The Cut 💉 Issue 31

It’s beginning to look a lot like… oh, you get the idea. As we tumble headlong into the strangest festive season in decades, allow your pals at the Cut to issue perspective in the form of our usual brand of geek-forward linkery. The perfect antidote for those Zoom-party hangovers.

Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.


The vaccine is here! People are getting that sweet sweet anti-Covid juice jacked into their veins even as we write this! Sure, you may be a way down the list but, to the tune of the Christmas Coke ad, corona-free is coming. Did you know, though, that the closest thing Earth has to an actual angel is partly responsible for the vaccine. As if you needed another reason to love Dolly…

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/dec/01/dolly-parton-fund-covid-vaccine

Just the one link from those lazy cusses on the film desk this week, but it’s a good ‘un. Our chums at Film School Rejects look at the remarkable Brokeback Mountain as it reaches it’s fifteenth birthday, and examines how the lenses it was shot with help to accentuate the unreachable distance between Jack and Ennis…

https://filmschoolrejects.com/brokeback-mountain-landscape-as-metaphor/

Over at the music desk, a fine retrospective on unsung punk hero Peter Laughner. A haunted genius with a reputation for hard living, Laughner had much more to offer before his untimely death in 1977. Author and musician Adele Bertei offers a very different view on his life and wild times…

http://www.furious.com/perfect/peterlaughnerbook.html

The music desk also wanted to share the latest from Janelle Shae, whose work with AI is equal parts hilarious and nerve-shredding. She’s trained her pet neural networks on the texts of many well-known Christmas carols. The results are, shall we say, not the sort of thing you want the local choir to be singing this year…

http://aiweirdness.com/post/189845472982/the-ais-carol

Oh, look, we couldn’t resist sharing this. Presented with no further context, please to enjoy a drum ‘n’ bass remix of the Are You Being Served theme. Going up…

It’s rare for us to share an obituary, but this one tells the story of a man we really feel should be better known. Mountaineer, photographer, stunt co-ordinator and inventor of techniques still used for mountain rescue today, let us all be grateful that there was room on the planet for the remarkable Hamish McInnes…

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/03/world/europe/hamish-macinnes-dead.html

If you’re any sort of bookworm, there is a very good chance that you have owned a Billy bookcase at some point. Ikea’s best-seller is a simple but functional piece of furniture which is easy to dress up or down as you please. Of course, simplicity is difficult to do well, and the story of the Billy is one of continuing technical innovation on a global scale…

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38747485

Oh heck, the Ninth Art Desk is at it again…

It’s been forty years since the first strip arrived of one of our favourite daily comics—Berkeley Breathed’s Bloom County. After a long hiatus, we were delighted to see new episodes arriving in 2015, and the Berkster (as no-one calls him) continues to crank out the funnies. The New York Times chats to the guy behind Bill the Cat and Opus the Penguin as he reminisces and reveals why he decided to pick up the ol’ ink pen again.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/08/arts/bloom-county-40-berkeley-breathed.html

After reading this interview with the great Eddie Campbell, we are saving our pennies to invest in his new book, The Goat-Getters. An irreverent history of early sports comics might not sound like a fun read, but we’re always fascinated by the hidden history of comics, especially in an era which valued graphic story-telling techniques in a very different way to us. As ever, the Ninth Art has much to teach.

http://www.tcj.com/getting-the-goat-getters-a-conversation-with-eddie-campbell/

The year-end best of lists have started to arrive, and we wanted to share this one from The Nerdist on the best comics of 2020. Some of our favourites are not included, sadly (whither Giant Days or Die?) but there is plenty of good stuff to spend your Xmas book tokens on here.

https://nerdist.com/article/best-comics-of-2020/

And finally. We had a chuckle at 6 Feet Cover’s socially distanced album covers. It’s a one-note joke, but done exceedingly well. Expect to see some of these pop up as memes on your WhatsApp circles soon.

https://6feetcovers.wixsite.com/6feetcovers


Yes, ok, our Exit Music this week is yet another downbeat tune from a female singer-songwriter. Yes, we know that’s three in a row. We promise, we’ll change things up next week. But we simply couldn’t resist Phoebe Bridgers lovely version of If We Make It Through December… and we believe you’ll thank us for it. Sure, it’s a bit on the nose, but we refuse to apologise for sharing music we like. This will send a chill down you in the nicest of ways.

See you in seven, snowflakes.

Published by

Rob

Writer. Film-maker. Cartoonist. Cook. Lover.

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