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Fist-Fights. Flat-Screens. And Frenzy. These are the words we associate with Black Friday — a retail bonanza that has crept into the calendars of consumers well beyond the United States. In 2020, notwithstanding the potential setbacks associated with COVID19, sales reached a new record with American consumers spending $9 billion according to Adobe Analytics data. This is an increase of 21.6% from the $7.4 billion in 2019. For context, it means that consumers this year spent $6.3 million per minute. And these are only the online sales of Black Friday.

Popularly seen as an integral part of Thanksgiving traditions, much…


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Alternative poster for ‘Parasite’ designed by Andrew Bannister.

“Creation destroys as it goes, throws down one tree for the rise of another. But ideal mankind would abolish death, multiply itself a million upon million, rear up city upon city, save every parasite alive, until the accumulation of mere existence is swollen to a horror.”

— D.H. Lawrence

Spoilers follow for Parasite.

From the opening scene, the viewer is aware that Parasite that will make us uncomfortable, very uncomfortable. A family searches for Wifi because the one they leeched off of now has a password. A few frames later, a masked man busy fumigating the street appears and the…


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In the year 302, the Roman Emperor Diocletian received information about a group called the ‘Manicheans’ from his proconsul of Africa, Julianus. The religion, named after its founder, Mani who was martyred in Persia in 277, was becoming increasingly popular in Egypt as well as in Rome itself.

Diocletian grew concerned and issued an edict: “… namely the Manicheans, have arisen and advanced into this world very recently from among the Persians (a people antagonistic towards us) just like new and unexpected prodigies, and where they are committing many crimes, for example troubling peaceful peoples and introducing the gravest damage…


A true story of slavery and spirituality in 18th century Cape Town.

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On the evening of 14 July 1760, the slave Batjoe van Bali was on duty in the courtyard of his master’s house high up in Table Valley — the Cape Town suburb now known as Gardens. The night would have been cold, possibly rainy and certainly dark. The sounds associated with Table Mountain after dusk were not strange to Batjoe, but unbeknownst to him, a group of silent intruders were closing in on the courtyard. …


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Why are you even reading this? Surely the time would be better spent going through mortgages? Anyway, you are probably caught up that complex yet all too familiar web of guilt and having no more of anything to give. Sure, you spent all of May and most of June doing hardly anything, celebrating the end of law school and the last summer of adolescence. …


Spoilers up to and including Season 8, episode 3. I don’t read the books, I am not even a super fan of this show, don’t at me.

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Courtesy of HBO.

I survived The Long Night (S8e3) in daylight with my curtains open and without too much tension or stress thanks to the zealous on social media who were not content to post GoT related things without spoilers. The episode was more like a short dusk. But anyway…

Now that the threat of the Night King, his white walkers and gruesome army of the dead has mostly passed (unless you believe some crazy theories…


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At the start of the new year, I made my way into a Manhattan coffee shop, the kind of Greenwich Village establishment frequented by women in white shirts (sans any stains) wearing big earrings and red lips as they type away on laptops beneath manicured nails. Beside them are bros in active wear looking superhuman, couples who look normal and the parent of a new baby looking slightly worn out but happy to be there. …


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Edith Evans as Lady Pitts, John Van Dreelen as Ernest Piaste, and Cecil Parker as Sir Joseph Pitts in “Daphne Laureola” by William Auerbach-Levy

[Part II in a commentary on Daphne Laureola, Part I is available here]

From our contemporary viewpoint, we often forget that it was in fact the previous century that was labeled the “Age of Anxiety”. The events of the 20th century saw the kind of technological progress which has resulted in us knowing more of what we are, but has failed to tell us who we are.

James Bridie, the doctor and dramatist sought to portray individuals deeply at odds with society in an age of disintegrating values. When we engage with Bridie’s plays we are bonded to his characters…


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Douglas Miller/Stringer/Getty Images

No one enjoys flying economy. And those of us who do so out of necessity all have a story about that time the flight was relatively empty, both business and first class had no passengers, yet were still packed at the back in cattle class.

Isn’t it true that an empty seat in business class is a sunk cost by the time the aircraft takes off? Meaning that the airline company could display some good will by upgrading someone to that empty seat? Not quite.

A friend, who is a flight attendant for a premier international airline explained to me…


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Empathy is defined as “co-experiencing the situation of another” and takes place in two steps, first as perspective taking and then as emotion sharing. It’s about feeling the feelings of other people. For a while now we have been inundated with the view of empathy as the key to bettering humanity. From the Instagram selfies captioned with a quote on the value of being an ‘empath’, to the philosophy of giants such as Martha Nussbaum and Steven Pinker, empathy is written about almost everywhere. But as it turns out, empathy may in fact be all (about) the rage.

Professor Fritz…

Ibtisaam

Writer by nature, lawyer by training, possessor of multiplicities by choice.

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