Stiff Upper Quip

James Harris
Writing about politics and culture
Created 11 Aug 2021
  • Nobody is asking you to take public transport that doesn't exist
    02 Dec 2021 • 5 min read • 1 0
    "Leamington Spa Station" by ell brown is licensed under CC BY 2.0 The concept of expertise has become a tricky one; how do you identify it across a sea of competing voices? How do you identify experts...
  • Replacing Johnson with Starmer is not a moral dilemma
    25 Nov 2021 • 4 min read • 3 0
    Not once in the last years have I thought, regarding the ongoing debacle that is British governance, ‘Jeremy Corbyn would have sorted this.’ The very most I could have managed is ‘Jeremy Corbyn would ...
  • The woke and the anti-woke are going down together
    18 Nov 2021 • 6 min read • 3 5
    Omar Jimenenz presents from Kenosha, Wisconsin in August 2020. It is worth remembering that eighteen months ago it was the done thing in progressive circles to say that rioting was good. Or not happen...
  • On literary rejection
    11 Nov 2021 • 5 min read • 6 1
    ‘Le Château des Pyrénées’(1959) [The Castle of the Pyrenees] by René Magritte It’s well-established that literary life involves a lot of rejection. They should perhaps be clear about just how much. I ...
  • Dave Chappelle is in danger of losing the funny
    04 Nov 2021 • 5 min read • 4 1
    I don’t generally watch stand-up comedy. I performed it for twenty years and very much feel I’ve had the experience. And by and large I know how it’s done – the majority of brilliantly executed bits e...
  • In praise of ambition
    28 Oct 2021 • 5 min read • 2 5
    I shall be like that tree – I shall die at the top. Jonathan Swift Ambition has a bad reputation of late. It’s seen as a touch ‘toxic masculinity’, a distraction from the really important things in li...
  • It's time to get serious about cow farts
    21 Oct 2021 • 3 min read • 2 0
    Subscribe now Is this humanity’s deadliest foe? Picture via Encylopedia Britannica/Adstock RF The COP 26 summit is due to begin in Glasgow next month and all the signs are that it will be, like humani...
  • I will always respect your pronouns
    14 Oct 2021 • 6 min read • 5 2
    Subscribe now Like many, I’ve watched the debates over trans rights closely over the last few years – admitting straight off that it to a degree puts you on one side to acknowledge that there is a deb...
  • On being grateful for what you have
    07 Oct 2021 • 4 min read • 1 0
    Subscribe now My wife and I are watching a film about a bloke who can only move one eyelid. ‘Poor bastard,’ I say. ‘Doesn’t get much worse than that.’ My wife is eating a steamed bun. ‘I really should...
  • 'Toxic masculinity' is not enough for fiction
    30 Sep 2021 • 4 min read • 2 0
    Subscribe now Christian (Jack Reynor) in ‘Midsommar’ (2019). ‘Midsommar’ was a breakout hit, the kind of scary movie which started cropping up in the conversation of horror-agnostic friends. It tells ...
  • View More on Substack »