1 September 2001
[movies] The Bad Movie Review Site — excellent site about the most awful movies — includes reviews, images, MPEG’s…. From the review of Death Ship: ‘Not only does it have George Kennedy, he’s dressed up like a Nazi ship captain no less. It’s poetic I’ll admit, didn’t know they made uniforms that big. I think there was a typo in the script, what was intended to be “Death Shit” became “Death Ship” and therein lies the tragedy.’
[comics] Working the web: Graphic novels — the Guardian looks at on-line comics … ‘One thing is clear, though: while mainstream culture is just catching up with comics – sugaring the pill by calling them “graphic novels” – comics have already moved on, by moving online. Free publishing space, interactivity and the possibility of animation are giving an old medium a new life.’
2 September 2001
[tv] Family secrets — the Observer goes behind the scenes of The Sopranos‘I heard David Chase say one time that it’s about people who lie to themselves, as we all do. Lying to ourselves on a daily basis and the mess it creates.’James Gandolfini on what the Sopranos is really about.
3 September 2001
[films] The George Kennedy Appreciation SocietyPictures from Airport 77‘Find out everything you ever wanted to know about the great thespian George Kennedy.’ [Related: Airport 77 at IMDB]
[comics] Side by side in the fantasy league — Roger Sabin reviews recent comics in the Observer including The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill … ‘The ‘league’ is led by Mina Murray from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and consists of H. Rider Haggard’s Allan Quartermain, Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo, R.L. Stevenson’s Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde and H.G.Wells’s Invisible Man, all brought together to combat an evil criminal mastermind from the East and his band of ‘sly Chinee’. Thus begins a penny-dreadful adventure that mimics modern superhero team-ups – Moore’s own Watchmen comes to mind – while retaining an all-important sense of humour. This is very postmodern humour, you understand – Quartermain is discovered in an opium den and the Invisible Man is caught hiding in a girls’ school. Yet it never threatens to overwhelm what is essentially a ripping yarn of a rather quaint kind: you feel that Moore and O’Neill really yearn for a bit of old-fashioned romance.’
4 September 2001
[comic ads] Count Dante, so-called Deadliest Man Alive (he died in 1975) has his own website and was actually the World’s Deadliest Hairdresser‘Count Dante personally went to Muhammad Ali’s (Cassius Clay) house on the south side of Chicago and challenged the Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the world. Count Dante’ also challenged the World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion and the World Heavyweight Judo Champion. Count Dante personally entered the contest and defeated all the comers.’ [via Memepool]
[comics] The antique rude show — the Guardian looks at Chris Ware’s Acme Comedy Library‘…Ware’s emotional levers typically pivot not on what is realised or revealed, but on that which is withheld: “You can now make more money than your grandparents did. You can also drive really fast and change your sex. You can find friends without having to go to church, and you can see movies in your own house. You can get pictures of naked people almost anywhere and you can curse out loud freely. You can get your face stretched tight like when it was new, and you can be sick and not die for a really long time. You can even wash your clothes in a machine, so why can’t you figure out a way to be happy all of the time?” (that’s an “advert” for Dr Linn’s Bronchial Wafers.)’
5 September 2001
[sleaze] Call it blackmail if you want — interview with Max Clifford from The Telegraph … ‘Perhaps the most telling insight into Clifford’s motivations is a childhood memory of his sister. “I would be seven and she’s 20, and she’s sitting in our tiny front-room, trying to entertain a boyfriend. My brothers would gee me up and I’d run in, stark naked, fart and run off again, which she didn’t see the funny side of at all.”‘
[more sleaze] Internet Gossip … a brilliantly cruel gossip site covering Blogs, Everything / Nothing and cam girls / boys. I’ve always been confused by Everything / Nothing Sites — it’s like bizarro blogworld — there’s a good explanation of them here and here‘Intergrity. Funny word. E/N has been run over with people simply wanting to get their hits up as high as possible. It’s not hard to do. Well, not if you’re willing to sell out by posting porn at every turn, and whoring yourself out for plugs and links. Otherwise it can be quite a pain to try and make anything successful.’ [via Metafilter]
[comics] Plan To Get Laid At DragonCon 2001 Fails‘According to Melcher, women in his hometown of Calhoun Falls “wouldn’t know the Green Lantern from the Green Arrow.” As a result, he has not had a date since former girlfriend and longtime Illuminati: New World Order opponent Carrie Lenz broke up with him in March 2000. “I know a lot of girls online, but that’s not really the same,” Melcher said. “I needed to see some face to face.”‘ [via Comic Geek]
6 September 2001
[books] Hip to be square — interview with Douglas Coupland‘When I lived in Tokyo, on the subways everyone would be reading papers or manga, but now everyone sits there reading their phones. Every medium creates its desired form. It’s like AM radio created the two-and-a-half-minute song, then FM radio created art rock and the double album, and TV created the video and the 22.5-second news burst. It turns out that people want their printed information in three minutes; as long as they have three minutes’ worth of words, they’ll pay 100 yen. It’s scary. It’s the future.’
[distractions] Another classic time waster… On-Line Air Hockey. [via Pop Bitch]
[web] Dutchbint started the National Online Decency Compliance Standard page… baited it with search-engine referrals from her weblog and redirected a few choice words — cuntbusters being a particular favorite apparently — soon the appeals started to roll in‘I am a hardworking man who does not need permission from anyone on weather or not i can look at pretty women catfighting. Why don’t you idiots concentrate on the perverts trying to find kiddyporn? They are the ones who need help. Meanwhile leave people like me alone. Don’t try to take away my rights. If you guys tried loosening up a little bit you might have a little more fun. Maybe try to enjoy life a litte more. It should be guys like me watching guys like you. I’ll bet your the ones cheating on your wives.’
7 September 2001
[books] Dot.Bomb — first chapter of the book by David Kuo … ‘Winn’s goal was not just to sell a lot of one kind of stuff or another. He wanted to use the Internet to revolutionize every facet of retail, creating a one-stop Internet shopping site of unparalleled selection, product information, and efficiency. It would be for the Internet age what Harrods was for the entire British Empire at its height: the shopping source for all things. Winn knew it was an inspired – and possibly psychotically lucrative – vision.’
[wtf?] Some of Dale’s skirt pictures and Ahhh, those Hooters® girls — Skirtman is a website I’ve been meaning to blog since I began … ‘I used to belong to a Southern Baptist Church, but they had a real problem with men in skirts.’ [reminded by Blogjam]
[books] Conducting Black Operations in the Corporate IT Theatre from O’Really … could come in useful … ‘Black Operations. Silent, undetected and above all untraceable acts of system administration which get the job done. Of course, if you’re fired or captured the secretary will disavow any knowledge that you ever had the root passwords. There’s a job to be done, work without backups, casualities are acceptable. Do what you know to be right.’ [Related: CopyLeft T-Shirt, link via Camworld]
8 September 2001
[death] The Autopsy — blogger Brooke Magnanti takes a close look … ‘The autopsy is an examination of the body as machine, a hardware hack on hopeless equipment. As with some bugs you may never find out what went wrong. There may be several ailments: a pancreatic cancer, say; a cirrhotic liver. The evidence of death is incontrivertible, but the cause is an eel slipping out of your hands.’

[Updated 11/2009: Searchers for Belle de Jour can find more about her here]
[comics] The Old Bastard Speaks! … Long, interesting interview with Warren Ellis in Comicon concentrating on the business of comics … ‘I mean you may remember back in the eighties when the term graphic novel was coined. There were some serious graphic novels, but there were a great many 48-page books called, ‘The Incredible Hulk vs. The Living Monolith Graphic Novel’, which led to the form being buried. It’s a little early to tell. Things like Jimmy Corrigan shifting in the tens of thousands and presumably things like Safe Area Gorazde and Pedro and Me doing similar numbers can only be a good thing. But in the eighties the only real breakout, serious, non-genre graphic novel was Maus. And now there are a spread of them. So that alone is better.’ [Related: Ordering Comics, WEF]
[books] Today, I’m mostly reading… Fast Food Nation by Eric Sclosser. Ray Kroc (one of the founders of McDonalds): ‘We have found out … that we cannot trust people who are nonconformists. We will make conformists out of them in a hurry … The organization cannot trust the individual; the individual must trust the organization.’ Fast-Food Nation: The True Cost Of America’s Diet [Part 1 | Part 2] … this is the original article on which the book was based … ‘A middle-aged woman in a lab coat handed me a paper plate full of premium extra longs, the type of french fries sold at McDonald’s, and a salt shaker and some ketchup. The fries on the plate looked so familiar yet wildly out of place in this laboratory setting, this food factory with its computer screens, digital readouts, shiny steel platforms and evacuation plans in case of ammonia-gas leaks. Despite all that, the french fries were delicious – crisp and golden brown, made from potatoes that had been in the ground that morning. I finished them and asked for some more.’
9 September 2001
[comics] UltraMoore… tributes to Alan Moore (in Italian and English) from various notable comic creators… Barry Windsor-Smith, Eddie Campbell and Jay Stevens. Windsor-Smith: ‘The intelligence and perspicacity of Alan Moore’s MARVELMAN was responsible for bringing me back into the field of comics. For that, I’m torn between loving and hating him.’ [Related: Alan Moore Fan Site]
[politics] Tories’ leap of faith — intriguing profile Of Ian Duncan Smith‘This is what comes up most often when you talk to those who know him (along with his genuine ease as a family man: he likes to change nappies, and makes a mean pasta); principle, unshakeability, and loyalty to his friends, one of whom said, rather ludicrously: “He’s someone you’d go tiger-shooting with.”‘
10 September 2001
[comics] Don’t Ask the Writer — interview with Alan Moore concentrating on From Hell‘The land of suntanned starlets and chiseled action stars would be a strange fit with the 48-year-old Moore, who could be a character out of a Victorian melodrama, with his wild mess of long black hair, beard and ominous voice. “Having a deep voice and kind of being physically imposing, you tend to find that you can talk almost any old rubbish and can make it sound creepy,” he acknowledges.’ [Related: From Hell Movie Trailer, link via Comic Geek]
[distractions] This has been blogged around a bit but it’s a quiet day so enjoy… 3D Pong. Very addictive.
11 September 2001
[history] You can find anything on the internet… JFK’s Autopsy Photos and Frame 313 of the Zapruder Film … Zapruder: ‘And I was shootin’ as the President was comin’ down from Huston Street and makin’ his turn… he was about half-way down there when I heard a shot (makes a down angle motion with his left hand) and he slumped to the side… like this (mimics left slump). I heard another shot or two — I couldn’t say if it was one or two — then I saw his head open up… (hand to head) all blood and everything… and I kept on shootin’…’ [Related: The Zapruder Film — interesting analysis, source of quote above. JFK Autopsy Photo link via LukeLog]
[disaster] How do you blog something like this? People are trying:
From Metafilter: ‘Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.’

[symbolism] Tarot: The Tower‘The Tower is numbered sixteen and shows a tower struck by lightning, with raging fires within and the top of the tower falling. There are usually figures falling, head-first, from the ruins. The Tower shows us a basic fact of spiritual life – the power of the Gods can strike unexpectedly to break down all the long-established patterns and assumptions that we have taken for granted for so long.’
12 September 2001
[history] ‘I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.’ — Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. [via LinkWorthy]
[viewpoint] Beyond Belief‘…we saw Lower Manhattan disappear into dust. New York, and therefore all cities, looked fragile and vulnerable. The technology that was bringing us these scenes has wired us closely together into a febrile, mutual dependency. Our way of life, centralised and machine-dependent, has made us frail. Our civilisation, it suddenly seemed, our way of life, is easy to wreck when there are sufficient resources and cruel intent. No missile defence system can protect us. Yesterday afternoon, for a dreamlike, immeasurable period, the appearance was of total war, and of the world’s mightiest empire in ruins. That sense of denial which accompanies all catastrophes kept nagging away: this surely isn’t happening. I’ll blink and it will be gone.’
[nyc] Chris Conroy: ‘A minute passed. Then, I heard a scream from the street below, and a light humming rumble. I lunged for the window, nearly throwing myself out in the process, and I watched as the south tower – the tower I’d stood beneath admiringly, the tower I’d ascended several times, the tower my family and I had entered and departed from bemoaning the length of the ticket line just days before – fell to the ground. It just collapsed before my eyes.’ [Related: Do You Feel Loved?]
13 September 2001
[postmortem] Security agencies attacked over ‘stunning failure’‘Quoting a former senior CIA officer responsible for the Middle East, Reuel Gerecht writes: “The CIA probably doesn’t have a single truly qualified Arabic-speaking officer of Middle Eastern background who can play a believable Muslim fundamentalist who would volunteer to spend years of his life with shitty food and no women in the mountains of Afghanistan. “For Christ’s sake, most case officers live in the suburbs of Virginia. We don’t do that kind of thing.”‘
14 September 2001
[comment] Ruin more beautiful than the building — The Times interviews Norman Mailer on the attacks. ‘… [He] said that the remaining steel prongs of the World Trade Centre would inevitably become a national monument. ‘It is more beautiful than the building was,” Mr Mailer, 78, who described the towers as ‘two huge buck teeth’ […] ‘I think they will keep it. If they have any sense they will. And politicians usually have exactly that kind of sense, if no other. I don’t disapprove of that. You’ve got that many people killed who’ve had nothing to do with bringing on their own death other than working in a monument to corporatism.”
[comment] Fear & Loathing in America … Hunter S. Thompson’s reaction. ‘This is going to be a very expensive war, and Victory is not guaranteed — for anyone, and certainly not for anyone as baffled as George W. Bush. All he knows is that his father started the war a long time ago, and that he, the goofy child-President, has been chosen by Fate and the global Oil industry to finish it Now.’ [via Dr. Menlo]
[comment] Blake Morrison on the attack: ‘…there is the history and symbolism. America has just been violated as never before. We’ve seen the heart of the world’s greatest empire – its military brain and financial nerve centre – going up in smoke. None of us was there to see the siege of Troy, the fall of Constantinople, the burning of Rome, the Great Fire of London, but we’ve often wondered what they were like. This time there were cameras present.’
[comics] Comic Book Monsters — from the Letters Page of the Guardian. ‘The omnipotence of American culture and childhood innocence ended in our house on September 11. I sat with my young son watching the images from the World Trade Centre. Suddenly we saw people hanging from the windows at the top of the stricken tower. “Mum,” he said, “where’s Spiderman? He could save them.” Later, as I tucked him up in bed, he asked sleepily, “Is Spiderman not real, mum?”‘ [via Comic Geek]
15 September 2001
[news] The Images That Won’t Let Us Go … The Washington Post on news addiction. ‘…then it is back to the TV, back inside the bubble. Maybe this is our way of seeking meaning. Maybe it’s an act of mourning, or a form of therapy. Information is supposed to be power. But taking it all in, you only feel restless. And profoundly weak.’ [via Slashdot]
[nyc] Brightness fallsJay McInerney writes about the last few days in NYC … ‘Jeffrey lived in Jersey, and had no way to get home; he was going to look for a hotel room since all transit, all bridges and tunnels were closed. I told him to call me if he couldn’t find shelter, and Jeanine gave him my name and number. He looked at my name and asked me if I was the author of Bright Lights, Big City. “I just realised something,” he said. “Wasn’t the World Trade Centre on the cover of your book?” “My God,” I said, “I hadn’t thought of that.”‘
16 September 2001
[comment] Religion’s misguided missiles — Richard Dawkins view… ‘I am trying to call attention to the elephant in the room that everybody is too polite – or too devout – to notice: religion, and specifically the devaluing effect that religion has on human life. I don’t mean devaluing the life of others (though it can do that too), but devaluing one’s own life. Religion teaches the dangerous nonsense that death is not the end.’
[comment] ‘We just have to stop being Americans for a little while’ — P. J. O’Rourke was in Washington… ‘The four of us walked to the Dubliner bar on North Capitol. “The Congressional leadership,” said the second staffer, “has been whisked off to ‘an undisclosed location’. As far as I’m concerned they can keep most of them there,” which touches on another theory of terrorism, that the organisation of society can be attacked by striking organisations; that we can’t organise things ourselves. “Four Guinnesses,” said the first senate staffer to the bartender. “Time to take sides,” said the second staffer. “Time to turn sand into glass,” said the first.’
[comment] Fall of Empire: Bombs and Magic … Grant Morrison on 9-11. ‘Their destruction in this week’s monstrous assault on thousands of unsuspecting people, signals an end to America’s illusions about itself, its purpose and its boundaries. The isolationist image of a proud cowboy nation using super technology to defend us all against Cold War evil empire nuclear missile attacks is shattering along all its fault lines. Superman has just been exposed to Kryptonite. The American Century is very clearly over now as the shift in global power moves away from hi-fi monolithic, ‘individualistic’ structures towards lo-fi, viral cell culture models.’
17 September 2001
[tv] Trivia pursuits — interview with Adam and Joe‘…a criticism that is frequently levelled at the duo: “We are unfashionably middle class and too posh,” Cornish says with a bristle in his voice. Buxton jerks back in his chair with irritation: “It’s just because we are this sort of nebulous item, so people fixate on the school we went to and think, ‘Oh, they’re not northern, they’re not stand-up, they’re not really anything, so let’s make them slacker toffs.'” After a two-second pause they both shrug self-mockingly: “Fair enough, really.”‘
[distraction] Clerks TV Pilot Episode — a twenty-one minute on-line episode from Kevin Smith’s cancelled animated TV show … ‘This job would be great if it wasn’t for the fucking customers.’ — Randall, From The Film. [via Feeling Listless]
[distraction] Turret ‘a’ Phone… another classic distraction. ‘shit wank toss minge fuck arse knob scrotes shit flange spunk flaps piss’
18 September 2001
[books] Bare Faced Messiah — an excellent out-of-print biography of L. Ron Hubbard complete on-line… ‘The glorification of “Ron”, superman and saviour, required a cavalier disregard for facts: thus it is that every biography of Hubbard published by the church is interwoven with lies, half-truths and ludicrous embellishments. The wondrous irony of this deception is that the true story of L. Ron Hubbard is much more bizarre, much more improbable, than any of the lies.’
[comment] Fear and Loathing — Martin Amis on 9-11 … ‘It was the advent of the second plane, sharking in low over the Statue of Liberty: that was the defining moment. Until then, America thought she was witnessing nothing more serious than the worst aviation disaster in history; now she had a sense of the fantastic vehemence ranged against her. I have never seen a generically familiar object so transformed by effect. That second plane looked eagerly alive, and galvanised with malice, and wholly alien. For those thousands in the south tower, the second plane meant the end of everything. For us, its glint was the worldflash of a coming future.’
19 September 2001
[rude] Roger’s Profanisaurus — Profanity in the UK! ‘Roger’s Profanisaurus By Roger Mellie. Edited by William H. Bollocks. Research by Ribena de Farquar-Toss. Fulchester University Press, Anus House, Fulchester, England.’
[distractions] Slime Volleyball — Yet another irritatingly hard flash game … From the Slime Forum: ‘I took a handful of anti-histimines and a half a bottle of wine last night. I love the little tail the ball has when you’re stoned. Psycho slime is beautiful.’ [via Tajmahal]
[lmg] I’m off to Italy for a few days so LinkMachineGo won’t be updated until sometime next week.
25 September 2001
[character] Portrait Of The Terrorist As A Young Man … The Guardian on Osama Bin Laden’s early years. ‘Yet of the young Osama there is almost nothing. Repeatedly, Saudi sources are cited describing him as “normal”, “unexceptional”, “quiet”, “intense”. Three years ago, the staff of one American magazine clearly struggled to dream up a subhead for the section of a Bin Laden profile dealing with his youth, but ended up inadvertently crystallising the state of our knowledge in six words. They were: “Ordinary young man – then joined jihad.”‘ [Related: Bin Laden Family Portrait, Steve Bell on Bin Laden]
[blogs] The Blog Twinning ProjectLMG is twinned with Sore Eyes … and similar to The Null Device, Brainsluice and The View From Here.
26 September 2001
Holy Fucking Shit. Attack on America.[9-11] American Life Turns Into Bad Jerry Bruckheimer Movie — the Onion’s take on 9-11. ‘When the president finally appeared on TV, it was George W. Bush addressing the nation, not Bill Pullman or Harrison Ford. At the conclusion of his address, Bush did not grab a leggy blonde reporter out of the crowd and kiss her. When Americans finally staggered into the streets, desperate to talk to anyone to try to make sense of what they had just seen, there were no Attack On America collector cups waiting for them at Taco Bell. The dead and injured did not, like Jon Voight, stand up in their wheelchairs as the music swelled. And Ben Affleck was nowhere to be seen.’
[profile] The Best of all Worlds — A Telegraph profile-interview on George Best … ‘In 1997 Best set up a business importing bottles of wine with his name and picture on the labels. As one of his partners noted, “It was like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank.”‘
[background] Why We Need Conspiracy Theories — from BBC News … ‘According to Psychology Professor Cary Cooper we are trying to stave off fear of random violence and unpredictable death. “They do that because they can’t come to terms with the fact that it could be just a few people,” said Professor Cooper, who lectures at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. “If you think it’s a rogue person or an unsophisticated group you start worrying about your daily life. If this can happen, what sense of security can you have?” We create alternate realities because we reject the world where a single madman can bring down a president, a reckless driver can snuff out a princess… and a few men with knives can terrorise a country.’
[blogs] Blogorama — excellent links and comments on 9-11. ‘I am beginning to think that the west’s greatest armaments – gyms, lapdancing and general decadence – may be of limited use in the coming conflict.’
27 September 2001
[comment] America’s day of terror [transcript | Audio] … Alastair Cooke on 9-11. ‘I turned on a 24-hour news station and saw a kind of movie I detest of the towering inferno type. The roaring image of a monolith collapsing like a concertina in a vast plume of smoke. And just as I pressed my thumb to switch to the “real world” I caught the familiar voice of a news man and was in the appalling real world of Tuesday 11 September 2001 – a date which to Americans will live in infamy along with the memories of Pearl Harbour – December 7, 1941 – and the grievous day of President Kennedy’s assignation. Before nightfall a famous old United States senator was to call it “the most tragic day in American history” and by that time, numb from the apocalyptic images, no historian was going to question the senator’s definition by bringing up, say, the Civil War and a million dead. But in our time – in my time certainly – the most startling, awful morning I can remember.’
[9-11] Ground Zero’s vital crumbs of comfort — Stephen Jay Gould in NYC … ‘Good and kind people outnumber all others by thousands to one. The tragedy of human history lies in the enormous potential for destruction in rare acts of evil, not in the high frequency of evil people. Complex systems can only be built step by step, whereas destruction requires but an instant. Thus, in what I like to call the Great Asymmetry, every spectacular incident of evil will be balanced by 10,000 acts of kindness, too often unnoted and invisible as the “ordinary” efforts of a vast majority.’
[comics] Tragedy Hits America — Jack Chick on 9-11. ‘…here is a word of caution….politicians are trying to hold this whole mess together by creating some kind of all encompassing, universal “god”, composed of all kinds of “gods”, that doesn’t offend anybody including the Muslim god “Allah”. The Bible says there is only one true God, who did have a Son and that Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the answer for the needs of every human being. Our God is a jealous God and will share His glory with none other’ [via Fark]
30 September 2001
[film] McQueen’s Race with the Devil — extract from a new biography of Steve McQueen … On filming Le Mans: ‘[The Paparazzi] could gauge the film’s mood by the film-makers’ own physical disintegration. Relyea’s co-producer Jack Reddish was on his way to losing 20lb and breaking out in sores. John Sturges’s remaining hair went white. Then the studio stepped in. “They took the view that we, Solar [McQueen’s production company], were now fighting among ourselves and obviously needed disciplining.” Then Sturges threw in the towel. Neile remembers his actual and classic words were: “I’m too old and too rich to put up with this shit.”‘