He was born beautiful, too beautiful. The day he sat nude for an artist, he turned his sculptor to stone. Anatomically, the features of his face regraded the measure of perfection, yet inside he fought a civil war against his appearance. He tried to waste his physique away, on dead beat diets and week long binge-athons, but to little or no effect. He turned to surgery to uglify himself. After undergoing several successful disfigurements, he finally found contentment in his skin. The surgeon won a joint Nobel Prize for Science and Peace (the trophy was grafted together) and they became friends, then partners, until the day they died. In a fire.


In today’s Guardian, George Monbiot throws a compelling strop in defiance of brands bullying their way into school classrooms. Without wearing a righteous bib, I’m with him on this one. As a governor of a small Cornish primary school held together by sticky tape and a group of astonishing teachers, it’d be easy to wilt to the power of the corporate coin. And like all drugs, once you accept you’re hooked.

Aid, whether it comes via companies, charities or philanthropists, is the fast lane to insolvency. In a world that is screaming sustainability from the grass roots up to the rooftops, we need to find ways of growing without these handout steroids.

Monbiot has signed up to a campaign called Leave Our Kids Alone, as have I. If it appeals to you, join us here:

It also asks for a donation, which, depending on how you handle F Scott Fitzgerald’s definition of a first rate intelligence – to hold opposing thoughts in your mind at the same time and still function – might compel you to give a few quid and embrace the glorious knot of hypocrisy, or nail your morals to the school gate and keep your wallet shut.

If all that leaves you feeling suicidal, console yourself with the sales technique of this LA store-owner who convinced my kids to buy half a kilo of Pooh Bear’s favourite snack: