27th of April: In Absentia

If all goes according to plan, WordPress will have posted this for me, as I am away this weekend. Fingers crossed. There are less links this week, because it’s Thursday when I am. Still, plenty of good stuff ahead – more variety than usual too!

First off – cheating on the song of the week, but I just wanted to share this because I was listening to Watch The Throne last night and it’s great, so here, have some Kanye (also because I don’t have an eyeroll of the week for you so this’ll compensate).


Also, before we get into it, I’d like to invite you all to comment under the blog on any of the articles that take your fancy – I try and race through it so don’t do too much discussion and stuff, and tend to only post articles I agree with, so criticism and recommendations of your own and stuff would be brilliant. I’d be delighted if this blog became a conversation piece not just a … can’t make the Mad Men reference work, sorry.

No subheadings this week either! It’s one of those ones on a vague continuum from serious to less so I think.

  • A pretty grim account of recent events in South Sudan to start with – it sounds pretty awful
  • Tony Blair delivered another daft speech this week (and probably got paid a fortune to do so). I don’t have much sympathy for the liberal interventionists, but Hopi Sen is the only one I don’t mind reading, and this is a good piece on how modern-Blair seems to have abandoned his Chicago-speech self.
  • Good interview with James Fearon, civil war expert, on why Ukraine isn’t heading towards civil war (phew) (also, first link from the “future of online news” there – exciting!
  • Drone panic stories are usually kind of dull, but this is a good line-by-line dissection of how the New York Times reported a recent drone campaign in Yemen.
  • A good piece on Telegraph Blogs that isn’t by Tom Chivers! *shock* In all seriousness, this piece on why the housing crisis is bad from a conservative point of view too is interesting
  • This is an interesting piece on non-Muslim foreign fighters in Syria
  • Two good pieces on different kinds of “regeneration”. This one is by Dan Hancox, who wrote the last gentrification piece I linked, about the selling off of a great big chunk of East London to a murkey Chinese company, and this one about the pacification plan in Rio de Janeiro. Image
  • While I’ve generally been quite good at not spamming you with all the dozens of Game of Thrones/Mad Men articles I read from Monday-Tuesday, this one is very good on how Game of Thrones uses and abuses the depiction of sexual violence against female characters in light of Sunday’s episode
  • Two good articles from stavvers – one on the endless tedious “Can you be a feminist and x” pieces, normally on Comment is Free, and one on enjoying politically dubious stuff
  • This is funny on a couple of recent music videos by Avril Lavigne and Lily Allen. Also important because I still can’t get over Allen calling her new album Sheezus. It’s an outrage. Also the idea of her “lolling” (ugh) at Lady Gaga who outclasses her all round is laughable.
  • Nice column from Eva Wiseman
  • This excerpt from Victoria Coren Mitchell’s (still get an “aww” feeling whenever I remember they’re married) autobiography is really sweet – prompted me to take advantage of Amazon’s Daily Deal on the full thing, so it worked.
  • Also, for the Game of Thrones fans, this is fun.

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