Why Every Straight Man Needs A Gay Best Friend; A Response

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I’ve recently read an article on Huffington Post about how having a gay best friend could be really good for a straight man. 

If you’re not horrified enough by that initial sentence as it is, allow me to elaborate.

Someone has actually thought about how a gay man would be a great asset to a straight man’s life. Not that they’ll have a long and lasting relationship based on respect and mutual love, but how having a gay man in your life can benefit a straight man’s. Sounds pretty shitty doesn’t it? 

So here is why he is so far wrong. 

Continue reading “Why Every Straight Man Needs A Gay Best Friend; A Response”

My Style Icons (oddly remiss of anyone called David Beckham)

Image2013 was a massive year for Justin Timberlake. Not only did he return to our ears with some very questionable pop music, but he was also voted GQ’s Most Stylish Man of 2013. Which is a massive shame really, because yet again a perfectly respectable role model has had his natural good looks rewarded again. It’s a shame when these things happen, because every weird looking dude wants to look brilliant and impress that special someone; especially in these days of longer hours and the risk of redundancies hanging over our heads like tinsel that you’ve forgotten to take down. And whats the easiest way to dress to impress? By imitating someone else’s style of course! Unfortunately there aren’t a multitude of achievable male style icons milling around to pick from: Davids Gandy and Beckham always seem to lead the way in polls about Best Dressed Men, followed shortly by Robert Downey Junior and people like Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch. Which is fine, y’know? These men are undoubtedly good looking (except for Cumberbatch who looks like Dr. Moreau mixed a deer with the very idea of having a stiff upper lip). But one things links all these people together. No, not having the best stylists available to them so they can polish a turd, but they’re almost always seen in suits and slightly more formal casual attire. Except for David Beckham who’s totally brilliant shots for H&M really gave meaning to when the Spice Girls (and Victoria mimed) ‘too much of something is bad enough’, mainly because dat ass.

Continue reading “My Style Icons (oddly remiss of anyone called David Beckham)”

My Style Resolutions

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Let me ask you a question: have you ever seen dark times and faced uncertain odds while shopping? I have. My lowest day was circling the reduced rails of Primark looking for something to wear for New Year’s Eve after flat out refusing to pay £15 for a shirt. I wasn’t skint so I knew I could afford something much better, and I don’t know whether it was because it didn’t look like it cost £15 to make, or because it probably wasn’t ethically sourced, but I couldn’t do it. Maybe it was because deep down in my roots I’m a coop of pigeons away from settling on Coronation Street as the ruffian neighbour who has an eye for the ladies, and the men. But whatever it was, it resulted in my rifling through the reduced rails and eyeing up a shirt with a repetitive labrador print. Obviously everyone has their own styles and approach to fashion, but what happens when you get lost on the path of excellence and drift into a world of labrador prints and drop crotch chinos? You need a kick up the bum, is what you need. Which is what the following words will be; a huge kick up the bum for me, because I’ve been to that sorry place and I know that I need help. I’ve faced dark times and I know the fear, but up until now, I haven’t known what to do about it.

Continue reading “My Style Resolutions”

Justice League, Back, Back, Back Again

Remember in the 90s when every comic would be released with almost hundreds of variant covers? Some would be shiny, some would be 3D, some would just be black and white. It was a bit crazy to be honest. Crazy and unnecessary, but it was a staple of the business. Variant covers can sometimes be brilliantly thought out, but more often than not, it’s just a boring way of trying to get every more from the comic reading buyer.

That’s all set to change with the release of the new Justice League Of America book (which is different from the Justice League book obviously) as its set to launch with 52, yes 52! covers.

DC has a bit of a wide on about the number 52. Its the number of alternate Earths there are, as well as the number of books that were included in the 2011 reboot. It’s also the number of times that Geoff Johns has turned an ordinary, somewhat boring character, and made it into something really special. The man is a creative powerhouse.

Whats the catch though? Why 52? Because it’s going to be personalised with each and every American state (and Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. as well).

Brilliant, right?

The Justice League brand is one of DC Entertainment’s most formidable and memorable, with TV series, films, as well as another JLA themed book out at the same time. It’s also, sometimes, the benchmark for how group books should be written.

Dan Didio, DC Comics’ co-publisher said these words about the soon to be overhyped launch:

“We’ve done a lot of great things with the ‘New 52, and now we’re putting the focus back on Justice League, with the launch of ‘Justice League of America’. We want to make people realize that this is one of our key franchises, and we plan to build it out not just with the main ‘Justice League’ titles, but other books that tie into them as well.”

So there we have it! Will you be picking up Justice League of America?

The Great British Bake Off Final; Let’s Here It For The Boys

As the ganache topping is about to set on this year’s series of Great British Bake Off, all the contestants who weren’t really as good as they should have been have discarded into the bin, like the desiccated fruit that no one wants in their cakes, leaving only the very best of this series to fight it out with rolling pins and heart shaped cookie cutters. A veritable battle royale of baking will play itself out on BBC2 (and BBC HD) on Tuesday night at 8 pm as Brendan Lynch, James Morton and John Whaite take each other on to be crowned the best baker in the entire Universe.

But who deserves to win this melée a trois? Who’s soggy bottom will let them down? Who’s macaroons look the most like tiny poos? When will we stop sounding like Ann Robinson?

Well, before the final tonight, we’re going to cast our own expert eye over the finalists and try and pick out who will be rising to the occasion or collapsing like a creme brulee who has just been told that no one likes creme brulee anymore.

John Whaite 

The Michael Crawford of this years Bake Off, based on his cooking ability, not his singing prowess (although he might have a mighty fine singing voice, we don’t know) John has scraped through by the skin of his teeth week after week with his accident prone, incredibly adorable approach to cooking. He may not be as technically adept as Brendan or James, but when it comes to warming the cockles of the hearts at home, John can definitely be classed as one of the hunks of this series.

John’s clumsy approach rings true to viewers who, like us, don’t know the difference between a fish slice and a spatula, would balk at the sight of raw bread, and violently vomit onto Mary Berry’s affordable, yet stylish Clarks shoes as a rampaging Paul Hollywood rants about ‘bad bakes.’ The one time that we baked bread, it looked like someone had made papier mache out of last week’s food stained edition of The Sun and crammed it inside a burnt lampshade. John looks like that he would teach us how to make the perfect love, and then put a congratulating arm around us while we tucked into it. Perhaps it leads to some snogging, perhaps it doesn’t.

The chances of John winning are quite slim; he’s not as consistent as the other two contestants, but he does have an adorable quality to him that could carry him into Runner Up ahead of Brendan ‘I Look Through Your Windows At Night’ Lynch.

Brendan Lynch 

Speaking of Brendan, he’s the only contestant that we’ve ever seen on the Great British Bake Off that we would possibly test to see if he was a replicant or was about to go into space on the Nostromo. All of his creations, however camp and cloying they may be, have been to such a high standard that, not only does he make us feel intense jealousy of everything that he creates, but also that we would have no qualms befriending him and eating everything that he would make regardless of whether they are Disney-esque frills and Snow Whites strewn from pie cooling windowsills. In fact, eating Brendan’s Snow White would be an honour.

Unfortunately for Brendan, he’s so perfect that he doesn’t quite deserve to win. He’s been so consistently good that knowing that he would walk away with the prize would be tantamount to an anti-climax because he hasn’t progressed or learned much, unlike John who’s learned how to slice your thumb with a blade and also how to worm his way into our hearts at the same time.

Ostensibly distilled from Abigail’s Party Brendan is the King of Kitsch and can’t seem to help channel Fanny Craddock and Delia Smith into each of his dishes. More often than not they end up looking like they’ve come straight from a dusty 70s bakery instead of James’ sleek creations or John’s good attempts. Symmetrical, angular, and perfect, if this was just a baking contest where we couldn’t see the seething in his eyes when things go wrong, and the reports of cats being slashed, and piped with intricate roses, then Brendan would win hands down. But his determination will set him into third place, which is still good Brendan, don’t feel bad. Please don’t take it out on the neighbour’s pets.

James Morton 

James Morton is one of the sexiest people to ever grace the big white tent that the Bake Off is set in. His Rick Moranis-esque (Little Shop of Horrors era) good looks and taste in knitwear really places him high in the viewer’s spank bank. Clad in fairisle tank tops with a pair of thick rimmed glasses, James has consistently excelled at creating recipes that sound like they shouldn’t really work, but still seem appealing. If you came across lavender and apple tarte tatin in Tesco you’d think that it was a niche product for people with more money than sense and who know the difference between artisan bread and every other piece of bread on the planet. But if James was slaving away at the oven creating it for you, you’d eat every last crumb, despite lavender being the smell most associated with nanas.

Excelling at following set recipes but still bringing an individuality to every thing he does, James is clearly going to win Best Baker In The Universe, without going over the top like Brendan, or slicing his hand open like John. He’s even a strong contender for single handedly making the tank top fashionable again. There are even rumours that James is single handedly responsible for a surge in knitwear in Marks and Spencer, although this could be down to the weather being as shit as vanilla ice cream.

If James doesn’t win and Brendan continues his reign of sugar related tyranny with book deals and appearances on The Alan Titchmarsh Show, don’t say that we didn’t warn you.

Bring Out Your Almost Dead; It’s Time For London Fashion Week

Working in fashion means that you have to take note of what goes on during the various Fashion Weeks around the World (although no one follows Paris Fashion Week; it’s the equivalent of a tramp doing a soft shoe shuffle for coppers compared to the Royal Variety Performance) because eventually the more commercial aspects will filter down to your shop. It’s an inevitability. It’s how we got military styled fashions and that boho chic bollocks that Jennifer Lopez seems reluctant to ever let go, despite it making her look like a Romany prostitute.

Unfortunately London Fashion Week is the High Street’s major Apple event. You might think that it’s full of preening and posturing fashionistas that seem to believe that they are influential about fashion, who parcel off any old trend as the Brand New Big Thing for Autumn/Winter, and you’d be right. These are the people who brought us the poncho. The one piece of clothing that will intentionally turn any woman into an jacket potato on legs, without having the decency to be a cape or batwing something or other. The poncho is fashion’s version of the Holocaust: a devastating piece of history that should never be forgotten.

Yet as new Fashion Weeks come around, and sprouting more and more progeny like Gremlins being watered after midnight, there’s always a new thing that is the biggest thing EVER.

Obviously it’s just a ploy to keep fashion journalists and people like Donatella Versace in Nutella bronzing powder year after year, and that’s fine. It’s how the World goes round. What makes me want to reach for my £8 Primark joggers in a disgusted and fitting rage is how self involved and pretentious the entire thing is. It revolves on it’s own arse of awfulness.

There’s a culture of extravagance built into being a fashion designer. You can make as many dresses as you like, but there’s more chance that you’ll get remembered by having suspended paraplegics circling the room to the music of Rod Stewart. Or having cows accompanying the models down the catwalk. Or having each model wearing Tutankhamun’s death mask. Extravagance begets extravagance and easily influenced morons suck in every self involved fashion fart.

Long swathes of unwearable satin with extravagant brocade could walk down the catwalk, with chunks of flesh being shown to all of the World’s interested press, and people will coo about how avant garde it is; it isn’t avant garde. It’s Eastern Bloc prostitution.

Kate Windsor Got Her Tits Out; Two In The Eye For Freedom Of Speech

Sometimes it’s possible that things get leaked to the press that perhaps shouldn’t have been, and because it might be salacious gossip it automatically becomes “in the public’s interest.” Who can forget when Ronan Keating had an affair and we all climbed over each other to decry his family friendly persona and that he was a terrible man? Or when Mark Owen did the same? Or when Ryan Giggs did the same? Or when Grant Bovey did the same? Or when Andrew Marr did the same? Or when Dermot Murnaghan did the same? Or when David Beckham did the same? These weren’t an invasion of people’s privacy, they were “in the public’s interest.”

Just like when Tulisa did that sex video that was plastered everywhere. “Public’s interest.” Mixed with twinges of a self serving fame hound.

The difference between something being in the public’s interest, and out and out gossip is tricky. Being in the public’s interest would imply that the public knowing the ins and outs of a celebrity’s marriage is an important thing. The Joe Schlomo needs to know about what they’ve been up to. It’s not an invasion of privacy because they’re celebrities and should know that this is a part of the job of being a role model. The super injunctions showed a massive break in what was in the public’s interest and what wasn’t, mainly because they dealt with things that actually did impact on the public.

Which is obviously bollocks. It’s not an inherent aspect of being famous that you become a role model, and even if it does, it doesn’t mean that you have to respect this. It’s someone else’s rules that all celebrities play by. Unfortunately the rules are made up by the media, who masquerade making money as doing the public a favour.

But what’s kicked off this mild shit storm about someone’s unsuspecting tits?

Well the possible Queen of England’s tits were snapped by a member of the French paparazzi at a secluded villa in the South of France.

Seems like a pretty inconsequential thing doesn’t it? There’s billions of women around the World who have boobies, and a tiny percentage get their chebs out for money. It’s not a massively major deal. Getting snapped starkers when you least expect it would be annoying; of course it would. I’d hate to have photos taken of me in the buff, because the World isn’t ready for that level of brilliant. And admittedly, I’d be furious if these photos were sold for thousands and published in a magazine and I didn’t get any dividend from them.

But where Kate and I differ (one of the many ways I bet) is that I wouldn’t get my schlong out in public. It wouldn’t happen. And Kate should have known better than to let her guard and bra down in an area who’s paparazzi are renowned for being super-psycho. Diana’s death aside, the French paparazzi have got a long history of taking pictures of British Royalty when they maybe shouldn’t. Fergie’s foot sucking happened in France, as did the pictures of Diana with her baps out on a balcony and pictures of William and Harry messing around next to a pool.

Despite titillating men the World over, having the Palace bang on about suing the magazine who published them is making the matter worse.

Just like Harry’s recent “scandal” (it’s in quotation marks because it’s nothing that any other person might have done when they’re in Las Vegas and plied with alcohol; man or woman) having every minute piece of information examined and overdramatised only makes it worse.

After the year that the Royals have had, maybe a glimmer of humanity wouldn’t go amiss. They are, essentially, having a wonderful holiday at the expense of people who can’t even afford to have feed their children. Not that they should expect to have these things happen just because of that (that’s delving back into the troublesome celebrity/role model area), but having a sense of humour about it might actually endear the Royals to people a little.

It’d be a shame for them to go back to the status quo that plagued the Royal family since Diana’s death.

Alex Polizzi; The Ellen Ripley of Hospitality

“My arms are crossed darling, I obviously mean business.”

If you’ve ever been to an hotel that has a mildew sodden carpeted bathroom, or a mirrored ceiling when all you wanted was a sea view, then don’t feel too bad because there is finally a woman prepared to put down her prawn cocktail and stand up, ding the bell on the hotel counter until the poor attendant has medically diagnosed tinitis and shout “this hotel is dreadful, darling.” That woman is Alex Polizzi and she is the equivalent of a Power Loader wielding Ellen Ripley with fresh towels.

The similarities between the two are striking; both have wild manes of just tamed hair, a fiery glint in their eye, and know how to get what they want. Whereas Ripley used whatever firepower was available to her, Polizzi uses her own innate armoury and charms sometimes shit hotel owners into submitting to her iron will. Want to dedicate your business to housing a memoriam of times past (including dismembered doll’s arms)? That’s fine, but don’t expect to survive an encounter with Polizzi with all your limbs intact, because once that woman has set her unwavering gaze on a problem, she won’t stop until that problem has been blasted into space.

Obviously a lot of what is featured on ‘The Hotel Inspector’ (Channel 5, Thursday at 9) is choreographed to create drama (which there’s nothing wrong with), and although long lingering glances of despair might be made up of stock footage of Polizzi listening intently, it’s sort of irrelevant. Whether it’s faker than Lauren Goodger’s face, or shows the stark reality of hoteliering (I have no idea what that word actually is) it doesn’t matter. Setting Alex Polizzi lose on a failing hotel is like diving into battle after you’ve just levelled up; it’s an exhilarating experience that pushes you to the edge of your seat until the inevitable conflict flares up and then you sit back, smug, knowing that you’re never going to see two middle class women have such a passive aggressive argument again.

Everything Polizzi says is followed by a smile. She might be saying that the hotel you’ve ran for forty years is the equivalent of La Cantina and you’re understandably upset, but she’s smiling still. There’s nothing that can be done to wipe the grin from her face, in fact, the more belligerent the owners get, the more Polizzi knows that she’s right, and the wider the smile gets.

It may sound like this is a bad thing, but it’s the exact opposite. Whereas Mary Portas has decided to let her icy facade crack and show us her crying a few times, and Paul Hollywood revels in his Silver Fox status, Polizzi continues to do what she does best: making bad hotels good. And hotels is what she knows well. She’s related to Lord Forte who held a stake in The Savoy as well as bringing Travelodge to the UK. And watching her tackle apprehensive hotel owners right in the balls and shove them to the ground will, hopefully never get old.

I’m Going To Miss The Olympics; Here’s Why

I didn’t think I would ever say these words, or that I would say them while waiting for the Olympic diving, but I think I could actually miss the Olympics once they finish on Sunday.

Before two weeks ago the thought of sport being on the TV filled with revulsion. Revulsion that demonstrated itself by watching something else on TV. As football clogged up the TV listings, knocking things like Eastenders and Coronation Street off kilter, my hatred of sport grew stronger. Like when Bellatrix Lestrange killed Sirius Black. I wanted to send football through the Veil that was never explained and we’re supposed to just accept even though it’s a pretty massive plot point that’s left unresolved. The Olympics looked like it was going to be a gigantic waste of money that would bring thousands of people into a city that didn’t seem ready for the influx of people. But, as the Closing Ceremony is tomorrow, everything has been gone smoothly.

This is the eighth Olympics during my lifetime, and I’ve never wanted to see one, happy to watch anything else than the boring commentary about weird rules. I missed the whole Zola Budd business, all of the Cold War shenanigans in the late 80s and all the horribly coloured lycra of the 90s, and whatever Dame Kelly Holmes is famous for. I missed it, and I didn’t care. I was happy not knowing. There were more important things to think of, like when Neighbours was coming back from the Summer Break and whether secondary school was actually like Grange Hill (it was, but only because it was before drugs became a whole ‘thing’ and it was what actors in leather jackets did).

This year was different though. This year I was slapped in the face with divers wearing tiny trunks and throwing themselves from diving boards, men bounding around a large mat in skin tight lyrcra, and men in leotards running stupid amount of distances. And every minute was absolutely amazing. My stomach churned as Kristian Thomas ran towards the pommel horse, soared as Greg Rutherford jumped a crazy distance (and then made himself sound like a right prick afterwards). And thats before you consider what Bradley Wiggins and Mo Farah achieved.

It wasn’t just the successes that made it for me though. There were the hilarious names, like Eric Shen, and Robert Grabarz. There was Claire Balding’s brilliant commentary. There was actually excelling at sports that I didn’t think that we would be any good. And overall, the pride that I was watching a part of British history as we careened headfirst into possibly one of our most successful Olympics to date.

Maybe the Opening Ceremony broke me down to the very core of my being and indoctrinated a pride, between marvelling at an army of descending Mary Poppins and sobbing as six unknown athletes lit the Torch, that I haven’t experienced before, or maybe I was swept up in Olympics Fever and would have sat through Caitlin Moran in the 100 second backcomb and still been engrossed if we were up for a medal.

The camaraderie that everyone felt as we all faced uncertainty over the Olympics’ success was palpable. We knew it could all go tits up very easily, problems arose about the empty seats and staffing at the beginning of events, but they all seem to have been swept to one side as Gold medal after Gold medal dropped around the necks of Jessica Ennis and Chris Hoy and we could see that this was something to be proud of. Jessica Ennis especially became the poster girl for the elation that we felt when she won. There shouldn’t have been many people with dry eyes as she burst into tears seeing years of training come into fruition and achieving her dream.

If we had been shit and flew into the water like a stunned duck wrapped in bricks it would be a slightly different story. It would be a case of ‘This Is What We’ve Paid For Is It?’ and without seeming like a glory hunter, it would have affirmed all of the misleading and strongly worded rhetoric that seemed to populate the Daily Mail months before the event even started.

Who can say why the Olympics have been so popular?

What can be said for certain is that I’ve watched more sport in the last two weeks than I have in my entire life, and it’s been brilliant.

Knowing that tomorrow will be the very end of the Olympics for another four years until Rio take their turn is a bit sad. Where else will I get my regular fix of revealing lycra and sexually ambiguous divers?

Karl Lagerfeld Hates Pippa Middleton’s Face

Sometimes massive stars of fashion enjoy letting their mouths flap like an unfinished seam. And sometimes this can irritate everyone who has a decent opinion of people and events. Remember how repulsive John Galliano was when he spouted all that anti-semitic spaff at those poor people? And when professional perm James Brown used the N word? Remember that? Well, it looks like Karl Lagerfeld has decided that he should probably say something offensive. Maybe he was sat over expensive coffee harvested by the most couture of orphans and wanted to kill someone’s buzz for the day, or maybe he’s so wrapped up in his own fart cloud of importance that he didn’t think what he was saying. It’s the fart cloud isn’t it.

Well, after saying some bad but true words about Adele (who might have been pregnant at the time, FOR SHAME!) a few months ago, he has turned his beady, slightly stretched eyes to the Middletons. And how he hates Pippa Middleton’s face.

More than what we do when we see her in the paper. He doesn’t just roll his eyes like we do. He has a proper cob on about her for some reason.

He said

I don’t like the sister’s face. She should only show her back.

Which makes perfect sense really. That way she could really develop a monopoly on the perfect human arse. And really show the part human part arse Mark Wright a thing or two about being a total and complete anus hat.

No one really cares about anything else that Pippa does, it’s all about the butt, and I cannot lie.