Today in brief: In this week's Friday High Five, we look at a conservative love letter to the Republican vice-presidential candidate, 'Hey Girl, it's Paul Ryan'. Sarah Silverman delivers a funny but pointed message on dubious voter ID laws in the lead-up to the US election. Zadie Smith shares her ten rules for writers, we visit a 'no rules' street library in Manila, and take a peek at the new 'Wuthering Heights' film trailer.
In the tradition of the Ryan Gosling ‘Hey Girl’ meme, lovestruck conservative ladies have started a tribute Tumblr dedicated to blue-eyed Catholic boy Paul Ryan, aka the Republican vice-presidential candidate. No matter which side of the political divide you fall on, you have to admit it’s pretty funny.
In last night’s event, we asked, Has America Finally Gone Mad? Here’s some evidence that it has – and that we’re actually pretty lucky to have our compulsory voting system, which makes it tough to edge anyone out of the process, with suspicious loopholes like the one Sarah Silverman points out (in typically hilarious style) in the below video. (Language warning applies.)
It seems that laws in some states require voter ID with a photograph and an address (like a driver’s license) before someone can vote. Student IDs, veteran cards and senior cards are often ineligible – though gun licenses are perfectly valid. (Hence, the argument for getting Nana a gun.)
To mark the release of Zadie Smith’s new novel, NW, Brainpickings has republished her ten rules of writing. There are some gems in there, including this one:
Don’t romanticise your ‘vocation’. You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no ‘writer’s lifestyle’. All that matters is what you leave on the page
The Philippines has a population of 92 million people but fewer than 700 public libraries. And despite a 1994 act pledging ‘reading centres around the country’, books are a luxury few can afford. Enter 60-year-old Guanlao, who operates a ‘no rules’ library out of his Manila home. Eager readers can borrow or keep the books from his collection of thousands, which ranges from crime paperbacks to technical manuals and fashion magazines. Guanlao takes books into other neighbourhoods on a specially adapted bike and has helped friends set up similar schemes in ten other neighbourhoods.
The new film adaptation of Wuthering Heights, by UK filmmaker Andrea Arnold, has cast black actor James Howson in the role of ultimate romantic hero Heathcliff, described in the book as ‘a dark-skinned gipsy in aspect’. This is clearly not a departure from the 1847 novel, though the casting is a departure from previous film versions, where Heathcliff has been played by actors like Ralph Fiennes and Laurence Olivier. Arnold says, ‘I think it’s very clear that he wasn’t white. I think his difference was certainly very important in my story and very important in the book.’
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