Some books fade fast, their effect fleeting. Other books remain, powerful and potent. Shirley Jackson wrote those sorts of books. They haunt the reader for a long time after the last page. I've long been a fan of Shirley Jackson; well, that's not quite accurate. I was a fan of The Haunting of Hill House,… Continue reading The Shirley Jackson Fan Club (Sign Me Up!)
Divine, a larger than life drag queen, was more bombed blondshell than blond bombshell. But it didn't matter to me. From the moment I saw her during a late-night broadcast of Female Trouble, I knew she was something different. I mean, we all knew. You couldn't deny the punk weirdness of a fat drag… Continue reading Divine, Kurt, and Ricki Walk Into A Bar…
I'm going to be at Grangemouth Library next Friday as part of Book Week Scotland. It's a school visit, essentially, but it's free so the teens can get there for free. If you're around, pop by and watch my iconic one-man show. Last time I was in Falkirk, it went terribly wrong. Apart from the… Continue reading Book Week Scotland Stuff
Victoria Beckham was always my favourite Spice Girl. She was so mysterious she didn't care to sing her own song. She posed and pouted. She wore black. She was the Spice Girl who wasn't meant to succeed. Common sense told us that Geri was The One, and for a while her solo career seemed… Continue reading Reasons Why Victoria Beckham OBE Is The Best Spice Girl
Some people follow singers and bands, but it takes a special kind of obsessive to follow a record label. Small indie record labels were willed into existence as a result of major label complacency; they were a necessary presence, a revitalising shot in the limp arm of a dying, overblown music industry back in the… Continue reading Three Record Labels And Some Records
Some writers defy categorisation. They cannot be filed, stamped, or absorbed. Yes, you may find their books in certain areas of the book shop or the library, but essentially these writers remain difficult to anticipate, their work always surprising and interesting. I'd place Francesca Lia Block, Cory Doctorow, Sam Pink, Kathy Acker, Jason Starr, Jeff… Continue reading I Wanted To Write About Robert Cormier
Nu-Metal. Everyone hates and disdains it, but for teenagers hooked on S Club 7 or Steps, it was poppy enough to lure them away from the fake smiles and slick dance routines, and loud enough that it appealed to their burgeoning - some might say inevitable - rebellious streak. Just like other genres of music,… Continue reading The Night Nu Metal Died…Or Did It?