In an interesting read in the NYRB
, Jonathan Freedland lays out a “how did this happen?” for today’s upside-down UK
, drawing out the space between the 2012 Olympics when the jubilant country was comparatively “an island of civic calm compared” and whatever current madness has gripped it. His lens is Jonathan Coe’s Middle England
, which he sees as the first of the post-Brexit novels. But honestly we think we think he’s overlooked a better novel published around the same time — Sarah Moss’s deceptively short and sneakily devastating Ghost Wall
, which digs down through time and beneath the earth into the bog and the tangled roots to really
get to the heart of it.
In the wake of the burning Amazon and the geopolitical peacocking it inspired, David Wallace Wells writes a strange little piece on the potential future political landscapes reshaped by climate change action
. There’s a lot of interesting stuff in here on the potential for ecofascism or ecosocialism in equal measure, but we’re not certain what to do with his argument that the rise of visible disaster may actually be something from which we can draw hope? Because the only way to spur action is to horrify? That’s some rich rainforest-smoked lemonade to be attempting to make right now.
This week’s goodie bag comes with a song
You could spend weeks dipping in and out of the details of Doug Bock Clark’s extensively researched and calmly told recounting in GQ of the full story of John Chau
, the young American missionary who met his end last year at the hands of the uncontacted Sentinelese tribe he was trying to bring to God.
“Forgers can be something of a Rorschach test for the public. The art world, with its exclusivity, money, and pretension, elicits strong, sometimes negative reactions. The idea of someone skilled enough with a paintbrush or pen to fool the rich and powerful can be tantalizing.” A big, fun, twisty-turny long read from Anna Altman in The Atavist
— art world cons always make for the best stories, don’t they?
It’s been more a month now since David Marchese’s NYT Mag interview with Nicolas Cage
came out, and not a day has passed when we haven’t thought about it just a little bit. It’s somehow still growing, evolving, possessed by ancient spirits?
Haskell Wexler’s Medium Cool somehow turns 50 this year
, and yet for those of us who wonder at the underlying mechanics of how stories are told, and what the responsibilities are of those who both tell them and hear them, it’s still one of the most important foundation texts there is.
Hey neighbour, the police are on your doorstep, inside your smart doorbell,
thanks to Amazon-owned Ring. Ok, it’s opt-in access to personal cameras that are generally
pointed toward the street and technically
intended as safety devices anyway. But that’s only because they know better than to leap directly to Eye of Sauron capabilities that would be granted if they had free access to in-home webcams, Echo Looks, and Portal from Facebook…s.