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Fortnightly Culture Thread October 17, 2021

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

gregtimo proposed in comments recently the idea of a Culture Thread.

It’s a great idea. Currently culture is a bit strange, but people read, listen to music, watch television and film and so on – spread the net wide, sports, activities, interests, all relevant – and any pointers are always welcome. And it’s not just those areas but many more. Suggestions as to new or old things, events that might have been missed, literally anything. gregtimo for example asks… 


1. polly - October 17, 2021

Reading ‘While Justice Sleeps’ , political/legal thriller by Stacey Abrams, more famous as a senator in the Georgia Senate, credited with getting out the vote for Joe Biden. Gene tech, law of executive privilege, assassins, v v readable.

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WorldbyStorm - October 17, 2021

Wow, never realised she wrote thrillers. That’s cool.

Reading Ted Chiang’s collection of short ‘speculative fiction’ – aka science fiction dressed up in literary clothes’ – stories – Exhalation. Pretty good so far. And found an interesting collection of essays on Irish Culture and Wartime Europe-1938-1948 which seems promising. Also finished Alastair Reynolds Inhibitor Phase which is a great addition to his canon, and rereading Ken Macleod’s The Restoration Game, which I liked on first reading it in 2010 and liking it a whole lot more on rereading it.

Other than that, anyone seen Reservation Dogs? It’s on Disney and created by Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi and is a comedy based around indigenous American kids in Oklahoma and is pretty good so far. Only Murders in the Building I am liking a lot. Foundation, not quite as sure about.


2. Liberius - October 17, 2021

Watched an episode of the ARTE science programme Xenius that covered container shipping and the environmental element of that with both the sheer dominance of global shipping in terms of distributing goods around the planet and the dreadful working conditions that sailors are subject to in the industry. Many moons ago here on CLR I recommended a book on container shipping by journalist Rose George called Deep Sea and Foreign Going, I’d recommend reading it if the topic were to interest you, it’s more in depth than the Xenius episode which could though act as an appetiser.


As Spotify’s algorithms are sort of mentioned in one of the other threads, over the last few days I’ve been recommended some tracks from a new album by Sotiria, former lead singer for the German pop-rock band Eisblume, who weren’t my kettle of fish. Not sure I’d spend an enormous amount of time listening to her but I did find Heute Nacht quite listenable, kind of reminded me a bit of early Kate Ryan stuff from the Different album like her cover of Myléne Farmer’s Désenchantée.

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3. sonofstan - October 17, 2021

Not new by any means – 1947 – but just watched Odd Man Out again: such a weird movie… Belfast looks great, as does Shoreditch standing in for it, and disappointing to find ‘The Crown’ was actually rebuilt in Buckinghamshire. It looks exactly like itself though.
Real puzzle is how so many fine Abbey actors were unable to even get close to a Belfast accent – only the kids in the movie sound convincing.

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4. Liberius - October 23, 2021

Watched a documentary on ARTE this morning about the environmental issues associated with Danone & Nestlé sucking water out of the ground in Volvic & Vittel. It’s interesting stuff and a good reminder that water is something that can never be taken for granted. This isn’t especially cultural so I’ll segue into Bond since the new one is out (I’ve sod all interest in watching that epic), my favourite of the Craig era has been the ugly duckling that nobody likes Quantum of Solace, not just because it’s mercifully short but because in Greene’s plans to control the water under Bolivia by installing a military dictator you have probably the most realistic plot any Bond film has ever had. Decent stuff, Mathieu Almeric is fantastic as Greene, as is Olga Kurylenko as Camille.


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