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Heroes and villains

Oxford thieves | Gen Z petrolheads | Master and Commander


Master and Commander, the 2003 naval warfare film starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany, which has become a cult favourite online. People are particularly obsessed with the camaraderie of the two leads, says Gabriella Paiella in GQ – their “violin and cello jam sessions” offer a “beacon of positive masculinity”.


Gen Zs, whose favourite new sport is Formula One, says Phoebe Luckhurst in The Sunday Times. Thanks to Netflix’s “wildly successful” documentary series Drive to Survive, 16 to 35-year-olds were responsible for 77% of F1’s audience growth in 2020. It’s an odd choice for “Generation Greta”, given the sport consists of rich, male, mostly white tax exiles driving fuel-guzzling cars in “socially illiberal oil states”.


Joe and Jill Biden, for ordering the same main course when they went for dinner last month. America’s first couple popped out to The Red Hen, an Italian-American joint 10 minutes from The White House, and ordered two glasses of Barbera, bread and butter, a chicory salad and two portions of rigatoni with sausage – one for him, one for her. They have been accused of lacking imagination for this “matchy-matchy” move, says Leonie Cooper in Vogue, but personally I found it “pretty damn cute”.


Light-fingered Oxford students, who are stealing their colleges’ fancy crockery. Magdalene has warned students that pilfering plates and cups with the college crest will be treated as theft, while Balliol has resorted to using crest-less cups and place mats to try to stem the tide of culinary criminality.