Editor Rob notes:
I woke this morning to do the construction, polish and delivery of this here missive, which has become a very pleasing way to start the weekend. It clears the mind and focusses me on the day ahead while TLC snoozes upstairs. Quiet time. My time with ten links, a song and The Readership.
Today the garden is coated in a thick layer of frost. The heavenly sky-daddy has shaken out a tub of decorative icing sugar, and everything is twinkling. The light is soft, pearlescent. Everything is peaceful. It’s a clear signal we’re coming to the end of another tumultuous year. This time next week I will be 56. This time next month we will be living in the twenty-third year of the twenty-first century, a phrase which feels wildly science-fictional to me. Who knows what 2023 holds? It seems crazy to try and make any predictions. Perhaps next year this blog will be entirely written by a chat bot with art by Dall-E, and I will be surplus to requirements.
I like to hope not. For one thing I’d miss the Saturday mornings, and this quiet time with you, Readership.
Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.
Featured image by Peter Marshall via Flashbak – more here.
If you carry on doing the same thing for long enough, you revolve round from old hat to sexy new fedora before you realise it. As Twitter continues to crumble, people are looking to create social mediums with more of a sense of real connection, a space where they have control over what’s said. The federated community of Mastodon is a start but attention is now being paid to these things called ‘blogs’ which may have something to offer. Ooh, Directory is a brilliant new list of places to start if you want to explore this wild new frontier…
Perhaps you’d be tempted to give ‘blogging’ a go yourself. Here are some top tips to get you started. Speaking as an offshoot of a ‘blog’ which has been running since 2009 we can guarantee it’s an easy and rewarding exercise and you don’t have to deal with any tedious content moderation. It’s you and words and the contents of your head, which can contain multitudes.
The office stereo still regularly rotates to the mash-up masterpiece As Heard On Radio Soulwax Vol. 2, an album filled with mad-eyed invention and top tunage. It’s twenty years since the album rattled the speakers of the cognoscenti (and er, Editor Rob’s home setup). Finally, the record is getting a proper release. The Soulwax guys spoke to Dazed Digital about the history and creation of this massively influential collection.
Here’s a great interview with Mick Herron, creator of Jackson Lamb and his slow horses. The well-crafted adaptation of the series on Apple TV+ is extremely good, but the books are where the good, thick, bitter stuff can be found. Herron seems exactly the sort of bloke who gets his demons out in his writing. We’ve definitely found that the nicest people write the nastiest stuff.
Tom Whitwell gives us a list of 52 things he learned in 2022. We guarantee you will also find some learnings you did not have previously here.
As ever, 2000AD, or more specifically writer John Wagner, predicted the future with aplomb and humour decades ago. As the argument over AI art and writing rumbles on, let’s look back to his character Kenny Who? and how Mega-City One’s comic-industrial complex screwed him over big time.
Get good enough at your creative endeavour and there will come a point where you can do no wrong. Everything flows. Everyone loves you. Success and fame bathe you in a warm flood of approval. It doesn’t last. It’s just a phase. But while you are in that zone, you are mighty. You are—imperial.
The story of Juliane Koepcke’s survival in the Peruvian rainforest in 1971 is one we don’t really want to spoil in a preamble. If you don’t know it, prepare to be amazed.
Every year since 2017, Billie Eilish has sat down with Vanity Fair and conducted the same interview on the same day—18th November. Year Six is just up on the tubes. It’s fascinating to see the changes in her, and pleasing that she seems to be at her most happy and content right now. We also note that this calm, poised, mature and massively successful woman is 20. Did you have an Oscar and complete a world tour before your 21st birthday? Ugh. We need to step up our game.
Aaannnd finally. The release of the brilliant Violent Night starring everyone’s favourite sexy bear David Harbour has sparked this excellent Den Of Geek list of scary Santas. Look, in our mind it’s still spooky season, ok? (Mind you, in our mind it’s always spooky season mooohooohoohahahaha).
Editor Rob shoves the Music Desk recommendation aside:
It’s been a bumpy few weeks, culminating in a family funeral on Monday. I helped to bear my nan’s coffin, and wrote and delivered her eulogy. That’s what I get for calling myself a writer, I guess. People will call you on it at the worst possible time. Anyway, I managed the reading without a wobble and the vicar winked at me, so I’ll take that as a win.
Funerals and wakes are part of the healing process, but don’t think it’s all over just because the ceremonial aspect, however important, is done. Case in point—during my drive into work on Thursday, Sufjan Steven’s Chicago came up on the car stereo. As the music dropped away and the choir sang ‘all things go, all things go’, I had to pull over and take a moment. I did feel better afterwards, and happy to share this song with you on a cold Saturday morning, while the low winter sun brightens the frost in the garden.
See you in seven, sweethearts.