The Cut Season 2 Episode 8

We may, perhaps, finally, be on the verge of a beginning of an end. At least to this phase in The Situation. Vulnerable and aged members of The Cut Crew (yeah, ok, that describes most of us) have been given their microchips and are now beaming all our secrets to a server in Wuhan Province. Whatever gets us back in the pub soonest, right?

In this ep, how political cartoons have always been science-sceptic, all the radio on the planet and a childhood favourite goes prog.

AYE AND GAMORRAH. Here is the place. Now is the time. This is The Cut.

Shelley Duvall is probably best known as Stanley Kubrick’s punching bag in The Shining, enduring hundreds of punishing, emotionally draining takes of the same scene. She was also Robert Altman’s go-to female lead, starring in five of his movies, including an iconic Olive Oyl in his remarkable take on Popeye. Now in her seventies, she’s retreated from the public eye to live a simple life in Texas. Fragile but still tough where it counts, this lovely Hollywood Reporter portrait gives us a peek into the third act of a beloved icon of cinema and TV…

This is a little gruesome, but our Music Desk insisted, and they have control of the stereo so we have no choice. Is there anything more metal than a guitarist playing an instrument he built using his dead uncle’s skeleton? No is the answer. None more metal. There’s more to the story though. This is a tale of legacy, memory and tribute. Horns high.

We love a good cause here at The Cut. We’re charitable types who care about the planet and all the wonderful creatures upon it. It is with pride and delight, then, that we have decided to adopt a mascot for the newsletter. The welcome pack is yet to arrive, but we can’t wait to say hello to the newest pledge to The Cut Crew, a member of one of the most endangered species on the planet. Let us introduce you to the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus…

There is more context, which we suggest you also cast an eye over, below.

Is the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus Endangered?

Political cartooning is an important part of a free press. A well-aimed sketch can often do more to puncture reputations and pop over-inflated egos than any other medium. However, sometimes the target is less deserving. Nature Magazine looks at how cartoonists of the eighteenth and nineteenth century took a very jaundiced view of scientific advances such as the cowpox vaccination. The more things change, the more they stay the same…

The Korean SF romp Space Sweepers dropped on Netflix last week to largely positive reviews. It is of course eye candy of the highest order. It also takes a surprisingly nuanced and mature view of the economics of life in space, and how class will still play a big part in how a post-Earth society is ordered. In other words, the working class will still get the sticky end of the stick…

Space Sweepers and the History of Working Class People In Space

What would you call an item which starts as a physical object before getting scanned into a computer, manipulated and then reprinted as another physical object? Author, thinker and all-round future-guru Robin Sloan calls them flip-flops. He has examples and more consideration on the way the boundaries between digital and analogue are starting to blur.

We’ve all seen the clips of an athlete pulling off an extraordinary and effortless feat of skill. From impossible gymnastic flips to sick skateboard stunts, they’re everywhere on your Tiks and Instas. The work going into these flawless few seconds is not mentioned. When freestyle biker Matt Jones wanted to try a stunt no-one had ever managed, he chose to document the whole process. There’s a lot going on here, which Jason Kottke unpacks, but the gist is simple. You want to get good at something? You’d better be ready to work.

Hats off to our pal Rob ‘King Kaiju’ Maythrone for the next link. Radio Garden is a window onto the plethora of audio entertainment available. Back in the day, you’d need a shed full of kit and a tree-tall antenna. Now, open up a browser. Set yourself aside some time and get exploring. Your ears will thank you.

And finally. It is time for yet another of our Readership Compatability Tests. Quiet at the back. Who’s up for a list of the indisputable fifty greatest craft in SF, compiled by director, massive geek and supervisor of the special effects for Duncan Jones’ Moon Gavin Rothery (Seriously, check out Archive, now available to purchase on Amazon Prime, it’s great)? Of course you do, and of course you’ll have opinions. Hit us up in the comments with your faves.

Our Exit Music this week combines two of our great loves. The Charlie Brown cartoons and prog rock legends Yes. Put the two together and magic is created. Turn this one up and dance like Snoopy.

See you in seven, sweethearts.


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

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