1. What will future generations condemn us for? by Kwame Anthony Appiah
This brilliant article for the Washington Post (which is fast becoming my favourite publication for thoughtful, considered journalism) contemplates what our children and children's children will look back on in dismay and wonder... What were people thinking? Kwame outlines three signs that a current practice is destined for future condemnation: arguments against the practice; counter-arguments invoking tradition, human nature or necessity, as opposed to morals; and supporters engaging what Kwame terms "strategic ignorance" of the realities of the practice, usually the human cost. This is definitely piece of writing that opens your mind and makes you question the state of society today.
2. Carey Mulligan for Vogue Magazine
Isn't she adorable? If you haven't seen An Education yet, you must. You can see the full shoot here, at Tom and Lorenzo's blog.
As I side note, reading Tom and Lorenzo's evaluation of this shoot led me to realise that there are different appreciations of beauty amongst different groups. Of course, I am grossly generalising here and I mean absolutely no offence but, for example, heterosexual men tend to love Megan Fox; gay men are smitten with Cate Blanchett; and women love Sarah Jessica Parker (whose beauty a lot of men just cannot fathom). So the criteria seems to be: straight men, sexiness; gay men, fabulousness (which equates to confidence and put-togetherness - not a word, I know!); and women, quirkiness, style, prettiness. Of course that does not take into consideration the extremely wide spectrum of inclinations within each of those groups, but it does show that there is an infinite amount of space in the world for the celebration and appreciation of all kinds of beauty (and not just that "perfection" found on the red carpet and the pages of fashion magazines).
Openness, simplicity and lightness... just gorgeous.
4. It Gets Better, by Dan Savage
This video is part of the It Gets Better campaign which aims to fight suicide amongst gay teens. Dan and Terry explain that high school is not life; as soon as it is over, we are free to create a wonderful, amazing life - the best revenge to those awful bullies who plague high school years for anybody who is a little different (and doesn't expend all their energy trying to hide it).
5. This Simone de Beauvoir quote
"I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life, I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and to be unselfish… You see, it is difficult to get all which I want. And then when I do not succeed I get mad with anger."
- Simone de Beauvoir