What Metro is doing in coronavirus lockdown, day 8
Well, day 8. Let’s take it one day at a time, shall we?
Something to watch: This video from The Spinoff is a calming meditation on the emptiness of our city in lockdown. The familiar made unfamiliar. Auckland as it will (hopefully) never be again. Henry Oliver
Something to do: If your getting pub quiz withdrawals may I introduce to you/remind you of Sporcle. It’s a website with hundreds if not thousands of quizzes that help you feel smart for approximately 10 seconds. I’m sure there are way more advanced quiz apps you can download but all this touch screen use is really starting to hurt my hand. There’s heaps of categories but geography is obviously the best. After completing countries and capitals of the world, flags are next on the list. Turns out I’m pretty terrible at flags but at least I know the capital of Sri Lanka is Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte. For more geography related content, the subreddit Map Porn is great for the bookmarks bar. Historical maps, population maps, linguistic maps, agricultural maps, maps hand drawn from memory by children – just all the maps, ok? Alessandra Banal
Something to listen to: Over the last three days I have ripped through Dolly Parton’s America, an incredibly fascinating podcast featuring several lengthy interviews with the woman herself about her legacy, her music, her religion and heaps more. I’ve always had a soft spot for Dolly Parton (as I’m sure many do) and it was really moving, actually, to realise what a huge cultural impact she’s had in the US and particularly in Appalachia (both good and bad). I know that the good old days in America never really existed, but when you listen to Dolly talk about her early years hustling to make it, and then her rise to fame, you imagine that maybe they could have, and in fact maybe we’d all get through life relatively unscathed if we were able to tap into whatever reserve of compassion, pep and good spirits Dolly has been able to draw on ever since being born in her Tennessee mountain home in the mid 1940s (!!!!). I’ve also rediscovered my love for the song “Coat of Many Colours” which is in my opinion the best song to have a small isolation cry to when everything starts feeling a little much. You can find the episodes here or (extremely podcast presenter voice) wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening. Tess Nichol
Something to do: I’ve discovered that being in lockdown is the perfect time for unwanted nostalgia to grab you by the throat and drag you down into the depths of #throwbackthursdays. It’s that feeling that compelled me to type in www.neopets.com? into my browser and log in to my old Neopets account – looking at that old interface made memories flash through my mind in a very That’s So Raven “vision”-type of fashion, except in reverse I guess. Neopets and I have a very old relationship. It was my very first internet obsession, before Tumblr, before Bebo, before Club Penguin, any of that shit. I’ve had tens and tens of accounts, the very first which was named girlz_rulz_4eva_ in maybe 2004, when I was 8 (that account is gone now, deleted in the Great Purge – much regret). It was definitely a little bit more than naughty, because I pretended I was 16 and ran rampant on the message boards (it had a 13-year-old minimum age rule), getting into conversations I had no business getting into. It was on Neopets I learned basic HTML/CSS, how to use photoshop, what interest (in a money sense) was and how to scam people out of their Neopoints. I joined guilds (clubs) and spent eight hours a day chatting to people on them, using white-girl names like Ashley and Roxy as my aliases. My fervour for collecting avatars and saving money on customised paintbrushes (to change the colour of your pet) was so incredible, that looking at it made me feel sad about losing that very specific childhood brand of obsession. Anyway, revisiting Neopets and having a trip down memory lane is my recommended to-do – a lot of the same games are on there (including my fave, Faerie Cloud Racers) and most of the people on the boards are now adults (Gen Z are not on board with Neopets) so you have a free pass to drown in nostalgia. Jean Teng