linkmachinego.com

June 3, 2002
[phones] How I became a ‘call’ girl — What it’s like to work on a phone sex line …

‘”Did you have any particular fantasy in mind tonight?” purred Jade.

“No,” the caller mumbled.

“What do you feel like talking about?”

“I dunno.”

“Where are you calling from?”

“Lying down,” he answered.’

May 18, 2002
[swimming] Don’t be so wet — Julie Burchill on Swimming Pools … ‘I’m not being a killjoy here. I know that swimming pools can be used for physical activities other than swimming, and that “breaststroke” can have a double meaning in any place where strangers are packed together wearing very little. In fact, “No Running, No Diving, No Petting” made it on to my shortlist as a title for my autobiography, neatly summing up my steadfast idleness, my obdurate heterosexuality and my intrinsic heartlessness.’
May 9, 2002
[net] Me and my Net Stalker — interesting article on stalking over the internet … ‘…last year Gobion Rowlands logged on as usual to check his email. There was a message from an unusual Hotmail address. Its title was Gob on Rowlands. Its text – not for sensitive eyes – read: “You probably don’t remember me, but I haven’t forgotten you. So you’re still into your wanky dungeons and dragons shit… Clearly you have lived up to your full potential: a self-obsessed arsehole with bad kidneys. Oh yes Rowlands, I fucking know who you are… So why am I emailing you? Just to let you know that you can’t leave your past behind…”‘
May 5, 2002
[disunited] Web Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned — UK press mention of the Spouses Disunited Meme. ‘…although the site carries accounts of marriages between previously estranged friends and even some cases of adopted children reunited with their natural parents, it is also responsible for a growing list of divorces and painful separations.’
May 3, 2002
[spouses disunited] When Friends Reunited Goes Bad‘Until recently he had his details on this site, accompanied with a photograph of himself, which was an extremely good likeness of the ugly twat. Unfortunately none of you will now be able to look at his photo because he has deleted all his details as he is embarrassed to admit that on 5th January 2002 he deleted his wife and 9 year old daughter out of his life when he met a hoar called CLAUDIA *******, just before Christmas and began shagging the slag while his wife and daughter were out shopping for Christmas presents.’ [thanks Phil]

Update: The Register has more details‘The posting has been pulled from Friends Reunited, but we’ve been sent a copy of the page, which is now doing the email rounds. We’ve checked out the address of the poster, the tel no. (which appears to have been disconnected), we know the school and the year. But we’ve not made contact with either protaganist. We know that one national newspaper is on the case, so we reckon a local stringer could be camping outside the protaganists’ houses right now.’ [via Blogjam]
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]
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]
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.’
February 15, 2002
[wtf?!] I Was In Love With A Nutcase — What it’s like going out with a girl with multiple personalities … ‘Having four other personalities living in the body of your girlfriend was definitely an odd experience.’ [via JerryKindall.com]
February 1, 2002
[uk] Lunch is for Wimpys — the return of Mr Wimpy … ‘There was something very British about Wimpy from the moment that it sprang from an item on the menu in the Lyons Corner Cafe, to its own fully fledged chain in 1954. Whether it was the insistence that fast food should be eaten with a knife and fork, or the appearance of toasted teacakes on the menu, or even the willingness to name itself after the burger-munching character from Popeye (can you imagine an American chain calling itself Nerdy?), it was markedly different from McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and the rest; more closely associated to the tea urn than the flame grill. Then, in 1989, Wimpy went west, or so it seemed.’
January 6, 2002
[wisdom] Fearlessness in Difficult Times‘We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder and more open to what scares us. We always have this choice.’ [via Wood s Lot]
October 29, 2001
[flatmates] Cleaning The Fucking Kitchen For Dummies‘The pizza may have arrived at your door on its own, but once you eat half of it, it’s dead and it won’t actually go away on its own. It doesn’t matter if you hide it somewhere like some sort of demented squirrel, it will stay there. Unless someone throws it away. That means you, if the world is just, which it plainly isn’t.’ [via Ms. Woo]
September 8, 2001
[death] The Autopsy — blogger Brooke Magnanti takes a close look … ‘The autopsy is an examination of the body as machine, a hardware hack on hopeless equipment. As with some bugs you may never find out what went wrong. There may be several ailments: a pancreatic cancer, say; a cirrhotic liver. The evidence of death is incontrivertible, but the cause is an eel slipping out of your hands.’

[Updated 11/2009: Searchers for Belle de Jour can find more about her here]
July 27, 2001
[recession] Economics? It’s a piece of cake — are we heading for a recession? The Guardian does a number of totally unscientific tests to find out… ‘…Budd’s scientific method for testing the economic climate was to stand in the Lakeside shopping centre in Essex counting shoppers – fatally, he was fooled by their numbers into believing recovery was on the way, not noticing their sad noses pressed up against the glass gazing forlornly at the things they couldn’t afford.’
June 13, 2001
[babies] Fathers Daze — Tim Lott talks about men and babies… ‘When I was in my 20s I thought that happiness looked like a big desk I could sit behind, ordering people around. I thought happiness was golden beaches, and exciting parties, and recreational drugs, and exotic travel and big salaries and gorgeous women. And I tried all these things – oh, how I tried them. But you can add them up and multiply them by their own power, and none of them achieve the simple intensity of the joy that is granted by pushing my daughters on the swings in the local park on a sunny day, or simply watching while they sleep. No clever piece of artifice – film, theatre, TV – can make me laugh half as much. No stunning piece of art can be so beautiful. No winning of a literary prize would make me so proud. Happiness, it turns out, like evil, is banal.’
June 3, 2001
[crime] WMOB — The Wiretap Network. FBI Wiretaps of Mafia gangsters… Frank and Fritzy. Life imitates the Sopranos. ‘FRITZY: I eat yogurt about 10 o’clock, ’cause I didn’t eat all day from 2 o’clock. So I says, “I’ll have a little yogurt.” Then it had raisins and nuts. FRANK: I thought you don’t eat raisins. FRITZY: It was inside the damn yogurt. FRANK: What’d ya tell me about raisins? FRITZY: Yeah, what I tell you? They were in there, alright? So anyhow, so I, I downed it and five minutes after, I started fucking itching around the balls, you know?’ [via Follow Me Here]
May 19, 2001
[burchill] Sticks and a stone. ‘I’m not, by any means, some sort of sex-prude, but the rehabilitation of Wyman has been one of the true markers of the increasing sickness and hypocrisy of our society in the past 20 years: him, the whore-master Charles Windsor and schoolgirl-shagger Chris Woodhead; each scumbag now a well-respected man who dares to tell other people how they should be and what they should do. It’s true what those loony Telegraph writers say about shame no longer playing its useful role in civilising society. Look at John Profumo: one quick blowjob from Christine Keeler and he’s off down the East End kissing lepers till the end of his days.’
May 14, 2001
[my inner turmoil?] The Observer profiles Anthony Clare‘As he says, men are viewed today much as women were 100 years ago – as fragile, naturally ill members of the species who are prone to early death, vulnerable to the vicissitudes of random violence and disease, and who are riddled with self-doubt. ‘Freud got it spectacularly wrong,’ Clare says. ‘Women don’t envy the penis. And unlike them, men still can’t discuss their sexuality and resolve the problem. Every man, including myself, is ashamed of the size of his penis.”
May 7, 2001
[the joy of stats] Why I Will Never Have A Girlfriend. ‘…. I, for one, refuse to spend my life brooding over my lack of luck with women. While I’ll be the first to admit that my chances of ever entering into a meaningful relationship with someone special are practically non-existent, I staunchly refuse to admit that it has anything to do with some inherent problem with me. Instead, I am convinced that the situation can be readily explained in purely scientific terms, using nothing more than demographics and some elementary statistical calculus.’
May 2, 2001
[luck] The Unluckiest Couple in Britain… what happens when you lose a winning lottery ticket. ‘The Totts have been caught in the contradiction that makes the lottery function – the insistence that it’s all just a bit of fun, a moment’s relief from the daily grind, overlain with the unspoken riposte: yes, but it could change everything forever. It was the former thought that explained why they didn’t check their ticket that week in September – “after seven years, you just think well, I buy a ticket, but I’m never going to win a blooming thing” – but it was the latter that got them hoping.’
April 25, 2001
[dad] Becoming like your Father — every man’s worst nightmare? ‘…what men really fear is turning into someone they said they would never ever resemble. I might be a Guardian-reading Old Labour hack living in Highbury, but my dad is a Telegraph-reading former farmer who regards Ian Paisley as a moderating influence on the Northern Ireland peace process. Farmers have never been the most optimistic of people, and I have never been more grateful than now that I didn’t follow my father’s footsteps in that regard. Yet every so often, I come out with a sentiment that sounds just like my dad, such as advising Nicola not to put a window box on that ledge in case it falls on someone in the street and we are sued.’
April 23, 2001
[nostalgia] 101 Things We Don’t Miss‘Pickled eggs. In Wales, where pickled eggs are still a foodstuff of choice, they buy them with a bag of prawn cocktail crisps, then they scrunch the egg up in the crisps and eat the offending egg with a carapace of crisp around it, for flavour. If that doesn’t say all there is to say about how noxious the things are, I can’t think what does.’ [Guilty Secret: I love pickled eggs… here’s a recipe.]
April 18, 2001
[distractions] Another site I’ve been meaning to blog for ages — Notes & Queries. Important profound examples: What is the point of pubic hair? Why do Magpies collect shiny objects? How can I become a charismatic, likeable, well-connected and wealthy person with the least amount of effort? What is the most effective way to start an urban myth? [reminded by Tom]
March 18, 2001
[men] My Ideal Woman. ‘If you are or know of someone who meets these requirements, email me. Chances are, though, that I will miserably fail her requirements for a man. Hence, I am most likely going to remain a bachelor.’ [via Wacky Brit]
March 17, 2001
[amis] Martin Amis examines the US Porn Industry. ‘It is barely 10 o’clock in the morning, and I am, I realise, experiencing the kind of anxiety that usually precedes a mild ordeal. A line is about to be crossed. I shouldn’t be here. None of us should be here. But we all have work to do. Fifteen minutes later, referring to the achievements of Lola, Chloe stabbed a hand through the air at me, and shouted with joy and triumph (Chloe is the director, remember, and she was thrilled to have this scene in the can): “That’s the kind of blowjob I was telling you about yesterday!”‘
March 13, 2001

Slightly disturbing card posted in my letterbox...

Shoved through the letterbox… the answer to all my crippling emotional problems?
March 10, 2001
[death] The wisdom of the dead‘I have one final request…’ [Random Dead Letter]
March 9, 2001
[globalisation] Delhi Calling. Call centres go off-shore — when you call your bank or mobile phone company you may well be talking to somebody half-a-world away. ‘Each computer screen shows Greenwich Mean Time and the temperature in the UK, in case a staff member feels the urge to reveal that India is enjoying yet another day of blue skies and sunny weather. “We find showing new staff videos of Yes, Prime Minister is particularly effective,” says Raman Roy, Spectramind’s sleek, pipe-smoking chief executive. “They get a two-hour seminar on the royal family. We download the British tabloids every morning from the web to see what our customers are reading. We make our new staff watch Premier League football games on TV. And we also explain about the weather, because British people refer to the subject so frequently. It is a science,” he adds, proudly.’
March 2, 2001
[puke] Louis Theroux remembers his greatest vomits.‘This, I realised, is the paradox of the puke: that it is a provocative act and yet at the same time utterly involuntary. It’s like Tourette’s Syndrome made physical. I wanted nothing more than to be in bed with a cup of sugary tea and yet here I was instead staging weird, almost avant garde actions, spraying the walls of my friend’s parents’ toilet with regurgitated carrot.’
March 1, 2001
[life] Things fall apart — The Guardian looks at the complexity of life in Britain in the aftermath of the train crash yesterday‘Complexity is the world we live in. People still think it isn’t. People still think that when they go to a supermarket and buy a pound of meat it’s exactly the same thing they used to do 30 years ago when they went to a shop up the road. In no respect is it the same. The meat has gone through the hands of 75 different people. It might be a French sheep, slaughtered in Belgium, butchered in Germany, part sent to Saudi Arabia and part sent here. I blame the training of today’s managers. They’ve not been trained to think about robustness and stability. They’ve been trained to think about efficiency. Efficiency, to a modern manager, means that every conceivable component is just about to break down.’
February 12, 2001
[year] Guardian Unlimited explains… Why we hate February. ‘The dullest, wettest, cruellest month is upon us. Oh well, at least it’s short.’
January 16, 2001
[life] How time can fly into a vacuum — Big Blue Dog on Time Suckage… ‘One of the prime culprits of time suckage in the modern work environment is the cappuccino. In the old days, office workers contented themselves with a simple cup of instant Nescafé, made in the office kitchen with a grime-encrusted teaspoon and milk of dubious maturity. Nowadays, with our hifalutin’ continental ways, we want froth on top. We want chocolate. Some of us even want a skinny mocha decaff latte with a twist.’
January 11, 2001
[nude] Nudist ‘not a public nuisance’ — BBC News reports on a campaigner for nudism who was cleared of being a public nuisance. ‘As soon as he heard the verdict at Southwark Crown Court Mr Bethell – wearing nothing but a beard – shouted: “Being human is not a crime”. But Judge George Bathurst-Norman warned him: “I would not go away too much with that idea.’
January 4, 2001
[yawn!] Duvet Days — what I could do with right now… ‘duvet days, n, buzzword; a day when employees have the right to stay in bed instead of going in to work, no prior booking required.’ [via Dutch Bint]
December 23, 2000
[tedious autobiography] Tonight I was here — the Small and Beautiful in Kilburn. Highly recommended… great food, cheap, very relaxing… ‘We began with the Moules Mariniere (steamed mussels in garlic, lemon, parlsey and white wine) and the sublime Baked Red Peppers, which are stuffed with fetta cheese. Highlights of the main menu are the Char-grilled Tuna Steak, with a sauce of anchovies, capers and butter; and the Rigatone Verde, a risotto with spinach and cream.’
December 10, 2000
[state of mind] Happy? Most of this article seems pretty self-evident to me… ‘Depression, unhappiness and happiness can be understood and dealt with only by understanding how we each interpret ourselves and our world. We create our own individual interpretations, and our interpretations determine what we do and feel. We cannot always change what is happening to us, but we are always free to change how we interpret what is happening to us.’ [Coincidentally, whilst reading the ‘Happy?’ article I was also checking out my Amazon personal recommendations… they had chosen for me: You Are Worthless. :) ]
December 6, 2000
[annoying introspection] Wherever You Are asks Have You Ever?. Vaughan has turned weblogging into a destressing late night party session of Truth or Dare with a bunch of complete strangers…
November 23, 2000
[the great unknown] Deathbed book a first for China: ‘In this passage, Mr Lu recalls an idyllic trip with friends 20 years ago to the lower Yangtze valley, a peaceful swath of countryside at the time, where heavy rain kept them stuck for several days. A local girl looked after them, listening quietly as they talked about poetry and the world and drank local wine with dried beancurd. Mr Lu was captivated by her innocence and purity, but was too shy to go any further. Now he muses on what might have happened if he had stayed and married her. “What would I be now? Maybe a teacher in the town’s primary school?” He wonders too whether he would have contracted the cancer. “Is life like a chess competition, where with one wrong move we change the result completely?”‘
November 22, 2000
[thatch] Guardian Unlimited asks: Where were you when Thatcher resigned? Ken Loach: ‘I was in a car going back to a flat we’ve got in Chiswick. I remember it must have been how people felt at the end of the war – street parties and people singing songs to a piano in the street. I knew the malign influence would carry on, but there was a wonderful feeling of caps in the air.’ [Tedious Autobio: Where was I? 1990. I was… twenty, living in Portsmouth, and a student. It was about 9.30ish in the morning and I was having a long relaxing shower. One of my flatmates banged on the shower door and shouted: “Hey Dazza! Thatcher’s resigned!” I started to shuffle a happy dance (it was a small shower) and sing Morning Has Broken at the top of my voice.]
November 21, 2000
[quote] ‘Zola called it documentation, and his documenting expeditions to the slums, the coal mines, the races, the folies, department stores, wholesale food markets, newspaper offices, barnyards, railroad yards, and engine decks, notebook and pen in hand, became legendary. At this weak, pale, tabescent moment in the history of American literature we need a battalion, a brigade of Zolas to head out into this wild, bizarre, unpredictable, Hog-stomping Baroque country of ours and reclaim it as literary property.’ — Tom Wolfe, “Stalking the Billion-Footed Beast,” November 1989, Harper’s.
November 12, 2000
[reading] Jurrassic Park by Michael Crichton: ‘”But we have soothed ourselves into imagining sudden change as something that happens outside the normal order of things. An accident, like a car crash. Or beyond our control like a fatal illness. We do not concieve of sudden, radical, irrational change as built into the very fabric of existence. Yet it is. And chaos theory teaches us,” Malcolm said, “that straight linearity, which we have come to take for granted in everything from physics to fiction, simply does not exist. Linearity is an artificial way of viewing the world. Real life isn’t a series of interconnected events occurring one after another like beads strung on a necklace. Life is actually a series of encounters in which one event may change those that follow in a wholly unpredictable, even devastating way”. Malcolm sat back in his seat, looking towards the other Land Cruiser, a few yards ahead. “That’s a deep truth about the structure of our universe. But for some reason, we insist on behaving as if it were not true.”‘
November 7, 2000
[science] I have two brains… one in my stomach! How cool is that? ‘This ‘second brain’ is made up of a knot of brain nerves in the digestive tract. It is thought to involve around 100 billion nerve cells – more than held in the spinal cord. Researchers believe this belly brain may save information on physical reactions to mental processes and give out signals to influence later decisions. It may also be responsible in the creation of reactions such as joy or sadness.’ [via Bloglet]
November 5, 2000
[burchill] Julie Burchill is still on form‘”Home” is where the people we love are. And once they’re gone, no cooking smells, stencilled borders or roses around the door will make it home again. It’s time we stopped kidding ourselves otherwise, put down our mindless implements, stopped our endless fidgeting and enjoyed our loved ones while we can.’
October 17, 2000
[text messaging] Text Message Theatre? Weblogtastic… Tom’s Inbox / Outbox I, Tom’s Inbox II, Meg’s Inbox / Outbox. ‘Yes. Be good. Or bad. Or something.’
October 5, 2000
[shoes] Two Pairs. No excuses… I’m a simple unsophisticated lad from Norfolk. Untouched by London ways…
October 1, 2000
[music] Radiohead are interviewed in The Observer… ”The middle-class thing has never been relevant,’ he spits. ‘We live in Oxford, and in Oxford we’re fucking lower class. The place is full of the most obnoxious, self-indulgent, self-righteous oiks on the fucking planet, and for us to be called middle class… well, no, actually. Be around on May Day when they all reel out of the pubs at five in the morning puking up and going “haw haw haw” and trying to hassle your girlfriend…”
September 18, 2000
[big numbers] According to this calendarhome.com I am 11,129 days old. Which is interesting.
September 16, 2000
[ch-ch-ch-changes] Guardian Unlimited explores how to change your life. ‘…many of us are creatures of habit: we know exactly what we like and we make sure we stay well inside our comfort zone. Just remember that there’s always somewhere more comfortable than your comfort zone, and eventually that thought will make you so uncomfortable that you’ll venture out.’
September 12, 2000
[weblogger on the verge of a…] …Nervous Breakdown. Sunday’s Observer actually covers what a nervous breakdown means… ‘The most common kind of breakdown, according to Dr Philip Timms, a consultant psychiatrist with the South London and Maudsley Trust, is someone developing moderately severe depression, normally over a period of weeks. ‘A person would begin to feel more on edge, find it more difficult to sleep, find themselves thinking more negatively about themselves, feel increasingly hopeless and incompetent about what they’re doing, and then there comes a day when they just can’t face going to work, or getting out of bed, perhaps. Breakdown occurs if a depressive episode is not dealt with – it builds up and it’s part of a process.’ ‘
September 9, 2000
[life] 101 ways to slow down‘102. Don’t worry about finding interesting/useful/life-changing links for your weblog.’