21st of February: I Feel Like Peter

Honestly the worst and most niche possible title there, but whatever. It’s actually a quite good joke that I may have to explain in the footnotes, thus invalidating it. Got to cross London in a bit, so let’s get to it!

Song of the week really wants to be one off Kanye’s new album, but because of his vile releasing decisions*, I don’t think I can get a YouTube link for you. So, off the top of my head, have the lead single off The Strokes’ last (last ever?) album, which I feel like deserved to lead a bigger comeback for them but there you go. It’s very falsetto and a bit manic but very wistful and lovely, remember listening to it a lot on the backroads between Kentish Town and Caledonian Road so there’s a fun little autobiographical fact for you.

The blog has seen a serious drop in traffic recently, which is partly because I haven’t bothered writing it or promoting (OK, mostly because of that). So if you fancy promoting the reading list a little that’d be lovely. Or don’t, whatever, it’s not like I thrive off the clicks. It’s available as a newsletter or at my blog.

  • Giving myself priority, I wrote a thing! As I say, it’s odd to have a regular book review series and then still go back and do standalone book reviews but *shrug*. I spent months reading a WW2 history trilogy and boring my girlfriend with inane facts about tanks to bring you this post.
  • They got Peter Oborne on Newsnight the other week to talk about his recent visit to Aleppo, and whatever the guy’s politics, it was a really interesting segment until they cut it short in favour of “what do these old Tories think Thatcher would have thought of the EU” chat and I was fuming. Anyway, this is his report from Aleppo, at length and fascinating.
  • Think this is a good corrective to the popular memory of the Iraq war – amidst the WMD lies narrative, it’s forgotten that toppling Saddam had been the plan for most of the 1990s
  • Sarah Reed’s story is a deeply upsetting one, and this interview with her mother is very moving but also important. It’s the kind of story that we hear about happening in the States and feel a bit righteous about but it happened in Holloway prison.
  • Thought this was interesting on recovering from sexual assault and how it fits into a continuum of societal violence (sort of hard to do this one justice in a sentence). On a similar note, in the wake of the Adam Johnson case, this was quite sad on “the grown man and the teenager”
  • More David Bowie! This feature on what he had been up to in his final years is good, and this uses him as a springboard (it’s actually the reverse of one but) for some really poignant reflections about ‘forever’
  •  Very nuanced and interesting discussion of whether we could or should wipe mosquitoes out
  • Equally nuanced on India’s heavy use of carbon-based energy. Captures a lot of the difficulties and challenges developing countries face with green energy without denying the issues this raises for climate change policy.
  • Nice little coincidence here, urban planning all over the shop. First, a weirdly serious (without being survivalist lunacy) look at which features of cities make them better places to survive a zombie apocalypse. And using maths to understand sub-optimal traffic patterns – it’s only about half as much of a headache as that sentence sounded, even if you’re as dumb as me when it comes to numbers.
  • So this is where that title joke comes in. As you’re all obviously aware, we’re big Yeezy fans here at fillingthelonghours dot wordpress dot com. So it is with heavy heart that I bring you this piece on his persistent and nasty misogyny and say “yeah I kind of agree”. But the new album is really good! So what do you do? I don’t know. On the other hand, I love this review of Yeezus in retrospective, which is such a good idea for a piece (and also a cynical way to extract content but)
  • I’m very anti-Bake Off but that Tamal lad seems like a nice guy, and he’s got a column at the Guardian (IDK why) and this was pleasant. Still a vile TV series.
  • The Darkness are very good, and I like the idea of them being a pivotal band for this author as a kid.

And there we go! Come back next week to see if I’ve read any books or bothered to write any reviews. Get in touch if you want me to explain the joke in the title (please don’t). And tell your friends. Have a lovely Sunday and a lovely week xxx

* it’s one thing to not make it available on Spotify, but a TIDAL exclusive I can’t even pay money to just have? rude

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