The Reading Lounge

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Leonard Cohen bows out before the Age of Indecency 

trumpocalypse-baxterWeep not for Leonard Cohen, for he does not have to witness the ascension of Donald Trump to the most powerful position in the world. And yet, in July this year, it was Cohen’s 2014 album Popular Problems that kickstarted development of my #Trumpocalypse #mixtape.

I said it then, and I say it again now: “If we’re going down in the #Trumpocalypse, I’m going down with Leonard Cohen.”

The ‘popular problems’ he addressed in his penultimate work included past and present horrors of human suffering, entwining the geopolitical with the deeply personal as his best work always does. From the comfort of my bathtub it sounded almost like the blues and a perfect soundtrack for our times. Continue reading


David Bowie’s death means everything. And nothing

David Bowie is dead. Weeks after the event it’s a phrase that still carries an air of incomprehensibility, no matter how many times I say it out loud. Each morning I’m asked, “How are you today?” And each morning I say again, “Alright.” And yet, David Bowie is dead.

There will be a day which doesn’t start that way but it isn’t here yet. Your Girl Reporter is not given to ostentatious displays of mourning. But David Bowie is dead. And, like the great art he made, it means everything. And nothing. Continue reading


Your Girl Reporter is now filing as Maria Spackman at www.mariaspackman.com Same great content, whole new website. I’m leaving Sally Baxter up, as I can’t quite bring myself to let her go completely, but it’s time to honour my family name – and use it. Hope you’ll join me for the Further Adventures of a Girl Reporter. It’ll be fun.