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Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 14 April 2021

Sitdown Sunday: When the neighbours realise a TikTok house is next door

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

Image: Shutterstock/Primakov

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. Magazine culture

As the Black Lives Matter protests continue in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, American publications have been forced to reckon with how they deal with race. One publication that has come under major scrutiny is the women-focused website Refinery29.

(CNN, approx 21 mins time)

In the ensuing days, a number of former employees came forward on Twitter to call out what they saw as hypocrisy on the part of the website’s leadership, especially when it came to matters of race and diversity. The site’s co-founder and editor-in-chief, Christene Barberich, had repeatedly confused one black woman with another, one said; another tweeted that an executive once confused her with the caterer; a third person said she was paid $15,000 less than her two white coworkers who were doing the same job. And within less than a week, Barberich was out of her job, saying on Monday she was stepping down ”to help diversify our leadership in editorial.”

2. The TikTok House

Yes, there is such a thing as a TikTok house, which is lived in by people who make TikTok videos. (If you don’t have a login, you can read three NYT articles a month, so this might prompt a login.)

(New York Times, approx mins reading time)

Soon, the block’s residents began to observe what one might call frat-like behavior. The young men and their friends blasted music until late at night. They received a steady stream of food delivery, unusual in a family neighborhood where most cook at home. The garage, which was frequently left open, was piled high with Amazon boxes. Trash accumulated on the sidewalk. A giant TV that had been destroyed sat outside for several days. The neighbors traded stories and speculated about what was going on in a block-wide group chat. 

3. Suburban criminality on screen

A look at shows like Weeds and Good Girls, and what they say about consumerism. 

(CrimeReads, approx 15 mins reading time)

Take the hit NBC show Good Girls, for example. Good Girls (created by Jenna Bans) features three suburbanite women who take up a life in crime after various life circumstances leave them desperate for money. Elizabeth “Beth” Boland (Christina Hendricks) has a cheating husband (played, to hilarious excess, by Matthew Lillard) who’s spent the family’s money on his mistress; the family is about to lose their house by the time Beth discovers his philandering ways, and she convinces her sister and best friend to join her in a plan to rob a big box store in order to secure the funds to pay her mortgage.

4. My life as a trans woman

Aoife Martin wrote about her life for TheJournal.ie this week.

(TheJournal.ie, approx 10 mins reading time)

At weekends, I would meet friends for coffee. I would go to the cinema or go for a swim. I like movies. I read books. I listen to music. My life is very ordinary indeed. My life doesn’t, or shouldn’t, impact on anyone whatsoever. And yet my very existence is called into question day in and day out, week in and week out because I happen to be transgender.

5. Racism and Broadway

Theatre-makers discuss how racism corrodes the US theatre world.

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(New York Times, approx mins reading time)

Every second of every moment of my career is touched by some degree of a kind of racism that is just pervasive in the landscape of America. This moment, where the world is blowing up, comes out of a pent-up frustration about the way we as people of color have been navigating the world. It is frustrating to me and, I will presumptuously say, most other African-Americans or people of color in my industry.

6. ‘I’m lucky to still be in the game’
The42.ie’s Paul Dollery talks to Stephen Henderson, the Dubliner who plays goal for Crystal Palace, about his career. 

(The42.ie, approx 10 mins reading time)

“I knew when I was lying on the pitch that my season was over. Even though I still had two years left on my contract, it turned out to be the end of my Forest career too – and for a while I thought it might be the end of my career completely.”


What can hyperpolyglots – people who can speak dozens of languages – teach us? 

(The New Yorker, approx 27 mins reading time) 

He is a hyperpolyglot, with a command of twenty-two living languages (Spanish, Italian, Piedmontese, English, Mandarin, French, Esperanto, Portuguese, Romanian, Quechua, Shawi, Aymara, German, Dutch, Catalan, Russian, Hakka Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Guarani, Farsi, and Serbian), thirteen of which he speaks fluently. He also knows six classical or endangered languages: Latin, Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew, Shiwilu, Muniche, and Selk’nam, an indigenous tongue of Tierra del Fuego, which was the subject of his master’s thesis. 


More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday>

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