14th of August: Wintering in the South

So yesterday I left the keys to my flat on the kitchen table and wandered to take a train south of the river, where I live now. Having spent my whole time at university within about a half hour’s walk of the Holloway Road (apart from when I was in Spain, which was a bit further), it feels a bit weird to leave it behind. I imagine nothing’s stopping me from popping back to The Coronet but… why would I, I guess. Anyway, this week’s list finds your curator in a funny sort of mood in Catford.

Struggled a bit with song of the week but then remembered this being in a discover weekly thing (and cos A$AP shows up top in the alphabetical order of my archive]. Fair warning I’ve only heard it once so I don’t know if the lyrics are vile. soz if so. but there’s a bit where Kanye rimes #FOMO with four more and it made me giggle so. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

[ffs Kanye’s verse isn’t in the (quite cool-looking music video) if you want to hear that good-ass rhyme.]

  • I’ve decided I’m not going to share anymore Corbyn thinkpieces after this one. I’ll probably keep reading them because I hate myself and don’t want to be happy, but I’ll not be besmirching the reading list any further with this tedious election. If you’re the kind of deviant who also wants to read more, I’ve been saving only good ones with good opinions, so hit me up through other means and we’ll do a shady back-alley handover of #takes. But this is the last and only take I’ll share. How Owen Smith can, and will, win.
  • As Trump starts ramping up the “rigged election” talk, this is a good look at how to secure the American voting system. Sort of fascinated to learn computer scientists recommend against electronic ballots.
  • Pretty cool look at what it’s like covering a presidential campaign for the reporters.
  • There’s always a risk of point-missing with pieces that try and translate Anglo concepts of identity politics and race or religion to France. This one is helped by the fact of there actually being an indigenous Black Lives Matter movement in France to report on. Very interesting (think it gets bits slightly wrong but).
  • Kind of lovely report from a “glitter against fascism” protest in Scotland, and a very interesting piece on working-class anti-racism: it’s always sort of taken as read in certain patronising circles that the working class are massive racists and this has to be dealt with and pandered to so this was a nice corrective.
  • Really encouraging report about the wildcat Deliveroo strike this week. There’s a strike fund going, possibly linked to in that article. Worth chipping in if you can.
  • This is sort of poignant and lovely – if you’re going to die, may as well have a party.
  • You’ll probably have seen this comic:

Well the artist updated it in light of current events.

  • So the Olympics haven’t been a disaster yet, which is nice. I thought this was a fairly nuanced look at the problems with how the media has sensationalised the issues Rio and Brazil faces, setting a really low bar for politicians to clear. Also just quite a funny guide to being a tourist in Rio. This, and a later article just made me want to book tickets tbh.
  • When I saw this article about reading lists as mixtapes excerpted in Caroline Crampton’s good newsletter*, I was like “Ha! A succinct and lovely mission statement for my endeavours”. Alas, the piece waffles and goes on a bit long and idk. A couple of bits really struck a chord with me, namely how the merest scrap of praise (hint) for the lists makes it all worthwhile.
  • Good interview with Jack Urwin, fella what wrote the very interesting-looking book on masculinity
  • I’m sort of really intrigued by bullet journaling! If I could do it in Evernote I probably would but cba buying a notebook. Anyway this looks at why it works from a brain POV.
  • Christ this piece on an adult summer camp repulsed me from the start because it sounds like something I’d hate and feel so unhappy at and then it actually became quite troubling and dark as it went on, vindicating my cynicism.
  • Look, I don’t know what to make of this. The sea is dark and full of terrors, and whales are at war with each other but in a kind of Kosovo/Sierra Leone humanitarian intervention way? People are calling this sweet but I don’t like the idea of political whales. Drain/boil the sea imo.
  • Unapologetically nostalgic look back at old Shoreditch.
  • Alain de Botton is wank, isn’t he? When I was in Amsterdam he had done a project with the art museum where he put little post-it notes with inane comments on everything and I hated it and him for it. This is funny on the School of Life (that weird thing next to the LGBT bookshop on Marchmont street**)
  • This is sweet! Norway might give Finland a mountain so they can have a taller highest point. It probably won’t happen but man, wars have been fought for less.
  • Fuming here, I’ve had… none of these dishes I don’t think. Embarrassing. Need to go back and just eat my way around the country clearly.

  • Tend to associate veganism with like kind of tossy food and tricky substitutes and stuff, so this was interesting, just some good tips for not spending loads but also not living off potatoes. Bit Yank-centric I guess.
  • I work in an office now so I’m extremely into thinking and talking about Meal Deals. So the Meal Deal Facebook group sounds great (even though apparently fame has ruined it).
  • Imagine a pet that you have to leave in your will cos it’ll outlive you and keep on growing. Nightmare. Tortoises, cute, can fuck a peach right up, but lot of work imo.

And there we are. I’m gonna go see whether my new local Spoons holds a candle to the Coronet. *** Have a lovely week all xxx

*always good to keep an eye on the competition [vastly more successful versions of this thing] – how would you lads feel about that sort of more excerpt-y approach to this list? I share more articles than most but rarely quote from them, but that seems to be the standard practice.

**”Gabriel this is pretty insular of you isn’t it, assuming all your readers will get this – “ No look shut up. I am reasonably sure I know all of my readers by name and know they’re all intimately familiar with Marchmont Street, so shush. Benefit of an infinitesimally small readership is that little personal touch.

***I’m not, it’s like not even 12 here and also I know for a fact that the local Spoons is grim

31st of July: I’m Running Late

Sometimes I have a lot of chat to give you in the preamble and this bit goes on forever. Today, not so much. Allez.

Just finished watching Bojack Horseman and I’m feeling some kind of way so have this song from the finale it’s lovely.

  • It probably says something about my awful approach to the world that I have spent a good chunk of the past month looking forward to reading some horrific climate change news to take my mind off the short-term apocalypse in favour of the long-term one. Anyway, California is burning and also Siberia is burning and the planet is fucked. On the other hand, these lads jump out of planes to fight fires which is pretty dope.
  • Good fun facts – Turkey’s coup involved a good chunk of the military and could have succeeded. It involved an airbase that holds American nukes. Good debate on maybe moving them away perhaps – you’ve got to love the idea of there being a “go-to guy for defending apocalyptically bad ideas” though. “Shit how do we make this a debate? Call Steve.”
  • I think this one leans a bit heavily into the “white working class” stuff as an explanation for Brexit but then also Lanchester writes so wonderfully that I don’t mind.
  • So that hell-school that inflicts psychological warfare on small children made the headlines and we all remembered how bad free schools are but this piece from a while back that I finally got round to reading makes the case that they are, in fact, extremely bad. like wow.
  • “a dialectic of suffocating evil” is a good phrase
  • Thought this was quite lovely on the Titanic.
  • One of the many tragedies of gender imbalances in science and engineering is that we don’t have robot tampons yet (or something, I didn’t know how to pitch this one)
  • This on “nice” abusers must have been incredibly hard to write and click publish on but I’m glad Emily did because it’s brave + powerful.
  • On a not-dissimilar note, some outrage after the murder of Qandeel Baloch.
  • Always come away from this sort of piece unsettled and worried and wanting to text my mum/sister/girlfriend/the girl who works in Tesco to just see if they’re fine cos Christ. On how appetite is condemned and punished in women.
  • Also, slightly a lesser of two evils situation here but a vegan going in on clean eating is pretty cool. The Ruby Tandoh piece linked within is also good.
  • Fuming here, I’ve just started doing Responsible Financial Decision Making and then I was reminded that the pension system is fucked.
  • You’ll probably have heard about the Byron thing but just in case you wanted some more of the grim details.
  • Little Ye-interlude here. The Wolves video is pretty cool even if the lyrics remain A Bit Fucked. It’s no New Workout Plan though (of which both the visuals and the lyrics are Fairly Fucked TBH). Also this photoshoot of Kimye is pretty lovely so if that’s your bag there you go.
  • It’s great, everyone was super gutted when Grantland went away and everyone lamented the loss of its’ great writing, and then I think it came back as The Ringer and just immediately started doing the stupid shit I loved about Grantland again. EG: this scientific roundup of the best fictional basketball shots, or this roundtable entitled “When did you first realise Taylor Swift was lying to you?”. good content.
  • Also extremely good content – harambe memes and this guy going deep on harambe memes*
  • This is like fucking Marley and Me all over again. I knew it was going to be a sad article about a dog and I know how those end up but I still read it and still felt sad. stupid dog.
  • Abbi and Ilana are probably exhausting in real life too, aren’t they? This was a nice profile though.
  • Not gonna lie I don’t think I’ve heard Tarantino’s movies being called lacking in humanity but this was kind of a good rebuttal to that opinion I don’t share anyway I guess.
  • I’m still largely on board with Pokemon Go even though the gameplay is lacklustre as hell and all I catch is fucking Drowzees. This is nice.
  • Golby betrays his greatest work here, but someone needed to be bold and come out against summer. He also does some good #analysis of Vin Diesel though.

Bye now.

*if you can hack Kriss’ more wordy-“I studied philosophy”-ish pieces, he did a good one of those on the dead ape. I’m not linking it because I resent being made to feel stupid because my eyes glaze over when you say “signifier”.

17th of July: Someone Make The News Stop

There’s chat of a second referendum for Scotland or Brexit, there’s chat of a snap general election, there’s another Labour leadership election and I just want it all to go away. That’s not to mention continuing horrors in the headlines every day. So I’m not saying this is deliberate but there’s a definite slant towards non-news, non-miserable stuff this week. Still plenty of misery of course, because this is how we live now*.

Song of the week was going to be an old kinda mournful Izzy Stradlin one that I loved when I was 17** but then I started listening to Chance the Rapper’s new mixtape and I decided as far as posturing like I was cool goes, this is a better choice. Also it’s exuberant party music despite being a man complaining, at length, about having to give people lifts. Up there with Kanye complaining about his cousin across two or three tracks on TLOP imo. Too short though.

  • OK a little bit more Brexit stuff then we’re packing it in. This was a miserable peek inside the Remain campaign, that, as ever, reassures me that it wasn’t my failing to show up to phonebanks and street stalls that did for it. This is very insightful (it’s also done about eight rounds of my twitter timeline so apologies if you’ve seen it before) on the sociology of Brexit. Goes beyond (very tempting) sneering and condescension.
  • I’ve seen mercifully little of this kind of thing, but a good summation of why [spoken in a Very Man Voice] it’s not immediately a feminist victory for the Tory leadership to have been fought between two women.
  • I can already predict at least one incensed comment on this article in particular, so caveats – it’s an analysis of Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy approach and how it differs from Obama’s written from well within the establishment understanding of American foreign policy. So naturally the baseline for “how much war can you reasonably support before becoming a hell-person” is set a bit higher. Still fairly detailed which was nice.
  • Speaking of hell-people, Kriss did one of his perverse savagings of Tony Blair and it was delightful.
  • I think I’m mostly going to miss The Toast because of Mallory Ortberg but the intermittent gems like this piece on black America’s search for a home will also be missed. It’s beautiful and lyrical but also some historical research and interviewing and stuff. Good.
  • There’s been a really horrific sense of routine in the recent murders of black men by U.S police and I think these pieces do really well at conveying how exhausting and grinding-down it is without falling into complacency. This one is just heartbreaking on what black people feel they need to do to be seen as human.
  • This interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates is really nice – think the interviewer is a friend of his so it’s very intimate, almost. Also, dw, it’s a Playboy link, but they’ve transitioned their website to generic Man Content now – not even sure how you’d find a boob on there.
  • The author of this piece on alcohol and sex wrote a book on drinking last year. It’s been in my Amazon wishlist since she did the promotional tour*** but I’ve always been kind of wary of actually reading it. Anyway this was good.
  • Elon Musk might turn out to be a Bond villain and Mars sounds properly crap but guess he’s the closest thing we have to science fiction on our miserable little rock.
  • This piece is so strange! Foie gras that isn’t the product of cruelty! (apart from the inevitable bit where the goose loses its liver I guess) A little Spanish fella in love with his geese! Idk. if it was a film I’d find it exhaustingly quirky but we need some joy tbh.
  • Fair warning this one is beautiful but inevitably kind of tragic. The journalist profiles a hospice nurse and just follows her around as she does her job. It’s quite lovely but will make you think about death for the rest of your commute so idk time it well I guess.
  • There’s something faintly unusual about this profile of Tiger Woods over the past ten years because it’s fascinating and insightful and poignant but also like… he’s a private-as-hell man so the only way they got all these facts seems to be through lots of betrayals by people close to him? Seems rude. Read it anyway imo.
  • This is so lovely and also the first case I’ve ever seen for poetry not being vile. Going against a (wise and reasonable) policy of ignoring pupils’ backgrounds, this English teacher got a group of girls to open up about their home countries through poetry and what happened next will bring a smile to your face.
  • The best thing about this trolling-guide: a) the list of alternative topics to Slavoj Zizek it offers, b) the caveats it offers at the end to ensure it’s not used for evil and bullying.
  • This guy is sort of capital-R Rational to a fault (like I think that’s his #Brand) and extremely long-winded, so pinch of salt I guess. In this instance, it’s a decent-enough discussion of tolerance and the outgroup.
  • Two good short stories. The first is joyful and (white-as-hell voice) I quite liked the Nigerian-British bits. Maybe elements of Junot Diaz? IDK. The second is quiet and sad and poignant.
  • What is it with the second person writing today? This feels less like a short story but kinda counts. On leaving an abusive relationship.
  • This interview with a woman who had to have an extremely late-term abortion has so many overlapping layers of horror in it.
  • Speaking of horror, (apologies in advance), these publicists weigh in on whether Taylor Swift’s newest relationship is a set up and these peoples’ lives sound so clinical and managed it’s kind of grim.
  • Mostly worth it I think just for Abi’s faintly bemused face throughout and also for the clear suggestion that ol’ Laughs hasn’t learnt a thing, but quite an intriguing little video interview.
  • My main feeling on Pokemon Go is this: I have two phones, one which is old and works, and one which is new but has no SIM Card. Pokemon Go does not run on the former, and I can’t connect to the internet on the latter outside of my flat/office. I am cut off from the phenomenon and hate it. This was an early review that I think captured what’s fascinating about it. This is a guy playing it without even having a phone and it’s ridiculous but also, man commits and I respect that.
  • Sam Diss appears to essentially conclude here that goals going in off the crossbar is like/better than sex. The Sistine Chapel line is, beyond a doubt, the best thing I’ve read all week. Dunno, despite all my efforts I can’t get into football, but really love reading the Mundial lads go extremely deep writing about it. *shrug*
  • Also extremely good analysis – going well deep on the music in the last episode of Game of Thrones. How good was that music? Better than you remembered.

And there we have it. Have a good fortnight, if you can. xx

*I periodically remember that whatever happens with Brexit, Corbyn, ISIS, Trump, it doesn’t really matter because in a few decades the seas will rise and the world will start to burn and as I stand waist-deep in Islington-upon-Thames I am going to curse every minute of my life I wasted reading empty thinkpieces. Oh well.

**sometimes I think I’m growing up but nothing puts the lie to that more than the knowledge that if the Guns N’ Roses reunion tour comes to the UK I’m there in a flash.

***you know, writing the same article/interview for several different outlets with minor cosmetic variations

3rd of July: Still Mourning Brexit

Genuinely didn’t think we’d be here today, guys. But weirdly, the fortnightly thing has sort of dulled the impact somehow. Feel like I’ve had a week of Labour shambles and slow-rolling doom on the Brexit front and it’s quite weird to look back at the last post when things were still a bit more innocent and I was a bit more complacent about maybe being able to go back to the continent some day. Anyway. Fair warning, it’s like 60% stuff about Brexit, and naturally, there’s very little that will be of any comfort if you’re still miserable because there is no good news. So like maybe scroll through to the bit about pork and booze later. Here goes.

Am sick and tired of YouTube letting me down with song choices, so might just commit to using Spotify – you can all use the web player tbh. Genuinely surprised at how much I’ve been enjoying the new Radiohead album (ordered a thing with a digital download code included the day it was released – only got to hear it when it came out on Spotify. good) so have a song off of it.

  • Start with the good news. Even though we might be starting to miss him as we face down the horrors of the next PM, it’s quite soothing to know that David Cameron is going to go down in history as a complete fuck-up.
  • OK so this is how we’re proceeding. I’ve got a chunk of stuff about the politics of Brexit, more or less. Then some stuff about people being sad about Brexit. And then the quite chilling stuff about how Brexit’s kind of lifted up the rock with all the racism under. Scroll through, pick and mix, as you wish.
  • How did we get here, I hear you ask? Well. This is the rare long-ish piece that could stand to go for a couple thousand words longer because it seems to skimp a bit, but an alright outline of how Euroscepticism took over the Tory party. From the same people who predicted the result a couple weeks ago, a good analysis of how the Leave campaign won. Absolutely chilling prediction of how the negotiations will play out.
  • Family rifts over Brexit feel kind of inevitable but also pointless and idk. The borough I grew up in was one of the few London ones to vote leave, so I don’t feel like I can trust the local shopkeepers anymore – sort of get it I guess. This one’s a bit over-wrought, possibly, but quite nice to see an emotional reaction to Europe beyond disgust and exhaustion. And this on Europe as a safe space for people of colour now being lost is very upsetting, as is this on how it feels to be an ethnic minority in Leave Britain.
  • Surprisingly little on the Labour coup this week, but this gets to the heart of it I think, and also transitions nicely into the final section – Corbyn is under attack for not being racist enough.
  • After years of “listening to legitimate concerns” about immigration, leading to a massive uptick in reported racist incidents after the referendum, it’s time to stand up for immigrants (as a kind-of-foreign, little bit of self-interest there). One kind of well-meaning idea on how to do so, the safety pin, fell short as Hussein Kesvani explains here, which I think just leaves us with this useful guide on how to intervene safely in incidents of racist harassment. This is where we’re at I guess.
  • Some optimism, maybe? What would a politics without xenophobia look like? And what are the next steps for the left after Brexit?
  • And this is sweet! Social initiatives in Berlin are using food to help refugees find community.
  • More optimism – the different points at which Donald Trump is now likely to back out of the race to save himself embarrassment and create optimal levels of banter.
  • It’s a bit academic-y, but these forgotten narratives of subversion during the First World War are fascinating. Wasn’t all outright mutinies or noble sacrifice.
  • I think this is just a short story about pork? It’s quite cool, also about Jewishness I guess. Might make you hungry.
  • Man this is dispiriting. Fella put on death-row for murdering his family by arson (can you murder with arson???) but as you’d expect from an eight-million word New Yorker feature, there’s more to the case than it seems*.
  • Another one of these baffling stories of “I flew first class around the world and it only cost me three Twixes and a grapefruit” idk
  • This thing about making peace with your body hair is quite sweet but also worth reading for blokes just to be reminded of the sheer exhaustion the other half have to go through.
  • Hella late, but another beautiful tribute to Latin night at the Queer club.
  • Lovely and sweet article about London cornershop owners.
  • I’m now getting to that Golby point with Beth McColl where I might just stop linking her articles but this, on sexting, is very incongruous because it’s probably quite rude but also very cutesy and idk. I liked it.
  • Finally, this. I’m torn, I honestly am. When I first saw this article, the first GIF called Peggy something else (I’ve forgot) which ticked me right off. They’ve since edited it, leaving only some quite #goals (as the youth say) suggestions for a home bar.

And we’re done! Started with Brexit, ended with copious amounts of liquor to help you cope. Have a lovely fortnight xxx

 

 

*finally made a little excursion into the back of my Pocket queue, where it’s all long-reads and short stories. Terrifying. There’s also like scattered extremely out-of-date reactions to the news which are quite entertaining to read a little bit and then satisfyingly clear out. e.g. the piece on how Turkey’s before-last election was a sign of hope and optimism, three months before terrorism and civil war and another election which basically reversed the first one I think, seemed to basically stamp out any remaining hope and optimism. “entertaining” is probably the wrong word.

19th of June: bad fortnight

Just hasn’t been good, has it? Luckily for you, I think the balance of articles this week leans towards the light-hearted. I’m going on holiday but hopefully this’ll bring you some joy in my absence (yes I do hear myself).

I can’t work out if The Strokes are cool or not tbh. Pitchfork’s review of their recent EP was sort of positive but also dripping in contempt, but then that’s Pitchfork, right? Anyway, they’ve got a new EP out and I really liked it so w/e.

  • I’ve already voted in the referendum, for what little it’s worth, and then I’m out of the country the day of. Will try and resist the temptation to stay up waiting for the results. Anyway. Bleak times, here are some good things to read maybe, unless you’re, rightly, sick of the whole thing. This analysis of why Britain voted to leave was eerily prescient. A look at some of the things EU funds have made possible in the UK. The Leavers don’t seem to know what comes next, and don’t seem to care. Gary Younge pulls a good bait-and-switch on the “voters have been denied an honest debate on immigration” here – good lad. Finally, doesn’t get much more establishment than this, but feel like the FT sums up one good case for a Remain vote – YMMV, obv.
  • The Orlando shooting was horrible and tragic in its own right, but the more you read about the importance of LGBT clubs as a safe space, the sadder it all gets – this was lovely. Meanwhile, the back-and-forth of speculation over the shooter’s identity and motives was absurd and unedifying as ever, but thought David Shariatmadari was nuanced on it.
  • A political science-y, concrete analysis of the balance of forces on gun control in the States. Quite useful context to our immediate “why does this keep happening” responses
  • On the unexpected emotional toll of covering the refugee crisis
  • (FR) Considering Operation Sentinelle and whether it is the best use of military resources
  • Quite a minor story, and probably far from the greatest victim of Republican obstructionism, but this lady was nominated to be an ambassador and died tragically young without the appointment ever being approved by legislators. Just quite sad tbh.
  • I’ve never read the Frog and Toad stories, imagine they’re either before my time or an American thing but this is kind of lovely and sweet (this is me transitioning to the fun part, lads)
  • Meant to share one of these earlier, but it slipped, so you get a Hussein Kesavani double whammy! Two quite funny and entertaining “All the Shit You Have to Deal with…” pieces that also taught me stuff about the young Muslim experience in the UK. The first, on going to the pub, genuinely surprised me in parts (the part about remembering rounds is fascinating and should be so obvious!) and this on Ramadan, is fun.
  • Loosely interesting, despite being packed with a) disgusting heights and b) disgusting rich people, on the people living above 800ft in New York
  • This is kind of beautiful on Hindi, Gaelic, language-learning, and colonialism.
  • Sometimes think extended travel sounds gross and unacceptable. This is quite lovely on friendship through travel, I guess.
  • You’ve probably heard the “Polish cavalry charged against a tank brigade in 1939” thing. You, like me, probably took it at face value. You fool!
  • This looks like it’s going to be an extended ‘yer da’ joke but morphs into something quite poignant and sweet – Golby goes rogue. (remember Dragonite Dad? Undertones of that)
  • Don’t know what to make of this piece on McDonalds as community centre. It’s lovely and speaks to human empathy and the power of community, but it’s also a lot of extremely sad stories and quite a bleak picture. Idk. give them Spoons imo.
  • Iconic stuff here from Sam Diss – which Kanye is the best Kanye? Chop up the beats Kanye? Bad mood Kanye? Find out.
  • Glad to hear Usher is still a sex symbol.
  • On Jay Z’s guest verses as he ages.
  • So this was about as foreign to me as it was to the literal foreigner they’re explaining British nightlife to. IDK. Haven’t lived, I guess. Quite stressful when articles do this to me.
  • Remember Lonelygirl15? That was a weird time.
  • Detailed look at the material aspects of “Peak TV” and how it affects the careers and livelihoods of the people involved from actors to crew.
  • For Game of Thrones people – there was a lot of excitement over the show getting Ian McShane to do the “broken man” speech, but then in the show it was abridged and changed in strange ways – Sean T. Collins discusses the changes here in a more intelligent way than just “books good, show bad” (although.)
  • Finally, some joy – just a little playlist of adverts Matt Berry has voiced. That’s all.

 

Try and have a good week. It’ll be alright, I guess. Probably. Chin up. x

5th of June: Magnetic Spoons

Despite having quit and supposedly put the J.D. Wetherspoon (does my head in that there’s no S there) life behind me, this morning finds your author with a bottomless mug of filter coffee in the Norwich Spoons. Cannot escape this chain.

Obviously, I’m a week, two weeks, endlessly late. I opened my laptop last Sunday morning, hungover and bleary-eyed, and realised I’d built up a backlog of articles the size of a Large Breakfast (the menu is calling to me from the corner of my eye) and could not face it. Soz. I’m here now. Fair warning – it’s honestly too much effort for me to try and seriously organise this in any kind of way. There’s not much war chat so the traditional ranking doesn’t work, but apologies if it’s tonally whiplashy or I accidentally sandwich a serious article in between two about a water-skiing baby or something.

Song of the week is possibly a repeat (I’ve been doing this two years! This isn’t the radio guys, I’m limited and have boring music tastes!) but Yours To Keep is back on Spotify and man alive am I excited.

I’m gonna go get another coffee, despite the clear and present danger of caffeine sickness, so pull up a chair and away we go!

  • Kind of figured we’d hear about this sort of thing from Vanuatu or Bangladesh first, but Louisiana is also disappearing into the sea, and the government is having to consider how to resettle whole communities of climate refugees.
  • It is/was mental health awareness week, and Joe.co.uk (who appear to be one of those online men’s magazines that pop up every now and then and it’s hard to say if they’re more GQ or Nuts) did some really great articles. Carl Anka wrote about unemployment and depression twice, once as advice, once as personal anecdote, and both are really good. This piece on the author’s brother’s suicide is moving and important, despite, I think not being the first time I’ve read the story.
  • On a similar note, the wonderful Beth McColl (who seems to have stepped up from good tweets to good articles) wrote about antidepressants.
  • Interview with a little old lady who used to kill Nazis
  • This is cruel and mean and led Nick Cohen and David Aaronovitch to start Twitter beef with Sam Kriss so it’s all A-OK in my book.
  • Sweet article about a banana-based faux pas and the Somali diaspora
  • Couple of articles on online recipe collections – on why BBC Food must stay (tbh I hate it it never has what I want from it – bin it imo) and what allrecipes.com reveals about people’s diets.
  • Jamie Oliver is the worst probably but also kind of irresistible. I liked this interview with him.
  • Sometimes I link an article on here even though I kind of thing it’ll only appeal to me, really, and that doesn’t matter because I’m the only one reading this thing (while writing, I’m not a loon who goes back to re-read myself (often) but I think that little buzz of “I want to share this” is what I missed when I binned this hell project for a while and why I honestly might never stop writing this stupid list even if it never takes off and makes me famous. Love to share good #content. There’s no link in this paragraph, just a little aside for you. Think the coffee is getting to me and making me chatty.
  • Bim Adewunmi on Chris Evans and American masculinity is a great combo and maybe it’s a bit silly but I love it.
  • Speaking of pecs, this is sort of reassuring on the difference between being fit and just having good-ass muscles. Of course, I’m reassured despite being neither fit nor muscled so that’s not much use.
  • I don’t think Spotify Discover Weekly is that good (it keeps “discovering” stuff like Marvin Gaye or Michael Jackson, like… well done?) but this is still very interesting on how it works.
  • OK I’m splicing this in because it’s honestly so important and powerful that I’m cheating and adding it on Sunday as I finish the post. That means it doesn’t naturally flow as it should and I’m sorry for that but if I wait till next list you’ll all have read it. Probably little bit of a content warning on this, it’s explicit and unsparing but after her rapist received a light sentence, this graduate read out a statement to him in court. It’s breathtaking and upsetting, off you go.
  • Sam Diss being quite elegiac and beautiful on West Ham’s last game at their stadium.
  • As someone who dreams of a smart-house and a Roomba and a thermostat that turns on when I am five minutes from home etc. etc. this was an upsetting read. Though it did feature a picture of a cat getting bantered off by a little robot so. EDIT: I’m reliably informed it was actually a cute dog so less satisfying but probably cuter.
  • This fella beat the all-you-can-eat restaurant game and is a hero. Sat here, feeling ill from trying to get my money’s worth out of free coffee refills, I only wish I was more like him.
  • Do you want to lose your whole afternoon on reddit and come out of it feeling really unsettled and creeped out? Do you? Good! There’s this weird story being posted in fragments across the different sub-reddits and threads and it’s developed a cult following and it’s so sinister and weird and yeah I was late for work the other week cos I was just reading it in full.
  • Game of Thrones is a bit lacklustre this season (it’s one thing for them to start overtaking the books but why are they now legging it to the end so quickly) so maybe just use this article on Blac Chyna’s rise to get your fix of dynastic intrigue. It’s some Littlefinger stuff, honestly.
  • You should probably get a password manager. So should I. lazy tho innit.
  • I was in the Radiohead queue nightmare too! This is interesting on online ticket touts and their scummy lives.
  • Honestly so excited to share this with you, lads. It is pure joy. The video makes me giggle, the cheap electronica makes my heart soar, and the absolute despair of the surrounding text is the icing on the cake. You thought I was joking earlier when I said “water-skiing baby”, didn’t you? Fools.
  • Beautiful writing on ‘letting go’ and also beautiful writing on loneliness
  • Idk it’s kind of weird and terrifying that people need like, encryption for just some pictures of their bits and it’s a sad state of affairs but… probably encrypt your bits I guess.
  • Oh man so this one is ridiculous and sort of almost a parody of white guilt but the thing is I do get stressed about which skin-tone emojis to use!
  • I love Ta-Nehisi Coates and this slightly sad story about him trying to move back to Brooklyn is moving and stuff. Idk feel like I’d probably read about him painting his fence or whatever, not fussed. But this is another one of those ones that might just appeal to me!
  • Some reflections on Battlefield 1 (why are games allowed to disregard numbering conventions so flagrantly) and war videogames. This one is thoughtful, this one is based on some maybe dubious history. I just think it’s a very exciting trailer tbh.
  • Something about this piece bothered me when I read it but w/e it’s still high-minded New Yorker writing about Game of Thrones. Also this analysis of the different contexts the books and TV have been created and understood in the past twenty years is very incisive and helpful.

Omg I’m done! 1200 words! Enjoy! Future-me is hopefully off to a barbecue! I’ll see you all (all three of you) whenever I get round to writing another one of these awful things. xoxo

15th of May: Dedication in Absentia

When you read this, I will not be in London, hunched over my laptop in a dark room on my own, but having a lovely birthday weekend at the beach.

To compensate for you all being so sad while I’m borderline happy, I decided to schedule a reading list to go up in my absence. Alas, I’ve not been reading much recently, as my current job doesn’t involve any substantial commute, so not much to be getting on with. Just checked and all my library books are overdue and all. Nightmare. Anyway.

Song of the week should probably be off Radiohead’s new album, but that’s too obvious and I’ve not heard anything beyond the singles (first, decent, second, quietly spectacular, is my informed review.) So went with a song picked at random off my favourite album of theirs. idk.

  • This is so weird! From the incompetence and farce of it all to the very uncomfortable sensation of being inside a photo-realistic FPS game, this Go-Pro video of a failed ISIS attack from the perspective of an ISIS fighter is unsettling and compelling. The analysis surrounding it is helpful too.
  • Meant to include this last time, and events have moved on somewhat, but thought this was decent and balanced on the Labour anti-semitism thing
  • Good defence of giving money to the homeless
  • Horrifying (in a kind of minor but also quite serious way) tale of Apple Music thieving libraries
  • One of those borderline-TMI (deliberately) accounts of IUD-insertion – fair warning, the worst part is when she spoils developments in Broad City, which was rude.
  • Thought this’d be lighter on The Thick of It (which I still haven’t seen!) when I started reading it but it’s still a really interesting article on comedy and satire and Armando Ianucci and the incredible Veep.
  • Good bit of embedded reporting in a fried chicken shop
  • Dwarf Fortress is another one of those that’s more interesting to read about, it seems, than to play. Good, in-depth interview, with its creator
  • The different ways 90s TV shows got drugs wrong sound hilarious tbh – had forgotten the absurd Fresh Prince plot just cos of how Real and Moving Will’s apology was
  • Clickhole has started to leave me behind me a bit but I liked pretending I was friends with Don and Roger
  • Tanks, LEGO, LEGO tanks! A technical achievement if nothing else
  • If you’re like me, you’re a disgrace who still can’t roll a burrito. Get wiser.

Hope you’re enjoying your weekends xxxx