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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019

Sitdown Sunday: The true story of the Amityville Horror

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. Weinstein and co

Harvey Weinstein allegations Harvey Weinstein Source: Anthony Devlin

Art critic Mimi Kramer writes about sexual harassment in the art and media worlds, and how it has impacted her life – and why it happens.

(Mimi Kramer approx 16 mins reading time)

That, right there — I’d argue — is the impulse behind sexual harassment. It’s about getting away with something. It’s about seeming to be one sort of person, a “pillar of the community” — responsible, dignified, respectable, a family man, a liberal, a progressive, Presidential, whatever — while really being A Very Bad Boy. That’s exciting for some men. Not the being bad part. The getting-away-with-it part.

2. Caleb Landry Jones – go-to oddball

Profiles of up-and-coming artists are great at giving you an insight into someone you’ve seen on screen, but know little about. This one is on Caleb Landry Jones, who you may have seen being very creepy in films like Get Out.

(Vulture, approx 13 mins reading time)

“There was something a bit wild and dangerous about him,” says writer-director Martin McDonagh, who cast Jones in the dark comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri as a good-natured adman who aids Frances McDormand in her quest to find justice for her slain daughter. “Caleb can oftentimes play the crazed weirdo in movies, so in Three Billboards, we tried to harness the sweeter, more intellectual side of him.”

3. The women redefining the body positive movement

Meet the women who are bringing diversity to the body positive movement, and helping to ensure that it doesn’t become another way of dictating how women should look.

(Buzzfeed, approx 14 mins reading time)

Being in a community full of people who have the same body shape as you in terms of they’re fat, but then realising that you’re the only person of colour or you’re the only black person doing things, it kind of makes me feel like, why are we not good enough to be at the forefront? How come this standard of beauty within body positivity, which is a community that’s supposed to celebrate diversity, why is it that the standard of beauty is still white, cis, able-bodied, high-cheekbones, hourglass-shape women?”

4. The man buried on the moon 

Here’s the short but fascinating story of Eugene Shoemaker, the only man buried on the moon.

(Atlas Obscura, approx 7 mins reading time)

His fascinating life came to an abrupt end on July 18, 1997, when he died in a car crash while exploring a meteor crater in Australia. But even in death, as it turned out, his journey was far from over.

5. Doctors and fat

Childhood obesity Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Carey Purcell writes about the issues faced by overweight people when the visit the doctor – and how often the focus is on their weight and not what’s really troubling them

(Longreads, approx mins reading time)

Each medical appointment, and there were many, concluded with doctors telling her to go on a diet. Smith (not her real name) remembers telling the endocrinologist about her frustrations with burning off the 900 calories she consumed each day and still gaining weight. “He looked at me and said, ‘Maybe you can cut back your McDonald’s to twice a week.’ I was stunned silent, and I went into the bathroom and broke down. ‘He doesn’t believe me. He thinks I’m just fucking with him.’”

6. The true story of the Amityville Horror

You’ve heard about the scares at the Amityville house – but was the story really true?

(Topic, approx 17 mins reading time)

George and Kathy Lutz, in their mid-thirties, looked like a normal couple, at least normal for the ‘70s: he had lots of pin-straight light-brown hair and a full beard, she had a blonde feathered haircut that framed a round, sweet face. In the press conference, George did more of the talking. He took the tone of someone who had been forced, reluctantly and after long consideration, to come forward with his story. He said he didn’t want to get into details. But yes, he said, a “very strong force” had driven his family from the house.


Why are there no great women artists? This essay by the great art critic from 1971 is just as pertinent today as it was back then – and could be applied to many different areas, not just the art world.

(Linda Nochlin, approx 20 mins reading time)

The assumptions behind such a question are varied in range and sophistication, running anywhere from “scientifically proven” demonstrations of the inability of human beings with wombs rather than penises to create anything significant, to relatively open minded wonderment that women, despite so many years of near equality and after all, a lot of men have had their disadvantages too have still not achieved anything of exceptional significance in the visual arts.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday>

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