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BOOKS: always carry one

I largely “got over” fiction a few years ago – I still read it, I still mostly enjoy it, but it has to be superbly written now for me to get lost in it: my inner critic gets jolted out of the willing suspension of disbelief far too often by clumsy prose, slipshod research and implausible characterisation. The few rare occasions when I am swept up entirely in the narrative are precious discoveries, to be savoured. Continue reading

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Shame May Name

Originally published May 2003. Since then the Westboro Baptist Church and Fred Phelps have become even more infamous.

BIBLICAL BIGOT: Fred Phelps, the minister of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas organises evangelical pickets of the funerals of homosexual men with anti-gay placards and chants of Bible verses promising damnation. Continue reading

Gallery of Shame

Originally published May 2003, as the introduction to a proposed series.

All too often, people (both famous and obscure) show themselves to be hypocrites, cowards, bigots and worse. Yet most of them sail blithely on, offending again and yet again, because their free speech is protected and they haven’t done anything actually criminal.

But free speech cuts both ways – they are free to say what they think, no matter how Continue reading

HOTM: May 2003, Brendan Fraser

Part of the Hunk of the Month series: originally published in May 2003

George of the Jungle

Here is George of the Jungle giving us one of his best looks – the puzzled buff(oon).

I only recently became acquainted with this early incarnation of Brendan Fraser. I had seen him as Mountie and fighting Mummy, but he wore more clothes in those. Not that I’m superficial or anything (perish the thought) – Continue reading