China’s Metrosexual Crackdown

China’s ruling Communist Party has reportedly finally had enough of impossible male prettiness, and is cracking down on the promotion of metrosexuality. ‘Sissy’ boybands, ‘vulgar’ social media influencers, reality TV and ‘abnormal esthetics’ have been denounced by China’s mighty broadcast regulator, The National Radio and Television Administration. They have, according to this report, correctly identified some of the main vectors of metrosexuality in their moralising campaign to make China uglier: ‘An emphasis was placed on banning “immoral” stars, in particular, “resolutely putting an end to… Read More »China’s Metrosexual Crackdown

Ronaldo’s Coming Home

Football may not be coming home, after England’s Euros finals defeat earlier this year. But football’s greatest star, and perhaps the world’s most famous face and body, is going to be ‘back where I belong’. In England. According to his recent Insta post (336m followers). The striking Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo is returning, in total triumph, from Juventus to the place where he began his international career, Manchester United FC – with a two year contract: a cool 20M Euros for those hot lallies. Now… Read More »Ronaldo’s Coming Home

Fauxstralian Britain

 Mark Simpson on how we’re all Australian now   (One from the vaults, originally appeared in the Guardian Guide, 2001 – at what now looks like Oz’s cultural high-water mark) If you listen carefully to the soundtrack on Puppetry of the Penis, a video of the show which recently toured Britain to sell-out audiences in which two Australian men, one with long frizzy hair, the other with a handlebar moustache, make their genitalia do impressions of hamburgers and vaginas, you will hear people laughing. Not… Read More »Fauxstralian Britain

Purple Passions

Mark Simpson on lavender marriage – between the closeted star & the public. (Independent on Sunday, August 1995) [One from the vaults for LBGTQIA++ Pride. Probably because it came on the cowboy heels of Male Impersonators (1994), it’s rather more pretentious – and with fewer gags – than later work. I miss when newspapers had room and time for dilly-dallying disquisitions. (Come to think of it, I miss newspapers.) I also talk a lot about ‘stars’. Remember them? Before everyone became slebs. Pretentious nor not, the… Read More »Purple Passions

Streaking: The Naked Truth

Mark Simpson takes a look at the British ritual of stripping off on the hallowed turf (Independent on Sunday, July 1996) Melissa Johnson’s bra-less gallop across Wimbledon’s Centre Court this week in a skimpy pinny and lovely smile proved to be a moving experience in more ways than one. A deluge of press articles followed which waxed lyrical and nostalgic about a lost ‘golden age’ of public nudity.  ‘Streaking has been in decline ever since it peaked in the seventies,’ lamented Barbara Amiel in the… Read More »Streaking: The Naked Truth