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Cruising the Streets

Mark Simpson gets mixed messages on the High Street   (Another ‘lost’ Attitude column – this one from 1999) It was one of those indecently mild Winter days. The sort that makes everyone feel a little bit naughty. As if you’re bunking off school, or cheating on your partner. Walking down the High Street enjoying the feeling of my sap beginning to rise prematurely—and probably pointlessly—I notice an eminently humpable fellow in his late twenties bouncing towards me on his box-fresh trainers, sports bag slung… Read More »Cruising the Streets

Fight Them On The Beaches

Mark Simpson tests Essex’s coastal defences against gentrification (The Times Magazine, 2001) Whitstable, Broadstairs, Brighton and most of Suffolk have gone already.  Swept away forever under a tsunami of renovation. These once proudly tatty towns have been lost forever to the unsmiling, unfriendly, label-dressed invaders who prey on coastal towns (but curiously always seem to come from inland). Planning their devastation with the aid of Psion Organisers and some back issues of House & Garden, these are the worst kind of invaders of all. These… Read More »Fight Them On The Beaches

Killer Queen: Andrew Cunanan, My Love Rival

by Steven Zeeland I wouldn’t normally do this kind of thing, but Mark Simpson made me. Write a preface, that is – for the following journalistic essay “Killer Queen” on “gay spree killer” and “Versace assassin” Andrew Cunanan, my erstwhile love rival who once offered to kill me. It was first published in The Stranger July 23, 1997, concurrent with the breaking news of Andrew’s death by self-inflicted gunshot to head upon being cornered by police, a week after shooting Versace to death outside his… Read More »Killer Queen: Andrew Cunanan, My Love Rival

Top Gun Turns Thirty – How Did It Get So Gay?

by Mark Simpson (Originally published in the Daily Telegraph May 12, 2016) Thirty years ago today, the stars of Top Gun were taxiing  the red carpet at the premiere in New York. The film, which features Tom Cruise’s ‘Maverick’ and Val Kilmer’s ‘Iceman’ wrestling in the air for Alpha male supremacy, was about to ‘go ballistic’ and smash multiple box office records. In doing so, the Tony Scott piloted blockbuster would make A-listers out of its two preening male stars, and become perhaps the definitive 80s film.… Read More »Top Gun Turns Thirty – How Did It Get So Gay?

Objectify Yourself: Why Straight Young Men Crave Gay Adulation

Mark Simpson on the (self) sexualisation of the male body Male self-objectification is, as they like to say on social media, a “thing.” There’s been a rash lately of so-called “gender flip” memes, in which people pretend to be impressed by male hipsters pretending to subvert sexism by ironically adopting the clichéd poses of sexualized women. Although sometimes funny and instructive, especially when it involves licking sledgehammers, the anti-sexism of many of these gender flip memes depends on a (hetero)sexist assumption that men just aren’t… Read More »Objectify Yourself: Why Straight Young Men Crave Gay Adulation