Posts from 13th September 2004

Sep 04

“Hey, Former Internet Analyst, is [SITE X] worse than it used to be?”

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 337 views

“Hey, Former Internet Analyst, is [SITE X] worse than it used to be?”

“The answer, grasshopper, is always yes. But only for oneself. Three years reading, five years sitebuilding and three more years working on the net boils down to this one obvious finding: Internet culture is nomadic. Web communities work like institutions – like school, like university, like prison. The newbie-top dog-release arc is the same. The only difference is that you have to realise yourself when your time’s up, and go and find the next one. This is nothing to do with the web contra the ‘real world’ – of course your online experiences are real. But a web community is not a community: it’s a vector.”

“Wow, heavy stuff, FIA. So why are you still lurking?”

“Sod off, grasshopper.”

Chilled Out Entertainers R Us

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 294 views

Chilled Out Entertainers R Us: my status as the ‘office DJ’ seems to be cemented. The latest commission is for our annual biggest-of-the-bigwigs convention, this year in Cape Cod. Sadly I’m not being flown out, box boy in tow, for a superstar set – I’ve been asked to provide a couple of CDs to play at the end-of-convention disco. I can just about imagine how drunken and ghastly this event is, but it’s not a pleasant effort. Anyway this is a golden opportunity to soundtrack (remotely) the social lives of 100 or so people in whose multiple hands my career prospects lie, who are letting off steam after a week of power cocktails and backstabbing. What goes on the discs?

I think what I’m aiming for is a disc or so of low-key but fairly well known stuff to provide background play, and then a disc for when the party gets hotter. Cheese is in: the object is for people to make fools of themselves, but only mildly. However this is not a wedding DJ set – nobody wants to hear “Brown Eyed Girl” again (oh, who am I kidding – but I’m not going to provide it). Pretty much any era is acceptable. Naughty lyrics are out, but other marginally subversive tactics would gladden my soul. The first song on the list is Bus Stop’s marvellous reworking of “Kung Fu Fighting”, to give you an idea of how high/low I’m aiming. So – any suggestions?

actually i didn’t see

Do You SeePost a comment • 198 views

actually i didn’t see

at least not the actual CBS news report that waved around some ancient smoking-gun documents which blogistan’s rightwing myrmidons then leapt into collective action to prove could have been forged hence were forged – what i *do* see, tho, is the start of the playing out, in v.high-stakes style, of the radical shift in Gatekeeper Power first intimated (where else?) in Pop Idol: ” The ‘news object’ can no longer be given sealed attributes in newspaper backrooms,” notes a commentator quoted in this post; and as the poster astutely notes (in re: dan rather not kym marsh but what’s the dif anyway? except KM = better obv): “All of which means this is not just a scandal, but a cultural theatre for it…”

Exactly. Where alt.rock just rolls over and whines abt the crisis-of-valuation implied by the rise of reality-TV talent shows etc, the would-be pol-pundits of the web see an opportunity and effect a stage invasion, to do battle in the arena created by the foregrounding (and sexing up) of the Act of Judgement – and the mainstream media are beginning to fight back, defending their jobs professional skills and values (OK this last bit didn’t happen yet much – but i’m arguing it will). It’s exciting (plus also scary) bcz way more rides on the outcome than the US election, politically, and bcz it’s way harder to see what that outcome might actually be…

[UPDATE: useful examination of the relative “top-downness” of the warblog region of the net, which increases (says this guy) its speed and effectiveness, stage-invasion-wise; Atrios suggests a concrete correlative for the concept of “cultural theatre”]

Tea and nymph-athy

Do You SeePost a comment • 429 views

Tea and nymph-athy
Finally weary of sleeping their way around New York, certain members of the Sex and the City alumni have turned their attention to lucrative advertising contracts.

Sarah Jessica Parker (owner of one of the top TLA names in Hollywood, arguably second only to Buffy’s SMG) negotiated her way round a bizarre shower gel cameo to unsurprisingly land herself squarely in The Gap, doubtless bringing in much-needed millions for the Broderick household.

But co-star Kim Cattrall (she with the character of particularly easy virtue) has taken a more, um, adventurous route.


Brian Glover must be rolling in his grave.

Formerly the responsibility of quaintly funny cartoon northern cloth-capped men, Tetley’s would now have us believe that their products are literally better than sex (an opinion no one would be surprised to hear DYS’s editor agree with).

The quaintly funny northernness is still there, care of an aunt-figure no-nonsense straight woman, but her purpose is no more than acting as set-up for the star’s next salvo of trademark innuendo.

So who at Tetley’s decided that having SJP’s oversexed sidekick fondle a decidedly phallic tube of tea and make smutty Earl Grey jokes would boost sales? And how much did they have to pay Kim to get her into bed?

Fresh from one of the hottest shows on TV, was the chance to advertise hot drinks in the UK really the best offer she got?

One thing’s clear: both partners in this relationship are desperate. The question is, will anyone still respect them in the morning?

FT Top 100 Films

Do You SeePost a comment • 786 views

FT Top 100 Films

Anthony Easton says:

Why the fuck is this the Christmas movie of choice. I mean it has the mawkishness, the sacrifice to the altar of family, the mealy mouthed redemption, and the idea that everyone can make a difference and it isn’t really marred with the racism (White Christmas), overacting (Christmas Carol), insulin shock sweetness (Miracle on 34th Street) or self reflexive irony and strangeness (anything stop motion) of other movies of this ilk – but it does hinge on a suicide, not something that is discussed very much in uplifting family fare.

Think of Mr Smith Goes to Washington, then or other nonsense that Capra pushed down our collective throats. He seems to believe that being pure of heart and actually believing with all the earnestness you can muster will change everything – he gives the naive hope. Which is all one wants for Christmas, I guess.

Peter Baran says

I almost feel heretical in saying I like It’s A Wonderful Life, the flip-flop concensus on it being much what Anthony says above. But I like its half-arsedness. It is trying to be feelgood, but consider the situation. Man tries to commit suicide, so God sends a really rubbish trainee angel down to show him what would happen if he had never existed. To basically lie to him, to stop him committing a mortal sin (lie – because the laws of causality are nowhere near as cut and dried as Clarence suggests). Why is this? It is clear that in the world that Capra is presenting everyone is going to hell. Everyone is a sinner and the good guys are losing hand over fist in the enternal game. Why is such a lousy angel sent? The suggestion is almost that you have to almost incapable to even be good. Operating in the modern world is akin to commiting a sin from the outset. If you look at the rows upon rows of corrupt people in Mr Smith Goes To Washington, this jaundiced view of the world is upheld. It’s A Wonderful Life is a tremendously cynical, film which cleverly uses its feelgood trappings to disguise a seething evisceration of capitalism. When better to see that but Christmas.

Mr. 82

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 341 views

Mr. 82

This fellow is one of the more intriguing coves posting on ILM. His posts, several on the same thread, are always under different names, rarely does an identity appear twice. His modus operandi tends to be to reprint a music news story and ask, neutrally, for comment on it. Sometimes he joins the comments with other news stories. Unlike most persistent anonymes, he is never abusive and rarely gives himself away. I thought for a while that he was a multitude, posting from some web cafe or other, but his news-based style is oddly distinctive. I wonder sometimes if I was the only mod who ever noticed him.

This thread – about Eric Prydz – is one of his, a departure from his norm. Last night I thought it was stealth marketers – and maybe that’s been Mr.82’s game all along, starting threads about PR clients. If so he’s mostly been more subtle than this. He recurs here too, firstly as Missy P and then as “Callums Mom”, showing his grasp of ILM lore. Perhaps he’s ‘going native’.

He’s right about one thing, though: that video is filthy.

(Mr.82 is not his real name, those are two of the numbers from his IP address.)

Bloody Shirtlifters

TMFDPost a comment • 297 views

Bloody Shirtlifters

Tim Cahill was sent off for Everton on Saturday for receiving a second yellow-card for doing a Ravenelli style celebration. Such rulings make my blood boil; I enjoy seeing players celebrating, forming as it does a rare connection between fans and players, where we do the same thing (before they go off to millionaireville and we go home). Indeed, the sight of a referee going to usher players back to the centre circle really, really aggravates me; killjoys trying to stop outrageous bursts of spontaneous enjoyment.

I wondered why the new rulings was put in place though, and was surprised when I saw the ‘powerpoint video’ (as English Referee Chief Keith Hackett endearingly described it) used to demonstrate the ruling. Bang went my thought that it was a way of avoiding seeing pictures of young relatives, messages in prasie of God, the manager or your personal sports therapist, or heaven forfend, in support of striking workers.

But no. Having seen the examples, the thinking behind the rules seems to be that…well, there isn’t. The chest can still be shown as part of celebrations, as long as you don’t actually lift any part of the shirt above your head. Why this is such an appalling state of affairs it needs banning is utterly beyond me.

I’d rather ban such celebrations on grounds of naffness than anything else. I don’t like choreographed celebrations at all. I blame Roger Milla. The best I ever saw was Herman Hreidarsson for Ipswich, who scored a header, ran over to the crowd, stood on an advertising hoarding then basically stage dived into the crowd. He was booked, naturally.

Strangers on a Photo

Blog 7Post a comment • 1,144 views

Strangers on a Photo

I was looking at some old holiday photos last night and was struck by the random strangers that end up in family photos. You get chatting to other families, and the young kids play with each other on the beach, and have pictures taken with each other.

The kids usually look like they’re having fun, but the enjoyment looks intimate, in the sense that you’re enjoying playing together. It’s quite personal and the sense of mystery for me is very strong – you recognise everyone in a happy picture of smiling laughing faces except a small child the same age as you and no-one else in the picture can remember. They’re a complete fantasy screen to me – I wonder what they’ve done, or are doing. Are they still alive? Maybe they’ve become famous, or maybe you’ve met them again without any flicker of recognition.

I think part of the eerieness is that this is a two-way street. Someone somewhere is thinking the same thing, and they’re looking at a picture of you.


The Brown WedgePost a comment • 315 views

Londoners! You (if you are anything like me) will hear the news story on the local news on Friday and curse your luck because your weekend will be arranged. It’s Open House weekend again and careful planning is required.

There seem to be more buildings than ever. I’m not sure this impression is correct: I suspect if there were, the website would let us know all about it. Nevertheless, the complete list of buildings took 22 sides to print off.

Open House weekend is great because it gives you a chance to see the insides of builidngs which otherwise would remain a mystery, that much is obvious. It’s also great because it gives you an incentive to get to bits of London which otherwise aren’t on your beat. And unfamiliar bits of London necessarily = interesting, not least because they also = new pub opportunities. But to know where the best pubs are concealed requires research too.

And routes can be tricky: a cursory glance at the list shows that there are places I’d like to see as far apart as Sydenham, Greenwich, Barnet and Harefield (no, I don’t know either, apparently it’s in the London Borough of Hillingdon, but since I didn’t know there was a London Borough of Hillingdon until about two minutes ago, I’m not much the wiser).

Get planning!

DR and Quinch Have Fun On Earth

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 434 views

DR and Quinch Have Fun On Earth – the first DR & Quinch story by Alan Moore and Alan Davies in full. Again from the BBC cult comics site. Sorry about that, but I think it needed pointing out all the same.