Arts & culture

Writing about Brick Lane, in Ooty

December 25, 2011

James Joyce wrote Ulysses in Paris, Trieste and Zurich: that’s where he went wrong. Thus has relocated to Ooty, Tamil Nadu, 8500 feet up in the Western Ghats to write the definitive work on robot shops, the tribes of Bethnal Green and anything else that fills up the page. In the spirit of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance I briefly acquired a large yellow motorbike, but the combination of 270 degree hairpin bends, cows, goats, trucks, buses and the truly Zen nature of road etiquette out here led me... More

Hints on Self-Preservation when Attacked by a War Dog

May 21, 2011

. . . is the first published output of one of my most-admired authors, pulp cowboy and science fiction writer, JT Edson. You may not have heard of him: despite a canon of 136 published books selling more than 27 million copies, Edson ceased to be published in the UK from the 1990s, partly due to his somewhat politically incorrect views. He claimed that the American Civil War was about secession, not slavery. Drawing a bead on the Guardianistas, he avowed that  ’liberals’ were almost certain to be intolerant of others... More

Space Evil proves Japan’s superiority to China

April 17, 2011

In my twin roles of Quality guru and tin robot tycoon, I’m in a unique position to settle the debate as to whether China will unseat Japan as the manufacturing powerhouse of the global economy. In terms of sheer volume, there is no debate: China is already big boss. But quality? If you want a wobbly plastic bucket, a t shirt with unintended underarm ventilation after two washes or a can opener that doubles as an instrument of digital amputation, then China’s yer man. If, on the other hand, you want... More