Sorry about last week – was away, which also means there were a lot more articles in my bookmark folder this week. To keep this manageable I deleted basically anything that even mentioned Ukraine, and that halved them, which does suggest my reading is a bit monotonous at the moment. Still plenty of good stuff ahead. Going with an easy Serious-Fun spectrum this week, so no sub-headings – enjoy.
- A piece in the Spectator on how fucked Libya continues to be. I was ready to put this one in my snark folder, but it’s actually quite good, which is stunning because it’s the Spectator.
- Quite a good summary on the Monkey Cage of why states care about the principle of territorial integrity
- Great long piece bouncing between the story of US support for former Chadian President Hissène Habré and the decades-long struggle to bring him to justice at Foreign Policy
- Probably the only interesting piece on MH370 I’ve read – ignores all the conspiracies and all the horror of plane crashes and uses it to look at state capacity in the area
- This, at the LRB*, is good on how Assad encouraged jihadi networks to use Syria as a base for activities in Iraq, the same networks now leading the fight against him. D’oh.
- Worthwhile summary of the tedious “does aid work” debate that actually takes a look at what the question is actually asking
- Very cool in that “both inspiring and depressing” account of a massive fusion energy project in my old neck of the woods
- I’m a sucker for nice pieces about Brazil and this happens to a) be one of those, b) have a nice paragraph, and c) be written by the excellent Musa Okwonga. Check it.
Few articles on family and parents and stuff coming up.
- First, this from Alex Andreou over on the Guardian is a nice reversal of the standard concern about adults living with their parents.
- This at the New Yorker is beautiful and sad by a guy grieving for his father.
- On a similar note, this article draws on being taught about the author’s father’s experiences in Vietnam through films to ask why the same doesn’t happen with games
Buzzfeed lists being the universal symbol of frivolity, I’m using one to mark the transition to the light half of the list.
- Season Three of Veep (my review of the first two seasons here) starts next week (on the same day as Mad Men and Game of Thrones!) and this is a nice reminder of some of its better insults. Also, pictures of JLD are never unwelcome.
- Discovered Hannibal Buress the other week and he’s great – this interview is OK but also features a couple of great clips – the one about New Orleans is brilliant:
- Another thing I’m a sucker for is defences of Kanye – this one is more about Kim, but it articulated why I quite like her, as well as being very interesting on the role of Vogue and the fashion media
- This is long, and quite old (it sat in my Pocket queue for months), but is a really cool investigation into those famous Monopoly escape kits POWs got in WW2.
- What with the TV show coming back soon, for those of you who have read the books, this seems to be a good time to recommend The Meereenese Blot, an aSoIaF analysis blog which has so far featured really interesting series on Dany, Jon, Tyrion, and most recently, the Martells.
- Finally, I had forgotten just how much I loved this album as a youth, so this was a welcome reminder of how great Confessions was.
And there we go, just over 600 words. Maybe I should maintain the “Ukraine filter” for another couple of weeks until we all move onto the next crisis. Have a great week x
*might be paywalled by now – I’ve got a copy saved in case
PS: Like those annoying pre-credits trailers that spoil upcoming episodes, I just found this gif in my bookmarks for reasons unclear and I’m teasing a new feature – articles that are so irritating that all I can do is hand them over to Kanye: