Matt Muir

Matt Muir is interested in lots of different things, and as a result rather likes the internet. Web Curios is a weekly(ish) snapshot of what he has found interesting this week. You can find Matt on Twitter, where he's quite good. In his spare time, Matt tries to ignore the web as much as is humanly possible (not very much, it turns out).

Web Curios 22/09/17


Yep, these are the BIG QUESTIONS we’re all grappling with right now - well, all of us except the country’s top lawyers and lobbyists, who’ll be looking at the Uber ruling this morning with the sort of ‘dollars-for-pupils’ avarice that’s normally the sole domain of top-hatted avian plutocrats. Still, you’re not here for HOT TAKES on current affairs; you’re here for the combination of too many links and too many words which makes Web Curios a uniquely unappealing prospect!

So settle down before the blazing fire - ignore what it actually is that's fueling the flames, and make sure to wear the protective mask before breathing in any of the fumes - and prepare once again to listen to my grating tones in your mind’s ear was we embark upon yet another edition of the Jackanory you know you deserve, WEB CURIOS!

Web Curios 15/09/17

HELLO TO THE NEW READERS LURED HERE BY ME SHOUTING ABOUT S*C**L M*D** ON TWITTER! Look, let's get this out of the way upfront; you're unlikely to enjoy this very much - the overwhelming majority of the world's population don't, and there's no real reason why you're likely to be any different. That said, welcome to the overwhelming cornucopia of LINKS AND NEWS AND ENNUI that is Web Curios. It's lovely to have you here. The top bit's news about s*c**l m*d**, the next two are random things that I have found interesting this week, then come a selection of Tumblrs, then the long reads, then videos at the end. It's not a complicated proposition, but I ruin it with too much writing. Like this. I ought to stop now, really. Look, FCUK OFF AND READ THE DAMNED THING, OK?! This, once again, is the info-enema that is Curios - put your hips up, and ignore the discomfort; it'll feel loads nicer on the way out. 

(to the rest of you who know what the score is already, this week's edition is as disappointing as ever so at least consistency's being maintained)

(oh, and by the way, one paragraph in here this week has been automatically generated by the AlgoMuir that lives on Slack and which has been trained on the Curios corpus to mimic my writing style. See if you can spot which - I really fcuking hope you can, or I am FINISHED)

Web Curios 08/09/17

One of the unfortunate side-effects of the filter bubble in which I find myself is that I've notmanaged to stumble across any examples of right-wing climate change deniers desperately attempting to explain away the BIG WEATHER in terms that don't involve, you know, ACCEPTED SCIENCE. Still, it's good to know that there's a positive side-effect to all these poor bastards in the Caribbean having their homes totalled - WE WERE RIGHT ALLALONG!

Anyway, leaving aside the planet's continued attempt to remove the bloated tick that is humanity from its scarred and pock-marked skin, it's been another week of marvelling at our own political classes as they vie to prove themselves the most incompetent and out of touch of all. From sentient dustjacket Rees-Mogg's unmasking as - and you'll have been as surprised as I was, readers, at this unpredictable occurrence - something of a small-c conservative(!), to the continuing inability of the team managing the UK's Brexit talks (I refuse to use the term 'negotiations' as it implies some sort of reasoned, adult dialogue rather than the insistence of one party to stubbornly believe that 2+2=whatever we damn well want it to mean thankyou very much indeed) to achieve anything much at all (and can we just take a moment to establish quite how spectacularly little has been achieved to date? I mean, if this was you at work someone would probably have taken you to one side by now and started making encouraging words about 'deliverables' and 'pulling your fcuking finger out', right?), it's been yet another reassuring demonstration of just how crap EVERYONE is, most of the time. 

So! Don't worry about it! Cast your worries aside, for it is a FRIDAY - some of you might say FriYAY, and to you I say STOP IT - and there are only a few hours to go before you get to go home and stare at the leaden skies and remember that once there was sunshine and laughter. To fill in those empty hours, then, here I assemble for you a platter of the finest sweetbreads, foraged from the still-warm carcass of this week's web. Soaked and breaded and fried to creamy perfection, sink your teeth in and don't worry too much about the fact that you're not 100% exactly what sweetbreads are. This, as ever, is WEB CURIOS!

Web Curios 01/09/17

Mist! Mellow fruitfulness! Decay, rot, dampness and the annual reminder that everything tends towards entropy and entropy means, biologically speaking, death! That's right everyone, it's SEPTEMBER!

I mean, the seasons are all so banjaxed with climate change that this is sort of meaningless, but I though I might wax lyrical at the advent of the ninth month of the year and the fact that, once again, Summer is OVER. On the one hand, no more bank holidays until 2018 and the slow, creeping knowledge that we're going to have to put up with enforced jollity and familial proximity VERY SOON; on the other, you get to give your kids back to their carers and to stop pretending you actually like hanging out with them all the time (come on, there's a reason we as adults don't as a rule choose the under-tens as our conversational companions). 

So, then, a curate's egg of a month. Still, you've got back to back weekly Curios for the first time in an age, so, you know, BE GRATEFUL. Also, welcome this week to any new readers who might have been enticed here by Rob Blackie's very kind tip-off (the other newsletters he promotes are better, but this is by far the longest and, well, fcuk the quality, feel the width eh?) - yes, it really IS always like this. 

To the rest of you who know what to expect by now, let's get underway with this week's informational equivalent of a watercannon to the solar plexus - you'll be left battered and possibly bleeding from the eyes and ears, but you'll be CLEANSED BY THE LINKBLAST. Probably. This, as ever, is WEB CURIOS!

Web Curios 25/08/17

There was meant to be one of these last week. I had dragged myself from my pit at 6am as per normal, drunk unconscionable quantities of appallingly-stewed tea and spaffed out about 6,500 words before a stray swipe of a sausagefinger on trackpad condemned each and every single one of those words - and they were good words, we have the best words here on Imperica, although I concede that occasionally the order in which they're arranged could stand a little more care and attention - promptly vanished forever. 

Reader, I howled. I gnashed and I flailed and I had something of a minor tantrum, it's fair to say. I'm not sure if you've ever had anything like that happen, though I imagine most of you have,  but it was the worst case I've ever experienced of intellectial coitus interruptus. Not to overextend this analogy (trust me, I'm no more comfortable with it than you are), but let's just say I've been in quite some discomfort this week. 

But! It is another Friday, and the web has delivered, and LO YOU ARE ONCE AGAIN BLESSED! So before you go out and spend the final bank holiday of 2017 assiduously pursuing cirrhosis or seratonin-deficiency, or both, fortify yourself with this - a veritable BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH BUFFET of content, except without being surrounded by a bunch of dickheads Instagramming everything in sight whilst they diabetes themselves on crap prosecco. It's Friday, it's a three-day weekend, nukes are out but nazis are's WEB CURIOS! 

Web Curios 11/08/17

There was meant to be a Curios last week, but I had to go to a wedding. Sorry about that. Also, if I'm entirely honest, there was going to be one until I fcuked up the CMS and lost 4000 words of TOP QUALITY PROSE and was too dispirited to contemplate starting again. So it goes. 

Anyway, at this wedding I met someone from Swindon, a friend of mine's girlfriend - someone who said something so world-shakingly troubling to me that I have to share it with you here. We chatted for a bit, doing the whole 'do you remember x' jazz, before someone else asked this (otherwise lovely) young woman whether I had a Swindon accent - reader, she said that I did, that I had a 'proper twang'. I DO NOT HAVE A FCUKING SWINDON ACCENT. Do I? Anyway, at that moment I had a proper 'Donald Sutherland at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers' moment, except looking a lot more like a very haggard Wooster-era Hugh Laurie, if you imagine he was acting out a scene in which Bertie had suddenly realised that he was trapped in a neverending sisyphean joke of someone else's invention, that he would never get laid or get rid of Gussie, and that the aunts would NEVER DIE. It was bleak. 

Anyway, I tell that less-than-fascinating anecdote because everything else this past fortnight, out there in the 'real' world, is so bone-shakingly horrid as to be unspeakable. WE ARE NOT ALL GOING TO DIE (YET)! Repeat it, mantra-like, and hope it stays true. So, in what might be the last edition of Curios before we're all living in Threads, let me wish those of you who aren't so selfish as to be sunning yourselves by a pool in France and killing yourselves with cheese consumption a VERY HAPPY FRIDAY. As per usual after a week off, this is a BUMPER CURIOS, pregnant with promise - or, depending on your perspective, bloated and pullulating with larva just waiting to explode from its swollen, greenish belly. Let's get the gloves on and see which! It's WEB CURIOS - tell your friends (or, more likely, enemies). 

Web Curios 28/07/17

In a largely unanticipated development this week, the discovery by the idiot rump of the world that moral philosophy is A Thing and that it is HARD and COMPLICATED has made me almost wish for the return of politics, not to mention making me agree with Melanie Phillips. UNPRECENDENTED. 

Anyway, that was the week that was - how was it for YOU? I am in the temporary abeyance that precedes me once again doing something really stupid, to whit attempting to do three and a bit jobs in a 5 day week period, doubtless meaning that literally each and every one of my paymasters will feel slightly short-changed and I, as ever, will spend far too much time chumming for content yam across the web rather than doing that which it is that I am nominally paid to do. So it goes. 

Until then, though, I am LUXURIATING IN TIME. Which is why it was such a disappointment to note that the internet was pretty light on content over the past seven days - PULL YOUR FINGERS OUT, CREATORS, I HAVE A FCUKING KILOMETRIC NEWSLETTERBLOGTHING TO POPULATE. Nonetheless, much in the way the food industry has learned to scrape the smallest scraps of flesh and sinew from the mouldering carcasses the premium meat trade leaves behind in order to fashion 'nuggets' from the detritus, so I have skilfully fashioned the material available to me into a simulacrum of a Curios - perhaps slightly lighter on content, fine, but with the same unmistakeable carrion tang of disappointment. Open wide and let me regurgitate the half-digested remnants of a week lived largely online - this, as ever, is WEB CURIOS!

(oh, and for those on you on the web, we're experimenting with the ability to SKIP BETWEEN SECTIONS. Except, er, it's the first time and I think I might have fcuked the formatting, but, still, worth a try, eh?)

Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
The Circus of Tumblrs
Long things which are long
Moving pictures and sounds

Web Curios 21/07/17

SURPRISE CURIOS! Yes, that's right, despite having spent the better part of the past week in a somewhat parlous state and certainly very far away from the web, I have still managed to find enough webspaff to fill the strangely-shaped receptacle that is this blog/newsletter/mess. Aren't I clever - or, more to the point, isn't it nice of all of the rest of the web to keep making interesting stuff which I can lazily dismiss and make fun of in tediously nihilistic prose?

Anyway, Holland is lovely, I saw friends and a godchild and basically ate no vegetables for a week, and now have the slight fear that I have no career and am going to die in solitary, penurous misery as my body decays along with what remains of my mind; but that's pretty par for the course after a few days with Fat Bob, who I know will hate himself for smiling when he reads that. 

ANYWAY, you're not here for tedious self-referential lines about my 'friends' - you're not really sure why you're here at all, frankly, particularly not this week when you were probably looking forward to not having to guiltily delete this from your inbox, unread. Still, I am here, and so's all this internet, and seeing as I went to all the trouble of gathering it up and laying it here at your feet and staring up at you expectantly like some sort of ugly, malnourished puppy you know you ought to pet but which you are equally sure has fleas and ringworm and whose eyes you don't quite trust, then the least you could do is fcuking well READ some of it. 

Yeah, yeah, Web Curios, wevs. 

Web Curios 07/07/17

I overslept this morning, not that you care, and as such this has all been a HUGE RUSH. Apologies, therefore, for any perceptible drop in quality of what follows; rest assured that despite appearances I have poured exactly as much love, care and attention into this as I always do (you may speculate as to exactly how much that actually is).

Anyhow, this is the last Curios for a couple of weeks; next Friday I will be in Amsterdam with Fat Bob preparing to go to some terrifying-sounding techno festival, and the following week I will either be dead or, less excitingly, at a meeting in Chippenham. Take care of yourselves in my absence, kids, and don’t, whatever you do, attempt to roll your own Curios in my absence; you’ll never get the dosage right, and you really don’t want to know what an incorrectly-calibrated shot of webspaff does to a person - it’s UGLY. Until next time, then, assume the position and brace yourselves; IT’S WEB CURIOS!

Web Curios 30/06/17

Curios in successive weeks - truly, you are BLESSED. Thanks one and all for the overwhelming reaction to our return last week (there obviously wasn't one, but my Mum reads this so it's nice to occasionally give her the illusion that she's not the only one); it's so good to be back!

Anyway, it's been another largely dreadful week leavened only by everyone's HILARIOUS jokes about magic money trees. I spent Tuesday morning in a ping pong club, helping executives from a multinational corporation write down inspirational facts about their job on carboard ping pong bats. Frankly my mood never really recovered, and I've largely been tearily catatonic since; you're lucky I managed to rouse myself from my torpor long enough to spaff this out, frankly. 

So, as we limp to the end of yet another seven days of disappointment and prepare to dull the pain with the usual combination of poisons - and those of you who don't, who are healthy and sober, how do you do it? I really mean it; how do you make all the noise and the shouting stop? - get ready for your informational pre-loading, shots of pure content delivered via the eyeballs! Lads! Bantz! WEB CURIOS!

(oh, and apologies to those of you who didn't get the newsletter last week - a few teething difficulties with the new mailer, but hopefully this should all be working fine now).

(although if you're not reading this then it isn't). 

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