Five Great Reads: why the west is split on Russia, Liv Hewson’s fan club, a fun experiment

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Five Great Reads: why the west is split on Russia, Liv Hewson’s fan club, a fun experiment” was written by Alyx Gorman, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 26th January 2022 23.28 UTC

Good morning, happy morning tea and welcome to an upbeat edition of Five Great Reads, your summertime lolly bag of great writing, filled with love by me, Alyx Gorman, Guardian Australia’s candy, crushes and couture editor.

If you’d rather be reading the news as it breaks, please head on over to our live blog, and if you just want to hear from Amy Remeikis after her absolutely scorching interview on The Project, I cannot blame you and here she is.

Now, on to the reads, which in truth are not 100% fun. To make up for that, here is a very old fish who loves belly rubs.

1. Why Nato can’t agree on Russia

In an analysis piece, diplomatic editor Patrick Wintour has contextualised the west’s mixed response to the Russia-Ukraine crisis. It is part of a deep fissure going back decades about what Germany and France, as opposed to the Anglosphere, regard as the best way to handle Russia, Wintour writes.

At a summit in Paris in December 2019, from left to right: Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy; the then German chancellor Angela Merkel; French president Emmanuel Macron; Russian president Vladimir Putin.
At a summit in Paris in December 2019, from left to right: Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy; the then German chancellor Angela Merkel; French president Emmanuel Macron; Russian president Vladimir Putin. Photograph: Charles Platiau/AP

Notable quote: “The central player in Europe’s relations with Russia is Germany, as it has been since unification,” Wintour writes. “Quite why Germany takes such a stubbornly forgiving or optimistic approach to Putin fills libraries.”

How long will it take me to read? Two and a half minutes if you speed read it, but I recommend taking your time.

But what’s happening right now? You can follow the latest news on the crisis here.

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2. Staging a fun-tervention

Science journalist Catherine Price has written a book arguing we underestimate the power of fun. Deep in the doldrums, Elle Hunt puts Price’s hypothesis to the test.

Elle Hunt
The keys to enjoyment? Elle Hunt is having fun. Photograph: Linda Nylind/The Guardian

How it started: In the month she set out to have more fun, Hunt’s Christmas and new year plans were derailed by Covid. “I am relieved of half my savings by a phone scammer; and a man I’m meeting for a first date suggests that maybe I am depressed.”

How it’s going: Even after a few weeks of small-scale experiments with fun, Hunt was struck by how soon it started to feel more natural and easy. “And I am perturbed to realise how much of the resistance was within me all along.”

How long will it take me to read? Four and a half minutes, each one of them a “micro dose” of joy.

Bonus read: Speaking of making room for joy – why not delete social media apps from your phone?

3. Five great frames

In this interview, masterful portrait photographer Anton Corbijn speaks about what it was like shooting frames of David Bowie, Miles Davis and Naomi Campbell.

Anton Corbijn’s David Bowie portrait from 1980.
Anton Corbijn’s David Bowie portrait from 1980. Photograph: Anton Corbijn/© Anton Corbijn

Notable quote: “This is one of my favourite photographs. It’s not just a shot of Bowie, it’s a Christ-like thing. That’s what you hope for when you take photographs: that it transcends all the usual stuff.”

How long will it take me to read? Three minutes, but you’ll spend longer looking at the pictures.

4. A shoutout to grandparents

Working from your parents’ place might sound like a bold move, but for Kelly Eng it’s paying dividends, particularly for her children.

Big aww moment: “I know how lucky I am. The devotion and patience my parents show their grandchildren is legendary, and I salute them and all the grandparents who have stepped up to help their families get through this time.”

How long will it take me to read? Just a feel-good minute or two.

5. The big buzz around Liv Hewson

Yellowjackets, a comedy-thriller about a girls’ soccer team stuck in the woods, has inspired obsessive devotion – and fan theorising. Here, one of the breakout stars, Australian actor Liv Hewson, talks through how it feels to gain an overnight cult following.

‘Being adored by gay people on Twitter is all I’ve ever wanted in my life’: Liv Hewson on the response to Yellowjackets.
‘Being adored by gay people on Twitter is all I’ve ever wanted in my life’: Liv Hewson on the response to Yellowjackets. Photograph: Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

Behind-the-scenes goss: Patrick Lenton writes that the cast have their own group chat, where they share the best Yellowjackets memes and theories that they find. “A lot of the time, I think the audience has similar questions to us,” Hewson tells him. “Which is really funny because when the scripts were being given to us, we didn’t necessarily know what was going to happen either.”

How long will it take me to read? Two minutes, but if you haven’t watched Yellowjackets, more like 10 hours and two minutes – you should really see the series first.

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