Corporations are suing our governments and institutions over the pesticide ban. We must act in defiance

When it comes to evil corporations, Bayer is near the very top of the list. In the 1980s, it was directly involved in the deaths of literally thousands of people by knowingly selling HIV-contaminated haemophilia medication to an estimated 10,000 people in the US as a cost-cutting technique, many of…

Russia has a long history of corruption and has never been truly democratic. This won’t change whoever takes Putin’s place

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia has been an exceedingly corrupt country. The conclusion of the Cold War, the so-called ‘end of history’, was meant to bring about stability and democracy to Russia and the rest of the Eastern Bloc. Yet although the election in which Yeltsin was…

The power dynamics, therapeutic effects, and history of the handjob have been neglected for the blowjob

Everyone focuses on fellatio. And indeed, the act of the sacred organ in the mouth of another is something to be relished. Certainly, the blowjob lends itself to some pleasing synonyms: head, gobby, beej, giving skull, blowy, and the ever-favourite knob-job — the list is endless. Histories of the blowjob…

Thoughts on trauma, social constructionism, and confusion

What do you think of when you think of post-traumatic stress disorder? Perhaps images pop into your head of Vietnam War veterans returning home and being offered no support by their government, suffering until silence around the war was broken many years after the fact. Or perhaps you think of…

It wasn’t for the health benefits or because I ‘know I should’

Bernard Black, in perhaps one of the most famous scenes of Black Books, said of smoking lots of fags and drinking lots of wine:

Well to be honest, after years of smoking and drinking, you do sometimes look at yourself and think — you know, just sometimes in between the…

Thinking too much has a bad rep, but for a writer it’s as useful as reading

Brooding is one of the unhealthiest things we humans do. Well, maybe that’s an overstatement, considering war, rape, Viktor Orbán and chain smoking — but it certainly isn’t good for you. It’s not only a symptom but also a cause of both depression and anxiety. It can lead people to…

There’s no shame in having met your long-term partner on a dating app any more

My nan and granddad, may they rest in peace, had a traditionally romantic love story. Nana, ever the working class hero, was waiting tables in a little cafe in West London. Pops, then a teacher at a local public school, spotted her one day and for months ordered his lunch…

If you want to see reality in multi-camera format, you have to come back across the pond to the UK

*SPOILER WARNING FOR JUST ABOUT EVERY SITCOM EVER*

Perhaps there’s something to be said about the old trite maxim (double tautology noted) that Americans are positive go-getters and the Brits grumpy fuddy-duddies. We don’t like generalising at the best of times, but when you compare Scrubs to Black Books or…

The poorest will suffer most for a problem the rich are failing to solve

Whoever told you everyone is responsible for the climate crisis obviously doesn’t read the news. Companies burning down the Amazon for their palm oil; almond growers massacring bees to make their milk; Bayer spreading biodiversity-killing herbicides and poisoning rivers. …

Being intelligent is hard work and the payoff isn’t always worth it

So you’ve just done something really stupid. No, like, really, brain-numbingly idiotic. Something like dropped your keys down the drain because you were carrying too much stuff. Or not taken your hat out with you out of stubbornness about having to carry it around, only to find out it’s arse-cold…

James Matthew Alston

Peter Hitchens once told me I have no sense of humour. Twitter/Insta: @JamesMAlston Bookstagram: @thebibliographer

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store