Written on the Body

A very flattering email. A gentleman tells me he’s had quotes from my lyrics done as tattoos on his hands and arms. Four Dickon quotes, alongside ones by T.S. Eliot, Baudelaire, William Burroughs, and Richey Manic:

Left hand: ‘My crime is being myself’
Right hand: ‘My punishment is staying myself’
Left arm: ‘I don’t want forever, I just want a little now’
Right side of chest: ‘Steep yourself in yourself’.


Managed to get the gender essay in on time, though I don’t think it’ll get as high a mark as the previous one. I still have a tendency to forget I’m meant to be playing at being a literary critic and analyst rather than a researcher. I think I sample too many text books, not knowing where to stop, though thankfully I know when – not missed a single deadline yet. Thing is, I feel I’m not yet qualified to be able to take up my own position on such a massive subject, whereas for the subject of the last essay – the film Finisterre – I knew could identify a few things that the academics had overlooked. Still, I think I’m getting better at the harder subjects.

That’s the last essay for this academic year. Have now moved onto the revision for my first exam, held on May 22nd.


One tidbit of trivia about gendering literature: ‘chick lit’ was originally coined as a reaction to ‘lad lit’ in the early 1990s, as in Nick Hornby’s early novels. Unlike ‘chick lit’, ‘lad lit’ didn’t succeed in attracting the audience it was targeted at. Despite all the themes of eternal boyishness, of football and record shops, Hornby’s novels were mostly bought by women.

Though I rarely regard myself as stereotypical male in many respects – whether as an asset or a weakness – I have to admit I do the male thing of not reading enough novels – and not finishing enough novels. When men read printed matter for leisure at all, they are thought to read more newspapers and non-fiction.

Well, the mayoral election certainly put me off newspapers for a while. I picked up an Evening Standard on the day of the count. It was full of the most absurd bias towards Boris Johnson, and negativity towards Ken Livingstone. It even seriously discussed whether Johnson could be the next Prime Minister.

When I came out of the polling booth last Thursday, I spotted the actor John Simm in the cafe outside. He played the villainous Master in Doctor Who, and in one episode manages to be elected Prime Minister of Britain by using a satellite network to telepathically brainwash voters.

Over a million Londoners voted for a man who has difficulty combing his hair. As they say on the internet at the moment, ‘just saying…’



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