Other than this whole podcast where I talk about it for ages, I mean.
Things to read
“The truth is, no matter how many men Fleabag sexts with and seduces, it’s women that she is really obsessed with, starting with herself - she’s both repulsed by and drawn to the way that femininity is a sick competition, a system that she keeps helplessly trying to game. Smartly, the show makes us part of that game. ”
—I know I've talked before in this newsletter about the BBC comedy Fleabag and why you should watch it. But you really, really should, and Emily Nussbaum makes a much better case for it here than I could. Email to Pocket.
“'Adiemus' wants to have it both ways. Like the airlines, it wants a world dotted with sexy (and marketable) human differences. Like music-is-the-universal-
“If your boat is going under, you will hear a verbal 'abandon ship' command from the captain, assuming the public-address system still works. After that, crew members will begin lowering lifeboats. There are no international maritime laws dictating that women and children board first.”
“Everybody wants you in the caricature of you if you're a woman. You're supposed to be this and I'm supposed to be that. If you start to cast that off, it makes people very uncomfortable, especially if they're projecting a lot onto you and they identify with you. It's threatening to men to have women who are capable of doing so many things and doing them well. I don't think it's consciously threatening and I don't think it's all men, but it really challenges the status quo and how people relate to us.”
“Arriving at wikiHow’s homepage, you are greeted with a banner assertion: “We’re trying to help everyone on the planet learn how to do anything. Join us.” Like Wikipedia, wikiHow is a place where you’re never alone — each page includes its editing history, with a record of who did what. WikiHow adopts that as a gestalt, spotlighting editors’ names and avatars; giving them front-end identities. This offers the illusion of being around others from the comfort of your bedroom, missing someone in spite of your desire not to. Besides the articles, I liked reading the messages that users leave for one another, the jovial pedantry automatically logged to individual Talk Pages.”
Things to listen toThis week, we're having an "old favourites" round up. These are all podcasts I listen to every episode of, mostly as soon as they're released, and that I think are on great form at the moment.
1. Everything We Disdain - Call Your Girlfriend
An update on Ivanka's dad (aka Donald Trump) that won't make you want to tear your ears off, plus some valuable info on the strategy women staffers at the Obama White House developed to stop men claiming credit for their ideas in meetings.
2. The Key, Part I and Part II - The Allusionist
Thanks to this couplet of episodes from Helen Zaltzman, I finally understand what the Rosetta stone is and why it's so important.
3. Making Friends - Reply All
An investigation into a phenomenon called "tulpas", where people imagine intelligent, autonymous companions into existence and then start sharing their bodies with them. Will make you exclaim out loud on public transport more than once.
4. To Separate Chambers - Nocturne
Couples who sleep in separate beds explain why, and how, their sleeping arrangements came about.
5. Two Dollars and a Paperclip - Another Round
After listening to this, film director Ava DuVernay is top of my list of dream interviews to do.
Things to watch