Cash for Chaos

Cash for Chaos

Psst. Wanna make some money? Sweet dough? Moolah? Now’s the time. Don’t tell no one else, yer know, keep it on the downlow ‘cos this is just for us, the elite like. I’ll give yer the name of a horse that’s guaranteed to lose. Bet against her and you’ll make...

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Virtue Signalling

Virtue Signalling

In my twenties I lived on a boat. For 18 hours a day it floated on the river at Hammersmith, a stone’s throw from the bridge. The rest of the time, when the tide was out, it rested on the shore, on mud and some old car tyres I’d drilled...

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Work: and why you have to hate it

Work: and why you have to hate it

Capitalism isn’t working…… it’s getting other people to do it for you. As global economic inequality grows, there’s a feeling Capitalism is facing an end of days. But what might replace it is less a battle of ideas than a desert of anxiety. Viable alternatives are thinner on the ground...

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Shpilkes

Shpilkes

You know you’re in a real Jewish restaurant when the waiter comes to the table and asks, “Is anything alright?” The tendency to kvetch (complain) about everything is a standard character flaw for Jewish jokes to riff on. But,what exactly is a “Jewish joke”? For me, there’s at least three...

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Past Imperfect, Future tense.

Past Imperfect, Future tense.

“Okay. But you hate the outdoors, your sense of balance could be sponsored by Special Brew, you think the people who do do it are tossers and you’re petrified of water.” I said, encouragingly. “I know, but I’ve got to take a punt…,” Tom said, “out… just once.” Even though...

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Can’t take a joke? Jeez

Can’t take a joke? Jeez

When I was still young enough to be unable to tell the difference between pretension and cool, Tom Stoppard came to give a talk at my university. His slightly RP/Czech fusion drawl made me think of his comparative linguistic knowledge so in the Q&A, my hand went up. Eventually he...

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Post Truth

Post Truth

“I can handle big news and little news. And if there’s no news, I’ll go out and bite a dog.” This is how Charles Tatum, played by Kirk Douglas in Billy Wilder’s noir classic Ace In The Hole (1951), pitched for a job at the Albuquerque Sun. Manufacturing the news...

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‘I Vant To Be Alone’

‘I Vant To Be Alone’

“I VantTo Be Alone” “Alone now, there is nothing but my breath. I scream and that turbulentfury that rages from my mouth, Is silence. In the darkness.” Marius Brill (Aged 14) So, whilst wiry, post-pubescent, me was wondering if Faber & Faber was going to recognise my genius; fat, middle-aged,...

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Ctrl-Z

Ctrl-Z

I’ve done some pretty nasty things in my time. I’ve definitely put the ain’t in Saint and, what’s more, too spineless to admit my own flaws, I constantly lie to myself about it. So in my version of the world, after drunkenly stealing some roadworks diversion signs, and thinking it...

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Noted

Noted

Holidays are over. Back to the grind, school, work, uni, the girl locked in the basement. With summer, lazy days, late rising and endless sunshine, all still fresh in the memory, the misery of the graft is all the more obvious, the contrast more jarring; the post-vacation life is a...

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