Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Commercial: Poetry Postcards

If you haven't got any poetry plans for the summer holidays, may I casually suggest coming to my half-day workshop at The Poetry School, which will feature a gallimaufry* of things, all centred round the idea of using postcards as a way of exploring forms from around the world? There will be much writing, pretty pictures and general gadding about.

It would be tremendous if you could join us. More details here.

*medley of things might be as disorganised as all that.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Modest proposals, unknown soldiers

Two wee little things that I scribbled are now roaming around the wilds of the internet:

1) A Modest Proposal for a whole new media channel, written in the guise of a slightly unhinged brand manager.

2) As part of the 1418 Now project, a very tongue in cheek letter to the Unknown Soldier at Paddington Station.

Tea and cakes in Berlin!


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Poetry: The creed of Creed

Earlier this year, I was fortunate to be part of Tamar Yoseloff's workshops, run as part of the Hayward Gallery's Martin Creed retrospective What's the point of it?

Suffice to say there were mixed reactions to Creed's work, and this led to some equally interesting poems in response.

You can now read a couple of these, including one by me in response to Work No. 1000 above, over at the Southbank Centre's blog.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Commercial: Lunching an author

You all know that the rather marvellous And Other Stories do rather marvellous things to bring us some of the most interesting literature out there.

They also do lots of rather marvellous things that bring us as readers closer to authors, and publishers too. Yes, I'm biased – I'm a subscriber – but I've partaken of their hospitality, and love the fact that I have a close bond to them as an organisation, as well as having discovered some great books and writers I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have without them.

All of which is a preamble to say that the second of the And Other Stories author supper clubs happens this coming Saturday, except that it'll be a luncheon. The guest this time will be Ivan Vladislavić, and you'll get to chat all things Restless Supermarket and Double Negative, as well quaffing and dining in the company of Stefan, And Other Stories' major domo, and other subscribers too.

More details here, and hopefully I'll see you at the next one.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Commercial: Puppets Give Bad Advice

From the desk of Uberpup, the latest film. Chortle much you will.

Puppets Give Bad Advice from Ria Dastidar on Vimeo.

Background &c here.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

On 'Digital first'

I got annoyed by a thing this morning, so I wrote some tweets about it, then Tim Rich very kindly offered me some more space at 66000mph to expand upon it. So I have.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Listorama: Facebook status updates vol 34

BetaRish is...

is an auteur with ill-concealed borrowings from other film-makers

has a mistress called Time, and she is demanding

is scrabbling, ever so slightly

didn’t win a statuette, and so now has to buy a doorstop

is wedged in for the duration

Early at the desk means success, right?

Writing for the young people is hard

will never be a Shoreditch kid

Campaign thinking on a Saturday. One notepad killed already

The sun is an engine of happiness

Back on the hustle

It’s the Ides of April you have to watch out for. They’re the sneaky ones

is being distracted by the boy cat

is drumming his pen lid impatiently

is resolved to repent

isn’t rocking a new streamlined look today

is a guaranteed no-claims discount

has his proofing specs on

is looking to be acqui-hired

Just casually doing the internets in the garden in Stanmore

is a fool, whatever the month

has been told to folly it up

How does that ordering something from the universe thing work? Is there an app?

The rushing is palpable

is hesitating to start the day

is a rejected oblique strategy

is thieving and boodling, a grade criminal of finished rascality

is styling it out

is scribbling, scrabbling

took a showgirl for my bride

will be arguing over questions?

might finally be learning that the secret to three dimensional chess is knowing when to wait, and knowing when to unleash your horsey-men thingies

is a bounder and a cad, ye gads!

has still not come out of the cave

is good, better, top top

is a hotbed of scheming and intrigue

is probably going to have to go crate digging on himself

It appears to be all coming together

riverwalk, past dogs and owners and curses of commuters, and the hazy rage of a city striking and failing to stop

Yomping and ting

From my hotel window, Dubai looks like a Vegas strip mall, as decorated by a neon signwriter with a very cursive hand

The call to prayer in the airport is also the call for home. See you soon Dubai; see you even sooner London

Frist proper day, innit?

is scratching his head, in order that the words might come out

will always be waiting for you

is a monstrous burden of leadership

is bringing fractiousness to a harmonious nation

Frankly, Frank was a very unfrank film. An an un-Frank one to boot


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Opinion: on explanatory journalism

I've written a piece for Imperica about the new wave of journalism startups, and how they might not be peddling something as new as they or you might think.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Reportage: The teacher

Dateline: 18.02, 28.03.14, Piccadilly line, Westbound, last carriage

She is by the door, staring determinedly into the other carriage, having commandeered the cushion she is meant to be leaning on; instead it has become an impromptu occasional table. The occasion, it appears, is getting ready for her Friday night out. iPhone is fished out of capacious bag, pink headphones plugged in, and then maquillage deployment can begin.

She sways as the tube sways, or it could be the rhythm of what she’s listening too – everything is a syncopated whole – and this remains true as lipstick follows mascara follows foundation: efficiency is winning in her impromptu mirror.

But it is when she starts singing, that is when my attention is caught properly, and also that of the woman standing next to me, who got on at Earls Court. As ‘Guantanamera’ floats between us, she smirks an uncontainable silent smirk and proceeds to type a note no doubt recording this particular Tube etiquette foible on her mobile.

A scrum of gallery goers at South Kensington deposit me closer to the occasional table; and acknowledging this, she unplugs and begins to talk.

She tells me, yes, I am one of those awful passengers – I even have a KFC in my bag. But I’m getting ready for a reason. My singing has a purpose. I’m learning the songs for my set later tonight. No, not karaoke, but cabaret. It’s what I live for. Teacher Monday to Friday, musical performer on the weekend. My biggest gig? I was in a T-Mobile advert once, singing round Heathrow; we were in the terminal after midnight, wandering round, emoting.

Leicester Square. I wish her luck for the night and forget to tell her she has lipstick on her teeth.