This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 8 July, 2020

Sitdown Sunday: 7 deadly reads

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. Changing your life after 30


Can you really change as a person once you’ve turned 30?

(NY Mag, approx 9 mins reading time, 1706 words)

But, Little argues, we can also choose to act against our natures. Our basic personality traits don’t really change. But that doesn’t mean we can’t change and behave in ways that are opposite to our true selves, when the situation calls for it.

2. Star Wars and sci-fi

Spain Star Wars Source: Andres Kudacki

The 1970s was a rich time for sci-fi filmmaking, but why did Star Wars take hold like no other film of the time? This article takes a pop at some of the reasons why.

(The Dissolve, approx 13 mins reading time, 2605 words)

Their idea wasn’t to continue the string of thoughtful, ideas-driven science-fiction films of the early 1970s, but to defy it with a fast-paced, effects-filled adventure of the sort that hadn’t been seen on big screens in years.

3. How music has changed

steve albini

Steve Albini gave a speech about how the internet has changed music forever. Here it is, in full.

(The Guardian, approx 42 mins reading time, 8457 words)

As the label shifted from vinyl to CD as the dominant format, the labels could easily sell the CD as a convenient, compact, trouble-free way to listen to music. The profit margin exploded and the money got stupid. Retails costs of a CD was half again or double more than an LP but the manufacturing, shipping and storage costs were a tiny fraction.

4. The PG movie is dead… maybe


We all have our favourite PG movies from our childhood, but is the age of the PG movie over? With in the age of the Hunger Games, this article wonders if the innocence is dead.

(Grantland, approx 11 mins reading time, 2291 words)

By the time Mockingjay turns its cameras to the vistas of crumbling architecture and skeletal remains, you don’t have to be Helen Lovejoy to see a stark contrast between PG stepping-stones and the film’s decidedly adult approach. Mockingjay is not for kids. And thanks to genre fiction’s noble quest for legitimacy and artistry, neither are most movies.

5. Meet Angela Merkel

Germany Government Source: Markus Schreiber

You know when you see the New Yorker has profiled someone, it’s going to be an in-depth look at their character. Here’s their fascinating look at German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

(The New Yorker, approx 74 mins reading time, 14806 words)

Among German leaders, Merkel is a triple anomaly: a woman (divorced, remarried, no children), a scientist (quantum chemistry), and an Ossi (a product of East Germany). These qualities, though making her an outsider in German politics, also helped to propel her extraordinary rise.

6. Forbidden love

Malawi Gay Trial Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza are led from court in Malawi, Source: AP/Press Association Images

Tiwonge Chimbalanga, a transgender woman, got engaged to her male partner in Malawi. When the news became public, they were arrested and given 14 years’ hard labour. Now Chimbalanga is in exile.

(The Guardian, approx 32 mins reading time, 6407 words)

During the trial, both Kamphale and the pastor would testify that Chimbalanga had deceived them: she had explained away her male features by saying she had been born a girl but had been bewitched as a child. Expedient though this explanation might have been, it is close to how she actually felt, given that she has always understood herself to be female.


Thanksgiving Day Parade Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Source: AP/Press Association Images

It was Thanksgiving on Thursday. Here’s what happened when Europeans began to settle in what would become the United States.

(Smithsonian, approx 40 mins reading time, 8158 words)

Over time, the Wampanoag, like other Native societies in coastal New England, had learned how to manage the European presence. They encouraged the exchange of goods, but would allow their visitors to stay ashore only for brief, carefully controlled excursions. Those who overstayed their welcome were forcefully reminded of the limited duration of Indian hospitality.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

The Sports Pages – the best sports writing collected every week by

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

Read next: