No Complaints #30: Torsos, Toast and Trekkies

This week, George Osborne delivered a budget that he claims is going to fix our economy for good, and I made a podcast about some sexy men's torsos and what they mean for feminism (ish). I think we know who's winning.

Things to read

On top of the regular flow of customers, motorway accidents would send streams of cars piling in: coaches full of school trips, families desperate to get home. A service station is not the type of place you’d expect to have regulars, but there were plenty at our Little Chef. The toast lady who came in at 10am every day and wanted two slices of brown toast, no butter. And the handsome coffee man who came in at 11am every weekday, occasionally on Sundays. He looked a little like Kevin Spacey. There was also the guy who would come in late at night, order half a bottle of wine with his dinner and spend ages filling out the Daily Mail crossword, but mostly he was perving on the staff. And he never left a tip.

Oh, Little Chef. The setting for so many family arguments in the nineties. Email to Pocket.



“So what women are being criticised for – using ‘just’ when they make requests – is not a form of excessive feminine deference, it’s a way of being polite by displaying your awareness of others’ needs. Where is the logic in telling women not to do that? I think we all know the answer: it’s the logic of patriarchy, which says ‘a woman’s place is in the wrong’.”

Fascinating debunk of the idea that women need to use language like men do in order to be thought successful. Email to Pocket.



“The most important player of all, at the end of the day, is Gene Roddenberry himself. Which is both the crowning achievement and the waffling difficulty of the whole affair (but more on that in a minute). The first thing to know is that Roddenberry was inspired by Alexander the Great and Hephaestion when he imagined the relationship between Kirk and Spock.”

Why it matters that that the creator of Star Trek was on board with its fandom afterlife. Email to Pocket.



“The best of television ought to reflect some version of our world back to us, and in real life, we can’t pan away from rape. Rape is not sexy, or a plot point, or a shocking secret to be set up for a dramatic reveal. The reason — the only reason — to film a rape scene is to make the audience dig into that feeling of discomfort, to force us to be witnesses to the torture we are capable of inflicting on one another and come away with a deeper understanding of who we hurt and the depth of their pain.”

What Orange is the New Black did right in its depiction of rape. Email to Pocket.



“One of the billions of questions about Minion memes is: why is there a Minion on this???? What does the Minion add? “I like this thing, but with only one eye, and ovoid, and… speaks in gibberish.” Minions stand for nothing. They crawled out of the sea millions of years ago to serve villainy and were reformed by three cute girls in a matter of days. Yet their simple visual style (literally a yellow oval) makes it very easy to riff on the form, and so they pervade.”

Some of my colleagues tried quite hard to explain Minions to me this week. I still don't understand. But I do now know that most of the memes are made by "Facebook Moms" and that people bloody love writing thinkpieces about them. Email to Pocket.


Things to listen to

Top Score is a beautiful intersection of three things that I love: podcasts, videogames and classical music. Emily Reese interviews people who compose music for games, teasing out their influences and asking probing questions about why they made particular choices for particular games. She's great at interpolating clips from the scores as well to support the points being made in the interview. I recommend Cris Velasco on his Baroque influences for Assassin's Creed, Winifred Phillips on how music can create a world, and fisherman-turned-composer Jeff Ball on what he wrote for Mass Effect 3.

Things to watch

All of Bach.

How to live in a shoebox.

Bad Blood twenty ways.

Compulsory medieval thingamabob

Hang on, did I forget to get dressed before I went for a ride on my snail?

+Bonus thing: Apparently people making their Facebook proflies rainbow has a lot to do with medieval art.

The guest gif

Excuse me?

THE END. See you next time*!
*Next time will probably be next Friday. If you want to suggest things I should include in the next one of these, please do reply and send me links.