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Dublin: 3°C Monday 25 January 2021

Sitdown Sunday: Just who is Melania Trump?

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. I gave my son death

shutterstock_130134731 Source: Shutterstock/YanLev

Lu Spinney’s son Miles suffered brain damage due to a snowboarding accident. For years, he was kept in a minimally conscious state. His mother wanted to end his suffering, but wrestled with what to do.

(The Guardian, approx 9 mins reading time)

“The most painful thing was imagining him, in his moments of awareness, feeling so profoundly lonely, unable to communicate, totally dependent on other people for every single aspect of his life. He was just a ghost of himself.”

2. Meet the men in black

Source: WillSmithVEVO/YouTube

You’ve probably watched the film Men In Black, but did you know that there are allegedly real-life men in black who turn up out of the blue when people say they’ve seen UFOs? This story will get you a bit creeped out (and it even features a ghostbuster).

(Buzzfeed, approx 11 mins reading time)

When they come into contact with people, they present themselves as members of a secret organization. Sometimes, they even show a white card with the word “Security” on it and refer to each other by number, rather than name.

3. A father searching for a predator 

shutterstock_286501784 Source: Shutterstock/www.BillionPhotos.com

Brandon Moore was in hospital when a family friend went to his house and abused his daughter. Moore took to the internet to ensure that the man, Sean Foster, was caught.

(The Daily Beast, approx 9 mins reading time)

Brandon stayed up all night turning the situation over in his mind before he hatched a plan:

Pretend to be 14-year-old Madalyn, text Foster from her phone, lure him to the house, record him trying to prey on the girl and then “put my hands on him.” “In the morning, I went to my wife and said, ‘Go take the kids to our pastor’s house.’” After some negotiating, he finally told her, “‘I just have to do this,’ and she said, ‘What if you get in trouble?’” “‘Well, I won’t kill him then,’” Brandon replied.

4. Who is Melania Trump?

GOP 2016 Trump Reset Source: AP/Press Association Images

Donald Trump got engaged to Slovenian model Melania Knauss back in 2002. You’ve probably seen a lot of photographs of her, but this profile delves deeper into who Melania is.

(The New Yorker, approx 20 mins reading time)

She has been largely absent from the campaign trail, preferring, she says, to stay at home with Barron, her ten-year-old son with Donald. Lately, she has been appearing more frequently, in the hope of appealing to female voters, who view Trump unfavorably by a ratio of more than three to one. She sticks to a repertoire of stock answers: “He is an amazing negotiator,” “We are both very independent.” She has a jewelry line, a skin-care line (the prize ingredient is French sturgeon eggs), and a thing for the phrase “from A to Z” (“I follow from A to Z,” “I’m from A to Z hands on,” “I’m involved from A to Z with every piece I design”).

5. Radiohead revolution

radiohead Source: aoife

There’s been a lot of talk about Radiohead this week, thanks to their very clever teasing of their new album. Here’s a look at the band’s relationship with the internet.

(New Yorker, approx 9 mins reading time)

One could argue that Yorke’s lyrics have become more explicitly political (and less concerned with his own worried narrative) over the last decade, although it seems just as easy to argue that those approaches are, in fact, inevitably braided. In many ways, Radiohead has been our century’s most prescient political group.

6. Without you

shutterstock_374589550 Source: Shutterstock/itakdalee

Matt Zoller Seitz’s wife Jennifer died in 2006, aged 35, of a heart attack, leaving behind two young children. Here, he writes about what life has been like without her.

(RogerEbert.com, approx 20 mins reading time)

Then there was an approximately two-month stretch where I’d leave my kids with friends or family members, get drunk in bars and wander around Brooklyn trying to provoke fistfights with strangers—a suicide wish, to be sure, or maybe just a wish to at least be convicted of assault and go to jail and be taken out of my family’s ongoing story, a drama in which I felt like a miscast actor who couldn’t remember his lines anyway, so what was the point of even being onstage?


People-Lil Wayne Source: AP/Press Association Images

Back in 2011, Missy Elliott, Dame Dash and Method Man talked to the Fader about the late Aaliyah – what she was like as a person and musician, and why her loss was so great.

(The Fader, approx 26 mins reading time)

I never seen Aaliyah get mad. She was always so relaxed and reserved. I remember one time at an awards show, me and her and Tim went and got these outfits. I ain’t dressed like somebody else since junior high school, but we all got these Pony burgundy outfits. We was so mad cause we felt like she’s gonna win, and she didn’t get anything! And she was like, It’s cool. But us, we was like, Nah, man, that One in a Million album was a classic! But she was like, I’m just happy to be nominated. I never seen her go out of character. She was always sweet and caring and compassionate. Just a good person.

More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday >

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