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August 22, 2013
[funny] BREAKING NEWS: Guardian ordered to destroy bourgeois lifestyle articles‘The Guardian has destroyed nauseatingly middle-class articles about garden furniture and teenagers failing to get a place at Oxford. Ministers said it was in the national interest to destroy the articles as they make the UK a target for radical anti-narcissism groups.’
February 26, 2013
[guardian] A Comment Generator For The Guardian‘Collecting my oak-smoked Salmon and dry-cured Trout direct from the smokehouse led me to a fascinating chat with the proprietor this afternoon. Quinoa is great in a packed lunch but it doesn’t keep Quentin full for his after-school amateur dramatics. We should all go back to living in communes like they did in Sweden in the 70s!’
June 12, 2011
[ilike] A Near Perfect Guardian Headline‘Adam Curtis To Make TV Project Inspired By The Wire’
May 25, 2011
[cartoons] Steve Bell On 30 Years Of Political Cartooning At The Guardian‘Nick Clegg, a rather poor clone of Cameron, who in turn is a tribute act to Blair, who is himself channelling Thatcher. And who was she channelling? Her father, Alderman Roberts, the grocer of Grantham town? Winston Churchill? Adolf Hitler? Beelzebub? Who can say?’
December 5, 2008
[funny] The Charlian … Charlie Brooker takes over the Guardian’s front page … On his incompetence: ‘It recently took me 21 days to get round to replacing the lightbulbs in my kitchen, which for several weeks had been blowing one-by-one until finally the room was plunged into darkness. For 21 days I had to feel my way into the room like a blind man, then prop open the fridge door in order to have enough light to be able to see. Your eyes get used to it after a while. So does your brain. It became a routine. Soon opening the fridge felt as natural as flipping the light switch. Standing there, chopping onions in the artificial gloaming, all felt well with the world. It took an incident with a broken glass on the floor and a shoeless foot to nudge me in the direction of the nearest lightbulb stockist, and even then I instinctively used the fridge as an impromptu lamp for another two days before re-acclimatising myself to the concept of ceiling-based light sources.’
July 16, 2008
[comics] Can cartoonists go too far? Yes. Should we go too far? Yes … Steve Bell on the New Yorker’s Barack Obama Cover

So should we tread warily, lest we are misunderstood? Of course we should. Cartoonists are some of the most painstaking, careful, shy and sensitive people on earth, yet we do play with fire, toying with other people’s (and of course our own) most deeply held beliefs and most cherished illusions. Is it possible to go too far? Of course it is? Should we go too far? Of course we should. That’s what makes our job so interesting. There’s no better feeling than, having taken a risk in a drawing, seeing the thing in print and knowing it works. The converse is also true, which is why I work in a bunker on the south coast.

September 14, 2007
[comics] The Unsung Hero behind Spider-Man — Jonathan Ross on meeting Steve Ditko”I’m in New York, standing outside the office of my greatest hero. I know he’s inside because I called ahead and spoke to the great man. Now in his 80s, he was polite but firm. “Don’t come by,” he said. “I’m too busy. I don’t have anything to say to you. But thank you.” I have decided, perhaps unwisely and rudely, to ignore him. I need to know! So there I stand, on the final days of shooting my love-letter to and investigation into the strange life and work of the great Steve Ditko. And my hero has told me not to knock. But I owe it to comic fans the world over who want to hear, at last, from Ditko himself. I owe it the BBC, who have kindly allowed me to take a crew over to New York to see this thing through. Perhaps most importantly, I owe it to my 14-year-old self. So, of course, I knock … ‘
September 13, 2007
[maddy] Madeleine: a grimly compelling story that will end badly for us all — Jonathan Freedland on the McCann Case …

Suddenly we have to hold two entirely contradictory thoughts in our head at the same time. For the McCanns have now either suffered the cruellest fate imaginable – not only to have innocently lost their beloved daughter but also to have been publicly accused of a wicked crime – or they are guilty of the most elaborate and heinous confidence trick in history, deceitfully winning the trust and sympathy of the world’s media, a British prime minister, the wife of the American president and even the Pope, to say nothing of international public opinion. One of those statements, both of them extraordinary, describes the truth. As a senior tabloid journalist put it to me yesterday: “They’re either the victims of a horrible smear which they will never fully escape or they are cold, psychotic killers” responsible for the death of their own child.

September 11, 2007
[comics] Bryan Talbot’s 3-Page History of British Comics (published in the Guardian on Saturday) … Cover, Page 1, Page 2-3.
September 4, 2007
[comics] Marching to his own Toon — Profile of the Guardian’s Steve Bell‘Bell got the idea for depicting him with Y-fronts over his trousers following rumours that he tucked his shirt into his underpants, and although he never phoned Bell to complain personally, it was well known he hated the cartoons. “Prescott was the other one who gave a shit. A journalist I know had been talking to him and said he had been complaining about being depicted as a dog. I am not a f***ing dog’,” he laughs, mimicking Prescott’s northern accent. “So of course I decided to carry on doing it.”‘ [via The Comics Reporter]
March 25, 2006
[politics] Nutkin and the Nobles — Simon Hoggart visits the House of Lords as they discuss Squirrels‘Lord Redesdale was one of the few peers to have even one kindly word for the “predatory” [grey squirrel]. They were friendly little animals, he said, and would eat crisps out of your hand. In Regent’s Park, “a grey squirrel climbed up my trouser leg to look into my pocket”. I can remember when politicians of all parties used to pay guardsmen a shiny half-crown to perform that service. Now, in these more censorious days, they’re reduced to furry rodents.’
March 23, 2006
[comics] Steve Bell’s Page on Comment is Free — Bell on The History of If: ‘What the strip was actually about is a mystery shrouded in the mists of time, as is the fate of most political satire. At first each day presented a different proposition, for instance: “If… God was a Social Democrat” (this being the time when the SDP broke away from the Labour Party), or “If… Stockbrokers were made of rubber”, but this device proved so laboured and expensive in terms of effort…’
March 14, 2006
[blogs] Comment is Free — major new blog launch from the Guardian – it has the day’s If cartoon from Steve Bell at the bottom of the page! (Any chance of an official Steve Bell RSS Feed?) … ‘Welcome to Comment is free, the first collective comment blog by a British newspaper website. It will incorporate all the regular Guardian and Observer main commentators, many blogging for the first time, who will be joined by a host of outside contributors – politicians, academics, writers, scientists, activists and of course existing bloggers to debate, argue and occasionally agree on the issues of the day.’
February 24, 2006
[film] Peter Bradshaw reviews Capote‘[In Cold Blood] virtually invented the modern genre of reportage. The true-life nature of his subject – the brutal slaying of a farmer’s family in Kansas – had a horrible, unacknowledged sexiness that polite literary fiction could not match; reality gave it ballast and sinew, and Capote awarded himself the novelist’s licence to intuit feelings, ideas, moods. Readers then as now struggled to see how the metropolitan gadfly who wrote Breakfast at Tiffany’s could have moved on to this. It was as if Audrey Hepburn has stopped singing Moon River and taken a chainsaw to George Peppard. How the heck had this aesthete-weakling armwrestled American reality into submission?’
January 7, 2006
[comics] Drawing Fire — Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson describes why political cartoonists should never give out their email addresses. ‘…every time I draw a cartoon critical of George Bush my inbox gets inundated with a tidal surge of hate mail. I’m not alone, of course. Steve Bell gets it too. In fact the first piece of digital bile I received asked me why I drew Mr Bush as a monkey, when he was the president of the United States of America and I was just a schmuck. I politely replied that I never had, and that my correspondent had got the wrong lefty cartoonist. I got a reply saying I was an asshole anyway.’
November 17, 2005
[blogs] The New Commentariat — the Guardian on the UK’s Political Blogs … ‘Britain’s bloggers are divided not just by ideology, it turns out, but by their perception of their own importance: while Samizdata proclaims that blogs are the future, for example, Oliver Kamm insists they are an essentially parasitic medium, that can only exist insofar as it feasts on the output of traditional media.’
September 24, 2005
[tv] The TV Hit That No One Watches — the Guardian on Monk‘Working from a memorably high-concept tagline – “Obsessive. Compulsive. Detective” – the scriptwriters contrive all manner of amusing plot twists. Faced with a chaotic crime scene, Monk’s immediate instinct is to tidy it up. His fear of heights – his irrational terrors also include milk, crowds, needles, lifts and mushrooms – is no get-out when he has to investigate a murder on a ferris wheel. Or when he has to join the customary chase up a fire escape (after much torment, he pulls down his sleeves to protect his hands from the grimy rails). Part of the charm is how the series mines his condition for incidental humour rather than mocking it outright. Part of it is watching [Tony] Shalhoub, a consummate character actor, working with his co-stars…’
September 16, 2005
[comics] Liberal Imagination — The Guardian on Liberality for All‘I ask [the writer of Liberality for All] whether he’s concerned about being interviewed by a liberal website like Guardian Unlimited? “You’re liberal? That’s not what I’d heard,” he says. “A friend of mine said you were like Fox News on the web. Maybe it was Sky News.” I suddenly imagine the sound of my editor-in-chief choking on her lunch.’ [via Venusberg]
June 28, 2005
[grauniad] Guardian Readers Rob The Poor‘Our stereotype of Guardian readers is of well-educated, caring, middle-class people working in education or a caring profession or possibly the arts. They are likely to have a strong morality and unlikely to commit a crime or do anything actively nasty. They would like to think of themselves as the moral elite. In fact, most of us can get that slight swell of self-righteous pride by just spreading a copy of the Guardian over a big table with a large cup of Arabica coffee and some French croissants.’
June 17, 2005
[papers] Guardian Resizes Ahead of Schedule — the trend for smaller formats in newspapers continues … ‘The “Berliner” format is already used by a number of European newspapers, including Le Monde, and is slightly larger than a tabloid but smaller than a broadsheet. The move to a smaller format is part of a wider newspaper industry trend and follows the change by the Independent and Times to tabloid.’ [via Feeling Listless]
April 29, 2005
[election] In the Eye of the Storm, it’s Blinking Tricky — Simon Hoggart watching Tony Blair and Gordon Brown: ‘[Nick Robinson of ITN] asked “Are you saying that you would have behaved in an identical way to Tony Blair if faced with the same circumstances?” There was a pause which might have lasted two seconds, but seemed to go on forever. [Tony Blair's] right eye turned to stare malevolently at Mr Brown, like some Oriental jewel that has the power to turn men’s minds. The eyebrow above it arched in a V-shape. Finally the chancellor spoke, or rather barked: “Yes!” The right eye suddenly relaxed and even seemed, just for a moment, to gaze fondly on Mr Brown. Applause broke out from the businesspersons. “Well done!” said Patricia Hewitt, sounding, as always, like a doctor congratulating a small child on surviving a jab without crying.’
April 1, 2005
[election05] Please stop calling us Tories, say Tories‘Though the label Tory has been used for years as a term of abuse by the left, it has never been deemed pejorative by the Tories themselves. Indeed, Conservatives have for centuries been proud to call themselves Tories.’
March 14, 2005
[comics] Another run out for Fat Freddy’s Cat — Guardian readers letters regarding the Robert Crumb feature in G2 last week … ‘Your Crumb pages displayed explicit sex, violence to women, incest, bestiality and child abuse. I read the interview, to see what attempt was made to justify giving publicity to it, but none appeared. It was a case of “a work of genius” justifying the prostitution of a talent.’
January 17, 2005
[books] Digested Read: The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl by Belle de Jour ‘The first thing you should know is that I am a whore. Prostitution is steady work. I open my legs. And then I close them. It beats working in an office.’
January 3, 2005
[bdj] Peep Show — Belle de Jour interviewed over IRC by the Guardian. Belle proves she’s a real blogger:

Belle: so, which browser do you use on your mac?
Guardian: internet explorer.
Belle: Have you tried Safari?
[..]
Belle: As an aside, you do know you'll have to cut-and-paste this conversation into something else in order to save it?
Guardian: ta, will do.

October 7, 2004
[blogs] Spilling the Beans — The Guardian covers job bloggers like Call Centre Confidential and The Policeman’s Blog‘You could argue that job blogs are a way of kicking back against our overwork culture. As people work longer hours, blogging is a way of wasting a little time and claiming back some mental space. It’s a way of dealing with office stress by taking control and making work “your story” – a comedy in which the blogger has the starring role and all the best lines.’
September 15, 2004
[blogs] The Guide — the Guardian finally starts publishing it’s Sunday Guide on the web using a blog format. Charlie Brooker on Crisis Command: ‘…it’s essentially pornography for paranoid news junkies; a gameshow in which a panel of managerial types from everyday life (who are presumably used to making tough decisions, like which secretary to goose next) get to “run the country” for an hour during a simulated crisis.It boils down to a series of agonising multiple-choice questions. Will you quarantine the plague-sufferers? Or line them up and shoot them? It’s that cheery. The correct decision usually turns out to be the most brutal – start agonising over whether or not you should send in the army and it all goes tits up (diseased tits in this case).’
February 16, 2004
[guardian] Guardian Rejects Tabloid — the Guardian won’t be producting a tabloid edition of the newspaper. Alan Rusbridger: ‘We’re still in the phoney war stage, with millions being ploughed into marketing a dual strategy which is, ultimately, unaffordable. No one I know believes that the Independent intends to keep publishing in two sizes. It will drop the broadsheet as soon as it can – and the Times is also trying to push its readers towards the tabloid.’ [via Words of Waldman]
December 18, 2003
[blogs] Guardian’s Best of British Blogging 2003 — My reaction:

a remixed panel from get your war on
[a remixed panel from GYWO]

July 10, 2003
[end-of-free] This is the Future of Online Newspapers — the Guardian will start charging for some online content‘The Guardian was at pains to point out that all the stories (including its archive) will remain free. It will charge annual subscriptions though for its email digests – one at the beginning of the day that cover the day’s papers and one at lunchtime that covers breaking news – as well as for crosswords, an ad-free version of the site and a new digital facsimile service.’
September 26, 2002
[bbb2002] Guardian’s Best British Blogs 2002 — as many of you know I was a runner-up. :) Congratulations to Scary Duck … [Related: Metafilter Thread]
September 4, 2002
[blogs] Best British Blogs — I’ve entered, by the way but I’d probably put money on Troubled Diva winning it. Tom, meanwhile, has come up with this:


July 26, 2002
[blogs] Swish Cottage rates Great British Blogs … Fine summary of Plep: ‘A staggering array of random links. The Bifurcated Rivets that’s fun to read.’ [via Sashinka]
July 21, 2002
[blogs] One last quote about Great British Blogs, from Life as it Happens: ‘What does Anita Roddick know about blogging? And Alan Rusbridger? Granted, something of this response is the idea of the Outside World peering into the blog golfish bowl (“But you don’t understand!” “You’re not one of us!” “You don’t get it!”) Assuming they are reading as everyday readers, why should they not? On the other hand, those who do not blog on a regular basis may well miss the fine points of the game.’
July 20, 2002
[blogs] Couple more quotes about the Great British Blogs Competition

  • Blogjam: ‘…the Internet has turned me slowly from an outgoing, gregarious, popular fellow into a shallow, reclusive computer dweeb with very few remaining friends, and blogjam is the nearest thing to a serious relationship I’ve had in some time. In summary, I think blogjam warrents some recognition for putting up with me. It’s the very least she deserves.’ [via Wherever You Are]
  • Blogadoon: ‘I suspect Blogadoon is too strong on cock and spite, too weak on tech and eye-candy to rate well in any kind of mainstream beauty contest.’

July 18, 2002
[blogs] As always the conversation around the Guardian’s Great British Blog Competition makes it much more interesting…

FellateTheGuardianMachineGo.com

Meta-Blogging: plasticbag.org #1, #2, Blogjam, Inkiboo, Metafilter, Grayblog, not.so.soft, iamcal.com, Wherever You Are, Venusberg, Blogadoon Troubled Diva #1, #2, #3 … plasticbag.org: ‘if you look at the opinions that matter to people, it’s mostly not celebrities or media figures. In many ways, for a large number of people, they’re almost the enemy! They’re relics from the past where for the most part we are kind of the future – the future where everybody is a superhero! Where we all get a slice of the cake, a bite of the cherry. And more importantly, there’s a real feeling that these people most often don’t understand what we’re doing anyway! We’ve seen people like this for years – it’s all PR blurb and airbrushed skin. I don’t think that’s what the weblogging publishing revolution is about! Make them start their own weblogs!’
April 19, 2000
[weblogs] Well it had to happen: newsUnlimited has a weblog.