Articles

Covidity of Errors

I can barely bring myself to list all the COVID-19 disasters in Britain, land of the free, home of the Brave, and God’s own country. It’s not pretty. But someone must.

Station Eleven: Museum of Civilization

As part of the review for Station Eleven in 2014, I agreed to suggest a relic to put in the Museum of Civilisation. This is a concept introduced in the book. It needs no introduction, it really sort of does what it says on the tin.

Jackson Browne vs. Warren Zevon

While Jackson was brewing his own coffee in a whistling tin kettle and singing softly about rocking on the water, sister, what was Warren doing? He was singing about deceased hitmen without heads, international envoys, war in Africa, and having his dad send him lawyers, guns and money in somewhere like Damascus.

CoronaDoodleDandy

A writer who tries to stay out of politics is a writer who avoids life. Every story is political. Life is political. Avoiding the obvious risks the question: why are you avoiding stating the obvious? In trying to have no agenda, the novice writer can appear to have a worse agenda: a hidden one. Such is the writer’s life.

Book: Orwell’s Nose

George Orwell did not have a nose because he did not exist. Eric Arthur Blair had a nose, and he sometimes used it to smell things. End of review.

Why Digital Downloads Are Evil

You digging that download bro? You dig it man? Girl? Baby? Well you’ve got a shock cummin’ at ya. You paid for it, right? Oh you nicked it? Well, if you had paid for it, you actually wouldn’t own it. I know!

Lockdown Diaries

A very lightly edited omnibus of my lockdown diaries, which first appeared on LinkedIn, to the initial horror of colleagues. Within a few days though, I was getting great feedback and encouragement and continued right through to the end of lockdown in early June 2020.

Jerry Maguire

If you have one client, and I do mean only one, you are an agent. If you have zero clients, you are not an agent. But, and here’s the kicker, an agent with one thousand clients is still only an agent. That is important.

Philip Larkin?

Imagine, if you can, a northern Slough and take a shit on it. That’s Hull. But it’s not my Hull, and it’s not Larkin’s.

Christopher Laverack

In 1984, a young boy was murdered. He was called Christopher Laverack. It shocked Hull and the country beyond. It shocked me, mainly because I was eight, just about the same age as the victim.

Clive James on Writing

Clive James even made Formula One funny. Clive could make anything funny. Clive could make Margarita Pracatan look good. More even that that, he could make her sound good.

The Art Life

Recent events have made it even more clear than it was before. I’m not like they are. They are the corporate machine, and I’m not. Most of them have got where they’re going, and where I’m going is a different planet altogether.

Postcard from LA

Phoebe Price is simply the best business brain, and most genuine person, I have met in the entertainment industry. Our paths crossed exactly ten years ago.

Never Run On Fear

Some companies I worked at in the past used fear like it was petrol for a car. David Lynch says: people who run a business on fear are stupid. We agree.

Did COVID-19 Start Earlier?

The researchers believe that COVID-19 arrived in the UK in early January and might have been here far longer. The most eye-catching claim however is that around 50% of the entire UK population might have already had the disease, with most of them unaware they were even ill.

Pandemic Pandemonium

You don’t need me to tell you to wash your hands. I hope you’ve been washing your hands since you were five, or younger. So why does everyone keep telling me to wash my hands? The reason is that they have not been washing theirs. If someone tells you to wash your hands, they are a filthy animal.

Little England

Many of those I met in Lyon mistook be for a Brexiteer. Oh no. But I’m just like everyone else really. I never loved the EU. How can you love two letters that are so close to FU? You just cannot.

Coronahysteria

What is often worse than the virus, or the fire, or the floods or the other health scare, is the human reaction. Panic is a more dangerous ailment than any of those.

The Death of Celebrity

I don’t remember when Lennon died, but Susanna Hoffs told me it was 8th December 1980. She captured my mood perfectly for last Saturday night.

Bishopsgate 2020

From tramp to trader
and everything in between
Bluetooth earphones, headphones, cans
phones and tablets and fancy man.

The Banker

One of my abiding memories of that time was a period when the British regulator, the FCA, was refusing to release a report of almost 400 pages on the grounds that it identified individuals. This meant, or rather, they claimed it meant, that they had to seek the permission of those individuals before publishing the report. I believed it was a lie at the time, and I still believe it.

Five Questions: Author Dheep Matharu

Dheep is an independent author in all senses of the word. Having worked for some of the world’s most famous companies in London and New York, she has returned home to publish her memoirs at 30. Trust us, there’s been a lot to write about.

The Art of the Letter

A little while ago, I got hooked on reading other people’s diaries and letters. Nothing untoward about it: I am talking strictly about published collections. To this day, there is nothing like receiving a letter in the post, especially if it has arrived from abroad, and the rarer they get, the more special the feeling when one arrives. The next task was simply to choose the letters.

Egg

The whole notion of the headless chicken, the satanic beast which is nearly impossible to kill, being worthy of my gullet is one of life’s conundrums. But its eggs? You’ve got to be joking.

On Going Offline

Regular readers will recall that I have dabbled at going offline before but…

National Theatre: Network

Network, the motion picture, won an Oscar for best screenplay in 1976. Most…

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