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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 20 August, 2014

Sitdown Sunday: 7 deadly reads

The very best of the week’s writing from around the world.

Michael Freeman

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 this Sunday.

1. Confessions of a serial tweeter
Larry Carlat on why he left Twitter a month ago, after his account caused the loss of a job and a rift with his son (The New York Times)

Soon my entire life revolved around tweeting. I stopped reading, rarely listened to music or watched TV. When I was out with friends, I would duck into the bathroom with my iPhone. I tweeted while driving, between sets of tennis, even at the movies.

2. The movie that made a world
Michael Idov on the eccentric Russian director running a city with a cast of thousands – where he sets the rules (GQ).

A silent guard observes my typewritten pass bearing the Soviet hammer and sickle and date-stamped April 28, 1952. Another frisks Khrzhanovsky, without betraying any deference or even recognition. After a security wand roughly passes over my back, I finally step through the door and onto the set.

3. The strange world of turbo-folk
Matthieu Atkins on Croatian security man Alen Borbas, and the bizarre subculture he presides over (Guernica).

To get into the OKS Nightclub, you needed to go around the back of Osijek’s Studenski Centar, through a side door and then down a wide set of rubberized black stairs. Midway down, the stairs doubled back on themselves and there, on the landing, was a large, black iron cage, shaped like a birdcage but big enough for one, maybe two, girls.

4. What is the future for Occupy Wall Street?
With the protest reaching a critical stage, Michael Greenberg sets out to find whether it will grow further – or fizzle out (New York Review of Books).

The park had the look of an arctic encampment. The nightly General Assembly, usually a sprawling affair, had no more than forty shivering participants shouting into the freezing rain.

5. Disappearances from a cruise ship
Jon Ronson sets out on the trail of Rebecca Coriam, who disappeared mysteriously from the Disney Wonder luxury liner in March (The Guardian).

In the atrium on deck 3, passengers queue for Mickey Mouse’s autograph. I overhear an adult passenger ask a crew member, “Exactly how many Mickey Mouse symbols are there on board?” He looks taken aback. There are about 20 within our immediate vicinity

6. The humble art of the screen saver
Chinnie Ding explores the iconic animations that populate our monitors, and what they might tell us about ourselves (The Believer).

Screen savers were invented in the early ’80s to do the material work of protracting monitor lifespan. As LCD screens soon made cathode rays and phosphor burn obsolete concerns, the jobless screen saver itself became an ornamental relic

… AND A CLASSIC READ FROM THE ARCHIVES…

In April 1995, Rick Bragg wrote about the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombings, and the terror they sowed in a small town, for the New York Times.

“We’re just a little old cowtown,” said Bill Finn, a grime-covered firefighter who propped himself wearily up against a brick wall as the rain turned the dust to mud on his face. “You can’t get no more Middle America than Oklahoma City. You don’t have terrorism in Middle America.”

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