A tale of sour snake absolutism
Written by Katie Stanton, Associate Partner
Edited by Laura Hamilton, Managing Partner
When it comes to sour snakes, the orange and pink ones are the best.
You’ll note I use colours as descriptors here; there is no discernible way to tell what flavour each fluorescent stripe emulates, they’re just somewhere in that murky ground between incredibly sweet and horribly sour.
Uniquely balanced in acidity and zest, the orange and pinks are so good I have long since forgotten to enjoy the other snakes. I sweat my way through the green and yellows (way too sour), chew on past the red and yellows (a bit too sour), until finally I am left with a snake pit radiating pure glorious orange pink.
In reality, the others aren’t so traumatic. Granted, they’re not a 10 out of 10 – but they’re definitely no worse than a seven. The upset then is just a consequence of my laser focus on the most delicious; the others pale in comparison.
And so, to my point. In always reaching for the absolute pinnacle, we sometimes forget the joy of the journey, of compromise, of other taste, feeling, opinion, emotion. Our blinkered appetite for what we know or favour means we dismiss the alternative and, before you know it, we’re down a full bag of snakes and two days’ recommended sugar intake.
We can apply this to life generally, to social media specifically, and to this crisis particularly. The digital world has become the only world for many. And it is a fruity hotbed of cancel culture, dismissing dissent and total tunnel vision. We’re all reaching for our orange and pink snakes and forgetting that a crucial part of being human is experiencing difference.
Both sides of the political spectrum are guilty of this in some way. Donald Trump - and many of his stauncher supporters – is the caricature example of not looking beyond his own experience; and the far left is often no better. Right now JK Rowling is experiencing the brutal repercussions, including verbal abuse and physical threats, of having an opinion different to the prevailing thought.
It’s scary not to go along with the crowd, because there are consequences, both personal and commercial. That’s why leaders across industry face a choice: get it ‘right’ by Twitter or stay the heck out of it. But whether right or wrong, being too frightened to speak up and ask questions is a far cry from the diverse, vivid melting pot of democracy we all thought we lived in.
There is no easy solution. But certainly, absolutism is creeping slowly into our lives and our confectionary cupboards.
Enough, I say. We are all different – and that is the sweetest treat of all.
The US President Donald Trump has threatened to “take back” a police-free district where protesters have been given free rein in Seattle. Police abandoned the area on Monday after days of violent confrontation with demonstrators. Trump said the area had been overtaken by “domestic terrorists” but he has been advised by colleagues in Washington not to meddle.
Violent protestors face “24-hour justice” if they cause criminal damage or assault police officers, amid mounting concerns that Britain is facing a summer of unrest. The fast-track court plans come as more Black Lives Matter demonstrations, as well as far-right counter-protests, are expected this week.
The government’s plan to distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) during the coronavirus pandemic was undermined because officials failed to stockpile gowns and visors despite warnings to do so, Whitehall’s spending watchdog has revealed.
Business and economy
The UK economy shrunk 20.4% in April – the largest monthly contraction on record – as the full impact of lockdown is felt.
Due to the threat of coronavirus, the UK Government is expected to apply much less rigorous EU border checks on imports than it had initially planned after the Brexit transition period finishes at the end of this year.
US-based private equity group KKR has asked its financial and legal advisers to “share in the economic pain” by providing discounts on work done this year, even as it has emerged as the most aggressive private equity investor during the economic downturn. (£)
Columns of note
Writing in The New Yorker ,Casey Cep asks: is there a religious left? Faith on the left is alternately “ignored and fetishized”, paraded only during election cycles and generally not as celebrated as it is on the right. Cep charts different experiences of the religious left and the history of faith and politics in an eye-opening look at something that often goes unmentioned or unmoored. (£)
In this week’s New Statesman, Megan Nolan looks at why the story of Madeleine McCann still dominates the media despite the global pandemic and huge civil unrest.
Source: The Times
What happened yesterday?
Stock markets in the US and Europe suffered their worst one-day falls since March after investors were rattled by the Federal Reserve’s assessment of US economic prospects and fresh concerns over a second wave of coronavirus.
The FTSE 100 closed down four per cent, and Europe’s regional benchmark, the Stoxx 600, tumbled 4.1%.
In company news:
Unilever announced plans to abandon its dual Anglo-Dutch corporate structure in favour of a single company based in London.
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus is set to ditch its planned derivatives market for the airline industry to hedge against volatile ticket prices. (£)
Morrisons has suffered a big shareholder protest over executive pay, with more than a third of votes cast at the AGM against a policy that authorises large pension contributions.
Heathrow airport is seeking voluntary redundancies as it braces for a prolonged decline in passenger traffic, after a 97% drop in May. (£)
What's happening today?
City Pub Group.
UK economic announcements
(07:00) Manufacturing Production
(07:00) Index of Services
(07:00) Gross Domestic Product
(07:00) Balance of Trade
(07:00) Industrial Production
Intl. economic announcements
(10:00) Industrial Production (EU)
(13:30) Import and Export Price Indices (US)
(15:00) U. of Michigan Confidence (Prelim) (US)
Source: FTSE 100, Financial Times
Did you know?
You are more likely to grant requests if they are spoken into your right ear rather than your left.
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