The Reading List – August 2017

Presented for your amusement and intellectual enrichment: the best pieces of writing the Octopus Group Copy Team have read in the past month. Be inspired, disgusted, entertained, or a combination of the three.

“The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show” gave us a totally outrageous paradigm (AV Club)

A thorough examination of how The Simpsons anticipated the uneasy relationship media franchises would have with rabid internet fandoms. Read it

VIDEO: Cultural Complicity (Matt Lees @ Gamescom Congress 2017)

This clever yet accessible talk about video games culture touches on something relevant for people who make stuff in any medium. Mainly that the media you put out into the world contributes to culture. And creators, whether they like it or not, have a responsibility to, and a relationship with, the culture they create. Watch it

She Giggles, He Gallops (The Pudding)

This study dissects gender tropes in film by analysing 2,000 scripts and identifying the most commonly-used screen directions for male and female characters. Perhaps unsurprisingly, men tend to shoot, gallop and kill, whereas women predominantly snuggle, squeal and sob. Read it

Why I Hid My Second Pregnancy From the Internet (The Cut)

A fascinating discussion of the ways in which pregnancy has become fetished in the social media age, and how miscarriage – a rarely discussed aspect of the female experience at the best of times – unsettles that narrative. A bit heavy this one, but well worth a read. Read it

One of Labour’s New Rising Stars Talks Class, Westminster and ‘the Enemy’ (The Skwawkbox)

The interview that launched a thousand think pieces. Labour MP Laura Pidcock said that she has “absolutely no intention of being friends” with Tory MPs and a supernova of hot takes followed. Depending on who you read, it’s either implacable political conviction or ideological intolerance akin to fascism. If you ask us, it’s trolling of the highest calibre. Read it

Working from home is fine but do it for too long and you’ll never make it back (The Times)

This piece from Sathnam Sanghera takes a look at the difficulties that come with returning to office life after a time working from home. It’s a funny (and true) examination of working cultures, both healthy and not. Read it