Lifestyle Topic Special: the Sunday Papers

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1. Here’s Clarkson in the Times talking about why we in the West won’t give up our car culture lifestyle:

Cars, here, are status symbols, they are penis substitutes, they are cherished members of the family, they are heart-starters, they are art, they are sex, they are glamorous, they are cool, they are something you probably don’t need. But, my God, you want one so badly that it hurts. Giving up your car is like giving up an emotion. It’s like giving up love, or happiness. And that’s why people will sell their children before they’ll sell their wheels.

2. Here’s something from the Observer Woman section on the success of the clothing brand American Apparel. The word “apparel” instead of clothes is an interesting choice in itself.

American Apparel is the fashion sensation of 2008. It’s the largest clothing manufacturer within the United States; it specialises in very basic, very brightly coloured, ethically-produced jersey cotton pieces. Leggings, T-shirts, mini dresses, vintage-look hoodies…

Sounds like Top Shop to me.

3. Talking of cheap crappy clothes, there’s another article in the same section about The Gap, the supposedly anti-fashion brand. Also known in our house as Could the Fabric be any Thinner?

4. Meanwhile, over at Telegraph Towers, where people eat Sunday lunch and not Sunday dinner, there are helpful articles on how to make ends meet by taking in a lodger, on the top gadgets in the stores this Christmas, and on how people are turning to wood as an “alternative” fuel. Why, I was talking to a mediaeval peasant just yesterday, and she was explaining to me how in the middle ages, they turned their backs on fossil fuels in order to save the planet by chopping down almost all of the primeval forest of the British Isles. The Telegraph points out that wood is a biomass fuel and, “when burned, these fuels release only the amount of carbon dioxide that they absorbed when growing. Wood from a sustainable source, where replanting matches harvesting, will not cause a net increase of CO₂ in the atmosphere, so won’t contribute to climate change”.

The thing is, though, as anyone with any scientific knowledge knows, that gas and oil are also biomass fuels – it’s just that the biomass grew or lived a devilishly long time ago. I’ve got a woodburner myself, but what this article is really about is the dream lifestyle of all Telegraph readers: not just the crackling wood fire, but the Rayburn in the kitchen – perfect for cooking Sunday lunch and for heating the water.

But a but of a pain in the summer.

5. Finally, over at the Indie, the most popular story on their Life and Style section, today and every day, is the one about the top ten sex toys. But how drunk do you have to be to use one of those? The Indie Life and Style section today offers some helpful cocktail recipes.

That is all.

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