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7 deadly reads

Sitdown Sunday: Death on a first date, confronting trolls, and The Shaggs

The very best of the week’s writing from around the web.

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. Death on a first date

shutterstock_178822553 (1) Shutterstock / Naeblys Shutterstock / Naeblys / Naeblys

When Lorraine met Yves on a first date, they were both smitten. But little did they realise it was also his last day alive. (Salon, approx 11 mins reading time, 2388 words)

“Help me stand up,” he said. But when I wrapped my arm around his waist and pulled him toward me, we both fell forward, my back hitting the vanity as I struggled to cushion him from the fall. His eyes fluttered. He was clearly in pain.

2. Why don’t we talk about Africa?

France Boko Haram AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

That’s what Ijeoma Oluo asks in this essay, where she speaks to her brother in Nigeria about the Boko Haram killings. (Medium, approx 11 mins reading time, 2388 words)

He patiently explained to me the realities of Nigerian politics. Everyone is corrupt. An honest politician would not be able to survive, because nobody else in government would support him or her. All you could hope for was that your corrupt politicians would be the ones siphoning off government funds.

3. Vinyl’s back, baby

shutterstock_213728074 Shutterstock / Mediagram Shutterstock / Mediagram / Mediagram

More and more of us are falling back in love with vinyl. This article details its difficult comeback. (The Guardian, approx 30 mins reading time, 6043 words)

While demand for records is increasing year by year, Optimal’s stock of machinery is old, and getting older. New presses are unaffordable, unless the big companies were to invest, but vinyl is still too small a sector of the market for them to be convinced. The kind of painstaking maintenance and technical ingenuity one might think of as the Cadillacs-in-Cuba model keep the industry going. But for how long?

4. I met my cruellest troll

Lindy West met a troll that pretended to be her dead father. Here’s what happened next. (The Guardian, approx 14 mins reading time, 2912 words)

Someone – bored, apparently, with the usual angles of harassment – had made a fake Twitter account purporting to be my dead dad, featuring a stolen, beloved photo of him, for no reason other than to hurt me. The name on the account was “PawWestDonezo”, because my father’s name was Paul West, and a difficult battle with prostate cancer had rendered him “donezo” (goofy slang for “done”) just 18 months earlier

5. An Irish matchmaker

shutterstock_158352050 Shutterstock / Rock and Wasp Shutterstock / Rock and Wasp / Rock and Wasp

This wonderful article about the Lisdoonvarna matchmaker Willie Daly is crammed with gems. (New York Times, approx 10 mins reading time, 1811 words)

Then, sometimes with no more than a twinkle and a nod, he might introduce two people, buying a woman a drink or nudging a farmer toward the dance floor. “There’s a good deal of magic in it,” he said. “I’m not a big believer in too many words.”

6. Earning from a dumpster

shutterstock_403414 Shutterstock / Larry Powell Shutterstock / Larry Powell / Larry Powell

Would you go dumpster diving? Matt Malone does, and makes a mint from it. (Wired, approx 24 mins reading time. 4807 words)

 He comes out with a box containing a complete Uniden Wireless Video Surveillance System—two cameras and a wireless monitor—which normally retails for $419. A quick inspection reveals that it’s all in perfect condition, although someone has clearly opened and repacked it. “A return,” he says, then plunges back into the dumpster.


The_Shaggs The Shaggs Wikimedia Wikimedia

Ever heard of The Shaggs? They’re a weirdo band made up of the three Wiggin sisters, whose life was more than a little difficult. (New Yorker, approx 24 mins reading time, 4981 words)

Depending on whom you ask, the Shaggs were either the best band of all time or the worst. Frank Zappa is said to have proclaimed that the Shaggs were “better than the Beatles.” More recently, though, a music fan who claimed to be in “the fetal position, writhing in pain,” declared on the Internet that the Shaggs were “hauntingly bad”

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

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