Updike, VAR, Cars, Turns, Stitches

Malfunctioning Sex Robot

Patricia Lockwood | London Review Of Books | 2nd October 2019

Nicely judged appraisal of John Updike’s uneven novels and fallen reputation. “He is still in the pantheon, but marked by an embarrassed asterisk: “died of pussy-hounding”. He wrote like an angel, the consensus goes, except when he was writing like a malfunctioning sex robot. Offensive criticism of him is reductive, while defensive criticism has a strong flavour of people-are-being-mean-to-my-dad. There’s so much of him, spread over so much time, that perhaps everyone has read a different John Updike” (6,780 words)


Against Replay Review

James Darcy | Deadspin | 1st October 2019

A philosopher argues that video-assisted refereeing in sport is a bad idea, because the rules of sport are often deliberately or necessarily vague. Photographs rarely help. For example: The NFL’s catch rule says that a player must “secure control of the ball in his hands or arms prior to the ball touching the ground” in order to complete a catch. But what counts as control? Be forewarned: this article is much more about the philosophy of vagueness than it is about the minutiae of sport; and none the worse for that (3,400 words)


Cars And The Fourth Amendment

Emily Prifogle | New Rambler | 2nd October 2019

Sarah Yeo’s book, Policing The Open Road, shows clearly for the first time how the rise of the automobile in the United States in the early 20th century led to sweeping expansions in police powers, and to large new bodies of case and statute law, much of which weakened Fourth Amendment protections against “unreasonable searches and seizures”. The proliferation of new traffic laws “turned everyone who drove a car into a lawbreaker”; drivers of colour were surveilled, harassed. and prosecuted (2,910 words)


Turning Over

Benjamin Poore | VAN Magazine | 3rd October 2019

A guide to stagecraft for page-turners. The well-tempered page-turner sits very close to the pianist; breaks the spine of any new musical score so that turned pages lie flat; never licks their fingers on stage; and never seeks to share the applause — save, perhaps, after a performance of Ravel’s Introduction And Allegro, which specifies a trill so “impossible” for the pianist that it requires the intervention of a third hand, that of the page turner “reaching across the keyboard and right into the middle of the action” (1,940 words)


The Husband Stitch

Jane Dykema | Electric Lit | 10th October 2017

Is the “husband stitch” a short-story-writer’s brilliant invention? Or is it a real but undocumented surgical procedure? “How can a practice like the husband stitch be warned against if there’s no official discussion of it, no record of it, no language around it, nothing to point at, to teach? Every time a woman receives a husband stitch, is it in her medical file? Does it say, ‘2nd degree perineal laceration repaired + husband stitch’? Or might the record leave off the extra stitch, whether it happened or not?” (2,200 words)


Video: Army Of Me. In which Björk drives a supersized truck, goes to the dentist, spits out a diamond, and wrestles with a gorilla. Directed by Michel Gondry (4m 26s)

Audio: Clairo | Song Exploder. Claire Cotrill and Rostam Batmanglij talk about writing and recording the song Alewife. (23m 35s)

Afterthought:
”One becomes weary only of what is new”
— Soren Kierkgaard


Reminder | London meet-up | 8th October from 6pm | Drink, Shop & Do, 9 Caledonian Rd, London N1 9DX