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Saturday 23 September 2023 Dublin: 15°C
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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. Chris Rock on race

'Top Five' Premiere - New York AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

This Chris Rock article about race relations in the US, Bill Cosby, and Eric Garner has led to lots of conversations online. And with good reason.

(Vulture, approx 50 mins reading time, 10782 words)

It’s the only thing that smacks Hollywood out of its inherent racism, sexism, anti-­Semitism. It makes people hire people that they would never hire otherwise. Do they really want to do a show with Roseanne Barr? No, they want a thin blonde girl.

2. Golden Dawn

Greece Far Right AP / Press Association Images Extreme right Golden Dawn party leader Nikos Mihaloliakos AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Alexander Clapp pretends to be a neo-fascist in order to infiltrate the group Golden Dawn. Here’s his diary of what happened.

(London Review of Books, approx 19 mins reading time, 3802 words)

Most Dawners wear black at meetings; shorts and sandals are prohibited. About one in four attendees is a woman; I’ve seen kids on two occasions: three teenage girls in Athens and a family of five in Gytheio. The men are big. Dawners like to stress the importance of exercise: they run martial arts camps in the Taygetos Mountains, send a team to the Athens marathon, and claim not to watch television.

3.  Falling to Earth

ODN / YouTube

Joby Ogwy is a wingsuit pilot, an extreme and incredibly dangerous activity that literally involves jumping off the world’s highest peaks. But then his friends began to die, and some of his team were killed in an Everest avalanche.

(Men’s Journal, approx 18 mins reading time, 3653 words)

Today, Ogwyn is preparing for his first flight in months. It’s a trial run for his next project — a movie intended for Imax in which he’ll wingsuit-fly over the Alps and the Himalayas — and he is clearly nervous. Just a few days ago, Jeff Nebelkopf, one of the world’s best wingsuit pilots and the designated cameraman for this project, jumped out of a plane in Florida, suffered a parachute malfunction, and died after hitting the ground at over 100 miles per hour.

4. Heroin and mom

NY Senate Heroin Package AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

The story of Staten Island mother Laurie Sperring, who became addicted to heroin and ended up in jail.

(NY Times, approx 23 mins reading time, 4630 words)

Ms. Sperring’s fall from life as a suburban mom and a wife played out with dizzying speed. By the end, her modest condominium was a locus for a borough’s ravenous heroin demand. Dealers set up there; Staten Island’s bands of addicts, linked by word of mouth and cellphone connections, descended en masse; the police followed

5. Warren Jeffs’ town

POLYGAMIST ARRESTED AP / Press Association Images The former compound belonging to Warren Jeffs. AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Mormon fundamentalists living on the border of Utah and Arizona find life disrupted when a sect leader moves in, causing deep divisions in an area known as Short Creek.

(The California Sunday Magazine, approx 24 mins reading time, 4956 words)

You can glance at a home here and tell which side the occupant has chosen. FLDS households have affixed “Zion” signs over their doorways and erected fences: some metal, some brick, all as imposing as fortresses. When a family leaves the church, often the first thing they do is knock down their fence.

6. Saving your child’s brain

Brazil American Football AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

A dad watched as his son suffered concussion during an American Football game – and decided that there had to be such thing as a safer helmet. So he set about campaigning for one.

(The Washingtonian, approx 23 mins reading time, 4755 words)

What almost no one realizes, however, is that while Virginia Tech’s starring concept might come across as simple, the science behind it is decidedly not—and it’s far from settled. While Dean Mathews was butting heads with his son’s school, researchers who study brain trauma were battling over whether the ratings system he embraced was the closest thing yet to a panacea for the concussion crisis or something statistically meaningless.


For 25 years, Claude Neal’s family have been desperately trying to achieve justice for his lynching in 1934. Here’s their story.

(Tampa Bay, approx mins reading time, words)

In the Panhandle town of Greenwood, the lynching of Claude Neal remains in some families a dark legend. Those who could remember it outright are mostly dead. The ones who inherited the stories have kept them secret, safe.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

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