Rated Reads: A Horror Renaissance and Post-Colonial Astrology Memes

Rated Reads shares our pick of the best articles from around the web. This week: what's driving a horror takeover and the new language of astrology memes.


Blood, gore and a healthy dose of catharsis: why horror can be good for us

As highly-hyped female-led horror Censor hits cinemas this week, Vanessa Thorpe in The Guardian looks at why the genre is all the rage: “Censor is just one film among a carmine flood of modern British horror now hitting screens and streaming services. Out in cinemas on 20 August, it has been described as a gory tribute to the “video nasties of the past”. But the film’s Welsh director, Prano Bailey Bond, is also making a timely comment on the strange therapeutic relationship between horror films and their ever-growing audience.”

Thorpe explores why the pandemic has given rise to onscreen terrors, from reversing the numbing effects of national trauma to exploring real crises but in horror form.


Are astrology memes key to a postcolonial future?

Amidst the chaos of the internet, “reorganization of internet fodder under zodiac categorization saw a return of the meme, courtesy of the human desire to know and be known” argues Isabel Ling.

“In Postcolonial Astrology, Ace points out that historically, the conservative right has had a much longer relationship with astrology than the progressive left. According to Ace, a large part of this is a result of the centering of Ancient Rome and its mythologies as a paradigm for power by Western governments and leaders. Practiced by Roman thinkers, astrology was a way for right-leaning leaders to tap into a practice they believed would usher in a return to a glorified past.”

Now, however, astrology is being reclaimed through the internet to enable marginalised groups to develop their own language.


Louise Lyngh Bjerregaard is weaving a sensual new language for the body

Dropping by Copenhagen Fashion Week, Dino Bonacic chats to Louise Lyngh Bjerregaard and her “language” of clothing, moving to Paris, and more.

“I encourage my atelier to engage in a lot of conversations actually. And not about what could be cool, but more about finding ways of merging elements or how we can translate a certain feeling or disrupt an element of the garment. Should we bring in a sponge? Or a spoon? Part of my approach is that I’m not limited in any materials. They don’t have to be materials suitable for fashion – it could be anything,” says Bjerregaard.


Georgia’s receding glaciers inspire breathtaking ambient album

‘Glacier Music II’ is an experimental offering from Armenia, Georgia, and Berlin musicians reflecting on the climate crisis.

From “a song that blends deep bass with geophonic recordings of shifting ice” to “elements of folk Armenian music”, the 10 track project captures anxiety and emotions about the environmental emergency.

Establishment Records told The Calvert Journal: “Those mountains form a thread across neighbouring but diverse musical traditions, and so from this fragile environment, an international collaboration between multi-talented producers and performers sound a poignant, personal note of urgency.”


Why There Are So Many Articles About Millennials Buying Homes

Ever wondered what’s behind those annoying articles about twenty-year-olds buying a house which inevitably go viral on Twitter? Well, Amelia Tait has been sent to find out. “The format is simple: find a young homeowner and ask them how they managed to afford a house. The answer is (usually) simple: mum and dad. This call-and-response is so common that it’s now heavily memed, from parody articles entitled “You won’t believe how far into this ‘millennial homeowner’ piece it takes for us to mention their inheritance!” to two Simpsons screenshots that now represent the entire trend.”

“60 years ago, the average first-time buyer was 23, and today, anyone under the age of 30 buying a house is worthy of the national news,” Tait writes. She speaks to journalists about the reasons for the trend, and some of the young homeowners who’ve ramped up hate-clicks online.


YAAAAAAAAS Jesus: An Interview With Brontez Purnell

Brontez Purnell has pivoted from music-making (his ‘White Boy Music’ EP hit on acclaim in 2020) to novel-writing, publishing two books this year. 100 Boyfriends, a short story collection, and Since I Laid My Burden Down, about a queer Black man from Alabama, both reach the UK this year.

Purnell sits down with Huda Awan to talk about his father passing away, trauma and avoiding being pigeon-holed.

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