Love Thy Neighbour

Mark Simpson on the love that dare not draw the curtains Relationships are difficult things to maintain in this day and age. Especially in the metropolis, where everyone’s too busy with their own life to find the time to share it with someone else. But not for me. I’ve been successfully seeing someone for years. We recently had our tenth anniversary. And you know, I feel so proud of Us and so superior to those sad singlies out there who just can’t get it together. […]

Revenge of the Psychocrumpet

Oscar Wilde has been added to the UK’s National Curriculum. Teenagers in English secondary schools will now study the aesthete author alongside Dickens and Shakespeare. This is long overdue – Wilde is a writer as vital and as brilliant today a century after his death as he was when he was when he was quipping in the salons of London, or lying in the gutter looking at the stars and the thighs of messenger boys. But I wonder whether Fisher’s biography, reviewed below, shouldn’t be […]

Mark Simpson provokes diplomatic incident Down Under

It seems my joshing, bantering, rib-poking review for the Independent on Sunday of a book about Australian sports has not been taken in the manly fashion it was meant Down Under.  Au contraire, it appears to have caused outrage and even threatens to break-up the Commonwealth. Philip Knightley, columnist on the main Australian daily the Sydney Morning Herald, quotes this line from it: ‘Australia, like Australian skin, is much better in long-shot.  Australia is much more Australian from a distance.  Close up, it’s just not really worth 24 hours of recirculated flu […]

Metrosexual breasts

American scientists believe that metrosexuality in pre-pubescent boys causes them to develop breasts.  (Post-pubescent metros can’t rely on product to give them a nice pair of tits and have to visit the gym.)

Captain Kirk’s Bulging Trousers

Mark Simpson on the pointed queerness of the original Shatner/Nimoy Star Trek series – and the PC limpness of all the spin-offs. (Originally appeared on Feb. 26, 2003) The first thing that greets me is Capt. Kirk’s package. Jim’s intergalactic manhood is clearly, alarmingly outlined against the fabric of his tight 1960s-cut black trousers, dressing very much to the left. I assure you I wasn’t looking for it – it just loomed up, like a de-cloaked Romulan Bird of Prey. It shouldn’t be surprising that James […]

The Smell of Chip Fat at Teatime

By Mark Simpson (Independent on Sunday, 28 January, 2007) Stuart Maconie is looking for the North. It’s not really so difficult to find, but we’re only a few pages into his new travelogue ‘Pies and Prejudice: In Search of the North’ and he’s already hopelessly lost. Perhaps he’s spent too long in the south (the blurb describes him as “a northerner in exile, stateless and confused”), or perhaps he’s visited the buffet car once too often. Whatever the reason, he’s more off-course than the MSC Napoli as […]

Unleash the Geek

By Mark Simpson (Independent on Sunday, 21/01/07) When I was a boy in the lan­guor­ous 1970s I looked for­ward to Christmas not just for the prez­zies but the bore­dom that only cold tur­key and just three TV chan­nels could pro­duce. I cal­cu­lated that the more bored every­one was the more chance there was that they might suc­cumb to my out­land­ish, vaguely inde­cent entreaty: ‘Let’s play Escape from Colditz!’ ‘Oh, no! Not Escape From Colditz!!’ every­one would cry, shrink­ing away in hor­ror as I bran­dished the unfeas­ibly […]