Tom Hodgkinson

Tom Hodgkinson is a writer and the editor of The Idler.

i Newspaper
 
TheIPaper
The Independent around the web

Tom Hodgkinson: Who arrives at the door when the pig has been killed? The Methodist minister

When watching television with my children, I attempt  to keep up a stream of anti-consumerist propaganda. “The sole purpose of ITV,” I tell them, “is to sell advertising space to brands and make money for the owners.”

Tom Hodgkinson: Who arrives at the door when the pig has been killed? The Methodist minister

Around 10 years ago, I opened an account with the Co-operative Bank. I was attracted by its policy of not lending money at excessive rates of interest to the very poor and staying out of the way of arms deals and the like. It seemed by far the best of a bad bunch in the sense that it appeared to have morals. At around the same time, in a feeble anti-capitalist campaign, I joined the Phone Co-operative and an energy supplier called Ecotricity, which apparently supplies its power via windmills.

For music lovers: John Cusack with his vinyl collection in 'High Fidelity'

Vinyl demand: One in the eye for the digital prophets

As a former couple go to court in a bid to carve up their record collection, Tom Hodgkinson rejoices in the fact that our love affair with vinyl is far from over

Tom Hodgkinson: 'My current car cost us £350, but it is not £29,650 worse than a 30-grand car'

One of the downsides about spending more time in London is that you are surrounded by expensive cars. I suppose they belong to these oligarchs and super-rich Kuwaitis we keep hearing about, the ones who are buying all the houses in London and digging two basements under them. When I wander round the streets near us in Notting Hill, all I see are gigantic black Jeep-type things and low-slung black sports cars with black leather seats.

Tom Hodgkinson: The objection to a shorter working day is snobbish - what would the unwashed do with all this leisure time?

Should we be talking about a shorter working day? I've just read a fantastic new book about the American labour movement in the late 19th and early 20th century. In Free Time: The Forgotten American Dream, Benjamin Hunnicutt, professor of leisure studies at the University of Iowa, shows that before they got bogged down demanding higher wages, stability and better conditions, unions such as the Industrial Workers of the World (also known as the Wobblies) lobbied for a progressive reduction in working hours.

Tom Hodgkinson: 'Having successfully quit the rat race, I now find myself trying to get back into it'

After 12 years of country living, I am moving back to London. Having more or less successfully quit the rat race in 2002, I now find myself in the peculiar position of trying to get back into it. Bourgeois values beckon. I seem to be embracing what my friend Penny Rimbaud of Crass fame calls "consensual reality".

Tom Hodgkinson: Lusty friars trick credulous ladies into shagging them by pretending to be the Archangel Gabriel

People have completely the wrong idea about the Middle Ages. In the popular imagination, it is an era of bad teeth, short lives, no anaesthetic, religious intolerance, the suppression of women, rampant superstition, boring food and recurrent plagues. But this caricature is very wide of the mark. In actual fact it was an intellectually lively period that was playful, sophisticated and enormous fun. And if the 14th-century Florentine writer Boccaccio is to be believed, it was pretty relaxed when it comes to sex.

Tom Hodgkinson: Bore them round the campfire? You ought to be ashamed of yourselves

As a hack myself, I ought not to be surprised if I myself become the victim of hackery. But last week I was royally stitched-up and for a moment, I confess, I had a sense of humour failure.

Today's middle class feel oppressed in the same way as Marx’s 19th-century working class

It’s not often that you  see the Daily Mail and The Spectator talking about revolution, but that’s what happened last week. Both right-wing rags praised Karl Marx in articles about the death of the middle class. I was stunned to see a big photo of Marx on the Mail’s website, better known for its photos  of celebrities no one has heard of wearing bikinis. It seems the middle class are feeling oppressed in rather the same way that Marx’s 19th-century working class felt oppressed. And the Mail was attacking the rich and defending the new poor, the middle classes who can no longer afford school fees, foreign holidays, meals in restaurants and all the rest.

Do less. That way you might end up doing more

One has to ask – will the ‘unlimited vacations’ policy make a blind bit of difference?

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?