The Metropolitan
Badges showing The Metropolitan as been a Substack featured publication in 2022 & 2023Badges showing The Metropolitan as been a Substack featured publication in 2022 & 2023

Welcome to The Metropolitan, a weekly newsletter about the pop-cultural and social experience of British Generation X.

We’ll be covering movies, books, films, TV programmes, music, advertising and marketing, social trends, and other cultural phenomena that we find brilliant, interesting or resonant. This could mean Life On Mars or Angela Carter, Jaws or Jack Reacher, Kaye Webb’s reign at Puffin Books or the way that men’s friendships play out in the presenting teams on popular podcasts.

We aim to write honestly and thoughtfully about how our generation’s cultural viewpoint was formed, and how we interact with culture to this day. This means we’re writing with an explicit focus on the viewpoints of British people aged around 45-65, but if we do it right we hope many other people will find it interesting too.

Pieces we’ve written so far include:

The Metropolitan
Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette
Some time ago I asked Metropolitan contributor and art academic Annette whether she could write something about the production design of recent historical dramas. I’d noticed I was seeing pastels and Prussian blue everywhere, and that the stylish stranglehold of minimalism had been thrown off in favour of a riot of clashing patterns and textures. And th…
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The Metropolitan
Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain
We were raised by Puffins. With three TV channels and no internet, for long stretches of our lives reading was the best (and sometimes, the only) way to pass the time. In X Libris we return to the books that made us. Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain (Reader’s Digest, 1973…
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The Metropolitan
Beck and the 1990s Angel Dust Bowl
‘Butane – veins – junkie – kill – flaming – insane – shotgun – violation – maggot – Mace – burning – kill – double-barrel – buckshot – kill – evil – nightmare – gas chamber – weasel – cocaine – hung himself – hanging – hate – choking – kill – crazy – kill – drive-by – pierce – kill – kill – kill – kill…
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We won’t be providing instant reviews and hot takes, because the internet is full of them. We won’t be doing hit jobs either; it’s harder, and more interesting, to put your finger on why something works.

As Tracey Thorn sang in Oxford Street, we ‘grew up in a little world’ that flared and guttered between Playschool and Facebook, and would be unrecognisable to those younger than us. That little world influences us to this day. The Metropolitan is our swing at analysing pop culture and social trends from this specific viewpoint. We’d love you to come along with us.

Weekly emails

Every week we publish a short essay (about ten minutes of reading). It might be art, it might be children’s TV, it might be lost and haunted shipwrecks at the bottom of the Great Lakes.

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Subscribe to get weekly issues direct to your mail box or browse our archives for past issues.

One essay a month will be paywalled with only a preview for free subscribers. All paid accounts will be able to read the paywalled essay.

We will also be producing a monthly podcast of readings of essays from the archive relevant to that month’s pieces.

To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.

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Weekly emails about pop culture & society, written by British Generation X. No dunking. No hot takes. No false nostalgia. Choose the 'Free' option when you subscribe to get the weekly newsletter.

People

Writer and Creative Director, I also play a man who knows about data visualisation in several Guardian Masterclasses
Ex-policy and campaigns at Mumsnet; freelance writer for national publications and gun-for-hire.
Bad at computers
No dunking. No hot takes.
Deputy Editor of Time Out, occasional Sunday photographer and painter