No Complaints #53: Hangers, History and Histrionics

Thank you so much to all those who made contributions towards the new website - very much appreciated. If you'd still like to, all the details are on Also, I'm about to get on a plane to South Africa, so I can't promise there will be a regular newsletter service for the next two weeks. Definitely back on 12 February, if not before.

Things to read

“The hanger was born out of necessity. For most of the 1800s, clothes were folded and stored in wardrobes, trunks, cupboards, and boxes. But as the skirt-and-bustle combination became more popular later in the century, companies to develop alternative means for preserving pleats and averting crease. In 1869, O.A. North patented an adjustable metal hook that is generally credited as the forerunner to the clothes hanger. But the modern hanger as we know it today wouldn’t appear for another several decades.”

A short history of the wire coat hanger, both as a thing we use to hang clothes up, and a symbol associated with abortion. Email to Pocket.


“My dream piano has a singing, translucent sound, rich, varied, with a long decay; every note is rounded and bell-like. It has a broad dynamic range. Bass, middle and top registers are uniform in colour; there are no weak or unclear areas; nor are there any overly bright or open ones. Mechanically, the keyboard is “even” (keys equally weighted); a touch neither too heavy nor too light, allowing full control over the sound. All of this unites into a whole larger than the sum of its parts that invites you to explore new areas and layers in the works you’re performing.”

Boris Giltburg is a very good pianist, but also quite a good writer. Email to Pocket.



“Just like the praise for Rampling’s avoidance of ‘histrionics’, this strand of criticism implicitly reinforces the notion that the expression of what are considered to be ‘female’ emotions is habitually over the top, hysterical, hormonal. Divers and 45 Years succeed in moving beyond the clichés that govern cultural narratives of jealousy, re-evaluating the notion that ‘love’ is independent of the strange mutilations of passing time.”

On hysteria, art and criticism, in terms of Joanna Newsom's Divers and the film 45 Years. Email to Pocket.

+Bonus thing: we talked about both of these things on the podcast last year, on #11 and #20.



“If any man ever hit you, if anyone ever sexually harassed you, you’d tell him to fuck right off. You want to be, no, you will be the kind of woman who can tell anyone to fuck off if a fuck off is deserved, so naturally you start a Fuck Off Fund.”

I find it's easier to save money if I think of it as a "Fuck Off Fund" than if it's just a "savings account". Every woman should have one. Email to Pocket.



“Everyone has to grow up somewhere, somehow, and I grew up, like so many others, online. My body is not all that I am, but it is a part of who I am, and sharing it with others helped me to come to terms with that reality. It banished my sense of shame, and allowed me to feel confident in my physical existence itself. My body is good because it is mine, and because it exists, and it doesn’t need anything more than that. That sense of confidence and strength has served me well. It has allowed me to feel confident in other areas of my life. It’s impossible to say for sure — maybe I would have found some other way to get comfortable in my own skin — but ultimately I think that having the space to share and learn in that way changed who I was forever.”

An unusual but fascinating story of being naked on the internet. Email to Pocket.

Things to listen to

I'm actually having a bit of a rest from podcasts while I'm away (I know, shocking). Instead, I'm only reading and listening to books. So far, I'm completely adoring Shonda Rhimes' Year of Yes. Before you commit to the whole book, try her Dartmouth commencement address.

Things to watch

This is a very pretty vine.

A mash up of "Toxic" and "O Come All Ye Faithful".

Compulsory medieval thingamabob

It's nice that all his loved ones could be there.

The guest gif

Bye for now.

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.