Guardian columnist Marina Hyde has a new book out, and is doing press to promote it. She is, to our mind at least, the funniest and sharpest political commentator out there and the book, a collection of her best columns, should be on your Christmas list. She makes one point in interviews extremely well—how the pace of events seems to have escalated to such a point and level of absurdity that her job and that of her peers has been made almost impossible. There’s just too much going on all at once. It’s like trying to drink out of a hosepipe.
We, by comparison, are like the dog at her feet, catching the odd drip. Frankly, we wouldn’t want Marina’s job—although we’re very happy she’s around. No thanks, we’ll stick with being the funny distraction away from the chaos and horror.
Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.
Let’s kick off with a little clarity and wisdom. Brendan at Semi-Rad offers up a single bit of advice that, taken to heart by all, would change discourse on social media overnight. It should get printed on t-shirts.
We’re into spooky season, and times like these need a playlist. Seth Abramson at Retro has a great list of the songs you should be queueing up to blast out all the way through to Halloween and beyond!
Or, you know, write your own. Start with a great beat. Use this brilliant recreation of the legendary Roland TR-909 drum machine. You know the sounds. They’re part of the fabric of dance music. Now go poke around and make something cool.
You know what else is cool? Slaves To Siren, a metal band pushing all the boundaries along with the buttons of the haters. When love for music and the belief in your gang and their abilities can push you over the hurdles these ladies face, you can have nothing but respect and awe. Fire it up!
For the creative soul, habit and repetition are hugely important. Finding that ritual or place or time which will allow you to access the inner voice and get your art into the world is vital to the process. Take David Lynch, whose most fecund period was based on daily visits to an unassuming LA diner and fuelled by waaaaay too much coffee.
Here’s a gallery of some extraordinary images taken during the attempt to douse and cap flaming oil wells lit by retreating Kuwaiti forces during the Gulf War in 1991. The firefighters involved called it Operation Desert Hell. Looking at the photos, you can see why the name is well chosen.
We are long-time admirers of Brummie writer Danny Smith. His work blends gritty social commentary with an embrace of the strange. He also has a very big heart. This report on his summer spent volunteering at a number of music festivals is sharp, honest and endlessly compassionate. All the tales are true, only the names have been changed…
Mirrorshades was the anthology which brought cyberpunk roaring into the mainstream. A science-fictional ethos which, like all good skiffy, reflected the time in which it was created. Long out of print, author and cyber-pioneer Rudy Rucker is hosting a version on his website. There are some seriously good stories in there. Check it out before some overstuffed copyright lawyer gets it taken down.
What is a sword? Weapon? Symbol? Rallying point? Element of identity? Token of loyalty? Author Angus Donald digs into the history of the implement and how, in the society of the Dark Ages, owning and using a sword could mean all sorts of things.
And finally. Our Feline Affairs Desk insists we include this piece which will honestly boggle your brain. If you own a cat you may have noticed how they can somehow sleep with one half of their body in a different orientation to the other. That’s only the starting point to a potentially physics-breaking phenomenon…
This week’s Exit Music is a very cool collaboration between guitarist George Benson, Drummer Jo Jones and tap-dancer Jimmy Slyde. Filmed in Paris in 1972, it’s such a joyful piece of film, filled with light and colour and life. Hope it gets your feet tapping too.
See you next Saturday, hep cats and kittens.