Harry styles

Why Gen Z is turning against woke culture

The other day, in a bar in London frequented by students of the infamously ‘woke’ Goldsmiths University, I met a young white cis-male who said that the English were to blame for his inherited trauma because of their historic oppression of the Irish. The only problem was, he wasn’t Irish – he was American and so were his parents and probably grandparents. ‘Pain lasts a long time,’ he assured me. What struck me about this encounter was not that it was typical of my Gen Z generation but that it was so obviously cringe-inducing – a sort of hackneyed pick-up line. Another student at the same bar – sporting an

How narcissism ate itself at the Grammys

A transgender woman and a non-binary person dressed as Satan walk into a bar. That’s not the beginning of a bad joke, but the defining performance of the 65th Grammy awards, held in Los Angeles on Sunday.  You may have seen the clips. The singer Sam Smith wore what appeared to be a terrible Halloween costume: red high heels and a red hat with devil horns. He clomped around the stage performing ‘Unholy’ with Kim Petras, who was in a cage surrounded by flames and whip-wielding dominatrices. CBS’s broadcast of the ceremony on American television was sponsored by Covid vaccine-maker Pfizer – catnip for conspiracy theorists who think that Covid

Harry Styles’s behind is the only draw: My Policeman reviewed

My Policeman is a forbidden love drama starring both Harry Styles – whose bid for movie stardom continues apace – and his naked bottom. The bottom is good. Ten out of ten for the bottom, particularly during a scene in Venice when the light from the window casts it in a golden, buttery glow. But otherwise, this is an average, meek and soporific endeavour which hits quite a few bum notes of the kind that aren’t ideal. It is based on the novel by Bethan Roberts, which in turn was inspired by the romantic life of E.M. Forster, who had a long-term relationship with a married policeman who suffers a

Don’t Worry Darling’s flawed feminism

Don’t Worry Darling, the highly anticipated psychological thriller directed by Olivia Wilde, has arrived in cinemas after months of online gossip and speculation about its production. The controversies include: an alleged affair between the director and main actor, Harry Styles, who also happens to be one of the most famous pop stars on Earth; the firing – no, sorry, ‘replacing’ – of the originally cast main character (Shia LaBeouf was switched for Styles); a reported fall-out between lead actress Florence Pugh and Wilde, which led to Pugh not doing any publicity for the film; and a bizarre TikTok theory that Kiki Layne and Ari’el Stachel were hired to meet the

Harry Styles has entered his imperial phase – but his music still has no distinct identity

At the turn of this century, looking back on the late 1980s when the Pet Shop Boys could do no wrong and everything they touched turned to platinum, Neil Tennant coined the concept of a musician’s ‘imperial phase’. You can be hugely popular at other times in your career – you can sell just as many records – but the imperial phase is something different. The imperial phase is when an artist isn’t just selling records; it’s when approval of them has reached such a pitch that they can do no wrong. It’s when every magazine and newspaper uses any excuse to run photos of them, when their peers garland

Harry Styles and the politics of cross dressing

If you are on social media, you have probably scrolled past a hundred photographs of Harry Styles’ Grammys performance last week. It was eccentric, quirky. And Styles donned his much-touted androgynous swagger.  The media and menswear magazines keep insisting that Styles’ fashion choices are groundbreaking and are setting the tone for a new generation of men. Following the performance, tweets and articles have been shared celebrating Harry’s modish liberation from a sea of monotonous Don Drapers. All because he wore a furry green scarf.  What Harry is doing, said one commentator for a large men’s magazine, is redefining. Redefine. I hate that word… Once you’ve defined something, hopefully you already