He looked into the water and saw that it was made up of a thousand thousand thousand and one different currents, each one a different colour, weaving in and out of one another like aliquid tapestry of breathtaking complexity; and Iff explained that these were the Streams of Story, that each coloured strand represented and contained a single tale.
Different parts of the Ocean contained different sorts of stories, and as all the stories that had ever been told and many that were still in the process of being invented could be found here, the Ocean of the Streams of Story was in fact the biggest library in the universe.
And because the stories were held here in fluid form, they retained the ability to change, to become new versions of themselves, to join up with other stories and so become yet other stories; so that unlike a library of books, the Ocean of the Streams of Story was much more than a storeroom of yarns. It was not dead, but alive.
“And if you are very, very careful, or very, very highly skilled, you can dip a cup into the Ocean,” Iff told Haroun, “like so,” and here he produced a little golden cup from another of his waistcoat pockets, “and you can fill it with water from a single, pure Stream of Story, like so,” as he did precisely that.
— Salman Rushdie
Text by Arielle Pardes — Unless you lacked access to the internet, you’ve certainly seen the viral onslaught of Ice Bucket Challenge videos in the past few months. The idea was to dump a bucket of ice water over your head and “nominate” others to do the same, as a way of promoting awareness about ALS (a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s disease).
If you didn’t accept the challenge, you had to donate $100 to an ALS association of your choice. It’s like a game of Would-You-Rather involving the entire internet where, appallingly, most Americans would rather dump ice water on their head than donate to charity.
There were a lot of things wrong with the Ice Bucket Challenge, but most the annoying is that it was basically narcissism masked as altruism. By the time the summer heat cooled off and ice water no longer felt refreshing, people have completely forgotten about ALS.
It’s trendy to pretend that we care, but eventually, those trends fade away. This is the crux of millennial “hashtag activism,” where instead of actually doing something, you can just pretend like you’re doing something by posting things all over your Facebook.
Like the Ice Bucket Challenge, good causes end up being a collective of social media naval gazing. We reflected on our favorite social-movements-gone-viral and found out what happened to them after the fell off our Twitter feeds. Because, yes, social problems continue even after you stop hashtagging them.
Liberamente Angela is a short film that I dedicated to a dear friend of mine, the writer Angela Altieri McDonald. The images of the video were made mainly in Brazil. Angela’s interview was recorded in Italy | watch the movie