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The Guardian G2 - April 12, 2018

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Thursday 12/04/18
Zoe Williams
The erasing of
middle-aged women
page 3
Lessons from Bernie
Inside Corbyn’s 2017
election campaign
page 4
Ultra-processed
Britain
The truth about
our favourite foods
glucose syru
p
rd
hu
r
ga
su
lp
su
acid
ci
ity r
tr
egu
ic
lato
ac
r
i
d
disodi
um
dextro
se
an
th
palm
in
s
ul
em
s
er
ifi
lt
sa
nt
ecta
hum
ide
iox
oc
ya
n
s
gr
ou
nd
oil
mil
k pr
ote
dri
ed
t
ge
ve
po
ta
ab
le
e
yc
gl
s
ng
ur i
vo
fla
ri
ne
•
eg
gw
hit
e
ric
e
ss
iu
m
so
r
•
Pass notes
№ 3,790
Shortcuts
Should the
weekend start
on Friday?
Tickled pink? Tasting the ruby KitKat
The sourtoe
cocktail
Age: 45.
Appearance: A tumbler filled with a spirit of
some kind, usually whisky.
Doesn’t sound wildly interesting. There’s one
additional, non-standard ingredient.
Go on ... A mummified toe.
Gulp. Indeed.
Where can I try this unlikely concoction?
At the Sourdough Saloon in Dawson City.
Where is Dawson City? In Yukon territory,
Canada. Head for Alaska and veer right.
And why do they drink liquor with
mummified toes? Good question. First, there’s
not a lot to do in Dawson City. Second, it’s good
for business. Third, the prevalence of frostbite
up near the Arctic Circle means there’s a ready
supply of toes.
Urgh! How did the tradition start? In the 1920s,
miners Otto and Louie Liken did some rum
smuggling on the side. On one run, one of the
brothers – there is lively argument over which
– got frostbite in a toe. To stop it becoming
gangrenous, the other brother hacked – or shot
– it off. They kept it in their shack, where it was
discovered 50 years later by an entrepreneur.
In 1973, he developed the drinking ritual to
prove you were a “true Yukoner”.
Any rules? “You can drink it fast, you can
drink it slow, but the lips must touch the toe.”
You get a certificate if you follow the rule;
100,000 people have qualified.
Is the original toe still in use? Sadly not. In
1980, it was swallowed by a local miner who
was trying to beat the sourtoe record. On his
13th cocktail, his chair tipped backwards and
he swallowed it. The digit was never found.
But ... Best not to ask. There have been seven
toes since.
The bar must always be on the lookout for
more toes. Indeed. Enter Briton Nick Griffiths,
a 46-year-old former Marine commando.
I’m sensing this may be the news peg. Well
spotted. While training for the 300-mile Yukon
Arctic ultramarathon, Griffiths lost three toes
to frostbite. A Canadian nurse told him about
the cocktail and he’s planning to send his toes
to Dawson City as backup. He even hopes one
day to go there and drink them.
Not literally. No, just let his lips touch them in
the approved manner.
Not to be confused with: Rusty nail, the Savoy
corpse reviver, Missouri mule, Madagascan
pickled penis sundowner.
You made that up. Of course I did. Who would
call a drink a rusty nail?
Do say: “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.”
Don’t say: “Can I have a sweet sherry instead?”
2
The Guardian
Thursday 12 April 2018
Next week, Nestlé’s ruby KitKat will hit UK stores.
This lurid – but naturally coloured – treat is made
from ruby chocolate, said to be the fourth chocolate
after milk, dark and white. But what is it like? We
asked some of our resident experts to give it a taste.
Sonia Sodha, chief leader writer at the
Observer (and KitKat enthusiast)
There is so much to recommend a classic
KitKat, but I have not always enjoyed its many
variations, so it was not without trepidation
that I approached its latest blush incarnation.
But I needn’t have worried: its glossy pink
aesthetics more than won me over and the taste
was really quite delicious – creamier than milk
chocolate, less sickly than white chocolate,
with just a hint of a zingy fruit-yoghurt tang.
Bob Granleese, food editor at the Guardian
Oi, Nestlé, behave! Not only does the
packaging rival My Little Pony for tweeness,
but you have filled it with what appears to be
a four-finger bar of soap. Actually, it might
well be: this stuff smells like that waft you get
near a Lush store. The poor biscuit doesn’t
stand a chance against the teeth-achingly
sweet coating, which has a cloyingly waxy
mouthfeel. Forget “Have a break, have a
KitKat”. This is just “Give us a break, KitKat”.
Mina Holland, food editor and writer
at the Guardian
I have always approached KitKats in one
of two ways – as a tea-dunking device or by
gnawing the chocolate coating from the wafer
before eating the inside. Does the ruby at least
match the original in both exercises? I don’t
think so. I am not sure I want acidic “berry
fruitiness” with my brew, while its body-part
hue doesn’t cry out for me to prize it off with
my teeth. Give me the original any day, Nestlé –
and bring back the foil while you are at it.
Morwenna Ferrier, author of
G2’s Faddy Eater column
The colour led me down two paths. One:
we have an example of pinkification – in 2018.
Two: it is millennial pink – in 2018. Wrong
on both counts. It turns out that nature has
jumped on the millennial pink bandwagon – it
is pink because of the ruby cocoa beans – but
Nestlé will need to cover that in the small print.
Anyway, it is semi-sweet, slightly perfumed, a
bit like those Special K red berries. The flavour
manages to linger yet is deeply forgettable.
In the Routledge guide British
Civilization, the weekend is defined
as “Saturday and Sunday” – but
try telling that to anyone who has
ordered a takeaway as they are
leaving the office on a Friday so
that it arrives as they get home, or
has gone three Woo Woos deep into
the Friday happy-hour deal at a Be
At One. We all know the weekend
really starts at some point on
Friday, but when exactly?
BBC Radio 1 has announced that
it is going to start the weekend at
6.30am on Friday, by moving all
its weekend hosts on to three days
a week, creating “a four-day week
and a three-day weekend”. One of
the big winners from the decision
is Mollie King from girlband the
Saturdays, who will now host on
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Explaining the decision, Ben
Cooper, the station’s controller,
said: “Fridays are different from
the rest of the week. You are in
a better mood. You are planning
how to have fun.”
If you have tried to organise an
important meeting after lunch on
a Friday, you will know that most
workers have checked out mentally
by then. Studies suggest that
productivity and output on Fridays
is significantly reduced, with one
arguing that we are in weekend
mode by 10.19am. Many companies
acknowledge this by offering
dress-down Fridays, giving out free
booze in the afternoon or allowing
employees to leave earlier during
the summer.
Where does it stop, though?
If no one is going to take Fridays
seriously, maybe we should
take them off completely. The
Labour party has hinted loosely
that it may start fiddling with the
working week, with Jeremy Corbyn
talking about the “gateway to
a new settlement between work
and leisure” in response to the
growth of automation.
The problem is this: if we all
followed Radio 1’s example and
made the official weekend three
days long, people would just start
bunking off on Thursday afternoons.
Far better for Friday to be an illicit
day of sort-of-work and for King’s
radio show to be broadcast on only
two days of the week.
Sam Wolfson
•
Zoe
Williams
Shh … Alexa
could be
listening
Say
what?
COVER: ALICIA CANTER/GUARDIAN
A street called
Bell End has
been allowed
to keep its name
after a
campaign to
stop the council
from changing
it. Although
residents in
Rowley Regis,
in the West
Midlands,
complained
the street
made them
a “laughing
stock”, a
petition to save
it received more
than 4,800
supporters.
Ring them bells!
Should you whisper around your
Amazon Echo, lest it whisper back?
That’s the future suggested by a
patent recently filed by the company,
which examined the possibility of
eavesdropping on conversations
held around its voice-activated
devices in order to better suggest
products or services to users.
The idea seems to be to turn
Alexa, the company’s virtual
assistant, from a dutiful aide under
the user’s command to one with
a proactive attitude. For instance,
the patent suggests: “If the user
mentions how much the user would
like to go to a restaurant while on the
phone, a recommendation might be
sent while the user is still engaged
in the conversation that enables
the user to make a reservation at
the restaurant.”
In a statement, Amazon said the
patent was a proposal for the future,
rather than a feature it is preparing
to roll out. “Like many companies,
we file a number of forward-looking
patent applications that explore the
full possibilities of new technology.
Patents take multiple years to
receive and do not necessarily
reflect current developments to
products and services.” In fact,
as the company wearily repeats,
Echo devices cannot send voice
recordings back to Amazon
unless they have heard one of the
preselected “wake words”, such
as “Alexa”, “Echo” or “computer”.
“We do not use customers’ voice
recordings for targeted advertising,”
Amazon added.
But the patent remains likely to
plunge the company into the same
conspiracist world that Facebook
has been struggling to escape.
When Facebook or Amazon uses
the existing data they have on you
– be that a decade of conversations
with your friends, or a shopping
history twice that long – to make
recommendations that seem eerily
good, it can be easy to jump to the
assumption that they are listening
in. The truth – that they know all
they need to know about you from
the information you voluntarily
uploaded to their sites – is almost
more unsettling.
Alex Hern
Mo Mowlam joins an esteemed
roll call of ‘forgotten’ women
Don’t believe the
sockpuppets in
the echo chamber
History erases the contribution of middle-aged women. It takes a lot of time,
but that’s fine, because that’s what history’s good at. “How the devil did they
get away with that,” you might think, looking at a magazine cover’s lineup of
the architects of the Good Friday agreement that is entirely male, and doesn’t
include Mo Mowlam. “What happened to the women who actually broke
this story,” you possibly wonder, surveying an all-male panel called upon
to discuss the finer details of the Cambridge Analytica revelations. Maybe
not tomorrow, maybe not the next day, but some time soon the airbrush
will have come for Theresa May, Angela Merkel and Sheryl Sandberg, and
we will be confused, unable to understand how Brexit meant Brexit, or the
euro survived, or who taught Mark Zuckerberg how to open his mouth in the
manner of a person smiling.
In fact, all social movements of any importance were started by middleaged women, and there’s a solid reason
why we have forgotten them all. The
Fight the Famine Committee, after the
first world war, began in the house of
Catherine Courtney in Cheyne Walk in
Chelsea, but that’s right on the corner
of the road where Margaret Thatcher
was coached in public speaking to get
rid of her high, grating (cough “female”)
voice. So already I can’t remember who
destroyed the industrial heartlands, and
who started the organisation that became
Mo Mowlam,
Save the Children, which was run by two
sisters, though unfortunately they are lost the secretary of
state for Northern
to the mists of time, because one of them
Ireland in 1997
had a funny name (Eglantyne Jebb) and
the other one didn’t (Dorothy Buxton).
The temperance movement was driven
by women, but we let ourselves be written out of that because it gave us a
bad name. The highly fruitful school of thought connecting poverty to infant
mortality was developed by the anarcho-socialists Maud Pember Reeves
and Charlotte Wilson in the early 20th century. The background to their
work was the Royal Commission on the Poor Laws, which found poverty
to be morally driven, exacerbated by do-gooders giving food and relief to
poor people. Pember Reeves and Wilson discovered, with close and what
we would now call “embedded” research into the respectable poor, that the
children of highly moral ones were also dying in large numbers before they
reached the age of 10. You can see why this would be easier to erase than to
commemorate.
The abolitionists Hannah More and Elisabeth Jesser Reid were forgotten
because they were basically doing the same thing as William Wilberforce.
Mary Prince, a campaigner and former slave, got a commemorative plaque in
Camden in 2007, so that’s OK. Sarah Parker Remond, another woman of colour
working internationally against slavery in the 1850s, had a more famous
brother, which is a near-failsafe way to get yourself written out of history.
Shall I use my cloak of invisibility to fight crime, or for evil? That’s the
question I ask, upon turning 44. Fortunately, it won’t be remembered either
way, and the world is our plaything.
The internet causes a lot of cognitive
dysfunction. We all know that
because we read it on the internet,
but sometimes the details get
lost because you see the word
“dysfunction” and think: “No, this
could not possibly mean me.”
The “epistemic bubble” is when
you no longer read anything that you
don’t already agree with. Nobody
enters any bubble on purpose, it
is just the natural consequence of
getting all your news from sources –
friends, relatives, colleagues – whose
views chime with your own. It’s a
dicey premise – that any of us agree
with our colleagues, let alone our
relatives – but just take it on trust.
The “echo chamber” is where you
sometimes hear information you
don’t like, but you disbelieve it on
that basis. This happens to me all
the time, but I am often right and the
information turns out to be untrue.
Astroturfing, where troll-bots
dress themselves up as a wider
political movement, and sockpuppet
accounts, where you create a social
media profile to say the things the
real you can’t, is something I’m not
prepared to adopt until alternative,
serviceable words are found for
Astro Turf and actual sockpuppets.
One under-reported category is
the bastard-filter, where every story
you hear about your opponents
leads you to believe they are
irredeemable bastards. I am thinking
about the story alleging that
Conservative canvassers were flung
out of a pub in London this week
for having a meeting about how to
“spin Grenfell”, but that was one of
10 bastard-filter stories that day. The
Conservatives deny it, but the inertia
and misanthropy have set in. One
day, when I work out how, I’m going
to invent a bastard blocker. Only my
friends, relatives and colleagues will
see it, but that’s OK, because we will
agree that we’re happier.
Karl Marx at the UN
This is a full but not exhaustive list of Karl Marxes, as they exist in the
e
sians
common consciousness: there’s the Tories’ Marx, who escorted Russians
o
in their millions to gulags, while laughing; the economists’ Marx, who
invented the law of the tendential fall in the rate of profit, which may
y
or may not be correct; and the historico-literary Marx, shifting our gaze
ze
away from individual agency, towards structural causes. And now, Karen
aren
Pierce, UK ambassador to the UN’s Marx, who would be turning in hiss
grave to see the actions of Putin because a kleptocratic autocracy was
as
what Marx had in mind when he wrote Das Kapital. You could rewrite
e all
philosophy in emojis, and it couldn’t get any less sophisticated.
The Guardian
Thursday 12 April 2018
3
•
For the many
– what Bernie
taught Jeremy
Former Labour strategist Steve Howell recalls what
he learned from the US socialist’s stirring rallies – and
the eureka moment behind the party’s campaign slogan
A
s Jeremy Corbyn
was campaigning
to be Labour leader
for the first time in
2015, something
unprecedented was
happening in the US: a democratic
socialist was emerging as a serious
contender for the presidency. Never
in US political history had someone
labelling themselves with the “S” word
been more than a fringe candidate.
Hillary Clinton had name
recognition, huge resources, and
the backing of the entire Democrat
establishment. Bernie Sanders was
challenging her with a campaign
platform that – like Corbyn’s –
zeroed-in on growing wealth
inequality. Sanders reiterated that
core message in rally after rally
through the summer and autumn
of 2015. And it soon became clear he
was striking a chord with voters.
By 2016 I wanted to see what
it was like to #FeelTheBern. And
I was not disappointed. The rally
I attended – on 4 June, on the
concourse of the Los Angeles
Coliseum – was slickly organised.
Staff and volunteers managed
security as more than 13,000 people
queued patiently to pass through
the barriers. There were three
hours of music and speeches by
Hollywood A-listers – among them
Rosario Dawson, Shailene Woodley,
Max Carver and, my own favourite,
90-year-old Dick Van Dyke. By the
time Sanders made his entrance,
the event was all over Twitter and
the anticipation was huge. He spoke
from a lectern decorated with a US
flag and the campaign’s “a future to
believe in” strapline, and stuck to a
text that embodied the arguments
he had been repeating at every
single rally for months. There was
no message-creep and no need for
him to shout – every word would be
of broadcast quality for mainstream
media and live streaming online.
Afterwards I was not alone among
Corbyn’s supporters in reflecting on
what Labour could learn from the
Sanders campaign. Not only was
there considerable common ground
on policy, they were both “antiestablishment” politicians who had
the authenticity and credibility to
counter the rightwing populism of
Donald Trump and Nigel Farage, and
to inspire and mobilise young people
on a scale not seen for a generation.
Sanders had made a virtue of
necessity in building his campaign
around big rallies that were
welcoming to people new to politics.
They were a generator that powered
all the other elements, creating
virtuous circles of highly charged
activity. Videos would be shared
far and wide on social media. New
volunteers signed up at rallies would
be trained to go out canvassing.
Contact details collected would
be used to disseminate campaign
materials and raise money online.
Mass fundraising from small
donors was one of the stand-out
features of the Sanders campaign. At
the outset, he had decided that “you
cannot take on the establishment
if you take their money.” Sanders
was also adept at using social
media, despite personally being a
novice. But he was not dismissive
of conventional methods. As his
support grew, he was able to compete
with Clinton on paid advertising.
What distinguished his use of a
conventional medium, however,
was the way his ads were mainly
about people and their stories. While
the Clinton campaign was running
traditional candidate messages
focusing on her political record, the
Sanders ads were – as marketing
agency executives put it – “tapping
into what people are feeling” and
offering “a deeper sense of idealism”.
At Westminster, as the end
of March 2017 approached, the
inspiring Sanders rally I had gone to
felt very distant. The local elections
were looming. Campaign materials
had to be produced within a matter
of days, and our plans to get a
policy bandwagon rolling had been
delayed by the horrific Westminster
Bridge attack. In the discussions
with Southside, Labour’s head
office near Victoria, during that
period, there was much rolling of
eyes when I offered some thoughts
on how we should campaign. I had
half-expected my references to the
Sanders campaign to be dismissed,
and they were (“he lost,” I was
told), but I had not bargained for
the amusement use of the phrase
“narrative arcs” would cause.
Storytelling has been used in
marketing communications for years,
simply because it is how most of us
talk to each other most of the time
– we tell people about things that
have happened to us or others and
then we might discuss what we feel
or think about them. Conversation is
mainly storytelling. And so is the best
political communication, which is
why some of the Sanders videos were
so effective, and why the leader of
the opposition’s office – known by the
acronym Loto – had already accepted
4
The Guardian
Thursday 12 April 2018
Men of the
people … Jeremy
Corbyn in south
London and
Bernie Sanders
at Penn State
a kind offer from the film director
Ken Loach to use his skills. But this
goes wider than how you produce a
video. The whole campaign needed
to tell the same story – an overarching
narrative that voiced people’s
fears, frustrations and hopes, and
described a road to a better future.
If I was ever frustrated by some
of those early discussions, one
thing that would always lift my
spirits was the irrepressible activity
of what were known in Loto as
“Jeremy’s outriders”. There were
dozens of them on Twitter and
Facebook who, day in and day out,
were pumping out great material
exposing the Tories and putting
across many of our arguments. I
include in this organised groups
such as JeremyCorbyn4PM and
Momentum, but mostly they were
people acting on their own initiative
out of sheer personal commitment.
When the election was called a
month or so later, they would play a
crucial role. The Tories had nothing
like it. Since the election, they had
produced a “digital toolkit”, but
Peter Stefanovic – a lawyer who had
Both Sanders and
Corbyn inspired
and mobilised
young people on a
scale not seen for
a generation
given up his day job to spend a year
campaigning – thought it lacked a
crucial ingredient: “The difference
is that we believe passionately in
what we’re doing, in the manifesto,
in the principles behind it and how
it’s going to change the country. You
can’t manufacture that belief.”
S
tefanovic is a natural
communicator with a
knack for finding the
right words. If this
was easy, more people
would be good at it. But
language is a complicated thing.
And the Sanders campaign was not
so helpful in this respect. Some of
their terms could be imported – a
“rigged” system was one we used –
but George Bernard Shaw was right
when he said the US and Britain
are two countries disunited by a
common language. Corbyn could
not say he would “stand up for Main
Street against Wall Street” and “fight
for the shrinking middle class”
without confusing everyone.
Among British political terms,
I felt the phrase “left behind”
presented some problems. In a
note to Seumas Milne, the director
of strategy and communications,
before I started as his deputy in
the leader’s office, I said I thought
it was divisive. Ukip and far-right
newspapers such as the Daily
Express were using “left behind” to
pit predominantly white workingclass communities against a
so-called liberal metropolitan elite.
In using “left behind” we were
reinforcing the false idea that the
only people left behind are in Brexitleaning areas where traditional
industries have been decimated.
Milne and I were agreed on this,
and he had already started discussing
these narrative issues with two
consultants, Marc Lopatin and Jem
Bendell. Arguing that tactics and
language had to be “fit for purpose,”
they had said: “And that purpose is
securing votes. So, while Corbyn’s
ultimate vision involves stirring a lost
spirit of solidarity and community,
Labour must embrace voters as they
find them and design conversations
accordingly. Because the prize
is bigger than reconnecting with
former Labour heartlands … So when
Labour speaks it needs to explain
how government has been failing
families across the board and how
this can be fixed ... If Jeremy Corbyn’s
leadership can lift its gaze beyond
the food bank, the government will
have a fight on its hands.”
Jon Trickett (MP for Hemsworth
in West Yorkshire and one of
Corbyn’s closest allies), meanwhile,
had prepared a paper for the Loto
strategy group that overlapped with
these discussions. It emphasised
the need for Labour to create “a
majoritarian coalition” around a
“transformational” offer rather
than use “retail” politics to appeal
to different interest groups. When
a general election came, we should
make it about the kind of country we
wanted to build and why it would
serve the interests of the great
majority of people. This tallied with
my own view that, however the
Tories dressed it up, using terms like
•
Reply all
PHOTOGRAPHS: GETTY IMAGES; AP
The rallies powered
all the other
elements, creating
virtuous circles
of highly charged
activity
the “just about managing” or the
“big society”, we had to show that
they always act first and foremost in
the interests of a tiny elite.
In time, Lopatin and Bendell
would propose replacing “left
behind” with “held back”. “Held
back” could be applied to a whole
range of ways in which most people’s
lives are limited by a society run for
the rich. We saw it as majoritarian
and unifying – it spoke to both sides
of the Brexit divide. More than that,
it implies a call to action. It prompts
questions: what is holding me back,
why and how can I do something
about it? Looking back on it, we were
all inching towards an approach that
would gel around “for the many, not
the few” – a suggestion that did not
surface until the first full day of the
general election campaign.
The pressure on Milne and me to
make a decision was intense because
leaflets were going to print and
artwork was needed for the campaign
bus. That afternoon, Labour’s
national executive committee (NEC)
was due to meet and would expect
our presentation to answer this
most basic of questions. The idea of
people being “held back” was already
built into our narrative, as was
juxtaposing “a society rigged for the
rich” against “one in which people
could lead richer lives”. But the
campaign co-ordinators, Ian Lavery
and Andrew Gwynne, were unhappy
about any use of “rich” or “richer”,
which had been misinterpreted by
some when tested at focus groups,
and almost everything else we toyed
with seemed unoriginal.
As I pressed on with writing the
presentation for the NEC, Milne
went to see Gwynne and Lavery to
discuss other options. The meeting
was inconclusive, but Gwynne
came back to Loto to continue the
brainstorm with Milne by running
through past Labour straplines.
They agreed the 2005 motto,
“Britain forward, not back”, was the
worst they could remember, with
the 2015 effort, “Better plan for a
better future”, not far behind.
As they delved deeper into the
past, the words “the many, not the
few” from the party’s constitution
came up. The phrase was part of a
new version of clause IV proposed by
Tony Blair and adopted at a special
conference in 1995. The dropping
of the old clause IV was opposed
by those of us who saw it as a New
Labour move to distance the party
from the idea of public ownership.
However, the new clause contained
phrases that are common ground
for all its members, among them the
words adapted from Shelley’s poem
Masque of Anarchy. It was written in
1819 following the Peterloo massacre
at St Peter’s Field, Manchester, when
cavalry charged into a crowd of tens
of thousands who were demanding
the right to vote. For Milne, it felt
right to use them again in a different
context, and Gwynne agreed.
By now it was nearly midday,
and my NEC presentation still had
a big hole in it. When I scurried into
Milne’s room, he said: “What do you
think of ‘for the many, not the few’?”
It was one of those FFS moments
when you realise there’s a good
reason why some things stand the
test of time – in this case, nearly 200
years. With the word “for” added,
the phrase encapsulated the idea
of building a society that serves the
great majority and not accepting one
run by and for a privileged elite. It
implied a transformation to a wholly
different way of doing things.
Of course, the fact that Blair
had used the words complicated
this interpretation. Would people
consider it sullied? How could the
same slogan apply to a “centrist”
platform – whose proponents were
“intensely relaxed about people
getting filthy rich” – as well as our
much more radical one? My instinct
was that most people would not be
aware of how “the many, not the few”
had been used before and those who
did would realise Corbyn – of all people
– truly meant the message it embodied.
Extracted from Game Changer:
Eight Weeks that Transformed
British Politics by Steve Howell,
published by Accent Press on 18 April
(£15.99). To order a copy for £13.59
go to guardianbookshop.com or
call 0330 333 6846.
Ask
Hadley
I’ve recently started
to work from home.
What should I wear?
Sara, by email
An excellent question and one I
ask myself most days, because I
generally work from home and
while working from home does
remove certain quandaries from
your life – such as: “How long can
I tolerate this commute until sweet
death releases me?” and: “Sweet
Jesus, how many times is Geoff
from accounts going to clear his
throat, does he have a literal frog
down there and, if so, can I go
over and pull it out with my fist?”
– others take their place. Nature,
vacuum, etc.
So while I no longer, thank
goodness, have to endure the
London tube every rush hour, I do
find myself facing daily existential
questions such as: “How do I stop
myself from snacking from the
fridge literally all goddamn day?”
and: “If I’m not actually leaving the
house, do I have to leave my bed?”
Questions, questions. Clothing,
of course, comes under this
umbrella of new questions. Why
bother to dress if you’re not going
outside? To quote that famous
philosophical saying, “If you wear
an unironed shirt and no one sees
it, was the shirt actually ironed?”
The new homeworker tends to
go through three phases with their
clothes before settling down into
something that works. The first is
the pyjama phase, when you’re so
excited about no longer having to
go into an office that you celebrate
by staying in your pyjamas for a
day, three days, maybe five – what
does it matter, right?
But the thrill quickly wanes,
partly because the postman
starts giving you looks (and, as
a homeworker, you will now
be the drop-off depot for all of
your neighbours’ Amazon, Asos,
Argos, Ikea, Boots and John Lewis
deliveries, so you will see an awful
lot of your postman). But mainly
because it starts to feel gross.
Working in your pyjamas is a lot like
working from bed (and the two often
go together): it seems like such a
great idea when you start, but you
realise that if you’re dressed for bed,
your brain will think it’s bedtime and
totally fuzz out. So, not pyjamas is
the first rule of homeworking.
The next phase is when you
react against pyjamas by dressing
up as if you’re going to work. This
works for some people. Putting on
a suit or smart dress gets them in
the work mindset, I guess. I have a
friend who likes to work from home
in party dresses, as they make her
feel like she is a) on it and b) having
fun, even though she is sitting in her
living room and knocking out more
advertising copy.
And that’s great – give it a go,
see if it works for you. It absolutely
never did for me. It just felt silly, as
if I was some pathetic character in a
movie, possibly one directed by the
Coen brothers, who had been sacked
and now sat at home in his suit,
pretending nothing had happened.
So, as I tend to do in all things,
I go for the middle option
(#centristhomeworker) and dress
in clothes that are as comfortable
as pyjamas but aren’t actually
pyjamas. For me, this means
cheering tracksuit bottoms,
T-shirts, and slim-fitting jumpers.
What do I mean by “cheering
tracksuit bottoms”? Glad you
asked! Ones that are not shapeless
and depressing, but fit nicely, are
colourful, and maybe even have
rainbow stripes down the side. Asos.
com is your answer here, and as you
now work from home you’ll be there
to accept its deliveries. I find that
wearing a slim-fitting jumper – not
a massive baggy thing that flops
annoyingly over your hands when
you’re typing – makes the tracksuit
feel a little smarter so your brain
doesn’t go into fuzz-out mode.
As a kid, when I imagined my
adult life, I sort of imagined myself
as dressing like Melanie Griffith in
Working Girl, striding around in a
skirt suit. Instead, I sit around at
home all day in a tracksuit. And
because I’m such an adult, I’m
good with that.
The Guardian
Thursday 12 April 2018
Need style
counsel?
Post your
questions
to Hadley
Freeman, Ask
Hadley, The
Guardian, Kings
Place, 90 York
Way, London
N1 9GU. Email
ask.hadley@
theguardian.
com
I ask myself:
if I’m not
actually
leaving the
house, do I
have to leave
my bed?
5
•••
Food
Fast food
Cauliflower with
garlic, vinegar
and capers
By Omar Allibhoy
This cauliflower dish is one I often
cook at home: it is simple, light,
fresh and full of flavour – the Spanish
version of a Chinese stir-fry. My
cooking is inspired by growing up
in Spain; I learned how to make this
dish at my aunt’s house in Madrid.
I’m looking at putting it on the spring
menu in my restaurants – with better
weather hopefully arriving soon
(fingers crossed!) our customers will
be looking for lighter dishes. I like it
on its own, but you can serve it with
a pan-fried fillet of cod or salmon for
a more complete meal.
Place the cauliflower florets in a
large pan, cover them with water,
then add the salt and the milk (this
will make the cauliflower whiter
and prevent odours). Cook over a
high heat until al dente – about eight
minutes in total. Drain and refresh
under cold running water, then
set aside.
Pour a good drizzle of oil into a
cold frying pan, add the reserved
cauliflower leaves, garlic, capers and
cumin seeds, then turn the heat to
high. When the garlic turns golden,
add the paprika and the sherry
vinegar. Reduce the liquid for 30
seconds, then add the cauliflower
to the pan.
Make sure the ingredients are well
mixed and serve.
Prep
5 mins
Cooking
10 mins
Serves 4 as a tapa
Ingredients
1 large cauliflower
broken into florets,
leaves reserved
Pinch of salt
200ml milk
Extra-virgin olive
oil, for frying
5 garlic cloves
sliced
50g/5 tbsp capers
drained
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp sweet smoked
paprika
50ml/3½ tbsp
sherry or other
white vinegar
Quick, colourful ‘hands and pans’ videos are gaining
billions of views online – even if few people ever follow
the instructions, writes Alexandra Jones
I
t is past midnight and I sit
enraptured by the drama of
melted cheese. A moment
ago, two hands had pressed
a mix of broccoli and
cheddar into a loaf tin lined
with flattened raw chicken and sliced
ham. At 1min 24sec, the tin is taken
out of an oven that I never see. At
1min 48sec, as the hands use a knife
and fork to slice into the meaty bake,
the filling oozes and spills. From the
morsel on the fork, a lurid string of
bubbling cheese stretches across the
shot. The next video starts.
I have lost count of how many
“hands and pans” recipe videos
I have sat through. Most are less
than 90 seconds long and it’s easy to
while away 20 minutes, even half an
hour watching them. This video, for
a broccoli, ham and cheddar chicken
roll, from Buzzfeed’s food channel,
Tasty, has been viewed 19m times
on YouTube. The next video that
bubbles on to the screen, for a cheesy
courgette-and-aubergine bake, is
Omar Allibhoy is the founder of
Tapas Revolution and the author
of Spanish Made Simple:
Foolproof Spanish Recipes for
uy a
Every Day (Quadrille). Buy
copy for £17 (RRP £20) at
dianbookshop.com
theguardianbookshop.com
6
The recipe
videos cooking
up a storm
The Guardian
Thursday 12 April 2018
from US food magazine Bon Appetit
and has been viewed 3m times.
Tasty launched in July 2015,
specialising in recipe videos that
showed, from an overhead angle,
disembodied hands creating dishes.
Quick, colourful and devoid of
celebrity chefs or cultural references,
the videos started appearing on
Facebook feeds with virulent speed.
Less than three years later, Tasty’s
page has more than 93m followers
and the videos have been viewed
billions of times. “It’s a genre that
has established itself really quickly,”
says Lucy Ruth Hathaway, a food
stylist and co-founder of Half Moon,
a consultancy for food brands.
The videos’ staggering popularity
can be chalked up to two things.
First, the launch of continuous
autoplay on Facebook in 2013,
which meant that one mint caramel
Oreo cheesecake recipe would start
playing as soon as the last finished.
Second, the videos rarely use
words beyond the ingredients list to
communicate the recipe. Including
non-English-speakers opened
the videos to a global audience.
“There’s no personality attached
to these videos,” says food writer
and cook Anna Barnett. “Onscreen
personalities can be divisive, but
with these you’re not buying into
a person, you’re purely there to look
at the food. It’s very democratic,
there’s nothing polarising about
them. And there’s no coercion either;
no one’s going: ‘Isn’t this delicious!’
or ‘Wow, this smells amazing.’ In a
way, these videos are very authentic
to a recipe. And that authenticity is
what people are looking for on social
media; no one wants to feel like
they’re being overtly sold to.”
The roots of the hands-and-pan
genre go deeper than BuzzFeed.
“You could trace it back to the 90s,
when food imagery underwent a
transformation from being very
staged and formal to featuring
more closeup shots; suddenly you
could see textures,” says Hathaway.
It became less about showcasing
a perfect pudding and more
about manipulating the viewer
into imagining the feel of a cold
spoon plunging into a hot, gooey
chocolate lava cake. “You can see
that same super-closeup technique
repeated in most of these videos,”
says Hathaway.
In fact, it’s a trope that has
spawned its own subgenres; a quick
Google throws up multitudes of
“grilled cheese sandwich being
pulled apart” videos. “The videos
are triggering something deep inside
the pleasure centres in our brains.
We don’t need to cook these things
to get a sense of enjoyment.” Which
probably explains why I have never
met a single person who has tried
•••
The faddy eater
PHOTOGRAPHS: ALAMY
Hands that
do dishes ...
a selection
of stills
to execute a Tasty recipe – I have
certainly never tried one myself.
The overhead angle came later.
“As recently as seven or eight years
ago, that style of shooting felt
very new,” says Hathaway. “It was
pioneered by food bloggers because,
in terms of lighting, it’s easy for an
amateur photographer to create a
really amazing picture at home – all
you need is daylight.”
Hathaway says that handsand-pans videos are fairly
straightforward to make and much
cheaper than a traditional setup with
a chef; all you need is clear lighting
and a good camera. “What’s more
complicated is the editing. It’s not
about what you’re filming, per se, it’s
more about how you’re presenting
certain processes. If you’re doing a
‘how to make pasta’ [video], you’d
fold one tortellini, then the rest
would appear in stop-motion on the
tray one at a time, very quickly. You
have to be good at choosing when to
use these little tricks. They keep the
videos engaging and fun to watch.”
They don’t hand-hold us through
the minutiae of a perfectly clarified
consomme. “They’re quick and
not particularly explicit,” says
Hathaway. “In that respect, they’re
exemplifying a more modern
approach to home cooking. But
they do still have a clear narrative –
a beginning, middle and an end.”
As a person who has spent
many a frazzled evening watching
one after another, I would argue
that it is this gentle predictability
that gives them such a soporific
quality. “I think they share a lot of
characteristics with ASMR videos,”
says Emma Barratt who co-authored
the first peer-reviewed research
paper on autonomous sensory
Morwenna Ferrier
ier
Forget hummuss –
d
you can now find
ies,
tahini in brownies,
ice-cream and
martinis
meridian response. This is a sensory
phenomenon in which individuals
experience a feeling of deep calm
and a tingling sensation in response
to specific audio and visual stimuli;
videos abound online, of (mostly)
women whispering or paper
rustling, all aiming to prompt this
response. “In ASMR content, we
often see people effortlessly carrying
out tasks that require an amount of
concentration, which also seems to
be a factor here,” says Barratt.
Nick Davis, senior lecturer
in psychology at Manchester
Metropolitan University, who worked
alongside Barratt on the ASMR study,
says: “Watching people produce
things on video takes you out of
yourself, but also gives you a focus.”
That paradoxical sweet spot, where
you are focused but completely
passive, can induce a meditative
state. “One theory is that, as babies,
we spend a lot of time watching
intently as others complete tasks,” he
adds. “Being put back in that position,
of focusing on a task – particularly
a nurturing one, like cooking – could
have a very soothing effect.”
Hans-and-pans videos are not
going away any time soon, as many
businesses attempt to harness
their uniquely hypnotic power.
‘These films
are triggering
something deep
inside the pleasure
centres of our
brains’
Rob Huysinga and Henry Milroy
co-founded ice-cream brand Pan-nIce in 2015. “We always wanted the
brand to be about more than just the
product,” explains Huysinga. “We
wanted to create a personality that
resonated with the Instagram, Gen-Z
market.” To make their product,
liquid ice-cream is poured on to
a metal plate that has been cooled
to -20C; as the mixture freezes, it is
mashed together with ingredients
such as jaffa cakes or marshmallows.
Once set, the new flavour is rolled
into scroll shapes using a metal
scraper. Pan-n-Ice’s snappy,
60-second hands-and-pans videos
showcasing this novel approach
to ice-cream-making helped build
a huge social following. “Our most
popular video got around 25m
views,” says Huysinga.
They are made simply, using a
GoPro camera, but their impact and
reach is almost priceless. “From
reading the comments, a lot of people
are there because of the videos,”
says Huysinga. “A few weeks ago, a
customer came with his daughter and
said that she waits for the videos to be
released like they’re new episodes of
The Simpsons; whenever we upload
a new one, she gets really excited.”
The compulsion to find out what
happens next wasn’t invented
by Generation Bingewatch, it’s a
deeply human desire that goes back
as far as our ability to understand
a narrative – although that’s
probably the only comparison to
be made between “BBQ chicken
nacho poppers” and folkloric tales
collected over centuries by scholars
and authors. These simple videos
don’t have much drama, but, as
Hathaway points out, they do
contain a story of sorts.
Tahini is an oily paste, made from crushed sesame seeds,
and a pillar of any hummus recipe. You read this paper,
so probably knew that. If you’re familiar with Yotam
Ottolenghi’s work, you might also eat tahini with yoghurt
as a dressing on grilled vegetables or meat, or perhaps
– wacky – drizzled on ice-cream. At home, I know it as
the jar that time forgot. It may have gone off, but, really,
who can tell?
Tahini has myriad uses and more recently, in the US
and to some extent here, it is being used in ways outside
of the Levantine stable. Some reinventions are sacrilege
(tahini martinis), others (rye, sourdough, cakes) are
perhaps more morally sound.
The popularity of tahini comes as no surprise to Sarit
Packer, the co-founder of Honey & Co, who has been
making tahini desserts with great success for years.
The restaurant usually has four tahini-based sweets
on the menu at any one time, rotating specialities such
as a white chocolate and tahini babka (a molten cake
with tahini in the centre), tahini sandwich cookies
and occasionally, tahini ice-cream. She attributes its
newfound success to three key components: sweetness,
nuttiness and a high fat content. “This is by no means
a superfood,” she says, “but there is little dairy in Middle
Eastern cooking, and if you mix tahini with water it
becomes dairy-like.”
Ruth Crump, who runs Nutritiously Naughty, a glutenfree food blog (and shop) based in Cardiff, makes tahini
and coconut brownies where the tahini is used in place of
a nut butter (it’s already a popular substitute for allergy
sufferers). At Violet Cakes, a bakery in east London, they
mix broken pieces of halva (a tahini-based sweet) into
brownies – although getting hold of one is borderline
comic since it was announced that the bakery would
be making the royal wedding cake. Both brownies are
buttery and rich, as they should be, but the tahini adds
a granular texture and, in the case of Violet’s chocolate
slab, a thick sweet and salty crust to winning effect.
In the Middle East, tahini is viewed in much the
same way as Italians view olive oil. It sometimes called
“white gold” and is woven into the fabric of the culture
and cuisine. This can be baffling to outsiders, not least
because – and I don’t mean to nitpick, but – tahini is more
of a beige colour.
As my jar sits welded to my fridge shelf by its own oil,
I can’t help but see it as a victim of its versatility. In fact,
it was this week’s titanic showdown between Liverpool
and Manchester City that led me to think of that jar.
Like Liverpool midfielder James Milner, tahini can do
anything: play on the left or on the right – but this has
led it to be overlooked. In short, this unsung hero has
been hoisted by its own pliant, oily petard. Tahini that
is, not Milner.
The Guardian
Thursday 12 April 2018
7
•
Ba
Batchelors Pasta ’n’ Sauce –
ch
chicken and mushroom
Ing
Ingredients
Pasta tubes (84%) (durum
wh
wheat semolina, wheat flour), maize
sta
starch, whey powder (milk), yeast extract,
salt
salt, onion powder, flavourings, mushroom
juic
juice concentrate (0.5%), vegetable oils
(su
sunflower, palm), dried parsley, sugar,
gro
ground turmeric, chicken fat, black
pep
pepper extract.
From Cherry Bakewells to Fray Bentos pies, do we really
understand the cocktail of ingredients in our bestselling
brands? Sarah Boseley goes behind the labels
A
s the saying
goes: if your granny wouldn’t have
recognised what’s in it, it’s probably
not real food. Yet half the food we
take home is made in factories
from a list of ingredients and
additives as long as your arm, most
of which never found a place in any
grandparents’ kitchen cupboard –
and wouldn’t in yours today.
We are a nation of ultraprocessed-food eaters. Our lives
have become too fast-paced to cook
from scratch and our tastebuds
now crave the sweet and salty
flavours that ultra-processed foods
deliver. Our bread is fluffy and
sticks to the teeth like candyfloss.
Our yoghurts are super-sweet and
creamy. We have ready meals that
are shelf-stable (long life without
refrigeration), which we can prise
open, heat, eat and go.
Nutritionists are alarmed. Ultraprocessed foods are calorie-dense
and a major contribution to obesity.
They have also been stripped of
bioactive compounds such as fibre,
which we know is good for us.
All we get is calories (and maybe
added vitamins). And although
individually they are all approved
for safety, we have no idea what
effect the cocktail of additives might
have on us in the long term.
The nutritionist Dr Courtney Scott
from the Food Foundation says it
costs less to fill up hungry kids on
ultra-processed foods than fresh.
“For £1 worth of spinach, say, you
can get 60 calories. For £1 worth of
apples you get 307 calories. For £1
of turkey dinosaurs, you’re getting
730 calories. It is not surprising that
the foods that are palatable – they
8
are full of salt and sugar and fat – and
that are calorie-rich for a low price
are the ones that we’re consuming
the most of,” she says.
A group of scientists has produced
what they call the Nova definition
of four classes of food, from fruit
and vegetables in their natural
state to ultra-processed, which are
“industrial formulations typically
with five or more and usually
many ingredients”. These include
“substances not commonly used in
culinary preparations”, and contain
additives “whose purpose is to
imitate sensory qualities” of natural
foods. They are, says Prof Carlos
Monteiro from the University of São
Paulo, “intrinsically unhealthy”.
“Maybe many of these
preservatives are innocuous but
even if only 10% or even 1% of
them are harmful, people are
unnecessarily exposed to harm,”
he says. And they are re-educating
our taste preferences. “The hyperpalatability tends to make people
eat more than they need and make
people used to accentuated flavours
they will not find in most real foods.”
His collaborator Prof Jean-Claude
Moubarac, from the department
of nutrition at the University of
Montreal, goes further. These
foods cause social and cultural
damage, he says. “They promote
overconsumption and a relationship
to food that is characterised by
compulsion, stress and anxiety.”
We looked at what is actually in
10 of Britain’s favourites, choosing
a top seller from 10 categories
of packaged foods tracked by
Euromonitor International.
What is the country eating?
The Guardian
Thursday 12 April 2018
Bernard Matthews Turkey
Dinosaurs
Ingredients Turkey 46%, breadcrumb
(wheat flour (calcium carbonate, iron,
niacin, thiamin), salt, yeast, turmeric,
turmeric extract, colour (paprika extract)),
water, rapeseed oil, batter (wheat flour
(calcium carbonate, iron, niacin, thiamin),
salt), starch, skimmed milk powder, milk
protein, salt, potassium chloride, natural
flavouring (milk), lemon juice concentrate,
spirit vinegar.
“Something that has only 46%
turkey is going to be full of a lot
of other stuff,” says Scott; we
should therefore be wary of this,
nutritionally, if we’re looking for
a healthy source of protein.
In spite of the breadcrumbs,
there’s not much fibre – 0.7g per
100g once cooked. The company’s
website promotes its dinosaurs
as “Jurassic fun for kids” with
“no artificial colours, flavours or
preservatives”, but, says Scott,
“I don’t know anyone who would
have paprika extract in their home
kitchen.” Paprika extract is a highly
concentrated oil-soluble extract
made from capsicum pods. Nor
would they have milk protein, which
is extracted in a factory, or skimmed
milk powder. The dinosaurs also
contain two forms of salt – sodium
chloride and potassium chloride,
making up 16% of a child’s daily
allowance in 100g (just over
two dinosaurs).
Bernard Matthews did not
respond to requests for comment.
Young’s Seafood Sticks
Ingredients Water, surimi (35%) [processed
Alaska pollock protein (fish), sugar], potato
starch, sugar, wheat starch, salt, rapeseed
oil, soya protein, flavourings [contains
crustaceans, flavour enhancers: disodium
inosinate, ribonucleotides], egg albumen
powder, colours: carmine, capsanthin; yeast.
A gold star for anyone who knows
how surimi is made. It does contain
Alaska pollock – but not whole slices
or chunks of fish, just the protein;
it is fish that has been mechanically
beaten and pulverised to a paste.
As it is tasteless and shapeless,
sugar is added, followed by a host
of additives – two forms of starch
and some shellfish bits and flavour
enhancers – so it can be formed into
a solid, fishy-tasting stick.
Young’s said it would not be able
to comment.
Fray Bentos steak and
kidney pie
Ingredients Water, puff pastry (27%)
(wheatflour (with calcium carbonate,
iron, niacin, thiamin), margarine (palm oil,
rapeseed oil, water, salt, emulsifier (monoand diglycerides of fatty acids)), water, salt),
beef (12%), pork kidney (9%), stabiliser
(xanthan gum), modified maize starch,
wheatflour (with calcium carbonate, iron,
niacin, thiamin), salt, spices, yeast extract,
flavouring, tomato paste, barley malt
extract, beef extract, chicory extract, sugar,
colour (plain caramel), tomato powder,
garlic powder.
This is one of the bestsellers in
Euromonitor’s shelf-stable category.
Water is the first item on the
ingredients list, followed by the puff
pastry. The meat is only a fifth of this
tinned pie. “The thing that struck me
about this product was the amount
of processed ingredients that you
wouldn’t find at home – emulsifiers,
stabilisers, malt barley extract. It’s
a pie but it also has sugar in it,” says
Scott. One pie is supposed to be for
two people, but “I don’t know who
eats half a pie.” A whole one would
deliver 60% of the daily salt intake
and nearly 20% of fat.
There is no veg. “Fresh foods rich
in bioactive compounds (flavonoids,
for instance), including onions,
garlic and other foods used in freshly
prepared dishes, are absent from
these products,” says Monteiro.
“Being ready-to-eat products, it
is unlikely they will be consumed
with fresh foods that usually need
preparation. On the contrary,
one ultra-processed food tends
to be consumed with other ultraprocessed foods.”
Xanthan gum is not from an
exotic tree. It is fermented sugar.
The name comes from the type of
bacteria used. It is a stabiliser to bind
together ingredients such as fat and
water that would otherwise repel
each other.
Fray Bentos did not respond to
requests for comment.
PHOTOGRAPHS: ALICIA CANTER FOR THE GUARDIAN
Xanthan gum,
anyone?
What’s in our
favourite foods
Sco says she did a double
Scott
tak
take at this list of ingredients.
“U
“Unfortunately, there is no chicken
or mushroom in the chicken
an
and mushroom sauce. There is
ch
chicken fat and there is mushroom
juice concentrate,” she says. The
mushroom juice concentrate will
have had the fibre and vegetable
micronutrients pounded out of it
in the industrial process.
Premier Foods, which makes
Batchelors and also Mr Kipling
cakes, says: “Processing plays a
very important role in food safety
and preservation. We recognise the
importance of healthy lifestyles and
balanced choices, and continually
work on developing increasingly
healthy and convenient options
for consumers, as well as having an
increased focus on positive nutrients
such as fibre and protein.”
Drying foods was one of the oldest
preservation methods, they say.
“Batchelors Pasta ’n’ Sauce is low
in fat, has no added MSG and no
artificial colours or preservatives.”
•
Warburtons
Wa
arburtons white bread
Ingredients Wheat flour
Ingredients
flour [with calcium
calcium, iron
iron,
niacin (B3) and thiamin (B1)], water, yeast,
salt, vegetable oil (rapeseed, sustainable
palm), soya flour, preservative: calcium
propionate; emulsifiers: E481, E472e; flour
treatment agent: ascorbic acid (vitamin C).
“The industrial loaf with all its
additives isn’t actually bread,”
says Chris Young of the Real Bread
Campaign. It is calling for an Honest
Crust Act to legally define terms
such as “sourdough”, “artisan” and
“fresh”, and to make manufacturers
list all their ingredients – some are
left out on the basis that they are just
part of the processing.
The launch of the Chorleywood
process in 1961 changed the UK’s
bread drastically. This was the
discovery of how to go from a pile
of flour to sliced, plastic-wrapped
bread in three hours, using lowerprotein wheat, vitamin C, fat, yeast
and high-speed mixers. Bread
gained additives, relaxants and
tighteners. Young says: “It was a
milestone – or tombstone – in the
history of bread.”
A Warburtons spokesperson says
bread is one of the UK’s main sources
of dietary fibre. “It is misleading
to consider mass-produced bread
an ‘ultra-processed food’. We bake
it fresh, every day, using the same
methods you would at home.
However, in order to meet demand
and ensure that we are able to
produce affordable products for our
consumers, we do this on a much
larger scale.”
Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut Corn
Flakes cereal
Ingredients Maize, sugar, peanuts (7.5%),
barley malt flavouring, molasses, honey
(1%), salt, vitamin & minerals: niacin, iron,
vitamin B6, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin
B1 (thiamin), folic acid, vitamin B12.
Sugar is the second ingredient
here – 11g per 30g serving. From a
nutritional perspective, maize and
sugar are going to be very quickly
digested. There is not a lot of fibre
to slow the process down, so you
are likely to feel hungry sooner.
“In addition to it being very sweet
and reinforcing that sweet palate,
nutritionally this isn’t going to stay
with you for very long,” says Scott.
Kellogg’s says it provides a variety
of convenient, nutritious and highquality foods, all of which can play
a role in a healthy, balanced diet.
“Multiple studies have shown
that people who start the day with
a cereal breakfast tend to weigh
less and have improved nutrient
intakes,” says a spokesperson,
pointing to the added vitamins.
Cadbury Dairy Milk
chocolate
M
McVitie’s
milk chocolate
di
digestives
Ingredients MILK**, sugar, cocoa butter,
cocoa mass, vegetable fats (palm, shea),
emulsifiers (E442, E476), flavourings.
**The equivalent of 426ml of fresh liquid
milk in every 227g of milk chocolate. Milk
solids 20% minimum, actual 23%. Cocoa
solids 20% minimum.
Ingredients Fortified wheat flour (39%)
(with calcium, iron, niacin, thiamin), milk
chocolate (30%) [sugar, cocoa butter,
cocoa mass, dried skimmed milk, dried
whey (milk), butter oil (milk), vegetable
fat (sal and/or shea, palm), emulsifiers
(soya lecithin, E476), natural flavouring],
vegetable oil (palm), wholemeal wheat
flour (9%), sugar, glucose-fructose syrup,
raising agents (sodium bicarbonate, malic
acid, ammonium bicarbonate), salt.
There is lots of sugar in this,
predictably – and not just sugar
(twice) but glucose-fructose syrup.
Dried skimmed milk will also be
sweet. The digestives also contain
palm oil, much used in ultraprocessed foods. “Health-wise,
palm oil is not fantastic because it
is a highly saturated fat. It is being
used instead of trans fats, which
used to be commonly found in this
type of product,” says Scott. “From
a nutritional perspective, we’ve
swapped one particularly unhealthy
fat for one that isn’t particularly
good for you either.” There are also
concerns about the environmental
impact of farming and harvesting
palm oil.
McVitie’s says it provides
transparent information so people
can make healthy snacking choices.
“Biscuits are simply baked by
combining a few ingredients. They
are a source of fibre and adhere to
strict nutrition guardrails,” it says.
Cadbury has MILK in capitals on the
Dairy Milk ingredients list, stressing
that it has plenty of real milk as well
as real cocoa solids in its chocolate.
It also has emulsifiers and
flavourings – as well as cheap palm
oil – that you wouldn’t have in
the kitchen cupboard. These are
engineered to give the right silky
mouthfeel for a chocolate bar.
Cadbury did not respond to
requests for comment.
Müller Corner Crunch
toffee hoops yoghurt
Ingredients Yoghurt (milk), sugar, water,
cocoa butter, milk powder, flour (rice,
wheat, maize), cocoa mass, modified
starch, whey powder (milk), lactose
(milk), flavourings, wheat starch (gluten),
caramel, stabilisers: carob bean gum, guar
gum, pectins, acacia gum; emulsifier: soya
lecithin; salt, barley malt, vegetable fats
(palm, rapeseed).
Müller says it has removed 13.5% of
sugar across its yoghurt range since
2015, but this pot still contains 18.4g
per 100g. There is sugar, lactose and
caramel in the mix. Making yoghurt
at home involves milk and bacterial
cultures, says Scott. This one has
much more, including four types
of stabiliser to stop the ingredients
separating. Pectins, among them,
are found in fruit and used in jammaking. But here they have been
isolated and used together with
other additives, which is typical
of the process involved in ultraprocessed foods.
A spokesman from Müller says:
“We are fully aligned with the view
that a balanced diet and lifestyle is
important, but we also believe that it
should be permissible for people to
enjoy moments of pleasure, which is
w
wha
whatt this product offers.”
‘‘These
These p
products
promote
m
a
relationship
i
d that is
to food
characterised
t
by
compulsion,
s
stress
a
and anxiety’
Mr Kipling Cherry
Bakewells
Ingredients Flour (with added calcium, iron,
niacin, thiamin), sugar, vegetable oils (palm,
rapeseed), plum and raspberry jam (glucosefructose syrup, plum puree, sugar, raspberry
puree, gelling agent (pectin), acid (citric
acid), acidity regulator (sodium citrates),
colour (anthocyanins), preservative
(potassium sorbate), flavouring), glucose
syrup, glace cherries (cherries, sugar,
acidity regulator (citric acid), preservatives
(potassium sorbate, sulphur dioxide), colour
(cochineal), sweetened condensed skimmed
milk (skimmed milk, sugar), ground rice,
desiccated coconut (contains preservative
(sodium metabisulphite (sulphites), whey
powder (milk), dried egg white, ground
almonds, salt, dextrose, emulsifiers
(sorbitan monostearate, polysorbate 60),
raising agents (disodium diphosphate,
sodium bica
bicarbonate), milk proteins,
humectant (vegetable glycerine), flavouring, preservative (potas
(potassium sorbate).
This list of ingre
ingredients was
“shocking
h ki ”
”, say
says Scott, with five
different types of sugar. “Not
surprisingly, o
one cake – one little
bakewell tart – is 72% of your
daily intake,
intake,” she says. Flour,
sugar, vegetable
veget
oil and jam are all
ingredients anybody might have in
their kitch
kitchen, but then come palm
oil, preser
preservatives, acidity regulators,
emulsifie
ers and humectants. “That’s
when my nutrition alarm bells start
going off – not necessarily because
there is anything wrong with each
individ
individual ingredient, but because
this is telling me that this is a very
ultraultra-processed product that is not
goin
going to have anything of value in
it nutritionally.
nu
“
“There’s a bit of flour and it’s
for
fortified – OK. A tiny, tiny bit of fruit
in the form of raspberry and plum
p
puree. This is a far cry from eating a
rraspberry or a plum.”
Premier Foods says: “Mr Kipling
Cherry Bakewells contain no
hydrogenated fats, and no artificial
colours or flavours.”
Scott says the Food Foundation’s
report last year, Forced Fed, shone a
light on the reasons people eat ultraprocessed foods. Cheap calories for
cash-strapped families, yes – but
promotion is a big factor, too. About
60% of food advertising expenditure
is on confectionery and prepared
convenience foods. Public Health
England published evidence that
promotions, often on junk food,
cause us to buy 20% more than we
otherwise would.
“In this environment, it’s really
not surprising that we’ve ended
up in the situation where half of
our calories are coming from ultraprocessed foods,” Scott says. Like
other food campaigners, she wants
TV advertising bans before 9pm and
a clampdown on promotions – and
some way of making healthy food as
cheap as the factory-made.
The Guardian
Thursday 12 April 2018
9
•
Arts
As campaigning on both sides of Ireland’s abortion
debate intensifies ahead of the May referendum,
artists in Limerick are taking to the streets.
Emine Saner meets them
The hateful
Eighth
O
n the road to
Limerick from
the airport, you
can see two huge
billboards funded
by a Christian lobby
group. One shows a foetus at 11
weeks’ gestation with the words
“one of us”. Another shows a man
saying he would never forget what
he saw while working in an operating
theatre where abortions were taking
place (though the poster implies he
was a nurse, the hospital revealed
he was a porter). It is six weeks
until the referendum in Ireland on
whether the eighth amendment to
the constitution – which essentially
gave a foetus the same rights as
the woman carrying it – should be
repealed, and the campaigning on
both sides is intensifying.
One of the groups involved is the
Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the
Eighth Amendment. On Friday, they
will stage a procession through the
streets as part of the opening of
Limerick’s biennial art festival, EVA
International. Pointedly, it will start
at the city’s art college, housed in a
former Magdalene laundry – the
workhouse where “promiscuous” or
“fallen” women were sent.
The campaign began in 2015,
following Ireland’s referendum that
legalised same-sex marriage. “The
eighth amendment has always been
unfinished business for every
feminist,” says one of the founders,
painter and sculptor Cecily Brennan.
As an art student, she campaigned
during the 1983 referendum that
brought the amendment in. She has
come with one of her co-founders,
painter and sculptor Alice Maher,
and we are sitting in an empty room
above the EVA offices, in a beautiful
Georgian building.
They now have more than 3,500
signatories from every arts
discipline in Ireland, including highprofile supporters such as writers
Anne Enright and Edna O’Brien and
actor Saoirse Ronan. “Immediately it
10
The Guardian
Thursday 12 April 2018
opened, artists were signing up in
thousands,” says Maher. “It gave us
great courage. Then we moved into
actions, because we thought, we’ve
got all these signatories, what are we
going to do with them?”
In 2016, the Irish government set
up the Citizens’ Assembly, a body of
randomly chosen members of the
public, to discuss issues such as
abortion and climate change; out of
it came women’s stories about how
the eighth amendment had
impacted them. “That had a huge
effect on people, and we saw that
was how to reach people – with true
stories,” says Maher.
The same year, the Artists’
Campaign created A Day of
Testimonies, in which women’s
stories were read at a theatre. “The
arts at its best allows discussion,
allows people to experience
something, look at it, listen to it,
consider it for their own selves,” says
Brennan. “It opens discussions that
haven’t been open for a long time.
That was our experience about the
debate about abortion – it had not
been public. Art helped to bring it
out in a different way.”
EVA International will include
recordings of 12 testimonies, as well
as a film programme Brennan is
putting together. (The 12-week arts
programme also takes in big themes
such as technology and national
identity.) Their banners will be
shown in an exhibition after the
procession, and the campaign
archive – letters, press cuttings – will
also be on display. People can come
along and shred pages with symbolic
number eights. “It’s a live campaign,
right there,” says Maher.
‘Ireland says,
“You can have an
abortion, but not at
home.” We wanted
to ask: what are the
consequences?’
‘You can reach
people with true
stories’ …
detail from
a protest banner
The banners were painted and
embroidered by Maher and some of
the other artists involved in the
campaign, including Rachel Fallon,
Áine Phillips and Breda Mayock. One
is based on the painting David and
Goliath by Orazio Gentileschi, kept in
the National Gallery of Ireland, and
shows a young woman slaying a
dragon; another alludes to Piero della
Francesca’s Renaissance image of the
Madonna – the artists’ version has her
dress covered with an eye motif.
“We’re very aware of the power of
imagery,” says Maher. “When you
reclaim imagery, you take the power
back. We’re also aware of them being
beautiful objects, and our intent was
that they would be gathered in a
national collection and nobody
could say that we didn’t fight for
our rights.”
I meet Fallon later. She is wearing
an apron she has made, in linen and
pink silk satin, with the motto: “To
ensure hope is our role”. Six aprons
will be part of the procession,
decorated with military mottos that
can be read when the apron is
unfolded and pulled up to the chest.
It was important, she says, that
the banners be positive. “I think
visuals are really important to
people and it does change how you
see something. If it’s not aggressive,
it leaves an opening to talk rather
than presenting something as a
dogmatic fact. As a counterbalance
to these at times horrific photos the
anti-choice side like to show, [we]
try to create a visual culture that is
more hopeful.”
Work by other Irish artists
displayed at EVA can also speak to
the debate about reproductive
rights. Take the images of Madonna
and child by the Irish modernist
painter Mainie Jellett, who worked
in the 1920s and 30s. “Her work is
fascinating,” says EVA’s curator Inti
Guerrero, “not only because of
modernism, but because you can see
all the tensions and struggles that
are linked to how to negotiate being
modern and advanced and at the
same time being highly Catholic
and religious.”
Activist, theatre director and
writer Grace Dyas will be showing
her 2017 performance work Not at
Home. Made with Emma Fraser, it
includes video footage of a journey
from Ireland to a UK abortion clinic
in Liverpool, and a performance of
PHOTOGRAPHS: PATRICK BOLGER FOR THE GUARDIAN;
ALISON LAREDO/DEIRDRE POWER/COURTESY THE ARTISTS
The body politic …
Artists’ Campaign
protesters
•
My best shot
‘Nobody could
have imagined
#MeToo’ …
Sanja Iveković’s
pregnant monument
stories women submitted to the
artists. “It’s about seeing that
journey,” says Dyas. “We have all had
friends or family members who have
travelled or considered travelling. So
many women in Ireland have had
this experience, and we felt their
voices weren’t being heard.”
Dyas says: “What [the country is]
basically saying is, ‘Yes, you can
have an abortion, but not at home.’
We wanted to ask women: what are
the consequences? Some of the
things that came back were really
shocking.” One woman told them
she had forgotten she wasn’t meant
to eat or drink anything before the
procedure, and had a cup of tea at
the airport; she couldn’t come back
for a termination another day and so
went through it without anaesthetic.
Another woman bled all over the
bathmat at a B&B in Manchester.
Yang Fudong
‘We found a boat-lifting machine and asked the actors –
playing intellectuals – to jump aboard, then set the mechanism
in motion as we started to shoot’
EVA International, Limerick, runs
ffrom
rom Saturday until 8 July. The street
p
rocession by Artists’ Campaign to
procession
R
epeal the Eighth Amendment will
Repeal
take place tomorrow
‘The Catholic
church has lost
its power’ … the
collective with
banners, above;
Alice Maher,
Cecily Brennan
and Rachel Fallon
PHOTOGRAPH: YANG FUDONG/MARIAN GOODMAN GALLERY
‘Our intent was that
the art could be in a
national collection
and nobody could
say we didn’t fight
for our rights’
“The reality of people’s experiences
transcends polemical debating
language,” says Dyas. “Art can show
the humanity and help people find
the nuance in their own opinions.”
The mood among the artists I
speak to is hopeful, but wary. “It’s a
world movement,” says Fallon. “In
the same way all eyes, especially in
the rightwing Christian groups in
America, are looking at how things
will pan out here, I think we’ve also
taken in a lot from women’s groups
around the world. Nobody could
have imagined #MeToo.”
Brennan and Maher have been
fighting for change for 35 years. It
does feel different now, they say. “The
Catholic church has lost its power,”
says Maher. “They really pulled a big
one in 1983 from the altar. What has
happened since then is a big change.”
Nonetheless, Maher doesn’t
underestimate the power of the
other side, “or the power of leftover
Catholicism in the deepest recesses
of the psyche”. Brennan adds:
“Or the fear of women’s bodies”.
Across the bridge, at a former
condensed-milk factory, a
monument by the Croatian artist
Sanja Iveković is being constructed.
Rendered in gilt, nine metres in the
air, it dazzles against a constantly
changing Limerick sky. It was first
shown in Luxembourg in 2001, a
replica of the city’s war memorial,
but in Iveković’s version the figure is
pregnant. The original inscriptions
to the heroes of the first world war
were changed to words including
“whore, bitch, Madonna, virgin”.
Changing the inscription “related to
the violence that occurs within
institutionalised misogyny,” says
Guerrero. “It created this radical
public statue.”
Several years on, in a different
country, and within the context
of the referendum, it now relates
to “how pregnancy is heavily
politicised ... the body of a pregnant
woman belongs always to the larger
society and not to the freedom of the
individual. The work asks why is it
that historically we disallow women
to own their body and let the
collective decide?”
This shot was taken in 2006 in Shandong
province, near the port city of Weihai –
I was there to film the fourth instalment
of a five-hour video work, Seven
Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest.
The film is based on the third-century
fable of the seven sages: seven young
people who sought to escape corrupt court
politics and together left the city in search
of their future. The theme of the instalment
was “a small island on the sea of belief”.
As the seven city dwellers try out life as
fishermen, the narrative explores the
tension between their dual identities.
I’d never been to Weihai, but intuitively
opted to shoot there. We spent about a
month on location, doing a couple of threeto four-day shoots on the beach.
This particular day was strenuous,
a bit like working on a construction site:
shooting a film isn’t that different from
manual labour. We started at six in the
morning. The actors worked exactly as
the local fishermen do, labouring in the
heat to load and unload fish from boats
and transport their luggage.
We didn’t have a clear script – that
isn’t how I work. I usually start with a
vague idea and improvise with whatever
I find on site. We happened upon a boatlifting machine; some locals explained they
used it to hoist vessels to the shore so they
could unload the fish. I liked how the thick,
steel cable coiled into the sea. I imagined
my protagonists voyaging aimlessly in a
boat suspended in the air.
There were a lot of people on set: a crew of
about 30, plus seven actors, including Huang
Lu, who stars in Li Yang’s film Blind Mountain.
We shot this sequence at dusk. We
figured out how fast and high the cable
could go. We asked the actors to jump
on the boat, then set the mechanism in
motion and filmed and shot stills as the
boat moved backwards towards the sea.
Shooting the film in black and
white was a way to conjure a sense
of distance and alienation, of
timelessness. I also like the purity,
the simplicity that black and white
imparts. I find it dreamlike. While the
first two parts of the film had a musical
soundtrack, the
other parts had only
The CV
natural sound.
Born: Beijing, 1971.
From a Chinese
Trained: Studied
perspective, this
oil painting at the
image is melancholy
China Academy of
and beautiful.
Art, Hangzhou.
It is hopeful. It
Influences: Dynasty
represents yearning
painters Xu Tao,
and uncertainty.
Ni Zan and Xu Wei;
The seven characters
Botticelli, Francis
aren’t intended to
Bacon, Fellini,
depict any particular
Antonioni.
group – rather, they
Low and high
represent young
points: “Sometimes
people as a whole,
after you finish
Chinese or foreign
a piece there is a
alike. All young
sense of loss. It is
people have hopes
important to think
and dreams as well
independently,
as doubts.
and be persistent in
We live in a fastcreating art.”
changing world.
Top tip: “Have faith
People are able to
in beautiful things.”
travel to different
places. This work
poses the question
of whether we have a spiritual dimension to
our lives. Imagining the future, enjoying
the experience of visiting a museum –
these are spiritual things. For me it’s not
the identity of these seven young people
that matters, it’s their spirit.
Interview by Jamie Fullerton and Paula Jin.
Yang Fudong’s solo show, Dawn Breaking,
is at Long Museum WestBund, Shanghai,
until 3 June.
The Guardian
Thursday 12 April 2018
11
•
Live reviews
Engaging …
Pepter Lunkuse
and Chris Ashby
Theatre
Holes
★★★★☆
Nottingham Playhouse
Until 22 April
Box office: 0115-941 9419
PHOTOGRAPHS: MANUEL HARLAN; MARK ALLAN; ANDREW BENGE/REDFERNS
Pop
Shame
★★★★☆
Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Touring until 30 November
A
dam Penford’s tenure
as artistic director
at Nottingham
Playhouse got off
to an impressive
start with a
fine production of Beth Steel’s
Nottingham mining story,
Wonderland. His staging of Louis
Sachar’s compelling 1998 children’s
novel, set in a boys’ detention
centre called Camp Green Lake in
the Texan desert, is just as much a
statement of intent.
It begins with a display of
puppetry that nods towards
family hits such as The Lion King
and War Horse. Except the snakes,
spiders and lizards that slide and
scuttle across the vast desert floor
are venomous rather than cute
and lovable.
It’s a neat joke, in harmony
with the comic tone of Sachar’s
novel, and announces Penford’s
S
determination to programme
quality family theatre. His
instincts are correct. The Playhouse
has long delivered a much admired
and well-loved annual pantomime,
so why not also serve that audience
at other points in the year? John
Elkington, best known as the
Playhouse’s regular panto dame,
pops up here to good effect as
the rather less likable Mr Sir, an
adult who bullies the boys at the
camp and who is also a victim
of bullying.
Holes is a novel that, like
Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials
trilogy and Malorie Blackman’s
Noughts and Crosses, is a rite
of passage for many children,
providing a vital bridge between
primary and secondary school
reading. It is both deliciously
improbable, with its stories of
outlaws, curses and a lost fortune,
and also thematically grownup in
hame come flying out
of the traps. Rhythm
guitarist Eddie Green
twitches in his illfitting suit jacket as
if he’s undergoing an
invisible electrocution. Singer
Charlie Steen shivers his body
like a dog after a downpour. “We
don’t tolerate any abuse, any
oppression or discrimination,”
he says, delivering his first mission
Wet sweat and
statement as their latest audience
dry quips …
becomes a seething melee. “Anyone
Charlie Steen
doing any of that can fuck off now.”
The electric shock of these first few
minutes is a microcosm of a year in
which they have emerged from the
Joke’s Jaz Coleman. The 20-yearBrixton’s Queen’s Head pub scene
old makes a joke of their lack of
to be hailed as “2018’s angriest,
originality – “This is one we ripped
shoutiest young British guitar band”.
But they do not disappoint thereafter. off from hundreds of other bands” –
but obvious influences are spun into
The frenetic, jerky post-punk
new and thrilling combinations. The
energy recalls Fugazi and Leeds’s
soaring One Rizla finds the singer
own Gang of Four; the intense
again defiantly addressing supposed
rhythmic repetition suggests early
limitations – “My voice ain’t the best
Fall; and Steen’s gruffly intense
you’ve heard / And you can choose
vocals are reminiscent of Killing
its handling of racial intolerance,
oppression and accountability.
As well as being a rollicking good
story of injustice righted, its appeal
lies in its 14-year-old antihero,
the unfortunate Stanley, wrongly
accused of stealing a pair of trainers.
Stanley blames his ill luck on a
curse brought down on his family
by his “no-gooddirty-rottenThe puppets
pig-stealingnod towards
great-greatThe Lion
grandfather”.
King – but
Chris Ashby
these snakes, is engagingly
spiders and
doleful in the
lizards are
role. His Stanley,
venomous
initially under the
misapprehension
rather than
that Camp Green
lovable
Lake will be like
one of those
summer camps
that his family
could never afford to send him to,
is caught by surprise at this hardknock world, a regime that demands
he dig a five-foot hole every single
day in the blazing heat.
Like the novel, Penford’s
production gets the balance between
gritty realism and wild fantasy
just right, and like his Watership
Down at the Watermill, the show
has a pleasingly fluid quality
enhanced by Simon Kenny’s spare
design. If the flashbacks, which
tell the story of the 19th-century
outlaw Kissin’ Kate Barlow, are
less compelling, that is in part due
to the occasional awkwardness of
Sachar’s own adaptation.
But the harshness of life in Camp
Green Lake is always vividly drawn,
the horrors cut with comedy, and the
ensemble play multiple roles with
relish. Pepter Lunkuse is particularly
engaging as the outsider orphan,
Zero, whose history is entwined
with Stanley’s. The camp’s warden,
a woman infinitely more poisonous
than any of the snakes and spiders,
is played with gleeful nastiness by
Kacey Ainsworth.
Lyn Gardner
to hate my words / But do I give a
fuck?” The juxtaposition of his not
conventionally palatable voice and
sardonic, dirt-stained frustrations
with lead guitarist Sean CoyleSmith’s hurtling, tuneful riffs should
be jarring, but is utterly hypnotic.
The livewire singer peppers the
gig with dry observations.
“Remember, this is just
entertainment, don’t take it
seriously,” Steen quips. “Ladies
and gentlemen, we’re just semisemi-professionals,” he declares
as songs from their debut album,
Songs of Praise, make a mockery
of such sarcastic self-deprecation.
The Lick rejoices in “our sweet
disorder”; Gold Hole creates
audience mayhem. By now, Steen
is topless, not to display a rippling
six-pack but because he is soaked
in sweat. “Nobody ever made a
difference standing still,” he
instructs the crowd, then dives
among them. Ten songs,
another venue conquered.
Dave Simpson
Exhilarating …
Anthony Parnther
conducts Chineke!
Classical
Chineke!/
Parthner
★★★★☆
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
T
he refurbished
Queen Elizabeth
Hall was reopened
on Monday by the
Chineke! Orchestra,
whose debut concert,
three years ago, was one of the
last events to be held in the QEH
before its temporary closure. The
hall itself now looks striking, with
its gleaming redesigned foyer and
squeaky clean auditorium, from
which layers of accumulated grime
have been stripped away. The stage,
meanwhile, has been widened and
the acoustic, always fine, strikes me
as fractionally warmer than before.
Chineke!, which gives a platform to
black and minority ethnic players,
sounded wonderful in it.
Anthony Parnther conducted,
and the first half flanked the world
premiere of Daniel Kidane’s Dream
Song with exuberant performances
of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Ballade
in A minor – the first piece Chineke!
played in public, on the same
stage, in 2015 – and the overture
The Building of the House by
Benjamin Britten, who conducted
the opening QEH concert in 1967.
Dream Song is an ambitious,
densely scored setting, for baritone
(Roderick Williams), choir (the
Chineke! Chorus) and orchestra,
of fragments from Martin Luther
King’s I Have a Dream speech, which
underpins a declamatory vocal line
with insistent brass riffs and choral
tone clusters, though the textures
brighten as we reach the final
assertion of “Let freedom ring.”
Beethoven’s Fourth symphony
came after the interval, in a
high voltage interpretation
that maintained a fine balance
between detail and elan. The
slow movement, which can
drag if imperfectly handled, was
particularly beautiful, with graceful
strings and superb woodwind. The
finale was edge-of-your-seat stuff,
blending rhythmic precision and
energy with heady elation. Chineke!
go from strength to strength. A most
exhilarating evening.
Tim Ashley
The Guardian
Thursday 12 April 2018
13
•
TV and radio
Watch this
Following
the leader ...
footage from
Wild Wild
Country
Urban Myths: Marilyn
Monroe and Billy Wilder
9pm, Sky Arts
Review
Did it really take Marilyn Monroe 47 attempts
to nail one three-word line of dialogue on
the set of Some Like It Hot? Does it matter?
Accurate fact-finding was never really the
point of this original and fun anthology series,
which takes dubious stories from pop culture
history and imagines how they might have
gone down. In this, the first episode of the
second series, James Purefoy and Gemma
Arterton have a ball playing Billy Wilder
and his mischievous muse.
Netflix
Wild Wild Country
Sam Wollaston
Fear and loathing, paranoia
and megalomania – and a
beaver in a blender
★★★★☆
Ellen E Jones
A
t the start of the first episode of Wild
Wild Country, John Silvertooth is
remembering how it all began, back in
1981. John, now a smiley old dude with
a moustache and dungarees, was the
mayor of Antelope. Sounds like a big
deal, but the population of Antelope, in Wasco County,
Oregon, was about 40, most of whom had probably
been mayor at some point.
Anyway, John was walking to the post office and
he ran into a man – not an American, John could tell
from the shoes – standing in the middle of the street.
“They’re coming,” the man told John. And they did.
Who came? Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (pictured right),
from India. The great guru, spiritual teacher and mystic.
Or the dangerous cult leader, master criminal and
terrorist, depending on which side you were on. Or maybe
simply a hippy with a long, wispy beard, a collection of
dodgy outfits and a penchant for Rolls-Royces.
Along with Rajneesh came several thousand of his
followers, including Ma Anand Sheela, his personal
secretary, lieutenant and mastermind of most of what
went on at Rajneeshpuram, which is what the land
formerly known as the Big Muddy Ranch became.
What did go on? Ha – what didn’t go on, more like.
It wasn’t just about a bunch of blissed-out, brainwashed
hippies waving their arms in the air and shagging
whomever they fancied, whenever and wherever, while
their neighbours – the God-fearing folks of Antelope
– cursed them and waved their stars and stripes from
over the fence. There is more to this story than that.
You want fear and loathing, paranoia and
megalomania? You got it. Plus attempted murder,
biological warfare, an arms race, automatic weaponry,
bombs, Learjets, the FBI, the National Guard, espionage,
drugs, the biggest immigration fraud case in US history,
wire-tapping, a sad subplot involving 6,000 homeless
people, Hollywood glitz, Nike, the US constitution
getting waved about by various people. Look hard and
you might even see parallels with more recent events:
electoral manipulation; a poison terror attack on a
small town (people know whodunnit, but where is the
evidence?). And don’t forgot the beaver in a blender.
14
It doesn’t matter how well you know the
Rajneeshpuram story – you won’t have seen or heard
it told as thoroughly as this. There are extensive
interviews, most notably with Sheela, now out of jail (for
attempted murder and assault) and living in Switzerland,
where she works in a nursing home. If this is anyone’s
story, it is Sheela’s: obsession personified.
The interviews are interwoven with archive footage
and news coverage from the time – anchors with 80s hair
unable to hide their excitement at the story of the sex
cult that threatened the American
way of life. Plus, when there is
nothing else to go with visually, they
opt for illustrations that look a bit
like court drawings. Odd, but better
than lame reconstructions.
It is beautifully constructed and
balanced,
since it alternates between
You won’t
the two camps. Yes, Rajneesh’s
have seen
followers were dangerously obsessed,
or heard the
but they did build a functioning
story told as
city very quickly in the middle of
thoroughly
nowhere. The authorities who went
after them don’t come over as angels,
as this
either: suspicious and self-righteous,
they twisted the rules to get the
Rajneeshees out.
You might think six one-hour-plus
episodes is a lot. Not too much, though. In fact, I still had
further questions. I wanted to know about more about
life at Rajneeshpuram, for the children, for example.
And about the finances: how much did it cost to build the
airport, buy the Learjets and all the Rollers? Also about
some of the other characters, such as Puja, the nurse
and poisoner-in-chief (and possibly beaver-blender).
Hey, it is still an exhaustive and utterly absorbing
piece of work by brothers Maclain and Chapman Way.
Scary for non-Netflix documentary makers, too. As
Silvertooth and the other residents of Antelope did on
seeing the hordes showing up in their funny shoes,
they will look at the ambition, scale and budget of
Wild Wild Country and shake their heads, wondering
what the hell they can do.
The Guardian
Thursday 12 April 2018
Living With the
Brainy Bunch
8pm, BBC Two
And
another
thing
What was
Rajneeshpuram
is now owned
by a Christian
youth group.
A different
kind of cult,
says John
Silvertooth –
no sex, rather
than lots
Jack and Hollie are
students at Chessington
community college in
London. With GCSEs
approaching, they are
struggling to cope.
Fortunately, TV has
a solution: moving them
in with high-achieving,
goody-two-shoed
pupils from their year
and subjecting them
to the same disciplinary
domestic conditions.
David Stubbs
Not Going Out
9pm, BBC One
Lucy finds out that the
lollipop man has, aptly,
been giving the kids
lollipops every day. This
prompts her to send the
family on an enforced
health kick, much to Lee’s
disdain. Lee wrestles
hilariously with guilt
when he is tasked with
asking the elderly and
lonely lollipop man to
stop handing out treats.
Candice Carty-Williams
Civilisations
9pm, BBC Two
Simon Schama returns
to the helm of the BBC’s
much-ballyhooed survey
of the history of art.
This episode explores
the uses of colour – from
such masters as Titian
and Bellini to woodcuts
popular in 19th-century
Japan – and, as shown
by Goya, the dramatic
effect of withdrawing
colour from the view.
Andrew Mueller
The Investigator:
A British Crime Story
9pm, ITV
Mark Williams-Thomas
continues to investigate
unsolved murders,
tonight focusing on the
deaths of Anna Kenny,
Agnes Cooney and Hilda
McAuley and potential
links to suspect Angus
Sinclair. But conclusively
placing the suspect at
crime scenes 41 years
later is no simple task.
Mark Gibbings-Jones
Indian Summer School
9pm, Channel 4
It is end of term for
the Britons exported to
India’s elite Doon school.
TV-friendly moments
persist – Ethan writes a
school newspaper article
about being gay and out;
Jack goes on a Himalayan
trek – but, as the boys
resit their GCSEs, one
question might be tougher
to answer. Has any of what
we have seen surprised us?
John Robinson
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Her Majesty’s Secret
Service (9/10) 3.0 Jude
the Obscure (4/6) 4.0
Listomania (2/6) 4.30
HR (3/6) 5.0 North by
Northamptonshire (4/4)
5.30 The Hitchhiker’s
Guide… (5/6) 6.0 The
Scarifyers: The King of
Winter (3/4) 6.30 Great
Lives (9/9) 7.0 Marriage
Lines (12/13) 7.30 The
Goon Show 8.0 White
Heat (4/5) 8.30 Old
Photographs Fever… 9.0
Missing 9.15 The Man
on the Green Bicycle (R)
10.0 The Hitchhiker’s
Guide… (5/6) 10.30
Sketchorama (4/4) 11.0
Wondermentalist Cabaret
(1/4) 11.30 Bleak
Expectations (4/6) 12.0
The Scarifyers… (3/4)
12.30 Great Lives (9/9)
1.0 White Heat (4/5)
1.30 Old Photographs
Fever… 2.0 The Essex
Serpent (9/10) 2.15
Disability: A New History
(9/10) 2.30 Tristram
Shandy (4/10) 2.45
OHMSS (9/10) 3.0 Jude
the Obscure (4/6) 4.0
Listomania (2/6) 4.30
HR (3/6) 5.0 North
by Northamptonshire
(4/4) 5.30 The Hitchhiker’s Guide… (5/6)
The Guardian
Thursday 12 April 2018
15
•
TODAY’S PET CORNER ANSWER NICOLE KIDMAN
Puzzles
no 14,954
Yesterday’s
solutions
Quick crossword
Wordsearch
Across
1 Government official (10)
7 Relaxing (7)
8 Cotton thread or fabric (5)
10 Unhurried (4)
11 Awning (8)
13 Eat like a bird — packet (anag)
(4,2)
15 Spare tyre (6)
17 Shy (8)
18 Layout drawing (4)
21 Place frequently visited (5)
22 Sink one’s ship deliberately (7)
23 Inexorable (10)
1
Solution no 14,953
R E P O S I
E
L
P
D U R A T I O
S
C N
E D AM S
T
K
G R E E N G
R
I
B A S MA T I
P
A
T
V E R Y
I N
S O N
O R I G I
T O R Y
I
I
H
N G R O G
C H R
T A T U R E
U
O
R O C E R
E
R
R U D D
T
C
E
E D I B L E
R A A
N A L L Y
Down
1 Sumo wrestling tournament (5)
2 Eurasian sandpiper — Australian
fish (4)
3 Complete (3-3)
4 Salad dish based on shredded
cabbage (8)
5 Choose not to vote (7)
6 Grump (10)
9 Impartial (4-6)
12 Belgian surrealist painter, d.1967
(8)
14 Travel daily to work (7)
16 Piece of material used to
strengthen a garment (6)
19 British sports and racing car
manufacturer (5)
20 Silent (4)
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
10
9
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
Stuck? For help call 0906 200 83 83. Calls cost £1.10 per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.
Service supplied by ATS. Call 0330 333 6946 for customer service (charged at standard rate).
To buy puzzle books, visit guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846.
Sudoku no 4,031
Sudoku
no 4,032
Hard. Fill the grid so that each row, column and 3x3
box contains the numbers 1-9. Printable version at
theguardian.com/sudoku
Word wheel
FORESIGHT
Word wheel
Suguru
Wordsearch
Find as many words as
possible using the letters
in the wheel. Each must
use the central letter and
at least two others. Letters
may be used only once. You
may not use plurals, foreign
words or proper nouns.
There is at least one nineletter word to be found.
TARGET: Excellent-51.
Good-46. Average-34.
Fill the grid so that each square
in an outlined block contains a
digit. A block of 2 squares contains
the digits 1 and 2, a block of three
squares contains the digits 1, 2 and
3, and so on. No same digit appears
in neighbouring squares, not even
diagonally.
Can you find 13 words associated
with floors in the grid? Words can run
forwards, backwards, vertically or
diagonally, but always in a straight,
unbroken line.
Suguru
Steve Bell
If…
Pet
corner
Which actor has
a bunny called
Bunny Foo Foo?
a. Winona Ryder
b. Angelina Jolie
c. Charlize Theron
d. Nicole Kidman
Answer
Ans
swer
w top right
16
The Guardian
Thursday 12 April 2018
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