The reading list – September 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 first white president (The Atlantic)

In this excellent long read, Ta-Nehisi Coates builds a compelling argument that Donald Trump’s real political ideology is white supremacy, and that his ascent to the presidency cannot be separated from his appeal to an inherently racist form of white identity politics. Read it.

Whitesplaining Ta-Nehisi Coates (Huffington Post)

Something of a companion piece to the previous post. A collection of excerpts from articles white men wrote about how Ta-Nehisi Coates is wrong about race, actually, showing how people can both spectacularly miss someone’s point and also totally prove it. Read it.

Thread where I disrespect every flag of every country one by one (Ken Cheng, Twitter)

Pretty self-explanatory, this one. An incredibly timely and relevant thread. Read it.

Oh, Jeremy Corbyn! I bet you think this song is about you: my week at Labour’s love-in (The Guardian)

 The ever wonderful Marina Hyde visits the Labour Conference in Brighton. What starts out as a piece reporting on the eccentricities of a political conference becomes a look at the need for (and lack of) jokes in certain branches of contemporary politics. Read it.

Uber and the tech giants must be restrained (The Times)

Most of the Uber London ban conversation has focused on the battle between convenience and user safety. Hugo Rifkind, however, looks at the political ramifications of the TFL decision in an interesting, provocative piece. Read it (paywall).

The remarkable laziness of Woody Allen (The Atlantic)

Is it fair to say that Woody Allen, the director of over 47 feature films in the past 50 years, is lazy? Well, apparently so. This piece takes a critical look at Woody Allen’s directorial methods (and not his laziness at finding women of appropriate age, unfortunately.) Read it.

How to kill a possum (The Awl)

A simultaneously hilarious and harrowing account of the realities of raising chickens. We often fetishise living off the land as harking back to an idyllic pre-industrial past. But this wonderfully deft piece of writing illustrates how rearing and protecting livestock is hard, undignified and often quite brutal. Read it.