Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 26 October, 2021

Sitdown Sunday: 7 deadly reads

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

Michael Freeman

IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and comfy chair. We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour this Sunday.

1. The incredible world of Prince Jefri
Mark Seal on the bizarre life of a man with billions of dollars to burn and the appetites to match (Vanity Fair).

They raced their Ferraris through the streets of Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital, at midnight, sailed the oceans on their fleet of yachts (Jefri named one of his Tits, its tenders Nipple 1 and Nipple 2).

2. Another day on the pig-brain machine
Ted Genoways on the strange illnesses suffered by workers at the Spam factory (Mother Jones).

Lynfield pointed out that nearly all the affected workers were stationed near the brain machine and asked CEO Kelly Wadding, “What do you think is going on?” Wadding reportedly replied, “Let’s stop harvesting brains.”

3. My life as a Christian rock fan
Meghan O’Gieblyn on her childhood as a fanatical follower of CCM, or ‘Contemporary Christian Music’ (Guernica).

DC Talk sometimes closed with Nirvana’s All Apologies — except instead of singing the line “everyone is gay,” they changed it to “Jesus is the way.” I’m not making this up.

4. The football team who started a revolution
Juliane von Mittelstaedt on how Benghazi soccer club began their own rebellion in Libya… eleven years ago (Der Spiegel).

When Saadi was furious because someone passed him the ball incorrectly, he would start beating him. Or he would have his hair shaved off. Sometimes he also set his dogs on a player.

5. My son is not a terrorist
Frank Lindh on the torments suffered by his son, ‘American Taliban’ John Walker Lindh (The Guardian).

Still blindfolded, he was locked in an unheated metal shipping container that sat on the desert floor. He shivered uncontrollably in the bitter cold. Soldiers outside pounded on the sides, threatening to kill him.

6. Life as shark bait
Joshua Hammer goes underwater to find out whether the shark diving industry should be shut down (Outside).

The spotter at Fish Hoek had missed the shark in the murky waters. “He saw the blood in the water, then realized something had happened,” Murema told me.


For the week that’s in it: In October 1971, Ron Rosenbaum wrote about the beginnings of phone hacking and the strange people who made it their own, in Esquire.

“I could feel it coming a couple hours before midnight,” Ralph remembers. “You could feel something going on in the lines. Some static began showing up, then some whistling wheezing sound. Then there were breaks. Some people got cut off [...] It was terrible.”

About the author:

Michael Freeman

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