23rd of October: I want a fried egg

Trying to watch Red Dwarf in another window here but it’s not going well, and I want to go and get some breakfast so I’m phoning this one in a bit, lads. Unlike my usual labour of love.

  • Big chunk of war articles this week, what with their being a fair bit of warring going on. Two reports from Aleppo, one news, one more analytic, but a reminder that for all the horror, a no-fly zone is a bad, bad idea. Also thought this was a fairly good take on the breakdown of the ceasefire in Syria. And these two came out ahead of the battle of Mosul when it still looked like it would get ugly really fast. Touch wood, it’s still not become an ugly affair. One on the stakes of the battle, and one on the history of Mosul and its “character” I guess. Also, a report from Afghanistan, that other war there is.
  • Thoroughly bleak article on how British business was already struggling and bad by European standards even before Brexit came and sunk it all. And Aditya Chakrabortty puncturing some Brexit delusions. Also, a good, concrete plan to nationalise BAE systems so we don’t dedicate our only high-tech manufacturing capability to murdering people at funerals.
  • Why the SWP are bad and you shouldn’t attend their anti-racism events or carry their shit placards at demos.
  • This article, on why an honest policy on limiting emissions would mean no airport expansion at Heathrow or anywhere, seems thoroughly accurate and true but man, so depressing. I want mini-breaks.  😦
  • Some good war history on Dunkirk.
  • Also another good sceptical review of an exhibition about British imperialism.
  • FT, so let me know if you can’t get in, but thought this was interesting on how Berlin is dealing with gentrificiation in different ways.
  • While the surge in writing about mental health experiences seems positive mostly, I think this is an important critique of some common flaws in the genre. This is the second part, I imagine there’ll be a link provided to the first within.
  • This is a review of a film (Moonlight) I probably won’t see but it is beautiful writing on black masculinity.
  • I share stuff from The Guyliner fairly frequently, I think. On Coming Out Day, he shared this cute thing about his first kiss.
  • Absolutely bizarre profile of Tony Curtis in his old age.
  • Sort of getting to a point where I’m not even embarrassed anymore at Scrubs having been a formative influence on me. So this retrospective was fun.
  • More good gossip stuff – profile of a gossip expert.
  • This is kind of fascinating on a sort of less awful version of Omegle or all those camgirl websites. IDK it’s long and a bit NSFW but interesting.
  • This one is of interest only to me I reckon but an analysis of all the design decisions in Relic RTS games… such as Company of Heroes.

And that’s your lot, I’m off for a fry-up. xoxo


9th of October: You weren’t going to read until now anyway

Bit late this week, sorry. Also a bit short, as I’ve been on holiday so not consuming quite as much content as I usually do. All-round disappointment, really. Just use it for some post-sunday-lunch perusing.


Song of the week is off Frank Ocean’s new album, which isn’t really new anymore, but if you will insist on exclusivity windows for streaming services, I’m going to arrive late to the party. It’s good though. The Internet is all mediocre cover versions, so I assume the copyright lads are on top of it. Have a Spotify link.*

  • First off the bat is a piece I don’t actually think is that good? Clearly I had some motive for including it in the list but I think it’s mostly to make fun of it.** Basically, I think there’s interesting technical and strategic analysis of a near-future conflict in the Baltic Sea, which is worrying but worthwhile. But it’s framed around this sub-Clancy fiction which is kind of terrifying insofar as what it says about the psyches of all the people involved.
  • Pretty sustained, no-holds-barred piece on Blair’s legacy
  • Fairly surreal profile of Valentine Strasser, who (almost accidentally) became President of Sierra Leone aged 25 after a 1992 coup.
  • Long history of Cyprus and how (mostly) Britain has made a mess of it.
  • It’s worth reading this profile of a life-long forger just to get the context for the headline (“If I sleep for an Hour, 30 People Will Die”)
  • Second week running I’ve got an interesting piece just named after a “genre” of clothes. This, on ‘boyfriend’ clothes.
  • This story of a Scottish island community buying their land back and prospering is pretty cool.
  • This Emily Reynolds bit on how we experience cities through memory etc. was really interesting and resonated a lot, I think.
  • The Pizza Express/McDonalds theory of the Labour party authentocracy has been circulating on my Twitter timeline for a while. Adding Spoons into the mix might be a stretch but I love it.
  • Another great essay from The Good Immigrant on sex and tokenism. I’ve bought the book now so I’ll probably stop sharing them.
  • Rik what does the funny kitchen implement reviews went and did SAS training. IDK. it’s good though.
  • This is sort of poignant on European night trains and how they were accidentally killed off.
  • Speaking of killing off, this story from the frontlines of the war on rats is pretty great.
  • Megan Nolan writes so beautifully.
  • Retelling Big from the mother’s point of view changes the whole film.
  • I know I complained about Fresher’s advice lists last week but I promise this one is worthwhile.
  • this is spectacular:

*was thinking of expanding this feature into a little fortnightly Spotify playlist, and I might still do so but cba this morning.

**IMO I’d just give up reading this week, come back on the 23rd***

***please don’t go away