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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 19 October, 2019

Sitdown Sunday: What was really going on in the Sopranos' last scene

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. “You know my name isn’t Ringo, right?

Music Ringo Starr Source: AP/Press Association Images

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr invites Rolling Stone into his world, as he prepares for a solo tour.

(Rolling Stone, approx 30 mins reading time, 6022 words)

Laughter as medicine agrees with Ringo. He is Gollum-skinny and appears younger than his son Zak, who drums for the Who. That’s probably because Zak doesn’t live on vegetables, juices and broiled potatoes. “Every time I see Ringo, he smells of kale,” jokes Joe Walsh, Eagles guitarist and Starr’s brother-in-law.

2. A mother murder mystery

In 1965, Alice Cribbins’ children were found dead. But did she really kill them?

(Daily Beast, approx 65 mins reading time, 13169 words)

Piering later claimed that when he first came into the children’s room, he observed a thin layer of dust on the bureau-top, which in his mind eliminated the possibility that the children had left the room through the window since they would have had to cross over the bureau. However, technicians had covered the top of the bureau with powder for detecting fingerprints before the bureau could be photographed in its original condition.

3. My dad’s terrible secret

shutterstock_129018092 Source: Shutterstock/Winston Link

When Liz Prato’s dad’s died, she discovered a terrible secret about sexual abuse in her family. (Trigger warning for rape, sexual abuse)

(The Toast, approx 27 mins reading time, 5595 words)

Nothing about my dad, my exterior dad – the son of poor Italian immigrants who was a rags-to-riches story, buying up barren parcels of land near highway interchanges in the Sixties and then selling them to gas stations and hotels and Stuckey’s, my exterior dad with a big, bright smile that made you feel like nothing had ever made him happier than you just walking in the door — would make you think he was desperate or pathetic or lonely.

4. The real Trevor Noah

South African Tourism 2015 Ubuntu Awards Source: AP/Press Association Images

Comedian Trevor Noah is due to take over on the Daily Show – but when old tweets of  his resurfaced, things got a bit complicated.

(Grantland, approx 21 mins reading time, 4311 words)

As a soft product launch, the post-Stewart Daily Show was already a disaster. Within 24 hours of the announcement, there was clamoring for Noah’s firing — from a job he wasn’t due to start for many months. The following day, Noah posted a response on Twitter: “To reduce my views to a handful of jokes that didn’t land is not a true reflection of my character, nor my evolution as a comedian.”

5. Controversy and family

sally mann Source: New York Times Magazine

Sally Mann’s photographs of her children were featured in a New York Magazine article, and labelled ‘disturbing’. But to her mind, she was only documenting life in their remote farm. Now, she reflects on the media storm.

(New York Magazine, approx 29 mins reading time, 5802 words)

I was blindsided by the controversy. It occasionally felt as though my soul had been exposed to critics who took pleasure in poking it with a stick. I thought my relative obscurity and geographic isolation would shield me, and I was initially unprepared to respond to the attention in any cogent way

6. The last scene in the Sopranos

PEOPLE GANDOLFINI Source: AP/Press Association Images

Spoiler alert – if you haven’t watched the final episode of the Sopranos, don’t read any further. But if you have, and you want to get into the mind of the director, here’s what David Chase himself has to say.

(Directors Guild, approx 12 mins reading time, 2482 words)

 [H]having certain lyrics of the song, and certain instrumental flourishes happen in certain places, dictates what the cuts will be. I directed the scene to fit the song. The singing gets more and more strident and more invested as the song goes along. Musically it starts to build and build into something as it’s just about to release. And when you look at the scene, you get that feeling.


US Politics - George HW Bush Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Joan Didion writes about the US presidential campaign back in 1988.

(NY Books, approx 49 mins reading time, 9961 words)

This was what was at first identified as “the wimp factor,” which was replaced not by a more complicated view of the personality but by its reverse: George Bush was by late August no longer a “wimp” but someone who had “thrown it over,” “struck out” to make his own way: no longer a product of the effete Northeast but someone who had thrived in Texas, and was therefore “tough enough to be president.”

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

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

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