It’s kind of difficult to try and sum up a week when everything is happening all at once and it’s only (checks watch) teatime on Thursday. Let us offer you a refuge from the madness. Fair warning, though, there’s a little bit of economics and politics in amongst the usual cruft and hoohah. We’ll try not to make a habit of it, honest.
Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.
I think we’ve all figured out that when a big-name restaurant critic sits down to lunch somewhere, he or she is not going to get the same service as the rest of us. You have to wonder how high the blood pressure of the chef spikes just on the rumour that Jay or Grace or Marina might be popping in for a bite. The Fence decided to make the whole process a bit more transparent, and managed to point out a few home truths about the game along the way…
Cut Crush and food writer extraordinaire Jack Monroe is rightly all over the news this week after she saw the abstract figure on cost-of-living rises and decided to present them in a more people-friendly way. From this brilliant start she’ll be heading up a new metric to look at the hit your weekly food bill is taking with the creation of The Vimes Boots Index.
Wondering what the reference means? Here’s some context, with a further update on how things are going.
We mentioned Jay Rayner earlier. We’re fans of his work and pay attention when he has a recommend for us. This little internet tool, which pings up pics from random restaurants around the world, has eaten up more of our time over the past few weeks than we’d care to admit. Sometimes it’s good to dream of a meal from somewhere totally new…
In 1977 a guy called Snoopy, deep in the joy of his favourite music, published a list of the 125 best dub reggae albums of all time. 45 years later, the list is still relevant, vital and sparking robust discussions among fans of the genre. Here’s an interview with Snoopy, still fannishly enthusiastic after all this time. We guarantee you’ll want to wind up some tunes after reading this.
We hear so much about ‘cancel culture’ without ever being sure what the term actually means. There are elements of misunderstanding, miscommunication, generational issues and frankly bewildering storms of anger over things that seem trivial to some and desperately important to others. We believe you should know what you’re talking about before lobbing an opinion-bomb into someone’s time. So let’s define our terms.
We remember a short animation as part of the seminal BBC TV show Big Train which featured an extreme staring contest. It turns out such competitions actually exist and the ‘sport’ has fans worldwide. Not only that, the process of staring intently and with utter focus on an object can have unexpected benefits. If you’ll excuse us, we have to go and watch some paint dry.
The Marble Index is one of those albums which has built a reputation over and above its disappointing initial release. It is angular and uncompromising, angry and unsettling. For fans, it’s arguably better than anything Nico did with the Velvet Underground. We love deep dives like this, although we’re still chewing on the grist of the music itself…
Early 19th Century Reading was home to The Gentleman Danes, prisoners taken during the Napoleonic Wars. They settled here and, moving freely among the populace, became upstanding members of our town. One of the Danes, Jørgen Jørgensen, would have a life less ordinary. Rather than settling quietly in Tilehurst, he chose adventure and conquest becoming, for a short while at least, the king of another island nation…
We were saddened to see the end of one of the greatest science-fiction shows this month. The Expanse is a solid recommend from all the Cut Crew—a show about family and boundaries and discovery and conquering demons of all types, shapes and sizes, from prejudice to giant interstellar energy-monsters. Let’s look at how it began, ended and what’s next.
Life becomes a little simpler when you simply accept that William Gibson has written our future out and all we have to do is pay attention. In this searingly incisive bit of political commentary and critical theory, Cory Doctorow looks at how London is already becoming closer to its corrupt 23rd century Jackpot iteration.
And finally. Editor Rob’s day job is tangled in the discussions had in this next article about how films look different in the 21st century. He thinks some of it is bang on, some a little off. Buy him a beer and he’ll dig into it for you. In the meantime, we’re sorry to report turning up the brightness on your telly won’t really help the situation.
We’re going out Detroit-style this week. We dug this Alt Press rundown on some iconic Motor City rock, filling in the gaps between MC5 and The White Stripes. If you’re in the mood for snotty, wiry and propulsive bangarangs, step this way. We’re featuring an EP from Cinecyde, who are still banging out the grooves but trust us, there’s plenty more strut and snarl to enjoy.
See you next Saturday, punks.