23 Comments

My inbox has started to fill up with the unread substack posts of Richard Hanania, Rob Henderson, Stuart Ritchie, Noah Carl, Matthew Goodwin, unread editions of Unherd and the Spectator and interesting links I will never follow. I'm starting to feel like I did 50 years ago when my homework began accumulating and the more it mounted up, the less likely I was to even make a start. Somehow I never feel that way about YouTube videos of Haglar v Hearns or Sparks performing 'This town ain't big enough for the both of us'.

Expand full comment
founding

Will you be doing a Books of the Year thing, Ed? Would be interested to know your recommendations.

Expand full comment

My gripe with BBC interview reporting is that it appears objective/unbiased when the person interview is in fact selected.

Now this DOES work well when the selection is obvious and more so when the interviewer challenges the interviewee as Raffia Iqbal often does.

Expand full comment

Placido Domingo, Mr. West. Thank you for observing that next Sunday is still "pre-Christmas"!

Expand full comment
founding

For this week's Sunday West:

Really enjoyed reading this piece on the enduring legacy of social stratification in 2000s schools, and interested to discover that the groups had differing nomenclature in different parts of the country (it was Chavs and Grungies - later Emos - where I grew up):

https://unherd.com/2023/01/the-secret-millennial-class-war/

Kathleen Stock is also very amusing and insightful on Jack Monroe (particularly her point that Monroe channels very old fashioned puritan values of thrift and hard work, despite the postmodern trappings):

https://unherd.com/2023/01/jack-monroe-the-acceptable-face-of-poverty/?cx_testId=4&cx_testVariant=cx_1&cx_artPos=0&cx_experienceId=EXHVQEIQA4S9#cxrecs_s

Also this blast from the past about how brands correlate to Brexit/Remain support:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-36970535

Expand full comment
founding

Two interesting anti-NIMBY pieces in the FT today:

This Nimby charter isn’t only a problem in housing - https://www.ft.com/content/f5a9cc61-ecdc-44c6-a8c3-0be92440342f

Tories are selling their future for short-term salvation - https://www.ft.com/content/94db3856-3877-4ead-b2ea-3f2786d6446e

The tide seems to be turning on this, though sadly not among actual policy-makers...

Expand full comment
founding

https://unherd.com/2022/12/why-do-we-pretend-to-be-working-class/

Interesting piece on the growing number of laptop class professionals identifying as working class. The author goes through a number of interesting explanations, though seems to ignore the possibility this is fundamentally to do with 30-somethings not making the 'natural' transition to conservatism due to perpetual renting, though housing is mentioned in passing.

I like this quote: 'One effect of individualism, therefore, is that you get large numbers of embarrassed meritocrats, who feel they need to construct a reality in which they’re swimming against the tide.'

Another aspect of the post-60s cultural revolution: people used to long for 'respectability' and would routinely present themselves as more well-born than they actually were, whereas the trend now is to flatten your accent and avoid talking about what school you went to. Clear indication of the decline in bourgeois values.

Also amused by this post on the literal billionaire's daughter who benefited from a media diversity scheme: https://unherd.com/thepost/azadeh-moshiri-exposes-the-shortcomings-of-diversity-schemes/

Reminds me of Brendan O'Neill being accused of being 'privileged' by Caroline Criado Perez during a debate, at which point he was able to point out that as a 16 year old he had a Saturday job moving trolleys at the supermarket chain owned by her father.

Expand full comment

I know Douthat draws a lot of ire because he's a deep religious believer, but much of his cultural analysis is very strong.

Expand full comment

Merry Christmas, Ed! I've taken on additional responsibilities at work this year so haven't had much time to participate in the posts, but I always look forward to your substack. Have you been following the twitter files in the US? Imagine senior officials in the Home Office coordinating with twitter to censor political figures and commentaries? The scandal! Although I suspect you can, once Labour has the Home Office.

Expand full comment

Doom posting. It is two things- One decline of religion.- Even Christian churches tend to preach and that's a bit like Jesus .. Last week in Mass the priest mentioned hell. First time I had heard the basements mentioned in years It is why I am very suspicious of the XR types- We have lost our immunity to this.

2- There are no kids. No one is playing football in the street. There are no weddings. No newly built houses. The cycle of life has been broken.

3. Things will get worse anyway.

Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment