In Praise Of Geeks

My friend Jennifer posted this, which gave me hope for a dumb world. I wonder if we could find a similar UK crowd, or if they’re all busy voting for ‘X Factor’ singers and worrying about what kind of hair products to buy. Video: College Experiment: Nerd Bowl

Non-Fiction For Christmas

Michael Holroyd’s wonderful ‘A Strange & Eventful History’ looks at the lives of Henry Irving, Ellen Terry and their troubled families – a slice of theatre history that’s as dramatic as its subject. Phil Baker’s knockout ‘The Devil Is A Gentleman’ gives us the biography of Dennis Wheatley, war propagandist and author of Satanic novels […]

Very Bad Santa

If you’re looking to buy a Christmas gift for a child you really don’t like, how about some of these worrisome presents? Remember, it’s the thought that counts.

When Sites Go Rogue

My post yesterday about the desirability of US football shirts as perfect gear to write in seems to have vanished on the site along with all its attached comments – I’m having a few small teething problems with the new layout. I read every comment posted, though, and hopefully it won’t happen again.

The Creative Dilemma

Samuel Beckett was once asked what he had given up for his art. He replied; ‘I have fairly often not gone to parties.’ EM Forster was asked why his output of novels hadn’t been greater and he replied; ‘I would have written more if I hadn’t gone out so much.’ Watching the movie ‘Nine’ made […]

Christmas Movies 3: The Tear Factor

It’s been pointed out to me that you can’t just have action films and something with a Victorian snow scene to watch on Christmas Day; you need a good cry too. The only moment I could think of instantly was this old favourite, as Bobby heads to the station not realising that her political-prisoner father […]

Separated At Birth

If Monty Python ever decide to make the Clinton story, I think we have casting.

New Site Layout

I hope you like the new layout. Designer Simon Moore is still making tweaks, but I hope you’ll find much more information here now. I’ve added drop-down menus along the top of the page, making everything easier to navigate. Meanwhile, take a look at this if you haven’t already seen it. It’s called Architectural Projection […]

When Classics Get Precious

Enough now. I don’t know when it happened, but at some point in my lifetime Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ turned from a nice 66 page story about the spirit of Christmas into a gigantic ‘beloved classic’ industry. Worse still, it turned into a brand. Now, I love it as much as anyone else (give me […]

Will Using It Make You A Better Writer?

The 76 year-old Pulitzer Prize-winner Cormac Mcarthy is flogging off his old Olivetti. This mysterious device apparently used to be known as a ‘typewriter’ and requires no batteries or electricity to operate, yet it has produced five million words, many of them in sequences that can break your heart. What powers this extraordinary device? A […]