Leave comrade Britney alone!
Let’s be honest: from the moment we first heard Britney Spears’ …Baby One More Time we knew it would inevitably end in the dismantling of capitalism.
And now, thanks to Britney’s Instagram, we have officially entered the endgame. Just as Marx predicted in his seminal 1893 monograph “Oops… The Monopoly of Capital is a Fetter upon the Mode of Production, Again”.
Britney caused a stir when she shared a provocative post that suggested the current lockdown and economic collapse could, and should, mark the start of a new and better world.
And hell, is there anyone remotely sane who isn’t desperately hoping she’s right?
“During this time of isolation we need connection more than ever,” the piece begins, attributed to writer Mimi Zhu. “We will learn to hold and kiss each other through the waves of the web. We will feed each other, redistribute wealth, strike. We will understand our own importance from the places we must stay.”
And just in case you thought maybe Britney accidentally hit send, her post included not one but three rose emojis — the symbol of democratic socialism. Seems like the dame knows her history.
Rumours around the postponement of her new single “Make Me Sweat (Like The Lawrence Textile Strike of 1912)” could not be confirmed at press time.
These aren’t the dolphins you’re looking for
We all need good news in these horrible times, and there are some silver linings among the gathering clouds.
Emissions worldwide are way down, air quality is way up and, according to some much-shared online videos, the gondala-free canals of Venice are so clean now that fish are visible and frolicking dolphins, swans and other wildlife have returned, inspiring hope in these dark times something Gaia something something Legend of Fern Gully.
And far be it for me to take away any joy at a time when it’s more elusive than a 24 pack of Sorbent Silky White, but that story isn’t quite as inspirational as you might wish it to be.
Internet fact checkers Snopes did a deep dive into these less-murky-than-usual waters and concluded that the lockdown has only been a boon for fish-watchers — the boats usually kick up sediment, and their absence means the water is clearer but not necessarily cleaner.
Meanwhile, the dolphins and swans weren’t in what you’d normally think of as Venice: the swans are pretty regular visitors to the canals of Murano, which is a completely different island to the one the city is on, though is at least technically part of Venice’s greater metropolitan area.
It’s harder to fudge the dolphins though, since geotags in the video clip code reveal that they were filmed off the coast of Sardinia, which is a part of Venice in much the same way that Stradbroke Island is part of Newcastle, 700-odd kilometres away.
Still, at least they’re all having fun, smug COVID-19-immune jerks.
Love in the time of corona
These are dark days for the internet dating biz, as the entire planet involuntarily harkens back to a more genteel age where wooing one’s swain involved the exchange of correspondence rather than the rather less stately (but arguably more efficient) “U up?” text at 2am.
And Tinder has decided to embrace this by freely offering Passport, its service for international matches, until the end of April.
It has hitherto been a paid service for the globe-trotting romantic-on-the-go, on the not-unreasonable grounds that now it doesn’t much matter whether you match with someone on your block or on the other side of the world since you’ll be meeting up exactly as much right now.
And hey, anything which helps alleviate the crushing feeling of isolation for people not trapped with significant others is by definition good.
And Tinder has already been reportedly used as a way for people to share information about the local COVID-19 situation — especially for places like Wuhan where the flow of information was being strictly regulated.
So yes, this is terrible time to be looking for love — but who predicted that Tinder would spearhead a return to international pen friends?