Posts from September 2004

Sep 04

In September 2004 Blog Seven was a weblog about travel

Blog 7Post a comment • 278 views

In September 2004 Blog Seven was a weblog about travel.

Final scene from my First Actual Real Proper Holiday Abroad for 20 Years:

Blog 7Post a comment • 281 views

= days six/seven just as Travel Writing draws to a close

Drive out through the Saltash side of Marseille(s) towards Arles, stopping off for final swim in rocky basin. Back in N’mes we find the hotel Terminus, staffed by a tiny quavery little old lady frightened of everything involved in running a hotel. The blinds on my window are broken – which makes it somewhat tomb-like – but i am scared of scaring her even more. We finally find ourselves in the mysterious magical impossible-to-reach square (see previous entry), and order tapas. This takes an age to arrive, so we sit and chat and watch the subtle ripples of a passionate restaurant domestic off-stage. When we eventually ask why our food is taking so long, the waiter promises it is on its way : ‘but – and I don’t know how this happened – it all fell on the floor!” No! It was THROWN on the floor in a moment of chefly passion!

Next morning with a plane to catch we find Vick’s car is hemmed in. Luckily the quavery old woman is off duty, and there’s a very on-the-case young girl instead, who hunts about a bit for the owner before returning, with the immortal words: “I stole some keys, let’s steal a car!!” Which we do! (But we leave it where ours was parked = unlike her we are new to this). And then at last I discover what it really means to cut it fine when driving to the airport…

ILC Comics Poll Nominees

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Official Nominees List (as of 21/10)

100 Bullets (Azzarello/Risso)
1963 (Moore/Veitch/Bissette)
2001 Nights (Hoshino)
A1 (anthology)
ABC Warriors – First Series (Mills/McMahon)
Action (anthology)
Akira (Otomo)
Alec (Campbell)
Amazing Spider-Man 1-50 (Lee/Ditko/Romita)
Asterix (Goscinny/Uderzo)
Barefoot Gen (Nakazawa)
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (Miller)
Batman: Year One (Miller/Mazzuchelli)
Beatniks A Go Go (Ewing)
Beryl The Peril – Law Run (David Law)
Billy The Fish (uncredited)
Blankets (Thompson)
Bone (Smith)
Breakfast After Noon (Watson)
Bunty (anthology)
Calvin And Hobbes (Watterson)
Captain Britain (Moore/Davis)
Cerebus: Jaka’s Story (Sim/Gerhardt)
Charley’s War (Mills/Colquohoun)
Corto Maltese (Pratt)
Crisis On Infinite Earths (Wolfman/Perez)
Dan Dare: Rogue Planet (Bellamy)
DC: The New Frontier (Cooke)
Destructovore (Ewing/Traquino)
Detective Comics – Englehart Run (Englehart/Rogers)
Dirty Plotte (Doucet)
Doctor Strange – Ditko Run (Lee/Ditko)
Doom Patrol – Morrison Run (Morrison/Case)
Dragons Claws (Furman/Senior)
Dykes To Watch Out For (Bechtel)
Eightball #22: “Ice Haven” (Clowes)
Elektra: Assassin (Miller/Sienkiewicz)
Enigma (Milligan/Fegredo)
Fables (Willingham/various)
Fantastic Four – Lee/Kirby Run (Lee/Kirby)
Fantastic Four 232-260 (Byrne)
Flex Mentallo (Morrison/Quitely)
Frank (Woodring)
Fritz The Cat (Crumb)
From Hell (Moore/Cambpell)
Get Your War On (Rees)
Ghost World (Clowes)
Goodbye, Chunky Rice (Thompson)
Gotham Central (Brubaker/Lark)
Groo (Aragones)
Hard Boiled (Miller/Darrow)
Hate (Bagge)
Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits (Ennis/Dillon)
Hellboy: The Chained Coffin And Others (Mignola)
Horrible Histories (Terry Deary)
Howard The Duck (Gerber/various)
If? (Bell)
Jimmy Corrigan (Ware)
JL – Giffen/DeMatteis Run (Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire et al)
JLA – Morrison Run (Morrison/Porter)
Judge Dredd – Prog 600-700 Run (Wagner/various)
Judge Dredd – The Day The Law Died (Wagner/Bolland et al.)
Judge Dredd – Wagner/Smith Run (Wagner/Smith)
Julius Knipl, Real Estate Photographer (Katchor)
Krazy Kat (Herriman)
La Mouche (Trondheim)
League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol 1 (Moore/O’Neill)
Little Nemo In Slumberland (McKay)
Louis Riel (Brown)
Love And Rockets (Los Bros Hernandez)
MAD (Kurtzman et al.)
Master Race (Krigstein/Feldstein)
Maus (Spiegelman)
Miracleman Book III (Moore/Totleben)
Naughty Bits (Gregory)
Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind (Miyazaki)
Nemesis The Warlock – Books I to IV (Mills/O’Neil/Redondo/Talbot)
New X-Men – Morrison Run (Morrison/Quitely et al.)
Nick Fury, Agent Of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Steranko Run (Steranko)
Nikopol Trilogy (Bilal)
Peanuts – 1960s (Schulz)
Planetary (Ellis/Cassaday)
Plastic Man (Cole)
Pogo (Kelly)
Powers (Bendis/Oeming)
Promethea (Moore/Williams et al)
Queen And Country (Rucka/various)
Safe Area Goradze (Sacco)
Sandman: Endless Nights (Gaiman/various)
Sandman: The Doll’s House (Gaiman/various)
Schizo (Brunetti)
Seaguy (Morrison/Cassidy)
Shuck Unmasked (Smith/Menesse)
Sin City (Miller)
Sketchbook Diaries (Kochalka)
Sleeper (Brubaker)
Spirou And Fantasio (Franquin)
Spy Vs Spy (???)
Stuck Rubber Baby (Cruze)
Superman: Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow? (Moore/Swan/Perez/Schaffenberger)
Swamp Thing – Moore Run (Moore/Bissette)
Tales Of The Beanworld (Marder)
Tank Girl (Hewlett/Martin)
Terry And The Pirates (Canniff)
The Ballad Of Halo Jones (Moore/Gibson)
The Man Who Could Not Die (Unknown)
The Poor Bastard (Matt)
The Shadow (Helfer/Baker)
The Spirit (Eisner)
the story of the vivian girls, in what is known as the realms of the unreal, of the glandeco-angelinian war storm caused by the child slave rebellion (Darger)
Thimble Theatre 1930-1938 (Segar)
Tintin (Herge)
Tintin In The Congo (Herge)
Tintin: The Seven Crystal Balls (Herge)
Top 10 (Moore/Ha)
Transformers UK (Furman/various)
Trigan Empire (Lawrence)
Uncle Scrooge (Barks)
Urusei Yatsura – Perfect Collection (Takahashi)
Uzumaki (Ito)
Viz (anthology)
Watchmen (Moore/Gibbons)
Whizzer And Chips (anthology)
Willy The Kid (Baxendale)
Y: The Last Man (Vaughan/Guerra)
Yummy Fur (Brown)
Zenith (Morrison/Yeowell)
The methodology is very similar to that of the ILM 1990s poll, run by the mighty Stevem.

You nominate up to 4 comics. I compile a list of all the nominations. You then vote on the nominations. The number of votes you get, the scoring system, and the number of comics in the final poll will depend entirely on the number of nominations we get.

What do you mean by ‘comics’?

Whatever you want me to mean. A single story – a collection – a storyline or run on an ongoing series – a newspaper strip – an anthology title or story in one – a series in its entirety – you decide, Effendi!

Don’t nominate the exact same thing someone else has nominated – an issue or story within an already-nominated run is fine though. You will be allowed a short grace period for nomination changes after the original nominations close but don’t clog up the thread with them in case I don’t notice.

The only other thing I would ask is that if you’re nominating a storyline or run on a serially published comic you specify issue numbers if possible, and that you tell me the writer and artist(s) if you know them/her/him/it.

Deadline for this is October 31st 2004 (or more realistically, when I get up on November 1st).


Ladies of the Grand Tour by Brian Dolan

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Ladies of the Grand Tour by Brian Dolan

Or “Broadening Broads Abroad” as it should have been called, ha ha ha ha. This is of course about a time when travel actually still had the capacity to broaden the mind. I must admit I’ve only read the first 3 chapters properly, but I didn’t have the time to do a proper review before this Blog moves on, so what you gonna do? A nice read on holiday, when the only thing that’s broadening my mind is the possibility that engineers within the same economic zone as my own residence haven’t worked out sanitary plumbing that allows you to flush toilet paper down the toilet. YOU HAVE TO DO WHAT? Carefully dispose of it in a bin? So i’m to keep a bin-load of shitty paper in the apartment. Fine.

Sorry, got distracted there. It’s a simple, academic-ish read, and it certainly educated me about the earlier movers in the fight for female equality and emancipation. Mary Wollstonecraft and the like. Aw, bless! It is sobering to be reminded of the suffocation of women’s intellectual rights, of a time when it was seen as macho to travel, to be a connoisseur of world culture. Ironic considering that in my experience, it’s now the women who actually organise the holiday, worry about the packing, and the money exchange, and stamp their pretty little feet in frustration when the men (or is it just me) say “Don’t worry, I can pack in 30 minutes. And I’ll just add my toothbrush to your toilet bag – that’ll do me”

So yes, the past is a different country, but the point is you don’t need a bleeding time machine to broaden your mind about the past do you? I look forward to the time when the internet makes traveling-to-tour redundant. Then maybe we won’t use up so much fuel travelling everywhere by aeroplane, and the ice caps won’t melt and drown it all anyway.

Dirty Lies…

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Dirty Lies…

This is not what I go to Popbitch for, but it was there in the middle of their briefing otherwise stuffed to the gills with prurient details about gay pop stars.

>> Dirty Lies << Radiation bombs are a government fantasy Last week?s BBC drama about a dirty bomb in London has helped keep everyone terrified about terrorism. But a forthcoming documentary shows that dirty bombs are actually a fantasy. The Americans should know: the CIA tried for years to make one, before realising that blowing up radioactive material won't hurt anyone. Radioactive dust disperses so quickly you'd need to be exposed to it for about a year before any real damage occurred. The documentary, The Power Of Nightmares, shows how politicians are using fake stories like the dirty bomb to keep people scared, and themselves in power. It also demonstrates that the claim that Al-Qaeda is a global, hidden, terror network is also a myth. So what channel is this BBC-debunking documentary showing on? Er, BBC2. The Power Of Nightmares. BBC2, 20th October, 9pm. Well whatever, I saw dirty bomb and it was thoroughly unconvincing. Since when have bombs been clean things anyway? It took them years to clean up the mess that was the Bull Ring.

BBC on fine form today.

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 273 views

BBC on fine form today.. “When the beverage has boiled to a certain level, it sparkles and gives explosive-like rumbling sounds when you open the pot.”. The Brown Wedge’s Vic Fluro once invented a cocktail he called the Al-Quaeda, I believe it involved all flavours of Aftershock mixed together. No, I wouldn’t either.

Superman Lovers

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 338 views

Superman Lovers: this seems like the worst reason for a baby’s name ever. Would other European countries be so draconian, however? I am sure for instance that a baby born in Germany being named “Ubermensch” because when he was born “his arm pointed upwards” would be perfectly acceptable.

Scenes from my First Actual Real Proper Holiday Abroad for 20 Years: day five

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Day spent swimming off (and reading on) a rock ledge under Les Calanques, then driving back to Marseille(s) where the Peron Hotel now has a room free! mark s wanders city alone looking for fruit and meets the most thuggish-looking cat in europe, which hides behind a thistle when he tries to photograph it. The Peron seems to be home to mysterious unidentified Graham Greene activities and types (inc.several little old ladies, a man in a panama hat and a giant photo of the late M.Peron on the dining room wall), plus also a dusty stuffed duck tied to the landing wall. When we try and phone home, we have the correct code for phoning UK from France, but not the correct code for phoning 2004 from the 1930s. Over breakfast next Day, the management first plays ‘World Football Chants Done Disco-Fashion’, then ? to our infinite glee – the Authentic Sioux-Celtic Red New Age Stylings of our war-painted buddies from Le Ciotat. But only one day to go :(

9 Songs To Go…!

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 754 views

9 Songs To Go…!

Until the 1000th No.1. From the record industry’s point of view it would be neat if the 1000th No.1 also coincides with this year’s Xmas No.1. Will the public be so accomodating? With another week at the top for Eric Prydz likely the margin of error is small – it seems far more likely that the ‘historic’ 1000th chart-topper will fall in the ‘Babylon Zoo slot’, sometime in January. In other bands, no-marks and has-beens of the world unite: this is your chance for a place of honour in the Guinness Book, next to Nicole, whose “A Little Peace” was the 500th notch on the ultimate pop bedpost.

(Personally I’m hoping that the merger of download and sales charts happens after the 1000th no.1, as I think that might be a neat cut-off point for Popular. But since it’ll be 2010 before I get to 2004 anyway this is somewhat moot.)

Anyway, if Santa DOES smile on the record industry, who is likely to get the big one this Christmas. Current odds are, apparently:

X Factor Winner 5 – 1
Cat Stevens and Ronan Keating 6 – 1
Mick Jagger & Joss Stone 8 – 1
U2 8 – 1
Westlife 10 – 1
Girls Aloud 10 – 1
Madonna 14 – 1
Donny Osmond 14 – 1
Michelle McManus 16 – 1
Robbie Williams 16 – 1

Ye Gods. Merry Christmas!

(Uncoincidentally, it’s CLUB POPULAR tonight, at the Chapel Bar, Islington, near Angel tube, flyer with map available on the front page of FT, free entry, #1 hits all night, etc etc.)

the trust issue

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 253 views

the trust issue

[ps i don’t think i made a remotely clear point in three tries in the comments to barry’s post below! (memo to self: don’t post when you got up at 6am fact-checking footnotes), and i think i’ll leave it for another, more clear-headed day]

plus also anyway: the real fatality in the upcoming us elections isn’t trust in science (probably holding its own for now) , or in the media (oops) or in politicians (haha) but in OPINION POLLING!! The heartblood of our mass information retrieval system!! oh no!!

gallup in particular is taking lumps for invalid modelling – ie preselecting its sample to reflect hope or prejudiced guesswork re the spread of voter support* ===> of course gallup’s critics are highly partisan themselves (ie if the model’s wrong, how do they know it’s not wrong in the OTHER DIRECTION) but the deep point stands: small-sample polls are a guide “all other things being equal”, ie when the underlying pattern is fairly stable and shifts are provisional shallow swings —> but if the situation on the ground really is radically unusual (= huge surges in new voter registration for or against a given candidate; or = very stable heartland voters on either side plus untypically volatile undecideds, say)

*(one telling datum: a huge fall in the number of folks who actually give anwers in phone-polls, as opposed to not picking up, or hanging up w/o giving an answer, from c.80% ten years ago to c.25% now [figures from memory] ==> anyway it means the people staying on the phone are self-selected as choosing to register an opinion publicly, if not necessarily truthfully: what this says abt their politics i don’t know, however)