I have tagged 3 blog posts with politics:

Chasing The Train of Thought: How Interviewing For Internships Mirrors The Political Climate

A student in smart casual attire, holding a globe in one hand and a CV on the other.
Kaia Thonul, Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 09:39

As I sit here on my morning train commute, the world outside is swathed in a frigid white blanket, the mercury barely tickling 2°C. My breath fogs up the window as I settle in, creating a tiny cloud against the frost-coated glass. My fingers dance across my laptop's keyboard, as eager as the rest of me to let my thoughts, each birthed from my experiences, unravel.

Today I feel contemplative – buoyed by possibilities, anchored by uncertainties. The topic at hand seems abstractedly apropos - interviewing for internships. The very mention of it calls to mind countless evenings spent poring over cover letters and application forms, the uneasy stirs of anticipation and dread intertwining like an intricate dance.

The task of securing an internship is a rite of passage for many university students. As a journalism student, it’s more than just about getting a foot in the door – it’s about gaining the experience of chasing stories and truths, and laying the foundation for our future roles as custodians of the narrative.

Likewise, political leaders face a similar challenge – not in receiving internships, but in securing the people’s mandate. Their candidacy is much like a prolonged, high-stakes job interview, played out over months, even years. Recently, I read about the complex political triangle linking the United States, Iran, and Israel. The implicit strategical equations and the potential repercussions of recent skirmishes on an upcoming election are all intertwined in a labyrinthine intrigue.

It's quite intriguing, how securing an internship mirrors the political climate. Both involve high stakes. Both necessitate persuasion, competence, determination. There's the same jangling edge of uncertainty, the same exhilarating thrill of possibly being chosen. Of course, the magnitude of the consequences is vastly different, but somehow, this doesn't negate the parallels.

Interviewing for an internship is as much about understanding yourself as it is about comprehending the psyche of the organisation. Similar to political leaders analysis of their electorate's requirements. It's a game of insights, understanding, and empathy, punctuated by bursts of brute persistence.

As my train gently rocks along, the city of Oslo looming ever closer, I marvel at the interconnectivity of all things. What we, as students, endure and learn in our quest for experience, isn’t disassociated from the larger events unfolding on the global stage.

I turn to gaze out of the window, the world outside still frost-ridden, and yet teeming with life - a stark reminder of both the cold reality we exist within, and the fiery human spirit that propels us further. Just like the interviewee - navigating the formidable, yet still, hopeful battleground of experience and opportunity. We interview. We learn. We aspire. We progress.

Today, as yet another winter’s day unfolds, I am gripped by a sense of purpose emanating from my reflections. As I step onto the familiar platform, the world outside feels less intimidating, the weight of my potential less onerous. After all, to begin is to be halfway there. And, while the morning remains frigid, there’s a warmth spreading within me – a slow, burning resolve undeterred by the cold.

Tags: internship politics personal reflection

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Beyond Vanity: The Interplay of Politics, Fashion, and Heartbreak

A frost-speckled train window with a blurred, snowy landscape and a reflection of an individual, clad in a fashionable coat and scarf, contemplatively gazing outside.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, November 20, 2023, 09:38

As the first, tiny snowflakes drift past the window of a shuddering train carrying me through the frozen landscape towards Oslo, I can’t help but ponder the striking duality the world around us exhibits. The stark contrast between the brittle cold suffusing my surroundings and the warm cocoon of my woolen attire, the disparity between my heart and my expression, even the colorful nuances that separate political beliefs across continents – they all seem to coalesce into a tapestry of stark contrasts and sharp contours, shaping our identities, forming our unique personal styles.

One cannot deny that personal style and fashion are far more than mere whims of vanity. They are an eclectic amalgamation of the multifaceted hues of our personality, celebrating our individuality, encapsulating our philosophies. Each garment we wear is a statement, whether we acknowledge it or not; a testament to our convictions, our dreams, our fears, and sometimes, our heartbreaks.

In that aspect, the world of politics isn't much different from the world of fashion. The news I had read early this morning was still swirling in my mind, casting a shadow of melancholy with each passing station. A flamboyant businessman heading towards victory in Argentina's presidential elections, with his radical views piquing the interest of the weary youth, echoes familiar voices from the recent past. His suit, flamboyant as his rhetoric, is his chosen uniform proclaiming his rebellion against the norm. Perhaps a studied decisiveness we often see mirrored in our own personal stylistic choices.

This got me thinking about broken hearts and fashion choices. They are both deeply personal, often misunderstood, and sometimes, a statement to the world around us. We tailor our appearances to cushion the blows life lands on us, seeking solace in the tactile language of fabrics and styles. Dressing up or down can be an armor against the heartrending numbness of a world that moves fast – too fast for some hearts to keep pace.

Betrayed by an Argentina that chose a flamboyant right-wing populist over stability, my heart laments silently under layers of wool and down. In search of solace, I resort to the quiet language of fashion, whispering stories of resilience and unspoken apprehension through my understated palette. Can I, can anyone, truly shield their heartbreak with a mere ensemble? Perhaps not entirely, but trying does provide a modicum of strength.

In the end, personal style is a dialogue - with ourselves and with the world around us. The clothes we wear and the politicians we elect are mirrors reflecting our deepest fears, our keenest dreams, our greatest strengths, and our most vulnerable hearts.

As I continue on this journey, the wintry landscape blurring outside the window seems to echo the cold, distant cheer of the world. The train ploughs through the landscape, a stronghold against the Baltic chill. We all brace ourselves against the world in different ways, and today, my fort-red lips and a charcoal coat are my chosen armor.

Tags: personal style fashion politics

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Pop Culture Paradox: Its Sway over Society and Politics

A collage of pop culture figures, political leaders, protest signs and social media icons, in bold colors.
Kaia Thonul, Tuesday, October 17, 2023, 16:57

As the Norwegian countryside passes by my train window, bathed in a pallid autumnal hue, I find my mind continuously returning to the overwhelming influence of pop culture in our society. Underneath it all, I can't help but ponder how this seemingly trivial phenomenon has the power to shape our perspectives and decisions, influencing us in ways we don't even realize.

One can't even browse through the latest news without being struck by pop culture's subtle fingerprints. Take, for instance, the recent controversy involving Anette Trettebergstuen and her missed vote. Regardless of the validity of the statements made by Støre and Trettebergstuen, there's a quiet assertion underneath the argument — an unspoken allusion to the influence of pop culture in politics.

Elected representatives face a growing need to become more relatable, more 'pop culture' friendly in order to make headway in their respective political fields. Trettebergstuen's media presence is a classic example of this metamorphosis. She, like many others, follows a method not completely alien to influencers of pop culture. Pop culture no longer strictly belongs in the realm of music charts and Netflix—they’ve breached the barricades of politics.

Yet as the sun dips lower in the sky and my train journey home from Oslo continues, I can't help but take a wistful note. Pop culture, a concept birthed from the simple notion of entertainment, has seeped into the deepest fabric of our society, influencing everything from politics to perceptions. I can't help but question the implications of this.

Pop culture, with its relentless celebration of individualism and ego, often thrives on controversy. This reckless approach, combined with its overwhelming influence, might push society towards encouraging discord for the sake of amusement or brief, fiery moments of fame.

But then again, it could also be an incredible force for good. Pop culture has the unique ability to shine a light on social disparities and dark corners of society often ignored by more traditional forms of media. It stands to validate the underrepresented, to change stale narratives, and perhaps even inspire a more mindful world.

Wrapping my scarf tighter as the temperature outside hovers at a chilly 11°C, I realize that my musings remain open-ended. The influence of pop culture, like the fiery autumn leaves cascading down outside, is a paradox of beauty and destruction. It carries the power to both influence the masses and foster division. But in understanding this, perhaps we can take the steps necessary to harness this influence, channeling it into mechanisms for positive change, and reshaping our collective narrative.

The soft rumbling of the train lulls me back into reality, leaving me with these fractaled thoughts on pop culture's influence—a conversation that, I believe, has more depth and urgency than ever before. Even in the face of recent political mishaps, I hope that we, as a society, learn to appreciate, shape, and utilize this influence to pursue a world that mirrors the colorful vibrancy and nuanced storytelling that lie at the heart of pop culture.

Tags: society influence pop culture politics society

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