No Complaints #96: Care, Contraband and Cabbage

Here we go again.

Things to read

“I'm not bitter. Look, life goes on. It's a dangerous world. But one of the new tokens you could vote on was one of those record players with the big horn things on it, you know? Like teenagers are listening to those. I'm way less obsolete than that. And there's a hashtag! And that's not a thing! We were things. Dog. Shoe. Iron. Wheelbarrow. How do you put a hashtag in jail? A smiley face can't build a hotel! You can't rent from a poop emoji!.”

They’re retiring the thimble from the game of Monopoly, and this is its exit interview. Email to Pocket.


“I had confused consuming with care-taking, and while purchases can be a part of a self-care routine, they aren’t necessary to practice it. And the things I bought rarely made me happy; more than once, they made me ill. I once spent $30 on a fancy body scrub full of exotic ingredients that made my entire body break out in hives and turn into a scaly carapace that took weeks of antihistamines to heal. Another time, trying to experiment with healthy tonics, I spent $50 on a Himalayan primordial mineral powder that made me sick to my stomach the first – and only – time I consumed it.”

On the increasingly fraught relationship between capitalism and self-care. Email to Pocket.


“In 1992 he had a madcap idea to flood Pittsburgh, where he lived then, with $1m in Boggs Bills, and see if they could get through five transactions (handlers would put thumbprints on the back). The Secret Service warned the city and raided his studio, seizing more than 1,000 pieces of work. They never returned them. The courts solemnly debated whether the drawings were closer to pornography – which might be censored, but also allowed as free speech – or evil non-returnable contraband, like drugs.”

A man who liked to draw bank notes and then try and pay for things with them has died. Email to Pocket.


“When we lose something, our first reaction, naturally enough, is to want to know where it is. But behind that question about location lurks a question about causality: What happened to it? What agent or force made it disappear? Such questions matter because they can help direct our search. You will act differently if you think you left your coat in a taxi or believe you boxed it up and put it in the basement. Just as important, the answers can provide us with that much coveted condition known as closure. It is good to get your keys back, better still to understand how they wound up in your neighbour’s recycling bin.”

A beautiful reflection on the many meanings of “loss”. Email to Pocket.


“According to former ‘gentleman bookseller’ Steerforth, whole shelves of Nabokov used to disappear from his Richmond shop. One thief, the notorious curmudgeon Roy Faith, who specialised in high-end art books, ensured so much business for store detectives that one firm sent a rep to his funeral. Another wore a specially adapted raincoat to lift copies of the Times atlas – £75 a pop – two at a time.”

We just don’t steal books like we used to. Email to Pocket.


Things to listen to

I’ve been really enjoying the “Women Who Score” playlist on Spotify this week, which is full of great film music by women composers, and the work of Rachel Portman in general. (I only learned today that Portman was the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Original Score, for Emma in 1996. So that’s another good reason to rewatch Jeremy Northam’s turn as Mr Knightley, then.)


Things to watch

Compulsory medieval thingamabob

❤️️ you.


The guest gif

Here is an excellent set of gifs to help you learn American Sign Language.

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THE END. See you next time!