No Complaints #62: Samantha, Starfish and Sims

Afternoon. Have I mentioned recently that this newsletter has a website, should you want easy access to something you remember from a past edition and now can’t find in your inbox? Said website does cost me money to host, though, so if you’re getting use out of it / feeling generally positive towards me, please do make a contribution towards its continued existence. Thank you very much to those of you who have already donated, particularly those who set their paypal to “recurring”. You’re the best.

(Apologies for the lack of Pocket links this week, btw. There have been technical difficulties that I will resolve by next time.)

Things to read

“There's a scene in which one character buys his wife, for her birthday, a one-way bus ticket to Iran, for a boob job. In another, he holds a pillow over her face while they're having perfunctory sex. ‘I can see why, sort of, it didn't get picked up. For a lot of people, it was too bleak,’ she laughs.”

I love Julia Davis, and you should too. 

“But the ultimate question is whether mixed attractiveness couples are any more or less happy. Does matching based on more individual preferences result in better functioning couples? Or does the mismatch in how everyone else perceives their desirability lead to trouble down the road?”

I find this sort of analysis fascinating in a “want to look away but can’t look away” sense.


“I could trap a Sim in a room by deleting the door. After a few days they’d fill it with their puddles and keep falling asleep. If I added a pet parrot to the room, then they wouldn’t be able to drift off. This didn’t make them starve faster, but did increase their yelling – which felt important to me at the time. Starvation was the longest, cruelest method and I only used it once or twice.”

To be honest, I’m more suspicious of people who haven’t used The Sims to work out their real-life issues.


“As I placed the fiddle back on the table, I thought about touching the untouchable, about timing, and about the story of a luthier whose legacy, like a starfish with its tentacles pointing in all directions, points in all directions of the violin world – but here, in this moment, to a market built on ‘old’ fiddles and the question of authenticity. I watched Whiteley prepare the ‘Messiah’ to go back on its throne in the glass case where thousands will mill around and study it through a glass, dimly.”

The most famous violin in the world has never been heard, and probably will never be heard.


“And then I did something I thought I would never do again. I started to laugh and I laughed and I laughed. I laughed until my shoes were wet. I always loved what Norman Cousins said… ‘Laughter is the only wall between us and the dark.’”

A sweet story of when Edna Krabappel won an Emmy.


Things to listen to

I’m afraid I don’t have a podcast I’m burning to share with you this week. In my defence, I’m moving house so I have been using all my listening time to mutter lists of random objects I haven’t packed yet under my breath. I have, however, enjoyed listening to Les Dennis eating cheese for the first time, and found this spotify playlist of different rain noises vaguely calming.


Things to watch

Compulsory medieval thingamabob



The guest gif

Magically fixing everything that’s wrong like

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.