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...

The Heft of Dough

Frank reveals the story behind The Heft of Dough, the notorious concept album made by the power pop combo Agnetha and Anna-Frid and Benny and Bjorn and Dot Tint... The Heft Of Dough is the title of an LP recorded towards the end of the last century by Agnetha and Anna-Frid ... Read More...

I Remember My Father

Frank remembers his father, who would have been 90 years old today... I remember Joe Brainard, Georges Perec, and Gilbert Adair. In I Remember (1970) Brainard devised a form of memoir-writing based on short, single-sentence fragments, following no particular sequence, each beginning with the words “I remember ...” The memory that ... Read More...

Christmas in the Left-wing Style

Frank Key recalls a cosy memory of a 1980s Christmas on the political hard Left... 1983 was, for me, a memorable year for Christmas crackers. I was young, newly-married, and an earnest and idealistic leftie. Being the armchair revolutionary type, I had not actually joined any of the various socialist or ... Read More...

The Pursuit of Knowledge

Google and Wikipedia have utterly transformed our relationship with knowledge, and now everything we need to know seems to be accessible within seconds. We have gained much - but what have we lost?... The novelist Jean Rhys, after a long period of inactivity, responded to her publisher’s gentle suggestion that she ... Read More...