Filtered, week of 8 Oct, 2018
Over the past weeks and months, I’ve felt completely blocked on blogging - feeling the need (and maybe expectation) to write a big piece about my work, and not feeling able to write that thing. This format is an attempt to get past that.
Some day I will write about what I’m up to in government. This is not that.
Hey, ML DJ
I’m so old that I still tend to think of music in terms of albums and compilations rather than songs. Consequently, although I add a lot to my Spotify library, and rely heavily on Discover Weekly and Release Radar, I’m not subsequently listening to nearly enough of what I’ve already got.
This week, I just hit Songs > Shuffle Play and let Spotify do the work. So good. Trust the algorithms, Andrew.
On the retreat
I’ve taken the Twitter app off my phone in a bid to avoid the sort of mindless consumption I’m really prone to. The news everywhere is pretty bleak at the moment, and reading the retweeted opinions of people who are just Incredibly Certain About Everything doesn’t help.
Less Twitter means leaning more heavily on RSS via Reeder and Feedbin. RSS means more long form writing; less frenetic context switching; a more careful selection of the voices I feel I need to hear; and a calmer way of staying informed not overwhelmed.
I’ve started watching Chef’s Table on Netflix, via a Wired UK recommendation - I still find discovering content on Netflix incredibly hard work. The episode with Attica’s Ben Shewry is moving, profound and far removed from the usual genius-chef-yells-at-underpaid-staff trope. You get a real sense of the personal cost, and the cost to those around a chef. It also really made me want to re-visit Melbourne, and in particular, to go to Fergus, the gorgeous coffee shop that features in the episode.
I was interested in Chris Heathcote and Guy Moorhouse’s takes on the BBC’s Killing Eve. I confess I loved it, in part because every aspect of it seemed head and shoulders above the BBC’s other big series of the moment, The Bodyguard which feels like it attracted far more attention. Killing Eve’s comedy is intentionally absurd, The Bodyguard’s is clunkingly unintended.
Kim Little, an apology
A year ago I couldn’t have told you who Kim Little was. That’s an appalling admission for someone as hooked on football as I am.
This season, inspired by the best Scotland team of my generation and an Arsenal team rejuvenated under Joe Montemurro, I’m playing catch up. I’m determined to give Arsenal’s women as much of my attention as Arsenal’s men, turning my very fuzzy knowledge of the women’s game into something more certain, more informed.
Central to Arsenal and Scotland’s midfield is Kim Little. Little has scored in each of her last six games for club and country. For Arsenal’s last three, she’s scored the goal of the game. A twisting, turning, shifting shot past a shell-shocked Liverpool defence. Lashing in a ludicrous first time volley on the turn at Yeovil. Slamming home a miles-out drive to beat West Ham just when her team needed their captain most.
To this latecomer, watching women’s football is like the World Cup used to feel, where you had the illusion of feeling you’d ‘discovered’ a player. Every game I watch, I spot another amazing technician in the women’s game. But Kim’s a class apart.
“Filtered” is a 3-years-late, 2nd attempt at a Matt Webb, Michael Sippey inspired-format. Just write.