Things to read
“January, 1865. The peace on a regular English train journey from Carnforth to Liverpool is shattered by one man’s deranged laughter and erratic antics. Armed with a gun and attacking the windows to get to the other increasingly frightened passengers, he seems out of control. At the next train stop in Lancaster, the man suddenly becomes calm and serenity is returned. But as the train begins to roll again, his aggression returns. The motion of the train becomes the only means to gauge the man’s behavior. His mood changes from one stop to the next, twisting and turning with the carriage.”
—The Victorians believed in an illness called "railway madness". Email to Pocket.
+Related: I recently read V.L. Whitechurch's Thrilling Stories of the Railway, and I can't recommend it highly enough (I like my detective fiction with plenty of precise details about signal boxes).
“Think about what TV has given — or, if you prefer, done to — the average viewer. When you lose certain, definable patterns, the game has changed. People don't talk about fall premieres or summer programming so much anymore; they talk about the "TV all the time" phenomenon. They are post-season. Because of DVRs and OTT streaming options, they are post-schedule. Because they are overwhelmed, they are, as mentioned, post-premiere. And, consequently, they are post-finale. Many of the old rules just don't apply.”
“Few writers have watched and captured women with such conspicuous pleasure as du Maurier — the way they walk and wear coats and unscrew their earrings. The way they pin up their hair and stub out their cigarettes; the way they call to their dogs, break horses, comfort children, deceive their husbands and coax plants from flinty soil. Few writers (Elena Ferrante comes to mind) have been so aware of how women excite one another’s imaginations.”
“The ocean in Moana is an anthropomorphic force that occasionally nudges Moana along the way. Except the ocean character doesn’t have a face. And it doesn’t talk. (In this way, it was a bit like the animated magic carpet in Disney’s Aladdin, Osnat Shurer, the Moana producer told me.) So Disney’s effects specialists and animators were constantly navigating the tension between wanting the water to look and act like actual water—but to be magical at the same time.”
“'I always wanted a video shop but in 1998 DVDs came out and sort of ruined me. I was like: well that’s the end of that dream,' he says. Still, he kept collecting, and is happy with his videos, which are arranged like a shop on shelves from old rental stores. 'I hate them,' he says of DVDs, 'I call them "soulless discs of hate".'”
—My colleague Amelia is back with another weird internet story - this time, she meets the mysterious men who still trade VHS tapes over the internet, including one who goes by 'The Mayor'. Email to Pocket.
Things to listen toHave I mentioned that I really like the Rookie podcast? I really like the Rookie podcast. Particularly good guests have included Lorde, Alia Shawkat, George Saunders and Roxane Gay.
Things to watch
Things to attend
This is where I put details of upcoming IRL things I’m doing:
LAST CHANCE 9 July, London – The next SRSLY pop culture quiz is all about Game of Thrones, and is already sold out. HOWEVER, there is a waiting list you can join here and if there's enough demand we'll add another date.
5 August, London – Anna and I are doing our first ever live SRSLY episode at the ShoutOut Festival - an event dedicated to the celebration and discovery of diverse podcasts. Buy a ticket for the whole day, and see us as well as lots of other great shows like Another Round and Mostly Lit.
17 September, London – We're also part of the line-up for the 2017 London Podcast Festival at King's Place. Tickets for our show are already on sale.
Compulsory medieval thingamabobHere be dragons (with natty little hats).
The guest gifYou made it to the end!
If you have a suggestion for something I should look at, hit reply to this email or talk to me on Twitter.
THE END. See you next time!