December 24, 2002
[tv] A Lucky Man lurks behind David Brent — interesting profile of Ricky Gervais. ‘…when he appeared in Channel 4’s celebrity poker tournament — alongside Martin Amis, Patrick Marber and Anthony Holden — there was a story of an off-camera spat with Stephen Fry, which ended in Gervais saying: “Yeah, but at least I’m not gay.” Was that Ricky Gervais talking, or just “Ricky Gervais”? Does he do it to annoy, because he knows it teases, or does he not realise how it comes across?’
December 27, 2002
[comics] Heroes and Villains — Edward Said reviews Palestine by Joe Sacco … [via Bugpowder]

‘…comics provided one with a directness of approach (the attractively overstated combination of pictures and words) that seemed unassailably true on the one hand and marvellously close, impinging, familiar on the other. In ways that I still find fascinating to decode, comics in their relentless foregrounding – far more, say, than film cartoons or funnies (neither of which mattered much to me) seemed to say what couldn’t otherwise be said, or wasn’t permitted to be said or imagined, defying the ordinary processes of thought, which are policed, shaped and reshaped by all sorts of pedagogical as well as ideological pressures. I knew nothing of this then, but I felt that comics freed me to think and imagine and see differently.’

December 29, 2002
[comics] Ennis’ War Stories — Newsarama interview with Garth Ennis. ‘…what’s most fascinating is the psychology and the behavior of people at the sharp end — the kind of stories that come out of people at this extreme edge of human existence, one that we don’t even have to imagine, as we do with fantasy or science fiction, or even in some crime drama. We don’t have to imagine this, because it was real. In the case of the Second World War, it was the most crucial event in the history of the 20th Century. It defined the rest of the century — it’s real, it actually happened. The drama that comes out of that is more gripping than almost anything else that we take drama from.’
December 31, 2002
[lmg] US Marine Toilet Graffiti in Afghanistan — If I had to choose a favorite quote from LMG in 2002 it would probably be this one:

Thus the graffiti on the walls of the Portakabins where, if you got to them later than 9am, you’d be greeted by a 5ft-high pile of soldiers’ faeces:

Toilet 7: “I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds’; ‘I am become Bored, Destroyer of Motivation”

Toilet 3: “Though I walk through the valley of death I shall fear no evil, because I am the meanest motherfucker in the valley.”

Toilet 6: “MARINE – Muscles Are Required, Intelegance [sic] Not Essential”

Toilet 2 (women only): “I miss my cat.”

Happy New Year. More of the same in 2003.