Friday, 17 September 2021

Introspection

For 16 years now I have been writing a regular film blog, first in Swedish (a link to the very first post in 2005) and from 2009 in English. That is a lot of writing. It happens at times that I begin to write a new post and after a while I start to have a nagging feeling of having written about that topic before, so I double-check and yes, I had done so, and now must come up with a new topic. I am sure I have unwittingly published stuff that I had already written about. At some point I should do an inventory and catalogue it all, so I know what is there. I should probably include the non-blog writing as well as my articles and reviews have been piling up since I was first published in 1997, at the tender age of 22. We have all passed a lot of water since then, as Samuel Goldwyn might have said.

Now I am feeling a need for changing things, and for asking myself some relevant questions. Not just about the blog but about life in general. The combination of aging (which I do not mind), the pandemic, and the climate emergency, make me want to consider what I do, what I focus on, or, to be as all-encompassing as possible, how I spend my time. We could all spend our time more wisely; the difficulty is finding out how. I do not mean better "time management" or engaging in "life hacks" as these are not just off-putting terms but are also usually based on misunderstandings of time as well as life. You cannot manage time, and the answer to your problems is not to take shortcuts in order to be more productive or efficient, but accepting that you cannot do all the things you want to, and settle for doing less instead. "Life is short" is a popular expression, but people often take this to mean that you need to be more efficient so you can do more things during that allegedly short lifespan. That might seem like luxury, unavailable for those who struggle to survive from day to day, but it also causes stress and anxieties for lots of people, and in the end it will probably make life feel even shorter. (Here is an article by Oliver Burkeman about some of these issues.) But maybe a better way is to do less, that the less you do, the longer life will feel, and the more content you will be.

Tempting though it might be, I have no intention of turning the blog into a self-help/lifestyle publication, so enough of those ruminations. But I will make some changes here. The most obvious and immediate one will be that I will switch from publishing twice a month to once a month, to write less often than I do now.

Another reason both for doing less in general and for writing less frequently has to do with the climate emergency. Most things we do affect the climate, and the digital world, partly due to the energy needed to power and cool all the servers of the world, is a big contributor to CO2 emissions, more than all air travels per year. (An article about that.) While there are big political decisions across the industrialized world that are needed to help deal with this global crisis, everybody has to take some individual responsibility too, however small. Whatever I do will have very small real-world effects, but we might all set an example. If we continue like before we only show that we are not taking the situation seriously.

About personal responsibilities one might argue at length. What is inarguable is that my next article here about film will appear a month from now, Friday, October 15.

4 comments:

  1. Låter vettigt -- du är ute efter förändring och försöker göra något åt det. Hoppas det ger dig sinnesron du vill åt

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  2. Thank you for your thoughtful and thoughtprovoking text. May you find other stimulating (and climate smart?) activities to enjoy

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I'm considering what options there are out there.

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