Suzanne Vega Fanclub, Piccadilly Line, 01/07/2000
REVIEW - Chicken Run. What's up with ending your days as a pie anyway? After all, it meant they were getting eggstra millet. As for building a plane, what silly pluckers. They should have just got in the pastry and stopped chickening out.
P.S. Hope I have got it bastard right this time?
Well, as you haven't actually slagged off the film at any point, and I think it's one of the funniest damn things I've seen so far this year... I guess you have got it bastard right this time. Respect The Cock, as I believe Tom Cruise said once.
Carole Shields, Philadelphia, USA, 10/07/2000
Do you ever feel like your responsibilities sap the life out of you? I guess this is why artists need benefactors. By the time you are done with the ordinary slop that makes up 3/4s of your life your creative genius has gone packing. Not that I fancy myself as any sort of genius mind you. This is after a mindnumbing week at the beach w/ my mother. Good for resting the shoulder (still not right) competitive tanning and reading, but otherwise no stimuli.
Read Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason. (I really ought to try my hand at writing if this drivel gets published. And they make a movie out of the first one!) John Irving's A Widow for One Year. He really can weave a story although he does recycle various elements, though I think a lot of writers do that. Malachy McCourt's (Frank's bro) A Monk Swimming (Catholic childspeak for "amongst women" as in "blessed art thou"). I found Malachy to be less engaging than Frank. He was so pompous and his jokes were not funny. It got more interesting once he became a gold smuggler. And Love in a Blue Time by Hanif Kureishi. I am reading all of his. As much as everything is called "fiction", it seems pretty obvious that he left his wife and kids for another woman who subsequently dumped him, as he has written a few stories w/ this theme. Unless it's just all his "friends". (That's not my condom/drugs. I'm just holding it for a friend!)
Awaiting your pals' [Edinburgh] reviews on the site.
(scrabbles around in the heap of discarded books by the side of the bed to see what he's been reading lately)
- Wilson by David Mamet. Oh. My. God. This is a complete and total bloody mess. Some sort of catastrophe results in all the world's information being destroyed, and all that's left is this collection of articles and essays, which have been covered in addenda and footnotes by the planet's academics. There's an interesting joke at its centre, but it's not one that deserves to be stretched over 350 pages.
- A Certain Age by Tama Janowitz. Loved her novel The Male Cross-Dresser Support Group, which took a central female character and subjected her to so much appalling bad luck and mounting catastrophe that the only sensible reaction is to laugh your head off. This is the same, only better. Gets curiously dark 3/4 through, but rallies for a tremendous last-minute (and I mean last-minute) upturn.
- Whips And Furs by Jesus H Christ (edited & introduced by Stewart Home). Steven Wells of Attack! Books can make all the offers of sexual favours he likes, but I'm not going to do him another promo piece and that's the end of it. Having said that, this is Attack!'s best release to date: a rather smart, cleverly written shaggy dog story, with a nice sense of mounting intrigue and a magnificent punchline.
- Pre-Code Hollywood by Thomas Doherty. A rip-roaring study of Hollywood's Dirty Period between 1930 and 1934, with pictures. If nothing else, it has the best cover I've seen all year: a genuine 1940s photo taken by a Paramount studio photographer, in an attempt to break as many Hays Code rules as possible within a single image. See Amazon for the result.
- Dead Long Enough by James Hawes. Mentioned him last time we had a literary discussion: this is his latest, and again sneaks some interesting insights into the English male midlife crisis into a sort of thriller plot. Be warned that his previous book, the rather fine Rancid Aluminium, has been adapted into what's been universally accepted as the worst movie released so far this century.
By the way, well spotted about Hanif K. Intimacy caused a right old stink when it was first published here, because that's exactly what he did to his own family.
Suzanne Vega Fanclub, Piccadilly Line, 19/07/2000
REVIEW: Battle of The Bands - Globe Theatre - 16/07/00
First on was the sublime Suzanne Vega, and then there were some others; nuff said really.
P.S. Have you abandoned your letters page? Are we now just junk mail? Or has Brooke Shields of 'just Phillydelfeaa' 30-06-00 been given the last word?
I was at this gig with Suze, and I feel a little editorial balance may be called for here. This wasn't a Battle Of The Bands, it was in fact a WOMAD acoustic showcase of acts from around the world. Ms Vega appeared on stage first as a cunning ploy to get punters into the show, and the rest of the evening was dedicated to performers from as far afield as Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Morocco and Australia. It was a serious showcase of world music, and to treat it as some sort of popularity contest just demeans the noble ideals behind it. (Though for my money, Tibetan foxtress Yungchen Lhamo pissed over the lot of them.)
As should now be apparent, the letters page has merely been under reconstruction over the last couple of weeks, as I've been moving all the mail from the first half of 2000 into the archives. But part of the delay's been down to things being a bit quiet on the mail front. Much as I enjoy the regular bulletins from Suze and, er, 'Brooke', how about some letters from the rest of you? See front page for details.
Suzanne Vega Fanclub, Piccadilly Line, 23/07/2000
[re: letter of 19/07/2000]
Er yes. Just to add a nod of agreement to your insightful review of Battle of the Bands - Globe Theatre. You are of course spot on, and not the only one to notice; Tibetan foxtrot Won Sung Once must have been pissed to make a noise like that.
Oi! Less of your cheek, or I'll start telling people where your site is...
Iempnlhm Aqzbxs, that's what it said on the mail header honestly, 26/07/2000
Are you fed-up with being ripped -off ?
We constantly hear about fraud on the internet, yet the biggest "rip-off" that we all experience is perpetrated by the Merchant Service Providers and the "famous" payment gateways who charge as much as 8 percent of the transaction value.
The spectacular charges they apply to internet "cardholder not present" traffic acts to discourage genuine enterprise and punish e-commerce by bleeding it dry.
Twelve months ago I was so disgusted with exorbitant UK charges that I worked tirelessly to find a company who could bring these costs down, while keeping the business in the UK rather than dealing with some shady off-shore financial world.
So, if you would like to benefit from my research, and if you prefer to deal with a UK payment gateway that can offer you transaction costs for as little as 39p... yes that's right....39p per transaction !! then you must hit this mailto link and provide your full contact details (name, company, position, tel ,e mail, address) in your e mail.
and you will be contacted with details of who they are....
Now this is how bad things are getting. I'm getting so little new mail these days that I'm reduced to publishing the spam I receive. And you don't want that, do you? So why not fill in the form or follow the mail link on the front page, and let me know what you think of the site, or just mouth off generally. You're all welcome.
Except for you, obviously, Iempnlhm. Fuck off and don't come back.
Rob Petersen, webmaster of The Invisibles Art Gallery, 29/07/2000
[re: The Invisibles review]
Y'all kill me...
"The Invisibles Art Gallery, run by someone who used to be appealingly named Sixmonkey but now goes under the slightly more dull name of Rob"
Thanks for the mention...
(the hardly dull) Rob
Hey, don't take it so personally. Some of my best friends are Robs. By the way, readers, even if you're the sort of crazed fool who doesn't particularly like The Invisibles, the rest of Rob's homepage is definitely worth a look.
Suzanne Vega Fanclub, Piccadilly Line, 31/07/2000
REVIEW - More Specials - The Standard, Walthamstow
All you punks and all you teds, national front and natty dreads, mods, rockers, hippies and skinheads; keep on fighting till you dead. As for everyone else, let's do the timewarp again, with this Bastard good (in my opinion) tribute band. Still, who am I to say, who am I to stay; am I just a hypocrite, another piece of your bullshit.
P.S. Sorry for using the word Bastard again. I wasn't trying to be a Rude boy. Don't do the dog. I don't want a Ska.
N.B. 'Let's do the timewarp again' by kind permission of Star Trek - Voyager
We went out on Saturday night, and we came home on Sunday morning. And it was well worth the journey. If you have any love in your heart for the Two Tone era, and the More Specials are playing a pub in your town, check them out. You won't regret it. Probably.
Lee Goldberg, executive producer of Martial Law, 01/08/2000
Hey, thanks for the perceptive write-up on Martial Law (I laughed my ass off) and the link to my site (sorry I gave away the finale!).
Memo to self: next time I refer to someone as a "bastard" on my web site, I
must NOT put a link back to their own site on the same page (assuming that's
how you tracked me down). Apologies.
Thanks for the kind words, and for the show: it's a shame you aren't making any more. Still looking forward to that series finale anyway. (According to a followup mail from Lee later the same day, "I can promise you that the finale is cheesy fun... it certainly won't be mistaken for high drama (or even low drama). I hope you enjoy it." Can't wait.)
Daniel Turner, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, 02/08/2000
I love the site!! I found it after you put it on the FilmUnlimited Talkboard. Love the comic stuff, and I got the Fight Club DVD after reading your review. Great film, amazing DVD set. See ya later.
You know, in two years of running this site, you're the first correspondent to have even mentioned the comics articles. (Apart from webmasters of Invisibles sites asking me to update their URLs, of course.) Glad to hear that the pieces on Vertigo and League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen do at least have an audience. You wouldn't catch me anywhere near that Marvel bollocks, though.
Carole Shields, Philadelphia, USA, 03/08/2000
I can't pull this up b.c. no memory so I thought I'd send it to you, let me know...
http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/144/jimi_mooney.html [dead link]
You've had a problem with downloading MP3s for some time, haven't you,
Carole? Lars Ulrich and Metallica must be so pleased with you.
Anyhoo, this is a link to the MP3 page for Jimi Mooney, who comes from Phila like our beloved correspondent. The guy obviously owns far too many Marc Almond albums for his own good, but I can think of worse influences to wear on your sleeve. Good tune, try it for yourselves.
Daniel Turner, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, 03/08/2000
[re: letter of 02/08/2000]
I share your opinion on Marvel stuff. The only good stuff to come out of them was the Frank Miller stuff of the Eighties (Elektra, etc.).
As well as The Invisibles & Preacher, do you rate Hellblazer as highly? I'm a fan of John Constantine, especially Garth Ennis' run.
With regard to Grant Morrison, did you like his earlier stuff like Doom Patrol & Arkham Asylum for DC, and Zenith and Big Dave for 2000AD (when it was good)? Did you find Big Dave funny or were you outraged and offended??
Due to time restraints and money issues, I unfortunately can't afford to blow upwards of £2.50 on 24 page comics these days (not since I entered the adult realm of jobs, bills and responsibilities and all that other tedious stuff). I have a mate who is completely obsessed by The Beatles, and he finds it necessary to take the piss out of my interest in comics. If you look at the evidence, people obsessed by The Beatles tend to shoot or stab their idols. Comics fans tend to just want to talk and get a signature on their comic...
Keep up the good work on the site.
We don't get much comics debate around these parts, so the rest of you will have to amuse yourselves for a couple of minutes while Dan and I talk funnybooks.
OK, fair's fair, I do have some Marvel books in the collection, mainly from the Epic line. Basically Elektra, Skrull Kill Crew (Grant!) plus Bill Sienkiewicz's masterwork Stray Toasters, which nobody even talks about these days.
I don't mind Hellblazer, but it's highly dependent on who's writing it: Garth Ennis definitely had the best run of Constantine, though Jamie Delano's doing some fine work in the current Bad Blood specials. I haven't got round to reading much early Morrison, but I loved Big Dave, not to mention the equally funny The New Adventures Of Hitler. Grant does comedy beautifully, and it's a shame that twats like that bloke out of Hue And Cry have talked him out of writing more of it.
Sadly, I think my comics reading days are drawing to a close. At the time when I wrote the relevant pieces, Transmet, Invisibles and Preacher were the only three monthly books I was buying regularly: The Invisibles has finished, Preacher finishes next month, and I haven't found any permanent replacements for them yet. I'm still willing to be surprised, though.
chipits, at home, montreal, 08/08/2000
mmmoooooooooooooooo yerself, ©hip. Note that this mail also contained a link to the website of SASS, which is what Fight Club's Project Mayhem would probably look like if it was run by Canadian students. Don't forget to try the quizlet.
Caroline Shields, Philadelphia, USA, 09/08/2000
[re: letter of 03/08/2000]
I am finally getting back to you on this, but 2 insults in one email!!! Yes, I have that memory problem and anytime someone touches my computer they seem to ___ up something unrelated, so I have hesitated in getting the problem fixed. I have tried lo-fi and it goes into my "download manager" and then I don't know how to pull it up. (I admit to not being the brightest person re computers, maybe you can help.) I had my panties in an uproar about that Marc Almond comment, then realized it was true! I sent you the next song, still can't get to it myself.
Just returned from 2 days in NYC. Always fun. Went to WWF wrestling (ack! - "What's that smell? The Rock, cooking!!", I don't know, it makes no sense to me either), Rodeo Bar (Live C+W, a great crowd), the Whitney for Barbara Kruger exhibition - "I shop, therefore I am" (sound familiar?), and Carnival Strippers - photos of Susan Meiselas from 70's New England grind shows. I stayed at the (not sure I would really recommend this to anyone) Carlton Arms. The entire hotel is decorated in outsider art. All the walls in my room and bath had mosaic depictions of madonnas, virgins, etc. No air conditioning (NY at this time of year is hot as s___), no phone, tv, wake up calls etc. But it was somewhat charming in its third worldliness and price is $68 per nt. single. (You decide. It does come w/ 2 cats but I am not sure you could get them to sleep in your room, if that is a deciding factor!)
Love, Carole (queen of parenthesis)
"Two insults in the same mail"? They weren't that bad, surely, especially when you consider the treatment that Lee "Bastard" Goldberg got. As far as your MP3 downloading problems go, if it's definitely a memory issue, there's not much you can do except get more memory. Most of the problems people have with music downloads stem from files being too big, resulting in long load times and devoured disk space. Lots of work's been done over the last few years to squish files down to virtually nothing, but you need memory at the far end for the task of unsquishing them again. Sorry about that. (Meanwhile, Jimi Mooney [dead link] still sounds like Marc Almond, and it's still no problem at all.)
My two nephews (aged 10 and 6) will be greatly impressed that you made it to a WWF bout. Particularly as they consider WWF to be more technically proficient and sportsmanlike than WCW. (By the way, the nephews also say that Extreme Championship Wrestling should be avoided at all costs, because it's "gay".)
Suzanne Vega Fanclub, Picket dilly lion, 10/08/2000
[re: The Monkey's Pants [dead link], Simian Substitute Site Of The Month for August 2000]
Who is this Simion geezer anyway, and why is he featuring that Buffy The Vampire Slayer website? I have enough 'issues' with that programme as it is. No I am not talking about the witchcraft, the excessive violence, nor the over proliferation of demons. No, what's worrying me is that I'm starting to express a preference for Buffy's Mum. Is this the start of a mid-life crisis?
P.S. I wonder what Willow's Mum looks like!
Oh, dear. You realise the whole idea of the Simian Substitute Site is to provide a clean, wholesome, monkey-related alternative to the filth I provide. If it's inspiring those sorts of thoughts in you, it looks like I failed this month...
Suzanne Vega Fanclub, Piccadilly Line, 12/08/2000
[re: letter of 10/08/2000]
This week's Buffy on BBC2 had to have been the best episode ever. In fact the show should now be called Willow - the sexy, bad (or nice) ass, vampire. By comparison, someone like Drusilla looks a complete pussy. (I said 'a' by the way, not 'the'.) So why oh why did dimwit Giles send her back to an alternative reality, when he could have sent the original Willow instead?
I would actually like an answer to this, mr Spank.
P.S. Bored Now.
I'm not particularly well up on matters Buffoid, despite one or two people (especially certain inhabitants of Film Unlimited) insisting it's exactly the sort of thing I'd like. But I've been told that the solution for people in your condition is to track down movies featuring the Buffy stars, where they get to let their hair down and be all slutty and that. I'll point you in the direction of Cruel Intentions and American Pie, and then run away very fast. "SAY MY NAME, BITCH!"
Uncle Tony, Reading / Berks, 15/08/2000
I am writing on my sexy Palm V via AvantGo which has allowed me to view the lair offline.
Belated birthday greetings, hope the Great British Beer Festival was enjoyable.
On A Widow For One Year [Carole letter, 10/07/2000] - yes I got bored with the rehash. Not a patch on Owen Meany IMHO.
Kewl. But is The Crazy World Of Uncle Tony [dead link] WAP-enabled yet?
Carole Shields, on her way back from Baltimore, 21/08/2000
Well I guess you're back from your sudssoaked weekend of music and mayhem. Did Old Lag attend as well? Waiting for that review. So, so demanding.
I had a wonderful time in Baltimore at the Angels and Aliens exhibit at the Visionary Art Museum. I have always loved Howard Finster and they have some of his work. Do you know him? Preacher/Visionary Artist who built a mosaic world to honor Jesus and Humanity. A slightly mad spirituality but always joyful. I love the way he uses words in his paintings and decorates the frames as well. I saw some other artists whose work moved me and who I'd like to research - Norbert Kox, Chris Hipkiss, Paul Laffoley, Eugene Von Bruenehenhein. They are all self taught madmen inspired by visions to create. Some are represented by New York galleries so may have a body of work to view.
Lunched under a taxidermied zebra head at the Oak Bar in the 1930's Belvedere Hotel. My shrimp was yummy, but with me atmosphere always comes first.
We took a tour of the American Dime Museum with curator Dick Horne. The museum deals in sideshow and carnival oddities. Some highlights - the Peruvian Amazon mummy, a two headed calf (on loan from Philadelphia collector Prof. Ouch), and a collection of paintings made out of human hair during the Victorian era. Of course a trip to Baltimore means nothing if you don't experience the "local color" that John Waters made famous. So time must be allotted for thrift and vintage store combing. (I can buy a Garfield phone, boa, and 3 pieces of lingerie in just under ten minutes!) Elaine at "Killer Trash" says that she provided most of the costumes for Cecil B. Demented.
Catching up on films in Philadelphia. Ghost Dog - The Way Of The Samurai. Do all mobsters watch old cartoons for instructional tips? My favorite scene in Wonderland was when the guy gets up after sex, cracks open a beer, gets himself some food and asks if she needs to call a cab. A perfect picture of the brutality of modern dating.
Hope the V2000 review was worth it. (Old Lag's currently doing a tour of the Soviet Bloc, since you ask. This is true.)
Two great things about Baltimore (which I've never visited, otherwise I'd have picked real life things): the work of John Waters as you say, and the fine men and women of its Homicide division, stars of the best damn cop show on the planet. I recently watched a pretty good documentary called Divine Trash (it was an imported DVD, so you should be able to find it on video if you ask around). The story of Waters' early years culminating in the making of Pink Flamingos, with lots of behind the scenes footage, and interviews with the main players filmed both then and now. Waters' parents are almost hysterically respectable. What went wrong?
Louis Caldicott, Lost, 01/09/2000
Long time no mail Spank.....
One comment regarding the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen review. You mean Alice in Wonderland wasn't an erotic adventure?
Ah well, back to the medication.
It's not an erotic adventure compared with Lost Girls, Lou: I don't recall Alice In Wonderland having a scene where she does a 69 with Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz. ("It is a most delectable configuration, though I fear to outside eyes, we must resemble people on a playing card.") Maybe you've got a different edition from me. Still, the good news is that five years after they published two issues and then went quiet, Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie have finally found a publisher for the rest of Lost Girls. See Top Shelf Comix (oh yes) for details.
Suzanne Vega Fanclub, Piccadilly Line, 03/09/2000
Hello Mr Spank, I have just a couple of things to say.
1) Why oh why does it take such an inordinate length of time to get one's letters published here. By the time they finally appear, one has long since forgotten ever writing them. Sorry, but I feel someone had to speak up about this! Moving swiftly on.
2) I saw two excellent films at the cinema last night. One was called Fight Club, starring Brad Pitt; the other was called The Sixth Sense, starring Bruce Willis. Let me be the first to recommend that Spank's readers/surfers catch these two at their local cinema.
Heh. Don't worry, readers, it doesn't take that long to get your letters printed. Suze is merely trying to confuse you by recounting a recent night he spent at the Prince Charles Cinema, the finest (indeed only) second run cinema in London's fashionable West End. They show slightly older movies on a decent sized screen for a pitiful maximum of £3.50 a pop. Check them out next time you're in the vicinity of Leicester Square.
Nick Cross, USA, 06/09/2000
Loved the "publicity" on ITV a couple of weeks ago. They should have given you more time! Same problem with a new book - Mirror Image - a vision of hell. If you check out the 1 page website [dead link] you will see what I mean. If you like what you see let me know. The UK press say "too subversive" - "even pornographic". Hell - what do they know? Keep up the good work, there is a market out there. Cheers...
'Fraid I haven't got the faintest bloody idea what you're on about regarding "ITV publicity", Nick. Care to clarify? Still, the book sounds interesting, though I've already read one revisionist take on Christ so far this year, courtesy of Stewart Home's Whips And Furs (see reply to Carole's letter dated 10/07/2000). But I'll look out for yours, and pass the word on.
Kirsten E. Springs, Ontario, Canada, 10/09/2000
we did a spoof on monkeyism
and other dirgeful things
weirdness as metaphor to express weirdness
we lack irony
but are faithful wankers
the absurdity of not only yourself
take a peak [dead link] or is that peek [dead link]
Don't look at me, readers, I don't know what the hell's going on here either. The only simian-themed material I've found at The Last Theatre Company [dead link] is a link to a 5.9Mb MP3 of a song called American Monkey [dead link], which is based around the refrain "Why don't you show me your monkey". Apart from that, there's a large collection of "post-realist" artworks [dead link] that you may find of interest. See what you think.
Cindy, Canada, 14/09/2000
I Love Monkeys of any kind!!!!
And you can't say fairer than that.
Nick Cross, Dallas, USA, 15/09/2000
[re: letter of 06/09/2000]
Hey Spank, thanks for the message. I'm back in Dallas right now. The program was on ITV and it was to do with commandments and modern views. An audience member was allowed to speak and wanted all the biblical bible crap to be ignored, and bluntly said he was only there to get publicity for "Attack books". This had me (and I'm sure a whole bunch of people) checking this out and your page was 1st up. If you have a counter on your site Spank, you may find many hits around that time.
I have hit snags with Mirror Image - a vision of hell, as the reviewers all slag it, but not in writing. Too subversive - pornographic - worst taste are a few of the verbal comments. I know there is a market Spank, but how do I tap it. The publishers are a bit too mainstream.
The [Mirror Image] site [dead link] is due to be with search engines shortly but I would be interested in any thoughts or suggestions you have to pick up sales/publicity etc.
Hope you pick up loads of business.
Thanks for explaining the ITV reference. Hopefully you realise by now that I'm not
anything to do with Attack, just a big fan of their attitude and humour. I
didn't see the show you mention, but I'm guessing that the audience member
in question would have been either company boss Steven Wells or writer
Stewart Home. The latter is the author of the revisionist autobiography of
Christ that I mentioned in my previous reply, Whips And Furs, which is
published by Attack. So I guess we ended up in the right direction one way
or another. You can contact Attack directly via their official web site [dead link], although the only email address
I've found on there is for their parent company Creation Books.
I do have a hit counter [dead link], but I don't recall a serious rise in hits from people searching on "Attack Books". There's been a bit of a surge in the last couple of days, and I'm assuming that's down to my natural audience of wastrel students getting back to college and putting in their 10 hours a day of free surfing. The main hits I get on searches are indirectly due to Steven Wells, author of Attack classic Tits-Out Teenage Terror Totty. His quote on the front page means I can legitimately use the words "tits" and "totty" there, thus drawing in my other natural audience of gullible porno surfers who think they're going to see some filth.
If you're honest on the web page about the content of your book (i.e. don't just throw in words like "tits" and "totty" for the hell of it), and get it onto a couple of the big search engines like AltaVista and Excite (who should both have you listed within 24 hours of submission), you'll attract people who are actively searching for what you've got to say. Additionally, try targeting relevant newsgroups with info about your book and website - but be careful about doing an out-and-out sales pitch, some groups hate that sort of thing. Best of luck.
DENNIS, SAD, SAD, SAD, BASINGSTOKE...., 21/09/2000
WHY DO THE UPDATES FOR THIS SITE FROM "MIND-IT" GET TO ME IN POXY MUMBO JUMBO COMPUTER LANGUAGE? I CLICKED ON THEIR SO CALLED HELP THINGY AND THEY SAID THEY COULDN'T HELP. PLEASE SEND IN THE HEAVIES.
Dennis! Calm down!
The short and unhelpful answer to your question about why the update notifications are in poxy computer language is because it's a poxy computer that writes them: it's all done automatically. To be honest, I've used these things for other people's sites in the past, and never bothered reading beyond the message header that says "this page has changed", because that's all the information you need, isn't it?
But here's a longer and more helpful answer. I'm guessing here that Mind-It are sending you messages in HTML code, which your AOL mail program can't transform into pretty header images and text. (Believe me, you're not really missing much by not getting the images.) Somewhere near the bottom of the message you should find the line "Change email format from HTML to plain text", followed by a web site address. Go to that address, and you should get the option to have your updates sent in dull but readable text, with none of that poxy mumbo jumbo to deal with.
You're only the second person (after Old Lag) who's told me they use the Mind-It [dead link] doofer: anyone else out there prepared to admit that they find it useful as well?
Richard Branson, Look out of the balloon someone, 23/09/2000
What the f**k is this load of old crap, you sad sorry f*****g loser. This site is total b******s. It's c***s like you that give the internet a bad name. If it wasn't for the witty and acerbic correspondence from those Suzanne Vega Fanclub people, this old s**t would not be worth a t**s.
P.S. Don't tell me I have no experience of selling lottery tickets. I run a railway don't I!
Hmmm. Don't think this one will make it into Celebrity Corner on the front page, somehow. But just in case it really is you, Richard, yer trains are shit.
Enrique Sole, Spain, 26/09/2000
Hello! I'm a die-hard Blondie - Deborah Harry fan. I'm looking for live recordings (audio and/or video). I have an impressive collection of Blondie live recordings, about 200 shows from '76 to '99 including many rarities, unreleased tracks, etc... Let me know if you have any live stuff so we might set up a trade. Send me your list and you'll get mine (set list for each gig). I also collect other bands: Television, Patti Smith, Runaways, NY Dolls, Iggy Pop, Toilet Boys, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion/Boss Hog, Gun Club, etc...
PS: Do you know of anyone who taped Blondie at the Warfield Th. in San Francisco?
I don't have any live recordings, I'm afraid: I was just passing through the US when I saw Debbie there, so I don't know if the show was taped or not. Still, if any of my loyal band of readers can help Enrique out, why not email him and let him know? Don't forget, of course, that audio piracy is a crime in most countries. *giggle*
j pivarnick, webmaster of Dumbmonkey, 05/10/2000
perhaps I haven't responded to a note from you I seem to remember, something re our mention of "your friend & mine Spank the Monkey", and acknowledgement of that you sent my way, & if I am correct in believing that I never responded, I apologise, as I do try to respond to anyone kind enough to write, and want you to know it was an oversight on my part, and not intended as a slight in any way.
the other reason I am writing now is that I have only just realized that you have linked to the dumbmonkey from your site, which was very kind of you, and I wanted to thank you, perhaps I'll make the previous monkey-biz links more obvious for the short term here, as I seem to have lost some of my momentum, at least in regard to keeping up the frequency of posts to the dumbmonkey. I would certainly take no offense if you thought it better to remove the link at this time as am uncertain just how long this hiatus may last.
at any rate, Spank old chum...
we tippin' our ol'red fez to you
& again, thank you...
Thanks yerself, j. The link was appreciated, and I enjoyed your blog* enough to give it my Simian Substitute Site Of The Month award, which means you're on my front page for the whole of October as the backout link for any kids or sensitive types who want to avoid my occasionally dodgy monkey business. Hope the dumbmonkey isn't out of action for any serious reasons (you've still got a rather fine archive my readers can explore), and that you're back and posting regularly again soon.
*Useful reference here for anyone unfamiliar with the term 'blog'. [Dead link. Hard to imagine that there was a time just eight years ago when people needed the term 'blog' explaining to them...]
barquing, a WHSmith store floating in cyberspace, 05/10/2000
Spank, I take back every thing I ever said about you, of all the places you sold out, you came to me! I'm genuinely touched. *sigh*
Glad it's appreciated, barq. All I need now is somebody to buy something through the WHSmith link [dead link], which has so far made me a grand total of shag all profit. (As opposed to the amazon.com link, which has grossed a spectacular 54 cents in two weeks.) Still, things should pick up in a couple of weeks time, when I whore myself out completely to my chosen cyberpimps and open up The Monkey Mall. Watch this space.
Carole Shields, Philadelphia, USA, 11/10/2000
Carole Shields version of hell - 1) smell of burning tar 2) never ending car alarm 3) being forced to watch nothing but musicals. Did I tell you I saw Dancer in the Dark yesterday? Don't want to spoil it for you if you haven't already seen it, but by the end of the film (too long) I agreed w/ Bjork that she should quit acting. The film took too much out of me so I can imagine how she must have felt. That Dogma camerawork really is quite jarring and I could feel a headache coming on or maybe it was just the sound of music?
Carole, sticking to dramas where bad things can happen
Saw Dancer a couple of weeks ago - still not sure about it. Loved the visual style of the film: certainly agree that it was overlong: the music's great but the lyrics are dire: Bjork's acting puts a lot of the supporting cast to shame: I'm perfectly happy with the idea of such over-the-top melodrama, but ended up surprisingly unmoved by the climax. But I'd say on balance I liked it for one simple reason - and I realise other people may disagree with me on this one - Christ, that woman can sing.
Suzanne Vega Fanclub, Piccadilly Line, 19/10/2000
NAUGHTY RHYTHMS TOUR - BECK THEATRE, HAYES - 17/10/00
Take anything out of its natural habitat or context, and you are heading for trouble. Thus this badly promoted tour finds energetic blues band Dr. Feelgood and hard blues masters The Hamsters playing to a comatose, mums and dadsie audience, in a sedate outer London theatre. The bands came looking to rock the joint, the audience came to sit and watch Showaddywaddy. The performers deserved better, the audience deserved worse.
A special boo/hiss is reserved for two of Spank's eccentric Pals, who left as soon as their access to alcohol had dried up. The performers deserved better (or have I just said that)
P.S. This is what I mean by a 'bitchin letters page' (private joke)
Have to agree with Suze on this one. Aside from the Feelgoods and the Hamsters, the package also included Eddie & The Hot Rods and John Otway: thus gathering together in one bill some of the finest pub rockers ever seen in this country. So having them play in a seated theatre (which you couldn't take drinks into) seems kind of counter-productive. If you're in the UK and reading this before the end of December 2000, you may still be able to catch this lot at a more punter-friendly venue: see the Naughty Rhythms website [dead link] for details.
Steve Mindykowski, webmaster of Rugrats Online, 23/10/2000
To all webmasters and Rugrats fans: I am writing to inform you that I've changed the URL of my site; it is now http://www.rugratonline.com/. Please change the URL as soon as possible, as I intend to close the old address (http://saginaw.simplenet.com/) by January. Many thanks again.
It took me a while to remember where on earth I'd set up a link to a Rugrats site. Turns out it was in the review of Kyle Baker's You Are Here, as Baker surprisingly worked for a while as an artist on the Rugrats comic strip. Anyway, all links have been updated accordingly, so go there now and say hi to Chuckie and co.
Roy Bryant, President, SEVENtwentyfour Inc. ("Always watching the Web"), 25/10/2000
There appears to be a problem on this page of your site.
On your page You've Got Psot when you click on your link to http://www.ccse.net/~ncrl/answers.html you get the error: Domain name lookup failed (may be a transient error)
As recommended by the Robot Guidelines, this email is to explain our robot's activities and to let you know about one of the broken links we encountered. LinkWalker does not store or publish the content of your pages, but rather uses the link information to update our map of the World Wide Web.
Are these reports helpful? I'd love some feedback. If you prefer not to receive these occasional error notices please let me know.
Well, yes, the mail has been a little thin this week. I was just amused by the idea of the Robot Guidelines. Very Futurama-esque, I thought. Incidentally, if you're looking for the New Comics Release List (location of the knackered link in question), it's now moved to http://www.comiclist.com/. I'll just update the links before the robots get me.
Suzanne Vega Fanclub, Piccadilly Line, 25/10/2000
"I have tickets for Otis Lee Crenshaw" said Spank.
"That's Rich" said I.
"The Jazz Cafe" said Spank.
"Hall" said I.
So it was hats off to Otis, who brought us the finer points of bigamy, prison rape, and life Midwestern Loserville; all set to a twangy country beat. Although slightly disappointed he didn't also fully cover Inbreeding, Alien Abductions, and Home Dentistry; this was more than made up for by his onstage duet with Supermodel Caprice.
A Boo/Hiss however is reserved for two of Spank's eccentric pals who tried to trap him into intimate revelations about dwarfs, and further bigamy.
P.S. Did he say 'Come From Monkeys' or 'Come On Monkeys' (down Spank)
An excellent gig spoiled only by Annette from Truck Farm and some cantankerous midget. You know who you are. Readers may like to see if they can spot the difference between http://www.caprice-supermodel.com/ and http://www.catherineporter.com/, because Suze obviously can't.
Nick Cross, Dallas, USA, 28/10/2000
Hey Spank, just saw your site - looks good man. Mirror Image site is up and running now at www.geocities.com/nickcrossx. Later.
Nick, for those of you who missed his earlier mail, is the author of Mirror Image: A Vision Of Hell, a controversial reworking of the Christ story with added filth. Find out more from the site and order it online if that's your bag.