Friday Reading S13E19

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.

A lot of VERY SERIOUS columnists this week with OPINIONS about *pearl clutches* how right-wing conspiracy theories keep getting into the mainstream, while having sat on DEBATE PANELS with extreme right-wingers espousing those views. Any contrition? No of course not. I was not conferring them legitimacy or giving their ideas oxygens, I was PARTICIPATING IN THE MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS etc etc.

This is a great read from Aurelien Mondon: Why we should never debate fascists, racists and other reactionaries

"I appeared to win that debate. I felt I did, the audience reaction comforted me in this view as did the feedback I received. I felt that I had done my part in fighting the good fight. Debating the far right is indeed appealing for its opponents as it is generally easy, albeit frustrating to win the argument and allows one to pat oneself on the back and believe they have done their part. Yet this is premised on two key mistakes: that reactionaries are indeed interested in debating ideas and that they are interested in winning a particular battle, rather than the war of ideas. Anyone who has ever watched one of these debates knows that the aim for reactionaries is never to have a real open and serious discussion and reflection about issues: it is about pushing ideas through punchlines, create and/or exaggerate moral panics and divert attention away from real crises onto their own turf."

Absolutely does my head in that they've stopped worrying about saying the quiet part out loud:

"[Nadine Dorries] said the government would keep the public service remit for a privatised channel 4 for the next 10 years, but after that it was up to the channel’s new owners to decide what they wanted to do with it – which could include ditching the channel’s news coverage. 'I’m not going to justify a news programme whose news anchor went out shouting obscenities about the Conservative party,' she said. 'So, you know, they don’t do themselves any favours sometimes, the news programme.'"

"Nadine Dorries admits sharing Netflix account with relatives" – Alex Hern

Ron wants to be sure that you didn't miss this week's Guardian Thursday quiz: Space heroes, dictator art and cartoon toy horses – take the Thursday quiz

"What is monkeypox and should you be worried?" – I've got admit one of my chief worries is whether this is bad enough that I'm going to spend 12 months doing a "Monkeypox live blog", but the answer appear to be "should you be worried? Not much".

I had a huge amount of fun (and stress) covering Eurovision, none more so than my gradual rising panic that I had pre-written "Ukraine wins Eurovision" but it had never in a million years occurred to me that I would potentially need a "UK wins Eurovision" story. And then the browser with the CMS in crashed just as the result was announced. HO HO HO. How I laughed. So pleased for Sam Ryder who seemed a genuinely lovely chap with a decent song, and it is just lovely to see that if you send a great song and a great act and they throw themselves into it, the UK can still score points at Eurovision. What a joyful night.

Oh and absolutely fuck all the internet miserabalists who can't let Eurovision pass without telling everyone they don't watch it / hate it etc. Why don't you piss off and go tell people on a netball forum that you don't play netball of something? What a fucking brilliant Saturday evening you must have been having.

"Coleen Rooney's defence relies heavily on Armory v Delamirie, a 1722 case involving a sweep who found jewellery in a chimney and had the gems stolen by a valuer."

The law in the UK a bit weird.

"The 1722 legal ruling set a precedent that if the court can tell that evidence is missing, then the assumption should be that what is missing is of the highest possible value that would fit the hole. Rooney’s lawyers argue this precedent applies just as much in a case involving a missing gem in a piece of 18th century jewellery as it does in the case of missing WhatsApp messages sent by a footballer’s wife."

"Rebekah Vardy’s agent dropped phone in sea to hide evidence, trial hears"

An incredibly composed statement from Jake Daniels:

"It’s a step into the unknown being one of the first footballers in this country to reveal my sexuality, but I’ve been inspired by Josh Cavallo, Matt Morton and athletes from other sports, like Tom Daley, to have the courage and determination to drive change. I’ve hated lying my whole life and feeling the need to change to fit in. I want to be a role model myself by doing this. There are people out there in the same space as me that may not feel comfortable revealing their sexuality. I just want to tell them that you don’t have to change who you are, or how you should be, just to fit in."

I don't agree with much in this article but this bit rings true about the inevitable eventual phasing out of heading the ball in football because of the cumulative effect of the concussion on the brain.

"Let’s think about heading the ball. At some point in the future – 20, 50 or 100 years – no one will believe that players ever used their heads. So let’s see what it looks like."

"Forget the letter of the law, let’s brainstorm our way to a better game" – Max Rushden

Heartstopper is renewed. It's so wholesome to see the impact it is having.

DOCTOR WHO CORNER: I am not saying I am predictable but the first reply to my opening Thursday quiz comment was “More importantly Martin, we haven’t had your take on all this week’s Doctor Who announcements. I guess you’re far too busy with trivial matters such as *checks notes* covering the war in Ukraine. Oh.”

There has been a LOT of news

This made me sad though: “Our journey through space and time is coming to an end sooner than expected” – Time Fracture is closing. I think it was such a lovely thing but then the combination of Covid and the flooding they had must have been a nightmare for them. I went with my daughter to one of the preview nights, and did this spoiler-free review. And I was lucky enough to get to interview some of the people working on it ahead of it opening.

Beth often says things better than me, she tweeted:

“Time Fracture is such a brilliant and ground-breaking Doctor Who adventure and theatre experience, and has faced consistent problems since it opened – but the cast / crew have continually put on a brilliant show despite everything against them. I don’t know if they ever got to the bottom of accessibility issues or the flooding problems but honestly I feel really sad about the early closure – Time Fracture helped me during a difficult time earlier this year and gave me a small form of joy/hope throughout the chaos.”

“There are generational traumas that are passed on to my parents and me, and in a way, it’s not anyone’s fault. And this is the most important thing to realize, as is this question: How can you change the things in your life that don’t serve you anymore?”

“My therapy” by Tina Babakishvili

“Given the male-centric, over-analytical nature of the music press, of course pop psychedelia was never given the important cultural place that, say, Hendrix or the Grateful Dead did.”

Joe Muggs on “the magic of Nancy & Lee: Why psychedelic-country-MOR-pop ruled”