Category: Blog

Brangelina: the risks of living the lives of others

This piece was published by Newsweek. In his great letter from Reading Gaol, De Profundis, Oscar Wilde bitterly chastises Lord Alfred Douglas, his former lover, with a terrible accusation. Douglas has not lived his own life, Wilde writes. Douglas has

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Ayahuasca, Plato, and this summer of drugs

A Sunday Sermon for The Idler I feel as if this is a summer of drugs – though not of legal highs or familiar recreationals. It’s more interesting than that. The drugs many seem drawn to are substances of a

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Swapping psalms for popsongs

Available as a podcast!

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The meaning of megalithic peckers and crevasses

Phalluses adorned the ancient world. Over-sized erections were everywhere. Instead of street signs, the Greeks placed monumental penises at road corners. Instead of door buzzers, Romans hung tintinnabulum – phallic figures decked with bells. Instead of decorating temple walls with

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Philosophy Slam live!

Robert Rowland Smith and I took our philosophy slam to the Camden Comedy Club, where the audience, supercharged by the wonderful Pippa Evans, threw out words and ideas for us to riff on. Click here to listen to what happened…

Posted in Blog, Podcasts

The soul of Europe

A Sunday Sermon for The Idler. I voted Remain. I believe Leave is a mistake. But the UK is now in a new place. The ground has shifted. Or has it? There are steadier links that haven’t changed. They are

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What is the systemic view?

In this new series of podcasts, Abigail Peters and I have a third discussion, this time about what is meant by the systemic view. We discuss concepts such as what it means not to be an individual but part of

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A time to mourn

This piece was published by Newsweek. It’s odd that we think of nostalgia as a feeling to indulge. We play an old record, listen to a favorite sketch, relive a scene from a film – things that many might be

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The Meaning of Money

A Sunday Sermon from The Idler. Money is making the news – or to be more specific, off-shore money that supposedly affords the über-rich a glamorous life that most of us can only dream of. But it’s odd, the minute

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Is life tragedy or comedy?

A Sunday Sermon for Easter Day… Is life a tragedy or a comedy? The ancient question is worth revisiting when Easter falls early and Spring is still striving to establish herself; when the happiness of a prospective holiday is tinged

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