No Complaints #82: See, Sea and Ceremonies

They announced when the presale for the UK run of Hamilton is going to happen today, and I found out quite how many different email addresses I have. Apparently I registered with every single one I could remember and a few I had subsequently forgotten about. Thanks, Lin-Manuel!

Things to read

“This prison is 80 per cent white women and 19 per cent black women. One percent other. But when I say to people 80 per cent of the women in this prison are white rural women, they’re shocked. And they’re shocked because that information is kept from them. It’s kept from them because it doesn’t bolster the ideas that blackness equals criminality. It’s contrary to that. It doesn’t enforce the idea that white people should be afraid of black people and not afraid of each other.”

Claudia Rankine’s ideas for how to spend a MacArthur genius grant are totally fascinating. Email to Pocket.


“In Politics and Aesthetics in the Diary of Virginia Woolf, author Joanne Tidwell suggests that Woolf – an author who otherwise demanded much of her audience – wrote for an older self, imagining an ideally sympathetic reader, as if in her diaries Woolf wrote to the person she hoped to become. Social media is another kind of public diarising, and its trajectory aims at a similarly ideal avatar – it externalises thought, but also the interpersonal, the communicative. We use it to seek out an empathic witness for our scribblings, projecting into the murk of online space an audience who sees us as we hope to be seen.”

A rare essay about using social media that I actually like. Email to Pocket.


“She was informal, colloquial, her sentences bookended by the word ‘see’, a conversational fillip that also strangely felt like a mark of authenticity. She seemed genuine. She was genuine. All over America, black women were still, their eyes watching a form of God, because she represented their image writ large in the world.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writes flawlessly about the flawless Michelle Obama. Email to Pocket.


“While working with the North Atlantic data, she noted what must have been a rift between high undersea mountains. This suggested earthquake activity, which then only associated with fringe theory of continental drift. Heezen infamously dismissed his assistant’s idea as ‘girl talk’. But she was right, and her thinking helped to vindicate Alfred Wegener’s 1912 theory of moving continents.”

Meet Marie Tharp, another one from that endless list of women who did important science but got no credit for it. Email to Pocket.


“Now, hold on to your hat: The person who wants to text-fight with you may not like receiving this message. If text-fighting has become a habit with them, they might text-bomb your phone for a while. If that happens, I suggest turning your phone off and leaving it off for an hour or two, to help you both cool off.”

Rookie is supposedly a site for teens, but its advice on how to reduce your digital drama is good for all ages, I reckon. Email to Pocket.


Things to listen to

A pair of episodes from Surprisingly Awesome made me think this week – “Wedding Planning” and “The Wedding”. The team followed a couple who were planning something approximating “standard” American nuptials through the planning phase and then into the day itself. So many eye-opening facts (eg, even in couples who think they’re splitting the wedding-work fifty-fifty, the woman is definitely doing more) and moving moments (like when the mother of the bride talked about her own mother, who now has Alzheimer's). But, of course, the most shocking thing of all was the money. This pair started out planning a city hall ceremony and a pizza-based reception in their apartment, and ended up spending over $20,000 on flowers, clothes, food, the works. But at least they have podcasts they can listen back to if they want to know how it happened.


Things to watch

Things to attend

Rarely for me, I'm actually doing a couple of real-life events next month. If you’re interested/can get to London, come along! Here are all the details.

22 NovemberThe SRSLY Gilmore Girls Quiz! Very excited about this, as it’s our first podcast live event. To celebrate the release of the new Gilmore Girls episodes on 25 November, we’re running a pop culture pub quiz. It’s already sold out, but there is a waiting list for tickets if you want to come.

30 November – Women in Journalism seminar: “How to start – and grow – a successful podcast. Other speakers: Helen Zaltzman, Fiona Symons, Helen Lewis.


Compulsory medieval thingamabob

You just know this monkey has a smug dad column in the Guardian.


The guest gif

Be good, everyone.


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THE END. See you next time!