The majority of The Cut staff are still embroiled in the annual writer’s assault course known as Nanowrimo (go here if you have no idea what we’re on about). For those of you joining us on this mad journey–we feel your pain, and we know you’ve got this. Enjoy the ride!
This does mean that today and probably next week’s issue will be shorter than usual. Look, we know you’re disappointed. Bear with us, please. The fact we’re able to do this as well as cope with all the other stuff in our bulging schedules shows how much we care about you.
Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.
Rob on the Ninth Art Desk reports:
Back in the heady days when I was dark of hair and fleet of limb, I chose the path of higher education. The dissertation I wrote to earn my degree was on The Representation Of War In Comics (see, a panel nerd even then). I was pleased to see this excellent piece on NeoTextCorp covering some of the same bases as my long-forgotten excursion into the academic analysis of the funny papers. Always good to see Captain America punching Hitler, too!
We would cheerfully watch a triple bill of Con Air, Face/Off and The Rock any day, not just because we believe Nicolas Cage to be the greatest actor ever to grace the silver screen (he is, tho) but because all three have a smart blend of action, eccentricity and sheer silliness. The urge to watch Con Air was kindled in us again this week as AV Club released a seating plan for the unwilling passengers of the Jailbird. There’s even a listing for the bunny!
It’s probably no secret that the demographic of The Cut’s staff skews older geeky lefty bloke. Imagine our discomfort, then, to see one of our crushes, the wonderful Gillian Anderson appearing in the new season of The Crown as Maragret Thatcher, one of our all time pet hates. It’s an odd experience, to put it mildly. Our Gillian is not the first person to play The Iron Lady, of course. The New York Times talks to some of the actors who have donned the wig and picked up the big handbag…
With shows like The Crown and Downton Abbey defining Britishness across the globe, it’s important for a different perspective to get an airing. We wonder, for example, how the international audience consider Steve McQueen’s Small Axe (now screening on Sunday nights on BBC 1, we recommend strongly) as a portrait of our country at a particular point in time. Writer Laurie Penny takes a closer look at the way our nation’s image has become theme-parked for mass consumption–to the point where we almost believe it ourselves…
Harlan Ellison’s The Last Dangerous Visions has been a Great White Whale of science fiction for decades. The lost third part of a trilogy of short writing that helped redefine modern SF, it’s garnered mythological status for many keen skiffers. Following Ellison’s death last year, it seemed we would never see the anthology. Now, though, Babylon 5 writer J. Michael Straczynski has thrown his hat into the ring (and more importantly some cash on the table) in an effort to actually get the thing in reader’s hands. Some, notably author and contributor to TLDV, Christoper Priest, still don’t think it’ll happen. We’d like to hope it will.
It would be really easy to post an article from the Vittles newsletter every week. It’s the most vibrant and exciting outlet for food writing out there. We recommend you subscribe and perhaps even drop them a little Patreon cash.
We couldn’t resist sharing this piece on the remarkable chef, philosopher and pottymouth Kenny Shopsin, which gives you a path into the mind of a wayward culinary genius.
An an extra treat, check out the 2004 documentary on Shopsin, I Like Killing Flies. Well worth an hour and a half of your time.
You know us, we like a bit of oral history, particularly on the creation of a favourite album. Belle And Sebastian’s Tigermilk is one of those records that snuck up on people, making itself at home in people’s heads before they quite realised what was going on. Even if you think you don’t like fey Scottish indie, we think you’d get on with this.
However, because we are awkward cusses, this week’s Exit Music is not from that album. Instead, we share the greatest song B&S ever recorded–the gigantic, epic Lazy Line Painter Jane. Normal rules regarding volume levels apply, thank you.
See you in seven, hepcats.