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A letter to the UK from Italy: this is what we know about your future
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Keso Bigvava
Tbilisi · 3 months ago

The acclaimed Italian novelist Francesca Melandri, who has been under lockdown in Rome for almost three weeks due to the Covid-19 outbreak, has written a letter to fellow Europeans “from your future”, laying out the range of emotions people are likely to go through over the coming weeks.

I am writing to you from Italy, which means I am writing from your future. We are now where you will be in a few days. The epidemic’s charts show us all entwined in a parallel dance.

We are but a few steps ahead of you in the path of time, just like Wuhan was a few weeks ahead of us. We watch you as you behave just as we did. You hold the same arguments we did until a short time ago, between those who still say “it’s only a flu, why all the fuss?” and those who have already understood.

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As we watch you from here, from your future, we know that many of you, as you were told to lock yourselves up into your homes, quoted Orwell, some even Hobbes. But soon you’ll be too busy for that.

First of all, you’ll eat. Not just because it will be one of the few last things that you can still do.

You’ll find dozens of social networking groups with tutorials on how to spend your free time in fruitful ways. You will join them all, then ignore them completely after a few days.

You’ll pull apocalyptic literature out of your bookshelves, but will soon find you don’t really feel like reading any of it.

You’ll eat again. You will not sleep well. You will ask yourselves what is happening to democracy.

You’ll have an unstoppable online social life – on Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom…

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You will miss your adult children like you never have before; the realisation that you have no idea when you will ever see them again will hit you like a punch in the chest.

Old resentments and falling-outs will seem irrelevant. You will call people you had sworn never to talk to ever again, so as to ask them: “How are you doing?” Many women will be beaten in their homes.

You will wonder what is happening to all those who can’t stay home because they don’t have one. You will feel vulnerable when going out shopping in the deserted streets, especially if you are a woman. You will ask yourselves if this is how societies collapse. Does it really happen so fast? You’ll block out these thoughts and when you get back home you’ll eat again.

You will put on weight. You’ll look for online fitness training.

You’ll laugh. You’ll laugh a lot. You’ll flaunt a gallows humour you never had before. Even people who’ve always taken everything dead seriously will contemplate the absurdity of life, of the universe and of it all.

You will make appointments in the supermarket queues with your friends and lovers, so as to briefly see them in person, all the while abiding by the social distancing rules.

You will count all the things you do not need.

The true nature of the people around you will be revealed with total clarity. You will have confirmations and surprises.

Literati who had been omnipresent in the news will disappear, their opinions suddenly irrelevant; some will take refuge in rationalisations which will be so totally lacking in empathy that people will stop listening to them. People whom you had overlooked, instead, will turn out to be reassuring, generous, reliable, pragmatic and clairvoyant.

Those who invite you to see all this mess as an opportunity for planetary renewal will help you to put things in a larger perspective. You will also find them terribly annoying: nice, the planet is breathing better because of the halved CO2 emissions, but how will you pay your bills next month?

You will not understand if witnessing the birth of a new world is more a grandiose or a miserable affair.

You will play music from your windows and lawns. When you saw us singing opera from our balconies, you thought “ah, those Italians”. But we know you will sing uplifting songs to each other too. And when you blast I Will Survive from your windows, we’ll watch you and nod just like the people of Wuhan, who sung from their windows in February, nodded while watching us.

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Many of you will fall asleep vowing that the very first thing you’ll do as soon as lockdown is over is file for divorce.

Many children will be conceived.

Your children will be schooled online. They’ll be horrible nuisances; they’ll give you joy.

Elderly people will disobey you like rowdy teenagers: you’ll have to fight with them in order to forbid them from going out, to get infected and die.

You will try not to think about the lonely deaths inside the ICU.

You’ll want to cover with rose petals all medical workers’ steps.

You will be told that society is united in a communal effort, that you are all in the same boat. It will be true. This experience will change for good how you perceive yourself as an individual part of a larger whole.

#italy Italy
Keso Bigvava
Tbilisi · 3 months ago
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Giorgi Gvajaia
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Giorgi Gvajaia
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Ana Liparteliani
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Giorgi Gvajaia
Tbilisi · 1 year ago
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Nika Romanadze
Kobuleti · 4 months ago
National day of pryer in USA
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Mark Lowcock, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, in The Daily Telegraph on a human tragedy more brutal than Covid’s health impacts The developing world faces a health, economic and security crisis that will dwarf the impact of Covid “Economic downturn, rising unemployment and reduced school attendance one year significantly increases the likelihood of civil war the next. Violent conflict drives famine and mass displacement. Based on current forecasts for food insecurity, refugee outflows could increase significantly. These problems might not be immediately apparent the way virus deaths are, but it is not hard to see that they are coming down the track. When they do materialise, it will be hard to explain why we did not act now. We can claim to have been taken by surprise by Covid-19, but we won’t be able to say the same of the development and security crises it is set to trigger. A call for money right now can be a difficult ask. 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There may be elements in our programmes which are so offensive that a public service broadcaster should not leave them on any platform.” UK News Europe US Middle East Africa South and Central Asia Media Science & Health Politics Society Coronavirus Covid-19 Lockdown Donald Trump poverty Child Poverty#world_news
The Week UK
London · 1 day ago
Instant Opinion: Keir Starmer must offer more than ‘not being Jeremy Corbyn’
Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Monday 13 July Reaction The Week Staff Monday, July 13, 2020 - 2:20pm The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each. 1. Tom Harris in The Daily Telegraph on the first 100 days of the Labour leader After 100 days, Keir Starmer needs to offer voters more than ‘not being Jeremy Corbyn’ “The improvements he has made to his party’s – and his own – standing are real and important. That he has made mistakes along the way should hardly surprise anyone, although he needs to make fewer of them if he is to establish himself as a natural repository of anti-government support. Electorates have a nasty habit of making judgments about politicians in the very first few weeks of their tenure, and then refusing to reverse that judgment. The Covid lockdown may have given Starmer a longer period to bed in and might even allow him to have an effective relaunch on the other side of this crisis. From the perspective of a former member, Starmer represents a breath of fresh air for most Labour supporters after five fraught years. But a sense of relief won’t be enough for all those red wall voters, because – and I speak from experience – once you get out of the habit of voting Labour, it’s harder than you might expect to get back into it.” 2. Nesrine Malik in The Guardian in defence of those decried as ‘online mobs’ The ‘cancel culture’ war is really about old elites losing power in the social media age See related What is cancel culture? “Whenever I talk to people who are suddenly concerned about ‘cancel culture’ or ‘online mobs’, my first thought is always: ‘Where have you been for the last decade?’ I’ve been online long enough and, like many others, been receiving criticism and abuse online for long enough, to know that what some see as a new pattern of virtual censure by moral purists is mostly a story about the internet, not ideology or identity. If critics of ‘cancel culture’ are worried about opinions, posts and writings being constantly patrolled by a growing group of haters, then I am afraid they are extremely late to the party. I cannot remember a time where I have written or posted anything without thinking: ‘How many ways can this possibly be misconstrued, and can I defend it if it were?’ It’s not even a conscious thought process now, it’s instinct.” 3. Sean O’Grady in The Independent on the recovery of the British economy Forget global Britain - thanks to Brexit, coronavirus and a trade war with China, we’re losing our grip “There’s something heroic about Britain trying to chuck its weight around this way, and of course no one wants to do business with bullies and tyrants. But still, if the British economy is going to recover from the coronavirus-induced recession and go on to grow in the 2020s it will need its friends and its markets, and the British now seem to intent on blanking virtually everyone. The opportunities seem to be contracting rather than expanding. As everyone agrees, the UK is a great trading nation, and since before the industrial revolution has made its living from selling abroad, but the we don’t seem to be living up to the original hopes of ‘unleashing Britain’s potential’.” 4. John Prideaux, US editor of The Economist, in The Times on an abolitionist deserving of a pedestal A slavery statue we can all agree on: Frederick Douglass “On both sides of the Atlantic a great debate about statues is under way. So far the focus has mostly been on which lumps of bronze and marble should be removed by crane, or pushed into the harbour. There has been less discussion of what to do with all the empty plinths this creates. Yet putting up statues is fun. It is an opportunity to honour someone who should be universally admired and, therefore, to make a statement about what the society doing the putting up values. For those reasons Britain ought to have a statue of America’s greatest campaigner for the abolition of slavery, Frederick Douglass. Douglass had such an extraordinary life that the three autobiographies he wrote hardly seem sufficient.” 5. Nick Akerman, an assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, in The New York Times on the unfair fight set up for the special prosecutor Did Mueller Ever Stand a Chance Against Trump and Roger Stone? “From the start, Mr. Mueller was restrained by Justice Department regulations. He was barred, for example, from looking into the broader relationship between Mr. Trump and Russia through a review of Mr. Trump’s financial records and tax returns. Furthermore, according to the Mueller report, Mr. Trump made multiple attempts to fire the special counsel, and it is difficult, if not almost impossible, to conduct an investigation under those circumstances... Looking ahead, there needs to be a better mechanism in extraordinary circumstances - like Watergate and Russian interference in the 2016 election - that allows for the appointment of a truly independent special prosecutor. We were lucky to get the Mueller report, but Mr. Mueller was acting under restraints. Unfortunately history tells us that we will need special counsels in the years ahead, under extraordinary circumstances, and like we did with Watergate, that office should have true independence to protect our country and Constitution.” UK News US Russia Crime Science & Health Politics Society Law Keir Starmer Jeremy Corbyn Social media Boris Johnson Brexit slavery Donald Trump Russia US election 2016#world_news
Artists Voyage
Tbilisi · 1 month ago
“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”
On that story, the little prince, fell in love instantly with a rose in his asteroid. The little prince care so much to the rose. The rose with its thorns seems defenseless and susceptible- and yet, she shows off her thorns and puts on a superior attitude. But the rose’s vanity and demands cause the heartbreak of the little prince. And thus, he decided to leave its asteroid and the rose. “She cast her fragrance and her radiance over me. I ought never to have run away from her… I ought to have guessed all the affection that lay behind her poor little stratagems. Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her…” Just before the prince leaves, the rose said to it’s prince : “Of course I love you,” the flower said to him. “It is my fault that you have not known it all the while. That is of no importance. But you — you have been just as foolish as I. Try to be happy…” On his voyage to the earth, he come across a huge rose garden, and he realised that his roses were not the only one in the universe. “There might be millions of roses in the whole world, but you’re my only one, unique rose.” On the movie adaptation, the rose is the reason why the prince come back to its asteroid even though it’s too late that the rose has dead. “. . . One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes. . . . It’s the time that you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important. . . . You become responsible for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose. . . .” The story was telling a beautiful story of love. As the rose, we may take the love that’s being given as granted, and thus, we forgot to ’taking care’ of the love itself. And as a little prince, we may need to go around the world to realise that our rose is the only one because ‘anything essential is invisible to the eyes…’ Even though the rose is being portrayed in the story as a vain, foolish, frail, and naïve creature, the little prince loves that rose. Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.#littleprince #rose #fox #art #love Tbilisi
Tata Kvara
Tbilisi · 1 year ago
“If you haven't yet decided where to spend your summer vacation, let me recommend visiting Georgia and give you just a few (out of MANY) reasons why: 1. It's cheap! Traveling here, especially with Dollars or Euros, you will feel like a king! to give you an example: a cab ride within most parts of the city center are around 2-3 Dollars! 2. It's beautiful and diverse! No matter what you are into: nature, hiking/camping, historical sights, if you love the mountains or the sea, vibrant city, or intimate village life, you can experience it all here! And since everything is so close, you don't have to choose! 3. The food and wine is amazing! If you make decisions with your stomach, well, this is the place for you. As the cradle of wine, you can taste over 8000 years of wine-making tradition, along with our diverse, delicious choice of traditional and fusion dishes. 4. If you love music and a good time: If you are into electronic music, love festivals and the club scene, well good news: Tbilisi is the New Berlin! Check out our world-renowned club Bassiani or attend the ECOWAVES Festival by the sea! 5. If you will go to great extents to capture that perfect Instagram pic, look no further! you will find thousands of picture perfect instagramable places to create your next, original story/post. 6. And last, but not least: If you like standing up to dictators and bullies and like being part of a good cause, if you believe in democracy and human rights and like rooting for the underdog: As you may have heard, 20% of Georgia has been occupied by Russia since the 2008 war. In the midst of rising tensions, Russian president Putin has blocked flights from Russia to Georgia with the aim of crippling our economy, which largely thrives on tourism, especially Russian tourists. By visiting Georgia you'll not only have a wonderful, memorable trip, but will succeed in fighting back an oppressive, backward, fucked up regime.” Please share to spread the word!