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Sitdown Sunday: The house that began to bleed

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

Image: Shutterstock/dik az

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 the Charlotte Kirk saga blew up Hollywood

Charlotte Kirk landed in NYC to network in the acting world – and wound up in relationships with very high up men. The discovery of these relationships rocked Hollywood.

(Vanity Fair, approx 35 mins reading time)

And there was Kevin Tsujihara, at the time the chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment. He and Kirk crossed paths, briefly but fatefully, in 2013. Their collision exploded into view in March 2019, when someone released a trove of astonishingly explicit text messages indicating that, seemingly in exchange for sex, the studio executive had helped Kirk secure a small part in 2018’s Ocean’s 8, among other roles. Within days of the leak, Tsujihara, though he denied the allegations, was forced to resign from Warner Bros. 

2. Alone in Venice

Colm Toibín writes about what it was like in the normally jam-packed Venice after the coronavirus hit.

(London Review of Books, approx 15 mins reading time)

It was late October. The days were foggy. By lunchtime, a pale sun fought to break through, and, for about an hour before it did, an unearthly and sickly yellow light clung to everything. And then there was sunshine. One day, however, the fog licked its tongue over Venice all afternoon as well. At twilight, a strange, dark blueness descended. I got a vaporetto from San Zaccaria to San Stae and there was no other traffic, none at all, on the Grand Canal. After dark, as I walked from Piazza San Marco to Piazza Santa Margherita, the restaurants were open, but hardly anyone was inside or even at the outside tables. When I bought ice cream, the little cup was put into a paper bag and I was warned not to eat it on the street. Even pulling your mask down for a second to sample ice cream was not allowed. Soon, the restaurants would be ordered to close at six o’clock.

3. Borat

How Sacha Baron Cohen pulled off his biggest stunts in the latest Borat movie.

(Vanity Fair, approx 10 mins reading time)

In a first-person piece published days after the trailer launch, one of the fathers who attended the event with his daughter wrote that attendees had been offered $100 per person to dress up and dance as part of a fictional scene of “Southern belles making their debut.” Those who volunteered were given an online quiz in which they were asked to identify Baron Cohen, with respondents eventually split into two teams. “My friend had discovered that everyone on our Team B were those who could not identify Baron Cohen in the online test,” he wrote.

4. Hanson fans

Some fans of the band Hanson – the trio behind the 90s hit Mmmbop – have been getting worried about the members’ stance on issues like Black Lives Matter.

(Vice, approx 14 mins reading time)

“This really was never about politics. It was about human decency. And just, why is our favorite band not saying anything?” said Janice, a 31-year-old Black fan from New York who had previously converted her husband into a Hanson fan as well. (Like Danee and the other fans VICE spoke to, Janice asked to go by a pseudonym for fear of harassment and doxxing from fellow Hanson fans who disagree with her stance.) “They went from being the princes of pop to the kings of being tone deaf.”

5. The blood house

In 1987, a house in Atlanta, Georgia began to bleed. What was going on? 

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(Truly Adventurous, approx 27 mins reading time)

The Atlanta police held a press conference on September 10, 1987, about the case of 1114 Fountain Drive, acknowledging that “copious blood” was found in the home and that the blood was not from either Minnie or Willie Winston. But they did not have answers. “It’s an extremely strange situation,” Detective Cartwright told a reporter. “I’ve been on the force for 10 years, and I’ve never seen anything like that.” The media, already having heard bizarre inklings about the house starting when the first responders arrived, now blanketed the story. 

6. Flying to Europe

Some young Americans have been fleeing coronavirus restrictions in the US by travelling to Europe. 

(The Cut, approx 10 mins reading time)

She got a flight to London, where she stayed for a few weeks before meeting up with a group of friends in Turkey. “All my European friends have been traveling within Europe during the summer, so I didn’t really feel that weird about it,” she says. Jenna was so happy to be out of lockdown and vacationing on the Turkish Riviera, she couldn’t resist sharing it on Instagram. “Sweatpants, zoom calls and banana bread prohibited,” she captioned a photo of her and some friends dressed in flowing sarongs at a candlelit club on the beach. Almost 20 of her followers reached out to ask her for advice on how they too could get into Europe.

…AND A CLASSIC FROM THE ARCHIVES…

Can you die from a broken heart? That’s what this 2014 article asks.

(Nautilus, approx 11 mins reading time)

Knapke sees her parents’ same-day deaths as a conscious decision—two hearts shutting off together. “My feeling was that he was hanging around for her,” she says. Knapke believes her father wanted to show her mother the way to the next realm. “He knew she needed something else from him, so he switched gears and let go,” she says. “I feel he chose to go first so he could help her. It was definitely an act of love on his part.”

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday>

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