Categorisation is as necessary to human life as breathing. We must have names and labels if we are to differentiate between one thing and another. To imagine a world without categories is to indulge in a spurious kind of intellectualism.
The problem arises when we come across things that defy easy classification, be they objects, processes, or states of being. Some things don’t fit easily into their prescribed boxes, if they fit at all. Take, for example, the question of what is art. Is a piece of jewellery art, craft, or both? read more —>
I decided to become a writer after reading Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The year was 1990, and I was in rehab trying to kick my addiction to cocaine. It was the first novel I had read since leaving school, bought on the recommendation of a very persuasive second-hand bookseller, and long before I had finished it I knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
The desire to write was so strong with me it felt like a sickness. The only problem was I didn’t know what to write about. I had no stories. read more —>
Not so long ago someone in Edinburgh called me a ‘fucking coon’. The particulars of the incident I won’t dwell on: suffice it to say that there was a mild difference of opinion, a trifle when I really think about it, which resulted in the abovementioned insult. I was speechless. I hadn’t been on the receiving end of that kind of abuse, not to my face, since I was a child living in deepest, darkest east London. read more —>