(I left it too long and now there are Too Many Faves)
One reason for waiting was I wanted to talk about Marie Kondo but the world does not need another take, so I waited until I found the one I agree with: this piece about Shinto (Kondo was a miko at a Shinto shrine for 5 years). If you watch the Netflix series, it becomes apparent that most of the weird-to-Westerners aspects have very practical applications in decluttering: “greeting the house” lets homeowners visualise the house they want; “sparking joy” translates into something you want to take with you into the future; saying “thank you” to objects you’re discarding removes the owner’s embarrassment (especially for things like clothes that have never been worn).
The series itself is interesting – only the first episode could really be considered confrontational (and like similar commercial shows). Some episodes feel over long, and some of the houses don’t really have much of a clutter problem. There are a couple of good tips per episode, but unfortunately spread thinly. Netflix should be able to experiment with the format more – eg jump cut all the practical tips into 1 special episode, or being able to see extras on each episode if you want to see some parts of the method they completely cut out to make it roughly 30 minutes.
It’s hard to find pictures of Kondo’s real house – there are a few on Instagram (eg, eg) that feel a bit more real than this article. It feels a shame that a big consultancy franchise has grown around her – she seems to actually have a lot of fun. Surprised no-one like Ikea has jumped on the lot of small boxes thing though. Also: a nice piece on her English interpreter.
Is this a take on Marie Kondo takes? Oh no.
More telly: I’m gradually working through Comedians of the World, and first of all, it’s definitely not the entire world, which is a shame (there are a few Chinese and Japanese comedy specials on Netflix), and also I’d love to get a sense of how the chosen comedians are perceived in their own countries and languages. I’m finding certain languages a lot slower in jokes-per-minute… So far can really recommend all the UK choices (but especially Mae Martin), DeAnne Smith from Canada, and Rawsan Hallak for a very different world view.
HSBC’s new sound identity by Jean-Michel Jarre – read the article and try to imagine it before watching the video. It also ominously threatens to be heard as background music in airports. Almost as weird an idea as Darude representing Finland in Eurovision this year.
Money ruins everything: why some art exhibitions will never be staged again, as artists’ works appreciate in value
50 years of Thamesmead
how British gardens are having to change due to climate
why terrazzo is suddenly everywhere
this t-shirt folding machine has nothing on Kondo
the secret to skincare is to be wealthy
why are rich people so weird?
how millennials burnt-out and now the next generation of kids are already anxious
a history of synthetic materials
an ergonomics breakdown of the problems with a modern Lufthansa airplane
X-raying a Kinder Surprise
the start of a hopefully open 3d model of London
I love Robert Siestema’s writing about food around New York – like this random snapshot that feels a lot more cosmopolitan than London, and this paean to liverwurst sandwiches
the $3 million tuna
Helen Rosner’s presentation on how to take good photos of food
a collection of good writing about British food
A good list of places to eat in Whitstable
how to make the Mori Martini
how bad was Watney’s Red Barrel? pretty bad
Too Many Faves? Too Many Faves.