Contaminative crises: coronavirus and radiation

My longread on the social and personal consequences of the Fukushima disaster came out this week: Nine years on, Fukushima’s mental health fallout lingers. When I arrived in Japan, televisions were blaring news of spreading infections in a cruise ship moored off the coast of Yokohama. Japanese nationals were being repatriated via emergency flights fromContinue reading “Contaminative crises: coronavirus and radiation”

White apologies are almost as bad as the crimes that sparked them

“most racism is masked by good intentions. It’s implicit, unconscious, and unintentional. We didn’t stop being prejudiced when the civil rights movement stigmatised racism - we just became more afraid of being labeled a racist. And to deal with our shame and embarrassment, we deflect accusations without ever confronting what they actually mean.”

Nature confounds logic

Nature sometimes seems to confound logic. The forest fires we’re now seeing could have been prevented, or limited, if small-scale fires had been allowed to break out more regularly. These small fires, which are a forest’s own way of keeping its ecosystem in check, burn up the brush and undergrowth on the forest floor, whichContinue reading “Nature confounds logic”

Football as stress relief

Watching England play has always been an excruciating experience for my generation. It’s bum-clenching, temple-pounding, teeth-grinding kind of stuff. I watch games between my fingers, or from behind cushions, as if it were the Blair Witch Project. Apart from the repeated trauma and particular sting of lost penalty shoot-outs, there lingers always a terrible feelingContinue reading “Football as stress relief”