This week marks a grim anniversary–a year since the UK first went into lockdown. It’s been a bumpy twelve months, to put it mildly. We’ll touch on this briefly in the course of the episode, as well as offering up a couple of links on the ongoing conversation about listening to and offering safe spaces for half the population of the godsdamn planet.
Plus a fun online toy to play with, the seventieth birthday of a famous ten-year old and a very important food and drink pairing guide.
Is this the time? Is now the place? Is this The Cut?
It’s lovely to see the return of an old friend and it seems we’re not alone in that feeling. The Bayeaux Tapestry Generator, an old web toy from the Flash days has been rebuilt and is now available for all your medieval meme needs. We’ve included one of our faves as the featured image. Why not hit up the link and make your own?
This piece from Thomas McBee hit home for a lot of the Cut Crew this week. As writers, we know the dread of imposter syndrome and the creeping worry that everything we do just isn’t good enough. It’s a comfort to realise we’re not alone, even if it’s never really going to quash the fear. We believe this is a problem anyone with a creative bone in their body faces regularly. It’s OK. Better that than complacency, for heck’s sake.
With a year of lockdown behind us, how are we coping? How are you? We hate to worry you, but it turns out you may no longer be the person you were before The Situation. Twelve months of isolation has possibly affected our brain chemistry…
Streaming technology has been a major lifesaver all through The Situation, not least for the beleaguered curators of international film festivals (yeah, yeah, we know, dig out the tiny violin and play us a tune). Cannes took a year off, and many of the other major players dropped to an online-only offering. There’s a possibility of this trend continuing even as the world opens back up again. Film festivals are big, expensive beasts for everyone from distributors to the attendees. Travel costs, venue hire, it all adds up. With events like the biggest horror festival on the planet Frightfest seeing big upticks in people able and willing to attend remotely, are we about to see a new era in the celebration of cinema? And how do you sort out drinks at the hotel bar afterwards?
This story comes based on a set of circumstances which can apparently no longer happen. Which to us feels like a bit of a shame. Happy accidents are often such a source of joy and the tale of Erwin Kreuz and his unscheduled trip to rural Maine is the sort of thing you really couldn’t make up…
We all know Netflix has become one of the big entertainment powerhouses over the past few years. The investment in exciting new film and drama projects has changed the home entertainment landscape. This piece on the way bespoke tools are used to finesse the science of studio production is nowhere near as dry as it sounds, shows just how serious Netflix is about their own content and, most importantly, highlights how mind-meltingly complex a modern movie or drama shoot is.
The previous link comes courtesy of Dan Hon’s brilliant newsletter. We urge you all to snag a subscription and perhaps even a little cash.
When is a cookbook not a cookbook? Last week’s answer would have been ‘when it’s an audiobook’. This week the correct response is ‘when it’s lurid, bug-eyed propaganda’. This Atlas Obscura piece on the alleged cookbook of Oliver Cromwell’s wife is an eye-opening look at a document that… well, as writer Anne Ewbank puts it–
“…if you were to go out and buy a cookery book [supposedly] written by Michelle Obama and the first third of it was an essay by Donald Trump saying how awful Barack Obama was…”
The conversation around safe spaces for women has ramped up in intensity and volume over the past few weeks, with very good reason. Here at The Cut we have always been clear–we believe and stand by all women in the ongoing struggle for equality, including the right to be able to head down the fucking street without harassment or worse. Let’s take a look at a famous NYC safe space, a story with some well-known names and a surprisingly sweet coda…
In a similar fashion, this interview with pioneering chef Amanda Cohen on Resy is likely to raise both heckles and dander. She’s been ahead of the curve for years on experimental ways with vegetarian cuisine, only to be copied, usurped and effectively silenced by loud-mouth food-bros. She’s more than capable of fighting her own corner, though. Now may well be her time.
One last Big Apple-based piece. We promise, this is a goodie. We love food. You get that, right? We love hip-hop. Put the two together and you have a very happy, bouncy Cut Central.
Food and booze pairings are always fun. The Food Desk partook of a great evening late last year hosted by Reading food heroes The Grumpy Goat and Double-Barrelled Brewery. Stout and blue cheese? Ohh yes. There are those that maintain the best accompaniment for a piled-up plate of fish and chips is a big mug of builder’s tea. Burum Collective choose to differ. This might put a new perspective on your weekend visit to the chippy…
And finally. We join the many voices wishing a very happy birthday to one of the most enduring of British comic heroes–Dennis The Menace. The spiky-haired mischief maker has turned seventy, although on the pages of The Beano he will be forever a ten-year-old. Time has not changed Dennis massively, although he’s less of a bully than in the early days (especially as his nemesis Walter is no longer a softy pushover). He’s a classic anti-establishment figure, needed and loved now as much as he ever was. Many Happy Returns!
Exit Music this week comes from Radiohead, who played a blinder of a set as part of the From The Basement series in April 2008. Based firmly on their best album, In Rainbows (no, this is not open to discussion), we invite you to wallow in some fantastic tunes and textures from Oxford’s third-best band after Ride and Supergrass.
See you next Saturday, paranoid androids.