Special Delivery: How to Fail

🙋‍♀️ Guest curated by Eva Schulz, reporter and podcast host.

Hi, this is David. Unlike on Fridays, I'm only here to make the introduction. It's time for another special delivery. These issues are not curated by me, but by people who inspire me and who have different perspectives on the world than my own.

Today, it's my pleasure to have Eva Schulz as my guest, a friend and a gifted political journalist. She will share five things that recently caught her eye or older ones that had a lasting impression on her.

Eva is not your average political journalist. At least not by the definition we've gotten used to in the past. Her approach is to cover politics not where decisions get made, but where their effects are felt. In her videos, and more recently, in her podcast, she embodies curiosity and excitement for learning from and about other people. Which makes her a) a joy to listen to, and b) a perfect guest curator for the Weekly Filet.

These are her recommendations for you:

1. How to Fail with Stanley Tucci

I knew Stanley Tucci as the bald-headed and warm-hearted actor in movies like «The Devil Wears Prada» or «Julie & Julia» who went viral during lockdown for his Negroni mixing skills. In this interview with English novelist and journalist Elizabeth Day, however, he shows his more serious, vulnerable side and opens up about the death of his first wife and a severe disease that cost him his taste. One of the most emotional and wise interviews I listened to last year.

2. The bizarre story of how a gorilla suit was smuggled onto the ISS

I have only recently become fascinated with everything space and astronautics, because I interviewed German astronaut Matthias Maurer on the ISS. Unfortunately, it was only after our conversation that I found this video of one of the greatest pranks ever. I like how this short and presumably clickbaity article not only gives the story behind it, but also a more serious part about the research conducted on the Space Station.

The bizarre story of how a gorilla suit was smuggled onto the ISS
Astronauts have a sense of humour too.

3. Und was will der Wal?

Some of the best journalism poses questions that a) you wouldn’t have thought you were that interested in and at the same time b) you have an intuitive answer to, only to then be thrown into a literal sea of pros and cons, of different perspectives, that leave you without an answer, but with a greater understanding for the complexity of the world. Johannes Böhme’s German article about a stranded orca that now lives in a zoo is a great example of this. No surprise it was recently awarded the Deutsche Reporter:innenpreis.

4. Drinnies

Last year, and even in 2020 there were already plenty of memes about people who were still starting new podcasts. I, too, thought there was no genre, no niche left that we needed a podcast about. But then the two comedians (& lovers) Giulia Becker and Chris Sommer started «Drinnies», a weekly show «from the comfort zone» for people who — pandemic or no pandemic — prefer to stay inside. It’s funny, warm and — who would have thought? — truly innovative, catering a niche that is much bigger than most traditional media people might think.

5. Art and the art of understanding oneself

To be honest, David, your invitation to contribute to the Weekly Filet painfully made me realize how few things there were over the last weeks that I read or saw online and that really stayed with me. That is, things other than funny memes or "WTF?!“-tiktoks or these very shareable snacks that you forget after a few minutes. So my final recommendation is the last minute from an interview with comedian Bastian Pastewka, which I came across — of course — as a reel on Instagram and now — of course — cannot find anymore. So you may either watch the whole thing on Youtube our skip directly to 16:36.

Interview in German. Translation by me, David: Art only ever comes from creating something that no one but you knows, wants, paints, sings, speaks, writes. Most people who really have something important to say, suffer. They hide away for three days, listen to their inner voice, to understand what is there. What grows from there, becomes interesting. Everyone else — those who chase trends—see themselves in the mirror of others. That is the end of art, surely, but also makes it impossible to ever truly understand yourself.

Thanks, Eva, for sharing. If that bit of painful introspection Eva expressed with her last recommendation rings true for you...well, the good news is that you're in good hands with the Weekly Filet. My goal with the newsletter has always been to provide a carefully curated selection of things on the web that are truly worth your time. And it's why I built the Gem Shuffle as a one-click solution to read something great when you're tempted to mindlessly scroll some feed.

Before you go: Make sure to follow Eva on Instagram or Twitter (or both!). And if you have an idea who you'd like to see as a guest curator in the future, let me know! I'm doing these special deliveries roughly once a month.

I hope to see you again next Friday with the next (regular) issue of the Weekly Filet. Enjoy whatever's left of your weekend, and have a good start into the week.

— David 👋