A Conflict of Ghosts

  2019 is (to me at least) one of those times when the zeitgeist feels like an actual entity, less the ‘spirit of the age’ and more an actual ‘time ghost’, a baleful Lovecraftian presence whose unseen influence poisons the atmosphere of the era, insidiously…

birds & murderers; raptorama

As I write these words it’s the first day of summer and I’m sitting in my study (sounds pompous, but ‘room full of books and records where I work’ is less economical), with Atom Heart Mother playing, looking out at a beautiful sky of quilted dove-grey clouds…

Enter Title Here: unblocking

Four months without a post is long even for me and this very irregularly updated website. It wasn’t intentional and normally I probably would have at least filled the gap with a couple of playlists or something, but the fact is I’ve been experiencing something…

Believing in Them – old books, old eyes, new readings

  In Richard Linklater’s reputedly anti-nostalgic, but actually still quite nostalgic 1993 film Dazed and Confused, Matthew McConaughey’s Fonz-like character Wooderson articulates his Fonzhood in a way that – as far as I remember – the actual Fonz never does*: “That’s what I love about…

‘Cheryl Heard A Wet Thud’: Tread Softly by Richard Kelly

  There’s a moment in Peter Bagge’s immortal Generation X soap opera comicbook Hate¹ where a character says “That need to reclaim a dusty corner of your youth can be overwhelming at times” and even when I first read that in my late 20s, the truth of…

Aretha Louise Franklin 1942-2018

  This will be short. There are so many great tributes online today, written by people who know a lot about Aretha Franklin, or who actually knew her. I am much sadder at her passing than I expected, even given the inevitability of it after…

It’s time for your six-monthly review…

  What a shock; I haven’t even slightly kept up with weekly (or even monthly) updates on here and now we’re in July already. Everything in the world seems so grim that it’s hard to actually do anything at all so I shall fall back on…

11 June 1936: The International Surrealist Exhibition

Thursday, June 11th, 1936. Ominous context; the previous week, Mussolini had authorised his troops to kill prisoners taken in the war that followed Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia. Shortly thereafter, Haile Selassie, Emperor in exile, would appeal to the League of Nations against the Fascists, but…