Friday Reading S13E18

Friday Reading is a weekly series of recommended reads from the Guardian’s Martin Belam, covering journalism, media and technology, and other interesting nerdy things he found on the internet this week. It is now in its thirteenth season. Sign up here.

Just a quick one this week as I am up to my ears in preparing for Eurovision.

I howled out load at this intro:

"One of the worst science fiction premises of the last 50 years is that of Danny Boyle’s 2019 film Yesterday. It imagines a man who wakes up to find himself in a world in which the Beatles never existed, and he’s the only one who remembers their songs – so he becomes famous singing them as his own, in the 2010s. This is obvious horseshit."

But from there it goes on to be a well-argued essay that The Long Tail we all thought was going to happen with the internet in the early 2000s did not because "we wound up with a world where popularity is king, and discoverability is badly broken."

"Unsettling Futures - Brandon Sanderson, fame, and the failure of the Long Tail" – Matthew Claxton

It’s a Sparks show tonight!

Ron wants to be sure that you didn’t miss this week’s Guardian Thursday quiz: Mountain records, bartered art and brand new doctors – take the Thursday quiz

EUROVISION QUIZ BONUS: How well do you know Eurovision? Take our all-singing, all-dancing quiz

I loved this:

“So this was going to be a 40 part tiktok series until I realised I wanted someone not-me to actually do the tikking and tokking. Presenting: the ideal conditions for listening to the songs of Eurovision 2022

Sample content: “In a dirty basement with hot people”, “In 2003, with low slung jeans and a thick coating of Bad Gal eyeliner”, “Halfway down a pint of ice cream, under a duvet”

You’ll be able to follow Eurovision with me live on the Guardian website by the way. Do tune in. The last one had nearly a million page views. And I was pissed! I don’t know how they let me do it.

I was absolutely fuming with SportBIBLE on Twitter because they did one of those “Who did you dad / granddad / the first dog you had support etc?” tweets which they must have been rubbing their hands with glee on the interactions numbers but obviously it absolutely KNACKERED the Tweetdeck column or anyone searching for their club name. Bastards. But then they posted this – “You will never be prepared for where the commentary goes on this Kevin Phillips goal vs Chelsea in 2005” and I cannot commend this content enough.

New Or Fall Song called this headline out but I kind of nerded out on it: Australia’s 13 most interesting stamps – sorted

Michael Osei-Saahene was part of the Walthamstow FC team that won their league this season. He writes here movingly about how he got there.

DOCTOR WHO CORNER: Enter Big Finish’s 2022 Writing Opportunity. The annual Short Trips competition opens in search of new talent to write a Doctor Who short story, to be released as an audiobook at Christmas 2022. As a reminder The Paul Spragg Memorial Short Trips Opportunity honours the memory of the cheerful, much-loved person at the heart of the Big Finish production office, who passed away suddenly on 8 May 2014, and who I used to chat to on the phone about Doctor Who stuff a lot. Bless him.

I don’t really write fiction but I did write this story once: Doctor Who: The Reluctant Gladiator

The order is all wrong but I quite enjoyed the write-ups anyway: SCIENTISTS RANK THE 8 BEST MOVIE TIME MACHINES OF ALL TIME

I was absolutely made up to get my byline in print on a Doctor Who casting announcement and the outpouring of joy over Ncuti Gatwa’s casting was lovely to see.

“A team of researchers were astonished to find an odd geological feature that they declared looks like “the road to Atlantis” in the middle of an unexplored part of the Pacific Ocean last month.”

*ears prick up*

“What the team actually saw through deep sea cameras was not, in fact, a road to Atlantis, but something much simpler: volcanic rock likely fractured over the course of heating and cooling from nearby eruptions”


“Bizarre ‘Road to Atlantis’ Discovered In Unexplored Part of Pacific Ocean” – Audrey Carleton, Vice

SEE ALSO: The new John Titor is here!

“The apocalypse is just two months away, according to a ‘leaked’ document from a so-called time traveller, who issued an eerie warning about the events that are due to unfold this summer. Kawhi Leonard, known on TikTok as @thehiddengod1, has posted multiple videos about his alleged time travel exploits.”

“‘Time traveller’ says world is ending in a few months and deadly creatures will emerge from ground” – April Curtin for Joe

It’s Good, Except It Sucks podcast featuring Gary Bainbridge on Dr Strange (1978).

Oh just an LED board of the tube map showing everything moving in real-time. You won’t instantly want one, honest.

It is from February but I missed it. Or maybe I’ve posted it twice? But it is about nostalgia so that’s fine. “Is the CD Revival an Actual Thing?” by Marc Hogan for Pitchfork.

“Cacho is clear-eyed about how CDs fit into the current zeitgeist. ‘I feel like it definitely has to do with this trend of Y2K,’ she says—a point echoed, and negated, by other young CD defenders. Janea Wilson, a 21-year-old Northwestern senior from Detroit, sees CDs growing more popular among her peers precisely because the format’s heyday is fashionable again. ‘Nostalgia dating from the late ’90s and early 2000s is just so in right now,’ she says. ‘Who knows, we could end up back to lugging around cases of CDs.'”

Yep, sure.

Ignore the Carole King anecdote that starts this, I don’t get it. But stay for the Russell Mael story: Why I Should Never Be Allowed To Meet My Heroes, Sigh: Carole King & Russell Mael Edition!

A promo video of my mate’s band who live and play down in Devon: “Introducing The Set – Short promo of a few of the songs we perform live”