Trucks, Hot Chicken, Germany, John Le Carré, Tolkien


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The American Pick-Up

Daniel Albert | n+1 | 2nd September 2016

Americans buy two million pick-up trucks a year. The most popular vehicles are all pick-ups. It’s how Americans see themselves. “The largest market for pickup trucks consists not of construction crews, but suburbanites who ‘need’ a pickup but don’t want to trade any creature comforts to get one. Their Ridgelines will haul the kids to soccer before hauling a new gas grill home from Lowe’s. The only time they’ll use the trailer hitch is when they decide to mount a bike rack” (3,200 words)

The Burning Desire For Hot Chicken

Danny Chau | The Ringer | 1st September 2016

“Hot chicken was a dish created for the express purpose of bringing a man to his knees. Its origin myth wasn’t the result of a mistake, like chocolate chip cookies, Coca-Cola, or the French dip sandwich. Hot chicken was premeditated. The lines that separate love and hate, pleasure and pain, expectation and reality — they dissolve when you eat hot chicken. If you do it right, it will hurt. You might cry. And you will spend the next week thinking about when you might have it again” (5,250 words)

Taking Stock, One Year After Refugees’ Arrival

Philipp Wittrock | Der Spiegel | 2nd September 2016

“We can do it”, said Angela Merkel one year ago; and since then more than a million migrants have entered Germany from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Africa and the Balkans. Almost all have been housed; but few have work, and schools are overstretched. “Xenophobic sentiments are on the rise, people are taking to the streets to protest what they see as the Islamization of Germany. It remains completely unclear whether and when the cracks in German society will be repaired” (2,400 words)

Le Carré On Le Carré

David Cornwell | Guardian | 3rd September 2016

Extract from John Le Carré’s memoir, The Pigeon Tunnel. Scenes include lunch with Rupert Murdoch: “The Savoy Grill had a kind of upper level for moguls: red-plush, horseshoe-shaped affairs where in more colourful days gentlemen of money might have entertained their ladies. I breathe the name Murdoch to the maître d’hôtel and am shown to one of the privés. He is smaller than I remember him, and has acquired that hasty waddle with which great men of affairs advance on one another” (6,300 words)

The Secret Jews Of Middle Earth

Meir Soloveichik | Commentary | 11th August 2016

“We have, then, a bunch of short, bearded beings exiled from their homeland, who have dreamed forever of returning. They are linked to a place they lost long ago, dwell in other realms throughout the earth, and yet are so profoundly connected to their own kingdom that it remains vivid to them while for others it is a fading memory. There is one tribe that offers a perfect real-world parallel to Tolkien’s dwarves, one nation that has remained existentially linked to the kingdom lost long ago: the Jews” (2,745 words)

Video of the day: Spring-Time Old Man

What to expect:

Two minutes of escapism. Sweet Japanese pop song with collage-style animation (2’40”)

Thought for the day

What is more enchanting than the voices of young people, when you cannot hear what they say?
L.P. Smith

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