Birth, Ireland, Kayfabe, Woody Allen, Climate Change, Israel

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If Mother’s Happy

Kathleen McCaul Moura | Granta | 10th September 2017

Giving birth can be traumatic because hospitals make it so. “Around 10,000 new mothers every year develop PTSD in response to their time in British hospitals. What’s striking when you talk to women is that, even if, say they’ve had a post-partum haemorrhage or a retained placenta or third-degree tearing, it’s not those things in themselves that have affected them, it’s the way they were treated in hospital: the internal examination carried out without consent, a refusal to give pain relief when asked” (3,800 words)

Brexit’s Irish Question

Fintan O'Toole | New York Review Of Books | 11th September 2017

“The Irish Question rises yet again, looming on the road to Brexit like the Sphinx on the road to Thebes. It threatens to devour those who cannot solve its great riddle: How do you impose an EU frontier across a small island without utterly unsettling the complex compromises that have ended a thirty-year conflict? Ireland has evolved a complex and fluid sense of what it means to have a national identity while England has reverted to a simplistic and static one” (3,280 words)

The Art Of The Heel

Mike Edison | Baffler | 11th September 2017

How the aesthetics of professional wrestling may help explain to explain the appeal of Donald Trump. “He is a natural heel. In the wrestling ring that is his mind, he is an American hero, but the only reason he ever went over is because he played a decent villain, gleefully firing people on a reality television show. It’s an existential crisis that even the plastic fantastic miasma of professional wrestling can’t resolve: you cannot be a heel and be loved at the same time” (4,800 words)

The Remarkable Laziness Of Woody Allen

Christopher Orr | Atlantic | 11th September 2017

Woody Allen has made a feature film every year since 1982. The secret of his productivity: Do as little as possible. “I don’t do any preparation. I don’t do any rehearsals. Most of the times I don’t even know what we’re going to shoot”. His minimalist approach is part of the reason so many great actors will work for him: They get to go home at six o’clock every day. “Filmmaking can be a gruelling process, and Allen has settled upon an alternative business model that serves the interests of all involved” (2,550 words)

Naomi Oreskes On Climate Change

Caspar Henderson | Five Books | 11th September 2017

Interview. The science of climate change is settled. The argument is a political one: What should governments do? At the very least, they should communicate the facts. “If you go to the doctor with terminal cancer, most of us would like the doctor to be straight with us so we could get our affairs in order and figure out what to do with the time left. If we’re not honest with how serious this situation is, then we can’t get our affairs in order, and we can’t figure out what to do” (5,700 words)

How Israel Went Nuclear

Shimon Peres | Tablet | 11th September 2017

Shimon Peres tells how he persuaded France to sell Israel a nuclear reactor just before the Suez crisis of 1956. His bigger problem was persuading the Israeli establishment to go nuclear. “While we had the unanimous support of the French senior leadership, we arrived back in Jerusalem to find near-unanimous dissent. Golda Meir insisted that such a project would hurt Israel’s relationship with the United States, while Isser Harel, the Mossad chief, raised fears of a Soviet response” (3,700 words)

Video of the day: Thirty Days At Sea

What to expect:

Timelapse footage from a merchant ship sailing from the Gulf of Aden to Hong Kong (9’58”)

Thought for the day

Be modest! It is the kind of pride least likely to offend
Jules Renard

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