From the Editors
They say that this lockdown has felt more hopeless than our previous experiences, and I have to admit, I feel it. Delta is scary and looming over us, turning up at our supermarkets, in the wastewater, in random cases in the community.
It’s only natural to feel anxious right now. Anxiety is there to keep us safe, avoid threats, and maintain our survival. But it can kick into overdrive, feeling as if it’s causing more harm than good. Our world is going through a collective health scare, one that feels unknown and out of control. Human beings are remarkably resilient and extremely fragile all at the same time. We live on the edge between these two states, picking ourselves back up after setbacks and trauma, whilst still bearing the scars of these occurrences. We are defined by living in a world which is inhospitable, scary, and threatening, while also being beautiful, surprising, and extraordinary.
Lockdown is a bit confronting. You have endless hours to think about everything. Obsessively refreshing “covid nz” in your google search before you’ve even gotten out of bed in the morning. Googling symptoms for a strange ache in your body and having the word cancer pop up immediately. Stalking your ex’s Spotify every five minutes and trying to equate his listening habits to how much he’s thinking about you. Lockdown can be a time when your old habits, underlying mental health issues, or unprocessed trauma can slowly reveal itself again. And though that sounds ominous, it can also be used as a time to dive deep within ourselves, and try to “do the work”, whatever that really means. Which also includes self-compassion. In keeping with the theme of this issue, we have a lot of power when it comes to the way we approach situations, the way we can change our thinking, and the way we can alter our headspace. So if you are beating yourself up over getting out of bed at 1pm, or lying facedown for half of the 20 minute YouTube pilates tutorial, or drinking three beers instead of two, give yourself a break. This is survival, baby, and sometimes being a human is kinda tough.
Over one of our regular morning calls, I confidently announced to Alana that I would do a daily log-type entry for my section of the editorial. It did not last. Throughout this lockdown I’ve found that even the simplest of tasks sap my energy. My usual nap-averse self – they tend to give me sleep paralysis or worse – was snoozing through many an afternoon, with no trouble sleeping at night either. Tasks that would usually have me fired up left me feeling indifferent. Past lockdowns had me either unemployed or in the hospo-life so time was spent watching four movies a day or writing screenplays. I’m still enjoying myself, but finding that balance has been tricky, so shoutout to everyone who has the pressure of productivity breathing down their neck. There really is something missing from not going into campus – maybe it’s the zest of a poorly ventilated office which now seems like a bit of a hazard.
Anyway, power is a cool topic. Power is everywhere. Power(lines) is Tame Impala’s secret best song that no one knows about because it’s on a B-side no one knows about. Power can be invisible, as Justin reveals. Power is in the fabric and outfit of how you dress, as Lucy reports. With great power comes great responsibility, a lesson that flew over the heads of Silicon Valley, as David argues. Relationships have potent residual power, as Alana and Kubra demonstrate. Power is often the missing ingredient, as that piece I was going to write about but lost motivation to perfectly encapsulates. The short version is: check out some Adam Curtis documentaries if you need some lockdown binging material, like the current-events relevant Bitter Lake, which is both a damning look into Western foreign intervention in the Middle East and a compelling, spiritual adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Curtis surveys contemporary history through the lens of power and as far as must-watch documentaries go, they’re at the top of the list for his marriage of content and style.