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Sitdown Sunday: Missing in LA - 'Something was wrong... Elaine never made the beds'

Grab a comfy chair and sit back with some of the week’s best longreads.

IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair.

We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour.

1. How internet radio changed music discovery forever

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Long gone are the days of mixtapes and recording songs on tape from your favourite radio show. Now, if you want to discovery new music you can head online. You’ll find much inspiration in this article.

(The Line of Best Fit, approx 25 mins reading time)

Presented entirely by people under 25, Reprezent is renowned for its quality musical output – grime, UK rap and hip-hop, electronic and bass, house and alternative music – but also for its championing of youth culture. Originally borne out of a project tackling youth violence in South London (and based in a shipping container in Brixton) it now provides a platform for young people to showcase their talents but also to discuss social issues, challenge youth stereotypes and help young people better represent themselves in society.

2. What happened to the Salomons?

In 1982, the Saloman family disappeared from their home in LA’s Valley area. What happened to them? A former neighbour writes about their story.

(LA Mag, approx 40 mins reading time)

After a patrol sergeant arrived with permission to enter, Marty showed them how to get inside through a bathroom window in the back. The police went in first, followed by Marty and then my mom and me. The doors were locked, but the burglar alarm hadn’t been activated. Marty phoned Dorene from the master bedroom. Everything looked fine, he said, surveying the room; even the bed was made. That’s when Dorene panicked. “Elaine never made the beds,” she told me later. “Something was wrong.”

3. No water – so people drink Coca Cola

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This shocking article is about a town in Mexico where there is little drinkable water, so the residents drink Coca Cola. This is having a detrimental affect on their health. Meanwhile, there is a Coca Cola plant in the same town…

(New York Times, approx 9 mins reading time)

So, many residents drink Coca-Cola, which is produced by a local bottling plant, can be easier to find than bottled water and is almost as cheap. In a country that is among the world’s top consumers of sugary drinks, Chiapas is a champion: Residents of San Cristóbal and the lush highlands that envelop the city drink on average more than two liters, or more than half a gallon, of soda a day.

4. Nanette

Hannah Gadsby’s comedy special, Nanette, has been a game changer for comedy. Here’s why.

(The Guardian, approx 13 mins reading time)

Standup comedy relies, of course, on creating tension and release. In Nanette, Gadsby exposes and then destroys that formula. She reveals experiences of homophobic and sexual violence, which escalate throughout the set, until finally she is delivering them from a precipice of rage. “This tension is yours,” she tells the stunned Sydney Opera House audience. “I am not helping you with it any more. You need to learn what this feels like.”

5. Holland’s 9/11

shutterstock_206698423 Source: Shutterstock/Denis Kornilov

Four years ago, nearly 200 Dutch people died when Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine. The country has been trying to deal with what happened that day, and struggling with how to get information on what occurred.

(Coda, approx 15 mins reading time)

It is partly a story of what you could call the Dutch national character, which emphasizes reserve and due process over outward emotion and impulse. It’s partly a story of economic priorities and the Netherlands’ need for Russia’s trade and energy. But it is also a case study in Russian disinformation — because of the drip-drip of falsehoods trickled out by Kremlin officials and the media outlets they control, casting blame everywhere but Moscow.

6. They think they can bully the truth

When Rebecca Solnit writes about Trump, Putin and Weinstein, you know you have to read it.

(Lit Hub, approx 16 mins reading time)

Cousin to the noun dictator is the verb dictate. There are among us people who assume their authority is so great they can dictate what happened, that their assertions will override witnesses, videotapes, evidence, the historical record, that theirs is the only voice that matters, and it matters so much it can stand tall atop the conquered facts. Lies are aggressions. They are attempts to dictate, to trample down the facts and those who hold them, and they lay the groundwork for the dictatorships, the little ones in families, the big ones in nations.

…AND A CLASSIC FROM THE ARCHIVES… 

This 1995 article looks at a terrible crime in Texas, when eight gay men were murdered over a short period of time by teenage boys.

(Vanity Fair, approx 46 mins reading time)

The trail moves 200 miles east to Houston, where on a July night a 29-year-old gay named Michael Burzinski has just come out of a bar. Four teenagers abduct him as he is unlocking his car in the parking lot. In the parlance of the street, they are looking “to get paid.” They have picked Montrose because it is the gay area of town, and they assume that homosexuals carry lots of cash and are easy targets. Burzinksi is beaten until he reveals the password for his cash card, then is driven to an A.T.M. facility to withdraw $400.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday>

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