On Jan Leyk on Mesut Özil

The Sunday before last, German footballer and 2014 World Cup winner, Mesut Özil caused huge controversy, especially in Germany, when he retired from international football because, to unhelpfully condense the whole affair into one sentence, ‘racism should never ever be accepted’. The whole unseemly episode began when Özil and German team-mate Ilkay Gundoğan, who both enjoy… Continue reading On Jan Leyk on Mesut Özil

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Nils Stear Interviewed for R29 Article.

J-Lo recently remarked that men are useless before they turn 33. A Refinery 29 article asks various 33-year-old men whether this is true, here. They interviewed me for the piece on my 33rd birthday. For those short on time, my responses are here.

Are More Important Goals Better Goals?

In the 64th minute of yesterday's Champions League final, Gareth Bale scored an outrageous bicycle kick to give eventual winners Real Madrid the lead over Liverpool. Here it is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JbOoJ_dge4 During the BBC’s Radio 5 Live coverage (at 1:25:33), commentators Mark Lawrenson and Chris Waddle debated whether it was a greater goal than Cristiano Ronaldo’s… Continue reading Are More Important Goals Better Goals?

Guest Post: Imaginative Resistance and the Woody Allen Problem – Kathleen Stock

This post was originally posted at the Thinking About Fiction blog, here. I have a problem. I love mid-period Woody Allen films. In no particular order, I love: the jokes, the affection, the humanity, the characterisation, the depiction of family life, the locations, the performances, the references to other films, books and poetry, the clothes, the music,… Continue reading Guest Post: Imaginative Resistance and the Woody Allen Problem – Kathleen Stock

Saudi Reform and the Assault on Yemen

There's been a flurry of recent news coverage tentatively hailing a possible new era of a liberally reformed Saudi Arabia. The tentativity is appropriate; puff pieces casting various Saudi Royals as the next great reformers have featured in anglophone press outlets for years (David Ignatius, anyone?). The coverage includes a segment on the BBC's flagship… Continue reading Saudi Reform and the Assault on Yemen