My experience in the land of Norman cows

I am an avowed cheese fanatic. I still have to find the one type of cheese I dislike and no quantity has ever been deemed enough. Ok, in the interest of full disclosure I have to state that once, I ingested -and soon after expectorated- a small gob of Norwegian brown cheese. But then I passionately believe that in this case the term cheese is being used very loosely. It is more of a ‘caramel gloop of uncertain Nordic origins’ and somebody should probably take the Norwegians to court for deceptive marketing.

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But I digress. The point I am trying to make here is that cheese and I are BFFs. Which is why, whenever I take a short break from this tedious city-life of ours, I prefer to retreat to bovine-infested regions that excel in the production of cheeses (Norwegian definition excepted). There I roam the pastures and stuff myself with as much of the substance as possible: an activity otherwise known in culinary circles as ‘tasting’. My most recent foray was in the land of Norman cows. …


Hollywood and TV are waking up to the need for racial diversification on screen. But what is the right balance?

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I understand the need for racial diversification in the cast of movies and TV series. Indeed I am all in favour of it. Our big and small screens have, for too long, been stuck in stereotypes. Even worse, they have been miscasting roles, with white actors playing the parts of historically-black persons. That is wrong: it twists facts and inculcates the abhorrent idea of white supremacy. Recent movies have gone through pains to ensure that their main cast is as racially-diversified as possible. The line-up of Star Wars Episode 8 is a perfect example.

This is a good attitude which goes in lockstep with the ubiquity and geographical reach of movies in our societies and the effect that Hollywood has on the global psyche. Exactly because of this responsibility, however, in some instances the reaction is going a tad too far. …


An open letter to world’s highest paid, disgruntled employee

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Footballer Paul Pogba is unhappy at work. Or so it has been reported some time back by The Guardian and other news outlets. He is so unhappy, it seems, that he cannot give his 100% on the field.

Now, I have read this news after a rather difficult night, which left me in a mood so dark that even the floodlights of the Eiffel Tower would not be enough to lift. So, Mr. Pogba, allow me to be unfair and pull a few punches at you.

Mr. Pogba, I know how you feel. I do. We all do in fact. Look around you. Do you think the supermarket cashier who serves you (assuming you do your own foodstuff shopping) is always happy at work? Try asking the kit person who cleans your shoes after each game whether he or she is always satisfied with their work. I am sure the answer will be a resounding “no”. But here is the thing Mr. Pogba, how would you take it if the cashier had to bungle your bill because she feels entitled not to give her hundred 100%? Would you understand the kit person if in his disgruntlement with his job he confuses your boots with those of Romelu Lukaku? …


Do we praise our children too much?

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My parents, like many others, did a fantastic job. And to those who know me personally and are shaking their heads and tutting: just imagine how I would have turned out had they not been exceptional!

Still, during my childhood, most of the scientific information on infant psychology and child-rearing available to parents nowadays (aka in some circles as ‘total BS’ — and it is not short for ‘Brilliant Science’) was beyond my parent’s reach. …


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“I enjoy ironing”.

This phrase did not come from my mother, who for good reason hates the chore, but from a ten year old girl. I was sitting at the table with her father, a close friend of mine, and her brother at the end of dinner. A moment before she had just stood up on her own accord to prepare dessert for the whole table and was melting chocolate in a bain-marie with the dedication of a Cordon Bleu chef. Her zeal had inspired us to talk about children and house-work.

“You have to tell me how you managed to raise your daughter to enjoy such house chores!”, …


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Passive smoking is a terrible thing. If I were given a Wand of Definitive Disparition I would, in the bat of a sorcerous eyelid, rid the world of two things: mosquitoes and cigarettes. Ok, and possibly a few persons too, but I cannot go public on that. What? Yes, yes, war and weapons too… yes, and disease. Ok, I suppose I could include Justin Bieber… Hey! It is my wand and it has only limited charges, ok? And anyway, my point here is that I hate cigarettes and it’s not about making the world a better place!

Ashes of the past

I have always had a deep hate of the thing. There I would be, frolicking around, a happy child playing in a world as yet uncontaminated by carcinogens and nuclear fall-outs (or at least not conscious of them) when an acquaintance would walk up to me, enveloped in a bluish haze. Said acquaintance would take a puff, exclaim how quickly and healthily I was growing and then proceed to ruffle my hair (yes, there was a time when even I had a mop) with the same offending hand holding the damned cigarette!! No wonder I lost my hair early! Surely, there must be a study somewhere linking smoking relatives to early baldness. …


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It is as clear as it gets. Scientists are warning us that we have just over a decade to correct the course of global warming. We fail, we die.

In 12 years we might just be able to make it. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure that we won’t. And the reason is simple: we are a short-term society.

Now, at this point one may be tempted to start arguing over whether this is all anthropogenic or simply cyclical in nature. The truth is probably nuanced. But that would be a waste of precious time. …


I have been hearing about Mark Manson’s book for sometime. Which is why I included it in my last purchase from Book Depository: more out of curiosity than anything else. The orange dust-jacket claims it sold over 3 million copies. But is The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck really worth the dough?

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It took me little over 48 hours to get through the book. It is very flowing, easily digestible and written in a frank, almost conversational, manner. …

About

André Corrado

Policy advisor, Archaeologist, father and writer. I spent my childhood running barefoot on beaches that don’t exist anymore. www.andrecorrado.com

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