The Cut Season 2 Episode 16

We are yet to have a haircut. We have yet to drink a pint in the sunshine. We are shy and retiring creatures and the news footage of all those people and all that noise has put us into retreat a bit. It will come, perhaps this weekend. After all, we all look like versions of Doc Emmet Brown from Back To The Future now. We celebrate and congratulate those of The Readership who have taken their first steps into a brighter world. We hope to join you soon.

In the meantime, check out one writer’s post-Covid schedule, snag a primer on the weird world of government economics and join us in song as we say goodbye to a legend.

Here in this place, now at this time, you will find The Cut.

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The Cut Season 2 Episode 13

Doldrums. Holding pattern. Stuck in an unmoving queue. Days merge to weeks, weeks blur to months. Like a tanker on the Suez Canal, jammed in place, going nowhere. Sometimes, the closer you get to a sense of release, the more time slows. Zeno’s paradox, where you can never reach the finish line, however near it looms.

Anyway. Don’t mind us. We got all dreamy thinking about a quiet pint in a pub and the blues took hold. Once we get past Eggmas, things will look better. Hey, whaddya say we look at some links? This week, musical legends lost and found, a taxonomy of pasta shapes and the pub that came back from the dead.

Right here, right now, this is The Cut.

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The Cut Season 2 Episode 11

Featured image by Joel Meyerowitz, Times Square, New York City, 1963. Via Flashbak.

We begin with a little housekeeping. Some of you will have noticed there was no drop yesterday. The inevitability of a skip day has been looming ever more since responsibilities other than The Cut (yes, we do have lives and engagements more pressing than the newsletter, distressing as that might sound) have jumped on our backs and starting nibbling at our earlobes.

So, thus and therefore, the executive decision has been made to shift The Cut’s drop point to Saturday morning. This gives our beleaguered staff a little more wiggle room to deliver on schedule and means you, our beloved Readership, can now read our compilation of curiosities in bed with a nice cup of tea. Everyone wins! Do join us in this brave new world of possibilities.

This week—Muppets! Creepy skunks! And yes, something about reading in bed.

Saturday is the time. Bed is the place. This is The Cut.

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The Cut Season 2 Episode 7

It’s all feeling a bit liminal. Although the news improves around vaccination levels and dropping R rates, life still has the frozen quality of a holding pattern. The streets remain quiet, the shops mostly closed. The pubs… better not to think about that lest we dissolve into a puddle of regretful tears. But hey, as the great seer Steve Miller put it— ‘time keeps on tickin’, tickin’, tickin’, into the future’. Bring on the summer.

Today we check out the fun you can have with explosives, consider how a Mars colony might deal with a pandemic and consider the vexed question of American cheese.

Hey, you there! Now is the time, yeah? This is the place, right? What else could this be but The Cut‽

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The Cut 💉 Issue 31

It’s beginning to look a lot like… oh, you get the idea. As we tumble headlong into the strangest festive season in decades, allow your pals at the Cut to issue perspective in the form of our usual brand of geek-forward linkery. The perfect antidote for those Zoom-party hangovers.

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

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The Cut 🔪Issue 24

It is a week when Phil Collins’ ex-wife barricaded herself in his mansion with armed guards at the door, a woodworking show featured a face-tatted Nazi sympathiser, and one-time Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani was caught with his hands down his kecks in the presence of an actress in the new Borat movie. Frankly, we can’t compete with that. Come, hide under the covers with us and enjoy some writing that won’t make you feel like the abyss is staring into you.

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

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The Cut ⚔️ Issue 22

“But he had spent so much of his life insisting that he was right that to admit he was wrong then would have been to raise the terrible shadow of what else he was wrong about. A strong man can’t be wrong.” (from “The Pursuit of William Abbey” by Claire North)

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

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The Cut 🪒 Issue 21

Michaelmas has come and gone. The nights are starting to draw in. We are heading into spooky season… like things weren’t freaky enough already. Oh well. Draw the curtains, pull up to a bottle and join us as we flag up the pings on our radar this week. We have a metal god, a robust response to some poorly-judged street art and a song that could well be the anthem of 2020.

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


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The Cut – Issue 12

Here we are again, my lovelies. Three months of linky goodness from Cut Command, beaming out from our transmission tower high on a hill overlooking the biggest town in the UK. We are proud to provide you, therefore, with the finest in Reading material.

Look, come on, four months of lockdown will do a number on anyone’s head. Let’s crack on, shall we? Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.

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The Cut – Issue 11

Well, slap our withers and call us rosy, there goes another week! Time she doth fly, up into the rafters like a deranged pigeon to root around in the loft and make an ungodly mess. A phrase we could use to describe this ish of The Cut, which it has, we’ll be honest, been a bit of a scramble to pull together for deadline what with work and lives and whatever this fresh hell that is supposed to be normal is doing to us. WE HOPE YOU’RE GRATEFUL. Anyhoo. Let’s have a look at what the time-pigeon has dislodged, shall we? Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.


Let us consider Judge Dredd. It’s long been recognised that Mega-City One’s most ferocious lawman serves as parody and satire in equal measure to the thrills, chases and gunfights which may have drawn us in as excitable, sci-fi obsessed nine-year-olds. We offer for your approval two articles looking into this side of the man in the hat and his screwy world, both of which offer some fascinating insight. Also, who knew there was a new animated Dredd web-series out there? You do now!

https://filmschoolrejects.com/judge-dredd-vs-dredd-on-the-satire-scale-d823322cbf7f/

https://neotextcorp.com/culture/the-devil-you-know/

Keeping it comics, we wanted to highlight a delightful set of short films that came out a few years back, giving us the closest look yet at what a Calvin And Hobbes live-action production might look like. As creator Bill Watterson has no interest in merchandising or expanding the reach of the strip beyond what already exists (and who can blame him, as how do you improve upon perfection?) it’s nice to see this glimpse at another viewpoint on the boy and his tiger. These are really, really good.

https://news.avclub.com/hobbes-me-brings-a-beloved-comic-strip-to-stylish-lif-1798246596

You may be unfamiliar with Arnold Lobel’s Frog And Toad books. They are a heady mix of the aesthetics of The Wind In The Willows, the mood and atmosphere of The Moomins and the melancholy romanticism of E. M. Forster. Slate takes a good hard look at the stories and Lobel’s life to reveal stories that are very much more than the sum of their parts.

https://slate.com/culture/2020/07/frog-and-toad-anniversary-arnold-lobel.html

We stay in a literary frame of mind by sharing this excellent Open Culture list of free short stories. It’s a really good primer for the precision and detail needed to pull off a great piece of short fiction, featuring some of the best writers around. Whatever your tastes, you will find something to love here. And should you feel the urge to have a dabble yourself, we offer some tips from Mister Sandman himself, Neil Gaiman, who provided some powerful knowledge-bombs in his recent Masterclass series. Solid gold awaits the brave traveller.

http://www.openculture.com/2020/07/29-free-short-stories-from-some-of-todays-most-acclaimed-writers.html

https://writingcooperative.com/neil-gaimans-top-13-writing-tips-d78848fd85f0

It has often been thought that the deranged visions of Heironymous Bosch were brought on by the artist eating bread made with wheat tainted with a hallucinogenic fungus. But there is another contender for his deranged vision of hell. Darnel is a grain that looks almost exactly like wheat and grows alongside it. In large doses, it’s fatal. In small amounts it messes with human vision and speech, acting as an intoxicant. Darnel is mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays and it seems the effects were recorded in documents from the Ancient Greeks onwards. The symbiotic relationship between the psychoactive grain and our bread- and beer-making urges has existed for a very long time.

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/wheats-evil-twin-has-been-intoxicating-humans-for-centuries

If you want a drink in New York, you have to have something to eat as well. That rule, imposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, has made the life of the poor schlubs running bars in The Big Apple that bit harder. To get round the new rules, dollar menu items are appearing that owe more than a nod to the infamous and inedible pre-Prohibition bar snack, the Raines Sandwich. Vice has more to digest on this…

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/dyz44j/bars-are-serving-ridiculous-dollar1-menu-items-to-stay-open-during-covid-restrictions

Our long read this week is from writer Jonathon Maselik, and digs deeply into the drinking culture of Northern Pennsylvania. Bar culture across the pond has always felt odd and a little uncomfortable to us. The tipping etiquette and expectations is a potential minefield. We found this piece moving and worried that in some places it struck a little too closely to home, despite the cultural differences…

https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/drinking-alone

Talking about writing that speaks very clearly to us, this short missive from artist and zinester Austin Kleon says a lot about introversion and the quest for healing silence. It’s difficult to filter out the noise, even in lockdown. But for those of us who crave the quiet life, it’s desperately important to find that still point in the day.

https://austinkleon.com/2019/02/02/on-solitude-and-being-who-you-are/


And finally. We were saddened to hear of the passing this week of Tim Smith. His band, Cardiacs, were a singular mix of psychedelia, punk and prog who committed completely to his vision on how they presented themselves. As worker drones of the Alphabet Business Concern, Cardiacs had a dress code and musical direction that were strictly adhered to. Think a skewed English version of early Arcade Fire with more pancake makeup and gurning. That’s not right, but it’ll at least set you on the road. Tim was hit with a rare neurological illness that blighted the last ten years of his life—a tragic loss to English music. Who knows what twisted magnificence he could have wrought if he’d been at full strength in these strange times?

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jul/22/cardiacs-tim-smith-a-one-man-subculture-who-inspired-total-devotion

Our Exit Music, therefore, is in tribute to Tim and Cardiacs. Their anthem and a great starting point for anyone who wants to know more. Is This The Life? Well, there’s a question.

See you in seven.