1 November 2001
[distraction] TV Misguidance — DIY TV Go Home. ‘20.00 Fear of a Blue Planet … David Attenborough gets eaten by Sharks. (Repeat)’
[comics] Pieces of War — interview with Joe Sacco from Sequential Tart‘I do comics because I’m a cartoonist. It’s as simple as that. My roommate is a documentary film maker and I see the trouble he has getting funding and making things happen. A cartoonist needs only pen and paper. I’m not taking a two-man camera crew with me on my trips. I think comics are an inviting medium, one that pulls in a reader who might not otherwise read a book about Bosnia or the Palestinians, for example. I feel I can present very hard and complicated material in comics form if I give myself the space. With comics, I feel I can really drop a reader into a time and place. The medium allows me to use flashbacks seamlessly. (Those reenactments popular in documentaries these days seem so embarrassingly out of place.) You add those attributes together, and comics turns out to be a great medium for something like journalism.’
2 November 2001
[profile] The prime of Ms Julie Burchill — quite an intriguing interview … ‘From reading her columns, it is hard to gauge what her values are, if indeed she has any. “Well, I wouldn’t take money from a poor box and I always give to beggars. Can’t go out in Brighton without giving away at least 50 quid. When you look into their eyes, it’s like looking in to the eyes of Jesus. That sounds corny, but I just love that moment of connection.”‘
[film] Typhoons, binges… then a heart attack — interview with Martin Sheen about Apocalypse Now‘The shoot is, of course, a cinematic legend. It was regarded as such a year before the movie was even released. Typhoons destroyed several huge sets. Sheen had a heart attack, aged only 36. Brando – obese, overpaid – was rumoured in the press to have been difficult and self- indulgent, though no one on set thought so.”Marlon wasn’t difficult at all,” Sheen says. “Never. The only problem we had was the image, his presence, but he’d just dismiss it. He treated everyone the same – Francis, me, the guys on the crew. Also, out of all of us, I think he’d spent the most time in the third world. So he was more aware of the fact that the world’s not made up of first-class service and over-privileged people. I was in awe, because for my generation of actors there were only two guys, Marlon and [James] Dean. And for Dean there was only one – Marlon.”‘
[paul is dead] The Fool on the Hill … Did Paul McCartney expose himself on the Magical Mystery Tour film? ‘The zoom view clearly shows the left coat tail billowing up. There does seem to be a fairly clear image of his penis extending out from under it and pointing to his right at a slightly upward angle. The coloring really adds to the impression: the shaft is darker toned than the head which would be consistent with the coloring of the shaft and head (glans) of a penis. (Yes, unlike most British men, Paul is circumsized.)’ [Related: Paul is Dead, link via Robot Wisdom]
3 November 2001
[comics] Wanted: superhero — interesting analysis of Marvel’s business problems … Comic-book publishing remains nicely profitable, with a 27% operating margin, but it contributes only 20% of Marvel’s revenue. Licensing has next to no costs but is stuck at 8% of sales–just where it was in 1992. The drag on the company is the Toy Biz division. It develops Marvel characters and Pokémon and World Championship Wrestling figures. The unit had an operating loss of $45 million on revenues of $167 million (72% of the total) in 2000. A plunge in toy sales this year has depressed results further.’ [via Neil Alien]
[war] Victory for the doom-mongers in a passionate war of words — Simon Hoggart on Labour MP’s and Afghanistan. On a speech by George Galloway: ‘…he had never thought he would see the day when Labour – Labour! – MPs supported the use of cluster bombs. “Is this war so finely poised that we need the use of cluster bombs?” He recalled Clare Short crying on Brighton beach at the very thought of land mines. “But cluster bombs are much worse than land mines.” Ms Short sat squat, alone and disgruntled on the front bench as Mr Galloway reached his peroration. It was the Northern Alliance who had destroyed and beggared Afghanistan with its mediaeval obscurantism. It was the Northern Alliance who hanged the former president and stuffed his penis into his mouth – “those are your new best friends!” he raged.’ [Related: Hoggart Archive]
[quotables] Dwight D. Eisenhower: ‘Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children… This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.’ [via Wood s Lot]
4 November 2001
[reading] Snakes and Ladders by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell‘Sat in a sandwich bar in Westminster I meet the sharp south-London wideboy occultist that I’d created some years previously for a U.S. comic book. He looks at me. He nods, and smiles, and walks away. Years later, in another place, he steps out from the dark and speaks to me. He whispers: I’ll tell you the ultimate secret of Magic. Any cunt can do it.’
[cheggers] The show must go on [Part 1 | Part 2] … Louis Theroux meets Keith Chegwin. ‘I look up and there’s a man standing there, with short legs and receding grey hair, he looks like Keith Allen, the actor. Then I realise it’s Keith Chegwin. I must be tired. He changes into his stage gear: blue shorts and an orange Hawaiian shirt. We head for the stage. As we’re puffing up the stairs, past the pipes with bubbles in them, Keith says: “Do you do gigs? You should!… Coronary classic, these stairs! I want somebody from St John’s, now!” I part ways with Keith as we approach the main dance floor, where Keith will be performing. The club is loud and packed with drunk students. The energy is great – despite being tired, I’m caught up in the swell of excitement. Keith hits the stage, and screams through his microphone, so loud the sound is distorted and barely comprehensible. “Have we got anyone here who can’t stand the effing sight of me?” There’s a huge roar.’
5 November 2001
[war] The Sims Take on Al Qaeda — a look at computer simulations of war and terrorism …

‘He is looking for ways that seemingly small actions have big consequences. “I think about terrorism in terms of popcorn,” he said. “You assume you’ll always have some kernels that are going to pop. How much lower does the temperature have to get before you have a dramatic decrease in the ability of terrorists to operate?” His research has found that when the underlying relationships between color blocks are constantly shifting, the blocks look to the government as an anchor and their colors mesh into a pattern of support. But if the blocks share a common concern about risks from the outside world, they are more likely to become disaffected and blend with dissident groups. Lustick’s flashing grid is conflict in its most abstract form. That turns out to be its greatest strength–as well as its most glaring weakness. Researchers are painfully aware that their models omit the messy edges of real life, and some of them might turn out to be critical.’
[tv] Don’t stop me now — an interview with Jonathan Ross … ‘Ross owes his success to his unembarrassability. Much of his humour is at his own expense. Hence the interminable bad-taste jokes, and the celebrated occasion on which he exposed himself on They Think It’s All Over last year. (He protests: “The BBC loved it! They thumbed it with something like “Wossie whips it out”. They used my cock as a selling point. Well, I didn’t show my cock anyway, not to the audience or to the cameras. I showed it to Nick [Hancock], and I showed it to Ian Wright, who looked suitably horrified. There was a great photograph of him recoiling in absolute disgust that I was thinking of having it made into a T-shirt.”‘
6 November 2001
[comics] Girls’ World — excellent interview with Dan Clowes about Ghost World‘”I once had this idea to do a comic where a mother tattoos a message on her baby’s head so that years later, when he’s losing his hair, he finally sees it. It would say something like, ‘I never loved you’.” Clowes lets out a bright, engaging laugh, so contagious it’s hard not to laugh along with him, until you realise exactly what it is he’s just said.’ [via Kooky Mojo]
[postmortem] Hijackers’ Meticulous Strategy of Brains, Muscle and Practice — good overview of the planning behind 9-11… ‘With all the suspects dead and no conclusive evidence, as yet, of any accomplices, investigators have been left to recreate the architecture and orchestration of the plot largely from the recorded minutiae of the hijackers’ brief American lives: their cellphone calls, credit card charges, Internet communications and automated teller machine withdrawals. What has emerged, nearly two months into the investigation, is a picture in which the roles of the 19 hijackers are so well defined as to be almost corporate in their organization and coordination.’ [via Robot Wisdom]
[tv] Other Listings Magazine — more DIY TV Go Home‘18.30 Good Old Dad. First of a new six part series in which Richard Briers meets children he illegitimately fathered as a result of a series of sordid sex sessions during filming of the first series of “The Good Life”‘
7 November 2001
[tv] You ask the questions: Louis Theroux‘[Q] Who was more scary to interview, Eugene Terreblanche (of the Afrikaner Resistance Movement) or Paul Daniels? [A] The company of Terreblanche is the scariest. He smelt of booze and he did seem a bit volatile, switching between being overly friendly to angry and crazed from moment to moment. With Paul the terror is that he’s going to tell you another endless Frank Sinatra anecdote.’
[comics] The Best of the Marvel and DC Comp Boxes — Mark Millar does brief reviews of last months comics… Millar on Marvel’s Alias: ‘Ah, Bendis. I love you. Who else would have Luke Cage shagging the title character up the arse in the opening issue of a new Marvel comic? I haven’t read issue two yet, but the buzz seems to be really building on this so I’m looking forward to it.’ [Kinda Related: JinxWorld]
8 November 2001
[tea] Stupid Christmas Gift Ideas from LinkMachineGo… for the tea drinker in your family. ‘Your favorite sipping spot isn’t always equipped with a place to park your soggy tea bags. This 12 oz. ceramic mug has a built-in bag holder. use it to carry your fresh tea bag to a favorite spot, brew your tea, then tuck used bag into pocket and sip your tea while its hot.’ [via The Daily Chump]
[tv] A Taxi Ride to Success — interview with Rob Brydon from Marion and Geoff … ‘Marion and Geoff was a series of exquisite ten-minute monologues delivered by Brydon in the character of Keith Barrat, a Welsh minicab driver. Keith spoke to us via a video camera mounted on the passenger side of his dashboard – mostly about his wife, Marion, his two children, Alun and Rhys (‘little smashers’), and his wife’s new partner, Geoff, the pharmaceutical salesman of the year. In the face of dreadful domestic and professional disappointment, Keith was endlessly optimistic – which only seemed to confirm the depths of his despair. “Beautiful day,” he would announce brightly, before looking up through the windscreen at the sky and adding, “Bit overcast. But Mr Bluebird’s on my shoulder.”‘
9 November 2001
[film] Go Ahead, Pinko Liberals, Make My Day … Guardian interview with John Milius. ‘The second world war has replaced the western as a morality play, as a venue where these things exist. The western is no longer the western; we’ve changed our attitude towards the Indians, the frontier, the open spaces. So the second world war is a much better place to say, “Here’s what you should measure up to be.” It’s no longer Shane. It’s Sergeant Rock.’
[tv] Turner’s Lost Love, CNN, Has A Doomsday Plan in the Can — great story on Ted Turner and CNN’s “end-of-the-world video”… ‘Turner, it seems, has been a doom-and-gloom kind of guy from the very day in June 1980 when he launched the cable network. He said then, as only he could, “We gonna go on air June 1, and we gonna stay on until the end of the world. When that time comes, we’ll cover it, play ‘Nearer, My God, to Thee,’ and sign off.” Ten years later, I’m told, Turner used CNN production facilities to create what he called his “end-of-the-world” video. Sources tell me it consists of a recording of “Nearer, My God,” over footage of a waving American flag. Turner is said to have ordered the tape locked away until it was determined that the world was about to end. “It was like a sign-off tape that you often see in the middle of the night,” says one source. “But to Ted, it was a sign-off forever.”‘ [via Follow Me Here]
[school] Bullies Reunited‘Bullies Reunited is a site for those of us who spent our schooldays tormenting, ridiculing and psychologically disturbing other children who were smaller, weirder, younger, poorer – or, indeed, richer than ourselves. Kids who wore glasses. Kids who walked a bit funny. Kids who needed go to the toilet too often.’ [via I Love Everything]
10 November 2001
[books] Driven by daemons — excellent profile and interview of Philip Pullman‘He is emotionally involved. He sits in the shed and makes it up and he weeps, yes, weeps copiously at the tragedies that unfold. He frightens himself and upsets himself and makes himself laugh. If the story evangelises, it isn’t him that’s doing it. It is merely his nature to admire qualities such as courage, kindness, intellectual curiosity, inclusiveness and open-mindedness, and to deplore cruelty, intolerance and fanatical zealotry, but he wouldn’t dream of writing stories to promote that world-view. If stories teach, that is not his conscious intention. “It’s craftsmanship. Your aim must be to tell a story as well as you can, shaping it and bringing the emotional currents to their… peak of emotional swishing about. You turn the raw materials, and all those loose bits of imagination and experience and memory, into something that stands up like a table with four legs and that doesn’t fall over when you put your elbows on it.”‘
[comics] Jack The Ripper: From Hell … a Master Mason comments on From Hell — the film and comic. ‘As unlikely as it may seem, From Hell is not simply a product of Hollywood greed or opportunism. It is based on a remarkable “graphic novel,” of the same name, by writer Alan Moore and artist Eddie Campbell. Graphic novels, a fairly new phenomenon, are pricey novel-length comics, most often published in quality paperback format and usually aimed at a teen or adult audience. From Hell, an engrossing retelling of the Jack the Ripper chronology, is possibly the most prominent graphic novel yet published. It weighs in at over 500 pages of a detailed story, with an additional 42 pages of notes and annotations, where Moore explains some of the more obscure details of Ripper history and gives reasons for choosing among the dozens of competing theories of who did what when. This is important to note because, despite the reputation of comic books for shallow plots and characters, From Hell, the graphic novel, is a multi-layered story that is more akin to the complex novels of Thomas Pynchon than to the simple comics of Walt Disney.’ [via I Love Everything]
11 November 2001
[furthur] “We are all doomed to spend our lives watching a movie of our lives – we are always acting on what has just finished. It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we’re in the present, but we aren’t. The present we know is only a movie of the past, and we will really never be able to control the present through ordinary means.” — Tom Wolfe quoting Ken Kesey’s philosophy in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. [Related: Author and hippie icon Kesey dies]
[war] Things that jumped out at me while reading the Observer today …

Two months on, the new battles at Ground Zero‘…Ground Zero is all crooked, cruel ruins bayoneted on to steel mesh. Under the harsh glare of floodlights, the arm of a heavy crane lifts another limb of incinerated steel from the dunes of rubble. There is a flare, a burst of flame – for the buried fire still burns white-hot – and a pall of ghastly black smoke rises into the night, blocking the view of the illuminated Empire State Building. The stench of the plume is sickly-sweet; everyone knows what it is but no one says so. Only: “this is how Auschwitz must have stunk only diluted,” as one police forensic scientist remarked. “Fifteen hundred degrees down there,” says a fireman, “and still burning”.’

Bin Laden taunts the West: ‘I’m ready to die’ ‘The full transcript of their discussions has yet to be released but it is clear they were wide-ranging. Bin Laden was, according to Mir yesterday, in “high spirits”. “He’s very healthy and he laughs a lot. Previously he was very softly spoken. Now he speaks like an experienced orator, he is very hard-hitting… There’s a big change in that man.”‘

Britain placed under state of emergency‘…will pave the way for indefinite imprisonment of foreign nationals who the Government suspects are terrorists, and comes less than 24 hours after warnings from America that Britain is a top target for Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terrorist network. The move reveals the seriousness the Government places on the threat to Britain. Such orders can be used only in times of war or when there has been an event that puts the security of the nation at risk. Whitehall sources said the order would not be reviewed ‘for at least a year’.’
12 November 2001
[film] Shallow Hal — Salon previews the next Farrelly Brothers film … ‘Hal (Jack Black) is a pudgy, not overly good-looking guy who, after taking the advice of his dying dad, nevertheless thinks he’s entitled to the most gorgeous babes. He and his pal Mauricio (Jason Alexander) spend most of their time comparing notes on which women are most perfectly suited to enter their dazzling orbit. They succeed with virtually none of them, of course, and can’t accept what they have on the rare occasions when they do. (Mauricio rejects his knockout of a girlfriend because her second toe is longer than her big one — this from a man who tries to disguise his baldness with what looks like a yarmulke of iron shavings.)’
[distraction] Swear-o-Tron — takes the strain out of verbal abuse … ‘…big dog’s cock…’ [via Pete’s Weblog]
[comics] Excellent interview with Neil Gaiman in January Magazine … On Sandman: ‘At the time that I was doing it, I was very much hoping that it would change things for the medium of comics. Looking back on it, I don’t think an awful lot. It did an awful lot for Sandman in that graphic novels are still out there, they still sell 80,000-odd a year, year in, year out in America alone. But what I was definitely hoping would happen was the same kind of thing that happened when I read Alan Moore was doing on The Swamp Thing. I went: Well, hang on. Here is someone writing stuff for adults and writing stuff with as much imagination and verve and depth as anything else out there: any other medium out there. I wasn’t going: Oh, I want to write Swamp Thing. I was going: Oh, I want to create my own one of these. It will be interesting to see if in a few years time, the generation that was raised on Sandman do actually start creating more literary and more interesting comics.’ [Related: Gaiman’s Website, link via Sore Eyes]
13 November 2001
[profile] Leader of the pack — brief profile of American journalist Seymour Hersh‘Why aren’t there more reports like Hersh’s? “I don’t know,” he says. “You know, after September 11 Washington is a very unhappy and increasingly anxious town. We’ve got a very acute strategic problem. When they took out the World Trade Centre we had to get the response right and we didn’t get it right. The word for Washington now is ‘scary’ – it’s impossible not to get something for a story here.”‘ [Related: Escape and Evasion by Hersh]
[film] Hollywood’s hottest fifty-something — an interview with Terry Zwigoff … ‘This woman called me last week from New York. She said, “We’re doing an ad for Gap, and we want you to be in it.” I said, “To be in it? What do you mean? You want me to direct?” “No, we want you to be on the billboard, wearing Gap clothes. We’re doing this series of hip young film-makers.” I’m thinking, are they trying to make fun of me? Do they know what I look like? So I said, “I’m not young, I’m 53! I don’t wear a backwards baseball cap, I’ve got white hair on my arms! I’m about as unhip as they come!”‘
[books] The lost children — more on Philip Pullman from the Sunday Times. ‘…he can’t say all the classic children’s books perpetuate unblemished childhood. What about Enid Blyton’s Famous Five who often unearthed adult wrongdoing? Here, Pullman makes a remarkable confession: such realism is taboo today. “You can’t have your heroes and heroines going off by themselves to camp on an island. The publishers wouldn’t let you do it. There are all sorts of health and safety problems, paedophiles and goodness knows what else. The fear is that children are so stupid they’ll copy what they see in books. “So in order to give children adventures now, you either have to set it in the past when that sort of thing was allowed, or in another world where the rules are different. But you can’t do it realistically.”‘ [via Haddock]
[war] The Liberation of Kabul … eyewitness report from John Simpson. ‘As we walked into Kabul city we found no problems around us, only people that were friendly and, I am afraid, chanting “kill the Taleban” – although as we understand it there are not going to be that many Taleban around. It felt extraordinarily exhilarating – to be liberating a city which had suffered so much under a cruel and stifling regime. It was 0753 local time (0323 GMT) and Kabul was a free city, after five years of perhaps the most extreme religious system anywhere on earth.’
14 November 2001
[reaction] Oliver Stone’s Chaos Theory — Stone discusses 911 and a film on terrorism…. ‘You show the Arab side and the American side in a chase film with a ‘French Connection’ urgency, where you track people by satellite, like in ‘Enemy of the State.’ My movie would have the C.I.A. guys and the F.B.I. guys, but they blow it. They’re a bunch of drunks from World War II who haven’t recovered from the disasters of the sixties?the Kennedy assassination and Vietnam. My movie would show the new heroes of security, the people who really get the job done, who know where the secrets are.” And who would that be? His eyes roamed, searching and sad. “I don’t know yet.”‘
[war] Simpson of Kabul — the Guardian profiles at John Simpson and does a brief history of war correpondants such as Max Hastings… ‘Hastings, then a 38-year-old reporter for the Evening Standard, single-handedly “took” Port Stanley when he walked alone through the British lines on the last day of the Falklands war. Hastings, son of the war correspondent Macdonald Hastings, said: “I thought, if I can walk up that road and get there first and survive and not get shot, I can bore everybody to death for the next 20 years talking about it.” Other correspondents called him “an insufferably pompous, bumptious egotist”.’ [Related: Steve Bell on John Simpson]
[history] Inspired by Tom… here is some of my Internet History…

15 November 2001
[profile] Sir Paul McCartney: Give War A Chance — McCartney on his reaction to 911: ‘It’s like we used to live with this thing every Christmas in London, where the IRA would say, “We’re doing a bombing campaign.” And we’d go, “How irksome, I hope it doesn’t hit me when I’m shopping.” After the New York attack, my attitude was like, screw you man, just screw you. I’ve got kids living in London. Are you gonna do a bombing campaign? How dare you? If you want to take my kids out — well, screw you. Come and talk about it, right in my face baby.’
[comics] Not a Hoax! Not a Dream! Not an Imaginary Story! Dr Doom’s reaction to 911…


[via I Love Everything]
16 November 2001
[books] I Want to Go Ahead and Do It — old NY Times review of The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer‘[Schiller] …watches as Gary Gilmore’s ashes are let loose from a plastic bag to blow over Provo. The bag surprises Schiller. The bag is a bread bag, “with the printing from the bread company clearly on it . . . a 59-cent loaf of bread.”‘
17 November 2001
[war] John Simpson: The first man of KabulMartin Bell profiles the “liberator of Kabul”. ‘As for John Simpson’s politics, I have no idea (and should not have) what they are. I’d guess they are ever-so-slightly right of center. Unlike so many war zone wanderers, he is not a natural-born rebel and iconoclast. Indeed, I once shared a platform with him at the Cheltenham literary festival, where he described himself as an “establishment creep”. That’s another of his qualities: an ability to disarm his critics with self-deprecation. It’s quite common among the big beasts of TV news, and an excellent defence mechanism. I used to use it. “Dad”, asked my daughter Catherine one day, “Why do you put yourself down so much?” “Quite simple,” I answered. “I do it myself, because if I don’t there are plenty of others who will do it for me”.’
[books] Top 10 literary hoaxes’10. The Hitler diaries — In 1983 a German magazine bought 62 volumes of the ‘lost diaries’ of Adolf Hitler. These had supposedly been discovered by farmers after the plane in which the diaries had been dispatched, shortly before Hitler’s suicide, crashed. They contained such fascinating snippets of Hitler’s domestic life as “on my feet all day long” and “must not forget to get tickets for the Olympic Games for Eva Braun.”‘
18 November 2001
[war] Black Hawk Down — excellent documentary website covering the journalism on which the book and film are based … ‘The Battle of Mogadishu is known today in Somalia as Ma-alinti Rangers, or the Day of the Rangers. It pitted the world’s most sophisticated military power against a mob of civilians and Somalian irregulars. It was the biggest single firefight involving American soldiers since the Vietnam War.’
19 November 2001
[war] Why we must show the dead — Media Guardian on publishing pictures of war victims … ‘Sometimes you publish a picture to prove that something has happened. The saddest, most powerful picture I ever helped to get into the paper was of a dead woman hanging from a tree in Bosnia. There she was in everyday clothing, as though she had stepped straight out of Marks & Spencer, hanging from a branch. What struck me most was how normal she looked.’
20 November 2001
[tv] PopBitch vs. Trisha‘Following last week’s Diary entry on Popbitch regulars terrorising the Trisha Online message board for the emotionally vulnerable, events have taken a sinister turn. Hacked off with the pranksters pretending to be potential daytime-TV fodder, Anglia TV webmeisters threatened to call the police. They then traced some of the imposters’ email addresses, got in touch with their employers and warned them that they were using company time to mess with the minds of important chat show people. Which all seems more than a little heavy-handed and unnecessary.’ [Related: Trisha Message Board]
[war] Afghans Taste Freedom — Smokehammer reports from Kabul. ‘…children play happily in the dust. Half an hour ago I helped an excited group skin a dead taliban fighter and turn him into a kite.’ [via As Above]
21 November 2001
[comics] Great Comic Panels #1: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. [Related: DK2 — DC’s PR Site for Dark Knight Strikes Back]

Yes... you always say yes to anyone with a badge... or a flag... no good.'s way past time you learned what it means to be a man.

‘You sold us out, Clark. You gave them the power that should have been ours. Just like your parents taught you. My parents taught me a different lesson…lying on this street… shaking in deep shock… dying for no reason at all. They showed me that the world only makes sense when you force it to.’
[tv] The Lady and the Vamp — beginners guide to Buffy … ‘…take a 16-year-old girl having sex with her boyfriend, whom she loves beyond measure, for the first time – so far, so Hollyoaks. Then factor in that the boyfriend is a vampire whose human soul has been restored by a Gypsy curse; also, that one moment’s perfect happiness (making lurve, say) will break the curse and turn him back into a vampire; that once he’s turned back into a vampire, he’ll be in possession of the blackest heart Vampworld has ever seen; that his first endeavour will be to kill the girl, in the cruellest manner he can dream up; and that he, alone among the undead, has the power to open the door between good and evil.’
22 November 2001
[referrer] Lots of people searching for info about Jonathan King… here’s a link to his website. From the personal section: ‘I have a load of family and friends. Nothing too close, thank God. No appalling wives or children. They are so expensive and make a lot of unnecessary noise.’
[comics] ACME Novelty Toy Gallery — photo gallery full of Chris Ware’s paper toys … ‘The nosecone later fell off and could not be found.’ [via Cheesedip]
23 November 2001
[distractions] Check out:

[comics] Guardian Books previews Jimmy Corrigan‘Bought up as an only child by an over-protective mother, with only his fantasies about superheroes for company, Jimmy is now a middle-aged loner working as an office dogsbody in Chicago. He has just received a letter from his estranged father, inviting him to spend Thanksgiving with him.’ [via Barbelith Underground]
24 November 2001
[books] The Grip that Death could not Loosen … the mad incestuous attic stories of Virginia Andrews. ‘So, back to the attic children who have just had sex – they are both the spawn of sibling incest and engaged in sibling incest. Oh, and the widow has decided to poison them with arsenic, which makes them very pale, but still extremely attractive to one another. They realise their peril and escape, with one younger sibling (the other has died). They lead a full and unhappy life of mistreatment and suchlike. A rogue doctor has an affair with the girl sibling – it results in a pregnancy, he performs a quick DIY abortion and keeps the foetus in a jar on his desk for a laugh. In the end, the siblings marry at the age of about 50 – they pretend they are unrelated, of course. No good comes of it.’
[cartoons] 3AM Magazine interviews Steve Bell and Martin Rowson … Rowson: ‘There’s a journalist, Christopher Hitchens, whom I greatly admire. Generally because the gaudiness of his prose matches his subject matter which is what we do as cartoonist. It’s very visceral. Very immediate. There’s a wonderful line which I take as my guiding star a wonderful line of overblown journalism which he wrote in his biography of Henry Kissinger ‘ One can never eat enough to vomit enough when one thinks about Henry Kissinger.’ I met Hitchens once and went over to him and said ‘let me shake your hand for that line.’ It’s that visceral response that as a cartoonist is what I am looking for. It’s what we should do. We have to go the extra leap. The extra five yards or whatever. Say the unacceptable.’ [via Feeling Listless]
25 November 2001
[humour] How to DRIVE FAST on DRUGS while getting your WING-WANG SQUEEZED and not SPILL YOUR DRINK by P.J. O’Rourke with illustrations by George Perez (?!) … ‘Name me, if you can, a better feeling than the one you get when you’re half a bottle of Chivas in the bag with a gram of coke up your nose, and a teen-age lovely pulling off her tube top in the next seat over while you’re going a hundred miles an hour down a suburban sidestreet. You’d have to watch the entire Mexican air force crash-land in a liquid petroleum gas storage facility to match this kind of thrill.’ [via Everlasting Blort]
[comics] Big in Graphic Novels … reviews of some recently published GN’s. On Akira: ‘…Katsuhiro Otomo’s 2,000-page apocalyptic epic. Originally published in 1983 and still the finest example of the manga form, Akira ‘s vast, elaborate plot, destructive fetishism and realistic illustrative style contrast sharply with the cute, juvenile caricatures of earlier Japanese comic books.’
[tv] Richard and Judy: The Golden Couple — The Indepedent profiles Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan… ‘When Richard Madeley ejaculates he prefers to rest his “equipment” for 25 minutes before attempting to make love with Judy Finnegan again. Or so he told the world in 1995. He has had a vasectomy, and her painful, irregular periods were the cause of a hysterectomy three years ago. This may be much more information than you need, but it represents only the tiniest sample of the personal details Richard and Judy have disclosed to the viewing public since they began presenting a live television programme called This Morning in 1988. There is nothing they won’t talk about on air, except her weight and the eight-year age gap between them. Richard is sleek, fastidious, endowed with long, shiny hair, and 45. His wife is 53, and frankly she looks it alongside her clean-cut, mane-tossing husband. She is also by far the sexier of the two.’
[conspiracy] 911: What Now? … Nicely wrapped together collection of 911 conspiracy theories. ‘Ask yourself: “Who benefits? Who gains?” Well,” says David Icke, “The Illuminati want a world government and army, a world currency and centralized global financial dictatorship and control. They want micro-chipped people and a society based on constant surveillance of all kinds at all times. And they want a frightened, docile, subservient, people who give their power away to the authorities who can save them from what they have been manipulated to fear.” That pretty well nails it down.’ [via Robot Wisdom]
26 November 2001
[film] Great review of Apocalypse Now Redux‘What passion this film has – what mad daring, what ambition. And what have we got now? CGI. Apocalypse Now is supposed to be a film you grow out of. I can only say it’s time to grow back into it again.’

Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now

‘Never get out of the boat. Absolutely goddamn right. Unless you were goin’ all the way. Kurtz got off the boat. He split from the whole fuckin’ program.’
[film] The Cold Shoulder — great interview with Thora Birch. ‘I fit in one more question before she signals it is time for me to go. I ask if movie acting feeds her soul. Somewhat chillingly, she answers, “They feed off each other.” I never get to meet her dad (‘He’s too busy’), nor do I get to use her lavatory (‘No, um. . . No. . . Our plumbing isn’t. . . it’s not good’). The urgency with which she wants me to go actually frightens me a little.’
27 November 2001
[911] New York may be a modern-day Babylon – but it doesn’t deserve the wrath of God — commentary based on Robert Crumb apparently thinking that the other buildings around Ground Zero should collapse into it and a farm should be built on the remains. ‘Crumb, who chose to retreat from his American Babylon to the French countryside, is not, so far as I know, a religious fundamentalist. His philosophy is a peculiar and wholly subjective patchwork of frustrated sexual fantasies, zany misanthropy, and 1960s hippy-dippy iconoclasm. But his anti-urban bias is shared by fundamentalists of various kinds. And so, possibly, are some of his frustrations. The ancient idea of the city as a harlot, as Sodom and Gomorrah, suggests a deep attraction as well as revulsion. It is perhaps not so very odd that some of the hijackers of September 11 caroused in Las Vegas before seeking their martyrdom.’
[comics] The Dave Sim Memorial Note From The President Archive … has moved to a new home on the Cerebus Fangirl site. Example… Sim jousts with Judy: ‘She kept it up for a good long while, snappy repartee, brushing her boobs against my upper arm. As I told her, it was like trying to pick up lint with a magnet. A magnet is a very powerful attractor, but it is of no use if you want to get lint off your jacket. Finally, her eyes blazing, she looked me square in the eye and said, “Any man who is afraid of women is a wimp!” I looked her square in the eye and said, “Any man who isn’t wary of women is a fool.” I left shortly after.’
[school] Foe’s Reunited … confirms my feeling that Friends Reunited is evil and wrong. ‘Man’s greatest joy is to slay his enemy, plunder his riches, ride his steeds, see the tears of his loved ones and embrace his women.” – Genghis Khan’ [via Parallax View via Dutchbint]
28 November 2001
[comics] Photoshop this comic book cover … from Oddball Comics. [via Haddock]

Dell's The Rifleman -- A mysterious bag holds the secret to an outlaw's past and a threat against Lucas and Mark McCain.

‘Y’know, I’ve heard the term “sportin’ a woody” before — but this… this… this is just plain ridiculous! And the expressions on the faces of Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford just make things worse — or at least, funnier!’ [MORE]
29 November 2001
[books] The Digested Read — Madonna by Andrew Morton‘Surprise success of first album – some songs weak, shock horror – then effortless meteoric rise to superstardom. Control freak, more failed affairs – “she’s very needy, she never stops ringing you” – abortions, Sean Penn, more albums, loads of celebs, sex. Did I mention she was a control freak? Career nosedives, resurrected by Norman Mailer, desperate to be Evita, desperate to be loved, more failed love – “she wasn’t very adventurous in bed” – more albums. Clunk, clunk, clunk.’
[war] Dead Lie Crushed or Shot, in the Dust, in Ditches, Amid the Willows — Luke Harding’s reports from the massacre in Mazar-i-Sharif have been excellent over the last couple of days … ‘Beyond the gazebo, next to where the Taliban had set up a makeshift mortar factory, were the corpses of several well-off Arab volunteers. Unlike their Pakistani counterparts, dressed in flimsy salwar kameezes, the Arabs wore expensive fleece jackets and trousers. One Talib corpse sported a San Francisco 49ers football sweatshirt; another a zip-up Dolce & Gabbana top. Osama bin Laden’s fighters may have rejected the west’s relativist ideology, but not its fashions.’
30 November 2001
[comics] Attack of the Condensed Comics Classics! Judge Dredd: ‘CITIZEN: Hello! (Fires Lawgiver into obvious perp twenty-five times) DREDD: Sometimes I feel bad about the fascist regime I perpetuate. (Fires Lawgiver into obvious perp twenty-five more times) DREDD: Sometimes I don’t.’

Hellblazer: ‘CONSTANTINE: Time for some cigs and a pint! DEMON FROM HELL: Hsst! Snarl! CONSTANTINE: Fuck, there goes another girlfriend.’

[war] More from Luke Harding in the Guardian…

  • Allies direct the death rites of trapped Taliban fighters‘Last night a small group of up to 40 volunteers were still holed up in a house in the corner of the castle’s rambling compound. They signalled their presence with firework-like bursts of gunfire, just to remind their enemies crouching on the shadowy ramparts above them that they were not yet dead. After spending years killing their fellow Muslims, the Taliban’s Arab and Pakistani fighters have finally got the jihad they were looking for. The foreign volunteers – who surrendered on Saturday only to overpower their guards the following day – know they have hours to live.’
  • A tank roared in. It fired four rounds. Then there was silence in the fort‘Three Pakistani Taliban escaped from the 19th century fort on Monday night by scrambling out of a water channel. Two were shot dead immediately, but a third got as far as the nearby mud-walled village of Sar-i-Pool. There local people discovered him and killed him. He had some bread in his pocket, they said.’

[war] Bin Laden could be Time’s Person of the Year‘Matthew Felling of the Center for Media and Public Affairs said: “Previous choices have taught us not to attach moral value to the term ‘man.’ There is a reason Time does not use the term ‘Gentleman of the Year.’ Man of the Year is not an honor so much as it is a title; it doesn’t require an honorable person be named. Some years the biggest noise is applause ? some years it’s weeping. This choice would reflect that.” The historically significant men have been a motley crew since Time started naming them in 1927. Hitler was named Man of the Year in 1938. Joseph Stalin made the cover in 1939 and 1942, and Ayatollah Khomeini was on the front in 1979.’
[film] My life as a scumbag … Iranian-British comedian Omid Djalili on what it’s like to be cast as a middle-eastern villian all the time. ‘And thus it all started, taking in all manner of Arab scumbag roles, the highlight of course having my genitalia manhandled by the late, great Ollie Reed in Gladiator in my favourite scene: “You sold me queer giraffes.” Of course, type-casting will always be a concern, but I did pop up in the last Bond film, The World Is Not Enough, in a ground-breaking role as an Azerbaijani oilpipe foreman – a major departure.’