1 June 2001
[comics] Back Cover to Cerebus #185Jeff Smith, Vijaya Smith and Dave Sim on a beach in Puerto Rico. ‘The Donkey. The Lima Bean. And Mrs. Lima Bean. In San Juan, Puerto Rico. On the beach. On a very nice day. “Ho Ho” says the Lima Bean, “The Donkey is JEALOUS for there is no fine looking Mrs. Donkey for him.” The Donkey is smiling. Lima Beans never learn.’ [Related: Dear Jeff Smith]
[books] You ask the Questions… Nick Hornby. On Maidenhead: ‘…No, Maidenhead’s great if you aren’t interested in any form of rock music. Or the cinema. Or the theatre. Or books. If, however, your main cultural interests are not-getting-mugged and commuting, it’s the place to be.’
[politics] Boris’s problem: he actually says what he thinks. Simon Hoggart on Boris Johnson‘…he is too honest. He can’t help saying what he means. I asked how William Hague was playing on the doorstep and he replied, “Huge, oh huge!” But that is not true, and so he can’t leave it there. He made massive, swooping, burying-head-in-hands motions, to show what he really meant. A woman said she had always voted Tory, but not this time. “You don’t engage me at all. You have too many people in the party now who are from a different planet entirely. And you’re going to win and be in a morale-destroying minority, when you could have a much better time editing the Spectator. And what about your wife and children?” Boris groaned, presumably because he suspected she was right on all counts.’
2 June 2001
[books] Brief Slashdot review of Neil Gaiman’s new book — American Gods. Gaiman: ‘If Neverwhere was about the London underneath, this would be about the America between, and on-top-of, and around. It’s an America with strange mythic depths. Ones that can hurt you. Or kill you. Or make you mad. American Gods will be a big book, I hope. A sort of weird, sprawling picaresque epic, which starts out relatively small and gets larger. Not horror, although I plan a few moments that are up there with anything I did in Sandman, and not strictly fantasy either. I see it as a distorting mirror, a book of danger and secrets, of romance and magic.’ [Related: Gaiman’s American Gods Blog]
[comics] Preview Picks for June 2001 — nice overview of what comics are released this month.
3 June 2001
[comics] Alan Moore and Marvel Comics build bridges… Moore’s version and Quesada’s version of what happened… Quesada:‘I flew over, and took the train to Northampton to meet Alan,” he said. “He lives up to his reputation as the comic book Merlin. He’s a big, tall guy with a beard and a walking staff. We walked through Northampton and he showed me where Princess Di is really buried. She’s not where everyone thinks she is.”‘ [via Seething Hatred]
“I told you my work is almost completed. Let me tell you now exactly what I’m planning to do. I’ve spoken of the importance of catastrophe to progress and change. Think of the minor accidents that made you and the others what you are today. Now imagine a mass accident if you will. Imagine generating a global catastrophe curve. What might happen then? How would humanity be forced to change and adapt? With the nanomachines I can do it. I can remake the world and everyone in it. I’m not entirely sure what kind of world will exist when I have finished, but I know it will be better for everyone. If I have any faith, I have faith in the unexpected. The unpredictable. I believe in the catastrophe. I welcome it with open arms.
[crime] WMOB — The Wiretap Network. FBI Wiretaps of Mafia gangsters… Frank and Fritzy. Life imitates the Sopranos. ‘FRITZY: I eat yogurt about 10 o’clock, ’cause I didn’t eat all day from 2 o’clock. So I says, “I’ll have a little yogurt.” Then it had raisins and nuts. FRANK: I thought you don’t eat raisins. FRITZY: It was inside the damn yogurt. FRANK: What’d ya tell me about raisins? FRITZY: Yeah, what I tell you? They were in there, alright? So anyhow, so I, I downed it and five minutes after, I started fucking itching around the balls, you know?’ [via Follow Me Here]
4 June 2001
[tv] I’m losing the will to live — 12 hours watching the Big Brother house. ‘1.05am Bubble asks Amma if she swallows. Amma says she doesn’t then suggests that the boys swallow a cup of “it”. Their own or someone else’s, she doesn’t specify. Paul says he is well up for a game of strip poker. If the fact that he is reading the Posh and Becks biography wasn’t enough of a hint, here is another that Paul is one classy bloke. Elizabeth is still in the kitchen washing and wiping things. She is perhaps thinking about feeding her boyfriend his rusks. 9.35am Penny fears that when she leaves the house, the crowds there to see her may be so large there could be “a Princess Diana moment”. Yes, and they’ll all be holding flaming torches and shouting “Burn the witch”.’
[web] Tom launches the Barbelith Zine… also check out the Barbelith Collective (Blogs) and the Barbelith Underground (Chat). ‘… grew out of discussions of some of the issues raised in [The Invisibles], and went far beyond them almost immediately. It’s a home for dialogues about society, technology, media, magic, religion, sex, and what-all else. It’s a community which is boisterous, passionate, sometimes acerbic, yet on occasion surprisingly tender and supportive. Debate is fierce and standards are high, but no one should feel excluded or too shy to contribute.’
[comics] Time reviews Eddie Campbell’s “Alec: How to be an Artist. ‘”Alec: How to be an Artist,” uses Campbell’s long-time alter-ego, Alec MacGarry, to tell the story of his struggling years. Using this tether Campbell dives into and returns from extended caveats on subjects like the history of the industry during the ’80s “boom-years,” the difference between craft and art, and the challenges of remaining an Artist in such an historically disposable medium. Thus it bounces from essay, to history, to criticism, to autobiography in a way I haven’t seen comix try before.’
5 June 2001
[politics] Hats off to Soames, off-message but in majestic form — Simon Hoggart sketch of the grandson of Winston Churchill. ‘Many of the people we meet probably voted Tory when Soames’s grandfather, Winston Churchill, led the party. He gave me the true version of what I had always suspected was an apocryphal story. In or around 1953, when Soames was five, he didn’t know how important his grandfather was until someone told him. So he walked up to the old man’s bedroom, managed to get past the valets and the secretaries, and found him sitting up in bed. “Is it true, grandpapa, that you are the greatest man in the world?” he asked. “Yes I am,” said Churchill. “Now bugger off”.’
[map] Classic London tube map from the 30’s… [via]
[politics kinda] The BBC wonders: What happened to the Natural Law Party? ‘…while other candidates might bat around finer points of fiscal policy in a hypothetical TV debate, the NLP’s representative would likely wade in with the view that Britain’s problems were down to the fact the prime minister lived in a house with a south entrance. This was in fact one of the points made at the party’s third international convention, in 1996, when blame was also heaped upon the Channel Tunnel, which provided a south entrance to the UK. Such things go against the principles of Natural Law.’ [Related: Natural Law Party Website]
6 June 2001
[books] You ask the Questions — Will Self. A few words for Julie Burchill, please Will… I remain a great fan of Julie. There’s no one whose extempore journalism is more likely to strike sparks off the dull knife of my own intellect. I think she’s a remarkably smart woman, who has put great time, energy and ingenuity into uncultivating herself. One of the great English eccentrics.’
[politics] Fantastic portrait of Mrs. Thatcher in Northampton a few days ago from Matthew Parris. ‘…oblivious to the hands of worshippers reaching out to touch her, her expression said: “Make my day sonny, ask me a question.” “Why are you afraid of the euro?” asked Hayes. “What a question!” she snapped. “What a question.” Mr Hayes flinched. “As” – she stabbed him in the chest with an index finger – “a broadcaster” she stabbed again – “you should protect” – stab – “the pound”. Hayes began to back away into the crowd. She pursued him! Then she grabbed his mike like some kind of trophy and brandished it in front of his own crew’s camera. In much the same way the tribesmen of the Danekil in the Horn of Africa sport, on a necklace, the withered penises of the men they have killed in battle.’
7 June 2001
[comics] Warren Ellis provides a guide to Ordering Comics for August 2001‘Okay. Garth Ennis, co-creator of PREACHER, is the writer. Carlos Ezquerra, co-creator of JUDGE DREDD, is the artist. And it’s a World War 2 story. About Hitler’s missing testicle. Which is somewhere in the Middle East, crackling with occult power. Whoever possesses the magic bollock will rule the world. Please buy this, so that Garth and Carlos no longer have to have these wrong thoughts and can rest their sick brains. Please. In the name of God, please.’

Anne Widdecombe: Vote Labour... or next time shes naked.

[via Wherever You Are. Cheers!]
[politics] True Colours — Joe Klien on Tony Blair… How to describe Tony Blair to a Martian: ‘On a train to Newcastle, where she was to stump for various Labour hopefuls, Mo Mowlam did a rather funny parody of how one might actually speak to a Martian: “Tony Blair is the prime minister of the United Kingdom. He is our political leader. He is young, thin, losing his hair. He is a good leader, a good family man, religious, a lawyer. He cares – and he wanted the job. He cannot be stereotyped.”‘
[links] Nice controllable London webcam with preset views of the Millenium Eye, CentrePoint and Wardour Street from a roof in Soho…
8 June 2001
[brilliantly cruel] John’s Not Mad fan-page… ‘In 1989, QED obligingly produced the programme “John’s Not Mad”, featuring John Davidson, a young man from Galashiels who simply couldn’t stop swearing. We now know it as Tourette’s Syndrome – and no self respecting wag hasn’t feigned a gutter gob-rush at some point in their lives. At the time, however, the beauty of a condition which simply made you rude was a new one to the children of Britain. We also never had swearing on TV. LA Law had a defendent with Tourette’s in one episode – but he said nothing worse than bitch and slut. John Davidson, however, said fuck. And he said cunt. And he said big nose.’ [Sound: Fuck Medley]
[politics] A final election sketch from Simon Hoggart… Tories slapped in the face with a wet kipper. ‘At Tory central office there was a mood of miserable, dull acquiescence. It was as if the whole party had been slapped in the face with a wet kipper. The only excitement came when Michael Portillo declared on television that, whatever happened, he truly hoped William Hague would remain as leader. My goodness, we thought, will the desperate don stop at nothing to get the job? I thought of popping round to his house to see if BT installs phone lines at 2 o’clock in the morning. But some took a different view. Over at ITN, Norman Tebbit was asked if Portillo’s remarks meant that he had finally got cold feet. “I wouldn’t know,” Tebbit replied, “I have never slept with him.”‘
[politics] Astute analysis from Michael Heleltine of where the Tories went wrong… ‘…Mr Blair’s Labour Party today is in many vital respects a recycled Conservative Party, but with fresh faces and a new language. For the majority of people in this country, rule by Mr Blair has meant little more than a continuation of the policies established by the Tories. But Mr Blair has profited from another vital phenomenon. While the Conservative Party has looked backwards, Labour has adopted the vocabulary of the future. Britain has moved on – whether for good or ill scarcely matters. Marital breakdown, single-parent families, partners, gay rights, a multi-ethnic population are all parts of modern life, while a relatively privileged majority enjoys ownership of homes, cars, pensions, inheritances. These things forced Labour onto the centre ground and keep it there. ‘
9 June 2001
[politics] Okay, the final election link — election sketches from cartoonist Posy Simmonds. The Tory Leadership Election starts here… VIVA WIDDECOMBE!
[comics] Grant Morrison discusses Animal Man… one of his early DC comics… ‘As Animal Man progressed, I moved away from miserablist heroes in their grainy, rainy ‘real’ world (that looked like no real world outside my window) and instead twisted my head into thinking not what would it be like for superheroes to live in the real world but what would it be like for a real person to live in a superhero world – an actual comic continuum, a universe drawn on paper, as thin as the ink surface but as rich and deep and involving as a 50 year-deep, shared, living universe could be. Once I’d worked out the cosmology I decided to start playing with it a little more seriously. I wondered if I could make a comic so close to real life that by writing an event or person into the comic I could make the event occur or the person appear in my own life or in the lives of others around me. I experimented with the Flex Mentallo comic then got serious with The Invisibles, which changed my life and rewrote the world around me.’
[football] Manchester United Are Best Ever! ‘My Name is KOK kokweeuk’.
10 June 2001
[comics] Preview Picks looks at the comics available in August
[politics] What Portillo did next: ‘He had left his election count at Chelsea and boarded a bus for Stansted airport looking “like a dead man”, according to a fellow passenger. When the news was broadcast of Hague’s resignation, which Portillo had thought unlikely, he stared moodily into space. Once in Morocco, as donkeys passed slowly in front of the tour coach on Friday, he was overheard talking to colleagues in London by mobile phone about the leadership. The serious mood passed. In the Palais Jamai hotel in Fes he was joking around, imitating Ross’s radio show. Witnesses said he was dancing “like some demented genie” at 1am yesterday at a festival in Volubilis. “I am practising my election dance,” he told onlookers. Next he visited a 10th century mosque.’
[tv] Male haterosexuality — Barbara Ellen looks at Men Only (a drama on Channel 4 last week). ‘This, we were told in booming, none-too-literate tones, was ‘THE TROOF’ about men when they are alone, away from the civilising influence of women. There were some upsetting and graphic early scenes depicting men enjoying a game of football, and then it was straight on to the hard stuff. If the male characters weren’t lying, cheating, stealing, taking drugs and fighting, they were leering at women like high-street Vikings, swaggering into massage parlours a full 20 minutes after their groins, socking prostitutes on the jaw and (treat yourself, it’s Saturday night) gang raping helpless nurses, with a camcorder running. Recognise anybody you know? Because no man I know did, though a few confessed to owning camcorders. One man I know called it “Cold Feet on ketamine”.’
11 June 2001
[comics] The Comics Journal looks at Dave Sim, Tangents and his proposed boxing match with Jeff Smith. On speculations on the internet that he is mad: ‘When asked about the speculations on his state of mind, Sim said that “it’s difficult to take seriously from people whose social life consists of talking to a typewriter.” He added that although he is vehemently opposed to such Internet activity, “Gerhard followed one thread and said, ‘Well, that’s one hour of my time that I’ll never get back.'” Without such message boards, Sim maintained, there is barely any controversy at all.’
[distraction] Pretty massive distraction actually — Flash Mini-Golf. [via Wanderers Weblog]
12 June 2001
[execution] Steve Bell on Tim McVeigh’s Execution and George Bush. ‘God Bless All The Dead Guys’
[comics] Tom interviews Kevin O’Neill [Part One | Part Two] artist on Nemesis The Warlock and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Censorship in 2000AD: ‘It was a scene in which two giant Torquemada statues had a bridge slung between them. I didn’t see what was wrong with – there was no blood or anything. But the editors thought the bridge was some kind of penis! It was above the navel! I just thought, ‘Where the hell does he keep his penis?!’. I made the bridge look thinner and that pacified them. But at the same time, they completely missed that Torquemada was married to an underage girl. We had scenes of him in bed with his 14 year-old child-bride and they never even blinked!’
13 June 2001
[babies] Fathers Daze — Tim Lott talks about men and babies… ‘When I was in my 20s I thought that happiness looked like a big desk I could sit behind, ordering people around. I thought happiness was golden beaches, and exciting parties, and recreational drugs, and exotic travel and big salaries and gorgeous women. And I tried all these things – oh, how I tried them. But you can add them up and multiply them by their own power, and none of them achieve the simple intensity of the joy that is granted by pushing my daughters on the swings in the local park on a sunny day, or simply watching while they sleep. No clever piece of artifice – film, theatre, TV – can make me laugh half as much. No stunning piece of art can be so beautiful. No winning of a literary prize would make me so proud. Happiness, it turns out, like evil, is banal.’
[stuff] Random Linkage:

  • Excellent fan site for Manhunter — the Michael Mann film based on Thomas Harris’ book Red Dragon.
  • Photos from Nasa’s Apollo moon missions.
  • PassNotes on Gary Bushell.
  • Dave Eggers: ‘…do not dismiss a person until you have met them. It is a fuckload of work to be open-minded and generous and understanding and forgiving and accepting, but Christ, that is what matters.’ [via methylsalicylate]
  • 99 Ways to Improve Your Life [Part 1 | Part 2] Read Tolkien? WTF!? 16 Brush up on your Tolkien, even if you hate it. When the film comes out, no party will be safe from a Lord of the Rings conversation, so make sure you have something to say, even if it’s simply, “I never read it; and nor, happily, did I spent my entire teenage years making horrid cracking sounds with my knuckles and picking my sweaty feet and masturbating.”‘

14 June 2001
[rich] A very English billionaire — Profile of John Paul Getty II. ‘…he has been described as extremely sentimental, and sentimental about England. The quintessence of his view of England is a village-green cricket match ­ rural, old-fashioned, but probably accompanied by champagne rather than warm beer. One of his chief pleasures is his own cricket ground at his mansion in the Chilterns, Wormsley Park. This misty-eyed notion of an old, idyllic rural England is conservative in more senses than one. When Getty proclaims his belief that “the Conservative Party is the party best equipped to defend the British way of life”, the way of life he has in mind is that once described by his friend John Major ­ — a country “of long shadows on county cricket grounds, warm beer, green suburbs, dog lovers, and old maids cycling to Holy Communion through the morning mist”.’
15 June 2001
[books] Poisoned Pen — The Guardian on Richard Littlejohn’s first book. Littlejohn on the Guardian: ‘For the past 25 years it has been impossible to get a job in the public sector without subscribing to the whole Guardian agenda,’ wrote Littlejohn. ‘It’s the only place jobs in teaching, the health service, local government, the social services, the probation service and the civil service are advertised. The prejudices of a smug, self-selecting, metropolitan elite have been imposed ruthlessly on a largely unsuspecting public.’
[distraction] Freaky Moving Circles… Weird! [Cheers Andy]
[important question] Which UK Blogger would you most like to see naked? [via Plasticbag]
16 June 2001
I’ve lost my blogging mojo… and I’m not sure that two Nurofen and a new wallet are going to help me find it again.
[reboot] ‘Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?’
17 June 2001
[soap] Walford gets its golden boyGoldie’s appearing in EastEnders‘Fame, he says, no longer has the same appeal. He spent his whole life wanting to be somebody, wanting to tell his story. ‘I wanted it so much it made me sick. But ultimately you think, “Goldie, they understand. You can stop now.”‘ He screams out loud, a long howl of pain. ‘I’ve been screaming since I was three.’ But now, the screaming might stop. What he’s learning is patience. ‘When you have rejection all of your life, you expect it. And you want to give it. But sometimes you’ve just got to say, someone owes me out there, there’s some kind of karma. And you’ve got to wait for it to come.’
Jimmy Corrigan Cover[comics] Charles Shar Murray reviews Jimmy Corrigan by Chris Ware. ‘This exquisitely packaged graphic-novel edition of the strip, which ran in Ware’s own Acme Novelty Library for most of the 1990s, has been hailed as a masterpiece, and rightly so. Ware has been praised for the acute psychological insight of his writing, for the crisp, pellucid elegance of his art and design, and for his formal innovations, not least the dizzying variety of graphic idioms and narrative through-lines set in different time-periods, which he juggles with awesome self-assurance.’ [Related: Buy Jim Corrigan at Amazon]
18 June 2001
[profile] Nice profile Of Patrick Marber. ‘Despite his stratospheric rise, Marber has contrived the air of a drifter to whom things just happen. “The internet has opened up a new kind of inertia for people like me, where we don’t have to get dressed, where we can just sit in our pyjamas and access the universe,” he said. “I’m a potential internet junkie, it’s just that I haven’t worked out how to use it yet. I’m like an alcoholic who doesn’t know how to open the bottle.” Four months of every year, he says, he spends “doing nothing – I mean really sitting on my arse”.’
[tv] The King of New York — Interview with Michael Imperioli (Christopher from The Sopranos). ‘…amid the plaudits heaped on the cast’s shoulders, it’s Imperioli’s performances that have provided many of the show’s greatest moments. Sure, James Gandolfini’s Tony may be The Sopranos’ (a)moral centre: but it’s Moltisanti, with his neuroses and screenwriting aspirations who’s walked the most dizzying tightropes, his development littered with audacious segues from the hilarious (greeting Martin Scorsese with the words “Kundun – I liked it!”) to the just plain brutal.’
[distraction] Amazing photo of an iceberg above and below the waterline… [via Betty Woo]
19 June 2001
[politics] Anne Widdecombe checks out… Steve Bell’s view and Simon Hoggart’s…. ‘We have lost her from the high seas; no more will we gaze at the billowing sails, the ensign fluttering proudly from her poop deck! And what made it perfect was that she went down with her guns firing – specifically at Michael Portillo, a pocket battleship which made the terrible mistake of approaching her broadside. Crump! “I don’t believe that Michael Portillo is the right person to lead the Conservative party!” Thump! “This is nothing personal, all I can say is, that this is what I sincerely believe!” Nothing personal? She loathes him. “I don’t want today to turn into personal denigration of Michael Portillo,” she added, to the sound of a 12″ gun slamming into foot-thick steel. This means, in translation, “I want you all to take it personally”.’
[stuff] Random Linkage 2:

[blog different] The Bum Notes. After almost 2 days of clogged up bowels, I entrusted a frightening amount of gloopy shit to the porcelain this morning. It was a double-flusher, double-brusher. My efforts left the drain gasping for air, and I could hear some satisfying thuds as the fruit of my bowels descended through the rather ancient plumbing system. All in all, I would give this one a 9 out of 10. Most satisfying shit of the week. [via Parallax View]
20 June 2001
[images] There are some stunning photos on the Life Magazine website….
[comics] NeilGaiman.Com goes live as his new book American Gods is released. His blog has relocated [t]here as well….
[WTF?] Did Emlyn Hughes call his kids Emlyn and Emma Lynn? ‘Are you able to confirm this and are there any other instances of footballing parents with the imagination of a brick?’
21 June 2001
[books] The Parsons Tale — Interesting interview with Tony Parsons…. ‘Parsons’s mother died of cancer in 1999. Ever prepared to harvest the details of his life in the name of art, he has fictionalised her death in One for My Baby. He also wrote a column about her in the Mirror the day after she died. The headline was: goodbye mum and thanks for teaching me the meaning of love.Does he think now that column was a little mawkish? ‘If I had written it today, it would have been different, but it had a great impact at the time. I got literally hundreds of letters. Selfishly, it made things easier for me: a writer makes sense of the world by writing about it. I don’t think it was mawkish and sentimental so much as hysterical with emotion. The iMac was covered in tears when I wrote it.”
[comics] Nice quality trailer for Ghost World up at Apple’s Quicktime Movie Trailers site… [ …oh… and buy the comic book!! Trust me. You won’t regret it.]
[blog different] Two-fisted blogging cock tales… Swish Cottage‘Yes, in laymen’s terms, I had broken my cock.’ Vs. Nick “Torsion of the Testicle” Jordan‘I woke in agony; it felt as though someone had kicked me very hard in the gonads. Perhaps I’d somehow managed to catch myself while I slept, I thought, so I waited for the pain to subside as it normally would. It didn’t. In fact, if anything, it grew worse. Now somewhat concerned, I examined myself, but could detect nothing obvious. My calls for assistance were heard by my mother who came into the room to ask what all the fuss was about. “My balls!” I cried.’ [Related: Meg responds earlier]
22 June 2001
[comics] First review I’ve seen of the Ghost World movie…. ‘Just out of high school, Enid has vague plans to move away from home and into a starter apartment with best bud Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson). Slightly jealous of her pretty blonde pal, our bespectacled post-Goth heroine keeps bailing on the search for a new pad, although she’s clearly sick of living with her meek dad (Bob Balaban, in another of his superbly modulated outings). Adding to the tension between the girls is their mutual ardor for Josh (Brad Renfro), a blandly handsome schoolmate without much evident interest in either of them. (This aspect of the situation, uncharacteristically for the movie, is rather more muted than it is in the comic.) Throwing things out of whack, and eventually into focus, is Enid’s chance encounter with Buscemi’s Seymour, a sad-sack record collector — an amalgam of Zwigoff himself and various Crumb brothers.’ [via Comic Geek]
[web] NTK does Popbitch…. ‘And finally – from anonymity to immortality: word is it’s “extremely unlikey” that, after a successful stint in a B-list boy-band, both JAMES BULGER murderers plan to pursue careers as light entertainment presenters in children’s TV. “Friends Like These” might never be the same again’
[books] Another interview with Tony Parsons‘His son’s generation are incredibly wary of marriage and commitment, he says. Which may be no bad thing, given men’s perennial obsession with starting afresh on a new romantic path. “But men can feel that, and also feel a need for family and stability. The problem is that you can’t have both.” It’s funny, I say, that for women “having it all” is about the realities of family and career, while for men it’s about two conflicting dreams. “Having it all for women is a balancing act. It’s difficult, but it’s not impossible. For men [having it all] is impossible.”‘
23 June 2001
[music] Michael Daddino blogs 24 hours of MTV‘R&B videos just delight in nice interiors, don’t they?’
Observation: Multi-Screen viewing is seemingly anticipated by Burroughs’ cut-up technique. He suggested re-arranging words and images to evade rational analysis, allowing subliminal hints of the future to leak through… An impending world of exotica, glimpsed only peripherally. Perceptually, this simultaneous input engages me like the kinetic equivalent of an abstract or impressionist painting
…Phosphor-dot swirls juxtapose; meanings coalesce from semiotic chaos before reverting to incoherence. Transient and elusive these must be grasped quickly: Computer animations imbue even breakfast cereals with an hallucinogenic futurity; Music channels process information-blips, avoiding linear presentation, implying limitless personal choice… These reference points established , an emergent worldview becomes gradually discernable amidst the media’s white noise. This jigsaw-fragment model of tomorrow aligns itself piece by piece, specific areas necessarily obscured by indeterminacy. However, broad assumptions regarding this postulated future may be drawn. We can imagine its ambience. We can hypothesize its psychology. In conjunction with massive forecasted technological acceleration approaching the millennium, this oblique and shifting cathode mosaic uncovers an era of new sensations and possibilities. An era of the conceivable made concrete… and of the casually miraculous.’
24 June 2001
[books] Annoying, too clever by half summer reading lists… from Douglas Rushkoff and Zadie Smith. This made me think… what should the readers of LinkMachineGo be reading this summer? Let me know and I’ll post any suggestions and comments…
[comics] The Barbelith Underground discusses The Island Of Forgotton Comics‘And I do wish that John Byrne would tell the world what happened next to the Next Men, although I think I’m the only one who gives a damn.’
25 June 2001
[tv] The Second Noel — entertaining interview with Noel Edmonds…. ‘I sneeze a couple of times. “I don’t know that this carpet can absorb that amount of moisture,” Edmonds says in that famous squeaky voice. “Can you do me a passport photo?” he asks the photographer, who nods. “That was a joke,” Edmonds says, disappointed.’
[tabloid] For Garry, England and St George — an interview with Garry Bushell… ‘Garry once met Frankie Howerd. “Because I was a lone voice saying let’s have Frankie on telly before he dies, he invited me to see him and then took me and the wife for a meal afterwards. It was like, wow, I can’t believe I’m sitting here with Frankie Howerd, but then… ” What? “… he started touching me up under the table!” I think this may have upset Garry a bit, which is a shame. They’d have made a super couple.’
[books] Jez comes up with a Summer Reading List… and Mat points out why the novel is dead. ‘…the novel has become little more than an exclusionary and divisive instrument of repression, falsely condemning the non-fiction reading classes to submit to the belief that they will never and can never achieve the same level of spiritual, emotional or intellectual understanding as those who feed their emptiness by feasting on the fabricated lives of non-existent characters.’
26 June 2001
[books] LMG’s Summer Reading List… I’ve managed to ignore my vast collection of philosophy and come up with five books I’ve enjoyed reading and re-read all the time…

  • My Dark Places by James Ellroy. Ellroy writes about his life, his mother and her murder. Brilliant. [extract]
  • Different Seasons by Stephen King. One novel — four great stories. Contains one of the most disturbing stories I read as a teenager — Apt Pupil. Don’t turn your nose up at King… He’s a natural born storyteller and this book showcases his talent.
  • High Concept by Charles Fleming. This book attempts to answer the question of how low one man can go when provided with unlimited access to money, drugs, designer suits, fast cars and prostitutes… the answer is pretty fucking low. Poor reviews on Amazon but I’ve always found Simpson and his films fascinating…
  • Red Dragon by Thomas Harris. The first Hannibal Lecter novel and probably the best. You’ll be seeing copies of the Lecter novels in charity shops for decades to come… which is what any author should aspire to. I expect I’ll see dog-eared copies of Bridget Jones as I shuffle around Oxfam in 2040.
  • Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe. Crap title, crap film, great book… The downfall of Sherman McCoy, self-styled “Master of the Universe” and a vivid description of New York in the ’80s. [extract]

Next Week: Five (good?) books you can find in charity shops in London in 2001.
[comics] Long, interesting interview with Daniel Clowes from Indy Magazine‘Sometimes I think that since I’ve gotten all this minor exposure, I should really go on a crusade to get people to read comics. But I think once you do that, you’re dividing your energy, and you’re much better off doing the best comics you can do. That will ultimately help the cause of comics a lot more.’ [via Metafilter]
27 June 2001
[BIG questions] Time wonders How The Universe Will End‘…Adams predicts that all this dead matter will eventually collapse into black holes. By the time the universe is 1 trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion years old, the black holes themselves will disintegrate into stray particles, which will bind loosely to form individual “atoms” larger than the size of today’s universe. Eventually, even these will decay, leaving a featureless, infinitely large void. And that will be that?unless, of course, whatever inconceivable event that launched the original Big Bang should recur, and the ultimate free lunch is served once more.’ [via Ghost in the Machine]
[comics] Interview with Alex Robinson — the artist / writer behind Box Office Poison… On having Will Eisner as a teacher at art school: ‘The sad part was that out of maybe 25 people in the class, only five or six paid attention to him. The rest of the students didn’t care who he was and were only interested in being the next Jim Lee or whoever. Some of the kids in the cartooning department had never even heard of Robert Crumb (it was before the movie, of course)!’
[politics] Kenneth Clarke joins the battle for Tory Leader… Steve Bell’s view and Simon Hoggart’s‘Ken Clarke rolled up, literally. Everything about him is round. His face, his body, his belly, his eyes, even the movements described by his torso as he circles a room, are all spherical. If Lucian Freud had been there he’d have ripped Ken’s clothes off, shouting: “I want a crack at that!”‘
28 June 2001
[comics] I was a lot younger when I read this the first time… (WTF! 1990?!) Endless Summer by Philip Bond. ‘…a little sappy for you? never mind, there’ll be something much more moronic next week.’
[distractions] Another really addictive game… BLiX. ‘Is BLiX just a pixel in someone else’s game?’
[politics] There’s only one person that knows me – and that’s me — long, intriguing, “fills-in-the-blanks” profile of Michael Portillo in the Telegraph… ‘…He still has his detractors. One of Hague’s team says: “William was being shot at from the inside on a daily basis. Michael often didn’t return emails or pick up the phone. He’s impossible to get close to, he’s such a big secret. He has a grandeur and aloofness that William lacks.” Another says: “It was like living with Princess Diana.”‘
29 June 2001
[comics] Popimage has 20 questions with Joe Quesada. Old Marvel vs. New Marvel: ‘…communications between the upper levels of the company and our talent was really disastrous. We also had some very poor hiring methods. For starters we kept hiring editors and assistant editors to write our top books while the competition was recruiting new talent that was really breaking ground. We had no recruitment techniques at all! When we did hire top talent we wouldn’t let them do what they wanted to do, we had a very heavy-handed editorial approach and would make sure that the books were more editorially driven than talent driven. I think that there was also the ego factor, you know “Eff you we’re Marvel and if you don’t like it go work for the smaller companies” and ultimately we were afraid of change. I can’t tell you the fear, concern and jealousy that was felt across Marvel when Marvel Knights was introduced into the system. I could feel it walking down the halls on a daily basis. That first year I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up as I walked by certain offices.’
[cartoon] Steve Bell on David Trimble’s threatened resignation
30 June 2001
[comics] Tom interviews Grant Morrison [Part One | Part Two]. Morrison on Animal Man: ‘The Animal Man project began as a four issue miniseries in what he describes with a laugh as the “Alan Moore style – lots of poetic captions and interesting scene transitions”, but it soon spiralled away from this concept. “Half-way through the first four issues I decided that I just couldn’t continue with it. They had asked me to do it as an ongoing series, but it just wasn’t the kind of thing that I wanted to do. Suddenly the idea of the ‘Coyote Gospel’ came to me and that basically set the template for everything that I’ve done since.”‘
[life] A Lease On Life — the Guardian looks at human longevity… ‘In theory, evolution could have come up with a different design, a human who reached sexual maturity decades later, or who went on having children for longer. But then the sabre-tooth factor kicks in. In mankind’s hunter-gatherer days, the chances were that something would kill you before you reached your mid-30s. It might have been famine, or murder, or a predator, or a nasty bacterium. There would have been no evolutionary point in having a man or woman who was in their physical prime at 70, if they had only a million-to-one chance of surviving violence and illness for that long. We’re a bit like cars. Maybe you could design and build a car that would last 1,000 years. But why would you, if the cars cost a billion pounds each, and were 99% likely to be destroyed in an accident in half that time?’