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‘The scripts were the funniest things I’d ever read’: the stars of Peep Show look back, 20 years later

Before there was Succession, there was Peep Show. A brilliant piece of TV that launched a bunch of careers. If you haven't seen it, give yourself the gift of checking it out.

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The Berkeley Hotel hostage

I know people who worked with Douglas Adams and I'm incredibly envious of them. He seems like someone I would have really enjoyed meeting - and his books (all of them) were a huge part of my developing psyche. This story seems so human, so relatable. Trapped by his success, in a way.

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Refusing to Censor Myself

A less-discussed problem with book bans: publishers will self-censor, as they did here by requiring the removal of the word "racism" in the context of internment camps.

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Writer Sarah Rose Etter on not making things harder than they need to be

I found this interview fascinating: definitely a writer I look up to, whose work I both enjoy and find intimidatingly raw. And who happens to have a very similar day job to me.

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Being Black in a Small Town

“When popular culture thinks of Blackness, rarely does somebody think of a tiny little town or a mountainside and the Black person who’s there. I want to be a part of revealing that this thread—that Black skin—can be even on the side of a mountain.”

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How to Uphold the Status Quo: The Problem With Small Town Witch Romances

I see this as less of a problem in cozy witch fiction - which, I must be clear, I have read zero of - and more of an issue in American fiction as a whole, across all media. These books (probably) aren't actively laundering racist ideas; they're perpetuating cultural discrimination that is under the surface everywhere. Still, it's incumbent on authors to understand and be accountable to the tropes they're building with.

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thoughts on the suicidal mind

This resonated with me a lot. What I'll say is: I'm glad Winnie is in the world. I know these feelings, intimately. I don't have much definitive to say about that. I haven't drawn any conclusions. It's a journey, daily.

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Turn-On Found

None of this looks like it comes from 1969. Although some of the content is outdated today, the style is far more modern - this feels like something straight from the internet era. Fascinating and relentless (I couldn't watch the whole thing).

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“Write With Love” and Other Advice From Chuck Tingle

"How can I make this like me?" is something I'm striving to do better at in my creative work and my life as a whole. Words to live (and write) by.

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Roald Dahl Museum Calls Author’s Racism ‘Undeniable and Indelible’

This is something we're going to contend with as our son gets a little older. Roald Dahl is an influential children's author (who lived where I grew up) who was also, unmistakably, a bigot with a deeply cruel streak. Some of these books are strikingly not okay.

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Bigger influence on the inside

A lovely, personal reflection on (in my opinion) the best TV show ever made.

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A Teenage Girl Is a Funhouse Mirror

I love this kind of short story: small, personal, revelatory. I wish I could write like this.

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New Creative Era

“BUT WE DON’T WANT TO GO VIRAL. WE JUST WANT THE BASICS: TO MAKE WORK WE’RE PROUD OF WITH PEOPLE WE RESPECT AND WHO RESPECT US THAT’S TRUE TO OUR INTENTIONS AND WHO WE ARE AND ARE NOT”

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Alexandra Holt's Insurgent Experiment in Fine Dining at Roxanne

““I’m sorry we’re not sticking a silver spoon up anyone’s ass when they walk in,” she says. “But we’re there just to give people a good time. A memory of a few good hours in their day. So I put eyes on their tiramisu, you know?” I want to eat here.

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Jesse Armstrong on the roots of Succession: ‘Would it have landed the same way without the mad bum-rush of Trump’s presidency?’

“I guess the simple things at the heart of Succession ended up being Brexit and Trump. The way the UK press had primed the EU debate for decades. The way the US media’s conservative outriders prepared the way for Trump, hovered at the brink of support and then dived in.”

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Creative Commons Supports Trans Rights

“As an international nonprofit organization, with a diverse global community that believes in democratic values and free culture, the protection and affirmation of all human rights — including trans rights — are central to our core value of global inclusivity and our mission of promoting openness and providing access to knowledge and culture.” Right on. Trans rights are human rights.

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The Real Difference Between European and American Butter

“Simply put, American regulations for butter production are quite different from those of Europe. The USDA defines butter as having at least 80% fat, while the EU defines butter as having between 82 and 90% butterfat and a maximum of 16% water. The higher butterfat percentage in European butter is one of the main reasons why many consider butters from across the pond to be superior to those produced in the US. It’s better for baking, but it also creates a richer flavor and texture even if all you’re doing is smearing your butter on bread. On the other hand, butter with a higher fat percentage is more expensive to make, and more expensive for the consumer.”

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The Costs of Becoming a Writer

“I am aware that focusing on individual responsibility can obscure the reality of broken systems. That neither my parents nor I am to blame for what they were up against. That it was always going to be beyond my capacity to provide and pay for all their care out of pocket when they had significant medical needs and, for many years, no healthcare coverage. But I was—I am—their only child, and I not only wanted but expected to be of more help to them. I didn’t know that we would run out of time.“

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Your reading should be messy

“After years of treating my books as if they ought to be preserved in a museum, I now believe that you should honor the books by breaking them. Read them all so messily! Fold them, bend them, tear them! Throw them into your backpack or leave them open in Jenga-like towers by the side of your bed. Don’t fret about stains or torn edges or covers left dangling off the spine after years of reading.”

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Judge Decides Against Internet Archive

“What fair use does not allow, however, is the mass reproduction and distribution of complete copyrighted works in a way that does not transform those works and that creates directly competing substitutes for the originals. Because that is what IA has done with respect to the Works in Suit, its defense of fair use fails as a matter of law.”

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To All the Novels I Never Published

“William Faulkner wrote two failed novels (his words) before he famously gave up writing for other people and began to write just for himself. The books he wrote after that volta are the ones that students still read for classes around the world.”

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Press conference statement: Brewster Kahle, Internet Archive

“The Internet is failing us. The Internet Archive has tried, along with hundreds of other libraries, to do something about it. A ruling in this case ironically can help all libraries, or it can hurt.”

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Antilibraries – Catalogues and catacombs of books unread.

“In short: an antilibrary is that collection of books you know a bit about, but have not read, and the latent potential of all the wonders they may hold. We can extend the same idea to other media, too — essays, films, websites, and so on — anything you might learn from.”

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Email: ben@werd.io