"The Baileys Prize is not the Paralympics, acknowledging a disadvantage and creating a separate, “equal” category; it recognises not a genuine handicap but a perceived one, and supplements accordingly. It ensures that, in a literary landscape dominated by men, there is one persistent piece of architecture which is guaranteed to make six women novelists visible every year. And this is why, all things considered, it is okay for the Prize to still exist; why they may be forgiven for seeking the biggest sponsors, even if that sponsor has resorted to the ‘sex sells’ dictum so nakedly that they made glasses of their product look like tits."
"I love that people think theorising is stronger than dancing. I love that they think that’s a stronger way of changing the world."
"Until Britpop, my listening tastes were fairly broad, taking in anything from The KLF to chart pop, early Prodigy and rave, Soundgarden, Leonard Cohen, Boney M and the Top Gun soundtrack. Britpop’s narrow aesthetic, and that of the media that lauded it, ruined all that, turning me into the kind of wally who’d list the ‘right’ bands on their school ruler. It took me years to recover, and it was only really the rise of detestable lad culture as a core aspect of Britpop that helped wean me off the stuff."
"I also think that “self-improvement” as a dominant cultural narrative and as a product means that we’re drowning in “tips” and “lifehacks” and ways to “optimize” our shit in ways that distract and separate us from deeper engagement with the people and the world around us. And I think that the people who rule this Late Capitalism/Disaster Capitalism/Crony Capitalism/Corporatism/Rule By and For the 1%/Austerity/Eroding of Safety Nets and Public Institutions Like Schools and Roads & Shit What Helps Society Work – whatever you want to call what’s going on in the current political and economic landscape - prosper at our expense when we turn our gaze all the way inward toward what we can do to change & improve ourselves."
"In a weird way, I guess I really like the kind of people who like the Hold Steady. They tend to be latent romantics who spend too much time in bars, who care so passionately about music they’ll fight or cry over it. They’re tough-seeming, weepy sentimentalists coated in nicotine and soaked in beer. They’re my people."