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Etcetera #43: Nominative Determinism, Florida, Satire

Matthew Culnane
Matthew Culnane
Hello. I’ve been in something of a rush to get this issue ready—I’m taking tomorrow off work to celebrate mine and Gemma’s anniversary, and everyone here in the UK has a double bank holiday on Thursday and Friday in honour of our anniversary the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. To quote Lenin: there are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen. This has been one of the latter.
See you next time.

Nomen est omen
The Annihilation of Florida: An Overlooked National Tragedy
British satire is fanning the flames of fascism
See also: Rachel Connolly’s piece last year on Funny Voice Videos:
‘The lockdown has shown us that British satire is UNDEFEATED ???’ was a typical reaction on Twitter. But what is being satirised here? The nosy, curtain-twitching neighbour is a familiar stereotype, and tying it to the double standards often at play in pandemic shaming is a topical twist, but this is not exactly a systemic societal ill. Notice, too, that her pious moral superiority alone is not enough to damn ‘your aunt’: the audience is encouraged to laugh at her patchy adherence to lockdown rules, too, and so to bask in their own sense of moral superiority. But this is no different from what ‘your aunt’ was doing herself. It also echoes the strategy adopted by the government in the early stages of the pandemic, when the emphasis was placed on members of the public being vigilant or reckless.
The dreaded Tweets
Premature Evaluation: Wilco 'Cruel Country'
Gareth Harney
New Roman graffiti unearthed in the excavations at Vindolanda. Someone in the 3rd century made it very clear what they thought of Secundinus. The stone is engraved with the words SECVNDINVS CACOR, ‘Secundinus the shitter’. A phallus points towards the insult for good measure!
In rotation
🎵 Friend of the newsletter Paul Capewell recently mentioned Passage by Mia Pixley, and it’s very good. A fairly short chamber music record, by turns it recalls trad. classical composers, Sigur Ros, and Max Richter.
🎵 I’m still digesting the new Wilco record, Cruel Country, but I think it might be their best in quite a few years. Jeff Tweedy’s lyrics have come on so much since the band started. And he’s telling us how to do it too!
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Matthew Culnane
Matthew Culnane @coldbrain

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