weekend mixed bag

good chat #27

Here’s a newsletter for your rainy Sydney Saturday, kicking off with a favourite:

And the links:

  1. My big recommendation of the week is The things they carried by Tim O’Brien, a collection of connected stories about a group of young men serving in the American army during the Vietnam War. It was beautifully written and really affecting, and as I was reading all I could think is, this would make an amazing Band of Brothers-type series. As it turns out, it’s not getting the Spielberg & Hanks treatment, but a movie featuring Pete Davidson and Tom Hardy is currently in the works.

  2. With everything happening in the world this week, this beautiful 2018 piece, ‘I choose Elena’, came up on my twitter feed. (TW for SA)

    I thought of my favourite author, Elena Ferrante, and the way her exquisite stories of female friendship showed me that women can be both soft and powerful; tenderness and strength are not antithetical, but equivalent. It takes vulnerability and resilience for women like her protagonist, Elena Greco, to overcome their dangerous pasts and possess their own narratives, in all of their complexity.

  3. ‘The finish line is in sight’, from Defector.

    The pandemic is not done with us, and it’s still ravaging the world at large. But sometimes history can surprise you by actually moving FORWARD, thanks to equal parts work and science. It’s been a long year, and yet it’s ONLY been a year. It could have been so much longer, and so much shittier. 

  4. A just-trust-me, which was actually a just-trust-me from Kayla: ‘Everyone is beautiful and no one is horny’

  5. Hamilton opened in Sydney earlier this week, and I’m off to see it tonight, so of course I came across ‘The unraveling of a dream’ today. It’s a look at what life was like for an actor in the first national US tour of Hamilton (spoiler: it was not good). It made me think of this week’s deezlinks, which explores ‘the promising accountability of the workplace confessional’, and in particular the fact that so many are from those in the creative industries (think the recent spate of Gimlet tell-alls, all those ‘why I left Buzzfeed’ videos) and what that means:

    Is this getting too meta? Is this just a case of media people caring about media people, and being inherent suckers for a well-crafted narrative? Isn’t it a no brainer that the industry of zippy storytellers happens to also be getting very good about documenting the flaws in our own system?

    I haven’t really come to any conclusion. And, of course, toxic workplaces exist in every industry: making news yesterday, a survey of junior bankers at Goldman Sachs found respondents believe they’re facing ‘inhumane’ working conditions and their mental health has rapidly deteriorated since they began working at the firm.

And a bonus that’s not as depressing: Ted got it right here.


You know the drill. @ me or email me with any good links!