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Ekow Eshun: My Week In Media

The Independent, 8 May 2006

Last week I read …

Between the Prescott stuff, the Football Association’s tussle for Scolari, and Rooney’s foot, it was an enormously entertaining week. All of these have an amazing element of soap opera to them.

The awards ceremony for Beck’s Futures was last Tuesday. This year the critics and the public loved the winner, Matt Stokes. Seeing that reflected in positive coverage was brilliant.

The New Yorker had a travel issue this week. Anthony Lane wrote about how cheap flights have transformed air travel in Europe and he started by booking a 99p trip to a city he’d never heard of. It was about the experience of travel and how it feels in Europe now. Anthony Lane is British, but he and Seymour Hersh have an assurance and perceptiveness with their writing that I never see over here.

Last week I surfed…

A journalist called Neil Boorman is writing a brilliant blog called Bonfire of the Brands (bonfireofthebrands. He’s built a certain amount of his identity around brands because he’s a style journalist, and it’s turned into an inspired debate about the stuff we consume and what brands mean. He’s building up to a day in August when he’s going to burn all the stuff from his consumer life.

Aintitcool treats Hollywood with the same affection and obsession that European cineastes do French films. It’s enthusiastic about films many would dismiss as popcorn.

Last week I watched

Green Wing has a scalpel edge to it. It’s really funny because it’s excruciating a lot of the time. I watched My Name Is Earl, pictured, for almost the opposite reason. It’s charming and laid back and a very forgiving comedy.

Last week I listened to

The Today programme is a source of pleasure and annoyance in equal measure. They don’t do culture that well but when they do it’s with someone like Mark Lawson. He was on talking about music and the sounds of the everyday, and how once you start to pay attention to those things, you start to hear them in different ways and appreciate the aural texture of everyday life.

After the local elections last Thursday the programme had Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Menzies Campbell. Having the leaders of the main opposition parties and Labour’s leader-in-waiting is an ordinary day for the show – that’s its strength.

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