I saw the Stockholm production of Cabaret in Stockholm when it ran at Tyrol with Peter Jöback and it was an amazing production, mostly because of the remarkable performance by Peter Jöback as the Emcee.

Little did I know that he was not the revolutionary behind that performance, but rather one of my favorite actors, Alan Cumming.

So for some serious feels, and to see how musical theatre is MUCH more than just entertainment (which I might do a post about sometime) watch the ending of the Broadway run of Cabaret (not sure if this is the 1998 revival or the new one that’s coming) with Alan Cumming in the main role.

PS be sure to watch the last 20 seconds or else you miss something quite special.

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Sometimes when you’re on a roll, you just gotta keep writing.

So… The 5:2 diet is very popular in Sweden at the moment.

It’s the one where you eat whatever you want five days a week and starve yourself the remaining two days.

Maybe you can tell I don’t think it’s a good idea?

Especially not when I’m starting to see a LOT of articles about what you can do to keep yourself from feeling hungry, how to make each meal last, how to eat slower, etc,etc,etc.
I don’t think publishing a how-to-guide about eating disorders in the papers is a good way to go.

(I don’t care if you think that periodic fasting is good and how wonderful it is for the body, ladila… It’s the culture around it that’s AWFUL.)

And if I read one more article about how VERY thin celebrities “don’t starve themselves but simply eat healthy and exercise” I’m going to scream.

Grad school is fabulous but busy busy busy. I have so many things I want to write and think about but I haven’t got the time.

I was at a CEMS mingle tonight and I met some very interesting people and had some great conversations. I’m not a fan of mingles, introvert that I am, but as far as those things go, this was a good one.

I’m very ashamed of something though.

During a conversation with a man whose passion was Borneo and orangutangs and the environment, I mentioned that I’m really interested in feminism.

Except I didn’t say that.

I said that I was really interested in gender equality.

Because I wanted to be taken seriously and not face all the crap that feminism gets. All the crap you get when you say you’re a feminist.

The crap I want to fight and that I’m playing right into by not allowing myself to use the word feminism.

It was a conscious/unconscious decision on my part, I did it on purpose, but too quickly for my brain to analyze the implications of why I wasn’t using the word feminism.

I also think part of it was that I was talking to a man, and it’s incredibly rare that a man takes you seriously if you mention the word feminism.

Well. Fuck you patriarchy. From now on I’m always gonna say I’m a feminist. Not more dilly-dallying.

I go back to school in 16 days (if I pass my accounting exam, knock on wood.)

Or rather, I start school in 16 days. I’m done with my bachelor’s degree and am starting my master’s. I do intend to write a longer post later, to sum up my first four years at SSE, but I do need to study some more before that.

It feels strange to start though (and to go back.) It’s been a very tough couple of years and sometimes I wonder what I’ve learned, really. Did I accomplish everything I though I would when I started college?
(Nope.)

At the same time, it’s exciting. The thought of new challenges. Travels. New people. It’s also a comfort to know not everything will be new, there are people I know, I know the buildings, where to eat lunch, all those things that take up energy if you don’t know them.

The program I will attend is a completely new one. We don’t know how it’s going to be. While SSE is lovely in many ways, administration isn’t always great and we’ve yet to see if they’ve managed to do well for once. I hope so, because we’re so excited to start.

Even though it’s been more than 6 years since I lived in Michigan, USA, it still affects me very much.

I had reason to think about it today, when I read a blog post by Emma Stenström, former Dean of Undergraduate Studies at my university, and also a fabulous teacher in management. During her time as Dean, she has been the staunch supporter for student rights, the natural person to turn to when something was not right with the education, and it is a great pity to see her leave that post.

Coming back to the topic at hand, she blogs about her son’s high school exchange in a very conservative part of Kansas. About being forced to attend church, about how all democrats should be shot, about guns and heaps of other things unthinkable to me as a liberal.

I was very lucky in that while I certainly met very many conservatives like that during my stay in the US, my community was not that way to the core. While my host family certainly are much more conservative and “tradition-minded” than my family at home, they did (and do) love me. I love them. Even when we disagreed on a great many subjects, I never felt repressed or forced to change my views.
I also had many friends who were very religious, pro-life and several who didn’t believe in the evolution.

While it is difficult for me to understand how they think that, we had no problem being friends. They respected my views (that I didn’t agree with them!) and I respect theirs.

A great help in keeping me anchored was my AP US History teacher, Mr. Lopo. While any conservative American would find him a liberal nutjob, (and truth be told, he WAS a bit weird) he was also someone who forced his students to think and defend their opinions. Who wasn’t afraid to speak of worrying movements in the US then and now. Someone who didn’t put up with bullshit. Someone who wouldn’t keep silent. I think if I hadn’t gotten his perspective on the US to balance the other ones out, I would’ve gone crazy. He kept me rooted in the fact that my beliefs weren’t crazy, they were rational and good.

And he also convinced me about the madness of Americans, but in a way that makes it possible for me to understand American politics much better. He reminded me that even though there are so many nutters in the US, there are some fantastic thinkers too.

That means I can look back on my stay in the US and say it was only benefical for me. I learned about other people’s views and in turn, refined and honed my own.

HAES is a concept that’s become popular in the last few years and it stands for Health at Every Size.

I’m now going to explain this to you using very pedagogical pictures that I’ve drawn. And while I have many, many talents (including speed reading, Trivial Pursuit and putting together IKEA furniture) I can’t draw.

thin person

This is a person. This person has a body and it looks a certain way. In fact, this person happens to be thin. That is the one thing you can tell from this picture. (or if you saw this person in real life.)

fat personThis is also a person. With a body. This body is fat or perhaps obese. Maybe even morbidly obese. That is also the only thing we observe here. A fact.

Middle person

Here’s a third person with a body. This body is somewhere in the middle.

We don’t know anything about the habits or the lifestyles of these people. We don’t know how they eat, if they ever exercise, if they smoke or their medical history. Nada.

That is, we have NO WAY of knowing if they are “healthy” or not.

What I’m trying to say here: Weight is not a way to determine if anyone’s health or not. It’s also not a determinant of their habits.

It’s impossible to look at a fat person and say that he or she is going to get diabetes and die early and has never set foot in a gym.

It’s impossible to look at a thin person and say that they probably eat a lot of vegetables.
Think about it. You probably know a thin person who never ever exercises and brags about how he/she can eat anything without gaining weight. Is that person living a healthy life?

BMI and such measures are rubbish.

Health at Every Size is about healthy habits rather than weight. Moving your body, eating a well-rounded diet, instead of staring manically at a scale.
That people are more than what they weigh and that looking at someone is not a way to see if they’re healthy or not.

Links:
Haes Commnity
Kate Harding
Linda Bacon
Body Positive
Dances with fat