14th of December: Flawless

Scraping this one in just in time, before I’ve even eaten breakfast – nothing if not dedicated.

As ever, if you’d rather receive this in newsletter form to your inbox, you can subscribe here. Also, if there’s anyone you think would enjoy some of the articles contained within, or if you know someone who just doesn’t know anything about Chinese military buildup or the Jackson 5 Christmas album (little teaser trailer for you there), then please do let them know about the blog/newsletter.

Speaking of naked self-promoting, I think I’m going to do my very own “best of” list(s) on the blog in two Sundays time. I’m thinking at least a ‘best of’ selection of what I’ve already shared with you. So keep an eye out for that.

Christmas song of the week combines many of my great loves – B.B. King, Christmas and weird Santa bants.

  • To start with, a good corrective to a lot of the concern about China’s military expansion
  • Interesting report (FR) on the 35-hour working week’s economic benefits
  • A look at the evidence about police body cameras
  • Aditya Chakrabortty strong as ever on corporate welfare
  • Unintended consequences, man. Very interesting on how attempts to clamp down on conflict minerals have backfired
  • Strong critique of British development aid
  • Think I’ve come round against TTIP, almost – this is very measured against it
  • On how Labour could have gone in a very different direction in the 1970s
  • Interesting interview (FR) on, I guess, political correctness and stuff
  • Very good piece on listening to sex worker voices
  • This is insightful on the relationship between Hungary’s authoritarian regime and violence against women
  • Little treat for you – short clip from a Mitterrand speech from the 1970s – even if you don’t speak French, listen to how bizarre the dynamics of his speech is UP AND ROUSING and then down and all momentum lost. Delightful
  • Excellent on the New Atheists and how they’ve legitimised imperialist policies
  • Dan Hancox strong on gentrification and property developers, and an old attack on the new folksy creative classes. Has a great dig at Ed Sheeran in it so it’s A+ from me
  • Chris Rock wrote a great essay on race in Hollywood
  • Lovely on the Jackson 5 Christmas album, which is, indeed, joy embodied.
  • Jonathan Jones is pretty useless, even set against the low, low, bar that is “Guardian columnist”. This was an excellent critique of his latest
  • Very cool VOXplainer on telepathy
  • That fucking cereal café, man. Backlash on backlash, back and forth, to the point where I now think the narrative is that the buffoons are the victims? Anyway, Ed Jefferson lays out a number of the irritants about it I hadn’t considered about it
  • Absolutely lovely piece by the late Roger Ebert on his wife
  • Great bit of Star Wars nerding – rethinking the original films in light of revelations from the prequels
  • Love a bit of internet-gushing about Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj – this combines the two so is, ahem, flawless.

With that, I’ll leave you to enjoy them. Have a lovely Sunday x

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