22nd November: Le Vide

Always a sort of inverse correlation between how out-of-hand my Pocket queue gets and how short these lists are. I’ve clearly read nowt but books and Company Of Heroes guides* this fortnight, as I’ve only got about a dozen articles for you. oh well.

Song of the week is kind of embarrassing tbh as even though I think it’s silly to have guilty pleasures and it is important to embrace your tastes and etc. John Mayer is still super embarrassing. Nevertheless, I’ve spent years trying to learn to play this song and I’m not far off, and it’s kind of vaguely seasonal and (kind of lovely)

As ever, this reading list appears fortnightly in the form of a blog, here, or in an email newsletter. Please do tell your pals.

  • So the main thing that struck me as I compiled my list this week was the absolute dearth of pieces on the Paris attacks – the titular vide in this list**. I think I would have liked to address events more here but honestly, the internet was an exhausting place to be that weekend and most of what I read in the aftermath of the attacks was dreadful***. There were a lot of people who were suddenly experts in counter-terrorism and the Syrian civil war, and a lot of pieces I’ve previously shared here getting reshared as if they were new. So I don’t know what to do, really. I obviously have got about eighteen months’ worth of great pieces on Syria, Iraq, ISIS, and terrorism in the ol’ archive so if you want to go deep, let me know in the comments or something and I can make some specific recommendations. But aside from that, I think I’ll just leave you with this (unexpectedly) powerful and moving piece on politicising tragedy from one Sam Kriss.
  • Great takedown of the terrible, terrible Boris bus
  • Lovely writing on working in a dive bar
  • This pie looks great, and the writing around it is actually good, not in that annoying food-blogger way of ‘you want a recipe for an egg but let me tell you about my kids first and how much they love an egg’
  • So I thought I’d do a round-up of Spectre reviews like I did after How I Met Your Mother**** but now the bitterness has faded a bit. Still, I think this, on the problem of the villain (spoilers ahead obviously), gets to the heart of broader issues with blockbuster plots at the moment.
  • Very thoughtful, honest profile of R. Kelly, which despite being based on interviews with him and lots of access, doesn’t shy away from confronting the allegations against him.
  • important 
  • Was all ready to jeer here but this is actually quite a sensitive look at a guy who suffers from severe agoraphobia, and how video-games and now Let’s Plays and streaming help him cope
  • More of a US focus but quite interesting on some of the factors behind all the grim food previous generations ate
  • As the winter months roll in and ‘outside bed’ starts to seem like the worst place there is, this is Important Reading
  • This, on the other hand, isn’t really, I’m just really sad that Star Wars: Battlefront is apparently a disappointment.

And that’s that. Come back next week for some book reviews and that. x


*definitely spent a full hungover hour reading the Company of Heroes sub-reddit the other day

**don’t worry it’s not possible for you to think I’m more of a dickhead than I do

***spent the weekend in bed complaining about all the shallow and ill-informed opinions getting a national platform

****remember when the longest, most successful piece of writing I’ve published on here was a 2,000+ word rant about a sitcom?

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