I've been reading Hadley Freeman's question column again. Along with her praise for Serena Williams for winning the Australian Open while pregnant, she slipped in a little fact about inequality: "That’s not even mentioning the fact that Williams, shockingly, makes about a fifth annually of what Roger Federer gets in sponsorship deals, a disparity that reeks of both racism and sexism."
She was also asked about which trainers she recommends that we should buy. I am amazed that some people feel the need to ask questions like that. Maybe it's just a ploy to get their name in the newspaper. Hadley neatly avoids giving any brand of trainer a boost but talks instead about a shoe designer who feels that some of his creativity is taken away from him because nowadays everyone (by which he means all ladies) wear trainers or sneakers.
Back in the 1950s there was apparently great variety in the type of footwear ladies wore in the summer time and he misses it. That was probably because the only kinds of sports footwear available (part from football boots and hockey boots) were black or white canvas pumps. The white one had to be kept clean with a special whitener that came in a tube with a sponge on the end. But really: creativity problems in the footwear department? Such are twenty-first century problems!
Here's another one: behind the Tate Modern in London is a block of luxury flats, Neo Bankside Towers. These rich-people flats have glass- enclosed balconies or maybe just a big expanse of glass where a wall might have been. If you go up to the top floor viewing terrace of the Tate Modern you get a lovely view of London, a panorama including the done of Sat Paul's. But you also get a lovely view into the lives of the rich folk who live next door. They ate complaining and five residents have gone so far as to bring a legal challenge demanding that the viewing platform be closed down. Maybe they should invest in net curtains.
More serious twenty-first century problems relate to feeding people. It seems there has been a serious increase in the number of people using foodbanks. And there is concern about children from poor families not getting enough to eat in the school holidays. Children who receive free school meals miss out on this provision in the holidays and return to school undernourished and unprepared to take up learning again.
Somehow it puts all the other problems into perspective!