So, there you are, having worked your way through a crowd denser than a Brexit negotiation, standing in front of your prize. The Mona Lisa in the Louvre. What do you do? Look more closely at that enigmatic smile? Wonder at the subtle gradations of light and shadow in Leonardo’s rendering of the face? Admire the illusion of depth? No, of course not. You turn your back on the painting, whip out your phone and take a selfie. And then you move on to your next prize. You could be forgiven, amid the Brexit fracas, for not having noticed that Wednesday was Museum Selfie Day, a “fun day to encourage people to visit museums”, in the words of Mar Dixon, whose brainchild it was. A fun day? Not to the critics. “Art is serious. It is not light entertainment,” the Guardian’s Jonathan Jones wrote sternly in 2015, adding that selfies were a “spiritual menace” to museums and galleries. This might seem pompous and overwrought. For selfie enthusiasts, such … [Read more...] about Here’s me and the Mona Lisa. Who says that art and selfies can’t mix?
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Just as we are getting to grips with trying to live less wastefully (carrying reusable cups, eating less meat, flying less and buying less) along comes Christmas. The festive season is a frenzy of spending: in 2018, according to a survey by Deloitte, we spent an average of £299 per person on gifts in the UK, many cast aside on Boxing Day. There are signs that shopping habits are changing. This year, more than 60,000 people pledged to take part in #SecondHandSeptember, a campaign promoted by Oxfam, which estimates that more than two tonnes of clothing are bought in the UK every minute, generating the carbon emissions equivalent to driving a car round the world six times. Extinction Rebellion’s Boycott Fashion group has more than 18,000 followers. Hashtags such as #buynothingnew, #lovedclotheslast and #secondhandfirst are sources of inspiration. This year, the message isn’t shop till you drop: it’s slow down before it’s too late. Some people, including the … [Read more...] about Gifts that keep on giving: a guide to preloved Christmas shopping
Less than two months into his presidency, Donald Trump has already outperformed his Iranian rival in demagoguery, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, making him look like a novice. No wonder the two-term president thinks he has some catching-up to do. He published an 11-second-long video on Twitter on Sunday, urging people to follow his newly opened account, and leaving no doubt that the “husband, dad, grandfather, university professor, president, mayor, proud Iranian” behind @Ahmadinejad1956 is authentic. Had he not offered proof, it would have been almost impossible to tell it from the many parody accounts under his name. His use of English in that video, albeit quite basic and disjointed, suggests that this will be a platform to project his views to the outside world. Surely it’s only a matter of days before we see him mention @realDonaldTrump, potentially sparking a clash of two of the world’s most famous rabble rousers. But perhaps they will get on. There are, after all, … [Read more...] about Ahmadinejad and Trump on Twitter are a match made in heaven
Sign up for The week in patriarchy, a newsletter on feminism and sexism sent every Saturday. ‘Peloton husband’ finally shares his terrible ordeal Sean Hunter, a Canadian actor and school teacher, was thrilled when he booked a role in a Peloton ad. He had a blast filming the commercial and, when the ad came out in November, his friends kindly told him it was great. But this week the ad went viral and poor Hunter’s world started to fall apart. Twitter declared the ad Very Bad Indeed! People were mean about him on the internet and suggested the fictional husband he played was abusive. One of his own pals joked that Hunter had become a “symbol of the patriarchy”. Recounting his ordeal to Psychology Today, Hunter lamented that his “five seconds of air time created an array of malicious feedback that is all associated with my face”. In order to distant himself from the commercial, Hunter changed his Instagram handle to pelotonhusband, For … [Read more...] about ‘Peloton husband’ trying to prove he’s not sexist misses the whole point
The original Camden Town Brewery, which nestles under a set of railway arches in London’s fashionable Kentish Town, is one of the most Instagrammed places in the UK. It’s hard to imagine the brewer, which was in the vanguard of the craft beer movement, is going to have the same appeal to hipsters after its move to a huge purpose-built shed on an anonymous north London industrial estate. But this is the new home of Hells lager: a £30m facility that Jasper Cuppaidge, the brewer’s founder, hopes will turn it into a national and potentially international success. It is the largest investment in London brewing for 30 years. Camden made headlines in 2015 when Cuppaidge sold the business he had founded with friends to Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s biggest drinks company, for an estimated £85m. The deal led to handwringing as fans complained that it had literally and metaphorically sold out. “It’s wonderful that people care so much about … [Read more...] about Camden Town Brewery founder insists big can also be beautiful