Aldous Huxley’s views on jazz

'A brimming bowl of hogwash': Aldous Huxley's views on jazz... It was the first time, I realised, that I had ever clearly seen a jazz-band. The spectacle was positively frightening… Oh, those mammy-songs, those love-longings, those loud hilarities! How was it possible that human emotions intrinsically decent could be so ignobly parodied? ... Read More...

From The Diary Of A Crow

On this day in 1970, a crow spotted a craggy-faced, heavy-set poet, and was inspired to write... The diary of a crow, on this day in 1970: Woke up in a foul temper. I was really, really pissed off. Sat atop a tree and shouted my head off. I was still pissed ... Read More...

Googie Withers and Skippy

How might history have turned out if Skippy the Bush Kangaroo had been called 'Googie' instead, asks Frank urgently.... Skippy The Bush Kangaroo might so easily have been called Googie. The eponymous marsupial heroine of the Australian television series, which ran from 1966 to 1968 and is still shown regularly on ... Read More...

Four Last Songs

Frank busts some of the myths surrounding Lothar Preen's storied Four Last Songs... Tra La La, The Drainage Ditch is one of the Four Last Songs by elegantly-bouffanted sociopath Lothar Preen [above]. It is, for the majority of critics, the best of the quartet, a brain-numbing racket of melodic astringency with ... Read More...

Slow Botany

You will be familiar with the slow food movement, particularly if you are a Guardian reader living in an ecotown. Less high profile, but more amenable to the Dabbler demographic, is slow botany. So I am going to tell you all about it... Slow botany developed as a reaction against all ... Read More...

Blind Men and Ostriches

The cruelties of Ancient Rome's circuses give Frank an idea for an exciting new movie starring Russell Crowe... One of the combat sports which thrilled the crowds in the circuses of Ancient Rome was the pitting of blind men against ostriches. A savage and ugly spectacle, no doubt, and one quite ... Read More...

Guns Before Butter

Guns or butter? Butter or guns? It really is as simple as that. Which would you choose?... I have been watching, with something akin to hysterical overexcitement, reruns of the long-running television game show Guns Before Butter. It really is the most fantastic example of Bismarckian light entertainment ever devised. As ... Read More...

Polar Bears: A Safety Tip

Polar bears might look cuddly but in fact they are very dangerous creatures. Here, Frank reveals a top tip for keeping safe when dealing with them... You might, in the unimaginably harsh gale-swept subzero temperatures in the frozen hell of the polar wastes, become peckish, particularly if your picnic hamper fell ... Read More...

Dobson and the Publishers

In a piece of original semi-fiction, Frank Key reveals what happened when prolific pamphleteer Dobson took it upon himself to try his luck with a commercial publishing house... The vast majority of Dobson’s pamphlets were self-published, printed on a Gestetner machine in the garden shed by Marigold Chew, the bindings stitched ... Read More...