My Culture Fix

My Favourite Author
Where to start… Hemingway? Tolstoy? Fitzgerald? James Joyce? So many greats so little time, however James Baldwin never fails.

The Book Im Reading
Lines In The Sand by A.A Gill. A collection of fierce and compelling stories of refugees around the world.

The Book I Wish I Had Written
Stoner, written by John Edward Williams. I was gifted the book when I was 17 but didn’t read it until I was 25. My biggest regret was not reading it sooner.

The Book I Couldn’t Finish
I tend to feel a wrath of guilt every-time I stop reading someone’s novel. As a writer, I’d hope that none of my readers checked out on me half-way through. Although it’s safe to say, theres been a few. 

The Book I’m Ashamed I Haven’t Read
Chuck Klosterman’s, ‘Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs’. It’s not so much of feeling ashamed but as a millennial, i’m tired of being chastised at the mere thought of having not read the cult read.

My Favourite Film
The Breakfast Club. The John Hughes cult classic had me in a chokehold as soon as I heard the Simple Minds soundtrack. My obsession with the 80’s era was in full effect at first watch. 

My Favourite Villain
The Joker – the peoples villain.

My Favourite Childhood Film
The Iron Giant.

My Favourite TV Series
I don’t have a favourite when it comes to TV but if the famous ‘stuck on island’ question arose, and I had to pick just one TV box set, I’d have to go with Fresh Prince of Bel Air or Friends, either would keep me entertained.

My Favourite Piece of Music
Andrea Bocelli’s Con te partirò. 

The last TV programme that made me cry
I probably shouldn’t answer this, I cry at most things I watch, like David Attenborough’s documentaries. So… pass. 

The lyrics I wish I’d written
There’s too many. The entirety of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song or Leonard Cohen Hallelujah, any song written by Bob Dylan, John Lennon’s Imagine, and of course, The Man Who Sold the World by the maestro himself. 

The song that saved me
I know about finding preservation through music. I’ve spent some restless nights listening to my records and feeling less empty than I did before. Lowkey wrote a song ‘bars for my brother’, a 6 minute song describing the fall out of his brothers suicide – this was the first time I heard a song that felt like it was created just for me. Aside from that, I’d say Nirvana’s Dumb or Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car. 

The instrument I wish I’d learnt
The saxophone always had me in awe but it didn’t take me long to realise that my asthmatic lungs would mean I’d never be an ideal candidate to play. 

The music that cheers me up
Anything Frank Sinatra, reminds me of my mum’s kitchen.

If I could own one painting it would be . . .
George Seurat’s painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.”

The place I feel happiest
Wherever the waves are. I feel most happiest surrounded by the people I love but the ocean will always provide me a particular level of peace that no human is capable of.

My guiltiest cultural pleasure
I don’t feel guilty when it comes to pleasures. 

I’m having a fantasy dinner party, I’ll invite these artists and authors . . .
Scott Fitzgerald, Andy Warhol, Malcolm X, Kobe Bryant, Homer, Issa Rae, EE cummings, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Joni Mitchell, and Ludwig van Beethoven. A mix of people across the generations who I could sit with and have real life conversations with.

And I’ll put on this music . . .
When Beethoven’s in the room, all we’d need is a piano.

The book that I’m looking forward to
My own. When I finish it. 

I wasted an evening watching/listening to . . .
The Game of Thrones finale.

Overrated
Charlie Chaplin. Big weddings. Caviar. Shoreditch. Award shows. Over-priced coffee. Birthdays. The modern-day music industry. Nightclubs. The British Monarch. Your 20’s. India’s caste system. Psychologists. University. Zoo’s. The entire Star Wars franchise. Food critics (unless its A.A Gill).

Underrated
Stan Laurel. He was Chaplin’s understudy very early on and shared a room with him whilst they toured the US. Stan at the time was accused of plagiarism and a fraud before he met Oliver Hardy. Buster Keaton said at Laurel’s funeral: “Chaplin wasn’t the funniest, I wasn’t the funniest, Stan Laurel was the funniest.” I would agree. Chaplin was no doubt an artiste in his field but I never laughed more than I did at Laurel and Hardy.

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