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Simmy Richman

Simmy Richman is Associate Editor of The Independent on Sunday's New Review magazine. He is also a writer and CD reviews editor for The Independent on Sunday

Love me gender: Chaps in tune with their masculinity

Bear with me, there will (hopefully) be a point. There is an old joke about two Jewish men in Germany in the 1930s. One is reading a Jewish newspaper, the other a Nazi propaganda rag. “Why are you reading that?” the first asks the second. “Well,” the man replies, “if I look at your paper, all I read about is persecution and poverty. If I look at this, all I read about is how we control the world.”

The Real Liam Gallagher stands up - with a contemporary art show

His Wikipedia entry describes him as an “entertainer, artist and writer” but none of that really covers the work of Scottee. “Mostly what I do,” the 30-year-old north Londoner says, “is find something that annoys me and respond to it.” In the past, that has led Scottee to host talent contests for fat people and to produce art characterised by what he describes as “shining a light on the s***”: “I am fat, queer, left-handed and dyslexic,” he says, “and I live in a world that treats outsiders as grotesque.”

Careless whiskers: Derek Acorah's feline tales from the spirit world

The internet is full of weird and wonderful things, but there are still times when a print magazine can teach new media a trick or two. Which is a long-winded way of drawing your attention to a publication called Soul & Spirit, which, for the past few years, has run a column by Derek Acorah called, I kid you not, “Pet Psychic”.

This could catch on: the secret questival for the young at heart

There is a key moment in While We’re Young, the Ben Stiller/Naomi Watts comedy (in cinemas now), when Stiller’s character first notices that hip twentysomethings are fetishising books, VHS videotapes, vinyl records and typewriters. “It’s like everything we threw out,” he says, “except it looks good.”

Bruise control: You can't turn a blind eye to this campaign

Usually little more than a blight on the urban landscape, last week a billboard appeared that can be said to be both a force for change and a fiendishly clever work of art. The campaign to raise money for Women’s Aid – the “national charity for women and children working to end domestic abuse” – urges passers-by to stop and stare at a video of a bruised woman. The longer they look, the more the progress bar at the bottom of the screen fills and the woman’s bruises vanish.

Give piece a chance: The jigsaw party completes the picture

Tired of the same old political parties? Having second thoughts about your membership of the Greens? Ladies and gentlemen, it is this column’s proud duty to announce the launch of a new political force whose very presence will, in time, shake up the old order into a thousand pieces. I give you Dave Wasgij and the Wasgij Party, which will announce its arrival at a night called Stand Up for Comedy at the Comedy Pub in Piccadilly, central London, on 19 March.

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Local hero: One man's stand against (full-size) Snickers

While online audiences and digital revenues are, in some cases, growing, it’s fair to say that the past decade or so has not been kind to local newspapers. In the past month alone readers have seen the closures (sorry, the move to online only) of The Wokingham Times and the Reading Post, to name just two.