Lonesome metro-cowboys

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, front-runner in the Oscar nomination race and big winner at this week’s Golden Globe ceremony in LA has been dubbed the ‘gay cowboy movie’. Mark Simpson argues it’s more metrosexual than homosexual and explains why it’s unconvincing nature is probably the reason for its success. marksimpson.com exclusive, Jan 18 2006

Give us back our heroes!

Achilles, Alexander, Jason, Odysseus - the fabulous scrapping, rutting warriors of the Ancient World fulfil every boy's own fantasy. But not any more. Independent on Sunday 19 December 2004

Gay, gayer, gayist

Edmund White is a veteran of gay-lib politics, and he can certainly write. But why do these essays make Mark Simpson want to mutter: 'Get you, Mary...'? - Independent on Sunday, 21 November 2004

Oscar Wilde gives a rare interview and reveals he is somewhat baffled by his contemporary fans – and their language.

Whatever happened to?

If only Achilles had got himself an agent and a mansion in Malibu. Mark Simpson laments the disappearance of heroes.
- Independent on Sunday, 19 September 2004

To their manor born

Before the Thames-side inner London boroughs became places of lattes and loft apartments, they were the ancestral domain of the white working class. But as a new book points out, it's not fashionable to acknowledge that.
Mark Simpson, Independent on Sunday July 25 '04

Apollo's acolytes

We worship the body, watch ancient battles at the multiplex, and bow down before the gods of celebrity. Mark Simpson marvels at how much our culture owes to those skirt-wearing olive-munchers, the Greeks.
- Independent on Sunday 30 May 2004

Who's the hunted now?

CBS airs images of a dying Diana the same week her Speedo-sporting son makes a splash in the tabs. Salon.com April 23, 2004

Action mannerisms

Mark Simpson goes on a top secret mission to the bottom of the garden with Action Man - Independent on Sunday 14 March 2004

The Botton line

Mark Simpson is mystified by the aim of a book that obscures its author's own status - and anxiety - Independent on Sunday 07 March 2004

Come In Zebra Three!

Bo and Luke, Ponch and Jon, Starsky and Hutch. Buddy TV ruled in the Seventies. But what was all that male bonding really about, asks Mark Simpson. And can a movie remake ever be half as cool, man? - Independent on Sunday 29 February 2004

MetroDaddy speaks!

In an interview (with himself) Mark Simpson, the man who introduced us to the term "metrosexual" explains why it conquered the culture, bemoans his own "lesbosexual" style, and critiques "Queer Eye," Howard Dean and Schwarzenegger
-Salon.com Jan. 5, 2004

Promiscuity into bureaucracy

The MP Chris Bryant may lose his seat after appearing in his pants on a gay website - but others see Gaydar as the future of dating. So what is it really like? Mark Simpson speaks with the (exhausted) voice of experience.
- Independent on Sunday 07 December 2003

Carry on up the valet

Regardless of the truth of the allegations that no one in Britain has heard, the truly shocking thing argues Mark Simpson would be if a British, royal, public schoolboy and former military man had never enjoyed a spot of sodomy in his youth. - Salon.com Nov. 19, 2003

Queen's evidence

The US metrosexual makeover TV series ‘Queer Eye For the Straight Guy’ is coming to Britain but maybe gays aren't quite so 'fabulous' as straights want them to be. The daddy of the metrosexual Mark Simpson presents the case for the prosecution.
1 Nov 2003

'E's not worth it, dear

In the 19th century the female nude supplanted the male. But the boy is back - and Germaine Greer's welcome to him, says Mark Simpson
Independent on Sunday 19/10/03

You senseless things

For a band who invented glam rock and punk - and remoulded the entire culture in their own image - the Rolling Stones are surprisingly lacking in insight. For Mark Simpson, it's the least cool players in the narrative who have the most to say. Independent on Sunday 21 September 2003

Global Cooling

Mark Simpson on the rise and rise of ‘American air’. The Times Magazine 23/8/03

The colour of whiteness

Kodachrome film was devised to flatter caucasian skin. Mark Simpson explains how 'colorisation' revolutionised our world. 'Independent on Sunday', 14/09/03

Becks, the virus

He's one of the most famous humans who has ever lived -- even though he's not that cute, not that smart and not that great a soccer player. Mark Simpson on the bizarre Beckham epidemic Salon.com 08/06/07

What happens when a giant brain meets Kylie

Genius, pop Svengali, theoretician of cool: Mark Simpson gets to grips with the man who really listens to `La la la, la la la-la la...' Independent on Sunday 03/08/2003

Enemy of the peuple

A new 'stand up history of the French Revolution' is enough to make Mark Simpson take to the streets. As a counter-comedy reactionary.

Comedian in Jack Boots

Is it possible to take Benito Mussolini seriously? Mark Simpson discovers that the clownish dictator always had ardent, frighteningly serious fans – and this biographer is another. Independent on Sunday 29 June 2003

Metrosexual? I think I've heard that one before...
Independent on Sunday, 22/6/03

Why doesn't America love Robbie Williams?

Especially when he love-hates himself so much? EMI's $120 million wannabe-Bowie megaflop symbolizes the desolate state of 21st century British pop culture, a realm of "wankers" and second-rate imitation Americans. Salon.com

His Majesty the Baby

Isn't it about time Eminem grew up? Mark Simpson on the rapper who elevated spoilt tantrums into an art form. Independent on Sunday 27/04/2003

The Few, The Proud

The mythology, the rituals, the dogma, the cult of masculinity and most of all the haircut, set the US Marines apart. Mark Simpson takes a timely look at a memoir of the Gulf War - first time around. Independent on Sunday 23/03/2003

Tears of a Clown

A young man drowns in the pool of television's highest-paid entertainer. The star is branded a killer. But, says Mark Simpson, the case against the `OJ of Essex' doesn't add up. Now, as fresh evidence emerges, Michael Barrymore talks about that tragic night, his demons and why the facts weren't allowed to get in the way of a good story. The Independant on Sunday 2/3/2003

Capt. Kirk's bulging trousers

A touring exhibition of genuine "Star Trek" gimcracks reminds Mark Simpson of the immense virility of the original Shatner/Nimoy series -- and the p.c. limpness of all the spinoffs. Salon.com 26/2/03

Hamlet of the Weights Room

Ingmar Bergman meets Arnie: Mark Simpson grapples with a Swedish intellectual down at the gym. Independent on Sunday 19/1/03

Chivalry & Showbiz

The lively tale of a charming bandit and proto-terrorist prompts Mark Simpson to wonder why we’re still thrilled by ruffians. -Independent on Sunday 5/1/03

Don't you dip your madeleine with me, Mr Mashed Potato

Mark Simpson finds himself getting into character while reading Philippe Besson's 'In the Absence of Men' - Independent on Sunday 24 /11/02

Union Street Blues

While Britannia girds her loins to take on Saddam, Mark Simpson spends an evening patrolling the streets of Plymouth savouring the salty, rough-and-ready – and alas, fast fading – flavour of a traditional English Naval town.

Soapen University

Now TV Soaps like Coronation Street are being used to teach foreigners about Britain and the English language, Mark Simpson wonders what kind of strange country they'll be expecting to find.

St. Augustine or Sigmund: Which One's the Daddy?

If Viagra has turned the penis into a `punctureproof balloon', does that mean it's not funny any more, wonders Mark Simpson - Independent on Sunday 27 Oct, 2002

Houston, We Have a Problem

Whitney had it all. The looks, the heritage and that elemental voice. So where did it all go so wrong? Mark Simpson on the diva who fell to earth. - INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 15 Sept, 2002

The Acceptable Prejudice

Feminism may have triumphed, but Mark Simpson finds the denigration of men has as much to do with money as ideology. - Independent on Sunday 4 Aug, 2002

Heaven Knows if He's Miserable Now

Later this month the former Smiths frontman Morrissey will be performing his first UK dates for years. He was recently named 'most influential artist ever' by the NME but is currently without a record contract. Mark Simpson wonders whether rehabilitation is in the air. - Independent on Sunday 1 Sept, 2002

Meet the Metrosexual

"Outing someone is not a thing to be contemplated lightly, but I feel it is my duty to let the world know that David Beckham, role model to hundreds of millions of impressionable boys around the world, heartthrob for equal numbers of young girls, is not heterosexual after all. No, ladies and gents, the captain of the England football squad is actually a screaming, shrieking, flaming, metrosexual." - SALON.COM July 22, 2002

Fears of a Clown

He's the funny guy famous for his deviant comic roles. So what is it about Jim Carrey, asks Mark Simpson, that makes him the perfect embodiment of American psychosis?

Northern Royales vs Southern Royals

Mark Simpson, descendent of the horned, beastly Vikings, muses about the way England could have been if only his home town had remained the capital. INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY 18 February 2001

The Very First Pop Idol

Why does the love story of Hadrian and Antinous seem so contemporary? Mark Simpson argues that we're all pagans now. INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

Dirty Old Town

It's official. It's grim down south. What those bloody northerners have been saying for years about London being dirty, overpriced and unfriendly is true. GUARDIAN, Saturday April 6, 2002

Does My Brain Look Big in This?

Susan Sontag is a living legend. But if `camp is failed seriousness', as she suggests, just how successful is her own pose? INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY, 20 January, 2002

Last Action Hero

Pre-eminent pectoralist Arnie is baak again in his new movie Collateral Damage, but Mark Simpson wonders whether the movie musclemen should head for the showers.

Revenge of the Psychocrumpet  

Wilde's tragedy was that as a drama queen he was fatally outclassed by a family of batty Scottish aristocrats. Mark Simpson debunks Saint Oscar. Independent on Sunday, 24 March 2002

Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?

"Yes," concludes Mark Simpson after seeing Boy George's new musical.  

Slit Trenches and Eternal Comradeship

Mark Simpson can relate to an author's war fetish, but not to his fascination with Hemingway

Article for nerve.com on Eminem's appearance at the 2001 Emmys

Dumbing Down and Camping Up

Mark Simpson explains why camp is the crucial ingredient in today's hit TV shows

The Last Resort

Mark Simpson goes in search of a part of the South East coastline that still holds out against the London-based 'yuppie commandos'.  THE TIMES MAGAZINE, March 2001

Shriek it From the Rooftops, Possums

Mark Simpson confesses to having an affair with a drag queen called the Dame Edna Experience at South London's Royal Vauxhall Tavern.  INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAYy, October, 2001

Cast Off Your Calvin Kleins and Be Healed

Mark Simpson discovers an American psychiatrist who claims gay men can 'reprogram' themselves to be straight. INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY, 13 May 2001

A Touch of Northern Soul From a Cracking Liver Girl

Mark Simpson sees Mel C at Sheffield City Hall INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY, 17 September 2000

Monty: my part in his downfall

So Monty was a repressed homosexual. This comes as no surprise to this former Territorial Army soldier, who experienced at first hand the love that dare not speak its name, rank and serial number.  INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY, May 2001

Pop goes culture

Mark Simpson hails a haughty voice crying in the wilderness of contemporary culture.
The New Elites: Making A Career In The Masses, George Walden (Allen Lane)

New Romantic Rugby Player

Mark Simpson gets to grips with a right wing historian’s vital statistics.

"You Have to Be Really Funny"

Mark Simpson joins a radio comedy workshop and discovers the secret of how to make people laugh INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY, 13 August 2000

Shallow Grave

Mark Simpson takes a spade to Julie Burchill's new novel Married Alive.
, February 1999

Jew-Envy and other Jungian Complexes

Mark Simpson puts Carl Gustav on the couch. SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY, 1998.

Click to subscribe to marksimpsonlist