Bleats

McDonalds Outlets Will Now Act As US Embassies And No This Isn't A Joke

Let's be honest, we all knew this day would come.

It’s far too easy to point at the United States’ globe-spanning businesses and  make some snide comment about cultural hegemony and how every McDonalds is, like, just an outpost of the American Empire, man.

And now it officially is. In Austria, at least.

Which… which makes this their ambassador, we guess?

In the European nation McDonalds are now empowered to act as mini-embassies for US travellers in need, including a 24 hour hotline to the US embassy in Vienna.

Why Austria? It’s the brainchild of their ambassador Trevor Traina, because presumably he has a lot of time on his hands to work on these sort of disruptive innovations.

But we’re just delighted that someone has finally catered a service for those people who discover their passport’s been stolen but also really want a McFlurry.

Why 3pm Is The Demon Hour And How You Can Power Through It

That mid-afternoon slump would be loads easier if we just all had hammock-desks.

Every goddamn afternoon it’s the same story: everything’s puttering along nicely and then just when… things… you… going… flurb.

There are lots of fun theories as to why we get the mid-afternoon slump, including one that it’s because our bodies never got over our school schedules, where we got used to bailing at 3-ish and curling up with a snack and The Afternoon Show.

That’s certainly why every afternoon I find myself idly wondering how the kids in Degrassi High are doing. Especially Caitlin.

Eh, she seems fine.

However, the medical reason is a bit less Canadian and a bit more glucosy: it’s the natural side effect of you having eaten a few hours earlier, and also coincides when your circadian rhythms when levels of the hormone cortisol drops and starts to flood the body with melatonin.

The traditional way to deal with the crash is with sugar (which just tops things up for bigger later crashes) and caffeine (which takes about 12 hours to get out of your system so can mess with your sleep when you finally get that head down),

But are there other solutions? You bet!

Some are management related, like using the time you feel particularly uninspired to do mundane stuff like clear emails or other work-hygeine-related things.

But one big tip is: don’t have a big lunch. You’ll be burning energy digesting that bad boy, aside from the blood sugar issues.

Getting some vitamin D by going outside also helps, since physical activity and sunlight tends to perk we humans up. However, the temptation to turn off your phone and keep going until you find a nice tree to snooze beneath might become overwhelming. Honestly, doesn’t that sound nice right about now?

Um…

If you have the freedom to have a nap then yes, you absolutely should do that because your body is also releasing melatonin around this time: a 30 minute power nap will do you a world of good (but don’t go longer because getting into a heavy REM sleep will mess you up).

That you almost certainly cannot do that is a searing indictment on our lack of office hammocks and also how little late period capitalism cares for human well being and is yet another reason we should really get around to smashing the system in the next little while.

So that’s the takeaway: to beat the afternoon tired-blues you just need a light lunch, a nice stroll, and socialism. Easy!

There Are Two Things You Can Do To Save The Planet, And You’re Going To Hate Both

Who knew that saving the planet was going to be this inconvenient?

Life, as you are irritatingly aware, is super-complicated. Heck, The Good Place explicitly made the point that even doing something good is complicated by the unintended consequences of your actions.

For example: you’re reading this wonderful piece of writing on your phone right now, which is unambiguously a great thing, and yet you and I and everyone else hold phones whose components are mined and refined by at best people in less than great circumstances and often literal slaves.

 

It’s enough to make a person ask “what can I, as an individual in a massive global society beset with structural inequalities, do to make the world better?”

And the good news first: all that fiddly stuff with low-wattage lightbulbs and recycled paper and green laundry liquid and stuff? Not really helping so much. Sorry.

But there are two big things that we, as consumers, can do. And you’re not going to like either of them.

The UK journalist, writer and activist George Monbiot was on the British panel show Frankie Boyle’s New World Order earlier this month and made the point that all the things traditionally hailed as being eco-friendly are anything but and that small personal changes – or as he rather pointedly calls them “microconsumerist bollocks” have barely any effect.

So what do you need to do to make a difference? Stop eating meat, and stop flying.

Well, there is a third option: change the way that the system values profits over the wellbeing of the planet and the survival prospects of our species. Hell,  if we could get to zero-emission power generation (and we totally could, by the way) then we’d be able to fly all over the goddamn place!

“There’s time [to stop climate change and ecological breakdown] but we need to stop pissing around at the margins of the problem,” he says in the above video. “But we need to go straight to the heart of capitalism, and overthrow it.”

So maybe understanding this bargain is the inspiration we need. It’s either stop travelling, or smash the system. Let’s get the pickaxes ready, team – ideally before the December break. We’ve got a non-refundable booking.

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