linkmachinego.com

February 26, 2002
[news] Still hungry after all these Years — profile of Watergate journalist Bob Woodward … ‘The movie of Woodward and Bernstein’s book — in which they are portrayed by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman — reveals their efforts to reveal that the break-in, and a range of other nefarious incidents, was ordered by Nixon. What it does not make clear is that from the very beginning — when they discovered on the first day that the five burglars kitted out with Playtex rubber gloves were former employees of the CIA — the pair had stumbled unknowingly on to an obviously massive story.’
[cartoon] Steve Bell on Stephen Byers and the Spin Row‘Fuck, Minister.’
February 27, 2002
[comics] Some important comic-related research — Two Playboy Playmates that Chester Brown mentions in his autobiographical comic The Playboy [Links below not safe for work] …


‘So — What are you feeling? Disgust with yourself for having bought such a publication. The typical self loathing you always feel after masturbating. Annoyance that you didn’t check out the skin colour of the playmate before buying the magazine. That last one leading to more feelings of self loathing — this is the first time in your life that you’ve had to face the fact that at some level you’re a racist. If only you’d never bought the damn thing, eh?’ — Chester Brown.
[blogs] Metafilter: A Methodology — an examination of what is wrong with Metafilter‘This brings us to Matt Haughey, the owner and proprietor of Metafilter. Mr. Haughey is frequently overlooked for his efforts at hosting the site, maintaining Metafilter order and overseeing the day-to-day operations of Metafilter. Dwindle has presented new evidence that Mr. Haughey may face mortal danger in light of the high stress levels of trying to judiciously govern a community with so many disparate users. As we shall see in the ensuing statistics, Mr. Haughey’s efforts are not only overlooked, but they may lead to his untimely death, which, aside from depressing the living hell out of Dwindle and myself, would also lead to the death of Metafilter.’ [via Metatalk]
February 28, 2002
[comics] Suck has been dead for a while now but before it shutdown it published some illustrated articles from the cartoonist Peter Bagge


‘”Just think!” I thought to myself, “I get to cover The Democratic Convention for Suck.com!” Yeah, me and about 50 million other journalists, but it still felt like a big deal to me at the time the prospect first came up. Plus there was a lot of buzz over the possibility of PROTESTERS getting out of hand like they did in Seattle during the WTO meetings. We’re talking RIOTS, folks! BIG ones!!! Who’d want to miss out on THAT action? Er, from a nice, SAFE DISTANCE, that is.’
[war] Bin Laden’s private life revealed amid rubble‘Osama bin Laden’s underpants were hanging up to dry in the bathroom of his house outside Jalalabad. They were striped grey and black cotton boxers, with a label reading Angelo Petrico, a size XXL large for such a lean-looking man.’ [via Blogadoon]
[comics] Get Your Wurtzel On — reworking of Get Your War On‘…when you get naked on your own book cover and yet nobody gives a shit, the world must seem pretty cold!’ [via RACM]
March 1, 2002
[tv] Evan Dorkin Exposes Geek Chic for Cartoon Network — Dorkin talks about Welcome to Eltingville‘”Because of Dorkin’s antipathy towards the “Eltingville” quartet, he plans to retire the group from comics. “I always knew ‘Eltingville’ was something I was going to stop doing,” he says. “I hate these characters, to a small degree. I find them maddening to work on. I’m drawing these horrific, ugly characters acting in a really nasty way.”
[war] Nixon talked of nuclear bomb for Vietnam … [via Metafilter]

‘Kissinger laid out a variety of options for stepping up the war effort, such as attacking power plants and docks, in an April 25, 1972, conversation in the Executive Office Building.

“I’d rather use the nuclear bomb,” Nixon responded.

“That, I think, would just be too much,” Kissinger replied.

“The nuclear bomb. Does that bother you?” Nixon asked. “I just want you to think big.”‘

[books] More, Now, Again by Elizabeth Wurtzel — the condensed version … ‘It’s December 1997 and I’m checking in to Silver Hill Clinic. There’s this guy there, Hank, who is fairly ugly but is the only one who’s remotely as clever as me. This is perfect as no way can we ever become lovers. Hank and I become lovers.’
[comics] I invented Judge Dredd — BBC News interview with John Wagner … ‘This was back in the days of Dirty Harry, and with [Margaret] Thatcher on the rise there was a right-wing current in British politics which helped inspire Judge Dredd. He seemed to capture the mood of the age – he was a hero and a villain. That villainous aspect to Dredd’s character – and the Draconian laws of Mega-City One [the post-apocalyptic metropolis Dredd polices] – really caught the readers’ imagination. Occasionally we’d get letters from children who seemed to be agreeing with his hard-right stance, so we made the strip more political to bring out the fact that we didn’t agree with Dredd.’ [via Coffee Grounds]
March 2, 2002
[people] Various celeb profiles I’ve looked at recently …

  • Oh Brother — What happened to Brian after Big Brother … ‘Comparisons with Graham Norton and Julian Clary don’t do Brian any favours, however. He is every bit as original, but he has a beatific charm that allows you to forgive his bitchiness. When Narinder asked, “I wonder which celebrity guy is watching now thinking, ‘Ooh, I’d love to shag that Narinder’,” Brian didn’t hesitate: “Er, Stevie Wonder?”‘
  • Singer. Songwriter. Messiah? — profile of Bono … ‘Political gestures have been a part of Bono’s pop persona. Sometimes they have been inspiring, sometimes they have been inappropriate, even tacky. At the MTV awards in Paris in 1995, after French nuclear tests in the Pacific, he received the award for best group then attacked Jacques Chirac, saying: “What a city, what a night. What a bomb, what a mistake. What a wanker you have for president.” Perhaps that sort of outburst goes with the territory of being a rock star. Largely, though, Bono has succeeded in transcending this. It’s enough of a feat to remain musically and politically correct for 22 years.’
  • No Pain, No Gain — more on Elizabeth Wurtzel … ‘She is one of those spectacularly neurotic New Yorkers who have to have their coffee a certain way. You know, this much coffee, this much water, this much milk, at this temperature, then stirred anti-clockwise for three turns and then clockwise for two. “Shall we chance it?” she asks the waiter. He is up for it, but when the coffee arrives she takes a tiny sip then abandons it. Perhaps he foolishly skipped the anti-clockwise bit.’

March 3, 2002
[books] Elizabeth Wurtzel went shopping… — review of More, Now, Again‘More, Now, Again is the real thing, Elizabeth Wurtzel’s Diary: Complete and Unabridged. This time she’s left absolutely nothing out. For instance, quite a large percentage of More, Now, Again is taken up with what Wurtzel happened to catch on television – and I mean between 10 and 15 per cent. On page 26 she “discovers” ER, while on page 41 we find her watching Saturday Night Live. Occasionally, she attempts something a little more demanding – on page 45 she dips into the latest issues of Vogue and Mademoiselle – but this doesn’t last long and by the time we get to page 47 she’s relapsed: “I watch more MSNBC.” I honestly had no idea that writers could sell this sort of material.’
[film] The Conversation‘Harry is a surveillance genius for whom other people’s privacy is an obstacle to be overcome using equipment he builds himself. He is also a man suffering intensely from guilt: one of his previous assignments resulted in the death of an entire family. This revelation, as well as the film’s depiction of Harry’s Catholicism (we see him at confession, an analogue of the secular eavesdropping Harry practices), complicates his detachment from others by introducing the one element that functions as the “bug” Harry can neither disable nor escape: his own conscience.’ [Related: Conversation at IMDB]
March 4, 2002
[lmg] LinkMachineGo is two today. Got any favourite quotes from LMG? Let me know. Below is a quick review of the last year in quotes (and one picture) …

March 2001‘Uncle June and I, we had our problems, with the business. But I never should’ve razzed him about eating pussy; this whole war could’ve been averted. Cunnilingus and psychiatry brought us to this.’ — Tony Soprano.

April 2001‘Pamela came round with an egg-decorating kit. William’s eggs were a riot of primary colours; Glenn’s depicted Jesus on the cross. He wrote a bubble out of Jesus’s mouth, “Father, why hast thou forsaken me?”, which disturbed Pamela: “For God’s sake, Glenn lighten up. It’s Easter!” Later, while William played with the packing of his Barbie egg and Glenn watched The Greatest Story Ever Told, she led me to my room and gave an erotic Easter egg, the centre of which contained a pair of edible knickers. She was keen for me to break it open and retrieve them. I was less keen: a glance at the ingredients told me they were choc-a-bloc with obscure chemicals and multisyllable flavourings.’ — Adrian Mole.

May 2001‘Have you ever wanted to shove a glass rod right up Nick Jordan’s cock?’Venusberg.

June 2001‘…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.’ — Dave Eggers.

July 2001‘Oh no! You’re not still seeing her, are you? You’ve been wanting to get out of this relationship for years, and now the mother speaks of marriage? You must do something drastic my friend. Make a pass at her father! Go on…. just give his knee a little squeeze…’ — Tango Advert.

August 2001

When O. J. Simpson met the UKBlog Kids... it was Murder!


September 2001‘I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.’ — Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.

October 2001‘Okay. I have a vestigial tail. It’s more of a nub, really. The spine just goes on a little longer than it should. Also, I’ve dabbled. I mean, perform fellatio once and you’re a poet, twice and you’re a homosexual. I remember once I was being fisted by Sebastian Cabot- but here’s where the story gets interesting…’ — Dr Evil.

November 2001‘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.’ — Alan Moore.

December 2001‘If the hijackers had been able to imagine themselves into the thoughts and feelings of the passengers, they would have been unable to proceed. It is hard to be cruel once you permit yourself to enter the mind of your victim. Imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself is at the core of our humanity. It is the essence of compassion, and it is the beginning of morality. The hijackers used fanatical certainty, misplaced religious faith, and dehumanising hatred to purge themselves of the human instinct for empathy. Among their crimes was a failure of the imagination.’ — Ian McEwan.

January 2002‘What kind of man are you anyways? I’m talking comics and you bring up chicks and romance.’ — Brodie.

February 2002‘What the fuck is Voltron talking about? Is this some religious thing? Am I fucking being baptized by Voltron?’Get Your Voltr On.
[tv] This is a Setup — yet another interview with Louis Theroux‘Would he happily pull out a pack of condoms from Jimmy Savile’s bag in real life? “Oh, no,” he says, shocked. “I’d never do that if the camera weren’t there. I’d worry that he’d get offended.” So the camera offers protection? “Well, it’s a licence to behave in a certain way.” He says that on television he is in character, even though that character is just a heightened version of his true self.’
March 5, 2002
[comics] Writer Cool with Unauthorized Use of Script in Cerebus — Dave Sim stirs up a controversy again (kinda… no misogyny or fistfights this time) … ‘When the Journal, disheartened, expressed the opinion to Sim that this seemed to be shaping up as one of the smaller Sim controversies, he responded, reassuringly, “When it comes to Dave Sim, there are no small controversies.”‘
[tv] The Truth about me and Louis Theroux — a profile of Ann Widdecombe ‘One thing does, however, leave the viewer still utterly dumbfounded by the end of the show. Widdecombe actually believed that Theroux would stick to his promise of not bringing up her alleged virginity, which, predictably, he does within the first five minutes. (Widdecombe famously threatened to sue a reporter who suggested to her that she wasn’t still a maiden.) “As you probably realised, there was a huge row off-screen,” she says. (There’s a pretty enjoyable on-screen humdinger, too.)’
March 6, 2002
[blogs] Yesterday I asked Metafilter if this picture made them feel inadequate… lots of amusing responses. ‘…his hairstyle is horrid, his cock isn’t that big, and the expression on his face is ridiculous.’
[politics] You Ask The Questions… Christopher Hitchens … Who is worse — Henry Kissinger or Mother Teresa: ‘With Kissinger, you can tell how many people he killed. With Mother Teresa, who only preached surrender to poverty, disease and ignorance and against family planning, we can’t be sure of the figures. But together they certainly make two out of the four pale riders of the Apocalypse.’
[comics] Judge Dredd in Links — the Guardian’s Net Notes celebrates 25 years of Judge Dredd‘Despite Dredd being the biggest draw for 2000AD, arguably the most media coverage the comic received did not have anything to do with him. It came in 1997 when it ran a satirical story called B.L.A.I.R 1, where the prime minister was turned into a bionic superhero.’ [Related: 2000AD Online, BBC News: Bambi overtaken by bionic Blair]
March 7, 2002
[film] Oh, I can’t bear it. I really can’t bear it — Nicole Kidman talks about her fascination with The Shining‘In The Shining, Kubrick made these ostentatiously smooth camera movements – relatively new to audiences – into a motif for the film. The steadiness of the camera movements mixed with the grisly subject matter into a mood of unease, especially when juxtaposed with the odd, often emotionless speech. “Stanley would tell us he was not interested in naturalness,” Kidman recalls. “He was not interested in a sort of documentary style performance. He liked it to be slightly odd, slightly off.”‘
[911] America more serious? You must be joking — Christopher Hitchens on America after 911 … ‘”Can we be funny?” the hosts of Saturday Night Live asked Rudy Giuliani when they nervously invited him on to the set a few nights after the immolation of the World Trade Centre. “Why start now?” was his mordant reply and, with that, frivolity resumed her reign.’
[comics] The Ultimate Writer — Sequential Tart interview with Mark Millar … How to “save” comics: ‘The formula is very simple and was utilized in microcosm in Marvel Knights; the best writer and the best artist you can find on a character and the audience will seek them out. This was then applied to the Marvel Universe itself and created the beginnings of the new boom we’re looking at. DC will hopefully follow the trend and add their considerable marketing and retail muscle to the boom. I don’t know if it’ll happen under the current administration, but history has a habit of sweeping aside anyone who’s standing still.’
March 8, 2002
[comics] Artbomb has a number of reviews of Eddie Campbell’s Bacchus along with some preview PDF comics…


‘The Cockscrew – A useful key to unlock the storehouse of wit, the treasury of laughter, the front door of fellowship and the gate of pleasant folly.’ — Bacchus quoting an unknown author.
March 9, 2002
[machines] Why does it take so long to mend an escalator? — lots of escalators being replaced on the London Underground at the moment… ‘Why does it take so long to mend an escalator? As far as that goes I am willing to believe what I am told: that escalators are big, complicated machines packed into tight shafts and there aren’t many hours when you can work on them. More money wouldn’t remove those obstacles to seamless service, nor would improved logistics. In fact, a large influx of capital would, in the short term, increase time-outs – it takes longer to replace an escalator than to maintain it – even though the end result would be fewer maintenance sessions.’ [via Feeling Listless]
March 10, 2002
[war] Does bin Laden matter anymore? … does the Pentagon care about ObL? ‘ Try as he may, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld cannot seem to shake the dreaded “OBL” question – even coming from his wife, Joyce. “Every once in a while … as I get up about 5 o’clock and get ready to take a shower and head for the office, she says, ‘Don, where is he?’ ” Mr. Rumsfeld told a military gathering last week. “I tell her that if I want to bring up Osama bin Laden, I’ll wake her up and bring it up myself,” he quipped.’ [via Red Rock Eater]
[stats] 795,763 tonnes of building rubble — War on Terrorism statistics … ‘US planes have dropped 328,000 blankets, 3.4 million pounds of wheat and 2.5 million daily rations into Afghanistan. Ten thousand tonnes of bombs have fallen on Afghanistan since 11 September, half of what fell on London in the Blitz.’ [Related: Observer War On Terrorism Section]
March 11, 2002
[idle thought] Separated at Birth?

Bette Davis and Davros... Seperated at Birth?
Bette Davis (Film Star)
Davros (Dalek Leader)

[distraction] Rings — I find this oddly compulsive. Keep moving the mouse around the screen slowly. [via Haddock]
March 12, 2002
[wtf?!] The Enema Withinslightly extremely disgusting article about colonic irrigation holidays in Thailand. ‘…octogenarian bowel specialist, V E Irons, attempted the Herculean task of selling colonic irrigation on its erotic potential. I would lose my frigidity, he promised, my sex life would go stratospheric. “How could anyone fully enjoy sex when he has up to 15 years of encrusted fecal matter and mucus in his colon?” asked Irons. “HE CAN’T – and HE WON’T. If you want to remain sexually potent for your entire life, start cleaning your colon today. I’m 87, and I still enjoy sex. And if I can at my age, I know you can at your age… so get on with it!” It was of little consolation to Mez, whose hunger had now assumed epic proportions. She was considering eating her apricot moisturiser, she told me.’ [via Coffee Grounds]
[books] Excellent oldish interview with James Ellroy from 1995 … Ellroy on Oliver Stone’s JFK: ‘I was just enthralled for an hour and twenty minutes. Bravuro moviemaking, wonderfully layered and dense and jazzy, and then Donald Sutherland arrives to posit this preposterous theory, and it goes downhill from there. I think organized crime, exile factions, and renegade CIA killed Jack the Haircut. I think your most objective researchers do as well. When Oliver Stone diverged from that to take in the rest of the world (Lyndon Johnson, the Joint Chiefs of Staff), I lost interest. I went out and bought a copy of the video and I watch it right up until Donald Sutherland appears, then I turn it off.’ [via Book Notes]
March 13, 2002
[film] Salon looks at Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey‘…we see Bowman, now an old man, living out his old age like a zoo attraction in a feigned Louis XVI-style bedroom, assumedly created for him by the aliens. And then suddenly the creation theme continues as a giant fetus inexplicably rises over Earth. Although birthdays have noticeably been happening in the background all along (Poole, Floyd’s daughter), all bets are off as to the movie’s ultimate statement. At the film’s Hollywood premier in 1968, Rock Hudson walked out saying, “Will someone tell me what the hell this is about?”‘
[logo envy] Feeling Listless has moved — which gives me an excuse to rip-off another one of those excellent logos …

Elizabeth Wurtzel... Feeling Listless


…and mention that he’s pretty popular with Middlesbrough football team… check out Stuart’s guest book: ‘Like your site. You must put a tremendous amount of effort into it. I spend most afternoons checking it out, after my morning’s training. I shall get more of my teammates to follow suit. The links are impressive. I only wish I had a laptop so I could access it from more places.’
March 14, 2002
[blogs] nickdenton.org: ‘People like Doc Searls and Meg Hourihan are to the weblog as Oppenheimer and von Neumann were to the A-bomb. Gentle souls whose creation will be used by others more ruthless.’
[nologo] America is not a hamburger — Naomi Klein on the “rebranding” of America. ‘…Beers views the US tattered international image as little more than a communications problem. Somehow America still hasn’t managed, in Beers’ words, to “get out there and tell our story”. In fact, the problem is just the opposite: America’s marketing of itself has been too effective. Schoolchildren can recite its claims to democracy, liberty and equal opportunity as readily as they can associate McDonald’s with family fun and Nike with athletic prowess. And they expect the US to live up to its claims. If they are angry, as millions clearly are, it’s because they have seen those promises betrayed by US policy.’
March 15, 2002
[books] Salon interviews Jon Ronson about his book Them: Adventures with Extremists‘The way I portrayed the people is accurate. Because they’re human beings and we have a kind of wonderful capacity to be absurd and ridiculous. It would be easy to portray them as one-dimensional demons, but I wanted to do the opposite. Just because they’re buffoons it doesn’t mean they can’t fly planes into the World Trade Center. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.’ [via I Love Everything]
[colon] LMG supports the campaign to pursuade Tom to irrigate his colon. [banner courtesy of Dave]

The Tom Coates Colon Irrigation Fund

‘I’m as yet unconvinced by the idea of the sponsored defudging – but I’m open to persuasion.’
March 16, 2002
[tv] Keepin’ it Real, for Real — profile of Ali G … ‘His school reports also contain an intriguing hint about Ali’s secret life. Despite his often repeated boasts about his enormous membrum virile, his PE teacher confides that “he has, to my knowledge, only once been prepared to take a shower with the rest of the boys. Admittedly, certain cruel remarks from a few of them are probably a factor here…”‘
March 17, 2002
[911] Six Months that Changed a Year — an “absolute atrocity” special by Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci … Highlights include: ‘Julie Burchill: How I liberated Kandahar with the news that Tony Parsons is a bastard.’ [Update: Post on Metafilter]
[celebs] Is Pete stalking Danny La Rue? ‘If you walk down Malett St and look up there’s a balcony of sorts with shrubs and trees. That’s where he lives. His front door is the one with the arm holding a hammer. I know this because someone told me.’
March 18, 2002
[massive distraction] Eight Days A Week — A totally addictive Beatles Fruit Machine… [from The Beatles Website]
[tv] At home with Orville (and Keith) — interview with Keith Harris… the latest subject of Louis Theroux‘Certainly, I think Keith thinks he should still be on telly, as he was with his own show between 1982 and 1990. “Once you are off TV, people think you’re dead, think your talent’s disappeared. And you do lose status. You’re asked to be fourth on the bill to someone from Gladiators, and that does annoy me. Why? Because they are not as good as me. They can’t be. They don’t have my experience. Do I sound bitter?” Um. Yes?’
March 19, 2002
[comics] Thrown to the Wolves — a review of my comic du jour… 100 Bullets. ‘The basic story-line is simple, but as I’ve indicated not without its complications. A highly secretive group of vengeance-seekers, the Minutemen, are locked in battle with the Trust, the obligatory nasties. The Minutemen operate outside the law, specializing in setting up victims of criminal wrongdoing with hard evidence of who did them wrong, along with a tasty firearm and one hundred untraceable bullets. The victims get to decide whether and how they are going to use the information and weaponry the Minutemen have dropped in their laps. Those who succeed in blowing the bad guy(s) away might then be approached to see if they have what it takes to join the ranks of the secret revenge society.’ [Related: 100 Bullets on-line comic]
[war] He wants War. And he thinks he’s ready for it — profile of Saddam Hussein‘…he had two sons, Uday and Qusay, who today are his chief lieutenants. In official Iraqi paintings they are usually portrayed as young Arab horsemen loyally riding behind their father, the Sheikh. Family solidarity has been repeatedly shaken by Uday’s murderous rages. In 1988 he killed his father’s bodyguard and confidante during a drunken row at a party on an island in the Tigris river. For many years his power base, bizarrely, has been the Iraqi Olympic Committee which has a large, fortified headquarters in Baghdad with its own prison cells.’
March 20, 2002
[film] The trouble with Harry — brief update on Harry Knowles… the “ultimate movie geek”. ‘…I don’t believe that their [Movie fan websites] opinions affect or alter the tastes of the moviegoing public. Far from it; most web geeks are so leadenly conservative that their opinions actually reflect and reinforce the lamest conventional tastes. “Fan”, after all, derives from “fanatic”, and fanaticism is rarely progressive, original or mould-breaking.’
[comics] King David — DC Comics PR for Kyle Baker’s new graphic novel … ‘Hilarity of Biblical Proportions! Violence! Intrigue! Polygamy! Mass circumcision!’
March 21, 2002
[quote] ‘In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the… Anyone? Anyone? …the Great Depression, passed the… Anyone? Anyone? The tariff bill? The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act? Which, anyone? Raised or lowered? …raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression. Today we have a similar debate over this. Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before? The Laffer Curve. Anyone know what this says? It says that at this point on the revenue curve, you will get exactly the same amount of revenue as at this point. This is very controversial. Does anyone know what Vice President Bush called this in 1980? Anyone? Something-d-o-o economics. “Voodoo” economics.’ [Thanks Meg, Scally]
[tv] Pass Notes does Sir Jimmy Saville OBE‘Don’t say: “Are you with the Massive Stains, Jimmy?”‘ [Related: Jimmy Savile says Ali G stole his image]
March 22, 2002
[politics] Just What Was He Smoking? — The Washington Post takes a look at audio tapes from Richard Nixon’s White House. ‘…he does explain many other things in these drug tapes, including the insidious nexus between drugs, homosexuality, communism and, of course, Jews. The excerpts begin with the Nixon doctrine on why marijuana is much worse than alcohol: It is because people drink “to have fun” but they smoke marijuana “to get high.” This distinction was evidently enormously significant to Nixon, because he repeats it twice.’ [via Scripting News]
[blogs] MemeMachineGo! — What a great name for a blog! :)
[fashion] Shopping Rebellion — The New Yorker on Japanese Fashion … ‘One of the striking things about spending any time among fashion-conscious Japanese kids is how utterly nerdy they can be in their pursuit of cool. In Europe and the United States fashion falls decisively into the category of the frivolous and playful; in Japan the right T-shirt or cap is sought with a kind of dogged intensity, and not just by a fringe group of fanatics. Japanese boys in particular seem to treat fashion in a manner appropriate to stamp collecting or train spotting. Entire magazines are dedicated to the subject of teen boys’ haircuts.’
March 23, 2002
[film] Harry Knowles reviews Blade 2‘I believe Guillermo Del Toro eats pussy better than any man alive. Watch his ‘HOUSE OF PAIN’ sequence in BLADE 2. BLADE 2 is the tongue, mouth, fingers and lips of a lover. The Audience is the clit. Watch your audience. This is where Guillermo Del Toro goes down on the audience. It starts with long licks with a nose bump on the joy button slowly. He smiles as he does this?’ [via Do You Feel Loved]
March 24, 2002
[comics] Ten Essential Comics — I’ve been playing around with amazon.co.uk’s new listmania feature‘Guys. Hey. Getting Any?’
March 25, 2002
[comics] Great gallery of images from Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz’s Elektra: Assassin



‘The daughter of a Greek ambassador, Elektra is the beloved of Matt Murdock. When her father is murdered she becomes a ninja assassin, ultimately betraying those who trained her and turning to a life of senseless crime.’
[birthday] Guess who is thirty-two next Sunday? The wishlist is here. :)
March 26, 2002
[distraction] Britney’s Naked Cat-a-Phone … very similar to the Buffy Swearing Keyboard ‘Warning: Using this software will send your cat mental. It made mine bite.’
[blogs] Are You A Hit-Obsessed Weblogger?’35 points is in the 20 through 39 precent TYPE C (HIT-CURIOUS). You do the weblog thing for yourself instead of for an audience, but you are aware that you do have an audience, small as it might be. You are often curious as to what other people find so interesting about your weblog. You check your weblog referrers every now and then just to satisfy your curiosity.’ [via Feeling Listless]
March 27, 2002
[buffy] The oval that men do — article on the Buffy Easter Egg … ‘Of course it might be said that Buffy, in her role as a vampire “Slayer”, acts upon the undead much in the same way that a crucifix does, albeit with more kick-ass force. The crucifix is the central symbol of Easter, indeed of Christianity, and we might care to regard Buffy as a modern equivalent. I would even dare to describe Buffy as a sort of all-American version of the Messiah (the mouse mat also says “into each generation a Slayer is born”) unless there is some kind of blasphemy legislation pending that I don’t know about.’
[comics] Reno man threatens to blow up comics store‘He said he wanted to blow up the place or burn it down. If he couldn’t have his comic books, nobody could.’ [Related: Metafilter has some amusing comments‘What are mylar snugs? They sound like diapers? Waterproof underwear?’]
March 28, 2002
[web] Tom and Cal have revamped The Barbelith Underground. Grant Morrison described it as the bulletin board for ‘cool egghead stoner motherfuckers’. Enough of a recommendation? [Related: The comic section on Barbelith is here / What does “Barbelith” mean?]
[war] American Crusade 2001 Trading Cards‘World affairs today can sure be confusing!’ [via Follow Me Here]


March 29, 2002
[film] Great review of the 20th Anniversary edition of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial‘Watching it again is like getting a masterclass in American popular culture. Without ET there would be no Toy Stories, yet the Toy Stories with their hi-tech sheen can’t match the easy swing of Spielberg’s live-action storytelling. Without ET there would be no X Files, but Spielberg’s passionate idealism and faith in the power of love make the cramped, paranoid X Files look ridiculous. Without ET there would be no Harry Potter, but ET doesn’t have Harry’s glow of self-congratulation. In the strange and beautiful love story of ET lies the genesis of Douglas Coupland’s vision of Generation X: people in the west growing up in a secular, affectless society, yearning to feel rapture, and looking for love in the ruins of faith.’
[blog quote] Inkiboo: ‘Really think I shouldn’t call this site a ‘blog’ anymore. Two reasons for this. First being that there seems to be a high percentage of male bloggers who are gay. This is all well and good, but it could reduce my chances of getting laid. Second, a lot of bloggers are just self obsessed assholes.’ [more]
March 30, 2002
[tv] Queen of Cringe — interview with Daisy Donovan from William Leith … ‘It would be over-simplistic to say that what Donovan does is to interview people on television in order to embarrass them, but it would not be inaccurate. Some people say she’s a bit like Louis Theroux; she has also been called “the female Ali G”. In a way, she’s the anti-Dando. She has a way of subverting all televisual authority, including her own. She started off as a presenter on Channel 4’s 11 O’Clock show, where she interviewed important, or self-important, people and asked them awkward, deflating questions in the manner of Dennis Pennis. Asking the former Tory chairman Norman Fowler about his life, she suggested that it must be like standing on the edge of a precipice: “Have you ever tossed yourself off?” she asked.’
[quote] Warren Ellis: ‘Do you know how creepy it is to think that at least eight people will be having sex tonight because of you?’ [from Bad Signal … Subcribe]
[dead] Googling for “Queen Mother” gets some interesting results at the moment … ‘Queen Mother – free the lady within.’

April 2, 2002
[books] White Frights — extracts from Michael Moore’s book Stupid White Men‘Yet as I look back on my life, a strange but unmistakable pattern seems to emerge. Every person who has ever harmed me in my lifetime – the boss who fired me, the teacher who flunked me, the principal who punished me, the kid who hit me in the eye with a rock, the executive who didn’t renew TV Nation, the guy who was stalking me for three years, the accountant who double-paid my taxes, the drunk who smashed into me, the burglar who stole my stereo, the contractor who overcharged me, the girlfriend who left me, the next girlfriend who left even sooner, the person in the office who stole cheques from my chequebook and wrote them out to himself for a total of $16,000 – every one of these individuals has been a white person. Coincidence? I think not.’
[dead] Mourning Will Be Brief — Christopher Hitchens on the Queen Mother … ‘The flags that now dip are also standards that have fallen. Much of the emotion of the leavetaking will be genuine (in spite of the yellow-press effort to make it seem bogus by hysterical overstatement). It will be genuine because it is a tribute to longevity confused with a tribute to history. And it will also be genuine because it is a farewell to something that is irretrievably lost – the authority of monarchy in Britain. We are left alone with our day, and the time is short for the elderly Queen and for her arrogant consort and self-pitying son.’ [via Parallax View]
April 6, 2002
[tv] We are Family — profile of the Slater Sisters from Eastenders‘This is a trial we’re talking about; there’ll be tears before, during and after summing-up. Alex Ferns, who plays Trevor (enemy of the Slaters and, indeed, all womankind), watches them with pure admiration. “Look at them,” he says in the extremely quiet voice that telly people are so good at. “They look like Reservoir Dogs.” He thinks for a bit, and then looks sad as he says, “I’d be Mr Dead.”‘
[media] Publish and be Damned — profile of Felix Dennis‘It was not an act of stupidity when, two years out of prison, when Oz folded and an underground comics venture was facing bankruptcy, he talked to some kids in the street in 1974 and discovered they were queueing (at 9am) to see “the Chink who beats people up”. The Chink turned out to be Bruce Lee; Dennis started up Kung Fu Monthly and never looked back. He has proved to be an astute backer of hunches and chooser of markets and personnel, and clings to his counter-culture roots by publishing an “anti-corporate brochure” and claiming: “I’m not a real businessman.” So what is he? He considered for a while. “I guess I’m the fat bastard in the glasses with the money, aren’t I?”‘
April 7, 2002
[web] Christopher Walken’s LiveJournal‘have you ever wanted to punch someone square in the teeth, just to see how many fall out? i met ben affleck today.’March 24th Entry. [via Grammarporn]
April 8, 2002
[comics] Long interview with Brian Michael Bendis [Part 1 | Part 2] … ‘I have always admired and respected the work of people who produced a lot of work like Jack Kirby and John Romita. I think that them producing a lot of work made the work a lot better. I think that when they were using all of their steam, it wasn?t the volume of the work that mattered it was the quality that mattered. I always aspired to be that kind of comic creator. On the same note, I don?t want to be ?Oh look he can write 50 titles?. I have no interest in being that guy. It?s just I can. So, I don?t drink and I don?t play video games, which is the more horrible thing to happen to mainstream comics ? the creation of Playstation. If they would take them away from comic creators you wouldn?t even hear about a late book.’ [Related: Jinxworld]
[tv] The Complete Tapehead Columns — all Jim Shelley’s Tapehead articles are archived on the web … Tapehead on Sex Addicts: ‘Sex Addiction is all the rage these days, and no wonder. Where better to meet dozens of horny men or women than a Sex Addicts therapy session? Fine Cut: I Am A Sex Addict illustrates how sex addiction can lead to devastating debilities for S&M, pornography and violence, and the sort of massive self-loathing that causes one addict to describe herself as “a hopeless romantic in a vibrator life.” Phew. “What sex addicts have in common,” Fine Cut states, “is their compulsion and the fact that they are people, just like you and me.” It looks as if you and me have lot of problems then.’ [thanks Vaughan :) ]
[blogs] Feeling Listless Logo Archive — I really like these logos… my favorite‘the best option was to combine the name of the site with it’s subject matter, my life and how I feel about the latest cultural events. And so I struck upon the idea of cultural artifacts which mean something to me (to a greater or lesser extent) also expressing the name of the site. The picture at the top would be as much a part of the weblog and the writing. This is an ongoing record of these logos …’ [Related: Feeling Listless]
April 9, 2002
[books] The full text to Neal Stephenson’s The Big U online — it’s probably illegal so if you feel guilty you can buy yourself a copy here. ‘This is a history, in that it intends to describe what happened and suggest why. It is a work of the imagination in that by writing it I hope to purge the Big U from my system, and with it all my bitterness and contempt. I may have fooled around with a few facts. But I served as witness until as close to the end as anyone could have, and I knew enough of the major actors to learn about what I didn’t witness, and so there is not so much art in this as to make it irrelevant. What you are about to read is not an aberration: it can happen in your local university too. The Big U, simply, was a few years ahead of the rest. ‘ [via Jerry Kindall]
[funk] The Periodic Table of FunkAi: ‘For the rare occasions you may be required to entertain your woman’s shortie: behold the Atari 2600 VCS. Nothin’ is gonna beat the multiple-bit power of the almighty 2600. Yar’s Revenge, River Raid, Combat, Q*Bert, Super Breakout… ‘ [via I Love Everything]
April 10, 2002
[dead] Farewell to a mother, a queen and a symbol of a bygone age — Jonathan Freeland on the Queen Mother’s Funeral … ‘The cars around Westminster Abbey were banished; only horses remained. The clatter of traffic was gone, replaced by the music of marching feet, pipes and drums. For one morning only, the 21st century was held at bay.’
[blogs] They Have Blogs!‘He’s a punk goggle-eyed performance artist who has the hots for Angelina Jolie. She’s an overweight ambidexterous graphic design artist who writes about her amazing, talented and deeply-loved spouse more often than she writes about herself. They have blogs.’ [via kookymojo]
[comics] Jonathan Ross interviews Alan Moore … [via Bugpowder]

‘ROSS: Let me tap back into some more Alan Moore mythology. Are you married? Or are you living with Melinda?

MOORE: I was married when I was about twenty, and me and me wife split up in about 1989. I met Melinda a year later. Me and Melinda don’t live together because she’s an artist and I’m a writer, both of which are far too mental. But we see each other a lot. I met up wth her mainly because I wanted to do an erotic, a pornographic comic book, and the idea of doing it with guys?

ROSS: Ha ha.’

[blogs] Graybo’s infamous Passport Gallery‘and it was only ever meant to be a bit of innocent fun. that’ll teach me.’Graybo
April 11, 2002
[wtf?] ‘X-Files’ star takes ‘Confidential’ Role — David Duchovny as James Ellroy? … ‘Ellroy, a burly, eccentric man was 46 at the time he began investigating his mother’s murder, and on the surface, Duchovny makes for an odd match. “It’s odd to see someone who doesn’t resemble me physically in the least playing me,” Ellroy acknowledged to Variety.’ [Related: Brief extract from My Dark Places, Buy My Dark Places at Amazon, link via WEF]
[food] Meat is murder — Nick Lezard reviews Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser‘The principles of uniformity turn out to be not only bad for the soul, a seedy Orwellian nightmare, but bad for people. Ray Kroc, one of the founders of McDonald’s, once memorably said of independent-minded franchisees: “We will make conformists out of them in a hurry…The organization cannot trust the individual; the individual must trust the organization.”‘
April 12, 2002
[brain] The Fully Immersive Mind of Oliver Sacks — great profile from Wired Magazine … ‘The periodic grid of the elements first appeared in a dream to the Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869. Before falling asleep at his desk, the white-bearded chemist played several rounds of solitaire, and his ordering scheme may have been influenced by the arrangement of suits in the game. The table in South Kensington was an unusual one, containing not only the atomic weight, number, and symbol for each element but also samples of the elements themselves sealed in jars, bequeathed to the museum by one of Napoléon’s heirs. To the young chemist and neurologist-to-be, this grand display was an irrefutable confirmation that there was order underlying the apparent chaos of the universe, and that the human mind had been keen enough to perceive it.’ [via Follow Me Here]
[comics] Comics Turn a New Page — BBC News looks at on-line comics and interviews Scott McCloud‘McCloud knows that he is known as something of a maverick. “Among my peers, I am known mainly as the kooky guy who talks about the internet a lot. I don’t mind being associated with my books about comics, especially Understanding Comics, which I still rather like.” There will be more comics about comics, he says, but not for a while yet.’
April 13, 2002
[cartoon] Yet another amazing Steve Bell cartoon — this time on US efforts to promote peace in the Middle East. ‘Peace… in your own time, Man!’
[politics] Statecraft by Margaret Thatcher — a Digested Read‘First and foremost, you cannot trust any foreigners apart from the Americans. Take Communism away from the Russians and the Eastern Bloc countries and you’re left with a bunch of gangsters and freeloaders. The Chinese think they’re superior and the Middle East is full of people who dress oddly and don’t go to church. Only the Americans have moral right. This is because they speak English, are devout Christians and are very, very big.’
[quote] Albert Einstein: ‘You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.’ [via Sore Eyes]
April 14, 2002
[uk] Call Me Middle-Class And I’ll Punch You — Julie Burchill writing about class in the UK … ‘And a special set of questions just for me, because I’m in charge of this page. Do you persist in believing that there is something intrinsically and non-specifically sad about anyone over the age of 16 who remains in full-time education? Would you rather eat your own head than mix your own salad dressing? Do you keep the TV on at all times between rising and retiring? Is the only thing you have put away for a rainy day a stylish raincoat? Yes, yes, yes, yes! – so, culturally, that means I’m working-class, too.’ [Related: Earl steps into ‘working class’ dispute]
[distraction] Queen Mum We Love You!! … great Flash animation in a South Park style. [via plasticbag.org]
April 15, 2002
[politics] Look Who’s Talking — Christopher Hitchens interviewed by Lynne Barber … ‘…recently he has amazed everyone – left, right, centre – by coming out firmly in support of Bush’s war on terrorism. This means that for the first time in his life he is in the unfamiliar position of swimming with the tide. But on the other hand it hasn’t made him revise his first impression of Dubya – ‘Eyes so close together he could use a monocle, abnormally unintelligent, could barely read at all, “rescued from the booze by Jesus” – and if there’s one sentence that would piss me off more than any other, that’s it. But one can look on the bright side and say it proves that anyone can be president.’ Is this a sign that he’s moving rightwards?’
[food] The Bitter Truth about Fast Food — edited extacts from Fast Food Nation‘Hundreds of millions of people buy fast food every day without giving it much thought, unaware of the subtle and not so subtle ramifications of their purchases. They rarely consider where this food came from, how it was made, what it is doing to the community around them. I think people should know what lies behind the shiny, happy surface of every fast food transaction. They should know what really lurks between those sesame-seed buns. As the old saying goes: You are what you eat.’ [thanks Phil]
April 16, 2002
[blogs] Weblog Bookwatch — it searches recently updated weblogs for links to books on Amazon and compiles a list… ‘For recreational use only — please, no wagering.’ [via Scripting News]
[quote] Texting‘…and I wonder about my fellow citizens. I wonder if there isn’t some collective human core drive toward conservatism. I mean conservatism on its most basic level: fear of change. These familiar white men — familiar both because they’re clones of what we’ve been acculturated to perceive as power, and familiar literally, it’s the exact same people, the same handful, the plutocracy — are they somehow reassuring big daddies, distant and tight-lipped, security conscious and faintly disapproving, a little out of touch, a little authoritarian and secretive, deals out of earshot and quiet phone calls, a potential for real anger, but usually genial and a little hokey; they want what’s best for us, they know what’s best, because they’re father? We don’t need to know the details. They’re in charge, and that’s as it should be.’ [via Wood s Lot]
April 17, 2002
[media] Saving Face — profile of Neil Stevenson the new editor of ‘The Face’ and one of the people behind Popbitch … Stevenson: ‘[The Face] has lost touch. The world has changed a lot in recent years. The amount of pop culture has increased, television channels have gone from four to 200, there’s the web and email and mobile phones ? people are overwhelmed by pop culture. And The Face has got to deal with the fact that people have a lot more choice and a lot less time.’
[science] The Time Lord — profile of Stephen Jay Gould‘…in 1974, Gould – now with Harvard University – began writing a monthly column on ‘This View of Life’ (a phrase borrowed from Darwin’s The Origin of Species) for the US journal Natural History. It became a Western publishing phenomenon. For the next 26 years – he always vowed he would stop writing them in 2001 – Gould produced a stream of 10,000-word essays, uninterrupted even when he needed intense treatment for abdominal cancer, on subjects that have ranged from snails to the evolution of typewriters, from dinosaurs to Antoine Lavoisier, and from space travel to, of course, baseball. All were written with authority and verve, and very often an engaging dry wit. One, on the evolution of human sexual organs, he even tried to call ‘Clits and Tits’ but was blocked by his publishers.’
April 18, 2002
[911] Jerry Pournelle’s reaction to 911 The Black September War

Kinda Biblical: ‘There shall be monuments, perpetual, large enough to be seen from the air, from space: monuments of desolation in each of those cities. A million square feet; let the company commanders measure each building before flattening it. Let it be recorded. And let salt be sown where those places stood. Let their refugees go where they will. And if that requires the Army fight its way into those places, then the devil take the hindmost. We have no lack of volunteers.’

Then Sci-Fi: ‘…build our monuments, but then put solar power receiving stations on them, and give about 800 megawatts of power to each of the cities in which we built those. The more I think on it, the more it grows on me. Of course I have been for building space solar power satellites without this incentive: to build SSPS will required a fleet of reusable space ships, and if we have those we automatically have Thor (non-nuclear orbital precision bombardment: tungsten telephone poles that can hit any target at about 15,000 fps velocity with an accuracy of about 10 feet CEP)’
[comics] Neilalien — comicblog concentrating on Marvel, the mainstream and Doc Strange … ‘Neilalien of course does not aspire to rise above the noise and crap. Not until he gets interviews with Brian Michael Bendis, anyway. He tries to keep things honest though! For example, he always discloses that he doesn’t own Marvel stock before criticizing President Jemas! ‘
April 19, 2002
[blogs] Douglas Rushkoff has a blog‘I’ve always resisted the polarity of a dialectic – those heated, two-sided debates. The process itself seems to entrench us further in specific reality tunnels. Academics and committed politicos hate me for it, but I really am committed, for the timebeing, to avoid getting too stuck in a singular, absolute way of seeing the world. Polar argumentation and the duality it promotes make this harder to do. And this is why fundamentalists enjoy things like the Middle East crisis so much. It throws even formerly “moderate” people back into the more extreme corners of their reality tunnels.’
[clones] Tears of a Clone — update on Dolly the Sheep and cloning in general … ‘Like most stars, she isn’t the size you expect from her pictures. In Dolly’s case, she’s a lot bulkier than she looks on the page or the screen, although the weight problem that dogged the early days of her celebrity status is behind her. Habituated to human attention, she is friendly and gentle, and convincingly feigns interest in the affairs of strangers. These are star qualities. Most stars don’t have bits of dung and straw in their hair, of course. Nor do they break off in the middle of a photoshoot and, with an expression of utter serenity, pee on the grass.’
[tv] Ben Elton — another you ask the questions … ‘Q:What would Rik, Mike, Neil and Vyv each be doing now, 20 years after The Young Ones? A: Rik would be President of the Michael Portillo Fan Club. Vyv would be a special advisor to Stephen Byers on transport policy. Neil would have moved to Brixton in the hope of being allowed to cultivate his dope plants in peace ? unfortunately, he would have been ripped off when he bought the seeds and be getting a headache trying to smoke fennel. Mike was an enigma then, and remains so.’
April 20, 2002
[books] McVicar’s crime against Jill Dando — review of John McVicar’s new book about the murder of Jill Dando‘[McVicar] believes that George did commit the murder – under, according to the theory he and Pell construct, the combined influence of Queen lyrics, Zoroastrianism, Ninjutsu, born-again Baptism and Highlander.’
April 21, 2002
[tv] The Double Life of Johnny Vegas — great profile / interview … ‘He pinched the name from the rock ‘n’ roll singer in Grease, Johnny Casino, adopting it originally to give him the courage to get up on stage and sing in pubs. But pouring all his disappointments into him proved to be a stroke of genius, because sunny-natured Michael Pennington could never, I suspect, have got up on stage and been so bilious and pathetic and bitter. “It sounds simple, if you say you’re accepting, but I was never one to resent anything. From a certain age, I sort of accepted myself for what I was. And although to other people it was like nothing ever goes right, I had a really nice attitude that I’d inherited from my parents, and especially from my dad.”‘
[comics] The 2001 Squiddies — comic awards from rec.arts.comic.* on Usenet. [Related: Postings on Usenet — PR and Results | Analysis of Results]
April 22, 2002
[lmg] New feature — Check out the new mini-blog on the left in the sidebar underneath the LMG Search Button…
[redrum] A Rough Guide to The Shining


‘Have you ever had a single moment’s thought about my responsibilities? Have you ever thought for a single solitary moment about my responsibilities to my employers? Has it ever occurred to you that I have agreed to look after the Overlook Hotel until May the first? Does it matter to you at all that the owners have placed their complete confidence and trust in me, and that I have signed a letter of agreement, a contract, in which I have accepted that responsibility? Do you have the slightest idea what a moral and ethical principle is, do you? Has it ever occurred to you what would happen to my future if I were to fail to live up to my responsibilities? Has it ever occurred to you? Has it?!’
April 23, 2002
[p2p] Would You Download Music From This Man? — Wired profiles a “master of the file sharing universe” … ‘What motivates someone to collect more music than he could ever possibly listen to, more movies than he can watch, more games than he could ever play – and so actively spread the wealth? It’s no stretch to say Verner’s responsible for millions of dollars in lost revenue for the record labels and movie studios. And while he considers those industries “damn greedy,” it’s not malice that drives him. “A lot of people out there don’t have any idea what their computer really is for and how much they can enjoy it,” he says. “I think I’m doing a public service.”‘
[politics] A French Movement — another Steve Bell cartoon on Jean-Marie Le Pen and the French Presidential Elections.
April 24, 2002
[books] The master of all he surveys — interview with Alexi Sayle. ‘…he reads “whatever my wife’s reading group is doing that month. I read it first and she never gets round to reading it.” He recently finished Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and is currently trying his best to get through Dickens’s Great Expectations . It’s a safe bet that he doesn’t read much by his fellow comedians. “I was the first alternative comic to write a novel,” he says with a sigh. “Fucking hell, it’s a terrible legacy . . .”‘
April 25, 2002
[comics] Interesting thread on Warren Ellis on the Barbelith Underground‘Someone alleged the other week that Warren Ellis is perhaps the world’s most successful writer of slash fiction, and I thought that was an interesting point, if essentially not true.’ [More]
[comics] Evan Dorkin’s Fisher-Price Theatre — Catcher In The Rye [Part 1 | Part 2] …

Evan Dorkin's Fisher-Price Theatre -- Catcher In The Rye

April 26, 2002
[politics] ‘The veil? It protects us from ugly women’ — Guardian interview with Jean-Marie Le Pen. ‘…[Le Pen is] someone who loves a fight, who stirs up strife and contention; a despised and dangerous man who went looking for a violent dust-up and lost his eye as a consequence. His contrasting version of events fits in well with his regular complaints of being politically slandered, of deep-rooted misunderstandings and systematic abuse from the establishment. Even the more jocular aspect that he seeks to ascribe to the whole episode perfectly suits his personality: “On one occasion, a female political rival claimed that I was looking at her with a ‘hard stare’. I replied: ‘But of course, madam. You are looking at my glass eye,'” he says with a boisterous laugh. An encounter with Le Pen can be a bit of a culture shock. The man is blessed with a rare, intoxicating charisma.’
April 29, 2002
[tv] Club 24 — a profile of 24‘How could anyone still be thinking of going into the Big Brother house next month when they know they won’t be allowed to watch 24?’
[post-it] Postmodernism, Writ Small — a look at the Post-It Note‘Unlike its predecessor, the memo, which functions as a self-contained message, the Post-it Note is an analog forebear to hypertext; it acknowledges in its very construction that what’s most important is context — and that context is where you make it, achievable with glue as much as any organic cohesion of ideas. Whereas a memo generally includes such information as who it’s from, to whom it’s directed, what its purpose is, and what sort of response it expects to generate, a Post-it Note is usually spontaneous, associative, and fragmentary. Its message often has meaning only in relation to the object or document to which it?s been attached; detach it and it becomes a mystery.’ [via kottke.org]
April 30, 2002
[comics] Spider-Man’s Long-Lost Parent — great article on the reclusive Steve Ditko‘The first rule of Steve Ditko is you don’t talk about Steve Ditko. Not to the press, not even to friends or peers. Intensely private, Ditko is an enigmatic figure — the J.D. Salinger of comics. He avoids publicity and hasn’t given an interview in more than 35 years. Only a few published photographs of him are known to exist, and good luck finding them. “He’s the exact opposite of me,” says Lee, who has spent the last 40 years as the public face of Spider-Man and the rest of Marvel Comics’ superhero pantheon. Those who know Ditko say he prefers to let his work speak for itself.’ [via Neilalien]
[distractions] “I’m bored. Entertain me linky-boy!”


May 1, 2002
[tv] ITV Digital: An Insider’s Story — a middle-manager at ITV Digital talks about what went wrong … ‘Quality needs to override the consumers thirst for quantity. The quality of UK digital programming must improve in order that the digital platform becomes attractive. The consumers’ perception can be summed up by a letter sent to HQ this week from a subscriber. They offered to buy a monkey in exchange for a lifetime’s supply of crisps – is this how we are to be remembered? We are a supplier of programmes not a toy store!’ [Related: Media Guardian Coverage of ITV Digital Shutdown]
[blogs] The Life Cycle of your Weblog — Sadly, no section on ‘Endlessly Linking and Quoting Meaningless Drivel’. Oh well… must try harder. [via More Like This]
May 2, 2002
[quotes] Physics Quotes‘I do not like Quantum Mechanics, and I am sorry I ever had anything to do with it.’ — Erwin Schrödinger.
[comics] Through the Eyes of Karen Berger — interview with Vertigo’s Executive Editor … Berger on Original Graphic Novels: ‘We’re interested in creating bodies of work that the person who’s not going into comics shops weekly – if at all – can easily pick up and enjoy as a self-contained experience. As the evolution of books from serialized reading experiences published in magazines a hundred years ago to original self-contained entities allowed greater popularity with the advent of the paperback format, it’s likely we’re going to make a similar transition, at least with a large portion of our material. It’s not an easy transition, as the industry is still built on getting your comics ‘fix’ on a weekly or monthly cycle. Kyle Baker is a good example of a creator who can build a truly great story that really can’t or shouldn’t be broken up into pieces. It’s a thing as a whole and that’s the only really good way to absorb it.’