Sunday links

14th May 2017

A selection of links to interesting stuff from the past week, with the usual implied virtual thanks to those who alerted me to many of them.

Who will be left?: among the many good points that Tom Crewe makes in his LRB analysis of Jeremy Corbyn and today’s Labour party is this: ‘The world we live in now is recognisably the one 1997 (and 2001 and 2005) made.’

The autocrat’s language: please read Masha Gessen for the New York Review of Books:

Using words to lie destroys language. Using words to cover up lies, however subtly, destroys language. Validating incomprehensible drivel with polite reaction also destroys language. This isn’t merely a question of the prestige of the writing art or the credibility of the journalistic trade: it is about the basic survival of the public sphere.

Donald Trump after hours: of all the other Trump-related writings from the past week, this is among the most fascinating (and the best written) – an account of a dinner with the President by TIME reporters Michael Scherer and Zeke J. Miller; great photos too by Benjamin Rasmussen.

He was a crook: The Atlantic revisits Hunter S. Thompson’s glorious obit for Richard Nixon, originally published in Rolling Stone on 16 June 1994.

The fidget spinner is the perfect toy for the Trump presidency: Rebecca Mead for The New Yorker.

Good morning from Ozuland: David Bordwell on one a topic on which he is always essential, the films of the Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu, and in this case especially Good Morning, 1959, newly released in a 4K transfer by The Criterion Collection.

• Jill Soloway’s I Love Dick has a mesmerizing energy: Matt Zoller Seitz for Vulture; there are 8 episodes now on Amazon.co.uk, and the first is free – an image is above and here’s a trailer:

Dwayne Johnson for President!: a truly wonderful (and very funny) profile of The Rock, written by Caity Weaver for GQ.

The passion of Ivanka Trump: at Buzzfeed, Katherine Miller on Women Who Work.

• The 7th Function of Language by Laurent Binet review – who killed Roland Barthes?: a delicious response to Binet’s acclaimed novel by Lauren Elkin for the Guardian.

On China’s great books – an interview with Frances Wood: Paul French has lunch with the former Curator of Chinese Collections at the British Library, and they talk about her new collection, Great Books of China.

Fair use too often goes unused: a really good piece by Noah Berlatsky for The Chronicle of Higher Education with a spot-on conclusion:

Books and journal articles about visual culture need to be able to engage with, analyze, and share visual culture. Fair use makes that possible — but only if authors and presses are willing to assert their rights. Presses may take on a small risk in asserting fair use. But in return they give readers an invaluable opportunity to see what scholars are talking about.

What’s so new about news?: a thoughtful historical essay by All Souls fellow Arthur Asseraf at Aeon.

• Monetising misinformation – inside the fake news capital of the world: Samanth Subramanian reports from Macedonia for Wired on algorithmic advertising engines and fake news.

• The missing link? EU supply chains after Brexit: Naga Munchetty reports for Newsnight:

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