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On Three Handjobs Is A Trend

What's that old movie where there's an uptight rich-girl whose sexual activity is limited to giving hand-shandies while wearing a latex glove - was that in Grease?

Posted on August 1, 2013 at 4:49 am 0

On Poets! Lovers! Poetry Lovers! Protest Will Oldham!

I can understand where he's coming from. I have seven or eight volumes of poetry permanently sitting by my bedside, yet whenever I open one of them I come away oddly frustrated. Every poem seems to be either too easy, just a commonplace truism expressed in metre, or too hard, a collection of words that might signify anything or nothing. I always seem to be either overthinking or underthinking - unless that's the fault of the poet of course. Occasionally a poem might make a fleeting impression, but none have ever had the emotional or intellectual impact on me of beautiful balanced prose, elegant mathematics, or music at its most profound or visceral. But I won't give up!

Posted on July 30, 2013 at 7:00 am 0

On Understatement: "The Harry Potter books are not rebellious."

Doesn't sound like any 16 year old I ever met, either when I was 16 or in the many years since. I think there was one guy in school who read Camus, but the likelihood of him getting laid, behind the bike sheds or anywhere else, was pretty slender. If anybody _was_ getting laid at my school, and frankly I doubt it, I suspect it wasn't on the back of their literary tastes.

Posted on September 25, 2012 at 2:53 am 0

On What Books Make You Cringe To Remember?

I'm mostly with Maureen Corrigan here. I went straight from Enid Blyton (doesn't count - I was a wee kid) to Arthur Ransome and then Tolkien. I used to be slightly embarassed about the Ransome phase but my opinion of him as a children's writer has gone up as I've learned more about him. I still admire Tolkien, and although I have read a zillion other authors I don't think I've ever had any more "crushes".

True, I admit, I did have a von Daniken phase, but I like to think of it as the educational equivalent of juvenile chickenpox - an unpleasant memory, but with beneficial long-term effects.

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 8:01 am 0