Things to read
“The internet is not the real world; it’s not a place where you are you, or even a place where your favourite characters are your favourite characters. The internet is a midsummer night’s dream where everything gets mixed up and you get to be a little bit daring and out of the ordinary. A place not unlike a magical school that exists just beyond the reality you know. Except the secret world of the internet is a lot more fucked up than the Wizarding World, not least because Harry/Hermione shippers live there.”
—When Hermione Granger’s adventures in teenage witchhood also doubled up as valuable sex education. Email to Pocket.
+ This is part of Buzzfeed UK’s great Fanfiction Week – I also liked this piece about writing fanfiction and this list of great fics to lose your weekend to.
“We’re a long way from the return of the literal outlaw to Nottinghamshire. But we need to remember the insight given our ancestors when they saw through the illusion of the Robin Hood myth, when they saw that the strongbox of silver coins wasn’t just money stolen from each of them individually, but power robbed from them collectively, and that they needed to wield that power collectively as much as they needed their money back.”
—Bit of a gear change this, I will admit. (But that’s why you love NC, right? I’m eclectic.) This is a long essay about austerity and the myth of Robin Hood. It – plus The Big Short – is chiefly notable for making me feel (briefly) like I understood economics and could maybe now read Thomas Piketty’s Capital instead of using it as a stand for a potplant. Of course, this feeling passes quickly, but it’s nice while it lasts. Email to Pocket.
“Because of this, every install had a bespoke, monolithic kernel, crafted by you, like a special snowflake. Did you know what a kernel was before this? Or a compiler? Too bad. Go troll forums and mailing lists for what you need to enable when you run `make menuconfig` over and over again. Enjoy.”
—This item is mostly for a dear friend of mine, who when we lived together was repeatedly trying to partition her windows laptop in order to run Linux. A lot of blue screen of death ensued. Email to Pocket.
“I first read The Camomile Lawn at 13 or 14, sneaking it off my mum’s bookshelf and finding myself both thrilled and shocked by the multitude of affairs (and relationships between cousins) it contained. Re-reading it as an adult, I’m most taken with the tangible loss of innocence, the shift between the final idyllic summer on the camomile lawn – all Terror Runs and kedgerees – and the years of war that were to follow.”
—I, too, have been obsessed with this book from my early teens (I reread it on average once every six months) and now you can make one of the pivotal meals from it! I’m so happy. And full of fishy, eggy rice. Email to Pocket.
“For me, it immediately signals what kind of crime fiction the book wants to be: a puzzle to be solved instead of a deep psychological dive into the characters’ psyche. You are challenged to participate in the solving process. And even though I almost never manage to guess the correct culprit, I still get a little thrill as I pore through a map and imagine the lay of the land.”
Things to listen toThis week, I thought we’d have a little round-up of when podcasters I like were on other podcasts I like. So: when Call Your Girlfriend was on Save the Date; when Song Exploder was on Reply All; when Criminal was on the Allusionist; when just about everyone was on Answer Me This; and – selfishly – when SRSLY was on Fansplaining.
If you have any favourite crossovers I’ve missed, do hit reply and send me links.
Things to watchMaking things out of human hair.
All of The Simpsons, at once.
Compulsory medieval thingamabobRaaar.
The guest gifWhy ladies wear trousers now (so an unexpected glimpse of our knees can't scandalise men in boaters).
THE END. See you next time*!