linkmachinego.com
January 17, 2020
[comics] Captain America by Ed Brubaker Reading Order … I’ve been bingeing on a lot of Ed Brubaker comics recently and this reading order was a great help. ‘It’s the most celebrated run on the Captain America modern series.’
January 16, 2020
[books] William Gibson: ‘I was losing a sense of how weird the real world was’ … Another interview with William Gibson. ‘One character suffers something we’ll all recognise – a “momentary pang of phonelessness”. And, hilariously, Agency prominently features a kickass combat drone – like a sort of R2D2-size Swiss Army deathknife, but the heroes have to spend the whole time lugging its battery pack and charger around after it. “That’s a part of my kit as well,” says Gibson, patting the smartphone resting on a spare battery pack by his coffee. “I don’t want people to forget about the charger. You’re lugging it around. You’d be lost without it.”’
January 15, 2020
January 14, 2020
[moore] A Handwritten Alan Moore Interview from 1987‘Q: If Jim Shooter and Dick Giordano wrestled, who would win? Alan: The mud.’
January 13, 2020
[crime] Do It For State Snaps: How a Feud Over a URL Ended in a Bloody Shootout … an astonishing true crime story about how an internet domain name led to a violent dispute.

The gunman wore a baseball cap, had pantyhose pulled over his face, and sunglasses covered his eyes.

Deyo briefly raised his arms in surrender — then bolted into his bedroom. He slammed the door behind him and braced for impact. Moments later, the intruder kicked through the doorway and grabbed Deyo by the neck.

“Where’s your computer?” he demanded. According to Deyo’s courtroom testimony, he led the man across the hall and into his office with the gun now shoved into the small of his back. He sat down, the man opened up his MacBook Pro, and Deyo felt the gun move from his spine to the rear of his skull, the metal hard on his scalp.

“Okay, motherfucker,” Deyo recalled him saying. “GoDaddy.com.”

January 9, 2020
[comics] Sandman to Hark! A Vagrant: the best comics of the decade … another comics roundup of the past decade this time from the Guardian. ‘Providence by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows (2015-17) – The capstone to Moore’s remarkable career in comics, Providence is a horror narrative of staggering depth and detail. The book works as a complex meditation on identity and morality, but it’s also a huge addition to the body of narrative gamesmanship surrounding HP Lovecraft, who lived and worked in the city that gives the story its name. Providence (the comic) at first appears to be a collection of oblique, linked short stories and then resolves into a gigantic vision of inevitable – providential – destruction, wrought by countless tiny, familiar failures.’
January 8, 2020
[crime] Who Really Killed Jimmy Hoffa? … Errol Morris examines who really killed Jimmy Hoffa. ‘What happens next is a matter of conjecture, of inference—a collision between unimpeachable data such as phone calls, the unreliability of witness testimony, and fish-delivery times. We do know several things for certain: there’s a real world out there, a real asphalt parking lot, a real phone booth, and a real Machus Red Fox (now called Andiamo). And Jimmy Hoffa was there, left, and never came back.’
January 7, 2020
[tech] How the Death of iTunes Explains the 2010s … Some thoughts on how tech trends in the 2010s turned us all into digital hoarders. ‘A friend compared looking at a smartphone home screen to looking at the messiest closet in someone’s house. “I would never ask to see either of them,” she said. But trying to organize your phone (or computer) is like trying to organize a closet that can always get larger. Now there’s essentially no hard limit on what you can store on a personal device, be it phone or computer—since 2010, the cost of a gigabyte of hard-drive space has fallen from 10 cents to 1 cent. Why spend your one wild and precious life organizing app icons on a home screen? Why throw out books when you can always buy a new bookshelf?’
January 6, 2020
[movies] “The monster is always to blame—what a convenient stereotype. Everything’s the monster’s fault” [via] …

January 4, 2020
[comics] The Tempest by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill – it’s been a blast … Reviewing the final major comics work from Moore and O’Neill. ‘Power is often a sham in The Tempest, and many of its superheroes are amateur copies of American originals, who themselves are built on a lie; those behind the scenes are not to be trusted. Moore and O’Neill, of course, are also using the creations of others. But they make something new from them. For all the silliness, there’s a reverence here, and a giddiness to these grumpy old men that spills from The Tempest’s pages in joyful hat-tips and preposterous set pieces. As a reader, you feel like a visitor at a party with a bewildering guest list, two hosts who won’t shut up and a new wonder around every corner.’
January 3, 2020
[politics] Who said it: Dominic Cummings or Nathan Barley?‘We need some true wild cards, artists … weirdos from William Gibson novels like that girl hired by Bigend as a brand ‘diviner’ who feels sick at the sight of Tommy Hilfiger or that Chinese-Cuban free runner from a crime family hired by the KGB.’
[blog] Go click: Jamie Zawinsky’s 50 most popular blog posts from 2019 … Zawinsky’s blog is reliably funny, offbeat and relevant to my interests.
January 2, 2020
[web] href.cool: Links of the 2010s … a roundup of the offbeat web sites from the 2010s.
December 31, 2019
[til] 52 things I learned in 2019 … Fifty-two TIL from Tom Whitwell. ‘Polling by phone has become very expensive, as the number of Americans willing to respond to unexpected or unknown callers has dropped. In the mid-to-late-20th century response rates were as high as 70%… [falling to] a mere 6% of the people it tried to survey in 2018.’
December 25, 2019
[tv] Good King Memorex … Happy Christmas… here’s another BBC Christmas Tape from 1979.

December 24, 2019
[memes] 100 Best Memes Of The Decade … Another roundup of the decade list. ‘ “This Is Fine” Dog: The meme has been used a lot to describe various political situations: The official @GOP Twitter used it once, and a senator even described the comic during a Senate Intelligence Committee while describing how Russian election interference was not fine. But the staying power of the dog is about how we all grin and bear it through everything that’s happened over this decade that feels like the house is on fire — the climate crisis, elections, the disappointing last season of Game of Thrones. There is nothing that captures the 2010s more than “this is fine” dog.’
December 23, 2019
[mindblown] Reddit’s Best Mindblowing Facts of All Time‘There are more permutations of a standard deck of 52 cards than there are seconds since the Big Bang.’
December 20, 2019
[tweets] 100 Of The Funniest British Tweets Of The Decade … Amusing collection of tweets.

Piss in the Frog's Mouth Like A Men!

December 19, 2019
[marvel] A Very Marvel Christmas… Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 … Pictures from Marvel’s 1979 Office Christmas Party. ‘To the left is Larry Hama, who at that point in time – and taking over Crazy Magazine — was still new to the offices. We were getting used to this scary, extra handsome long-haired man-with-no-eyes look and he was getting used to us. Lynne can be seen in the background, apparently getting proposed to by Larry from the mailroom. The three coma victims on the couch are Ralph Macchio, Mark Gruenwald and Creator Writer Steven Grant.’
December 18, 2019
[movies] My Painful Quest to Find the Worst Christmas Movie Ever Made … A Gonzoesque search of terrible Christmas movies. ‘I figured this attitude would inform the rest of the movie: It would examine the materialism that’s taken over Christmas, and tell the viewer they should instead focus on doing good in the world, as God would want. But no. The rest of the movie is actually a series of monologues in which Cameron justifies the excesses of the festive season by explaining to the brother-in-law that every single aspect of Christmas is super godly, actually. This includes a theory that Christmas trees have a biblical basis because there were trees in the Garden of Eden, and the cross Jesus was crucified on was also made from a tree.’ (on viewing Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas)
December 17, 2019
[tv] A brief history of the BBC Christmas Tapes … A history of the amusing, unofficial videotapes created by backroom staff at British TV stations and distributed to colleagues at Christmas. ‘The sketches and songs performed by the VT staff themselves are another matter, however. Aside from the industry-standard naked women which pop up every five minutes (always a puzzle – presumably VT engineers had perfectly good wives at home, not to mention access to proper pornography?), the homegrown humour usually amounts to little more than a frustrated engineer singing about obscure editing procedures to the tune of Da Do Ron Ron. Sometimes they try hard, and it looks amiable enough (one bloke at Central did a sub-Neil Innes effort called ‘I’m Just A VTR Dropout’ which was really smashing), while others mine new depths in desperation – on one occasion, Legs & Co being asked to lip-sync an effort called Nice Legs Shame About The Chromophase, for fuck’s sake.’

December 16, 2019
[xmas] Christmas Links 2019 … Stuart over at Feeling Listless is collecting seasonal links as he did in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
December 13, 2019
[life] Simply 17 ‘shower thoughts’ that will make you stop and think, if only for a moment‘There is no physical evidence to say that today is Wednesday, we all just have to trust that someone has kept count since the first one ever.’
December 12, 2019
[books] How William Gibson Keeps His Science Fiction Real … William Gibson profile. ‘Futurists he knew had begun talking about “the Singularity”—the moment when humanity is transformed completely by technology. Gibson didn’t buy it; he aimed to represent a “half-assed Singularity”—a world transforming dramatically but haphazardly. “It doesn’t feel to me that it’s in our nature to do anything perfectly,” he said’
December 11, 2019
[tv] ‘The baddies are going to win again’: a brutally honest guide to election night TV … Stuart Heritage on Election Night TV. ‘1am: Despair – Results are coming in thick and fast, and it’s starting to look as if the exit polls were right after all. This is going to be a drubbing. The baddies are going to win again, and there’s nothing you can do about it.’
December 10, 2019
[politics] Politics in the time of Web 1.0 … Looking back at early British political party websites from the mid-nineties. ‘Piss taking aside, there’s something endearing about these sites. Most of them look like they were done on Microsoft Word, but they remind us of when the internet was viewed primarily as an information resource and not a weapon.’

December 9, 2019
[xmas] Mince pies tasted by baker Alice Fevronia: ‘It screams Christmas’ … Mince Pie Reviews … ‘Very quickly our dynamic reveals itself. Alice loves minces pies – “They’re a pretty integral part of my Christmas,” she admits – whereas I tend to see them as dry and boring and far too much work. She nibbles carefully at the pies, savouring each morsel; my technique is basically to stuff the whole thing in my mouth and then feel sick.’
December 6, 2019
[politics] Uncovered: reality of how smartphones turned election news into chaos … Interesting attempt to study how Social Media influences election news. ‘Several participants were observed sharing articles on Facebook without clicking the links, and excitedly diving into comment sections for an argument before looking at the articles. Most showed a tendency to read news that confirmed their existing views. Some behaviours were more surprising, hinting we may be becoming a nation of trolls. One 22-year-old Conservative-voting woman was observed going out of her way to read reputable mainstream news sources so she had a balanced understanding of Labour policies. But she would then seek out provocative far-right blog posts to share on Facebook because their headlines would anger her leftwing friends and create online drama.’
December 5, 2019
[comics] Best comics and graphic novels of 2019 … With mentions of Ware, Moore & O’Neill and Seth among others. ‘At the heart of the epically inventive Rusty Brown (Jonathan Cape) is a single day at a Nebraska school in the mid-1970s, from which Ware spins the life stories of a shy nerd, his frustrated father, the privileged class jerk and a thoughtful, banjo-playing teacher. A doll is lost, a space mission charted, a car crashed and cupcakes baked, while snow tumbles, pages turn red with trauma and panels shrink to postage-stamp proportions – this is beauty you have to squint at.’
December 4, 2019
[time] The 2010s Have Broken Our Sense Of Time … How mobiles phones and social media changed our perception of time. ‘Using a phone is tied up with the relentless, perpendicular feeling of living through the Trump presidency: the algorithms that are never quite with you in the moment, the imperishable supply of new Instagram stories, the scrolling through what you said six hours ago, the four new texts, the absence of texts, that text from three days ago that has warmed up your entire life, the four versions of the same news alert. You can find yourself wondering why you’re seeing this now — or knowing too well why it is so.’