the baggy trousered misanthropist

missives issued from the lair

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This is my window. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

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I suppose it would be odd if I didn’t write something about depression in Mental Health Week. But ironically, I’m currently depressed, and more ironically still, unlike all the artists I love and admire, I’m not inspired to greatness by suspension in my own misery.

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I’ve never been particularly comfortable with Caitlyn Jenner’s transition.

That bothered me.

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By resigning from his position as technical director of British cycling, Shane Sutton has instantly become the poster boy for those who believe that women aren’t capable of coping with the rigorous, often unpleasant realities of competing in elite sport.

Phone-ins and social media networks are alight with righteous indignation propelled voices claiming that if women can’t stand the intensity of the motivational tactics (which may or may not include verbal sparring and insults) required, perhaps they should reacquaint themselves with the more suitable challenges of the kitchenette.

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toby young

Toby Young, Daily Mail 1st April 2016.

You could say that drawing attention to this sort of thing is giving the trolls what they want.

That Toby Young will be reclining on his chaise longue this morning, clad in smoking jacket and dragging on the big old Cuban parked between his educated lips while he cackles at the outrage his Daily Mail article provoked.

Rod Liddle will be sitting alongside him.

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It’s a great leveller, social media, isn’t it?

In olden times, before Facebook and Twitter were things, we had no portal to air our feelings on matters that we had no prior knowledge of, so we limited our explosive rants to subjects we were vaguely qualified on or just made a massive fool of ourselves down the pub.

At least then we kept our friends entertained.

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At this point it’s just a rumour, but that didn’t stop me from recoiling in terror at a headline as it rolled by my eyes this morning.

“News and sport station could follow BBC3 in going off air, or even face closure to save its £66m budget?” it whispered in a beguiling, yet ominous tone. The story has since been dismissed by 5Live controller Jonathan Wall, but the damage is done.

The notion I might have to move through my life without the tones of BBC 5Live accompanying my every step has been introduced into my consciousness. The damage has been done.

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When news broke that Sunderland and England footballer Adam Johnson had been arrested on suspicion of sexual activity with an underage girl, the accelerated judicial procedure that is social media reached a verdict within seconds.

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