The reading list – November 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.

How the sandwich consumed Britain (Sam Knight, Guardian)

One of the most fascinating long reads you’ll encounter all year. It’s about sandwiches. However, despite the ostensibly mundane subject, this piece reveals a huge amount about life in Britain and our economy. Read it.

What do we do with the art of monstrous men? (Claire Dederer, The Paris Review)

In this funny, insightful and thought-provoking piece, Claire Dederer asks how we square good art from people who have committed either criminal, or at least morally questionable, acts. With a particular focus on Woody Allen, the piece is hugely relevant, necessary and a genuinely riveting read. Read it.

Why all the comedy men are so awful (Drew Magary, GQ)

A companion piece to the above. In the light of the allegations about Louis CK’s sexual misconduct, Drew Magary takes the world of comedy to task for facilitating the terrible behaviour of CK, as well as a number of his antecedents and contemporaries. Read it.

Decriminalisation: A love story (Susana Ferreira, Common Place)

A beautiful, poignant essay about the decriminalisation of drugs in Portugal. Very balanced and with a compassionate attitude towards the struggle of drug addicts, their families and their communities. Read it.

Monetising millennials: What the corporate world thinks it knows about young people (Alex McKinnon, Guardian)

This cringe-inducing report from a conference on how to market to millennials will make you vomit smashed avo all over your Instagram filters. Read it.

The disquieting rise of “Search and Shame” (Amelia Tait, New Statesman)

This article dissects the worrying recent trend in ‘journalism’ to search through a public figure’s social media profiles in the hope they tweeted something horrible. Is it right to judge to people on things they said many years ago, ignoring the fact that they may have matured and grown as people since? Read it.

Estate agent says London’s millennials should stop buying sandwiches, holidays and splashing cash on nights out in order to afford a house (Jonathan Prynn & Naomi Ackerman, Evening Standard)

As a millennial, it’s good to know that all I have to do to be able to own my own home is go without food, enjoyable activities, or indeed any luxury or any kind for five years or more. And even then I’ll still need £30k from my parents. Even if you don’t take this research at face value (and you shouldn’t) this is still an infuriating illustration of how hopelessly broken the property market in this country is. Read it.