monday memo 114: the last memo of 2022!
Welcome to the Monday Memo — your pop culture snapshot from Manifesto.
Hey, friends. Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make December 19, 2022 a bit better.
1. Artist of the Week: Werner Bronkhorst
Werner Bonkhorst is a self taught artist with a background in carpentry. currently working as a self-employed bespoke furniture craftsman, Werner uses the remainder of his building materials as the foundation for his artworks. We particular love his series called "Oh what fun" that uses broad, abstract shapes to create the backdrop for a group on a ski hill. Oh what fun, indeed.
2. What we're listening to: Being Funny in a Foreign Language by The 1975
Being Funny in a Foreign Language from The 1975 celebrates the power of love and longing in a focused 44 minute pop-rock masterpiece. Our favorites are "I'm In Love With You," "About You" and the subtly Christmas tune "Wintering." Sorry we missed you in October, boys. But after this album, we won't make the same mistake twice.
3. What we're watching: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery - Netflix
Let us first begin with this; if you haven't seen the original Knives Out (2019), the film is a delightful, charming, thrilling, star-studded treat that will keep you guessing. And, if the reviews of its sequel Glass Onion are any indication, the follow up packs the same punch! This time famed detective Benoit Blanc travels to Greece for his latest trip. Solve the mystery on December 23!
Do you have a recipe that makes memories flood back? Maybe it's Mom's cookies or Grandma's potato salad or your Aunt Nancy's homemade salsa dip. Whatever it is, this holiday season Kroger wants to celebrate how "one taste of a special holiday dish can bring back treasured memories of family celebrations and moments with loved ones throughout the years."*Wipes tears, blows nose.* Well mission accomplished guys! That was basically the first 10 minutes of UP! But in all seriousness, this is our favorite time of year for advertisements because so many holiday spots really focus more on the human spirit and human connection over simply "selling." This isn't about Kroger but instead the role Kroger plays in helping this man feel closer to his late wife. The brand wants you to know this holiday season isn't about getting stuck in the past, and when you shop for your holiday dinners at Kroger, "Today's holidays are tomorrows memories." High-level animation. Beautiful storytelling. Powerful connection to a brand. This has got to be the best holiday spot of the season.
5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Psychology of Gift Giving
Hey, who doesn't love presents? But, have you noticed that you find the real joy in giving them. Well, turns out the cliche that "giving is better than receiving" has some scientific merit. The first reason we gift gifts is to build and reinforce relationships. We see gifts as a reflection of the giver and the receiver, a physical way to show someone we care about them. French psychologist Marcel Mauss wrote an entire book entitled The Gift, in which he argues that not giving a gift or rejecting it is essentially a dismissal of the relationship. The next theory is that we fit to show love, devotion. If you have ever bought a partner flowers or dinner, this is you! This is called ‘symbolic interactionism’, which argues that people communicate through the use of symbols. But, that symbolic power can backfire when we give someone a bad gift, so be careful. To get really scientific, gift giving has been central in how animals (and humans, see previous sentence) select mates. A study found men who were more generous with gifts had better success at attracting and retaining mates both in the short and long-term. Women, on the other hand, were less likely to use gifts for mating purposes and more often gave gifts to family and friends to strengthen social networks. Those connections are important, which is why one reason we give gifts is to receive them. Gift giving creates what contemporary psychologist Dimitri Mortlemans calls a “debt balance,” to prevent ill feelings gifts must be repaid creating a cycle of gift giving. Finally, and arguably most importantly, we give gifts to help others. Some gifts are given with the understanding that nothing is expected in return. Love and altruism are perfectly good reasons for gift giving. It is easy to have a miss so make sure to be attentive, get personal, and be creative in your gift giving! And just a reminder, if you still need to get your loved on a gift, King Nebuchadnezzar II gave his wife the hanging Gardens of Babylon. You can do better than a gift card, come on.
Thousands of letters to Santa arrive each year. USPS Operation Santa® invites people to adopt and respond to them.
6. Good News of the Week:
U.S. scientists just made a breakthrough in nuclear fusion that could result in “near-limitless, clean, safe” energy (The Guardian)
Dog therapy for kids facing trauma from the war in Ukraine (AP)
Barbados Set for 30% Seascape Protections Under “Blue Bond” Finance Program Which Saved The Seychelles (GNN)
Bonus: Happy Holidays from Manifesto
Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza or are just ready for a brand new year, we wish you a happy holiday season. See you next year!