No Complaints #99: Golf, Groove and Greatness

If, like me, you’ve had a fairly angry Friday so far, try this. It’s very soothing. Just call me Mrs Darningshire.

Things to read

“This is not to say that anyone should expect Sheeran – who is popular at weddings and funerals for a reason – to present a nuanced interpretation of gender politics within his songs (though his fans deserve more than depictions of women as angels or traitors). But more than his weak balladry, it's this disingenuous side that rankles.”

This review of Ed Sheeran’s new album by Laura Snapes is 🔥🔥🔥. Email to Pocket.

+ We also talked about this terrible music on the latest episode of the podcast.


“More overwhelming than any of this, though, there will be an almighty psychological reckoning for the kingdom that she leaves behind. The Queen is Britain’s last living link with our former greatness – the nation’s id, its problematic self-regard – which is still defined by our victory in the second world war. One leading historian, who like most people I interviewed for this article declined to be named, stressed that the farewell for this country’s longest-serving monarch will be magnificent. ‘Oh, she will get everything,’ he said. ‘We were all told that the funeral of Churchill was the requiem for Britain as a great power. But actually it will really be over when she goes.’”

Every little fact in this long and very well-reported about what happens when the Queen dies is bananas. Eg we have one aristocratic family – the Dukes of Norfolk – whose entire job, as far as I can tell, for centuries has been to run royal funerals. Golf will be banned in the Royal Parks after she is gone. Jeremy Corbyn is eligible to attend the official ceremonial proclamation of King Charles III. They take satire off TV until after the funeral. It’s all bonkers, long live the republic, etc etc. Email to Pocket.


“Also perhaps in reaction, The Emperor’s New Groove also has more examples of getting crap past the radar than virtually any other Disney animated feature, including my favorite moment when, if you are paying close attention, the animation spells out ‘D’ ‘A’ ‘M’ ‘N’ as logs fall through the screen. Not to mention the various cheerful moments where the film openly admits that, really, it doesn’t make much sense.”

The weird true story of Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove. Fun fact: most of the songs were originally due to be by Sting. Email to Pocket.


“Even friends of mine – people I love – wrote, ‘why yes, we kind of agree, but why call it feminist? It’s just common sense.’ And I’m like no, it’s feminist,” Ms. Adichie said. “Or, oh it’s just humanism. Or someone said, ‘these are just democratic ideals.’ And I thought, what? It’s everything but to acknowledge the fact that gender is a problem.”

You can never read too many interviews with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Email to Pocket.


“But agreeing on names that do a bird justice and leap off the field guide page is no easier than species classification. A great many birds are named for conspicuous features, like the Red-winged Blackbird’s brilliant red wing patch. The Striolated Puffbird itself belonged to this school of naming thought; ‘striolated’ means ‘striped’. Unfortunately for SACC, the low-hanging fruits have pretty much all been picked.”

All the good names for birds are taken, and everyone is quite cross about it. Email to Pocket.


Things to listen to

The month of #trypod is well under way. Here are the shows that I’ve recommended to people so far:

Pod Save America, Criminal, Nocturne, The Heart, Another Round, The High Low, Speed Dial, Song Exploder.

And here are the shows that I’m trying myself:

Embedded, Missing Richard Simmons, The Inquiry, Why Oh Why, The Dinner Party Download.

Hit reply and tell me what you’re trying, or if you have an idea for something I should listen to!


Things to watch

What a murmuration.

We’ve all been here.

Oh, Bridget.


Compulsory medieval thingamabob

“I can explain everything.”

The guest gif

Sometimes, staying still is making progress.


If you have a suggestion for something I should look at, hit reply to this email or talk to me on Twitter.

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THE END. See you next time!