‘Love Island’ – ITV’s Primetime Spornotopia

‘Utopian fantasies have long gripped the human imagination. Famous, brainy – but sadly, not very buff – thinkers such as Plato (in the 4th Century BC), Thomas Moore (in the 16th AD) and HG Wells (in the 20th), sketched out what an ideal society might look like. But their philosophical visions were never realised. It wasn’t until the early 21st Century that someone finally had the brilliant idea of ditching ethics for aesthetics, taking a sun-drenched island, covering it in decking, astroturf, pools, lip gloss, and […]

The New Bromanticism

Just over half of British and American men are currently in or have had a ‘bromance’ in the past according to a survey, not by Dr Kinsey, but by Badoo (‘the world’s largest social network for meeting new people’). The Badoo press release – issued on Valentine’s Day last week – claims that the survey of 2000 men ‘reveals the extent to which British men have embraced the “bromance” phenomenon’. We’ll get to that bit later. What’s immediately and gratifyingly clear is that the Badoo […]

Why ‘Warrior’ Isn’t That Kind of Girl

Middlesbrough, Teesside, one of the last steel-making towns in the UK or in fact one of the last places in the UK where they still make anything, is probably the right place to go and see, as I did last week, Warrior, the recently-released, much-hyped MMA Rocky remake set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Warrior is essentially a bromantic MMA Rocky. This time there are two Rockies: Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy, playing actual brothers (rather than ‘bros’) forced to fight one another. Both Rockies are considerably […]

Jerry Lewis & Dean Martin’s 50s Love Makes Today’s Bromance Look Like Bromide

Mark Simpson pays tribute to Lewis & Martin, ‘the hottest male comedy double-act of all time’ (Originally appeared in Out, May 2009) Forget hair whorls, genomes, amniotic fluid, older brothers, domineering mothers or disco. I can reveal with absolute, religio-scientific certainty that the cause of my homosexuality was just two words. Jerry. Lewis. As a kid in the 1970s I watched re-runs of his movies, especially the ones from the early fifties with his on-screen boyfriend Dean Martin, with a level of breathless excitement that […]

It’s Humpday For Masculinity

The trouble with very smart dames who ‘get’ what’s happened to the male of the species is that they threaten to put this particular one out of work. Over at the HuffPo Caroline Hagood has written an annoyingly good piece about Lynn Shelton’s bromance-dissecting movie Humpday, about two straight male buddies who decide to make a gay porno together as a kind of dude dare.  I’ve yet to see Humpday, but sort of feel that I don’t need to as I appeared in it — […]

Lewis & Martin’s 50’s Love Makes Today’s Bromance Look Like Bromide

This month’s Outfeatures a column by yours truly, called ‘In Defense of Jerry Lewis‘, explaining how my childhood love for early Lewis made me the man I am today — and why his anarchic comedy partnership with Dean Martin in the ‘repressed’ 1950s was a kind of queer punk rock before even rock and roll had been invented: ‘Their heads were so close together in those tiny ’50s cathode-ray tubes — gazing into each other’s eyes, rubbing noses, occasionally stealing kisses or licking each other’s […]

Male Bisexuality: Is it Cool?

Rachel Kramer Bussel at The Daily Beast thinks that male bisexuality has become ‘cool’. ‘…whereas bisexual women had their fling with pop culture in the 1990s-when everyone from Drew Barrymore to Madonna messed around with women, not to mention the famous Vanity Fair cover showing Cindy Crawford shaving k.d. lang-“bromances” are now the driving force behind Hollywood comedies and Style section features, as men find more ways to play for both teams, or at least act like they do. Examples are everywhere. In John Hamburg’s […]