The Summer holidays offer a rare opportunity for me to relax, reflect, and read some of the books that have been piling up beside my bed all year.
One of my favourite books these holidays has been Naomi Klein’s latest release Doppelganger. It’s an intelligent and thoughtful examination of the rise of extremists and conspiracy theorists. It invites all of us to examine our own role in the creation of what she calls ‘The Mirror World’; a place where reality is a kaleidoscope of bizarre and warped beliefs. And it crystallises how so many people who’ve been lost down the QAnon hole have the right sentiment at heart, and frequently the right targets, but their fears are being exploited by nefarious profiteers invested in dividing us. Most importantly it asks us to consider what we’re not paying attention to while we’re focusing on our differences.
Which brings me to another great read I happened upon. It was a column written for the Nieman Lab’s predictions for 2024, titled Journalism’s next disruptor: Love. It introduced me to a new movement in the United States called Love Now Media (google it) where love becomes the lens through which ‘news’ stories are reported, and the fuel for radical change.
It’s a journalistic approach that I intend to take seriously into the future, as I am now more convinced than ever that love is the most powerful and radical act that one can commit.
Love is a verb, it requires action, and effort. For inspiration remember the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “Don’t let them get you to hate them.”