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Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 16 June 2021

Sitdown Sunday: 7 deadly reads

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

Michael Freeman

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. Life as a snitch
Ted Conover on the existence of a professional police informant in Atlanta (New York Times).

“He show me this Jamaican guy,” White said. “Except only his head, on a fence. It had dreadlocks on top and veins below where it got ripped off. Junnier say he fell between buildings during a chase.” White said he felt he was shown the photo as a kind of warning.

2. The Passion of John Wojnowski
Ariel Sabar on the man who has protested for victims of child abuse outside the Vatican embassy every day for 14 years, and how he feels about it (Washingtonian).

“This is his reason for getting up in the morning,” Kasia says. “If the Catholic Church came crumbling down tomorrow, I’m not sure what he would do. I’m not sure it would give him the peace he’s looking for.”

3. Why women still can’t have it all
Anne-Marie Slaughter asks whether the quest to be a top professional and a successful mother is any more than a fiction (Atlantic).

My time in office had convinced me that further government service would be very unlikely while my sons were still at home. The audience was rapt, and asked many thoughtful questions. One of the first was from a young woman who began by thanking me for “not giving just one more fatuous ‘You can have it all’ talk.”

4. The kingpins
William Finnegan on the bloody struggle for control of Guadalajara (New Yorker).

There is the entirely justified fear of speaking to the press, particularly to foreign journalists. I have had to offer anonymity, pseudonyms, and extraordinary assurances to many sources for this account. The reprisals that people are trying to avoid would come not only from crime groups but, in many cases, from factions within the Mexican government.

5. How Anonymous works
Quinn Norton on the inner workings of the hackers’ collective, how it started, and the power it can unleash (Wired).

The lulz can be had by all, they cost nothing, they don’t stop at borders, they don’t respect social conventions. In pursuit of lulz, the early anons conducted “raids” in which they developed all the tools of “ultra-coordinated motherfuckery” that Anonymous practices today.

6. Nazi collector
Matthew Vollmer on his visit to a man who collects Nazi memorabilia (New England Review).

The Nazi’s house did, in fact, resemble a castle. It wasn’t exactly Neuschwanstein but it had rock walls and turrets and wooden doors with wrought iron hinges and arched windows. It had a fountain and an impressive series of stairs leading to the front door.


In 1996 legendary screenwriter Nora Ephron – who died last week – gave a graduation address to students at Wellesley College. Here’s what she had to say.

As this same classmate said at our reunion, “Our education was a dress rehearsal for a life we never led.” Isn’t that the saddest line? We weren’t meant to have futures, we were meant to marry them. We weren’t’ meant to have politics, or careers that mattered, or opinions, or lives; we were meant to marry them.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

The Sports Pages – the best sports writing collected every week by TheScore.ie >

About the author:

Michael Freeman

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