Showing posts from 2020

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…