Sorry, Bono, you’re too doubting: why Xstian rock is going to Hell (in a handbasket)

‘Sorry, Bono, you’re too doubting’  Review of ‘Body Piercing Saved My Life’, Andrew Beaujon (Da Capo Press) by Mark Simpson Independent on Sunday, 27 August 2006 Americans are insane. The proof? Well, there’s a host of clinical evidence confirming this self-satisfied Old World view of New World nuttiness, from the invasion of Iraq to American Football (which looks much like the invasion of Iraq, but less conclusive and with more pom-poms). However, the real clincher, the cast-iron proof for us that our colonial cousins are mad […]

Sexual Outlaws: ‘Gay For Pay’ Paratroopers

This month’s Details magazine carries a letter (which Details strangely neglected to show to me) by veteran gay writer John Rechy, author of the cult 60s hustler novels ‘City of Night’ and ‘Numbers’, and the 70s plea for homo tolerance ‘The Sexual Outlaw’ (books I enjoyed as teenager in the 80s). He takes issue with my recent story on the gay porn scandal involving the 82nd Airborne. After agreeing that it was wrong for the young enlisted paratroopers to be punished so severely by the […]

Assume the position: a queer defence of hazing

September’s Out magazine features an essay ‘Assume the position’ by yours truly defending hazing.  An ancient masculine ritual that almost all respectable people now oppose.  Including of course respectable gays. One out-raged reader has already described the essay as being the ‘lowest, most immoral homo-commentary I’ve ever read’.  Oh, you’re just saying that.  I’d love to believe it was true. Here’s the opener: ‘When I joined my local rugby team, I was made to do terrible, awful things. Even now, all these years later, I feel distressed and choked […]

Spornographic underwear: look what we’ve got our Hanes on

Hanes, the men’s underwear brand closest to the wedding tackle of Middle America, has gone all Sporno on us. I know.  What is the world coming to?  Is nothing sacred? In its unseemly lust to chase the metrodollar – and recapture some of those young male shoppers who don’t want to be seen in the locker-room in dad-wear – the once reliably retrosexual Hanes has produced a depraved, spornographic video that verily fans the flames of Sodom. Or at least my jock-strap. Though if you look closely, however – at […]

Wanking On: How Masturbation Became Aspiration

Mark Simpson gets to grips with a man’s favourite bad habit ‘WANKER!’. A bastard blue van has just cut me up, pulling out suddenly from a side-street right in front of me, forcing me to brake. Hard. So I respond in the customary English way: winding down the window, leaning out and calling him, at the top of my voice, an Onanist. Tasting his oil-seasoned exhaust while rolling the window back up I feel a warm sense of satisfaction. After all, calling someone a wanker […]

The North Rises Again: interview with Mark E Smith

Mark Simpson meets The Fall’s legendary front-man who has some deep-fried career advice for the Arctic Monkeys and the Kaiser Chiefs (Arena Hommes Plus, Summer 2006) “’Avin’ been around the world I reckon we’re very lucky,” says Mark E Smith, pop genius and (usually) loveable curmudgeon in a moment of uncharacteristic optimism. “They don’t realise what they’ve got, English people.” And what have we got? “Well,” he stalls, eyeing me and sensing a trap, “you don’t know until it’s gone do you, Mark!” Mark E […]

I (Still) Want Your sex: The Sun & George Michael’s privates

In case you thought I was joking when I wrote about the gentlemen of the British press being unable to leave George Michael’s penis alone, today’s Sun newspaper, twisted sister tabloid to the News of the World scandal sheet that ran the original front page Hampstead Heath expose, provides further, lurid proof of the seriousness of their passionate fascination. In a torrid piece snappily titled ‘Are there no depths George won’t plumb in pursuit of lust?’ by Kelvin Mackenzie, a former editor of the best-selling paper, and legendary […]