Plans are afoot. Savings, so carefully squirreled away in the quiet years behind us, are about to be counted out and handed over. Changes to Cut Central have been ordered and will be complete by the summer. We’ve been thinking about this work for over a decade. Now, suddenly, it’s really happening. Nothing for you to worry about, Readership. The smooth sailing of this operation will be unhindered by upcoming upheavals. But we’re excited in a gentle middle-class suburban way about the improvements. Let’s hope it’s a tiny precursor of better times ahead (although we appreciate the brass neck in allowing domestic building work at our gaff to stand as a metaphor for hope in the face of a wildly uncertain global future).
This week: quiet places, playing at government and an actual plug for actual Excuses And Half Truths product.
Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.
(The feature image was generated by WomboDream with the prompt ‘Further Excuses’. Another fun web toy to play with if you haven’t already.)
It’s 25 years since Brass Eye first slashed across UK TV screens, and the most brutal of news satire shows still holds an edge today. In celebration the documentary about the show, Oxide Ghosts, is going out on tour. This is a rare opportunity to see the film—it’s only ever shown in theatres, with director Michael Cummings in attendance. He explains the reasons for this deliberately awkward approach to The Quietus, and tells us how Brass Eye resonates even more strongly in today’s sociopolitical climate…
We refused to put a best of 2021 list up this year, but if we had, The French Despatch would have probably been our Film Of The Year. It showed Wes Anderson doubling down on his quirks and particular eccentricities to spectacular effect. It’s not a film for everyone, but it sat quite comfortably in our front yard. Here’s more on the clever structure of the film. We’re raising a SPOILER WARNING if you haven’t seen the film (why not?) and wish to (you should).
Many of you may think things have been a little too darn quiet over the past two years. If you’re like us and crave solitude and silence, here’s a quick guide to the quietest places on earth. They also seem to be some of the most beautiful, which only firms up our thoughts on the matter. Silence is golden…
Our favourite internet toy of the week is SHFL, a venture which delightfully randomizes the simple pleasures of music discovery. Lots to read and listen to, with articles about a track or album pick accompanying links to streaming services (including Spotify, on whom we have Complicated And Contradictory Opinions). It’s good fun and might just end you towards your new favourite band. Get SHFLing!
The furore on American schools banning books went up a few decibels this week following the news that one board had refused to allow Art Spiegelman’s Maus onto library shelves. This, of course, spiked demand for the book and it became the No. 1 bestseller on Amazon for a time. Let’s look at four cartoonists discussing their most memorable banned tomes. Of course, Maus is on the list. Its power can’t be so easily contained…
We absolutely love these metal art takes on soft rock bands, and would cheerfully own all the T-shirts. Yes, even the Phil Collins one.
There are those of us who believe the current incumbents of Parliament are playing a role and frankly not doing a very good job at it. The members of the Reddit group who are playing at government would, we feel, make a better job of it with less all-round drama and wildly unbelievable plot twists.
It’s coming up on Flower And Gift Shop Appreciation Day. We are delighted to present AI Queen Janelle Shane and her pet neural networks as they take on the cliches of the season and show what they can make of them. The results are, of course, tea-snorting funny and close enough to usable to sling onto a card should you feel the urge to well and truly freak out that special someone…
As part of our pledge to showcase more short fiction in 2022, Editor Rob feels it our duty to remind you, o Readership, that he has two anthologies available for purchase. You could have both for less than the price of a basic Barstucks latte. If you like what you read, tell yer friends. If you don’t… quiet, please.
And finally. The idea of a good night’s sleep as eight hours of uninterrupted slumber is a very modern invention, dating to industrialization and the invention of artificial light. Before then, night life was very different. If you’re one of those types who pop awake in the early hours—don’t worry. It’s natural.
Exit Music this week is provided by the mighty Superchunk, whose upcoming album is filled with bangers and guest stars. We like On The Floor, featuring Mike Mills, ex- R.E.M., on backing vocals. His contribution gives the song that particular Athens, Georgia shine. Let this one shake the rafters!
See you next Saturday, ‘chunkers.