Thursday 27 May 2010

New blog for New Statesman

So you guys: I've been wheedled away to write a blog for New Statesman with the promise of enough cash to keep me in gin and ribbons for a while. It's all been a bit touch and go, so I didn't want to announce until it was certain, but for the next few months Penny Red will largely be moving to New Statesman online - here. The site isn't finished yet, hence at time of writing my lovely new blogroll mysteriously contains Alastair Campbell.

I will be writing about - well, the same sort of things I write about already, feminism, youth politics, socialism, pop culture. It will all be cross-posted to here under a cut, so the discussion can continue here and at the Staggers. I'll have to run everything by the editors until such time as they're confident that I'm not going to get drunk and post pictures of my bum, so if there's ever anything that needs an immediate response - or anything a bit too heartfelt for the Staggers - that'll be appearing on here too. So, this is by no means goodbye, just a sabbatical. They want me to post 3-4 times a week, too, which is very exciting and also a little bit scary, so expect the content here to go up rather suddenly.

So there's no need to update yr feeds, but I'd rather you did, and I'd love it if people could occasionally link to or comment at the NS blog, simply because if all goes well and there's lots of traffic then I might be assured a more permanent source of income. Blackmail is such an ugly word.

This is, of course, absolutely the worst time for this nice thing to have happened, being that I'm still living out of a suitcase, recovering from a battered heart and attempting to settle into a new job at Morning Star. But I've come to understand that this is always the way of things, that hard work happens when it happens and all you can do is step up to it. I am going to be relying on those who know me in real life to remind me that cigarettes replace neither meals nor sleep. I suspect there shan't be time for many frisbee competitions this summer, but really, does this face look like the sort that enjoys the sunkissed look?

My first column is about Sex and the City and the death of shoes-and-shopping feminism. Enjoy.


  1. Mercenary Hack27 May 2010 at 19:52

    F-ing brilliant news - massive congratulations :-)

  2. Thank goodness! Congratulations! I hope you keep a private diary because these sad months may some day give you great strength when you see how you rose up.

    Also, please try to drop the tobacco. Have you tried zyban/wellbutrin/bupropion? It worked for me after only five pills; I haven't craved a cigarette since.

  3. Oh, please do post pictures of your bum.

    G'luck with the new blog and have fun. x

  4. The New Statesman. I know it well. I was a major contributor back in Dec 08, Jan, Feb 2009. Check out the archives. My psychotic episode was partly played out on their comments page. Really. I went under a few names and I really got stuck into John Pilger. I even rang one of the editors and apologised for my behaviour. I fell madly in love with the comedian woman Shiraz Mirza, and declared my undying love for her. I sent her love poems on her comments page. Some of the stuff I wouldn't mind back. Can you find them for me? Say you're doing a history of earlier blogs.

    Frisbee in the park, come on, you can find a little time for that. Take Sunday afternoon off.

  5. 千石 旬介 (Shunsuke Sengoku)28 May 2010 at 07:18

    Getting paid for what you write normally dilutes the piss and vinegar - the passion - in a writer to homoeopathically low levels of concentration.

    Are you about to lose your verve and vim, Penny Red?

    Could the New Statesman be the Taming of the Shrew?

  6. The Statesman post is great - thank you! I had just read a horribly misogynist pseudo-feminist article on SATC2 ( which depressed me greatly, so it was cheering to read your much more balanced (i.e. not homophobic or racist like the above) take on it.

  7. I still like your lips especially the bottom one. I too have large lips , very similar shape to your own. And Yea I like those lips and I have thought about kissing them. But as I sit here in Wagga Wagga I don't think there is a chance for some time. But I do know that you're now free of 'engagements' and it gives you just that added sensuality. I would go out with you just to kiss those lips. And I'm sure you'd be good fun as well.

  8. I've looked at their archives but I couldn't find my comments .. only a couple of them remain. It looks I was completely erased!!! Some of my best work as well! Is it possible for you to ask around.. what happens with comments that have been erased and if there any storage for them. Or is it the case that they are lost forever?

  9. Big congratulations on your new blog/column, and very nice work on your first piece. I've been frustrated by the amount of ragging on the new Sex & The City flick (it strikes me as a bit 5 years ago), but I like how your post both critiques it and points to it being passe.

  10. I've just got a couple of goats. And I had my first go at milking. The goat teat is rather pleasant and milk does come out but its so slow. And sometimes the goat doesn't want to do it.

  11. Here I mentioned "Sex and The City", although I admit I haven't seen either of the films.

    It amazes me that the scriptwriters did, SATC was still viewed as frivolous fare about four women and their shoes and sex lives. Here are some memorable storylines that obviously had no impact on some people. Miranda's mother died. Steve got cancer and had a testicle removed. Miranda got pregnant by Steve and seriously contemplated an abortion. Charlotte tried to get pregnant and couldn't. Charlotte miscarried. Samantha got cancer and needed chemotherapy. Steve's mother had a stroke and lost her mind.

    And through it all, otherwise intelligent women insist that it was all about girly gossip.


  12. Vanilla Rose: I can't believe that you actually think Sex and the City is something more than a group of smelly sock puppet puppetering like a satchel load of immature school girls.

  13. Much more fitting for an Oxbridge graduate.


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