linkmachinego.com
12 November 2012
[london] 150 great things about the Underground … a blog celebrating 150 years of the London Underground … ‘On 10 January 2013, the London Underground will be 150 years old. This blog is a personal catalogue, in no particular order, of some of the network’s finest features, sensations and oddities. Think of it as a well-meaning doff of a roundel-sized hat…’
9 November 2012
[comics] Tom Spurgeon On 27 years Of John Constantine: ‘Here’s something I noticed when I got that 27-year-old number. That means that more time has passed between John Constantine being created and now than between the creations of Hal Jordan and John Constantine. That is… I don’t know if that’s depressing or astonishing or what. These characters aren’t young. An era of comics that many of us think of as still ongoing is really receding in the rear view mirror.’
8 November 2012
[sorkin] Sorkinisms – A Supercut … a fascinating edit of Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue recycling on TV and movies over the years ….

7 November 2012
6 November 2012
[crime] Light Entertainment: Our Paedophile Culture … Compelling, long-read from Andrew O’Hagan on Jimmy Savile, the BBC and British Culture …

Savile went to work in light entertainment and thrived there: of course he did, because those places were custom-built for men who wanted to dandle dreaming kids on their knees. If you grew up during ‘the golden era of British television’, the 1970s, when light entertainment was tapping deep into the national unconscious, particularly the more perverted parts, you got used to grown-up men like Rod Hull clowning around on stage with a girl like Lena Zavaroni. You got used to Hughie Green holding the little girl’s hand and asking her if she wanted an ice-cream. Far from wanting an ice-cream, the little girl was starving herself to death while helpfully glazing over for the camera and throwing out her hands and singing ‘Mama, He’s Making Eyes at Me’. She was 13.

There’s something creepy about British light entertainment and there always has been. Joe Orton meets the Marquis de Sade at the end of the pier, with a few Union Jacks fluttering in the stink and a mother-in-law tied in bunting to a ducking-stool. Those of us who grew up on it liked its oddness without quite understanding how creepy it was. I mean, Benny Hill? And then we wake up one day, in 2012, and wonder why so many of them turned out to be deviants and weirdos. Our papers explode in outrage and we put on our Crucible expressions before setting off to the graveyard to take down the celebrity graves and break them up for landfill. Of course. Graffiti the plaques and take down the statues, because the joy of execration must match the original sin, when we made heroes out of these damaged and damaging ‘entertainers’. We suddenly wish them to have been normal, when all we ever ask of our celebrities is that they be much more fucked up than we are. And what do we do now? Do we burn the commemorative programmes, scratch their names from the national memory?

5 November 2012
Gangnam Style Is Now the Third Most Popular YouTube Video Ever. Here Are Numbers 1 and 2 … Alexis Madrigal on the most popular YouTube videos… ‘If you’re old, you may not understand why these music videos have such obscenely high view counts. But the kids these days — by which I mean everyone in their 20s and below — seem to use YouTube like a jukebox. A jukebox that’s free and shows motion pictures! (Even if it is low-fidelity and seemingly the worst possible way of listening to music on a computer.)’
2 November 2012
[funny] Back From Yet Another Globetrotting Adventure, Indiana Jones Checks His Mail And Discovers That His Bid For Tenure Has Been Denied‘Dr. Jones’s behavior on campus has led not only to disciplinary action but also to concerns as to the state of his mental health. In addition to multiple instances of public drunkenness, Dr. Jones, on three separate occasions, has attempted to set fire to the herpetology wing of the biology department. Perhaps most disturbing, however, are the statements that come directly from Dr. Jones’s mouth. Several faculty members maintain that Dr. Jones informed them on multiple occasions of having discovered the Ark of the Covenant, magic diamond rocks, and the Holy Grail!’
1 November 2012
[life] 30ft effigy of Lance Armstrong wearing a Jim’ll Fix it badge to be burnedBonfire Society members said it was not easy to choose Armstrong, who had all his results from August 1998 removed on the recommendation of the United States Anti-Doping Agency and banned from cycling for life. Society co-ordinator Charles Laver said Savile and hook-handed cleric Abu Hamza were ruled out, as was Chancellor George Osborne for being “a bit boring”.
[comics] Bizarro Back Issues: Dracula Fights The Silver Surfer Because of Reasons (1976) … Chris Sims analyses a weirder than usual issue of The Tomb of Dracula‘I will take issue with the Surfer’s dialogue on the cover about Dracula being “the most deadly horror the Earth has ever known.” Believe me, I will be the first one to agree that Dracula is a pretty bad dude, but the Silver Surfer used to hang out with a guy who literally ate planets to survive. Dracula eats people, yes, but on his best day, I really don’t think he could eat six billion of ’em at once. Not that he wouldn’t try.Case in point, our story opens with Dracula doing what Dracula does, which is attempting to eat a young lady, calling everyone around him fools and dolts, and then flying off in a huff…’ [via Sore Eyes]
31 October 2012
[halloween] Concrete Zombie Garden Gnome … available to buy on Etsy. Happy Halloween! …

Zombie Garden Gnome

30 October 2012
[blogs] Jean-Paul Sartre’s Blog

This morning over breakfast S. asked me why I looked so glum.

“Because,” I said, “everything that exists is born for no reason, carries on living through weakness, and dies by accident.”

“Jesus,” S. said. “Aren’t you ever off the clock?”

29 October 2012
[movies] Behind the Scenes of Alien … some more movie production photographs from Retronaut [via Ian Bettridge].
28 October 2012
[bbc] BREAKING NEWS: BBC 2 declares War on BBC 1‘Fierce hand to hand fighting at BBC Television Centre escalated into a mortar battle in the early hours, as BBC 1 responded with heavy rounds of rocket fire, killing four Newsnight producers and prompting an application for voluntary redundancy from a fifth. Blue helmeted health and safety officials tried to separate the fighters, but were unable to produce the correct paperwork, and were asked to leave at gunpoint by privatised security staff.’
24 October 2012
[comics] The Thrills and Chills of Jack Kirby’s Next Issue Teasers in ‘Captain America’ … a look back at some of the back-issue blurbs from Kirby’s run on Captain America in the 70’s from Chris Sims‘I’m particularly excited about #209’s promise of “Yesterday’s fantasy! Today’s truth! Tomorrow’s terror?!”, which of course turned out to be a dude with a video camera for a head and a giant TV with his face on it where his stomach should’ve been. And the fact that Kirby considered that to be “yesterday’s fantasy” and “tomorrow’s truth” is a pretty good summary of everything great about his work.’
23 October 2012
[movies] Behind the Scenes of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” … fascinating collection of movie production photographs from Retronaut.
22 October 2012
[conspiracy] Jimmy Savile and David Icke – All the Pieces Matter … a summary of all the comspiracy theories posted to David Icke’s internet forum regarding Jimmy Savile … ‘Is it possible he has shaved his head or dyed his hair, smokes cigarettes and wears old man’s clothes and NHS glasses? Who would recognise an old man living in a semi-reclusive life that looked like that? I’m sure if he had the influence people here are suggesting, a fake death could have been arranged.’
19 October 2012
[web] The Gospel According to Pinterest … The New York Times on Pinterest – notably that an estimated 10% of Pinterest web traffic comes from inspirational quotes

“It’s one thing for a family member to tell you to get yourself together,” Ms. Martinez said. “It’s quite another when a person you follow on Pinterest presents some sound advice with a great typeface on a pretty background.”

18 October 2012
[comics] Dan Clowes inks Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko‘Every once and a while, here at danielclowes.com HQ, we’ll pull out unusual artifacts that were uncovered while rummaging through the artist’s archives (often to the discomfort of Mr. Clowes) to share with all.’
17 October 2012
[comics] The Avengers vs. Batman‘And you, Mr Wayne… take away your Batsuit and what are you?’
16 October 2012
[webstalking] Find that fireball! When journalist turns stalker … fascinating demonstration of efficient webstalking … ‘Back to the video for more clues. As the camera panned across the garden, we saw palm trees come into view – not so common in New York, perhaps, but pretty ubiquitous in Florida. We honed in on Naples, Florida. The knowledge database Wolfram Alpha returned the weather report below for Naples, Florida on the date the video was uploaded (October 5), and the word thunderstorm leaped out.’
15 October 2012
[comics] The Credible Hulk

14 October 2012
[comics] Q&A with Chris Ware‘Q: If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose? A: My grandmother.’
12 October 2012
[maps] The Phantom Island of Brazil … the fascinating story of a imaginary island … ‘Map-readers knew about Brazil long before America was discovered; but they didn’t think of it as a giant country on a distant continent. Brazil, also known by the name Hy-Brasil, was a small, mist-shrouded island in the North Atlantic, not too far off Ireland’s west coast. Only, Hy-Brasil never existed…’
11 October 2012
[comics] Lost Comics: Garry Leach’s Warpsmith … Forbidden Planet on some unreprinted (until recently) Alan Moore comics from the early part of his career … ‘The Warpsmiths themselves were created by a very young Alan Moore, and subsequently worked up into fully formed characters by Moore and Garry Leach for Warrior magazine, where they appeared in Marvelman and their own Warpsmith strips. According to reports, Leach was gifted ownership complete by Moore, and subsequently allowed their use in Miracleman, where they become an important part of the final Olympus storyline. When Garry Leach started the A1 anthology in ’89, he and Moore brought the Warpsmiths back. And that’s about it. A short but important history. Lost to time now. Except… ‘
10 October 2012
[london] London’s top ten rude roads‘Bellenden Road, Peckham, SE15.’
9 October 2012
[comics] Alan Moore’s Lost Stan Lee Essay … Originally published in 1983 … ‘Like most readers of that period I had become totally brainwashed by the sheer bellowing overkill of the Marvel publicity machine. If a cover-blurb in formed me that Millie the Model meets The Rawhide Kid was “The Greatest Action Epic of All Time” then by God, so it was and never mind about War and Peace, The Bible, King Solomon’s Mines and Moby Dick. As far as I was concerned, if it wasn’t written by Stan Lee it wasn’t in the running.’
8 October 2012
[comics] Wisdom Of The Ancients‘Who were you, DenverCoder9? – WHAT DID YOU SEE?!’

XKCD Cartoon

5 October 2012
[tv] Jimmy Savile: The birth of a paedophile hoax on “Have I Got News For You” … the origins of a hoax transcript supposedly from HIGNFY outtakes in which Paul Merton has a mini-breakdown on air and repeatedly insults Jimmy Savile and all but accuses him of being a paedophile …

Co-hoaxer Mike Scott says: “I was annoyed when the script leaked because it was a rough draft in dire need of roughening up. I thought it’d never fool anyone unless it was toned down a bit. I heard that Paul Merton was infuriated by it, which disappointed me at the time.”

“Amusingly,” says Joseph Champniss, “the publication resulted in something similar to what we’d planned, albeit via a more scenic route. It certainly wasn’t a planned forum-leak. Had we realised beforehand what was going to happen, we would have removed the credit from the base of the page! We probably should have put a stop to it sooner, but all three of us were fascinated – and not a little excited – about how far it could conceivably go.

“We found out for sure a bit later when solicitors, apparently acting on behalf of Sir James Savile OBE, managed to close down the site pending an enquiry re libel, defamation of character etc etc. As webmaster, Rob was required to write a legally-binding letter in hardcopy pointing out that the script in question had never actually been ‘officially’ published on the site (and that we had no plans to publish it in the future) before the ban could be lifted.”

One reason why I thought the fake transcript was so convincing was because, I assumed, the people who wrote it were TV insiders. But I was wrong. Appearances can be deceptive.

4 October 2012
[comics] Banned and Challenged Comics REVEALED! … a list of frequently banned and challenged comics in American libraries and schools … ‘Two employees of the Jessamine County Public Library in Kentucky were fired after they took it upon themselves to withhold the library’s copy of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier from circulation because they felt it was pornographic.’
3 October 2012
[comics] Alan Moore On the first twenty years of Cerebus … an article from 1997 …

“Did you see the look on her face when I suggested that the whole Cirinist/Kevillist agenda is to smother the light of reason in the dark of emotion? She had absolutely no answer!”

“Dave, that’s the last time I introduce you to my mother.”