No Complaints #98: Molly, Morse and Moles

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Things to read

“Naturally, certain mottoes and slogans from the civil rights and Black Power movements have fallen out of fashion, but the raised fist remains a hugely popular visual signal of defiance and solidarity. The co-optation of the raised fist as a patriotic symbol, winking cultural reference, and even totem of irony show that it is just as much about how we perform protest in the 21st century as it is about communicating resistance.”

What does the raised fist mean as a political symbol now that Donald Trump is doing it? Email to Pocket.


“‘I reckon there are three,’ Chapman said at last. She gave Page a quote for the work: £80 for the first mole with the price dropping to £60 a mole for two or more. She couldn’t promise to dispatch them on the first visit or even the second one. It could take weeks, but he didn’t have to pay a penny if she wasn’t successful. ‘No mole, no fee,’ they call it in the business. ‘You’ve already tried to catch them, and they might have got wily,’ she warned.”

Things I learned from this piece: moles are wily, nobody knows what to do about them, and there is a real person who works under the name “Lady Mole Catcher of Norwich”. Email to Pocket.


“Some children were handed over to men travelling alone, as when a US businessman left, after a brief visit to Ireland in 1949, with two toddlers from the Braemar home in Cork. The New York Times called it ‘a surprise for the wife’. The same year a US airman was given two children to take home by the Sacred Heart nuns at Manor House mother-and-baby home, in Castlepollard. This was reported in three US newspapers.”

Heart-wrenching details of Ireland’s 1950s black market in babies. Email to Pocket.


“If he sounds like a prince and our relationship seems like a fairy tale, it’s not too far off, except for all of the regular stuff that comes from two and a half decades of playing house together. And the part about me getting cancer. Blech. ”

A dying woman makes the case for why you should marry her husband. That sound you can hear is my sobbing. Email to Pocket.

+ This is another piece that I found via The Lunch Read, a Wednesday afternoon links email I’ve been really enjoying. You can sign up here.


“Since Trump’s election, Ginsburg’s continued survival has become a matter of severe anxiety for liberals, many of whom pressured her in vain to resign during the Obama years to ensure that a Democrat appointed her successor. On Thursday night, during an appearance at George Washington University, she vowed, ‘I will do this job as long as I can do it full steam.’ Worried about just how long that will be, people have been offering to send her kale or donate blood or clad her in protective padding, and it’s not entirely clear they are joking.”

A man does the 83-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s workout, and really struggles. I would not be surprised if she outlives Donald Trump, to be honest. I mean, can he do even one pushup? Email to Pocket.


Things to listen to

Here is a little smorgasbord of things I have enjoyed recently.

Mahershala Ali and his wife Amatus on Death, Sex and Money

+ All of the Lady Molly of Scotland Yard stories

+ The Allusionist explains why medieval wrongdoers liked to live near churches

+ Terrible Thanks for Asking on making a career-ruining mistake

+ Tokyo Hotel continues to be excellent and weird


Things to watch

I am the five-year-old in this scenario.

Tripping with Stravinsky.

The Morse Youtube hole is a good one to fall down.

Compulsory medieval thingamabob

Snails rampant = #coatofarmsgoals


The guest gif

I dare you to show me a better way to end the week.

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THE END. See you next time!