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From Metrosexual to Spornosexual – Two Decades of Male Deliciousness

‘Metrodaddy’ Mark Simpson on the evolution of male vanity (Originally appeared in The Daily Telegraph June 10, 2015) In a development which will probably have him running to the mirror yet again to search anxiously for lines, this year the metrosexual leaves his teens and turns twenty. How quickly your children grow up. Although it seems only yesterday, I first wrote about him in 1994 after attending an exhibition organised by GQ magazine called ‘It’s a Man’s World’. I’d seen the future of masculinity and it was moisturised.… Read More »From Metrosexual to Spornosexual – Two Decades of Male Deliciousness

‘Bare Thrills’ Strips Masculinity Down To Its Skidmarks

Maybe I suffer from what Freud described as man’s tendency to devalue what he desires, but I find anything touched by TV survivalist Bear Grylls’ calloused-but-manicured hands difficult to take too seriously. But taken seriously he most certainly has been by the UK media with his currently airing C4 reality show The Island, in which thirteen ‘ordinary men’ are marooned on a tropical island for a month to find out whether today’s softies can cut it as ‘hunter gatherer’ butch Bear Grylls types. Nothing very much happens… Read More »‘Bare Thrills’ Strips Masculinity Down To Its Skidmarks

Meat the Spornosexual

The second generation of metrosexuals are cumming. And this time it’s hardcore by Mark Simpson What is it about male hipsters and their strange, pallid, highly ambivalent fascination with bodies beefier and sexier than their own? Which means, of course, pretty much everyone? You may remember last year that last year the Guardian columnist and TV presenter Charlton Brooker had a very messy bowel-evacuating panic attack over the self-sexualisation of the male body exhibited in reality show Geordie Shore. Now the hipster bible Vice have run… Read More »Meat the Spornosexual

1983: The High Summer of (Synth-)Pop

From the gender-bending antics of Eurythmics and Culture Club, to the propulsive synthpop of Depeche Mode, New Order, and the Human League, was there ever, asks Mark Simpson, a more spectacular time for pop? In 1983, the year that McDonald’s introduced the Chicken McNugget and the second Cold War was at its height, the world very nearly ended when large NATO exercises were mistaken by an understandably jittery USSR for preparations for a new Barbarossa. More ominously, compact discs went on sale in the United… Read More »1983: The High Summer of (Synth-)Pop

A1 Love – The Greatness of The Great North Road

Mark Simpson goes on a road trip connecting four countries: England, Scotland, the UK – & Yorkshire What’s so ‘Great’ about ‘The Great North Road’? Better known in our more impatient era as the A1? Well, if you’re unfortunate enough to find yourself in the south, it takes you to the north – or ‘The NORTH’ as the signage rightly has it. And unlike the more popular M1, it goes all the way NORTH – instead of petering out like a big Jessie near Leeds. And that’s… Read More »A1 Love – The Greatness of The Great North Road