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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019

Sitdown Sunday: Why do people hate Yoko Ono?

The very best of the week’s writing from around the web.

Image: AP/Press Association 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. An outsider’s view of the referendum and Ireland

Gay Marriage Equality Referendums Source: graphy: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Buzzfeed’s news reporter J Lester Feeder visited Ireland to find out about how the campaigning on both sides of the referendum is going.

(Buzzfeed, approx 14 mins reading time, 2876 words)

Condoms were not widely available without a prescription in Ireland until 1985, so it was common for women to travel across the border to Northern Ireland — part of the U.K. — to purchase contraception. Sodomy wasn’t decriminalized until 1993, 26 years after it was legalized in England. Voters rejected a referendum to allow divorce in 1986, and it took almost another 10 years before it was finally approved by the narrowest of margins.

2. I’m a grown woman who loves One Direction

1D on the Late Late Show Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Samantha Hunt really likes One Directon, and she doesn’t care what you think.

(NY Mag, approx 31 mins reading time, 6365 words)

Tonight the mass of girls before me in the arena, swarming like insects, raises a question of economy. How many waitressing shifts, humid summer jobs, and hours babysitting does it take to hold these five boys aloft, to lard the fiefdom? How better might these girls’ energies be spent in humanitarian projects and education? And how best to understand their mania without dismissing it as a fault of their youth or gender?

3. Cate Blanchett loves women

People-Cate Blanchett Source: AP/Press Association Images

Variety spoke to Cate Blanchette about her new film about a lesbian romance. What Blanchett said about her own romances was much talked about afterwards.

(Variety, approx 13 mins reading time, 2756 words)

When asked if this is her first turn as a lesbian, Blanchett curls her lips into a smile. “On film — or in real life?” she asks coyly. Pressed for details about whether she’s had past relationships with women, she responds: “Yes. Many times,” but doesn’t elaborate. Like Carol, who never “comes out” as a lesbian, Blanchett doesn’t necessarily rely on labels for sexual orientation.

4. Why do people hate Yoko Ono?

Yoko Ono MoMA One Woman Show Press Conference Source: AP/Press Association Images

Prepare to have all of your thoughts about Yoko Ono turned on their head.

(Vulture. approx 38 mins reading time, 7607 words)

It was only just recently that I began to love her, after devouring Carver’s book. Beginning to love Yoko Ono is a dangerous experience, because then you wonder: If Yoko Ono was something more than the woman who broke up the Beatles, then what other lies have I been told?

5. The last days of Ed Miliband

General Election 2015 aftermath - May 8th Source: Hannah McKay

There was a lot of talk about this article this week – Ed Miliband’s final days before Labour lost the election.

(The Spectator, approx 11 mins reading time, 2223 words)

Miliband is reputed to be a decent and approachable man. Nonetheless, fear and loathing were permanent residents in his inner circle. ‘I’ve never worked in a place with a more poisonous atmosphere,’ one aide told me. But that was a positively collegiate view compared to some of those expressed in the days after the defeat. ‘I want to gut them. I want to gut them all,’ a shadow cabinet aide told me, in reference to ‘colleagues’ in Team Miliband. His view is not an isolated one.

6. The invisible woman 

shutterstock_109917317 Source: Shutterstock/StockLite

Helen Garner was giving a talk when she suddenly went blank. Fearing a stroke, she was sent to hospital. This gave her time to ponder what it’s like to be a 71-year-old woman… and, she says, invisible.

(The Monthly, approx 12 mins reading time, 2421 words)

Your face is lined and your hair is grey, so they think you are weak, deaf, helpless, ignorant and stupid. When they address you they tilt their heads and bare their teeth and adopt a tuneful intonation. It is assumed that you have no opinions and no standards of behaviour, that nothing that happens in your vicinity is any of your business.



In 1975, the great Roger Ebert reported on the work of conceptual artist Chris Burden. Burden lived on the edge, creating dangerous works that left people fearing for his life.

(, approx 14 mins reading time, 2924 words)

For other works Burden had himself nailed to the roof of a Volkswagen, and shot in the arm with a rifle (“It was supposed to be a graze wound, but the marksman missed”). These more violent pieces tended to attract more attention, he said, but some of his quieter pieces were perhaps more interesting. The idea in conceptual art is that the artist causes experiences to happen to himself, and then ruminates on the interaction between the self and the experience; an audience may be permitted to observe, but is not essential.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

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