A friend recommended this to me: it’s Louis Theroux interviewing people who, like him, are in lockdown. The episode with Jon Ronson, who’s in New York, is great. They consider each other rivals, given they started out doing similar things, but they both seem OK about that, which is interesting. Jon talks about how Robbie Williams once called and said: “You’ve got to interview me in a haunted house!” It fell through, of course, as things do which are driven by a huge amount of bluster. I also want to mention Boy George’s podcast about self-isolating in Soho. It’s lovely to hear voices like these in your ears at the moment. … [Read more...] about On my radar: Tim Burgess’s cultural highlights
Time oriented cultures
Ocarina of Time remains eminently playable today because so many of the things it invented became standard for any 3D game that came after it. All Link’s various actions can be performed with one or two buttons, greatly simplifying the act of interacting with virtual worlds. Even games such as Red Dead Redemption 2 use some version of Z-targeting. Navi the fairy provided a contextual hint system, as well as some company while Link made his lonely way towards his destiny. (Her desertion of Link at the end of the game, after he has saved the world and returned to his child’s body, seems sadder and sadder the older I get; the fairy is, after all, the only one who knows what he has accomplished.) … [Read more...] about Zelda: Ocarina of Time at 20 – melancholy masterpiece changed games forever
Funny, because that’s exactly the effect of Westerman’s own forthcoming debut album, Your Hero Is Not Dead, whose songs recall the lithe tenderness of Drake, Arthur Russell and Peter Gabriel. It melds folk, R&B and spacious, serene 80s synthpop, Westerman’s choirboy vocals like blowing on bottle tops. Perfume Genius has recognised its soft power: the musician recently told Q magazine that he had been playing its lead single Blue Comanche on loop because he found it “soothing”. … [Read more...] about Westerman: ‘Music is an incredibly helpful thing to have in difficult times’
• Having worked in retail for almost 40 years, I appreciated your illuminating article (‘People were like animals!’ How supermarket staff watched the coronavirus crisis unfold, 26 May). I hope that the recent positive change in some people’s attitudes towards my “menial” role isn’t a temporary phenomenon.Claire LathamSandwich, Kent … [Read more...] about Time to unlock public libraries
Teaching languages is also relatively expensive. In larger universities, cheaper and more popular courses, such as politics and law, cross-subsidise the costs of modern languages, but Soas is also a victim of its size. While it does offer popular courses such as law for undergraduates, the numbers are too small to offset the costs of language provision. While English universities have a median turnover of about £150m a year, Soas’s is barely £90m. … [Read more...] about Soas survived the end of empire but can it recover this time?