You have to imagine my colleague Walter Wüllenweber as an optimistic person. Years ago, he wrote a book entitled “Good News,” which deals with “ever-worseningism.” Things are not going well for humanity, Wüllenweber said at the time, but better than ever. However, good news is not sexy and is often ignored: “Evolution designed humans as prey animals. Humans are constantly looking for something that scares them. Even if there is no reason for it.” When we were looking for an author for the current cover story, we naturally thought of Wüllenweber. But the optimist has become thoughtful, and the many (new) crises are gnawing at him. War, inflation, climate change: is the message really a good one? But a true optimist remains confident. So Wüllenweber explains to us why the Christmas message – “Do not be afraid” – has perhaps never been more appropriate than it is now.

If there were a requirements profile for a President of the Deutsche Bundesbank, it would certainly say “discretion”, perhaps even “tendency to sleep.” Because if Bundesbank presidents chat too much, they can upset the markets. When my colleagues Timo Pache and Nico Fried met the President of the Bundesbank, Joachim Nagel, in Frankfurt am Main, they weren’t expecting too much entertainment – and yet they experienced a central banker who not only knew the prices at the supermarket checkout, but was also optimistic. Of course, Germany still has to endure a dry spell, said Nagel, but then there will be reason for hope again.

I lived in Brussels for several years, a wonderful city. Unfortunately, her name is also a wonderful slogan for those who would prefer not to have Europe at all: “Spaceship Brussels,” they grumble, or “Brussels Bubble.” These accusations are often directed at the European Parliament, although it is precisely this that has won many rights for EU citizens. That’s why it causes me personal pain when stories are now circulating about female parliamentary vice-presidents who stash sacks full of money (from Qatar?) in their apartment. Which vote, which speech was bought? This corruption scandal is a moral catastrophe, precisely when Europe’s values ​​should be reaffirmed more than ever. Because one thing is clear: the louder we complain about “Brussels”, the louder the autocrats cheer. Then her bribe would be well spent.

Our editor Jana Luck wrote about Dick Pics in the stern last week. Allow me to explain: These are recordings of the male genital organs, which are usually sent to women without being asked. Luck wrote objectively and sensitively why this scares many women and how they defend themselves against it. Apparently, some men couldn’t handle it, they insulted Luck in letters as a slut and worse. Dick Pics are “hilarious and extremely profound and epic,” wrote a man named Cole Thompson.

Luck felt queasy, but she also felt a new determination, she says: “The letters showed me that I was right – that there is often more to the Dick Pics than a failed attempt to flirt. That the senders often have violent and misogynistic thoughts. That’s what fueled me to continue with these issues. Cole Thompson, you can’t do anything to me!” We should also imagine Luck as an optimistic person.

Happy Holidays!