Terence Blacker

The writer and broadcaster Terence Blacker contributes a twice-weekly column on a wide range of social, cultural and environmental issues. He is the author of four novels, of prize-winning fiction for children, and has written a highly praised biography of the brilliant reprobate Willie Donaldson.

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'Selfie': One of the peculiarities of the past few months has been how the idea of taking a photograph of your own face has become something new and interesting

Terence Blacker: The top 13 words and expressions to be excluded this 2014

'Banter', 'Aspiration', 'Selfie'? Not this year, thank you very much

By all means ‘prepare’ for old age. But don’t forget to live in the present

Any 30-year-old who changes how they ate with an eye on life 35 years down the line is in serious danger of excessive sensibleness

Hair time: Colin Wilson breaks another literary rule: don't pose for silly pictures

Colin Wilson: Eternal outsider

For ambitious would-be authors, the life of Colin Wilson presents itself as a cautionary tale. Here, Terence Blacker explains where the self-proclaimed genius went wrong

One portion too many of Heston Blumenthal

TV chefs are everywhere at the moment

Panto dames are in decline, and it’s all down to the spirit of the age

Young actresses playing  Dick Whittington no longer seems quite right

Don’t be an Ed Miliband on Desert Island Discs. Instead choose these eight tracks

The Labour leader has been rightly scorned for music that merely ticked boxes. He could so easily have been a lot less boring…

Review: Stuff I've Been Reading, By Nick Hornby

From North Korea to Lucille Ball, this collection has both charm and smugness

Are you a believer? Lucille Ball in the 1940s

Stuff I've Been Reading, By Nick Hornby: Book review

From North Korea to Lucille Ball, this collection has both charm and smugness

Mixed message: Lily Allen's new video

Real debate vs striking a pose

There's nothing new in celebrities 'speaking out' about controversial issues. But how, asks Terence Blacker, did their half-formed views start to replace real debate?

Hope rather than experience: Young fame-seekers queue for TV talent show auditions

The lost generation: The kids brought up to feel as if they're failing - from school to TV shows like The Apprentice and The X Factor

Privilege, it seems, is not all it’s cracked up to be. As depression besets middle-class youth,  where’s society going wrong?

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Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015