No Complaints #57: Bees, Bars and Bach

I have found myself thinking wistfully about the wisdom of Liz Lemon when it comes to adult life recently (this bit and this bit, less this bit). In the meantime, until I complete my quest for perfect sandwich-solitude, here’s what turned up on my bit of the internet this week.

Things to read

“At full capacity, the Ruby Princess holds around 3,084 people in 1,542 cabins, plus a 1,200-person crew. It has three dining rooms, four pools, an outdoor movie screen, a spa, a wedding chapel, a teen centre, a nine-hole golf course, an art gallery, daily Alcoholics Anonymous meetings on deck 16, and a small library with the best in Lonely Planet guides and dog-eared thrillers. Inside the ship’s beating heart – a large, white marble-floored three-story atrium, decorated with a white grand piano and ringed with shops, and, because we were heading to Mexico, occasional musicians in mariachi outfits – there’s a Future Cruises kiosk. Once onboard, you must anxiously ponder how quickly you can return.”

Just when you think this report from a cruise ship containing some of the world’s weirdest conspiracy theorists couldn’t get any stranger, Andrew Wakefield turns up and starts talking about the MMR vaccine. Also, the whole enterprise is called “the Conspira Sea”. Email to Pocket.


“There are records of rituals and traditions employed to hurry the process, or at least add a little action to it. The practice of tanging – taking pots and pans out from inside the house, and beating them around the hive – was said to attract swarms, and persisted well into the 19th century. Across the Ancient Mediterranean there was widespread belief in bugonia, the spontaneous generation of a swarm from the carcass of an ox or a bull. An account survives from Ancient Rome in which Florentinus lays out detailed instructions for this task. The beekeeper should find a building ten cubits high and the same in breadth, he writes, with equal dimensions on all sides. There should be one doorway and four windows, one in each wall.”

I am eternally fascinated by people who keep bees. Email to Pocket.



“The 21st century, what little of it we've experienced so far, is sick of this shit. Women want pockets big and wide on the back of their jeans and the front. We want pockets in every dress we own. We want pockets in shirts and skirts and jackets and any possible garment where one will fit. We want to put a screeching halt to fake pockets that fool us. But most of all, we want pockets that fit our phones. ”

My anger on this subject is now so well-known that a colleague just sent me this piece saying “this is on brand for you”. Since I am still having to buy clothes that inexplicably don’t have pockets while men ask me to carry their stuff in my bag “because you’ve got it anyway and my wallet ruins the line of my trousers”, I’m not going to shut up about this any time soon. (Further reading can be found in NC#46 and NC#22.) Email to Pocket, if you're lucky enough to have one. 



“The atmosphere was tense but totally fascinating to witness. Most of the people who walked out or catcalled tended to be older men who clearly felt some sort of anger about having to listen to this piece. They were being shouted down by younger people – mostly women, in fact. A few people were crying. Anyhow, there was a bit of back and forth, and I finally said: ‘we’re going to proceed with the concerto by CPE Bach’.”

Factional yelling and anger broke out at a harpsichord recital in Cologne, because a pianist dared to play some Steve Reich... Email to Pocket.



“Exclusive Interview: Guy Defends Walking Into Bar // Media Witch Hunt: PC Culture Has Gone Too Far // I’m Not Afraid to Support the Guy Who Walked In the Bar, And Here’s Why // Won’t Someone Think of the Larger Implications of How the Media is Talking About Bar Guy? // I Was Like Bar Guy: Here’s What I Learned From My Harrowing Experience // #Standbythebar ...”

A guy walks into a bar, and a news cycle ensues. Email to Pocket.


Things to listen to

This week, I have mostly been listening to the Riot Girls season on BBC Radio 4. My favourite element of it is this brilliant adaptation of Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying (remind me never to sit on the underground listening to Isadora talking about her train fantasies of a “zipless fuck” again; I laughed uncontrollably and had to get off to do some deep breaths), but I also enjoyed The Life and Loves of a She Devil and these three radio plays about three women of different generations in the same family facing different feminist challenges.

+ We talked about this in detail (amid enthusiasm about Channing Tatum in Hail, Caesar!, obvs) on the latest episode of SRSLY.

Things to watch

How the lady ghostbusters’ proton packs work.

I <3 Viola Davis.

Live, from inside a dishwasher.


Compulsory medieval thingamabob

“No, you go. I’ll just be here, reading, in my reading cape.”

The guest gif

Have a quartet of Maggies.

(Don't forget, if you would like to choose the guest gif, you can do that by supporting this whole thing on Patreon. No porn pls.)

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.