Consumed the month of July (and a bit of August), 2019

I took a month off updating the blog. I didn’t really mean to, but a trip up to Manchester for a friend’s 40th, plus a trip to Spain to visit my in-laws, meant that I didn’t really have much time to sit down and get this done.

In the past four weeks I’ve seen the plays The End of History with David Morrissey and Lesley Sharp (which made me cry), and Bitter Wheat with John Malkovich (which made me laugh a little, but didn’t really do much else).

I also went along to Despacio, the “bespoke soundsystem [that] envelops the crowd in amazing sound for a vinyl-only experience like no other” created by James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) and David and Stephen Dewaele (Soulwax). Even though James Murphy couldn’t be there that was still an incredible night with an equally incredible glitter ball (see picture above).

I finished reading Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan, and I also read Less by Andrew Sean Greer.

I watched A Bigger Splash, the 1973 documentary/drama about the life of David Hockney (loved it), and also recent romcom Long Shot (just ok).

I also finished watching season 2 of Big Little Lies, and read a lot of articles like this one from the New Yorker abut how it was ‘disappointing and Emmy-baiting’ (it may have been, but I still enjoyed it).

Sahanika Ratnayake’s essay Mindfulness is loaded with (troubling) metaphysical assumptions put into words a lot of the worries and nervousness I have about mindfulness and meditation.

Mike Davidson’s diatribe about the email client Superhuman and how it is Spying on You reminded me how vigilant we have to be these days.

I also read some more lightweight, fun stuff, including…

NME’s interview with Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend (still my favourite album of the year so far).

This video essay from Vox on the birth of house music:

And a whole article about the brilliant When Harry Met Sally…,

Do Something! is a bit of a takedown of Jenny Odell’s book How to do Nothing (which I adored and have recommended to a lot of people). Always good to expose yourself to the other side of the argument, right?

Jason Kottke wrote about serendipity v algorithmy, which led me to an article by Dan Cohen on why Engagement Is the Enemy of Serendipity. I am in total agreement.

I couldn’t go a whole month without reading a long article about a conman of some kind, and How Scorned Women Caught L.A.’s ‘Dine-and-Dash Dater’ is a corker.

And then there’s How Clown Pants Saved My Life.

After a bit of musical goodness to accompany you through the week? Here’s Fingertracks Vol 1 from Lovefingers.

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