1 March 2001
[hutch] Louis Theroux meets David Soul… interview from The Idler. ‘What do you want to be in life? I want to be happy, I want to be happy, I want to be happy, I want to be happy! You push push push push push. Happiness, it seems to me, is you kick back and you say “I’m happy!” It’s not something that you make, it’s something that you realise, that you come to. And it can be in a moment, it can be in a relationship, a day or a lifetime, but we’re not always happy, so why do you try to be happy? It’s trying! Trying! Pah! Don’t!’ [Related Links: Everything I ever needed to know I learned from Starsky and Hutch]
[life] Things fall apart — The Guardian looks at the complexity of life in Britain in the aftermath of the train crash yesterday‘Complexity is the world we live in. People still think it isn’t. People still think that when they go to a supermarket and buy a pound of meat it’s exactly the same thing they used to do 30 years ago when they went to a shop up the road. In no respect is it the same. The meat has gone through the hands of 75 different people. It might be a French sheep, slaughtered in Belgium, butchered in Germany, part sent to Saudi Arabia and part sent here. I blame the training of today’s managers. They’ve not been trained to think about robustness and stability. They’ve been trained to think about efficiency. Efficiency, to a modern manager, means that every conceivable component is just about to break down.’
2 March 2001
[a-team] Mr. T vs George W. Bush. For no reason at all… the voiceover on the opening credits of the A-Team… ‘In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. They promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no-one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team.’ [via GLITTERDAMMERUNG!]
[puke] Louis Theroux remembers his greatest vomits.‘This, I realised, is the paradox of the puke: that it is a provocative act and yet at the same time utterly involuntary. It’s like Tourette’s Syndrome made physical. I wanted nothing more than to be in bed with a cup of sugary tea and yet here I was instead staging weird, almost avant garde actions, spraying the walls of my friend’s parents’ toilet with regurgitated carrot.’

Back of a beermat - because sometimes LMG needs a random image and to remind me of a weird Saturday...
3 March 2001
[comics] Pow! Wham! Permission Denied! According to Lingua Franca DC Comics rountinely deny reprint permissions to academic writers which write about Batman’s sexuality… ‘DC’s rejection of York’s request fits an apparent pattern of resistance to gay interpretations of Batman. In 1991, Routledge published an anthology titled The Many Lives of the Batman, which includes an article on Batman as a camp icon. Permission to reprint art was denied. In 1993, The New Republic ran a satiric cover cartoon in which Batman and Robin exchange terms of endearment. DC immediately asked for, and received, an apology.’ [thanks to John at Linkworthy]
[the last link] Ending the first year of LMG on a high… Check out Bjork Remix Web. Simply amazing music…. I’m listening to the Magical Mystery Man Mix of Big Time Sensuality… [via Memepool]
4 March 2001
[lmg year zero] Well…. it’s LinkMachineGo’s first birthday. Come sit with me a while… as I bouce the little tyke on my knee and it farts and burps out a years worth of favorite links…

March 2000: A favourite quote of mine from Grant Morrison’s Animal Man: ‘What’ll it be next? Choice extracts from the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations? Trotting out the Nietzsche and the Shelley to dignify some old costumed claptrap? Probably. Sometimes you wonder, in an interconnected universe, who’s dreaming who?’

April: I wonder: Would you get baptised just to please your dying father?

May: Barbara Cartland dies…. and I do a few link tributes to the mad old bitch…. ‘Men have always made a fuss of me. I still have several admirers who send me jewellery and chocolates. So I must be doing something right’ – aged 96.

June: There are certain things that a simple man from Norfolk should not be exposed to…. I see Keith Chegwin’s knob on TV. Meg from NotSoSoft provides a photo… from then on I will get four or five referrals a month from Google about… Keith Chegwin Nude.

July: A classic quote from Preacher: ‘I mean look at me: My head looks like a penis, I’ve got one leg, one ear, one eye, and my cock’s been replaced with a rubber tube.’

August: I wonder about the important things in life: How many degrees of seperation between Blakey from On The Buses and Kevin Bacon? ‘I’ll get you Butler!!’

September: I play My Name is… Frank Butcher.

October: Nishlord sums up Paula Yates: ‘Some of us are born great. Some of us achieve greatness. And others have a pop star’s cock thrust upon them.’

November: The desperate search for meaningful content continues…. I begin to rip off quotes from various authors‘On page 39 of California Living magazine I found a hand-lettered ad from the McDonald’s Hamburger Corporation, one of Nixon’s big contributors in the ’72 presidential campaign: PRESS ON, it said. NOTHING IN THE WORLD CAN TAKE THE PLACE OF PERSISTENCE. TALENT WILL NOT: NOTHING IS MORE COMMON THAN UNSUCESSFUL MEN WITH TALENT. GENIUS WILL NOT: UNREWARDED GENIUS IS ALMOST A PROVERB. EDUCATION ALONE WILL NOT: THE WORLD IS FULL OF EDUCATED DERELICTS. PERSISTENCE AND DETERMINATION ALONE ARE OMNIPOTENT. I read it several times before I grasped the full meaning.’

December: Christmas pictures of Ann Widdecombe and her cats — Pugwash and Carruthers! ‘Goodness gracious, what is that? It’s Mr. Pugwash, my black cat. Goodness gracious, are there others? Yes indeed, my cat Carruthers.’

January 2001: A long weekend expressed as links…. Friday: Blog, Oxford Street, Selfridges, Starbucks, Marks and Spencers, MyHotel, drink, Move on to Soho — more drink, Japanese food, drink, back to MyHotel, drink, cab, home, Try to Blog… too pissed, Sleep. Saturday: Badly hungover, 4 * Nurofen + time = feel better, hungry, read Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl?, Eco, Sexy Beast, Blog, Sleep. Sunday: Blog, More Powers, Cast Away, National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation, Baddiel’s Syndrome, Blog.

February: Darren’s Circumcision — I have a rather Disturbing Search Request.

Thanks to Chris, Phil and Andy. LMG Year One starts here…
[bomb] Metafilter discusses the bomb at the BBC (with a contribution from me). There are also some postings from Dave at Brainsluice and Vaughan at Wherever You Are. From my posting on Metafilter: ‘As a friend of mine said about a previous bomb explosion in London… ‘This is far to close to home’. I use the White City Tube station and main entrance to BBC Television Centre every weekday to get into work … the servers I administer are about 5 floors above where the bomb exploded… ‘
5 March 2001
[moz] The death of Diana predicted in Morrisey’s music‘Morrissey’s lyrics to THERE IS A LIGHT THAT NEVER GOES OUT from THE QUEEN IS DEAD concern: two people on a date at night in the city driving in a car fantasizing about getting killed in a car crash gripped by fear in an underpass. Over a decade later we have Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed: two people on a date at night in the city driving in a car getting killed in a car crash in an underpass.’ [via Barbelith Underground]
[politics] Guardian Unlimited wonders… Why is the Labour Party so Dull? ‘After almost four years in power, with the largest majority in Labour’s history, and the Conservatives empty of rival ideas, all the prime minister had come up with was another cautious summary of the Third Way. Taylor is rather ruder about it: “The ridiculous, fatuous claim that a mild form of Christian democracy represents a new politics . . .” His smooth, media-ready voice rises with the disappointment. Without sounding terribly regretful, he adds: “I’ve fucked my peerage.”‘
[weblogs] This is interesting… Neil Gaiman is updating a journal about a new book via Blogger and Warren Ellis is doing a what strongly looks like a photo blog…. [via Blogadoon and WEF]
6 March 2001
You get that bus out, Butler![tv] The On The Buses Drinking Game… God forgive me… I’ve always liked On The Buses. I’m a child of the 70’s… I have no taste. From the Amazon review: ‘There was always something faintly dirty about On The Buses–and not just the humour, which was simply more of the polite strand of “blue” that British audiences had come to expect in the mid-1970s. It was the whole look: grey and miserable. And the setting: a dismal suburban bus depot, and an equally decrepit family home. Or perhaps it had something to do with Olive, and her lank greasy hair, and the knowing leer of Jack, Stan’s lecherous fellow conductor and partner-in-crime. A working-class comedy, one step up from the Beckett-like squalor of Steptoe And Son, it starred Reg Varney as Butler, a larrikin bus conductor with a hopeless romantic track record, and Stephen Lewis as “Blakey”, the inspector who tries valiantly to bring him undone.’ [Related Links: Blakey On-Line]
[expletive deleted] BTopenworld CE insults Net users ‘A senior exec at BT has slurred the good name of British Net users describing their online activities as a “passive and sometimes rather weird kind of entertainment”. BTopenworld CE, Andy Green, delivered his insults during a debate organised by the Parliamentary IT Committee (PITCOM) on the White Paper on the Regulation of Telecommunications.’ [via Digitaltrickery]
[comics] Chick Comic Theater does some amusing analysis of Jack Chick’s best work: Don’t Try Suicide, What Do You Expect In A Town called Sodom?, Rock Music…Inside Satan’s Boombox, Dungeons and Dragons…Geeky Pastime, or Gateway to Hell? ‘…if I’m not mistaken, that demon on the right side of the bed is whacking off! I feel sorry for Lance’s Mom. Not only does she have to discover her dead son swinging like a Pinata, but she’s got to clean up the unholy demon spew from his bed, too.’ [via Venusberg]
7 March 2001
[words] According to Everything2 these are the twelve most powerful words in the english language: YOU, MONEY, SAVE, NEW, EASY, LOVE, DISCOVERY, RESULTS, HEALTH, PROVEN, GUARANTEE, FREE.
[HTML] For some reason I’ve made LMG HTML 4.01 compliant. It’s not that hard… at least not on a page this simple. Does it break any browsers? Let me know.
[apple] Rip, Burn, Mix. If you’ve got the time or bandwidth… a great Apple TV commercial. [via Scripting News]
8 March 2001
[budget] Steve Bell on Gordon Brown’s Budget…. ‘The Poor Box’. Simon Hoggart’s sketch of the Commons yesterday: ‘The Tories were thunderstruck by the chancellor’s boast, as if their entire air force had, so to speak, been destroyed on the ground. Michael Portillo looked utterly miserable. Oliver Letwin and Francis Maude seemed positively distraught. Ann Widdecombe’s eyes bulged alarmingly, as if her corsets had come to life and were squeezing the breath out of her. Michael Ancram, the normally ebullient party chairman, gave the impression of a man who has just detected a ferret climbing his trousers, north towards his Y-fronts.’
[monkees] Think Diffident. Nice profile of ex-Monkee Mike Nesmith (the one with the wool hats and sideburns)…. ‘The news media, it’s true, sticks to Nesmith’s Monkee-ness like gum on a go-go boot. Never mind that Nez helped invent MTV and country rock, that he published a novel and pioneered a home-video distribution business, and that he cut 13 post-Monkees albums and produced cult film classics like Repo Man. And never mind that Nesmith – who could choose to be as ostentatious and narcissistic as the next gazillionaire rock star – instead carries on the philanthropic traditions of his mother, Bette Graham, the inventor of Liquid Paper typing-correction fluid.’
9 March 2001
[globalisation] Delhi Calling. Call centres go off-shore — when you call your bank or mobile phone company you may well be talking to somebody half-a-world away. ‘Each computer screen shows Greenwich Mean Time and the temperature in the UK, in case a staff member feels the urge to reveal that India is enjoying yet another day of blue skies and sunny weather. “We find showing new staff videos of Yes, Prime Minister is particularly effective,” says Raman Roy, Spectramind’s sleek, pipe-smoking chief executive. “They get a two-hour seminar on the royal family. We download the British tabloids every morning from the web to see what our customers are reading. We make our new staff watch Premier League football games on TV. And we also explain about the weather, because British people refer to the subject so frequently. It is a science,” he adds, proudly.’
I'm free![tv] Old BBC interview with Louis Theroux‘…Weird Weekends rested on the tremendous generosity of the Americans – they love British people, and don’t regard Britain as a threat. I’m actually half American but I have an English accent, and I capitalised on the reservoir of kindness and goodwill towards the British. I interviewed the Aryan Nations in Idaho, an ultra-extreme, radical right group, who talk about how there’s going to be a race war, and have swastikas all around their church. They wouldn’t let an American in there to interview them, but because I was British the guy let his guard down and talked about how much he loved Are You Being Served?’
10 March 2001
[comics] I can’t recommend this comic enough…. Berlin by Jason Lutes. ‘Jason Lutes has set this captivating story in Germany during the twilight years of the Weimer Republic. Placing them against the backdrop of the real events of the time, Lutes has created a cast of fictional characters with a particular focus on the lives of two individuals, Kurt Severing and Marthe Muller. Following these people over the course of five years leading up to 1933, Lutes meticulously documents their hopes and struggles, and the dark shadow history has cast over their lives.’ [Related Links: Ordering Information, Preview Pages of Berlin]
[death] The wisdom of the dead‘I have one final request…’ [Random Dead Letter]
'I shall tell you where we are. We're in the most extreme and utter region of the human mind. A dim, subconscious underworld. A radiant abyss where men meet themselves. Hell, Netley. We're in Hell.'[comics] Eddie Campbell discusses Finishing From Hell…. ‘Eight years! 500 pages. Must be the longest single work Alan’s done on both counts. The astonishing thing is that he had the whole thing planned from the beginning. All the reference photos for the epilogue were shot in 1988. When Alan phoned me to offer me the gig he gave me a rundown of all the chapter titles, including prologue and epilogue. I don’t think he changed any of them as we progressed, although for a brief time ‘Blackmail or Mrs Barrett’ almost became ‘The Harlot’s Curse’. Any extra material that came to mind was fitted within the existing chapters without changing the total pattern, or structure. That word ‘structure’ sums up what Alan does best in all his work. In From Hell the structural idea behind everything is the architecture of time’ [Related Links: On-Line Preview of From Hell, Buy From Hell]
11 March 2001
[what hath god wraught?] Blogs and SMS messages merge…. SMSblog. ’13:30 via SMS: On our way to the match. Here we go, here we go, here we go! 14:53 via SMS: We’re at the ground, fantastic!’
[jimmy] Jimmy Saville – You ask the questions. The public are let loose on Sir Jimmy of Glencoe… On Paul Merton’s ‘snide remarks’: ‘When you are well-known, all sorts of people say all sorts of things about you. It’s something that goes with the job. Most times it doesn’t matter but it did when your name was John Lennon or Jill Dando. It’s one of the occupational hazards of standing up in front of millions of people.’
12 March 2001
[comics] Oni Press have produced a free PDF version of of the first issue of Whiteout. Well worth the download… ‘If you haven’t read it, you are stupid and it’s no wonder you’ve got no girlfriend. Official’ — Warren Ellis. [via Barbelith Underground]
[tv] Tony Soprano must die. Another interesting profile of the next season of The Sopranos. ‘There’s more symmetry in the resemblances between the Feds and the wise guys: each have their rituals, their uniforms, their beer guts, their professional argots, their codes of masculinity and their fatal delusions. And both value systems, Chase suggests, are equally full of shit, with Tony whacking whoever needs to be whacked and the FBI breaking the very laws they’ve sworn to uphold in order to nail their man. Their crudity and invasiveness very nearly puts us on Tony’s side.’
13 March 2001
[history] Old (1997) Danny O’Brien email looking back on his experience of Wired UK: ‘So, I’m sitting in Louis Rosetto’s brand new giant office in SOMA with Louis, Kevin Kelly, Jane Metcalfe, and John Plunkett (Wired’s designer). Kelly asks me what the UK scene is like. And, I’m thinking “well, it’s Cix, and it’s demon.local, but I fucking hate them because they’re brain-damaged jabbering fools who think it’s the height of sophistication to express their crippled emotional needs in terms of Blackadder quotes and I’m fucked if I’m giving this to them”. (You know what I mean.)’
[crippled emotional needs] My email .sig circa 1994: ‘My every path is shrewn with cowpats from the devils own satanic herd.’ — Edmund Blackadder.

Slightly disturbing card posted in my letterbox...

Shoved through the letterbox… the answer to all my crippling emotional problems?
[comics] The Trials of a Comic Book Hero. Proof that what goes around comes around — Stan Lee gets fleeced… ‘The white-haired comic book legend may be the head of an Internet entertainment startup, but he still hasn’t quite figured out how to work his computer. “This is how you save a file,” the twentysomething assistant begins. “And I double-click?” Lee asks. “No, you only have to click once.” Lee’s naiveté would be touching if it weren’t symptomatic of a potentially bigger problem: gullibility.’ [via Comics Journal Message Board]
14 March 2001
[gun fish barrel] So bad it’s good — Julie Burchill on Celebrity Big Brother. ‘The pathos of the short-term presenter is summed up heartbreakingly in the persons of Anthea Turner and Vanessa Feltz, the twin occupants of the lowest rung of the Big Brother ladder; as they fall apart – Vanessa messily and swiftly, Anthea more photogenically and professionally – it is horribly compelling, like watching a John Cassavetes film or hearing your neighbours’ marriage break up in gory detail through the wall. They are the flimsiest, most damaged and most compelling creatures in the house, with none of the confidence born of talent that Dee and Sweeney possess, or the dumb macho swagger of Eubank and Duffy.’
[distractions] Ah… the Muppaphone. So distracting and clickable…. [thanks to Brainsluice] and Safeplaces — a ‘digital playground’. [thanks to Chris]
15 March 2001
[credit] Finally, the homepage of the amazingly rude tube map which I saw on Usenet a few months ago… [via tsluts]
[world domination] Starbucks To Begin Sinister ‘Phase Two’ Of Operation. ‘Though the coffee chain’s specific plans are not known, existing Starbucks franchises across the nation have been locked down with titanium shutters across all windows. In each coffee shop’s door hangs the familiar Starbucks logo, slightly altered to present the familiar mermaid figure as a cyclopean mermaid whose all-seeing eye forms the apex of a world-spanning pyramid. Those living near one of the closed Starbucks outlets have reported strange glowing mists, howling and/or cowering on the part of dogs that pass by, and electromagnetic effects that cause haunting, unearthly images to appear on TV and computer screens within a one-mile radius. Experts have few theories as to what may be causing the low-frequency rumblings, half-glimpsed flashes of light, and periodic electronic beeps emanating from the once-busy shops.’
[tv] The Sopranos – easily the best thing on TV at the moment…. ‘Uncle June and I, we had our problems, with the business. But I never should’ve razzed him about eating pussy; this whole war could’ve been averted. Cunnilingus and psychiatry brought us to this.’ — Tony Soprano. [Related Link: Ray Liotta Turned Down ‘Sopranos’]
16 March 2001
[music] Guardian Unlimited interviews Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett about Gorillaz — their ‘Virtual Band’. ‘Tank Girl didn’t even make Hewlett rich. “I made some money,” he says. “You got screwed, mate,” Albarn tells him. “I didn’t get screwed, I mean, Jesus,” retorts Hewlett. “The comic industry just collapsed. But we got to spend the best part of a year hanging out in LA. And we got paid a big lump of cash for it.” Despite a good deal of hype, the 1995 film starring Lori Petty bombed. “I think we always knew it was going to be dreadful.”‘ [Related Link: Gorillaz Website]
Image of Cerebus: 'Die alone, unmourned and unloved?'[comics] Dave Sim want to have a boxing match with Jeff Smith. ‘Having had a year to try to figure out how to explain this to a largely feminist, largely feminzed crowed I figure the best bet is a (may God forgive me) movie analogy: Do you remember in the movie The Color of Money, the sequel–make that, the “sequel”–to The Hustler where the Tom Cruise character tells the Paul Newman character that he “threw” their big championship game, so he could “clean up” on side bets? And the Paul Newman character corners the Tom Cruise character and challenges him to a game, a for-real game? And he says to the Tom Cruise character, “Let’s clean this up”? That’s what I’m doing here. You can’t “clean up” a mess like this in a circus atmosphere. Jeff, I am saying, flat out, that you have lied. In lying, you have made a mess–a non-masculine mess. You have made a mess. Publicly. Let’s you and me, man-to-man, clean up the mess that you have made. Privately.’ [Related Link:, Hey, kids!! It’s the Dave Sim Misogyny Page!]
[politics] BBC News reports that the infamous ‘Labour Isn’t Working’ poster was a clever fake. ‘After the election Lord Thorneycroft, Tory party treasurer at the time, claimed that the poster had “won the election for the Conservatives”. When, in the 1980s, unemployment began to soar, the poster stayed in the public spotlight – this time as a prime example of both political hypocrisy and, just as importantly, the ability of advertising to sell almost anything.’
17 March 2001
[amis] Martin Amis examines the US Porn Industry. ‘It is barely 10 o’clock in the morning, and I am, I realise, experiencing the kind of anxiety that usually precedes a mild ordeal. A line is about to be crossed. I shouldn’t be here. None of us should be here. But we all have work to do. Fifteen minutes later, referring to the achievements of Lola, Chloe stabbed a hand through the air at me, and shouted with joy and triumph (Chloe is the director, remember, and she was thrilled to have this scene in the can): “That’s the kind of blowjob I was telling you about yesterday!”‘
[tv] Mob Rules. Interview with Sopranos creator David Chase. ‘The one big problem with a TV series — and let’s take The Sopranos out of it, because one hopes this doesn’t apply to it — is that the leads of a TV series aren’t going to die. They just aren’t. And they’re certainly not going to die after the fifth week. So once life and death is taken out of a story about life, how pressing is it? In our lives, there’s life and death all the time. We’re afraid we’re going to get sick, we’re afraid we’re going to get hit by a bus, or someone we love is going to die. But in television that fear doesn’t exist, so the whole thing becomes rather . . . uninvolving. You have cops running around getting shot at, but by and large you know that these cops are not going to get killed.’ [via Guardian Weblog]
[comics] My Obsession With Chess — I’ve been meaning to blog this for ages — a terrific on-line autobiographical comic from Scott McCloud.
18 March 2001
[comics] The Dave Sim Misogyny Page — the text of Cerebus #186… Hopefully, my final link about Dave Sim and Cerebus for some time. ‘I am alone, said Viktor Davis. I am not lonely. There is a big difference. I have not had a Merged Permanence in my life for five years. It took at least three of those five years for my brain to start functioning properly again. In the aftermath of being part of a Merged Void, all that is left for some time is Void Residue: Emptiness, Fear and Emotional Hunger. It is these three and the endless, fruitless search for a Permanent Cure that the Emotional Female Void calls Love. If you merge with that sensibility, you will share in its sickness. No matter what you pour into it, it remains empty; no matter how you reassure it, it remains afraid; no matter how much of yourself you permit it to devour, it remains hungry. If you look at her and see anything besides emptiness, fear and emotional hunger, you are looking at the parts of yourself which have been consumed to that point.’ [BTW, Merged Permanence = Loving Relationship in Bizzaro-Dave World.]
[men] My Ideal Woman. ‘If you are or know of someone who meets these requirements, email me. Chances are, though, that I will miserably fail her requirements for a man. Hence, I am most likely going to remain a bachelor.’ [via Wacky Brit]
19 March 2001
[interview] The Independent interviews Chris Eubank. ‘Chris’s head looks as if it’s been largely achieved with plane and spirit level. Actually, it’s more as though a sculptor got this big, fat square of glossy dark stone one day, started chiselling, but then lost interest before rounding anything off. Everything is hard, geometric angles, apart from his nose, which isn’t. His nose is a big soft, squidgy splodge. As a kid, Chris hated his nose. “I used to. Get ridiculed,” he says, talking in his odd, precise way, articulating every syllable and putting in full stops wherever he fancies. “I used to get called. Names.” Such as? “Hoover. But now I’ve come to love it. It’s made me a great deal of money because when it’s hit, it goes flat. It doesn’t. Break. It’s a marvellous instrument I have here. My nothe.”‘
[comics] Popimage previews comics arriving in May. It’s Grant Morrison’s month as DC reprint some of Animal Man, Marvel reprint Marvel Boy and the new X-Men series kicks off. On Animal Man: ‘Grant’s run on the book was a serious high point in his career. He managed to merge politics, satire, superhero fun, and good old-fashioned Grant wackiness together without running the book off track or losing his readers attention. Good job reprinting this DC, lets just hope more DOOM PATROL is next!’
[search requests] The number one search request on LMG has always been ‘Charlie Dimmock Nude‘ but recently ‘Danniella Westbrook Nose‘ has been cropping up a lot…. Unfortunately, I never had a link to a picture…. until now. [via]
20 March 2001
[comics] Master of the Universe — Wired has a great article about Neal Adams and his slightly off the wall ideas about science. ‘Adams has been fascinated by science for as long as he can remember, and he travels between disciplines like a car zigzagging on the freeway. For him, the notion of a growing Earth is just a starting point on the way to debunking not only a core principle of geology – plate tectonics – but the very underpinnings of geophysics, cosmology, particle physics, even Einstein’s assertions about the speed of light. If the Earth is growing, he insists, this means the total amount of matter and energy in the universe is increasing – which means matter is infinite, not finite like big bang theorists believe. Adams doesn’t even believe there was a big bang. It was more like a whimper, a birthing cry to herald what’s really been going on ever since: Matter is being created all the time, in astounding quantities. The Earth, the sun, the moon, the stars, the entire universe – it’s all growing. Not just expanding relative to one another through space. Growing.’
[music] Dotmusic have got the video to Gorillaz’ Clint Eastwood on their website… some excellent animation designed by Jaime Hewlett. [personally, I always thought Philip Bond was vastly superior to Hewlett… but what do I know?] ‘Created to accompany the lazy splendour of ‘Clint Eastwood’ from the forthcoming Gorillaz album, the video is the work of Tank Girl mastermind Jamie Hewlett and animators Passion Pictures. Though the project is known to involve Blur’s Damon Albarn and hip hop producer Dan The Automator – responsible for cult favourites Dr Octogon and Handsome Boy Modelling School – the identities of the other members of the band has not been disclosed.’
[tv] Anne Robinson: Cruella of prime time — a interesting profile from the Independent. ‘Anderson, then a junior hack on the Echo, remembers Robinson as “gutsy” even in the hard, recovery years. He recalls the moment she discovered her copy was being “blacked” by sub-editors because she was not a union member. Sheweighed barely six stone at the time. Anderson says she tottered up to the sub-editors on platform heels. “She stood in the middle of these guys and demanded to know who was blacking her copy,” he says, with some fondness. “Suddenly they were all taking great interest in their shoe laces.” There was never a problem with her copy again.’ [Related Link: Anne Robinson Version 3.0]
21 March 2001
[masons] The Guardian profiles the Freemasons who have just hired a PR company to try and improve their image… ‘The editor of The Square, “the independent magazine for freemasons”, devotes his editorial in this month’s issue to the important question: “To eat or not to eat”. “Any masonic group which sought to eliminate my choice of whether I dine or not can do without my presence,” he thunders in a vigorous defence of the “festive board” against the “Nazis of the masonic world” who want it reduced or eliminated. It is, he explains, “one of the big topics of conversation in masonic circles”.’ [Related Link: The Grand Lodge of England Website]
[comics] Running A Publishing House Out Of The Front Room — a five page Alec comic from Eddie Campbell. ‘The Alec stories are, it can finally be revealed, the autobiographical escapades of Eddie Campbell himself. From Bill “Saturday” Knight in The Days Of The Ace Rock’n’Roll Club to Alec MacGarry, to the unmasked Eddie Campbell in the most recent work (appearing in the monthly Bacchus comic), Campbell manages to find in the minutiae of everyday life the source of grand entertainment.’
[fanfic] Internet fan fiction never ceases to amaze me… The Frog Brothers (the comic shop owning vampire hunters from the Lost Boys) have their own fan fiction…. ‘”I’m telling you, the Superman number one-eighteens do not belong with the two hundreds,” Sam Emerson complained. On this warm, summer evening, the Frog brothers were entertaining their friend inside the family-owned Frog’s Comics, the best comic book store on the Santa Carla Boardwalk. “When are you guys going to get that straight?” Sam continued his gripe. “Sorry, Sam,” said Edgar in the gruff voice that was his trademark. “We’ve been too busy ridding the world of evil to arrange our shelves to your liking.”‘ [Related Link: Lost Boys Fan Fiction]
[cartoon] Steve Bell on the Foot and Mouth Crisis. ‘Ask yourselves – is the timing of this particular cull entirely appropriate?
22 March 2001
[politics] The Guardian interviews Tony Benn and Sir Edward Heath about their 50 years of service in the British Parliment…. ‘Heath remains silent. As an Oxford student of modest origins and progressive instincts, he took himself off to Germany to inspect Hitler at close quarters. Making his way to Nuremberg in 1937, his memoirs report, he witnessed the Führer walking to the podium, “his shoulder brushing mine as he went past”. “This experience subsequently dominated my political life,” Heath would one day write, confirming him as an anti-appeaser, later (after he had returned to Germany in battle) as a passionate European, convinced that only a Europe “united, free and democratic” would be safe from the demons of ultranationalism.’
[movies] The Independent interviews James Coburn. ‘James Coburn is 72, Gwyneth Paltrow is 28: what else is there to say? James Coburn isn’t likely to be fending off asteroids or refighting the Second World War at a multiplex any time soon. Nor will he be modelling underwear in Harpers & Queen. Older audiences may have fond memories of his outings opposite Steve McQueen, or his collaborations with Sam Peckinpah on Major Dundee, Cross of Iron and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. He may still be a terrific actor, with his rich bass-baritone voice, his magnetic blue eyes and thick white hair, and his dogged application of technique learned over more than 40 years. But the hard truth is that most of Hollywood’s key marketing demographic, the 15- to 24-year-old age bracket, has never heard of him.’
[distraction] If you want a serious laugh check out… Cliff Yablonski Hates You. ‘jesus christ, you whiny little bitches need to go out and get a life for gods sake. all I get is “WAH, CLIFF, UPDATE YOUR PAGE, IM TIRED OF JACKING OFF TO THE ABC NEWS ALL DAY, WAH, UPDATE YOUR PAGE.” fuck you all. I hate you. Ive updated my fucking page, so shut the hell up you mongrel bastards.’
23 March 2001
[distraction] The McSweenifier. ‘A Method for Formatting Arbitrary Text In the Style of the Popular Internet Journal “McSweeney’s”.’ [via FOAF]
24 March 2001
[comics] Disinfo has the transcript of Grant Morrison’s interview with Richard Metzger (which has on Channel 4 a couple of months ago). ‘WOOOOOOOOOW! Here we are! Right! Fuck man, I tell you when I was a kid I read Robert Anton Wilson and all this shit and here we are, we’re standing here, talking about this shit and it’s real! OK, I’m pissed (Holds up red beaker.) and in half an hour I’m gonna come up on drugs, so watch for it!(Audience laughter.) I guess, I don’t know, is there any practising magicians in the audience? Put your hand up if we got any? Yeah? Come on! (Puts his hand up.) Bold! OK, a few. OK, by the time we finish this you’re all going to be practising magicians. This shit’s easy right?’ [Related Links: Grant Morrison’s Website, TimeMachineGo, Barbelith]
[movies] The Independent profiles Steven Soderbergh just before the Oscars on Sunday Night. ‘Chances are it is Monday morning, not Sunday night, that Soderbergh is most looking forward to. With him, it is always the work that counts, nothing else. (As he once wrote: “The fun part is making them. The rest is crap.”) He’s built quite a reputation for himself as the ascetic about Hollywood ? working constantly, focussing everyone’s attention on the film and the film alone, dodging the studio politics, shooting fast with relatively few takes, coming in on time and under budget, doing the publicity rounds quickly and politely, and then moving on to the next project.’ [Related Links: Soderbergh at IMDB, Ocean’s Eleven at Upcoming Movies]
[collectibles] The Onion reports that Everything In Entire World Now Collectible. ‘Rarity, once a prerequisite for an item to have collector’s value, is no longer relevant. An early sign of this shift occurred in the early ’90s, when Marvel Comics encouraged fans to pre-order multiple copies of the much-hyped “Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man #1” because of the book’s anticipated collector’s value. The issue sold more copies than any comic book in history, but fans still hoarded multiple copies in special dust-proof Mylar bags, in part because of its unique status as the least rare comic book ever. “Rarity is nothing. Do you have any idea how many Beanie Babies are out there?” asked Barbara Mason, editor of Beanie Baby Illustrated. “Let’s put it this way: There are approximately twice as many Scoop The Pelican Beanie Babies on the planet Earth than there are actual pelicans. And they’re worth more, too.”‘
26 March 2001
[tv] The Guardian interviews Mary Whitehouse. ‘On Wednesday mornings, the hairdresser visits. And at lunchtime, the dining room of the Essex nursing home is a sea of high set curls. Mary Whitehouse surveys the wispy throng with a gimlet eye, then leans across the table. Her huge bead necklace swings precariously close to the plate of brown stew and swedes boiled senseless. “Some of these dears don’t have much hair to do,” she whispers.’
[religion] Is this the face of Christ? ‘The BBC used a combination of 2,000-year-old Jewish skulls and ancient religious images to generate what it claims is the first “true-to-life” picture of Jesus Christ.’ [Related Links: Large image of Real Life Christ, Metafilter Posting]
[comic] Some great postings on Dave Sim Vs. Jeff Smith at the Comicon message board from industry insiders like Colleen Doran, Stephen Bissette and Rick Veitch…. Doran’s comments are particularly insightful (click on the linked pages and scroll down looking for postings from “Colleen”). Doran: ‘What is the essence of Dave Sim? What is at his core? This man wants to be history, not a footnote in history. He wants to be big. He wants to be important. He is terrified that Cerebus, his life’s work, the primary focus of his waking hours for decades, will be marginalized, dismissed, stuck on the back shelf. Dave’s immortality is Cerebus and he is terrified he will not live forever. He is apalled that others, whom he perceives to be less worthy, will. That includes people like Picasso and Hemingway.’ [Related Link: Cerebus Fan Site]
27 March 2001
[blog meme] Write your URL on a Fiver Day! ‘is it a criminal offence to write on money? i dunno. possibly. but i remember reading about a bloke who wrote on a five pound note, spent it and got it handed back to him 300 miles away when he was on holiday.’
[movies] The truth about Kubrick. ‘…although one of the few critical remarks is Woody Allen’s statement that he was utterly baffled by 2001: A Space Odyssey the first time he saw it. Introducing a new 70mm copy of the film in London earlier this week, Harlan tried to help out. “On a bad day Kubrick wouldn’t answer the question. But on a good day I think he might have said the film was made by an ignoramus about the unknowable. He might have said – if he didn’t think it was too pompous – that he wanted to take the audience into a place that he actually couldn’t imagine himself all that well. He was really a self-taught and very learned man and he guessed that, even then, he knew very little. He wasn’t at all religious but he had a very strong sense that there were mysteries, within and outside our world, that he could never begin to solve.”‘
[politics] launches…. a ‘Balanced News Filter for the UK General Election’.
28 March 2001
[conspiracy] It comes as no surprise that David Icke has plenty to report on the Foot and Mouth Crisis‘Here we have yet more evidence that the Foot and Mouth “crisis” has been manufactured from the start. The question is…did the UK government call these timber merchants because they already knew that there was an outbreak long before it was officially revealed, or because they knew one was about to start through artificial means? I strongly suspect the latter to say the least.’ [Related Link: Foot-and-mouth ‘cover up’ denied]
[cartoon] Steve Bell on the Foot and Mouth Crisis…. ‘Contented Farmer at Twelve O’Clock!’
[movies] Another memoir about Stanley Kubrick — this time from Wendy Carlos who did the soundtracks for The Shining and A Clockwork Orange…. ‘You can understand why recent attempts since his death to paint a revisionist (revisionary “historians” — right out of Orwell — feh!) image of Kubrick as some kind of warm and fuzzy fond old uncle are both ignorant and bizarre. The world has plenty of avuncular supportive seniors already. What’s in short supply in the world is Stanley Kubricks: artists who will spare no effort to do work of the highest caliber. Yes, it’s impractical, and not a role most artists are able to inhabit with comfort, unless you command the respect and financial support system he needed.’ [thanks Luke]
[comics] 90 Christian Comics Tracts by Jack T. Chick! on sale at Ebay…. ‘I remember … reading 70 tracts in one sitting and being completely convinced I had wasted my life and was going straight to hell. … It’s a truly powerful experience to have this guy yelling at you for 70 tracts.’ ? Dan Clowes, comic book artist. [Related Links: This Was Your Life!, Chick Publications]
[politics] As the UK elections approach it’s important to know which party the major cartoon characters are supporting. (By the way, Porky the Pig was slaughtered and burned earlier this week… so I suspect he’s not supporting Nick Brown any longer.) [thanks to Marcia]
29 March 2001
[comics] Jack Chick vs. Freemasonary. There can be only one winner…. JESUS!
[politics] Dogged as does it — interesting profile of William Hague from a reporter who followed him around for a week…. ‘Hague works his way around the room, shaking hands, signing autographs, having his photograph taken next to candidates for the local council elections. I overhear a woman say, ‘Taller than you think, isn’t he?’ A man with a pound sign in his lapel says: ‘Isn’t that Seb Coe over by the door?’ It is. When I wander over to join Coe he says, ‘I’ve just remembered I was once kicked out of this bar when I was a student.’ (Drunken revelries, apparently. These Tories never pass up a chance to show that their formative years were ‘normal’.)’
[comics] Who’s hotter? Grant Morrison or Warren Ellis? Let the fans decide…. ‘I suggest you take this down. Now.’ — Ellis. [via WEF]
30 March 2001
(Manually Published yesterday)

[services] Blogger is down so don’t expect any updates today….

[random link for no apparent reason] On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. ‘He had a lot of guts’ — James Bond.

What a nightmare updating by hand is… I’m going back to bed. :)
31 March 2001
[comics] Superheroes are evil ‘Let’s start with Superman. The Bible never mentions life in other planets. But Superman is not from Earth; he is from Krypton. This fact alone goes contradicts the Bible. And the horror continues. Superman is raised on Earth and grows up to become a superhero. People all over the Earth start worshipping this mysterious character. And where is Jesus in this picture? Superman never mentions God or Jesus. He is probably an atheist. And people in Metropolis see him as their Lord and Savior.’ [thanks Pete]