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Sitdown Sunday: When Courtney Love rocked Liverpool

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

Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

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. 92 and off for a cruise around the world

The story of Marga Griesbach, who is 92 years old and set off for a tour around the world in February.

(The Cut, approx 35 mins reading time)

At a local hospital, she received a battery of tests, though not one for the coronavirus; it would be another nine days before New Zealand reported its first case. The doctors proclaimed that her blood work showed no reason that she couldn’t fly on. But when she returned to the airport, she was told by an airline representative that her sodium levels were still too low to make the trip. She was put in a hotel, and the next day taken back to the emergency room, where the same tests were performed; again, the doctor said she was fit to fly; again the airline representatives told her she couldn’t board the plane. For a third morning, she received the same battery of tests, which she passed, and was told by airport staff for a third straight day that she could not board.

2. A quiet Paris

This lovely photographic piece compares Eugene Atget’s photographs of an empty Paris 100 years ago to photos of an almost-empty Paris today.

(New York Times)

As Benjamin observed, Atget established a beneficial “distance between man and his environment.” And Mr. Lima’s haunting updated recreations confirm the long-dead photographer’s disquieting insight — Paris doesn’t care about your presence. It is indifferent, and will certainly go on without you. You can feel joy at standing on a Paris street, but the feeling is not reciprocated.

3. Courtney Love in Liverpool

Dave Haslam writes about when Courtney Love taught Scousers how to rock back in 1982. 

(The Guardian, approx 8 mins reading time)

The Teardrop Explodes played Dublin in December. According to Bernie Connor, who was mates with Cope and sold T-shirts on the tour, Love passed the monitor engineer a note for Julian. “Are you married?” it said. “So Courtney comes back to the hotel,” continues Connor, “attaches herself, and gravitates a little closer to Julian with every passing minute.” Cope gave Love and Barbur his Liverpool address and said they could stay, neglecting to mention he wouldn’t be there. They soon moved in to a “horrible” flat in Princes Avenue.Love recorded it all in her diary, from the “textured tawny-beige-green and brown-silver and white-old-human wallpaper” to “swirlfudgesludgepatterned earth tones carpet”.

4. Larry Kramer

Here’s an older piece, from 1983 – but we’re featuring it as the author, Larry Kramer, died this week. He as a pivotal AIDs activist whose work paved the way for change in how people living with HIV and AIDs were treated. (Content note – this may be upsetting to read.)

(LGBTQ Nation, approx mins reading time)

If this article doesn’t scare the shit out of you, we’re in real trouble. If this article doesn’t rouse you to anger, fury, rage, and action, gay men may have no future on this earth. Our continued existence depends on just how angry you can get. I am writing this as Larry Kramer, and I am speaking for myself, and my views are not to be attributed to Gay Men’s Health Crisis. I repeat: Our continued existence as gay men upon the face of this earth is at stake. Unless we fight for our lives, we shall die. In all the history of homosexuality we have never before been so close to death and extinction. Many of us are dying or already dead. Before I tell you what we must do, let me tell you what is happening to us.

5. Brené Brown

The US researcher and best-selling author is now being seen as America’s therapist – not that she wants the title.

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(Texas Monthly, approx 30 mins reading time)

Just ten years ago, Brown was living the busy but contained life of an academic. She worked as a research professor in the University of Houston’s social work department. She wrote a blog. She’d self-published a book about women and shame that was later picked up by Penguin, a Cinderella story for any writer, but the ball was short-lived. Brown remembers the wave of shame that passed over her when, six months after its release, the publisher called to say the book was being remaindered, unsold copies pulped into oblivion. Then, in 2010, she stepped onto a stage at the University of Houston for a TEDx talk, and everything changed.

6. Evidence against her

Nikki Addimando shot her abusive partner, but when she got to court the prosecution saw her as a cold-blooded killer.

(Gen Magazine, approx 45 mins reading time)

On September 27, 2017, at around 10 a.m., two caseworkers with Child Protective Services arrived at Nikki and Chris’ apartment on Van Wagner Road. Six days earlier, according to CPS notes, an anonymous caller had reported that “on a weekly basis, the mother has had visible bruises to her face and chest.” When the caseworkers arrived, they recorded that Nikki denied being threatened. A caseworker spoke with Chris, who told them he had no criminal history, substance-abuse issues, aggressive behaviors, or mental health diagnoses. The caseworkers talked to the kids. Ben said his parents yelled about adult things, that his father grabbed his mother. “Normal fights,” Chris told CPS. “All parents argue,” Nikki added.

AND A CLASSIC FROM THE ARCHIVES…

An interview with James Baldwin from 1968 about racism in America.

(Esquire, approx 30 mins reading time)

For example, you’re sitting in Hollywood. And there are not any Negroes, as far as I know, in any of the Hollywood craft unions: there is no Negro grip, no Negro crew member, no Negro works in Hollywood on that level or in any higher level either. There are some famous Negroes who work out here for a structure which keeps Negroes out of a union. Now it’s not an Act of God that there aren’t any Negroes in the unions. It’s not something that is handed down from some mountain; it’s a deliberate act on the part of the American people. They don’t want the unions broken, because they are afraid of the Negro as a source of competition in the economic market. 

More: The best reads from every preious Sitdown Sunday>

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