I’ve recently been reading The Rainbow, D.H. Lawrence’s novel following three generations of a farming family in early 20th century England.

That probably sounds quite boring. Actually Lawrence is quite boring sometimes. He’s extremely repetitious.

If his conversation was anything like his writing I imagine he’d have been a bit of a nightmare to be around. Banging on about his obsessions until you’d have to cry, ‘Alright, alright! Can we move things along?’

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D.H. Lawrence on his passport photo. Picture: Wikicommons

His main obsession — sexual love and all its ramifications — has been poured over a great deal by scholarship. I don’t really have anything clever to…


There’s an invasive species of vine that grows in my yard. It’s problematic, it strangles the trees if you leave it to it.

I’ll pulled up a lot of it but it’s very hard to eradicate. The problem stems I think from the previous owner of the property having fallen sick and been unable to garden for some time. The vine was given free rein to spread throughout the yard.

At the end of another horrible week in American politics it occurs to me that the plight of my backyard is comparable to what has happened to this country. …


In his exhaustive history of American racism, Stamped from the Beginning, the academic Ibram Kendi draws attention to three different attitudes towards racism that he says have existed in America almost since the country’s inception.

The first is the out and out racist, who justifies their hatred for black people by casting them as inferior. The second is the anti-racist, who sees no difference between blacks and whites and so regards any attempt to discriminate based on color not only as wrong-headed, but as just plain wrong.

But the third attitude that Kendi points out is perhaps the most pernicious…


The media response to Marianne Williamson’s debate night performance was somewhat predictable.

The late night shows mocked her New Age credentials and news sites scratched their heads in apparent bemusement.

But so what. If we know anything about the political landscape in this post-Trumpian world it’s that media derision has none of the potency it once had. Witness how little effect they had in their efforts to derail Trump in 2016.

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Williamson at the Democratic debates. Picture: YouTube

Surely a better indicator of Williamson’s impact is the fact that her name is the most googled of all the debate night candidates. And while the media might choose…


When Marianne Williamson steps on stage in Miami for the second democratic debate on Thursday night she will be articulating a message every bit as provocative as the one that carried Donald Trump to the presidency in 2016.

Like Trump, she will find herself an outsider, a relative political novice among seasoned politicians.

And like Trump, she will find herself being written off by a mainstream media that has already made clear it doesn’t take her candidature seriously.

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Like her or not, Marianne Williamson is the only candidate offering real change. Picture: Marc Nozell/Wikicommons

But let’s be honest, what the hell does the media know about these things?

I covered the 2016 election and as the…


I remember reading an interview years ago with Alice Cooper who had been married forever and was being asked about the reasons for the longevity of his relationship.

He put it down to the fact that at a set time every week he and his wife go out for dinner. It’s the kind of data on a famous person that in the past would make me instantly loathe them.

‘Oh Jesus! What a cheeseball!’ I might mutter under my breath.

That was before I got in to a long-term relationship and found myself fighting with my partner over the dull…


How do you unlock your creative genius? This is a question for which there is no shortage of advice out there already.

Many of it coming from people far more qualified to talk about the subject than me — a mere freelancer whose access to his own creative genius can’t be that well-honed or you’d surely have heard of me already.

Why I feel qualified to talk about the subject at all is because while I don’t know what it’s like to succeed creatively I’ve plenty of experience of failing at it. …


A few years ago I found myself at a group therapy session. At the time I had recently become a dad and was frustrated that my anxiety and tension was making it hard for me to relax in to the experience.

I didn’t expect to get much out of the therapy which was quite New Age. (A factor which, at the time, usually guaranteed a dismissive eye roll on my part.) At the end of the session I was handed some literature. Later on I read through it and found a question which stopped me in my tracks. …


Last week a friend told me about a rap artist from the UK called Skittles. My friend has good taste so I followed up on his tip and gave it a listen. I wasn’t disappointed. Skittles is great.

Of course if you listened to him you might think differently. But even if rap isn’t your thing or if rap is your thing but the northern English accent is too difficult or the cultural references too remote, you should at least be able to recognise the craft and talent at work.

As I listened to Skittles I wondered why it was…

Paul Willis

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