The Cut Season 2 Episode 40

We are autumnising. Cut Central is slowly transforming, becoming more of a snug nest in which we can hunker down and shelter against the change in the weather. The soft furnishings are coming to the fore. There are many cushions. Comfort is the key, a protective layer between us and the sharp edges of the world. We might even build a fort.

This week—1001 albums, the Tiktokification of mental health and the most inappropriate place to put a soup advert.

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

Music on the move has been part of our lives for longer than we think. We may have all the music we could ever need and more in our pockets, but let’s not forget innovations allowing us to take our tunes out with us have been around for decades. Think about the iPod. Think about the pocket transistor radio. Then there’s the Mikiphone, the first record player you could carry in your pocket. Sure, you still need to lug the platters to play on it around with you, but as proof of concept it’s a great-looking piece of industrial design!

Having so many options in music can lead to a contraction in aural boundaries. Rather than opening up to new forms, it’s easy to fall back on your favourite playlists. The algorithms behind Apple Music and Spotify pick up on that and simply offer more of the same under the guise of ‘new music’. It’s a scattershot way of listening, too, as vast playlists take the place of a full album. Which is where 1001 Albums Generator comes in. It picks a record a day from the book 1001 Albums You Must Listen To Before You Die, and serves it up with handy links to your streaming service of choice. It’s a great way to get back into the habit of playing a complete piece of work. We love it.

Here’s another set of musical recommendations from a great set of authors and artists. They big up and discuss records which inspired them and in some cases helped give birth to iconic works. There’s some good stuff from good people in here.

The Situation has brought mental health out as a subject we can talk about much more openly than in The Before Times. We’re all struggling to some degree and have realised how important it is to talk about our worries. Social media has had two effects in relation to the subject. There are positives to a discussion about mental health but it’s also very easy for randos to diagnose you with conditions you don’t have, based on their poor reading of your posts and laughably incomplete ‘research’…

There are some iconic movies in the wild world of trash cinema, from The Room to Plan 9 From Outer Space to Paul Verhoeven’s bonkers tale of Hollywood excess, Showgirls. We aren’t sure we can recommend it but it’s a ‘once seen never forgotten’ experience. Daily Grindhouse points us at the sequel, a low-budget remix focusing on a side-character from the original. The Film Desk is mildly obsessed with this movie now. Sometimes you just have to keep it trashy.

Kelly Thompson has a newsletter! The Ninth Art Desk is delighted to see a brilliant comics creator talking about her work and, more importantly, sharing her process. If you’re any sort of comics nerd you need this in your life. If you’re at all interested in the choices and decisions which go into the creation of a piece of art, this will rock your boat. What we’re saying is, go read.

As we are in spooky season now, it behooves the Ninth Art Desk to share this brilliant article from NeoTextCorp on some of the greatest horror comics ever published. Creepy and Eerie were prime examples of how great art and storytelling married to a GDAF attitude brought about a huge change in scary-books. We are still influenced by those comics today—just look at Creepshow!

How’s your diet these days? Eating healthy? Cutting out the bad stuff and focusing on the good as a way to shed some of that lockdown wobble? There’s a problem, though. Our perception of what constitutes a healthy diet is subject to change as the science refines. The ugly truth—we simply have no idea about what foods are good for us.

As film, animation and food fans we nurture a deep and enduring love for Pixar’s Ratatouille. It’s the story of a cartoon rat who follows his dream of cooking in a high-end French restaurant—what’s not to love? But for some, the film has an even deeper meaning which highlights aspects of their own life and identity. Ratatouille as a coming-out metaphor, who saw that coming?

The Book Desk’s favourite story of the week came courtesy of author Diane Duane, who spotted a strange addition in a German translation of one of her Star Trek novelisations. Not just a typo or a misinterpretation of a metaphor. A full-blown advert for soup jammed into the text. Which is when Terry Pratchett enters the room…

And finally. A brilliant piece of graphic journalism by Andy Warner at The Nib on Silicon Valley’s obsession with and quest to find the holy grail—immortality. Who wants to live forever? Zuckerberg, apparently…

We return to our 1001 Albums generator to share the one track we have not been able to get out of our heads since we blasted it out on the office stereo earlier in the week. A classic slice of dramatic, bombastic pop from the masters, ABC. Who broke my heart? You did. You did.

See you next Saturday, lovelorns.

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

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