No Complaints #45: Women, Waves and Weasley is Our King

Let’s do this thing.

Things to read

“When you are new to the club, Marty carefully explains the rules of competitive Scrabble, and rules, there are many. You have to keep score. When you have completed your turn, you have to press a button on a game timer. You have to monitor time because there are penalties if you exceed twenty-five total minutes for your plays. There’s a proper etiquette for drawing tiles (tile bag held above your eyes, head turned away). There’s a procedure if you draw too many tiles. There’s a protocol for challenging if you believe your opponent has played a phony, a word that isn’t in the Official Tournament and Club Word List.”

Roxane Gay writing about Scrabble is everything. She also footnotes like a boss. Email to Pocket.


I don’t regret doing it. I will say that moving forward, as David gets older and this thing continues to follow us, it does give me pause to think about when we should just turn all of this over to him, because he’s going to be an adult. And how are we going to navigate that?

Life after internet virality. Main takeaway? The “Charlie bit my finger” kids are putting themselves through fancy private school on the proceeds of that video. Email to Pocket.



“Because of how it happened and who had done it, I shied away from calling it rape. The absence of physical struggle coupled with the fact that I had pursued it in the past made me believe that I must have consented even though I felt certain I hadn’t. I carried the weight of it around with me for years, never saying anything, never fully connecting it to the feelings of worthlessness that were there anyway because of the depression but somehow confirmed by his actions.”

Every woman I know has a story that goes something like this. Email to Pocket.



“After day one, the running journalists were scratching their heads and wondering who this random Swede was, and there were comments after I won the first stage that she’s gone out too fast, she’s not going to last. But I just ran to how I felt, I ran what I felt was a good pace that I thought I would be able to sustain. I didn’t know I’d won the first stage until they told me, and I thought the others would catch up, that Laurence Klein, once she had acclimatised, she was going to get stronger … but I won every stage, and every day I was pinching myself and checking it was real.”

I like reading about running far more than I like running, but this woman makes me want to sprint across a desert. Email to Pocket.



“In OotP, Draco composes a lovely song – Weasley is Our King. If that isn’t foreshadowing, I don’t know what is. One line in particular is given significance by Draco. He is heard singing it loudly during the game by Harry, and Draco later quotes it in italics – born in a bin. While Draco likes to make fun of Ron’s poverty, the phrase has a double meaning. ‘Bin’ is also a prefix meaning ‘double’ or ‘two’ – think ‘binary’. Was Ron ‘born’ twice? Leading a double life? Is Draco trying to tell us something important?”

Ron Weasley is actually time-travelling Dumbledore. Discuss. Email to Pocket.


Things to listen to

Call Your Girlfriend, one of my favourite podcasts ever, was good enough to give a shout out to mine and Anna's own show this week! Lots of new people have signed up for this mailing since then (hi!), and I’ve also had a fair number of people asking me whether I can recommend any other podcasts made by women. I surely can – here is my top list of lady-podcasts and where to start with them.

Call Your Girlfriend – Ann and Amina keep their long-distance friendship fresh with chat about politics, work, periods, everything. Start with this one about, among other things, imposter syndrome.

The Allusionist – Helen Zaltzman rips language to shreds and weaves a tasteful yet useful garment from the tatters. If you like etymology and/or pedantry, you will love this. Start with this one, which is an interview with the woman who invented Jenga (and loads of other brilliant games).

Another Round – Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton cover race, gender, telly and politics in their weekly chats. Start with their interview with Hillary Clinton, it’s excellent.

You Must Remember This – Karina Longworth tells forgotten stories from Hollywood’s first century. I'm not remotely a film buff, and I adore this. Start with this extended episode about Lena Horne, one of the first black starlets.

Criminal – True crime podcasts are very firmly a thing now, but this is the best one. Phoebe Judge recounts extraordinary tales of crimes past and present, ranging over a centuries and states. Start with this one about white collar crime and, um, leprosy.

Fugitive Waves – A unique blend of stylish radio documentary and pure storytelling genius. Start with this one, titled topically for this list, “Where are the women?”.

The Heart – An ethereal, beautiful look at sex and love and relationships. Start with this one about beauty, pain and acceptance.

And, um, listen to my podcast about pop culture. The most recent one has a hilarious blooper at the end and everything.

By the way, if you like this, I am willing to make “Women do podcasts too, you know” a regular NC feature. Let me know.

Things to watch

The fanciest sunglasses.

Why can't we walk straight?

Leonard Cohen's voice, though.

Compulsory medieval thingamabob

“Inside every boy, a lordly lion prepared to prance.”

The guest gif

How the second hand on a clock works.

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.