Uplifting Visions

Because I’m such a dedicated fan of yoga (in kilts) I’m overlooking the beards and posting this very uplifting BBC Scotland video of Finlay, a yoga teacher from Dundee, and his pupil Justin, practising their inspirational moves in the bracing Caledonian countryside. And while we’re all inspired, I thought I would also post this spornographic video ‘The Homoerotic Side of Wrestling’ below. To be fair to the wrestlers, the homoerotics is mostly in the naughty editing here. And also the design of wrestling singlets: apparently, unlike […]

Superhero Games: The Jacked Joy of Gymnastics

Last year, in the run-up to the Rio Olympics I wrote, only slightly feverishly, about the inspiring way modern men’s gymnastics is responding to our hyper-visual culture and the spornosexual trend of eager male self-objectification by shyly taking its top off, going back to its naked/’gymnos’ Greek roots and showing us its ‘totally jacked’ body. And selling us jeans and cornflakes. The globally-transmitted HD spornographic pleasures of the Olympics last Summer naturally only served to accelerate this shredded strip-tease – US gymnast Danell Leyva famously performing a […]

Notes on Hipsterism

By Mark Simpson While everyone else in the 80s wanted to look like they’d walked off the set of Blade Runner or Top Gun, Peter York looked and sounded like he’d stepped out of Dangerous Liaisons. Whenever the co-author of Style Wars and The Sloane Ranger Handbook popped up on telly, as he often did back then, talking about trends or ads in a dapper Saville Row suit, his hair looked like it should be powdered and bowed, and his upper-lip beauty-spotted. In BBC Four’s recent TV doc […]

Older Drivers: One Foot in the Grave – The Other On The Brake

By Mark Simpson You’re stuck behind a MG Rover that is going a little slower than you would like. It’s driven by someone with white hair, glasses, and perhaps a hat and driving gloves. They are taking their time at junctions and traffic lights while peering over the steering wheel like that ‘Kilroy Was Here’ Second World War graffiti that they are probably old enough to have drawn themselves. Suddenly the idea of bringing in compulsory re-testing of drivers who are over 70 becomes very […]

Joe Orton’s Wallpaper: The Visa Affair by Jake Arnott

Joe Orton has been pricking up my ears lately. On a recent visit to London, thanks to the randomised wonder of ‘dating apps’ – or online cottaging – I found myself, as you do, visiting someone I didn’t know terribly well but wanted to get to know much better. He happened to live very close to Noel Road, Islington. This is the road where, at No.25, the 1960s queer playwright and keen old skool pre-internet cottager Joe Orton famously lived – and died, fifty years ago next year – […]

Man Down – Defining Deflated & Liberated Masculinity

by Mark Simpson ‘What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel! in apprehension how like a god!… And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust?’ – Hamlet There has been a lot of soul-searching about what it means to ‘be a man’ nowadays. Because no one really knows the answer. Defining ‘man’ and ‘masculine’ in a world in which phallic certainties […]