1 May 2001
[domains] UH! TEARS BABYTom’s reaction to losing the Freaky Trigger domain‘…this afternoon,’s new owner scented money and wrote to me – somebody had offered him $200 for the site and of course he wanted to see if I was interested first. After all, I had “previous involvement” with I was, obviously, not interested: I wish this person joy in making cash out of the domain name because I certainly never did, but he’s not getting a penny from me.’
[comics] Frank Miller’s Harvey Awards Speech — excellent stuff on the Comics industry, Wizard Magazine and the Movie Industry. ‘One TV guy I met, full of hyperactive disdain, he sniped at me, “I don’t read comic books. I read scripts.” You’re lost pal. They don’t read comic books, they read Wizard Magazine! Or at least the publishers think they do. Either way the result is the same. For all the disgust you’ll hear about Wizard and its shoddy practices when you talk to publishers and marketing folks—and I have yet to hear a single good word from anybody about this thing that ought to come on a roll—for all of that, the publishers kow-tow. Even though this tree killer here regularly cheapens and poisons our field. Aesthetically and ethically, they grovel. Even though this monthly vulgarity [rips off front cover] reinforces all the prejudice people hold about comics [rips out pages] they cry to all the world that we’re as cheap and stupid and trashy as they think we are, we sponsor this assault. We pay for the goddamn privilege. But really, when will we finally get around to flushing this thing, this load of crap, once and for all [tosses torn magazine into a trash can onstage. Applause]’ [via Comic Geek]
2 May 2001
[luck] The Unluckiest Couple in Britain… what happens when you lose a winning lottery ticket. ‘The Totts have been caught in the contradiction that makes the lottery function – the insistence that it’s all just a bit of fun, a moment’s relief from the daily grind, overlain with the unspoken riposte: yes, but it could change everything forever. It was the former thought that explained why they didn’t check their ticket that week in September – “after seven years, you just think well, I buy a ticket, but I’m never going to win a blooming thing” – but it was the latter that got them hoping.’
[comics] Interesting interview with Kevin Smith about comics mainly… ‘It’s so sad that there are people who feel that comics’ salvation lies in mainstream acceptance, because it implies that comics are a dying artform. They’re not. Comics don’t need to be saved. Comics aren’t going anywhere. There will always be a comic book field, despite all the nay-saying braying of a group of Chicken Little’s, who feel like they have their finger on the pulse of a medium that’s been around far longer than their two-bit opinions of it. What fans/critics/pundits need to understand is that comics are a rarefied medium, and that they’ll never be able to compete with movies and television (or video games; or the internet; or even mimes). Just accept that and be happy with the audience that IS out there, and do your best to keep them entertained. Cater to them relentlessly with hero books and non-hero books alike. Hell, there are enough fans of both! But don’t slap them in the face by telling them constantly that they’re not enough. Heavens, love the one you’re with, you know? Besides, what kind of insecure soul would crave mainstream acceptance anyway? Aside from Warren Ellis?’
[cats] WTF? Cat Milk? ‘At 59p for 200ml, cat milk is just about the same price per litre as cheap white wine. It may or may not be true that destitute people sometimes resort to eating dog food, but putting cat milk in your coffee would be an extravagance. Not that you would want to. There is a weird off-whiteness to the stuff that actually makes you think twice about giving it to the cat. Test subject Kipper found it palatable enough at first, but ended up leaving most of it in the bowl. It’s hard to tell whether he thought it tasted too much like milk, or not enough. Kipper, it should be said, is an uncommonly stupid cat, and being hit by a car last year did nothing to raise his IQ. His opinion in this matter is almost worthless.’
3 May 2001
[century] The Guardian Century1990 – Thatcher Resigns (another posting about that joyous day): ‘For old time’s sake, she had a jolly good shout at Neil Kinnock. Before finally hanging up her handbag, she gave it one last swing at a few Labour backbenchers who strayed within range. And then Dennis Skinner engaged her in a double-act. Asked whether, in retirement, she would still oppose a European central bank, Mr Skinner fed her a line, shouting: “No, she’s goin’ to be the Guv’nor.” “What a good idea!” she cried, to swelling cheers. “I’m enjoying this,” she said, doing little bows. “Thank you. Thank you.” They have loved her never so much as when losing her.’ [discovered via Tom]
4 May 2001
[comics] Fascinating…. Neil Gaiman used to be a Scientologist…. ‘Neil Gaiman. Writer (sandman comics), former Scientologist. Declared SP in 1983. He was a Class VIII auditor, and ran the Birmingham org for a while. Son of David Gaiman. He was a case supervisor at the G.O. at the time of the CMO takeover of the G.O. and the transition to RTC/ OSA. – FAQ1.’ [via WEF]
[century] 1965 — The Guardian sums up after the death of Winston Churchill…. ‘It was his fate that in spite of his gifts he had only at exceptional moments the full confidence of his fellow-countrymen. This lack of trust cut across all parties. Labour feared what it called his class bias. Some Conservatives thought that he was not biased enough; they felt that, with his past, he was not a sound party man, and they did not like the warmth for his former associates, the Liberals, which he never wholly extinguished. A sentiment very widespread was that Churchill was to be kept only for great occasions: he was too incalculable – or dangerous – for politicians’ daily food.’
[distractions] You are… The Surrealist Link. ‘You are the most gutless cassock. Goodbye!’
5 May 2001
[nwo] Conspirators — Jon Ronson on Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing. ‘April 19 is holy day for anti-government activists and conspiracy theorists. On April 19, 1993, Federal agents ended the siege at Waco. David Koresh’s Branch Davidian church went up in flames. On April 19, 1775, 400 British government troops attempted to disarm the citizens of Lexington, Massachusetts. A hundred colonists shot back, the first shots of the American Revolution, the “shots heard around the world”. (When I visit American militias and patriots and neo-Nazis, they often ask me what I, a Brit, thinks of the Lexington uprising. I explain that I’m not au fait with the ins and outs. They are scandalised that our syllabus doesn’t teach this pivotal moment in British history.)’
[comics] Suck looks looks at why so many cartoonists are cranks (after Dave Sim’s Tangent). ‘Now, it’s not important whether you agree or disagree with Sim, just so you marvel at the sheer depth of his obsession. Jack Chick cuts the Pope more slack than Sim does women. Some might say it’s not women, but Feminist ideology ? but what’s that got to do with Sim leaving his dick alone? And it could be said that this is taking things out of context, but since the only context here is Sim, not the window dressing that there’s a real issue here, what difference does it make? Like Chick, Sim wants his word out. The inside back cover of Cerebus 265 makes “Tangents” a public domain property, one you should feel to distribute, as long as you do it in its entirety, unedited. Like any cartoonist crank, Sim wants it all his way.’ [Related: Discussion on Plastic about the Suck Article]
[century] 1974 – Nixon Resigns‘If Mr Nixon had been at his best last night, then he was at his worst this morning. Sometimes one wished that his agonized wife would take this wretched slobbering, spluttering man away by the arm and propel him into some windowless vehicle for transport to obscurity. But Pat Nixon, with Julie and Tricia and their grey-faced husbands beside them, allowed the man to proceed. It would have been worse, perhaps, if they had tried to stop him. “I remember my old man. They would have called him a common man… he was a street car motorman at first… my mother” – at this point he sobbed violently, his tears somehow eluding the gravitational pull and remaining shining in his eyes – “a saint. She will have no books written about her.”‘
6 May 2001
[comics] Ask Dave Sim: Relationship Expert ‘Mr. Sim, I find women to be completely illogical and beguiling, yet I also find myself irrationally attracted to them. Is this a problem, and is there a solution? William Spock, Vulcan ND’ [via John at Linkworthy]
[crime] He’s been getting away with it all his life Ronnie Biggs — A Sunday Times Profile. ‘How did a small-time crook come to occupy such a prominent place in the criminal iconography? Partly it is because many people saw the robbery as a bit of a “caper”. Although Jack Mills, the train driver who was hit over the head with an iron bar, never fully recovered from his injuries and died of leukaemia seven years later, the heist was amateurish by today’s standards. No guns were carried, for example. Then there was the classic battle of wits between Biggs and Superintendent Jack Slipper of Scotland Yard, in which Slipper, now 77 but suffering from cancer, always failed at the last minute to get his man.’ [Related: Ronnie Biggs Official Site]
[comics] Interesting interview with Alex Robinson the artist/writer behind Box Office Poison. ‘Box Office Poison is about the pros and cons of loyalty vs betrayal. There are two main stories: one deals with Sherman Davies, a bookstore clerk who wants to be a writer. The other is about Sherman’s friend, Ed, a cartoonist. They each get involved in a relationship–Sherman with a girl, Ed with his boss, an old cartoonist–that puts their loyalty to the test. Sherman’s girlfriend, Dorothy, is kind of crazy, while Ed’s boss, Irving Flavor, is cranky. Flavor created a superhero back in 1941 that made millions for his publisher, but he never saw a dime. Ed decides to help him remedy this. Plus, there’s cursing and nudity! That’s the one line way I’ve been describing the book: It’s like “Archie” but with cursing and nudity.’ [Related: Buy Box Office Poison at Amazon]
7 May 2001
[the joy of stats] Why I Will Never Have A Girlfriend. ‘…. I, for one, refuse to spend my life brooding over my lack of luck with women. While I’ll be the first to admit that my chances of ever entering into a meaningful relationship with someone special are practically non-existent, I staunchly refuse to admit that it has anything to do with some inherent problem with me. Instead, I am convinced that the situation can be readily explained in purely scientific terms, using nothing more than demographics and some elementary statistical calculus.’
[politics] Long, interesting profile of Tony Blair’s last four years as Prime Minister….. ‘The more disappointing Blair is manifest when he is controlled by the side of his nature which is cramped by calculation and caution. A female member of the Cabinet privately refers to him as ‘Mr Crab’ for scuttling away from difficult decisions. As time has stripped off the rhetorical varnishing, the Government emerges through the hyperbole for what it is: incrementally reforming, social democrat, with some illiberally socially authoritarian edges, which broadly sums up Blair himself. A couple of months ago, he gave an under-reported and remarkably candid speech self-dissecting the Government. He conceded that the ‘first phase of New Labour was essentially one of reassurance’. The overwhelming driver has been to prove they are safe hands, fit to run the country, especially its economy. Allied to that has been the obsession with re-election, ‘the most important thing’, as he put it to me in the garden of Number 10 in the spring of 1997.’
[comics] Pope Fiction. The Vatican approves a comic about Pope John II… Joe Quesada (Editor-In-Chief of Marvel Comics): ‘”Like Spider-Man, the Pope has incredible compassion for the human spirit,” he said. “It’s no secret that this pope has been in frail health for the last few years, yet much like Spider-Man, he perseveres through great adversity. It is the calling and trademark of the great hero!”‘
8 May 2001
[distraction] Excellent on-line gameboy emulator with a number of games… just like the real thing.
[tv] Big Brother goes digital. ‘The new series of Big Brother will run for up to 21 hours a day on digital network E4, Channel 4 has announced. Fans will be able to spy on the house on TV all day long, and many will be able to make their weekly eviction votes through their remote control.’
9 May 2001
[profile] Hey, look at me! Cool, or what? — The Independent profiles Nicky Haslam. ‘So far, so posh. But it would not be possible to listen to Nicky Haslam for very long without becoming aware that he is a most unusual sexagenarian. Here he is, for example, describing a recent social outing. “The other night I went to Catherine Guinness’s for drinks. I hadn’t been there for ages and ages, and I just didn’t know what to wear. All day I’d worn really, really filthy ripped Levi’s with oil all the way down them. The oil’s fake, you buy them like that. And I’d bought the new Converse sneakers that are pre-dirtied. I put on top of it a very chic pony-skin jacket that Jamiroquai had given me….’
[politics] Votémon — excellent children’s guide to the General Election from BBC Newsround. [via Interconnected]
10 May 2001
[comics] According to Comic Geek Jeff Smith has replied to Dave Sim in Cerebus #266… ‘Dear Dave, First you come into my home and insult my wife and I, then you publish a delusional and fictitious account of the event. Now, seven years later, you want to square all accounts by climbing into a boxing ring? Get stuffed. Yours truly, Jeff Smith.’ [Related: Earlier Posting on LMG]
[politics] Am I Electable or Not…. Who will lead us? Davros or Ann Widdecombe or Hunter S. Thompson?
[politics] Steve Bell kicks off the election with his first cartoon‘Please Sir – May I be excused? You’ve just bored my arse off!
[film] Viewaskew have produced an on-line Teaser Trailer for Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back… (Not-So)Random Quote from Mallrats:‘You fuckers think just because a guy reads comics he can’t start some shit!?’ [Related: J+SBSB at Upcoming Movies]
11 May 2001
[photo] Only one woman scared me, says Helmut Newton. ‘Newton, one of the most famous fashion and portrait photographers, was speaking on the eve of a retrospective at the Barbican, London, marking his 80th birthday. He said he finally captured Mrs Thatcher in Los Angeles, on her first lecture tour after leaving office. After waiting for her in a hotel, breaking out in a cold sweat, he thought to buy roses: “All I could get were some wilted, awful things for an awful lot of money.” They did nothing to melt the ice. “She did not like her portrait,” he said, of the life size image now in the National Portrait Gallery. “She said, ‘one looks so disagreeable when one is not smiling’. But she is not unfrightening – she’s quite scary.”‘ [via Phil]
[politics] The Guardian profiles the Future Leader of the Tory PartyAnne Widdecombe. ‘…setbacks have not written off her hopes of winning the party leadership – and Miss Widdecombe may yet be the “second coming” of Thatcher – frustrating Michael Portillo’s hopes of taking the same job if William Hague fails to dismantle the Labour government’s majority at the next election. Her simple authoritarian appeal has a resonance among the grey-haired rank and file members who now dominate the shrunken Tory party and the increasingly rightwing and europhobic Tory MPs. Partly because of her operatic style, and partly because of her absolute commitment to hard-right views, she has risen in prominence and is arguably the only Tory frontbencher apart from Mr Hague and Mr Portillo most voters could name.’ [Related: Widdy Web]
12 May 2001
[film] ChosenAng Lee produces a six minute on-line film promo. ‘The Driver meets a ship carrying an eight-year-old Tibetan boy at a dark, deserted New York shipyard. But he?s not the only one waiting. Ang Lee, director of the Oscar-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and star Clive Owen create a thrilling, yet beautiful, tale filled with mystery.’
[distractions] Comedy MP3… Craig David Vs Bagpuss. [via NTK]
[blogs] I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I started this Metafilter thread on the death of Douglas Adams which quickly decended into inappropriate internet posting hell. ‘…lots of the people were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches. Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.’
13 May 2001
[politics] Sid, soothsayer of the suburbs — election commentary from The Observer. ‘Meet the first star of election 2001. He is Sidney, a retired salesman from Borehamwood, and he bestrides the Telegraph ‘s new focus group of floating voters like a glum colossus. Every time William Hague comes on the television ‘my wife says he’s a little weasel – and she’s a lifelong Tory’. The only guy who told the truth was that grey Major fellow. ‘It didn’t get him anywhere.’ And as for the prophet himself, doomed to constant invigilating by research company Live Strategy Ltd, well ‘we’ve got a long month of all this. I’m not looking forward to it at all’. Sidney speaks for Britain – and Fleet Street.’
[comics] Mile High Comics publishes a first look at Morrison and Quitely’s New X-Men‘But Ms. Nova …I’m only a Dentist’
14 May 2001
[my inner turmoil?] The Observer profiles Anthony Clare‘As he says, men are viewed today much as women were 100 years ago – as fragile, naturally ill members of the species who are prone to early death, vulnerable to the vicissitudes of random violence and disease, and who are riddled with self-doubt. ‘Freud got it spectacularly wrong,’ Clare says. ‘Women don’t envy the penis. And unlike them, men still can’t discuss their sexuality and resolve the problem. Every man, including myself, is ashamed of the size of his penis.”
15 May 2001
[politics] Amusing interview with Arthur Scargill in the Independent…. ‘Everything, with Arthur, has something to do with the class war. Even tea has something to do with the class war. “Do you know why they say you should put the milk in first?” he asks. No, I say. “Well, when tea was first imported it was very expensive so only the nobility could afford it, and they drank it from bone china. Now, if you pour boiling tea into bone china, it cracks it like crazy paving. But if you put milk in first, it doesn’t. So that’s why they did it and then, of course, the myth grew up that it’s the way you should do it.” Oh. “Although actually,” he continues, “it’s far better to put the tea in first because then you can see how much milk you want.” Truly, the ruling classes have a great deal to answer for.’
[blogs] Weblog Universe Collapses…. ‘During final weeks of the weblog universe, Günther Gerhardt – head of TUM’s department of interactive sociology – noted a sharp increase in the number of self-referential remarks and intra-weblog links. As this almost incestuous introspection increased, so did the strain on the fragile Berners-Lee fields which held the weblog universe together. According to Gerhardt, “This tragic self-referentialism. Each time a weblog mentioned another, it was as though Woden’s crows Hugin and Munin were tearing away bits of my flesh! The horror! The humanity!”‘ [via Swish Cottage]
[war] The Smoking Gun has a recently declassified report on Hitler’s leisure time and sexual activities‘Once Dr. Sedgwick asked him: “Why don’t you marry and fool your enemies?” Hitler answered: “Marriage is not for me and never will be. My only bride is my Motherland.” Then seemingly with no sequence of ideas he added: “There are two ways by which a man’s character may be judged, by the woman he marries, and then the way he dies.”‘ [via Clog]
[comics] Glasgow team brought in to revamp X-Men. Grant Morrison: ‘I’m going to be concentrating less on the supernatural powers and treating it as a bit more soap opera style, looking at what its like to be a mutant like the X-Men. We’re saying what their love life is like, what music they listen to, just looking at these characters a lot more than has been done in the past.’ [via Comic Geek]
16 May 2001
[comics] The Velvet Gloves Are Off — great excerpts from an interview with Dan Clowes. ‘CLOWES: I swear to God. Marvel Comics are at the end of their rope trying to figure out “What’s hip and now?” so they’re approaching guys like Pete Bagge, who they probably imagine sell hundreds of thousands of copies. Of course Bagge had literally never read a single Spider-Man comic in his life, much to his credit. He wants to do it like, “Joe Matt gets super powers,” basically [laughs]. My guess is that it’ll never… that once they see what he’s going to do, they’ll panic. I know he actually asked Crumb to do it. SILVIE: Of course Crumb said “No?” CLOWES: Crumb really considered it. SILVIE: Seriously? CLOWES: I guess so. SILVIE: Jesus!’ [Related: Ghost World — Film. Comic.]
[doh!] Chegger’s gets Hacked. [Related: Chegwin Nude! Chegger’s Bedrooom.]
[falling knob?] Urban Myth — Does C3PO have a “oversized penis” on A Star Wars trading card? ‘The current theory is that at the exact instant the photo was snapped, a piece fell off the Threepio costume, and just happened to line up in such a way as to suggest a bawdy image. The original contact sheets from the photo-shoot attests to this. They are not retouched in any way, yet still contain the same image.’ [via Fark]
17 May 2001
[comics] Sim City: Population 1. Interesting article on Dave Sim. Mirrors my own views to some extent… ‘…the quality of the actual stories hasn’t suffered too badly. I genuinely hope it stays that way, because it would be tragic if Sim got this close to completing his life’s work, twenty-five years of effort, and then blew it at the last moment. Even if we’re not really reading CEREBUS any more, we’d all like Sim to make it to the end. But when you read Sim’s ravings, you get the sinking feeling that it’s all going to go horribly wrong.’
[politics] Gary Younge profiles William Hague ‘This is Mr Hague’s challenge over the next three weeks. It goes beyond the physical to the political. Standing before a huge poster declaring “Keep The Pound” he looks less than the sum of his slogans. Now he has to grow in the public perception. He needs to think big. They have to imagine him at the top table with Jospin, Schröder, Putin and Bush; leading the country into battle in foreign parts or encapsulating the national mood after the death of a monarch. People have to imagine waking up on June 8 and seeing him wave from the steps of Downing Street. There are already many, although by no means enough, who say that is what they want to see. But polls suggest that when even they close their eyes they cannot picture it. In the public imagination, William Hague just keeps coming up short.’
18 May 2001
[comics] Comicon Newsarama has background on a couple interesting stories — Peter Bagge does Spiderman and Marvel dropping the Comic Code…. Joe Quesada: ‘It’s also ironic that the Code, as an organization made up of a group of companies that were attempting to show that comics aren’t just for kids, and aren’t this sort of niche medium. This press conference we’re having right here is the biggest publicity they’ve had in years. As far as the general public is concerned, I don’t even think that they know there is a code anymore.’ [via Link Worthy]
[blog] Dan asks the questions other blogs shy away from: ‘Have you ever wanted to shove a glass rod right up Nick Jordan’s cock?’ [Related: Nick’s Posting]
19 May 2001
[tv] Tony Soprano’s female trouble — excellent profile from Salon of The Sopranos. ‘If you haven’t seen “The Sopranos,” which this Sunday will conclude its third season, you’re missing something extraordinary. It’s arguably the cleverest and most entertaining extended drama that’s ever been on TV. Tony is expertly played with a gruff masculinity by Gandolfini; his emotionally and morally compromised wife, Carmela, is done to a ruined turn by the infinitely expressive Edie Falco; mother Livia, now departed with the death of actress Nancy Marchand, exhibited oceans of pain and scorn in a massive, equine face; proud and bitter Uncle Junior (Dominic Chianese), forced to cede power to his nephew Tony, is a study in aging gracelessly.’
[burchill] Sticks and a stone. ‘I’m not, by any means, some sort of sex-prude, but the rehabilitation of Wyman has been one of the true markers of the increasing sickness and hypocrisy of our society in the past 20 years: him, the whore-master Charles Windsor and schoolgirl-shagger Chris Woodhead; each scumbag now a well-respected man who dares to tell other people how they should be and what they should do. It’s true what those loony Telegraph writers say about shame no longer playing its useful role in civilising society. Look at John Profumo: one quick blowjob from Christine Keeler and he’s off down the East End kissing lepers till the end of his days.’
[politics] Great profile of William Hague in the Telegraph… ‘If politics is a perpetual state of war, then perhaps the enemy is best placed to weigh up the threat you pose. It was Alastair Campbell, the Prime Minister’s notoriously tough press secretary, who first alerted his boss to the strength of the new Tory leader. Campbell had noticed the Yorkshireman’s incredible stamina. ‘He’s a sticker,’ Campbell warned Blair, ‘and the British are a nation of stickers.’ It was Campbell’s private view that one day New Labour would have to watch out for plain-speaking William Hague, but he added a crucial rider: ‘If he can survive his own party.”
[wtf?] Metafilter: Is it possible that Kaycee did not exist? ‘This is a really delicate thing here. Please be really thoughtful about this. I promise I am not trying to stir the shit without cause.’
20 May 2001
[distractions] The C 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 Conservative Party.’ [via Tajmahal]
21 May 2001
[fiction] Metafilter — Kaycee did not exist. Here’s a summary of what happened‘Did anybody to do with this whole mess actually die on Monday?’
[scary] Online Scientology critic seeks political asylum. ‘That’s right; a prosecutor — someone who managed to graduate from a university, then a law school, and then pass the California Bar Exam — actually brought charges of terrorism against someone joking on Usenet about firing a nuclear warhead at a group of people scattered all over the globe.’
[politics] John Prescott profiled in the Independent… ‘…not be surprising that the Deputy Prime Minister has seen the film Billy Elliot five times. Or that he can quote large tracts of dialogue from the story about a young boy who rebels against the strictures of working-class life to become a ballet dancer. Prescott confided in an interview earlier this year: “I do see a bit of myself in Billy. This lad Billy rose up against the prejudices of his community and against the very structure of that community and said, ‘This is what I am. This is how I want to live my life.’ And yes, that moved me. Billy Elliot dancing his heart out, to make his father understand that he must live a different life, makes me cry.”‘
[politics] What They Would Rather Say In This Already Horrendous Campaign. ‘Twat. Fucking Cunt. Shithead.’ [via AngryBlog]
22 May 2001
[politics] Out campaigning with Britain’s most aggressive candidate…. ‘The Labour canvassers talked with awe of their candidate’s encounter with a send-them-home voter the previous day. “The difference between you and me,” said Mr Marshall-Andrews, “is that you are a racist and I am not.” “What they do for us in the war, then?” asked the man, and Mr Marshall-Andrews told him about the Indian and West Indian regiments. “While we’re at it, what did you do?” “I’m too young.” “Well, you don’t look it. And under no circumstances are you allowed to vote for me. You will not vote for me!” “I’ll vote for who I please,” the man finished lamely, making him, presumably, a “don’t know”.’
[kaycee] Comprehensive list of Kaycee Nicole hoax links and FAQ. Also here’s a summing up of recent developments‘One of the local papers seems to have reached Debbie and gotten a story that her daughter Kelli and her N’Sync friends created Kaycee to meet boys. Debbie found out about it, and somehow took over the character (maybe starting out as a protection thing?), added the cancer, and it snowballed. Everything was going fine until she became SO big a net.celeb that people were insisting Kaycee attend SXSW and then JournalCon, offering airfare etc. So it would have been very unbelievable for her not to show. This is why she was “killed”.’ [via Metafilter]
[goodfellas] Henry Hill: The Return of the Goodfella — profile of Henry Hill and new website Good Fella Henry‘No longer in the witness protection programme, Hill none the less has to lie low. This means giving his address only to close friends, keeping Rottweilers, and staying away from the old neighbourhoods, especially Brooklyn. Occasionally, he will try a disguise. “If I go to the racetrack, I put a hat and glasses on, and I take my teeth out. You can’t recognise me, trust me.”‘
23 May 2001
[politics] Steve Bell on Thatcher and Hague… here’s a report on Thatcher’s speech. ‘Earlier, as she greeted the audience at Plymouth Pavilion she said: “I was told beforehand my arrival was unscheduled, but on the way here I passed a local cinema and it turns out you were expecting me after all. The billboard read The Mummy Returns.”‘
[kaycee] More Kaycee Links — includes photos and archived webpages.
[more politics] Mother Goose — William Hague’s political muse interviewed in the Telegraph… ‘Mr Hague and Doreen agree on everything, except whether he should have become party leader. “We met up for lunch the day after the last election. His mother and I didn’t think he should stand as leader. We said the party would be at each other’s throats; William should bide his time. But Ernest and William’s dad said: ‘Go for it – you never get the same chance twice’.” Does she still think it was the wrong decision? “He’s made a good job of it. The press has been so hostile – it would have buried anyone else, but he doesn’t know how to lose his temper. He doesn’t wallow in self-pity. I’ve never seen him down. His aunt Marge, his mother and I do his worrying for him.”‘
24 May 2001
[politics] Joe Klein explores the differences and similarities between US and UK elections…. ‘I should also praise the relative absence of security here. Most American presidential candidates travel about with more armed guardians than Vespasian needed to conquer Jerusalem. John Prescott’s attacker, had he survived the secret service, would be nursing some severely damaged limbs and organs (though at least he wouldn’t have had to wait six months for NHS treatment). The absence of overwhelming security allows for the intermittent presence of humanity. John Prescott’s humanity would have been a big hit, as it were, in America – our politicians tend to go numb, and are shuffled off by their minders, when pelted with eggs, tomatoes or aborted foetuses (which has actually happened).’
[big questions] Things I’ve wondered about…. What exactly does “kumbaya” mean? ‘According to ethnomusicologist Thomas Miller, the song we know began as a Gullah spiritual. Some recordings of it were made in the 1920s, but no doubt it goes back earlier. Published versions began appearing in the 1930s. It’s believed an American missionary couple taught the song to the locals in Angola, where its origins were forgotten. The song was then rediscovered in Angola and brought back here in time for the folksinging revival of the 50s and 60s. People might have thought the Gullahs talked funny, but we owe them a vote of thanks. Can you imagine sitting around the campfire singing, “Oh, Lord, come by here”? ‘
[more politics] How could I have missed this? Steve Bell does another Thatcher and Hague cartoon. ‘The EURO BOGEYMAN is going to TAX YOU TO DEATH!!’ [via Nutlog]
25 May 2001
[comics] The British Voice — long, interesting article on Brit comic creators in the US…. Grant Morrison (who else?): ‘In the field of comics, Neil Gaiman’s precise, lapidary language, Alan Moore’s vast, bardic Victorianism, Garth Ennis’ rolling Behanesque pub dialogues or Mark Millar’s knowing working class sleaziness can easily be traced back through various storytelling influences long present in the mainstream of British cultural life but rarely apparent in that of the US. When you add these homegrown influences to the muscular, robust inspiration of the American comics and movies we all grew up with, the result is an interesting and unique brew of high and low cultural input. The mainstream American narrative voice seem to have its roots in film noir, crime fiction and superhero comics. In Britain the wider influence of literature, music, weird TV comedies, fairy tales, war, sci-fi and ‘girls’ comics is perhaps much more obvious.’
26 May 2001
[bell] More political cartoons… Steve Bell’s Campaign Diary — commentary and sketches + his view on George Bush’s current problems…. Holy Democrat Shit!! I feel a disturbance in the Force!!
28 May 2001
[politics] How one man put Bush on the ropes. ‘The tremors of the political earthquake about to strike in Washington were first felt in the plush Senate toilet on Capitol Hill. It was there, last Monday, that Senator James Jeffords of Vermont told shocked colleagues he had made a decision that would shatter their political agenda and make their new president look naive, petty and out-of-touch.’
[film] The Independent profiles Jerry Bruckheimer. ‘… [Bruckheimer] was one of the originators of high concept in Hollywood. We are talking high not as in high art or high church, but as in the height of a pile of $100 bills starting from the floor and reaching up to the top of Bruckheimer’s utterly groomed grey hair. Mention what critics say about his movies and he gives a shit-eating grin in which his heavy lower lip falls further. Critics don’t have points on the gross, he says. And critics aren’t necessary in show business. As befits any apostle of high-concept movies, Jerry Bruckheimer is instantly understandable: mystery, doubt, ambiguity and concealment are anathema to him.’
29 May 2001
[comics] BBC News on India’s comic cricketers. ‘The books – which are on sale at the price of 50 rupees ($1.06) each – are largely targeted at children, and will have to compete with other popular English language comics. There are also many comics in Hindi and other Indian languages. However, the market for comics, even in English, is thought to be in millions, and the producers hope they can tap into the national enthusiasm for the genre of comic books and cricket.’
[utility] The Guardian profiles P-38 GI can opener. ‘Camping equipment shops exert a powerful influence on men, even those of us who don’t camp. They are full of things that look for all the world as if you might need them someday: million candlepower flashlights, extra tent pegs, waterproof matches, freeze-dried chicken do-piaza. Extreme preparedness is the abiding theme of these items, with attendant virtues including lightness, compactness, and a workmanlike construction which transcends mere fashion. What object embodies all of the survivalist’s core beliefs better than the P-38 GI can opener?’
30 May 2001
[distraction] Freak Watcher’s TextbookIron Mike: ‘The one redeeming quality of the Iron Mike is, despite continual hangovers, he keeps a steady stream of low-paying temporary jobs that he gets from Labor-Ready — an employment agency for the unemployable. None of these positions are particularly desirable, but he makes do. The alcohol helps. With no retirement pay to look forward to, the Iron Mike generally wills himself to die on his 55th birthday. How this is accomplished is a mystery, but it often involves drugs, Mexican strippers and a goat.’
[politics] Thatcher stars in Return of The Mummy‘She was immediately surrounded by Tories, protesters, television crews, reporters, uniformed policemen, special branch coppers, a man waving a 4ft cardboard cutout of her, twin girls performing karaoke versions of Abba hits, a chap with an anti-Kenneth Clarke poster, and a Scotsman with a rasping voice who accused her of hiding bribes from General Pinochet in a secret bank account – in short, a typical cross-section of modern British society. She clambered out. A woman stepped forward and shyly handed her a banana skin, which she accepted as if it were a bouquet. So when the woman began to harangue her about Tory education policy she swerved smartly away. “God bless Margaret Thatcher!” Conservatives shouted. “Boo! Out, out, out!” others shouted. “But she is out!” one of the Tories raged.’
[tv] Grange HillThe Gripper Stebson Years. ‘Off-screen, Mark Savage found his on-screen persona a nightmare. Wherever Mark went, people challenged him to fights and at a football match supporters told him: “Oi Gripper, you’re gonna get your ‘ead kicked in!” To make matters worse, there was a wave of copycat bullying sweeping the nation. “It was open season on Gripper”, Mark told Now magazine in 1998. “People really thought I was Gripper and pulled knives on me and all sorts.”‘ [Related: What Gripper Stebson Did Next]
31 May 2001
[politics] A decent fellow leading a lost cause — another profile of William Hague. ‘Despite his reputation as an orator, Hague’s ideas stubbornly refuse to take verbal flight. With an inexpressive face and a narrow vocal range, he makes no attempt to vary his pacing or trajectory. There are none of the pauses that might suggest reflection or permit emphasis. He rattles through every item on his agenda with an impressive command of his material but a lack of emotional impact. He itemises; he does not persuade. And there is a hint of aldermanic pomposity, evident since puberty. ‘
[celebrity] A Tribute to Danniella Westbrook in GIF. [Originally posted on tsluts] (more…)