINES

Recently, I watched Russell Brands episode of “Trews” (True News), about new colouringbooks for mindfullness. If you haven’t yet watched “The Trews”, I highly reccomend it. His insight on many news stories show a great form of critical thinking. The newest trend of colouringbooks for adults is topping the best-seller charts, and seems to be both popular with the general public and psychologists. Though seeming like a nice initiative, and probably a great way to de-stress, one could wonder if perhaps there are some more deep rooted issues that need adressing.

The main selling point (because, all in all, this is a product that needs to be bought) is that the activity is something that you do only for your own sake, and that you aren’t going to be evaluated for it. Also, that there are no rules for how it has to be done. Apparently the colouring book has shown results of reducing of sleeping disorders as well. Now, whilst this is a harmless trend, and actually quite positive, one could wonder if perhaps it is all to telling about our society today. We live in a time where everything is documented, and where we find ourselves almost uncertain if anything actually did happen if we didn’t take a picture. We have gotten ourselves in the habit of posting our lives online, pendig judgement from friends as well as strangers. And though there are a lot of positive aspects of social networking sites and blogs, there is still a fundamental insecurity that shines through that we tend to loose sight of when we take part in it ourselves. This need for approval is hidden in it’s own collectiveness.

Where people have always needed a certain amount of approval, it has never been so easy to find – and measure – in number of likes, retweets or comments. Also, the times we live in are incredibly stressful, and even traditional forms of de-stressing are measured and documented, that being running, meditation, or cooking. Programs such as “cupcake-wars” (which in itself is the most contradictory thought!) confirm our idea of everything that is done needs to be done for a purpuse that exeeds the activity itself. Even gardening, perhaps the simplest way to relieve stress, and feel connected and in touch with this world, and life in itself, has been made into a televised competition. Both competitive, and documented. What these colouringbooks are inadvertiadly doing is de-clothing us, and showing us for what we are; scared, uncertain and incredibly stressed.

Perhaps we have to look at the true issue at hand, like Russell Brand also suggests, and not just cure the symptoms of a much bigger, all compassing, problem. For these colouring books are not  a permanent soloution, but they can be a starting point to finding better ways to communicate with others as well as ourselves.

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Je ne suis pas Charlie

It shouldn’t be necessary for me to clarify that there is absolutely nothing that can defend the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo editorial – still, let it be clarified.

In the aftermath of the tragic terrorist attack this January, people all over the world have taken to defend the publication, and the slogan ”Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie), have been prominent in different social media’s. In Paris over one million people marched in the streets to defend the idea of freedom of speech. Normally, I would be more than thrilled to se so many people coming together, physically and not just digitally, to demonstrate for a good cause. Still, questions can be raised about the purpose of this support, because was our freedom of speech really ever under attack?

Firstly we have to go back and find the framework for what freedom of speech really is. Freedom of speech is about peoples right to express themselves verbally or orally about whatever they want – without obstruction or consequences from higher authorities. Rather than discuss where the limit is between blasphemy and freedom of speech, for instance, let us rather look at who freedom of speech protects us from; arrest or punishment form the countries authorities. Here we find the core of freedom of speech; one cannot be imprisoned (in a free democracy) for expressing an opinion that provokes your neighbour. However, freedom of speech in itself cannot protect you from how people, who act as individuals, will react. It is illegal for your neighbour to punch you if you provoke him – still the law is a judgement of past events, meaning the law itself cannot physically stop your neighbour from reacting in a certain way.

The French authorities did not, as far as I am informed, attempt to stop these pictures being printed. Charlie Hebdo were not robbed for their freedom of speech. With regards to the pictures that were printed, they are in my personal opinion, un-intelligent and extremely provoking. As a non-religious European, I felt offended by them. Even though I believe that French governments should not have interfered, I would never want to identify myself as “Charlie”.

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This terrorist attack was an attempt to terrorise all people that are not extremist Muslims. Even though it was a reaching to something being publicised, we know by experience that terrorists aren’t particularly hung up on their actions ability to be justified according to western values. Written and spoken freedom of speech are the main pillar for a well-functioning democracy, and we should defend it with everything we have. However, one may wonder if these drawings are getting us anywhere? Should we use our freedom of speech for more than just provoking?

The question forward is if we perhaps should directly address the elephant in the room rather than claiming our right to poke it without being trampled down?

So yes, let us talk about freedom of speech. Let us talk about Muslim women covered by niqabs without any real right to protest. Let us talk about North-Korea that currently is treating it’s inhabitants in similar ways as the Nazis treated the Jews in the second world war. There is nothing that is more important than us continuing to express ourselves about these topics, but let us discuss them in an intelligent, factual and honest way.

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NEW IN

 

Just the other day I showed you guys some Michael Kors sunglasses, and talked about spending ages finding the perfect fit. Well, yesterday, a miracle happened! At a great shop called Pull & Bear, I found TWO pairs of beautiful glasses with the perfect fit, and the best part – they were on a discount!

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I paid around 17 euros for these two all together, very pleased! So from 2 years without sunglasses to suddenly having 3 pairs is a huge step for me haha!