I was going to write a long post about freedom of speech and the responsibilities that are implied in the granting of that right with reference to the odious Katie Hopkins but other people have already done much better than me (particularly this piece about the demonisation of migrants by Zoe Williams in the Guardian and this piece about the complicity of the Sun’s editorial team by Simon Usborne in the Independent) on that and, plus, it’s late on a Sunday evening. Cut me some slack, kids.
Instead, I’ve had an interesting week of new things and I thought I’d share some of the new stuff that I found out I liked this week. First up, very much added to the increasingly lengthy and cumbersome list of ‘museums that are pretty great’ is the British Museum. Museum of Stolen Things as it may be, at least we can be certain that Victorian Brits had the very best taste in what they thieved. Granted, I only spent 40 minutes there on Wednesday afternoon and I only looked at the clocks that are on the 4th floor with the fragrant Elf Lyons but WHAT A COLLECTIONS OF CLOCKS, GUYS. There were some truly beautiful pieces there and the evolution of the clock was beautifully presented. My love of clocks is probably a post in itself but suffice it to say I really do love clocks.
Second new thing that I now like: the band Paramore. Guys, I really like Paramore. ‘Misery Business’ has occasionally popped up on Spotify before when I’ve been playing a mix of mid-noughties emo (my period of emo) but I never really got into them as a band. Until this week, when I bit the bullet and bought their 2007 album Riot!. It’s so superb. Introspective, teenage, full of the pain of crushing heartbreak. It may not be the most subtle representation of emotion ever (I never wanted to say this, you never wanted to stay, I put my faith in you, so much faith in you, And then you just threw it away) but it’s not trying to be. It’s raw and visceral – it’s so easy to tell that this album was written when Hayley Williams was a teenager because it’s articulate in its inarticulacy, unashamed in its potentially embarrassing frankness. A cracking album.
Finally, I went to the Battersea Arts Centre Phoenix Fundraiser last night with some lovely friends. On the bill were some long-term faves (Stewart Lee, Tim Key, Bridget Christie) and among them was the poet Lemn Sissay, who was utterly brilliant. His poem ‘I Belong’ was a beautiful meditation on an immigrant’s upbringing in Manchester and the connection he feels with the city, delivered with a smile. After everything I’ve seen this week, it was a real fillip to hear a poem like that.