The Cut Season 2 Episode 44

We’re deep into Nanowrimo now. The wordcount is never quite what it could be, the characters are flat and unengaging, the plot is full of holes and the prose is ugly as a frog in a tiara. But then you hit that glorious point and magic happens. A nice phrase pops up, your hero or heroine does something unexpected and all of a sudden the words are flowing and you’re having fun. At least, that’s what we hope is happening to everyone on the path with us. Keep going, people. The only way out is through.

If you need a break, we are here with our usual Saturday Shenaniganalia. This week: how to communicate with aliens, sex with cars and poisoned humbugs.

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

‘They say there are two things in life you can rely on—death and enchiladas.’

That’s just the lede. We’re starting strong, with Alex Begg’s beautiful piece on food, memory and mourning. We find good writing to be an inspiration. This one is very inspiring indeed.

Communication is a complicated subject. We live on a small planet in a back-water solar system at the edge of an unremarkable galaxy. Even so, we find it hard to make ourselves understood amongst members of our own species. How can we reach out and introduce ourselves to members of an alien civilisation? Illustrator and designer Rian Hughes has no easy answers, but at least he unpacks the questions in an entertaining manner…

Writer Marie Le Comte has had enough. Lockdown has shown just how unbearable the workplace had become in the times before The Situation. She voices the feelings many of us are having in her usual smart and witty fashion. This may just be the manifesto of The Great Resignation.

Benjamin Grimm, AKA The Thing, is one of the more complex and fascinating characters in the Marvel Universe. Never just a dumb thug, he has heart and soul under that crusty exterior and represents for many readers a reflection of their own complicated lives. For perspective, we need look no further than towards acclaimed author Walter Mosley, who’s about to publish his own take on Yancy Street’s favourite son…

We’re sure you’ve all read about the lawsuit filed on the Nirvana estate on behalf of the baby on the front cover of Nevermind—or rather, the man that child became. He is not the first to claim copyright on his own image, of course, and there’s a fascinating history of similar cases to be found.

Here’s a treat for animation fans, or indeed anyone with an interest in mid-20th century design. The fine folks at Animation Obsessive have dropped a high-res copy of the long-out-of-print Cartoon Modern, a truly comprehensive look-book on the UPA era. There are design cues here that are still recognisable—heck, still used today. Nerdy? Yup. Essential? Totally.

We are delighted to note Aimee Mann has a new album coming out. She has always been one of our favourites. Her dry wit and exceptional tunesmithery regularly grace the Cut Stereo. As part of the promo rollout for Queens Of The Summer Hotel, she’s given a remarkable interview to The Guardian on her life and strange times. Believe us, some of those times are very strange indeed…

We are still in spooky season, so we present a story that will make you look at the Halloween sweets still sitting on your shelf in a whole new light. There are urban myths every year about candy that’s been adulterated with everything from razors to CBD (why anyone would give expensive weed gummies to kids for free is beyond our understanding, but rumours gonna rumour). Here is the ur-text from which all those scare-stories sprung.

And finally. This one is not for everyone, so we’re slapping a big fat content warning over it. This incredible piece from NeotextReview on body horror and the transformative nature of the automobile takes films like David Cronenberg’s Crash, Tetsuo The Iron Man and the upcoming Titane and mashes them into a fresh and disturbing narrative. The human-machine interface just took a hard left turn…

We’ll let Aimee Mann provide this week’s Exit Music, with a fine rendition of her song Save Me. This one has always resonated with us and is a great starting point if you’re new to her stylings. We hope this could be the start of a beautiful relationship.

See you next Saturday, saviours.

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

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