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Night/Sunday Warning S2E15: And now we move onto liars...
Another instalment of weekly recommendations and miscellaneous items.
This is the weekly round-up of things I liked in the past seven days + extra content for paid subscribers.
4 Things I Actually Enjoyed This Week
This article is almost impossible to describe. It is seriously unhinged. Here’s the opening paragraph which gives you a sense of just how unhinged:
Last Halloween, the L.A. restaurant Horses threw a party for its staff. After a while, some of the group piled into Ubers and headed to a bar, still in costume, for a nightcap. Will Aghajanian, the restaurant’s chef and co-founder, came along. And he was saying some unsettling things, according to one person who was there. Elizabeth Johnson, his wife and the restaurant’s other co-founder, had been coming into Horses less frequently, and the staff had gotten the impression that something was going on. Now, Aghajanian seemed to be revealing details to one of his employees who had worked with him on and off at a series of restaurants. “Liz thinks I killed the cat,” he said. “And so what if I did?” Gossip about Aghajanian’s comments spread slowly among the tight-knit staff. A few days later, “I was asked like, ‘Hey, do you know about this cat thing?’” says Krizia Villaflor, a chef at Horses who’d worked with the couple for more than six years at a series of restaurants. “I was like, ‘Oh, wow, he spilled the beans on himself.’”
Alicia Bognanno is an incredible singer, songwriter, and guitarist. She has a new record out and you should listen to it. If you like The Breeders, Hole, Veruca Salt… this is for you:
Dave Eggers Wants Readers to See How the Sausage Is Made
Elisabeth Egan for The New York Times
I have mixed views about Dave Eggers’ bibliography but… this is brilliant:
“We had the idea to try to collapse the space between young readers and publishers and authors and give them a peek behind the curtain and let them see manuscripts in progress,” Eggers said in a phone interview. “We started cooking up this idea of showing students or classes written manuscripts and saying, ‘What do you think?’ To show them the process as it went along.” And so the Young Editors Project was born. It works like this: The program matches an author with a classroom of students who are roughly the target audience for a particular work. The writer might pose specific questions — for instance, Eggers said, “I’d like to know if you think there’s enough foxes in this book” — and the kids provide feedback.
There obviously had to be a Succession piece and you might not have read this one from last year:
Armstrong and Rich loved the project, and McKay was set to direct the first episode. But HBO’s drama department—then mired in a development logjam around the time of the doomed drama Vinyl—seemed to lose interest. “It was not a priority, we came to realize,” Rich says. “The process was sluggish and frustrating.” With the series going nowhere, McKay went off to direct The Big Short, and Armstrong turned his interest elsewhere. In 2015, he enthusiastically consumed The Jinx, HBO’s multipart documentary series about Robert Durst, the bizarre scion of an uber-rich New York real estate family. Afterward, Armstrong buried himself in a stack of books about business leaders and media tycoons. He read biographies of Conrad Black, Tiny Rowland, Lord Rothermere, and William Randolph Hearst. He breezed through Disney War by James B. Stewart about the stormy tenure of Michael Eisner and his friendship-turned-rivalry with Jeffrey Katzenberg. By the time Armstrong picked up the autobiography of Sumner Redstone, the powerful and sex-crazed head of Viacom, he saw the similarities among tycoons piling up. They all seemed to have such a paucity of self-reflection.”
Updates, Corrections & Clarifications
I am no longer involved with Prominent Corrections but a new podcast called Some Notes is on the way.
There’s usually a paywall here but not this week. Please consider a paid subscription though as it’ll be back up next week.
THE MICRO ESSAY
One of the strangest things about being someone who writes for a living, makes podcasts, and sometimes turns up on TV or radio is that other people have ideas about who you are as a person that can be completely alien to reality. This week I’ve been under a pretty sustained bombardment — in part because I have defended trans people and written about Nick Cohen’s behaviour — from people out to present a version of me as a monster. It’s not true and may lead to me having to take legal action to stop the defamatory and dangerous statements. However, I’d rather just do my job and there are some really big stories coming, both in this newsletter and with other publications I work with.
Thank you for your support.
THIS WEEK’S STATS
There are currently 9,711 subscribers to this newsletter in total (up 237 in the last 30 days). There are 750 paid subscribers (up 36 in the last 30 days). Newsletters from this publication were read 135,000 times in the past month.
This week’s most-read edition was…
Which was read 9,500 times with a read rate among subscribers of 45%.
THE NEWSLETTERS I NEARLY WROTE THIS WEEK
Were all very angry and frustrated… so I didn’t.
YOUTUBE FIND OF THE WEEK
J.G. Ballard on The Book Programme in 1978:
Thanks for reading, and for sharing.