1 April 2001
[tedious autobiography] Doing a linklog is very difficult sometimes… I often have Weblog Performance Anxiety*…. but if you spend the day drinking champagne cocktails in a bar with Mini-Me your tedious life becomes easy to blog… Goodnight! ‘Talk to the hand… ‘cos the face ain’t listening…’
* The anxious feeling a weblogger gets when other blogs they read casually update through out the day and all the sufferer of WPA can come up with is a link to a story about interest rates or something equally boring…
Weblog Performance Anxiety Helpline.[weblog performance anxiety] I love it when a plan comes together. Actually, a random drunken post comes together…. ‘In soothing tones, they will be ready to assist you with a selection of web links of various types – witty, profound, bizarre or even “all your base are belong to us”, if you’re really at the end of your mental tether with desperation. They can also be consulted about the news stories that you should be commenting on, or give you advice on how far you should go into details about various aspects of your personal life (rest assured that the trained advisors have a selection of metaphors or suitable quotes to hand, which you can use to comment knowingly but without fear of giving away sensitive information). In short, it’s the essential service for any tired and emotional blogger.’ [thanks to Vaughan]
2 April 2001
[chat] The Barbelith Underground has returned…. the bulletin board for ‘cool egghead stoner motherfuckers’.
[comics] Another comic-related weblog ComicGeek. Looks pretty comprehensive…
[politics] The Guardian interviews Michael Helseltine — another politician retiring at the next election…. ‘If you push your hair forward, how far would it go, I ask. My bet is that it would hang off his chin. “I haven’t the first idea.” Go on, try it. “No, I shan’t. I certainly won’t try it.” Go on. “No, not at all. “I didn’t always want long hair. I just had long hair. There was no conscious decision.” Come off it, hair length is a choice! “You can have a passive choice.” Laziness? “Yeeeeaassss. Indifference.” Indifference!’
3 April 2001
[rail] The Guardian studies the story behind the cracked rail which caused the Hatfield train disaster…. ‘The public mood, so far as one can tell, would like big fish in the net and a charge of corporate manslaughter. That is unlikely; as someone close to the Hatfield investigation said to me, you would need to find a piece of paper with such improbable words written on it as “Do not repair this track, we can’t afford it. Yrs sincerely, The Fat Controller.” More likely is a charge of manslaughter – culpable homicide – against individuals lower down the ladder, or their prosecution for a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act.’
[blogs] I’ve been remiss in not mentioning that Tom Ewing’s Blue Lines has returned — renamed as Groke…. ‘I’m already having awful template trouble, though. You can’t go home again.’
[hero] Design you own Sports / Super / Fantasy Heroes at HeroMachine. [via PopBitch]
4 April 2001
[soap] Who Shot Me? The Guardian interviews Steve McFadden (Phil Mitchell). ‘”Working-class interests are not seen as having the same intrinsic value as middle-class ones. Opera is a middle-class interest, and it’s seen as high art. “I don’t see that as being of more worth than getting 20 million people to watch Roy tell Pat that her earrings are horrible.” He is referring to a seminal moment of ordinary pain when, as their relationship disintegrated, Pat Butcher’s husband took her to task over her gruesome jewellery. “I think that’s much more poignant, when a man tells a woman: ‘All this time I’ve lived with your earrings but they do my head in, and I’m man enough now to tell you I can’t cope with them anymore.’ It really took my breath away, that.”‘
[urban myth] Pickled Penis — Is John Dillinger’s 23 inch penis stored at a museum in Washington? ‘The bulge in the center of the photo (Dillinger’s arm) was supposedly mistaken by contemporary viewers of fuzzy newspaper photos for his penis, thus starting the tale of an incredibly well-endowed John Dillinger. (How he managed to die in a fully erect state was a question the public either didn’t ponder or else attributed to some rather strange misunderstandings about the process of rigor mortis.)’ [kinda via Blogadoon]
[movies] Trailers for the Ghost World Movie (Modem, Broadband) from Dan Clowes and Terry Zwigoff. [via Comic Geek]
5 April 2001
[blog] is back along with Recently Updated UK Weblogs. Incidentally — I just noticed this neat Updated UK Weblogs sidebar for Netscape and IE from Jez at the Coffee Grounds
[cartoon] Steve Bell’s view of the US-China Spy Plane Crisis — yesterday, today.
6 April 2001
[piracy] Science Friction — Harlan Ellison goes after the fans who post his work on-line… ‘…Robertson is an archetypal member of science fiction fandom, an intensely loyal and active community of readers. For decades, sci-fi fans communicated through mimeographed zines and at annual conventions. When the Net came along, with its chat rooms, fan sites and file swapping, it was as if they’d finally made contact with the mothership. But Ellison is underwhelmed by such devotion, especially when it involves trading his stories. “At some point,” says Ellison, “you just look around and say, ‘Mother of God, the gene pool is just polluted and we really ought to turn it over to the cockroaches if we can’t do any better than this!”‘ [via WEF]
[books] She is beautiful and very young — ever read a Wilbur Smith novel? I’d assumed he was dead but it turns out that Wilbur just married his 4th wife, a woman half his age from Russia…. ‘With so many children around, he says they don’t need any of their own. “We have discussed it, but the jury is out. I don’t want children. Why should I let some strange little monster into my life to destroy what to me is a perfect set-up?” Chauvinism on this scale, in these times, is almost heroic. Smith may be hamming it up, but there is no doubt that he envies the heroes of his books their absolute authority.’
[weblogs] There goes the neighbourhood…. Seethru has got it’s own weblog. [via Rebuke]
[soap] The Guardian reviews last night’s Eastenders…. On Lisa: ‘She is pregnant, and you consider with horror the frightful future fruit of Lisa’s womb and Phil’s loins. It will not, you suspect, be the nicer kind of child.’ [Related Link: BBC Episode Update]
[queen] Press row envelops Queen. ‘Officials insisted that reports of the Queen’s annoyance were overplayed. “She doesn’t do furious – she is supremely detached,” said one.’
7 April 2001
[songs] Eugene Mirman — songs from Eugene, the marvelous crooning child. [via WEF via Plastic]
[lizards] Beset By Lizards [Part 1] [Part 2] — Jon Ronson on David Icke. ‘…so far, to the coalition’s bafflement, Mulroney had declined to initiate legal action. Indeed, every individual accused of reptilian paedophilia by David Icke had so far failed to sue, including Bob Hope, George Bush, George Bush Jr, Ted Heath, the Rothschild family, Boxcar Willie, the Queen of England, the Queen Mother, Prince Philip, Kris Kristofferson, Al Gore and the steering committee of the Bilderberg Group. “Why do you think that is?” David Icke had asked me when I interviewed him about this matter in London. Then he turned to my notepad and thundered, “Come on, Ted Heath! Sue me if you’ve got nothing to hide! Come on, George Bush! I’m ready! Sue me! I’m naming names! Come on, Jon? Why are they refusing to sue me?” There was a silence. “Because they are twelve-foot lizards?” I suggested, smally. “Yes!” said David. “Exactly!”‘
[crime] Only in America… Henry Hill has his own website — Henry is the gangster Ray Liotta played in Good Fellas. Unsurprisingly, his website includes a Threat of the Week section… ‘How does it feel to be a stool pigeon, you rat bastard?’
8 April 2001
[books] Louis Theroux reviews Them: Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson. ‘As the book progresses, what emerges is the degree to which the real-life Bilderberg Group and the researchers who campaign against it are negatives of each other. Intentionally or not, the alleged bodies of world domination do create suspicion and resentment with their cloak-and-dagger mentality, their self-importance and their alarmism. It is no surprise to learn that some Bilderbergers quite like the idea that they are secretly running the world: it flatters their vanity.’ [Related Link: Them at Amazon]
[paranoia] More from Jon Ronson…. Paranoid London – from A-Z P is for Prince Philip’s home (Buckingham Palace) …LaRouche adds that Prince Philip secretly determines government policy in the UK. Foot and mouth, furthermore, is a manufactured front designed to terrify the British public into joining the satanic European Union. And Prince Philip’s well-documented foot-in-mouth disease? Another front. He is not dim. He is an evil genius.’ [via Digital Trickery]
9 April 2001
[666] Is Prince Charles a 12 foot tall telepathic Lizard? No. He is the Anti-Christ. ‘And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.’ [thanks Phil]
[murder] Interesting profile of Jeremy Bamber from a few weeks back…. ‘Jeremy Bamber was sentenced to life in 1986 for the murder of five family members in their Essex farmhouse – his adopted parents, his adoptive sister and her six-year-old twins. Last week his case was referred back to the Court of Appeal by the criminal cases review commission. If the three appeal judges are more impressed by new evidence concerning a bloodstained gun silencer than they are by Bamber’s audacious website, the man who was accused of coolly plotting “the perfect crime” could be free before Christmas.’ [Related Link: Bamber’s Website via the power of Google’s Cache]
10 April 2001
[redmond rose] This lady really wants to help Bill Gates‘My Angel want’s Bill Gates to leave Microsoft. He is trying to protect you Bill. He want me to help you, but I need to get paid. Remember when I did the satellite research for you? I am just the porthole–the messenger. He doesn’t like the company and friends you keep. I’ve been channeling for you for 10 years. I told you–Microsoft is haunted. That is the real reason for the Moebius in your software. We need to put some of these ghost to rest. That is why I’m here. All you have to do to end this is apologize and pay restitution.’ [cheers, PB]
[comics] Brian Michael Bendis interviewed from an Australian comic convention… ‘…so to come to a convention and see a room full of people all that just love comics, it makes you feel good about comics, it makes you feel like comics will always be around, there?s too many people around that want them for it to be otherwise. Also, in America, conventions can get a little? ?smelly?, whereas at this one everyone was clean, there wasn?t a lot of crazy people, it was very nice. People with jobs, futures, spouses, and there were kids at the show too, which you don?t get much of that in America, so that?s nice.’
11 April 2001
[politics] Alastair Campbell on the Royal Family‘Prince Edward would not normally be allowed house room in a column which likes to deal with serious subjects, and Majesty magazine would not normally be allowed across the Campbell threshold. But some statements are so mind-blowing they cannot be ignored. I quote from the said prince in the said magazine: “In this country we’re always looking down, always looking in, trying to belittle ourselves. All this constant thing about class, for instance, which is the worst thing in the world Marx ever invented.” Invented!! Can you believe he said that?’
[tv] You ask the Questions to… David Soul. ‘There’s a classic moment in the credits of Starsky & Hutch when I come running down some stairs, step on to a wall and do a “seat-drop” on top of my car. It is, without a doubt, the stupidest, most painful self-inflicted stunt I ever did. No stuntman would have been that stupid. Two years later, it cost me back surgery. Big price for the sake of a little ego.’
[comics] A nice one page comic from Adrian Tomine…. First Date Signals.
12 April 2001
[sex] Norman Mailer on sex, love, ethics and pornography‘I think most of us aren’t good enough for love. I think self-pity is probably the most rewarding single emotion in the world for masturbators, which is one of the reasons, I suppose, I’m opposed to masturbation, because it encourages other vices to collect around you. Self-pity is one of the first. You lie in bed, pull off, and say to yourself, I have such wonderful, beautiful, tender, sweet, deep, romantic, exciting and sensual emotions, why is it that no woman can appreciate how absolutely fabulous I am? Why can’t I offer these emotions to someone else? Self-pity comes rolling in, and cuts us off from recognizing that love is a reward. Love is not something that is going to come up and solve your problems.’ Hmmm.
That’s me fucked then. Note to self: Don’t read this kind of thing at this time of night. You’ll feel better for it. Trust me.
[via Metascene]
[meme] Orbyn wonders… Who is Christian Goldman?
[comics] Dave Sim’s final word on gender issues…. Tangent. Discussion about Sim and Tangent is going on here. ‘I think he’s out of his mind, but it’s kind of fascinating. I think Dave should ditch the aardvark and do Chick-style comics, like the Crusaders. He could draw himself and Gerhard as agents for the top-secret Government team, T.A.N.G.E.N.T, trying to cripple the feminist/homosexualist axis before it takes control of society, by rallying all the Men in the world who want to defend their right to smack the ol’ lady around a little if she stops bringing those beers every 15 minutes during the NASCAR marathon. Ger could be depicted as a black “street-dude”, lending cred at Dave’s side and helping him sacrifice all the homos, dog-fuckers, and ugly virgins that come their way. And all this before breakfast!’ — Eric Reynolds on Sim.
[wtf?] Only on the Internet… ‘I’m not a Nazi’ Swastika Gallery. ‘The Swastikas in this gallery are related to Buddhists, ancient Greeks, Native Americans, Boy Scouts, street gangs, Nazis, homosexuals, and more… what a great variety of people to invite to a party! So why include Nazi Swastikas? As insane and dangerous as the Nazis were, you gotta admit they looked cool! They lost the war, but they won the fashion show. What other army’s officers wore full length black leather trench coats, high black boots and riding crops?’ [via Hate Male]
13 April 2001
[comics] Great gallery of literary figures from various comic artists. Some favourites… H.P. Lovecraft by Chris Bachalo, Terry Southern by Bob Fingerman, Yossarian by Keith Giffen, and Stephen King by Ken Meyer Jr.
14 April 2001
[tv] Slightly revealing profile of Chris Evans‘Not all women were impressed by the Evans persona. The commentator Emma Forrest wrote in The Independent: “He is, when you come down to it, a classic insecure ugly man, which is why so much of his air time is taken up telling us which models and which blonde assistants he has shagged. The worst segments on TFI are ‘Ugly Bloke’ and ‘Fat Lookalikes’. That he feels he is in enough of a position of power to sit behind his desk, looking how he does, and get ‘ugly’ people to humiliate themselves in front of millions, is astounding.”‘
15 April 2001
[nasty profiles] One of the pleasures of reading newspapers is seeing bitter journalists take pot-shots at celebrities in the form of a so-called profile …. here is one of Heather Mills from the Sunday Times. On Paul McCartney: ‘Even before the two were itemised, she was confiding in the tabloids about her new friend. In a neat reversal of Mrs Merton’s famous question to Debbie McGee (“So what attracted you to millionaire Paul Daniels?”), Mills declared: “Paul is such a caring, thoughtful and compassionate man. I suppose that must be the reason he was drawn to me”.’ [Related Links: About Heather Mills]
[comics] McCloud Cuckoo-Land — Gary Groth looks at Scott McCloud’s Reinventing Comics. ‘What is most deficient about the 113-page section devoted to comics and the Internet is the level of critical intelligence on display, which is embarrassingly superficial: McCloud embraces all Internet and digital technology without reservation. The bibliography doesn’t allow for any books remotely questioning of the new world order. Every book about computers or the Internet (and there aren’t many, at that) is basically by a well-known cheerleader for the industry; no dissidents are allowed in the McCloudian world view. In McCloud’s jolly and affirmative presentation, the Internet is an instrument of comics’ (not to say the world’s) salvation and skeptics are dismissed as “cynics,” to whom McCloud may as well hang a “Do Not Enter” sign on the cover of the book.’
16 April 2001
[blogs] Two unrelated links: Trellix and Blogger do a deal …. is thinking.
[tank man] The Unknown Rebel — Time profiles China’s Tank Man… ‘Almost nobody knew his name. Nobody outside his immediate neighborhood had read his words or heard him speak. Nobody knows what happened to him even one hour after his moment in the world’s living rooms. But the man who stood before a column of tanks near Tiananmen Square–June 5, 1989–may have impressed his image on the global memory more vividly, more intimately than even Sun Yat-sen did. Almost certainly he was seen in his moment of self-transcendence by more people than ever laid eyes on Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and James Joyce combined.’
17 April 2001
[comics] Interesting interview with Kyle Baker at Silver Bullet Comics‘Television is designed for one thing: To sell advertising time. Television by necessity celebrates and incubates materialism. The goal of a television writer is to put an audience in a frame of mind favorable to buying the advertiser’s product. As writers, we are clearly instructed to avoid writing anything which may offend anyone. Phrases or situations that may seem tame or realistic to us are routinely cut from scripts because conservatives in the Midwest may be disturbed, and therefore may not buy detergent from the sponsor.’ [via Pete@Bugpowder]
[blogs] Dan has some interesting comments on the Barbelith / UKBloggers cross-over — I’ve noticed a number of UKBloggers have joined the Underground and there are plenty of Barbelith bloggers… (if you’re reading this post late look at Dan’s blog for 15/4/01). ‘Still, as microcultures both are absolutely fascinating. I for one am looking forward to the increasingly inevitable joint meeting, given Tom’s deitic status within both and the increasing cross-pollination from one to the other.’
[sick fun] Misery 2 — Hobble Bill Gates. [via WEF]
18 April 2001
[comics] After Tangent there can only be…. Dave Sim’s Guide To Getting Chicks! ‘I’ve found that, with a little practice, it’s easy to go without sex entirely. Now that you’ve tamed that female, let her go. She’s under the mental size limit. It’s catch and release at the ol’ Sim fishin’ hole. I’m perfectly happy doing my puzzle books and lots and lots of push-ups. In fact, I’ve found that by going celibate and not masturbating, the sexual urge is like a rash that goes away on its own. A dirty, sinful, bad rash. It’s ugly. I hate it! I scrub and scrub but the filth just won’t. come. OFF.’
[distractions] Another site I’ve been meaning to blog for ages — Notes & Queries. Important profound examples: What is the point of pubic hair? Why do Magpies collect shiny objects? How can I become a charismatic, likeable, well-connected and wealthy person with the least amount of effort? What is the most effective way to start an urban myth? [reminded by Tom]
[politics] Proof that the Tory Party is indeed The Dogs Bollocks… [thanks to Meg — blogging via proxy!]
[confession time meme] Tom: ‘Come to think of it, teenage fetishes have a lot to answer for.’ Okay, time to be honest — for me it was…. urm… Carly Simon and Catwoman… and later I had ‘feelings’ for… Servalan from Blake Seven. But Carly was my first pointless crush of many… :)
19 April 2001
[tv] The Independent profiles Dom Joly‘he has decided to abandon his trademark giant mobile phone and hunker down to other projects that involve less public humiliation.”I don’t want to become the nation’s prankster,” he reflects. “Because they tend to be arses, really.” And also, maybe, because the prankster’s moment of hubris cannot be deferred indefinitely. “I had this terrible thought yesterday when I was taking my baby daughter for a walk in her stroller. I did a joke in the first series where a baby gets pulled into the air by a balloon. And I just thought, what if someone runs over the stroller in a car, and leers out the window and shouts ‘Aha! You don’t fool me!’ It would be dreadful. And I’d deserve it.”‘
[comics] Matt Wagner has a new “official website”.
[distractions] Internet Killed the Video Star. [via Yungee]
[music] Carly Simon gets asked this question a lot…. Who is You’re So Vain about? ‘It always strikes me as funny. That people would be THAT into what I was thinking about, that’s the greatest ego trip anybody could have….that they would be THAT interested in what you were thinking about when you wrote a song. And for that very reason, of course, I can never give it away.’ [Related: Lyrics to You’re So Vain]
20 April 2001
[books] Out of the Dark — The Guardian interviews James Ellroy. ‘Confusing the writer with his work is a dangerous game, of course, and Ellroy expresses surprise that he is often portrayed as a tough guy when, in truth, he had no stomach for serious crime or violence even as he lived a disordered and profligate life. “I was pathetic, physically weak, drug and booze debilitated, a buffoon, and scared of my own shadow. But you know what? My shadow was something to be scared of. I saw the enemy and it was me.” ‘ [Related: My Dark Places — probably my favourite book.]
[comics] Comprehensive cover gallery from 2000AD… Some classic Dredd covers. [via Haddock]
21 April 2001
[books] The Secret Diary of a Provincial Man — Adrian Mole continues in the Guardian every Saturday… ‘Pamela came round with an egg-decorating kit. William’s eggs were a riot of primary colours; Glenn’s depicted Jesus on the cross. He wrote a bubble out of Jesus’s mouth, “Father, why hast thou forsaken me?”, which disturbed Pamela: “For God’s sake, Glenn lighten up. It’s Easter!” Later, while William played with the packing of his Barbie egg and Glenn watched The Greatest Story Ever Told, she led me to my room and gave an erotic Easter egg, the centre of which contained a pair of edible knickers. She was keen for me to break it open and retrieve them. I was less keen: a glance at the ingredients told me they were choc-a-bloc with obscure chemicals and multisyllable flavourings.’
[comics] Custody Battle — Interesting article on Joe Simon and his legal fight to take back Captain America from Marvel Comics (who have claimed ownership since 1940). ‘Back in his day, Simon and his colleagues, writers and artists plying their trade in smoky office buildings, knew their audience: 12-year-old boys. They knew what they wanted: good guys in tights beating up the bad guys, who most often looked a lot like a guy named Adolf. But now, Simon says from his one-room apartment in Manhattan, “comic books are for, I dunno, the masturbation generation.” His laugh sounds like a train in the distance; his is a deep, New York voice that suggests a much younger man of sharp mind and sound body. “They all look alike–little boys with big guns and little girls with big boobs,” he says, and it’s hard to tell if he’s amused or disgusted.’ [via ComicGeek]
22 April 2001
[comics] Warren Ellis is interviewed by Fandom about the comic book industry and some new books he’s working on… ‘Patrick Stewart. Patrick bloody Stewart. Not really interested in comics, doesn`t know much about them other than the usual. Someone at his production company says take these, these two things you might be interested in. Now you can`t pry FROM HELL out of his hand and he`s written the introduction to the next TRANSMET trade paperback. Three years ago there wasn`t a comic in his house. He`s the audience we`re not reaching – an intelligent person who just wants to read something that makes his nerve endings crackle.’ [Related: Warren Ellis Website, Ordering Comics Site]
[news] The Observer profiles Timothy McVeigh’s last days‘It has always puzzled investigators why McVeigh would leave such a trail behind him, including using his own name at a motel the night before the blast and using the same card when ordering the fertiliser and fuel. “I have never caught Tim out on a lie,” insists Michel. “Strange as that may sound, he is very proud of what he has done. Talking of it, he has the enthusiasm of a high-school kid describing a science project he has just completed.” Michel quotes McVeigh as telling him: “Because the truth is, I blew up the Murrah building and isn’t it kind of scary that one man could reap this kind of hell?”‘
[drink] The Ultimate Hangover Cure‘3 Nurofen 1 vitamin C tablet 1 Alka Seltzer 1 can Coca-Cola (not diet) 1 greasy breakfast from office canteen. The next day trying to recover from the effect of some stealthy margaritas, I tried it and it worked a treat; the vitamin C made me feel healthy, the Alka Seltzer with all the buzzing and fizzing perked me up; the breakfast – important to remember the baked beans – filled me up and the Coke… well. I’ve never really known what Coke does but it always feels good the day after the night before. The cardinal rule of hangover cures is that they all include a can of Coke. That is my basic recommendation. But for something with a bit of kick and a more rapid result, the Adam Edwards Hangover Cure is the Exocet missile of remedies; tried, tested, recommended.’
23 April 2001
[nostalgia] 101 Things We Don’t Miss‘Pickled eggs. In Wales, where pickled eggs are still a foodstuff of choice, they buy them with a bag of prawn cocktail crisps, then they scrunch the egg up in the crisps and eat the offending egg with a carapace of crisp around it, for flavour. If that doesn’t say all there is to say about how noxious the things are, I can’t think what does.’ [Guilty Secret: I love pickled eggs… here’s a recipe.]
[tv] My Mobster Days Are Over — interview with James Gandolfini from The Sopranos. ‘Although the Soprano family is a fictional one, its doings are closely monitored by its non-fiction counterparts, who do not hesitate to pass their verdicts on the show and let the actors know if their behaviour does not ring true. “I talk to some gentlemen who have friends who are these poeple and most of them enjoy the show,” says Gandolfini. “They get a good laugh out of it, although once when I wore shorts in a barbecue scene it was relayed to me that it was not something these gentlemen would do, even at a barbecue.”‘
24 April 2001
[music] Christopher Walken + Spike Jonze + Fatboy Slim = An Amazing Video… [link via Metafilter — but T mentioned this to me first.]
[blogs] The Coffee Grounds has a new version of the Updated UK Blogs page available. It takes the list of names to check from Gblogs whichs means you can watch pretty much every UK Blog as they update…
[profiles] Barry Norman: Films ain’t what they used to be — the Independent profiles the film critic… On why he’s retiring: ‘”It’s not as much fun as it used to be,” he says. “The film industry has changed, and I find it slightly depressing that almost all the big movies coming out of Hollywood next year are based on comic books. Even Ang Lee’s doing one. Also, the one person who’s always been low on the totem pole in the movie industry, the writer, is now lower than ever before.”‘
[confession] Darren is wearing provocatively threadbare underwear. [via Brainsluice]
25 April 2001
[dad] Becoming like your Father — every man’s worst nightmare? ‘…what men really fear is turning into someone they said they would never ever resemble. I might be a Guardian-reading Old Labour hack living in Highbury, but my dad is a Telegraph-reading former farmer who regards Ian Paisley as a moderating influence on the Northern Ireland peace process. Farmers have never been the most optimistic of people, and I have never been more grateful than now that I didn’t follow my father’s footsteps in that regard. Yet every so often, I come out with a sentiment that sounds just like my dad, such as advising Nicola not to put a window box on that ledge in case it falls on someone in the street and we are sued.’
[movies] Movie Mistakes…. Massive list of mistakes in Titanic include: ‘One of the misconceptions about the upper class and steerage passengers is that they were separated solely due to class reasons. First and I believe second class passengers had medical certificates that say they were free of disease, so they didn’t have to pass through any kind of port check when they landed. One way of guaranteeing this was to keep them totally separated. This was common practice on the ocean liners of the time. Jack’s being able to get into first class wasn’t just improbable it was potentially dangerous.’ [via Chris]
26 April 2001
[comics] Grant Morrison updates his site… new column… New X-Men details… ‘The work should speak for itself I think but I hope people will enjoy the effort we?ve put into this posthuman soap romp. The series is very shiny and takes the X-Men to new places and to NEW extremes of body and mind. Brutal, fantastic and driven by cosmic angst…We?re emphasising some of the dormant hardcore elements of the Claremont/Byrne era and pumping them up to full volume. Ultra-violet light. Weird cruelty. Mental torture. Transformation. Alien empires. Stress. That kind of thing. I?ve tried to be very faithful to the ever-present darker undercurrents of my favourite X-Men era.’
[cyberpunk] The Guardian previews a new documentary about the life and work of William Gibson‘”He’ll talk until the cows come home about literature,” explains Neale. “But the stuff he hasn’t gone on the record about in the past, things like the loss of his parents, his dodging of the draft and taking drugs took a long time to get out of him. I had to go back and ask him those things several times. But drug culture was such a big part of his life. “He decided to go on the record in a way that he has very deliberately avoided for a long time. Bits and pieces of his story have come out in interviews over the years, but the full story hasn’t been told in its entirety. I suppose he has always been a bit of a recluse”.’
[fubar] I have been fascinated by Sam Sloan since I discovered his site…. How can you not respect a man who sued Richard Nixon? Or a man who is willing to ponder the big questions in his life — Am I the father of this child? ‘The sexual freedom movement of the late 1960s produced few children because women had been newly liberated by the pill, which had just become widely available. Because women were free from the possible consequences of child birth for the first time, wild and rampant sex orgies became fashionable. One product of these sex orgies is the woman here, who was born in 1969. She believes that I may be her father.’ [Related: Cranks Dot Net]
27 April 2001
[comics] Wonder Woman’s Powers — the Washington Post (WTF?) covers Phil Jiminez, Wonder Woman and her long dead creator William Moulton Marston. ‘When it comes to deconstructing Wonder Woman, how much of the day can anyone (should anyone) spend thinking only about her power cleavage, or being helpless in the cinch of her kinky golden lasso? Where else to begin? With a pencil. First, he sketches her face, then neck, bare shoulders. He then moves down to the double-W’s emblazoned across her thrust-out chest. For reference, Phil Jimenez keeps handy a three-ring binder of pages clipped from women’s lingerie catalogues and lady bodybuilder magazines. As the current illustrator and co-writer of DC Comics’ monthly Wonder Woman comic book, Jimenez comes to the task understanding, as a gay man, that his heroine is ultimately about so much more than her ta-tas.’ [via Haddock]
[blog] David is walking across London… and it’s being blogged LIVE here via “cyber-Boswell” Ian. ‘Hopefully he’s going to stop for a cup of coffee; this pace is killing me. (At this rate he’ll be at Heathrow by dusk!)’
[more blogs] It had to happen… after a year or so of me talking at my flatmate about blogs he has gone and bitten the bullet and done one himself… Wanderers Weblog. All I can say is: Thank God it’s not a personal one.
[questions] The Independent’s You Ask The Questions… does Martin Amis. Do you ever worry about turning into your father, Kingsley? This question cannot but sound sinisterly comic to me. If the Kingsley we are referring to is the Kingsley of his last years, then I could naturally do without the physical metamorphosis for at least the time being. Probably the suggestion is: am I worried about inheriting his political curve, worried about waking up one morning as the apoplectic reactionary he would sometimes (morosely but playfully) impersonate? No. Our political histories are antithetical. I have always been pallidly left-of-centre. In our more vituperative disagreements (about nuclear weapons, for example), I used to counter-attack by saying that he was the politically excitable being, not me (my father served as an active Communist for much of his twenties). In other ways, I wouldn’t mind turning into Kingsley. I would like to maintain such lifelong affections with all my children. And I wouldn’t mind writing a novel as good as The Old Devils, when I’m 64.’
28 April 2001
[comics] Starman is wrapping up after seven years and eighty issues… Fandom has an interesting retrospective. ‘One of the best throughlines of the entire series that ties the past to the present, of course, was Jack?s relationship with his father, Ted Knight, the original Starman. The two began as near-opposites, but grew to like, respect, and finally love one another. It was, up until it?s end ? and even beyond, one of the most well-rounded father-son relationships in comics. Through Jack?s relationship with Ted, the elder Starman became a fully fleshed out character, rather than another suit from the ?40s. Ted had ambitions, flaws, dreams, and hopes. Resonating slightly throughout the Jack-Ted relationship was some of the relationship Robinson had with his mentor in comics, and original Starman editor, Archie Goodwin. Goodwin?s death in 1998 hit Robinson hard, and for a time, he was unsure if he would be able to finish what he had begun in Starman.’ [via GLITTERDAMMERUNG!]
29 April 2001
[more comics] Tim Bisley’s list of Top Ten Collected Comics‘Those are my fave reads of the moment. Whenever I get a coffee break from serving the great unwashed at Fantasy Bazaar, those are the books I take into the bog. However if I do not need the loo, I go into the storeroom and mutilate Jar Jar Binks dolls.’
[profile] The Independent profiles Ken Livingstone after a year of being Mayor of London. ‘After Labour’s triumphant election in 1997, he predicted a recession and suggested that Gordon Brown should be sacked. When the recession did not arrive he claimed, with a mischievous smile, that this was because the Chancellor had adopted his policies. Mr Brown did not reciprocate with a smile. In the 1980s, Mr Livingstone similarly fought against Neil Kinnock’s policy reforms. At a meeting of Labour’s national executive in 1988, he is said to have declared with a hint of self-pity: “I won’t be silenced by the party machine.” Mr Kinnock responded by saying: “Silenced? You have been on every bloody media outlet for the last 24 hours.”‘
30 April 2001
[comics] A couple of Pages from Grant Morrison’s X-Men have appeared on the internet — Page #1, Page #2 — discussion about it is going on here. ‘Sunspot Activity. Manic Depressive mood swings; I feel like a Hindu Sex God, Jean.’ [via Plasticbag]
[distractions] I don’t want to turn LMG into That’s Life but here’s a really rude bus….* * The WPA has struck. You can tell can’t you? I’m even linking to “odd odes” by Cyril Fletcher….