After last week’s bruising experience with bad books, I was quite relieved to get back to articles, if I’m honest with you. In fact, yesterday, I went to the library on a one-way mission* – the only thing I have to read now is my Pocket queue, which to be fair, is getting out of hand. So I suspect the 8th of November’s list will be obscene. Plenty to be getting on with this week already, though.
*and I got fined for returning those awful books late. Imagine paying 1.92 for the privilege of an extra week with Tory books and mediocre Batman comics
Half-tempted to put Hotline Bling as the song of the week as part of my ongoing “only interested in Drake when everyone is talking about him” campaign. But by that logic I’d have to make this the new Adele song, and ew. So, because I’m obnoxious and beyond shame, I’m going with a song off Carly Rae Jepsen’s last album. The whole thing is kind of samey infectious big-chorus pop so I actually struggled to choose one. This one has two separate catchy melodies though, and claims to feature Sia – have it.
- First up, I meant to share this before (and did, in the newsletter) but forgot to add the link. A good friend of mine is involved in a Parisian charity providing support to refugees there and they’re running a fundraising campaign to support their excellent work – check it out if you’ve got a few quid spare.
- A general, and kind of depressingly realistic, appraisal from Jay Ulfelder of the situation in Syria.
- As it’s unfolded, and the debate around it has widened, I’ve sort of noticed that reactions to Russia’s intervention in Syria tend to mirror the commentator’s opinions of what the United States is doing or should do*. Nevertheless, these two analyses are decent – both reasonably fair-minded (if from a US perspective) – one suggesting the next steps it could open up, and one looking at how the rebels are likely to respond (badly)
- Strong critique of proxy warfare as a default US policy response
- Balanced (but basically critical) look at the US drone program in Yemen
- There was a flare-up in the ‘alternative’ take on the Bin Laden raid this week – this was my favourite rebuttal
- Jason Rezaian’s conviction as a grim reminder that Iran won’t change overnight
- Tough article on Brazil’s horrible prisons
- I’ve shared plenty of Novara content in the past on here – they’re doing a fundraiser too, and this interview around the project, and the British media more broadly, with co-founder James Butler is interesting
- I thought the UCL Rent Strike would go nowhere, so fair play to the lads – Novara take a look at what happens next
- Bleak look at the instabilities and tensions that are boiling up to the next global recession
- This is kind of terrifying, and not for the claustrophobic, but it’s a fantastic explanation of the science of crowds and crowd disasters
- What it’s like being part of a company that’s going down in scandal
- Dawn Foster takes a broader look at the response to Gary Neville doing a decent thing for squatters
- Quite powerful, personal account of the difference 365 days can make
- I’ve always been hesitant about this sort of argument, but I think Abi makes her critique of the exclusively middle-class concerns of the new Women’s Equality Party really well.
- Bit NSFW, this, but from New York Magazine’s excellent sex column, is a good argument that while consent, the focus of many recent campaigns, is essential, it’s not enough
- I think both of these (Guardian, Buzzfeed) kind of go a bit easy on Neil Strauss, king pick-up artist, but they do focus more on his life post-Game, and it’s fairly interesting.
- A lovely piece of writing about cooking Grandmother’s Jamaican recipes…
- …and a funny piece of writing about making the Cereal Café’s god-awful ones
- imo since The Rock himself shared this brilliant tribute to himself, it’s legit for me to break my no-Golby policy for a bit
- Very, very here for in-depth looks at old Kanye albums. Only wish this look at how 808s and Heartbreak influenced hip-hop had been longer
- So this piece on calorie-counting is good, and has helpful advice to do it healthily and without it becoming a source of anxiety etc., but I do kind of wonder why they went with an all-female group of writers and subjects – struck me as #problematic
- Blog Tarkin is a delight – here comparing the apparent reduction of the Rebel Alliance’s starfighter flight to a single X-wing variant to the consolidation in the US Navy’s air wing
- Really intrigued by the sound of this game but don’t know anyone to play it with. Hit me up
- Being a Kotaku piece, sort of tends towards the shallow, but still a good retrospective of the ‘No Russian’ level from Call of Duty
And there we have it – bare words for you. Have fun and have a lovely week! X
*IMO: likely to just prolong the war and create more violence (as all third-party interventions in civil wars do). Doesn’t appear to be harming ISIS much. If it reinforces the regime to the point where Russia and Iran are comfortable dropping Assad, could actually lead to some sort of settlement? IDK. From a U.S. perspective, both very difficult to complain without hypocrisy, but a) rules out decisive action against Assad, which is probably a relief and b) might just bog down Russia in a slippery slope war, which is no bad thing for the States.