High life

High Life | 3 October 2009

New York Cement barriers, stanchions, cop cars, motorcycles, black SUVs, flashing lights, bullhorn warnings to move to the side or else, mean-looking dudes in dark suits, dark glasses and talking into their cufflinks, a hobbit named Sarkozy jogging in Central Park to the exclusion of the rest of us, African dictator kleptocrats emptying jewellery shops

Low life

Low Life | 3 October 2009

After three days walking alone on the high moor, and two nights at a remote youth hostel, above which the silence and the immensity and brilliance of the universe were unnerving, I jumped in the car and drove down to the nearest centre of commerce and civilisation to reacquaint myself with humanity and get some

Slow life

Slow Life | 3 October 2009

I played Big Brownie in the Bournemouth scouts’ Gang Show at the Pavilion Theatre when I was 12 years old. That was the first time I had a dressing room. I must have spent a vast amount of time in dressing rooms from Greenland to New South Wales since then, countless hours and not so

More from life

Status Anxiety | 3 October 2009

I used to take abuse in print and dish it out, but now I’ve become more squeamish A few weeks ago I appeared on the Today programme opposite David Denby, the veteran American film critic. He is the author of a book called Snark in which he takes issue with the nasty, personal tone that

Spectator Sport

Spectator Sport | 3 October 2009

All good things must come to an end and so, sadly, do the mind-bogglingly scandalous things. Go on, admit it. We lapped up every twist and turn of Briatore’s turbo-charged chicanery. We marvelled at the sheer ridiculousness of the day-glo ‘blood’ spouting from Tom Williams’s mouth. We hissed at football’s foul play — from diving

Dear Mary

Dear Mary | 3 October 2009

Q. A close, though fairly new, friend of mine is an influential art critic. I suppose it is only natural that other friends should now be always asking me for his home address or to bring him along to their exhibition or to the exhibitions of their children. The problem is that they then send