Posts

So Long, Jamie

Do we need to see ourselves in art? The question of relatability comes back in criticism again and again - repeats on me like tuna, to borrow from Celine. The tedious end-point of a culture where people need to relate personally to art, to glimpse a vestige of themselves in songs or films, is a kind of iTunesification of art where everything feeds into your own little personhood. This is my song for when I miss my mum; this is my comfort food movie. You tell your friends that such and such a show has you feeling seen. Criticism can then become commingled with standom, because the extent to which someone feels aligned with an artist or a work of art can blind them to their blemishes.

And yet it seems true, too, that art must find some way to sink a hook in you; that the best of creations can wallop you with a single moment of such awesome truthfulness that you feel singled out. In a beautifully contrived scene in The History Boys that centres on the Thomas Hardy poem 'Drummer Hodge…

Sting reflects on Together At Home

Jokers. Fucking jokers.

Look, it doesn't matter to me that I personally wasn't on the telethon or whatever the fuck they're calling it, I don't give a shit, my main concern is the music, you know? It's all about the performance for me, it's all about the sanctity of the musical bloody sacrament. How can you ask us to heal if the music is bollocks? Sorry, it's true. We can't soothe the masses if their fucking ears are melting off.

Think I haven't got a quick acoustic version of Message In A Bottle just hanging around that I could have played at the drop of a flatcap? I wrote to them and I said, look, these people trapped in their houses because of the plague, some of them without gardens or maybe even without kitchens, I don't know, but these people, what they want is they want some fucking good music, something to take them out of their diseased bodies, you know? And this song I've got, right, S.O.S., that means help - it's about helping…

Being single

Sometimes I'll sleep with someone and as they're sitting on my bed to pull on their shoes before heading off back home to their boyfriend they'll say, "How about you? Seeing anyone?" - and I'll answer, cheerfully, "Me? Oh, no, I'm single" - and this person will say, "Really? Why?"

I don't know anymore. I always have been - always. I had a vague girlfriend when I was 9, and then again when I was 12 for about a week - and that's been it. I think the most dates I've ever been on with somebody is - let me see - six? Seven? Over the course of about three months? It has just never happened.

At school I never went out with anyone because I was far too small (I didn't hit puberty until I was nearly sixteen) and far too closeted. At university - still the closet. Thereafter, perhaps because I was closeted, or had internalised some homophobia, I kept things casual with men. As I came out I started dating, but I was always more ta…

On Jojo Rabbit

I have recently been going through a dispiriting patch with my online dating career, trawling through legions of profiles of probably nice, seemingly banal men on the dating application Hinge. Part of the problem lies in the site's layout. Unlike Tinder, which encourages you to swipe through various profiles, Hinge offers the opportunity to discuss a particular post on a user's profile, as a way of opening up conversation. Users post several photos of themselves, which you can comment on ("Nice photo! I love Italy!"), and they can also fill in replies to various set-up questions, to tell you more about themselves - along the lines of "One thing about me that surprises people is..." or "The worst mistake I ever made..." These familiar set-ups are supposed to encourage interaction and spur amusement, but in reality they annihilate any trace of originality or personality, leading everybody to make the same pat jokes. In response to "the worst mi…

On Snooker

When I was ten my parents bought a dilapidated house for cheap in Normandy, against their own better judgement and the advice of everyone they consulted. The place was a noble ruin, with a huge wild field to the front, an overrun vegetable garden fenced off by rusty chickenwire to the side, a well at the back, a frigid outside toilet, and, in the kitchen, a magnificently vast brick chimney with a fine wooden beam, which the owners had cupboarded off to prevent drafts. There was a basin in the kitchen, a small table and two chairs. My folks moved an old gramophone in, and a Victorian bed, and we played old 78s of Little Richard and Eartha Kitt after dinner and slept on mattresses among the sawdust and tins of paint.

At Christmas my grandparents and uncles came to stay, and we set out deckchairs by the fire in the sitting room, whose curlicued antique wood panels had been massacred bile-green. On Christmas Eve after dinner I retired to bed with my brother and sister while the adults wra…

People who would have done a better job as guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race than Geri Halliwell

- Any of the other Spice Girls
- Anyone who auditioned for the Spice Girls but didn't make it
- Anyone from All Saints
- Anyone from any other girl band ever
- Any Mitford sister
- Michael Portillo
- Elena Ferrante
- My five year old
- My two year old
- My dad
- Everybody else I know
- The character 'Bubble' from Absolutely Fabulous
- The Damn Daniel boys
- Any teenager
- My ex-colleague Ivan who worked in Business Development and enjoyed golf
- Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman
- Francis Ford Coppola
- Gemma Collins
- Mary Berry
- David Attenborough
- The ghost of Victoria Wood
- Anybody from Eastenders
- Anybody from Coronation Street
- Simon Cowell
- Simon Callow
- Simon Cowley, whom I have just looked up and is apparently a former Australian breaststroke swimmer
- Simone Culley, whom I have just looked up and is a head teacher in Detroit
- Cat Bin Lady
- That guy who got interviewed on the BBC that one time because they mistook him for their interviewee but he was actually jus…

Have you remembered to drink water today?

If there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s how much I love water. I drink water every day - and so should you, if you don’t already! Did you know, if you don’t drink anything at all, you will die? Water is really good for you.

Water is so delicious too. I feel like people don’t mention this enough, they’re always saying it tastes of nothing, or that they prefer Coke or whatever. Not me: I like a fresh glass of water. You can add ice and lemon if you like - but you don’t have to! Water is so good on its own. Sparkling water? Sure, that’s great every now and then, but I don’t need my water fancy. Just a plain old glass of water is the best thing in the world to me. People ask me, “Caspar, would you like a drink? I’ve got wine, or gin, or beer…” - and I stop them straight off and say with a smile, “No thank you, just a glass of water for me, if you’ve got such a thing.” That’s just a little joke right there - everyone has a glass of water, it’s right there in your taps! Just po…