Media

Horrible People, Surreal Potential

There’s something wrong when post-apocalypse drama is more appealing than a sit-com. Here’s what to do when you’re sick. Box-set binge. It was all my dehydrated brain could handle while my body was rejecting the planet, so I watched something called ‘Russian Doll’ on Netflix. My reason for choosing this programme was carefully considered, viz. […]

The Perfect Essay

‘There are some questions in life, the very speaking of which are their undoing’ – David Rakoff First, a definition. An article is a piece of writing that is included with others in a newspaper, magazine or other publication. An essay is a short piece of writing on a particular subject. An article is written […]

Well, That Struck A Chord…

Concerning yesterday’s piece, it was indeed the big hair version of the Robinson Crusoe story, made for French television in the sixties, which survives largely because of its delightful George van Parys soundtrack (there’s a full album available). I collect obscure soundtracks because everything comes around again, and you never know when such music may come […]

The Lost Art Of Papercraft

Think back to a time before your laptop screen, perhaps at a point during your childhood, when you discovered the joy of cutting and folding paper. The most primitive of hobbies is also the most sophisticated of arts. When I was small  you could buy paper cut-out activity books, now not allowed because they involve […]

When I Hated Being A Writer

  You might fill a church hall but you’re not Beyoncé I was once in a European bookshop when the bookseller asked; ‘Are you famous?’ I turned to my friend. ‘Am I famous?’ She considered the question for a moment. ‘Well,’ she told the bookseller, ‘he’s known.’ There was a time when I became known […]

Why I Tried To Hate JK Rowling

I was once on a tube train sitting opposite a young punk who was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan; ‘Mother Theresa Is A C*nt’. I was shocked, but also had to stop myself from laughing. It had been a long time since I had been surprised by someone insulting an untouchable treasure. When […]

Finding A Way Through Fake News

Fake news. Massaged press releases. Omissions of fact. Inaccuracies. Hidden agendas. Prejudice. And in Trump’s case, outright, instantly disprovable lies. How do you negotiate your way through this minefield to get to what’s actually happening? There was an old tabloid trick that still stands today; print the lie, retract it tomorrow – because nobody reads […]

Hallowe’en Horror Is Going To Be A Problem This Year

In these newly extreme times, the one area in which extremism hasn’t triumphed is in the arts. As we approach Hallowe’en I wonder how long it will be before the spectre of horror censorship rises again, and art that shocks is banned. If any serious film dares to address, on any level, the problems of […]

Pleasing The Crowds

In 2015 Public Policy Polling asked voters in the US primary elections whether they favoured the bombing of Agrabah. A third of Republicans said they did, with 13% opposed, the figures reversing for Democrats. Agrabah is a fictional town from Disney’s ‘Aladdin’. It’s now known that people ignore science that doesn’t fit with their currently […]

Madness From Nowhere: ‘Killing Eve’

Autumn is a viewing-and-reading time for many people connected with media and the arts. October has ‘Super Thursday’, the day when over 500 books are published, more than on any other day of the year. The London Film Festival is on, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts is running all of its […]