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Etcetera #48: Mushrooms, Small Hours, Hoarding

Matthew Culnane
Matthew Culnane
Hello. We’re dealing with the return of covid to our home for the first time since early 2020. Like that initial occasion, I’ve been largely unaffected—directly, at least. I get relatively little ‘spare time’ generally but in a plague household I have even less. I read and watched and listened to and played fewer things this week but somehow had more thoughts about them all. Here are the highlights.
See you next time.

The Mushrooms That Ate Luke Perry
Stealing, Feeling, Rolling, and Reeling: John Martyn’s “Small Hours”
Happiness is a Game Boy
Hoardiculture
The Beatles’ Unheard ‘Revolver’: An Exclusive Preview of a Blockbuster Archival Release
Etc.
  • In Britain we are, or we at least cosplay to be, fiercely protective of our high streets and the amenities contained within. Very few things set the lunatics of the local Facebook groups off more than bank branch closures. This article is US focused, so isn’t directly comparable to life in the UK, but it is a useful explainer about what exactly bank branches are for these days.
  • On the 150-year-old task of the Oxford English Dictionary to define every English word. The headline and intro naturally focus on recent coinages but the piece goes into the process of building a dictionary, which I found fascinating.
  • See also: “Most dictionaries focus on the most prominent or recent meaning of a word; this one aims to show every single way anyone ever used it, from the earliest Latin inscriptions in the sixth century B.C. to around A.D. 600. The dictionary’s founder, Eduard Wölfflin, who died in 1908, described entries in the T.L.L. not as definitions, but “biographies” of words.” Biographies of words! Wonderful.
  • Some related stuff about French, broadly looking at how new words are added to the language: how it has evolved post-covid; the push to make it more gender-neutral; a broader history.
  • Two further pieces on food and appropriation, a topic we discuss a lot here: TW Lim on how ownership of a cuisine is the perhaps the wrong framing, and Anmol Irfan on ignorance of ‘curry’.
  • Something that brings together food, appropriation, invention, marketing, and that ketchup article I included last time: how tomato ketchup became Indian.
  • An interesting look at the composition of a specific photo to understand why it works.
The dreaded Tweets
Lauren Pikó
Commentators concocting the idea of a climate activist king conveniently overlook why he cares about climate; to defend and preserve the most hierarchical forms of tradition, and the most essentialist ideas of heritage. It's not progressive, which is entirely the point.
tommy bayer
The two jobs that exist are 1. being on the computer and 2. bringing things to people who are on the computer
toyotathon the other hand
DON DRAPER: These Simpsons, they’re yellow?

ROGER STERLING: As the day is long.

DON: And the boy?

ROGER: Bart, lotta triangles on his head. (puts out cigarette) Sister, too.
In rotation
Glossolalia, by Max Gowan
Outro
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Matthew Culnane
Matthew Culnane @coldbrain

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