The COVID-19 Recession May Change The Way Americans Spend Forever

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I didn’t even realize I’d lost my desire to shop until one day, about six weeks into isolation, I absentmindedly clicked on a Madewell email offering an additional sale on a sale. I don’t even have anywhere to wear the jumpsuits I already own, let alone one that would require heels. Every work trip, every speaking gig, every quick vacation had already been canceled, even as my calendar still had reminders of the life I had planned in advance, on a different timeline, for myself. But in a matter of weeks, those, too, would be gone. I feel very lucky to spend my days walking my dog on the same loop I always take. But that walk, for the foreseeable future, requires no new purchases.

The COVID-19 Recession May Change The Way Americans Spend Forever, Anne Helen Peterson in BuzzFeed News

Robert Pattinson in Isolation



One day I ask Robert Eggers, who directed Pattinson in last year’s The Lighthouse-in which Pattinson plays a man driven to insanity and avian homicide by isolation and loneliness-why he cast Pattinson in his movie. ‘Well,’ Eggers says, from his own solitude in Belfast, ’that paranoid quality about Rob that you kind of feel in his everyday life, I think, is why Josh and Benny wanted him in Good Time and why I thought that he made a lot of sense in The Lighthouse. Although he’s good enough that he can transform. But I think that paranoid quality is something that is special for him.’

Robert Pattinson in Isolation, Zach Baron in GQ

The real Lord of the Flies

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The kids agreed to work in teams of two, drawing up a strict roster for garden, kitchen and guard duty. Sometimes they quarrelled, but whenever that happened they solved it by imposing a time-out. Their days began and ended with song and prayer. Kolo fashioned a makeshift guitar from a piece of driftwood, half a coconut shell and six steel wires salvaged from their wrecked boat – an instrument Peter has kept all these years – and played it to help lift their spirits. And their spirits needed lifting. All summer long it hardly rained, driving the boys frantic with thirst. They tried constructing a raft in order to leave the island, but it fell apart in the crashing surf.

The real Lord of the Flies, Rutner Bregman in The Guardian

PearShaped Magazine Archive

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When I was at university, me and some friends founded a music magazine and ran it for a few years before handing it off to the next generation of students when we graduated. It ran on for a few years after we left and then closed. I noticed recently that the hosting was about to expire, so I exported the magazine’s content and turned it into a basic static site so it wasn’t lost forever.

Jacob Rees-Mogg Profile

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James Meek (author of Private Island: Why Britain Now Belongs To Someone Else) did a great profile of new Leader of the Commons, Jacob Rees-Mog. It sums up the argument incredibly well that the stuffy all-English persona he affects in Parliament is at odds with his source of income in a transnational investment firm. Meek goes deep on the problematic network of offshore financial instruments used to shroud Mogg’s investment firm in secrecy, which makes sense given his work on Private Island.

The Sinking of the USS Fitzgerald

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For some reason I feel really compelled by accounts of the crash involving the USS Fitzgerald that killed sseven crew members. It’s a really interesting case of how the build up of lots of little decisions, shortcuts, putting crew under pressure, can lead to something dreadful. I first heard about it in detail from this amazing This American Life segment by Stephanie Foo. More recently though, ProPublica published this incredibly detailed and moving account of the incident.