The Mercury Music Prize is the Grand National of specials betting. The field is large and the outcome unpredictable, and yet whoever wins is forever synonymous with a moment. In 2008, Elbow's everyman anthems soothed us during the credit crunch. Two years later, the pared-back sounds of The XX were the soundtrack to austerity. Last year, after the UK voted for Brexit, the Mercury judges hit back, celebrating multicultural London by awarding the prize to Skepta's album Konnichiwa.
The first question I ask Salman Rushdie is whether or not he agrees with René, the narrator of his new novel, who says that America’s “sanity is at war with its dementedness.” Is that how it feels out on the streets of New York today? “Yes,” says Rushdie without hesitation. “Occasionally, I find myself having got to 5 pm without thinking about Trump but those days feel like gifts. The world changed on November 8 last year and some of America’s deepest demons have bubbled to the surface.
"Anything can happen, the tallest towers/ Be overturned, those in high places daunted/ Those overlooked regarded." These words, from Seamus Heaney's poem "Anything Can Happen", popped into my head on April 18 this year, the day Theresa May called the general election and vowed to "crush the saboteurs" of hard Brexit. I was weighing up the chances of Labour, who were then as many as 20 points behind in the polls, winning the election.
Muck Rack makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag etc. We've compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.
Selecting a term
Start searching tweets, articles from media outlets, articles mentioned in tweets, journalists'
names, titles and bios with some suggested searches:
Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhone, Microsoft)
Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to
Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw, #london2012)
Bio details (e.g. vegan, Olympics, father)
Muck Rack's Advanced Search allows for many boolean operators.
Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or
+. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by
searching Obama AND Romney or Obama + Romney.
Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you'd like either of
multiple terms to appear in results. (This is the default behavior of our search when no operators
are used.) For example, search for democrat OR republican to find results that refer to
Democrats and/or Republicans.
Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For
example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney
World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney
When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can
find results about smartphones excluding Apple's iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone
Exact case matching or punctuation
If you're searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can
find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword you're searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .
Use parentheses to separate multiple
boolean phrases. For example, to find journalists talking about having fun in Disney World or
Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.
An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.
A near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of "whipped cream".