Highly refined type of mistake

People who think technology is going to lead to a mistake free world are very wide of the mark. What are you going to get is a different argument about a more highly refined type of mistake. And it’s going to come down to scrutiny of inches and millimeters of a television screen, rather than a judgment made out in the middle.

Ed Smith

Ed Smith was talking in 2018 about the cricket review system, but as Liverpool’s disallowed goal in the Merseyside derby yesterday proves again (it being just the most recent example), what he said is turning out to be more than true for VAR in football.

Going For A Song: ‘Once in a Lifetime’

Talking Heads – Once in a lifetime

It’s so familiar, so beloved, so immediately and everlastingly catchy, that it’s easy to no longer notice just how weird it is. As is often the way, while seeking to do their most self-consciously experimental work, the band fashioned their finest moment of pure pop. Has any magnificent pop song been quite so eccentric; has anything quite so eccentric become so magnificent a pop song?

And the Heat Goes On: Talking Heads’ Remain in Light At 40

Travels

Deal pier

My summer wasn’t devoid of travel thankfully. There was a day trip to Deal, Kent; camping on the Isle of Sheppey; and a weekend in Newquay, Cornwall.

Deal pier (photo above) was impressive for the design of functionality over prettiness. The decent weather on the Isle of Sheppey, while the rest of the country seemed rain and wind, was much appreciated. And in Cornwall the tour of Healeys Cyder Farm with sampling at the end was good fun.

No improv shows, or rehearsals, on the immediate horizon. I might look to online improv at some point but still haven’t yet been compelled. I did do a couple of 5min stand-up spots and nearly had a third this weekend, but that got cancelled because they couldn’t guarantee a Covid secure show. Fair enough. That type of uncertainty is perhaps going to be the way all winter.

  • Watching: Breaking Bad. I never watched it when the hullabaloo surrounded it and I’m struggling to see what all the fuss was about. It’s good, but not a patch on The Americans which I’ve just finished.
  • Reading: Graceland, Chris Abani.
  • Drinking: Red Wine. Barefoot Malbac or Merlot. A friend recommended the former. But both inexpensive and decent.

I can’t recommend it enough

What with the current dubious state of journalism, media (social and other), and the 24-hour news cycle, I find myself ever more thankful when Delayed Gratification magazine lands on the mat. They promise a lot and they make good on that promise. The current issue has an interactive artwork by Olafur Eliasson on the front cover. What more could you want? I can’t recommend it enough. For local news? If you’re in South-East London, you can’t go wrong with 853.

Read more

What I’ve been doing

I added more books to the reading pile:

Articles / essays (some recent, some oldish) I’ve read which are worth a mention:

Music documentaries I’ve watched:

And the plan is to continue in this way until the situation changes.

Keep keeping safe.

 

Going For A Song: ‘Weaving Medley: Busy Weaving / Julianne Johnson / Open Little Hand / Back Step Cindy (纺织忙 / 小开手)’

Abigail Washburn & Wu Fei – ‘Weaving Medley: Busy Weaving / Julianne Johnson / Open Little Hand / Back Step Cindy (纺织忙 / 小开手)’

On his Freak Zone a few weeks ago, Stuart Maconie asked for recommendations of “alternative country records”. This got me thinking: what country records fall within the parameters of the Freak Zone? Then, by some YouTube algorithmical kismet, via a recommendation in an Alan Jacobs’ newsletter, I heard Abigail Washburn & Wu Fei. I’d found my first recommendation.

Camus on the saucepan lids

Parties can cultivate our connections to others, bring meaning to one another’s lives, and reveal the world with them. They can also confirm one another’s existences, serving as a reminder to friends that they matter, and that one matters to one’s friends. Moreover, the warmth and laughter that authentic partying sparks can help people cope with the chaos of life. De Beauvoir wrote of her wartime parties in occupied Paris: they saved up food stamps and then binged on food, fun and alcohol. They danced, sang, played music and improvised. The artist Dora Maar mimed bullfights, Sartre mimed orchestra-conducting in a cupboard, and Albert Camus banged on saucepan lids as if in a marching band

Being and drunkeness: how to party like an existentialist

For those of us now attempting our parties and meet-ups via Zoom. The existentialists at least thought it worth persisting with.