There are times when we look at the gathered input for an episode of The Cut with a mixture of confusion and bewilderment. What does it say about us that these are the links we choose to share with you, Readership? What does it say about our browsing habits? More worryingly, why is there stuff in here we don’t even remember seeing? Is the whole thing assembled in a kind of fugue state, a half-dreaming mode? Is there an argument for The Cut being, to some extent, a self-generating object? Is there really anyone in the office at all?
For example—this week, we look at Yugoslav pop, chicken nuggets and ask the question ‘is the Earth a giant crystal?’ What the heck is all that about?
Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.
We recommend watching Spike Jonze’s clip for Kenzo World first (an embed is available at the end of the article), then going back to read how he and his team pulled it off. What looks like a comparatively simple performance piece has a lot of hidden special effects going on under the hood…
John Higgs is one of our greatest contemporary thinkers. He has a real affinity for the psychedelic angles in British culture. This chat with the Quietus, in which he winkles out the hidden connections between the songwriting of the Beatles and the dark creatures of Lovecraftian lore will give your brain-meats a suitably bracing workout.
Here’s one of those lists on a particular kind of creative endeavour with applications in, well, every kind of creative endeavour. Mark Ravenhill knows his drama. There’s a lot of solid advice in this piece to improve your writing or painting or woodwork or whatever.
As we reach a certain age, those of us in Cut Central who are not figments of the imagination or possible virtual constructs of a thought-golem like to read about protagonists of our own vintage. They’re just more interesting, particularly in tales where they shrug off the shackles of a hitherto-mediocre life and go on adventures. Wish-fulfilment? Well, duh.
The Eighties was, undeniably, the greatest decade (complaints or refutations can be addressed to The Bin, Over In The Corner By The Coffee Machine, Cut Central, Reading RG4). To discover and read about a subculture flourishing under our radar which brings up a whole new golden seam of synthy dramatic pop to enjoy is a treat we feel needs to be shared with all, even you surly youngs who wouldn’t know good music if we chilled it and shoved it up your jumper.
It seems deeply odd to us that people wouldn’t want a vaccine to halt the worst disease of the modern age. The patience and fortitude of those who are administering the cure is nothing less than extraordinary, and we applaud all those working to keep the world safe. None more so than the medical operatives rolling out the vaccine to remote rural communities in South America. This is going above and beyond…
The USA is, essentially, a series of loosely-connected communities made accessible to each other by very long roads. Is it any wonder that the gas station has become such an iconic part of the American experience or that so many of the immigrants to this vast, strange country have realised they can best share their distinctive cuisines by using these modern-day staging posts?
We hesitate to talk about the peculiar Tango-orange lump of hate and ugliness who was so much a part of the news cycle in The Before Times. But this bit in Ars Technica on the techniques and processes by which his brand of nastiness was spread (and the people who profit from it) is well worth a look as an examination of what ‘fake news’ is and continues to be.
This is the bit where a discussion is had as to whether the Earth is a giant crystal. That’s the tweet. Go read.
And finally. It should be remembered that the chicken nugget is a constructed object. As such, it was designed. Think about that. Someone was hired to come up with the shape and texture of the chicken nugget.
Rebecca Taylor, trading as Self-Esteem, is creating some of the smartest sharpest pop right now. Her new record, Prioritise Pleasure, is a clear statement of intent which, as an added bonus, is a glitchy treat that’s fun to flail about to (official Cut policy regarding The Dance is very forgiving and accepts all forms of arhythmic thrashing around as long as a good time is had: judgement-free zone, all skill levels embraced). She’s coming to Reading next month and we plan to be there. Enjoy this as our Exit Music presentation, and check out more below about where Rebecca came from and is going.
See you next Saturday, pleasure-seekers.