Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from July, 2019

The Love Series: How Love Island is Fixing Broken Britain

As another season of Love Island comes to an end, I am taking some time to reflect on what I have learned from it and what the fact that I watch it (and enjoy it) says about me as a person. I’d like to tell you I am too smart for it but the truth is… I am clearly not, so no point in faking it.
In fact, I am a simple man. I’d choose Love Island over Lars Von Trier any day. I don’t need no high-brow, avant-garde conceptual crap. I just like to revel in the old yet eternally relevant narratives that universalise the human experience because of their banality – and not despite of it.
I watch and I am hooked. I must know, I need to know. I want to get lost in the endless ping pong of she said/he said. I want to lose myself in the hamletian dilemma: did she get a boob job… or did she not? This is the question. I aim to find comfort in the prehistoric archetypes of human behaviour that the producers of the show exploit so skilfully for our enjoyment. They’re trite and unoriginal - but still in…

The Love Series: Teaching men to give consent

I thought I understood consent. It seemed simple: you’ve got to make sure that the other person is comfortable, you need to read their body language, you must allow them to state their permission clearly. It wasn’t a conversation I’ve had often with my parents or teachers but, on the few occasions I did, they made it clear that this is how a gentleman must behave.

When the #MeToo earthquake hit us in 2017, people started talking about it more openly: on social media, on tv, in the papers. Perhaps for the first time, my friends and I became comfortable discussing the topic even in informal situations, such as dinner parties or at the pub on a Friday night. Talking about consent had finally become mainstream. 
We had all the information we needed, and us men – well, most of us, I like to believe - permanently got it into our heads: no means no. I was perfectly aware of the seriousness of the situation and its nuances, like the fact that consent is not limited to sexual intercourse but als…

The Love Series: you can type but you can't touch

Imagine this. Somewhere in London, there’s a statuesque thirty-year-old man working for a prestigious company. He is in a serious, long-term relationship with his live-in girlfriend. They’re both very active (and reasonably popular) on Instagram: fit, good-looking people with well-paid jobs and a variety of healthy hobbies/philanthropic activities on the side. It’s the perfect Instagram couple, sparking that stinging feeling of inadequacy that us single, average-looking onlookers with minimum-wage jobs and no definite skincare routine know all too well.
But they don’t know what I know. The truth, as it’s often the case, is different from the virtual reality they force-feed us. Mr Insta-boyfriend of the year happens to be cheating on his partner with, well, my very good friend Francesca*. My friend is young. She looks young (which is why all the old creeps seem to be drawn to her). Sometimes she acts young – and you can tell from the fact that the man used the oldest tricks in the book…

The Love Series: Dropping the L-bomb

So not too long ago, at the end of a pleasant evening with a refreshingly normal person I had recently met, my date walked out the door, gave me a hug and casually blurted out the words “I love you”. My brain stopped working for about thirty-five seconds before I regained my composure and solemnly proclaimed: “You’re not supposed to say that.” I closed the door and resumed my ordinary Sunday night activities (eye cream, Love Island, hash browns).
But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It must have been a misunderstanding, I thought, a nervous tic, the language barrier, the Russians. That couldn’t possibly be true! And when I was about to finalise my diagnosis (it’s Tourette's, I’m sure) my phone screen lit up. “Sorry. Just something I say to friends when it’s time to say bye, don’t make too much of it.”
It’s not anyone’s fault in particular. I blame it on the English. Not English people (I’ll let you off on this occasion) but the language. How is it possible that in the long, compli…

The Love Series

This millennial life is killing us. No amount of houseplants, meditation apps or CBD oil supplements will ever be enough to fix the mess that these boomers got us into. I remember a time when I firmly believed that life imitates art. It turns out that modern life imitates Instagram, instead. It’s Kylie Jenner’s world... and we’re living in it.
Of all the ways in which Instagram has taken control of our lives, I am always amazed by how it has become the ultimate flirting tool, without which I would never be able to gauge people’s romantic interest in me before I start with subtly targeted posts (backed by incontrovertible evidence such as their position in my IG stories views etc.). 
I quickly became convinced that the time has come for me to start a Love series on this blog, philosophise about life, talk to cool people with interesting stories, express my shock and disbelief at new dating trends… the work. I already know where I am going to write it from:  my new, highly instagrammable …