1st of October: The Dog Ate My Reading Lists

Now I could sit here and list the various holidays, visitors, hangovers, and gripping Total War campaigns that have led me to forget about you for three months. I could pretend this won’t happen again and promise to return to a weekly schedule of some sort. It’s a mark of the respect with which I treat my dear readers that I won’t, IMO. Nevertheless, I’ve been storing up some really good stuff for you all. I’ve stopped reading #takes and pointless columnists now, so the bar of what I share has been inching upwards.

Every other week I think “this should be the song of the week”, meaning I have about nine different ones I could share with you here, and of course, I can’t think of any. So just sit in silence and think about what a disappointment I am.

  • Really quietly lovely article and photo essay from Aleppo as it starts to pick up the pieces after being retaken by the government.
  • I’ve always been weirdly/morbidly fascinated by the logistics of war, and Afghanistan, with all the challenges getting in and out of it presents, has produced a whole genre of “this is how we moved eight thousand tons of gym equipment from Kandahar to Bagram and onwards” articles. This one tracks a single convoy out of the country and it’s good.
  • Two Adity Chakrabortty articles this week, posted several weeks apart, on similar themes – this is what happens when I forget to post anything for ages. One on the SOAS cleaners’ successful campaign against outsourcing, and one on the conditions that produced the first ever McDonalds’ strike, as well as here, an interview with people on the picket line.
  • Fascinating and long article on air-conditioning and how developing countries are trying to find better methods of cooling as the planet heats up and demand for energy increases. Lot of vicious circles in this one.
  • This is some good research, on what parts of London are technically privately owned and what that implies for public access.
  • I don’t think this was connected to the old creep’s death, and I think the rest of the blog is weird “manliness” stuff, but this article on Playboy’s ideal “bachelor pad” design is a really cool time capsule.
  • Beyond all the titillating sex details (NSFW obv), this article on New York’s underground gay sex parties is a really interesting story about evolving public health and social norms.
  • So its tricky, because this article is obviously about an international class of, basically, entitled knobs. It’s a profile of a company that offers a kind of fully-catered communal living situation all over the world so you can just rock up in Bali and not have to do all the difficult stuff, just go straight into a bubble. But the article is really interesting? So. Also, this one, on a similar company, but for office space, is interesting to me, because we recently viewed one of their offices and it had free beer on tap.
  • You may never enjoy the Sims again after this article.
  • It is cleaning day at the flat today so I am thinking a lot about this article on emotional labour and “””nagging””” in hetero relationships.
  • Seriously depressing and bleak look at the dangerous labour practices of betting shops.
  • Lovely bit of background and history on The Culture from the Iain M. Banks novels. If you needed those last six words of explanation it won’t be for you, admittedly.
  • Maybe the London Underground wi-fi tracking project is a little creepy, but there’s some really cool facts being unearthed about how we move around stations and the city.
  • Why London should be denser and full of six-story Parisian townhouses.
  • Great tribute to London chicken shops that doesn’t come from a place of ironic Goldsmiths student fetishisation.
  • Grace Dent is a bit of a knob, but I did like this article on where she, a food critic, actually likes to eat.
  • I don’t know enough about linguistics to know how much of this article on how English developed its quirks is accurate, but it’s cool. Also, a cool article on weird demonyms.
  • Only Fools and Horses is extremely good, and also, apparently despite being about a family of white south Londoners, resonated with lots of immigrant families. This was sweet, anyway.
  • This is absurd and funny, on how Toploader got the writer through depressive episodes.
  • As a Brazilian man, blessed with Joga Bonito and other such marketing campaigns, I can’t identify with this article on being shit at football, and how it can isolate you as a bloke. Still interesting though.
  • Game of Thrones triple-whammy, now that the season’s over. A thoughtful piece on how the different “things” the TV series has been are increasingly coming into contradiction as it approaches its end (i.e., it was subversive fantasy but also straight fantasy, and those have different kinds of endings). Two really good, really thoughtful essays, much better than all the contemporary #takes, on sexual violence and violence by women in Game of Thrones.

And that’s your lot! Until next time, lads, take care x