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Sitdown Sunday: The truth about what really goes on in an open marriage

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. The great British Brexit robbery

shutterstock_463766687 Source: Shutterstock/vchal

Prepare to be glued to this incredible true story that brings in surveillance, your data online, power, politicians, Brexit, and the rise of Trump.

(The Guardian, approx 30 mins reading time)

There are three strands to this story. How the foundations of an authoritarian surveillance state are being laid in the US. How British democracy was subverted through a covert, far-reaching plan of coordination enabled by a US billionaire. And how we are in the midst of a massive land grab for power by billionaires via our data. Data which is being silently amassed, harvested and stored. Whoever owns this data owns the future.

2. Is an open marriage happier?

Susan Dominus looks at whether an open marriage can be good for a relationship, in this fascinating article that contains interviews with multiple polyamorous couples.

(New York Magazine, approx 64 mins reading time)

Later, when he thought back on the evening, he thought less about the sex than about the easiness that there was between them afterward. They had that conversation people often have after confirming a suspected mutual attraction with actual sexual intimacy — the “when did you know?” conversation, the one that shines a spotlight on your sense of being chosen. She wanted to talk about the first time they met, and how much she, right away, felt that spark.

3. The real mindfulness

shutterstock_460087444 Source: Shutterstock/Rawpixel.com

The idea of mindfulness is in vogue, but this essay gets to the root of where it all began – and shows that it’s a lot simpler than you might think.

(BBC, approx 10 mins reading time)

Tea ceremony, haiku and cherry-blossom viewing, for instance, all share a heightened appreciation of the moment. In tea ceremony, participants take time to notice the design of the cup before drinking and appreciate the decoration of the tea room, which reflects the foliage and blooms of the month. But beyond that, the ceremony celebrates the fact that this moment with this person in this place will never happen again.

4. Things I thought I’d be doing at 37

The writer Lisa Williamson pens a thoughtful piece about what it is like to turn 37, and realise lots of what you thought you’d be doing at that age hasn’t actually happened.

(Buzzfeed, approx 12 mins reading time)

I’ve never been much of a planner. As an actor-turned-novelist, a tolerance for uncertainty has been compulsory my entire adult life. Equally, I’ve always resisted the pressure to hit certain milestones at predetermined points. Just to be clear, I’m not living some kind of drawn-out student existence; I bake my own granola, have multiple ISA accounts, flip my mattress on a monthly basis, and am generally regarded as “the sensible one” amongst my friends. However, I can’t ignore the fact that turning 37 officially tips me into my “late thirties”, forcing me to acknowledge that the usual markers of grown-up life have been conspicuously absent from my life so far.

5. Taking down the terrorists

shutterstock_518857189 Source: Shutterstock/wellphoto

When the American government wants to prosecute international terrorist subjects, it turns to an expert: Zainab Ahmad. She hasn’t lost a case yet.

(New Yorker, approx 47 mins reading time)

A former supervisor of Ahmad’s told me that she has probably logged more hours talking to “legitimate Al Qaeda members, hardened terrorist killers,” than any other prosecutor in America. “They’re treasure troves of information about the networks, once they decide to cooperate,” Ahmad told me. “Some of them didn’t expect to be here, to face any consequences. Their plan was suicide. Now they’re very vulnerable. Everybody’s human. You pull the levers.”

6. The Rock for President

This charming profile of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has been doing the rounds online, and when you read it you’ll see why.

(GQ, approx 27 mins reading time)

 One of the first things he’d needed to know about me was if I’d ever been to Australia. I haven’t, I told him, and he beamed and shook his head. “You’d love it,” he declared. A puzzled pause hung in the air while I frantically tried to deduce what about my bearing projects that I would love Australia, and Johnson remembered that he didn’t actually know anything about me (yet), except that I’d never been to Australia. Which made him want to learn everything.

…AND A CLASSIC FROM THE ARCHIVES…

shutterstock_407447278 Source: Shutterstock/Anton_Ivanov

Playboy isn’t just about the nudes – here’s an interview from its archives with Steve Jobs. This is from 1985, when the iPhone was but a twinkle in his eye.

(Playboy, approx 75 mins reading time)

 Computers are actually pretty simple. We’re sitting here on a bench in this café [for this part of the Interview]. Let’s assume that you understood only the most rudimentary of directions and you asked how to find the rest room. I would have to describe it to you in very specific and precise instructions. I might say, “Scoot sideways two meters off the bench. Stand erect. Lift left foot. Bend left knee until it is horizontal. Extend left foot and shift weight 300 centimeters forward…” and on and on. If you could interpret all those instructions 100 times faster than any other person in this café, you would appear to be a magician

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday>

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