Naked Blog

More famous than Susan Boyle!

Sunday, September 30, 2001


Al was in lit-crit mood yesterday. "I was reading your blog," he said, grinning impishly, "and it was really a bit boring". "Oh yes?" I replied, "it is written for an intelligent readership, you understand - there are meanings between the lines". "Yes," Al continued. "It was all ... me, me, me. I was wanting a bit... gossip". Well, young man, here is what you crave... the casting couch from Hell.

Morticia is a nothing more than an obscene blot on the earth's environment, and the sooner she hits the slab she keeps missing, the better for herself and humanity. And what a saving to the health service.

Neo could learn that there are topics in the world other than herself. The odd time she strays off herself, any external item is discussed purely in relation to how it makes her feel. Copernican, I think they call it.

Olga is an alcoholic sociopath who is very lucky to have survived thus far. Olga puts the "fun" into dysfunctional.

Peregrine is rapidly heading for "barrage-balloon" proportions, except that his mouth keeps letting out the gas.

Quentin is such a sad, mad, bad waste of space that he'll be lucky to hold a job longer than a month for the rest of his life. Perk up a bit honey - the world owes you nothing. Nada.

Rhianna is condemned to wade forever through the pondscum of life's discards, full of love yet receiving nothing but grief and abuse from those too scared and scarred to love back. Rhianna must have been very bad.

Saratoga is so consumed with venom and bile that his breath comes out almost literally green. Quite soon these acids of vile hatred will eat away at what's left of his flesh, and who would miss him?

There now. My apologies to my intelligent, global readership, but I feel much better for that. And it's yours and my taxes keeping that crew alive. Darwin had the right idea. Gossip you wanted?

PS Tune in next week and meet Tarquin, Ursula and Veronica. They'll knock you out!

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Saturday, September 29, 2001


Stuart and I had a walk in the sun yesterday afternoon. It was low and red in the sky even before 4pm, but still I loved it. We skipped and danced along the sea wall, and watched the scummy waves lapping on the bedraggled brown weed. Birds cawed, and circled above our heads, keen as ever for a hand-out. But we had nothing except our joy.

We turned inland then, along a railway path. Lush evergreen plants hung to our left and right, and a magpie landed noisily in front of us. "One for sorrow," Stuart whispered. Further on, past a deserted station house, there was a tunnel. Straight, long and laced with vegetation front and back. Awesome. We stood silent at its beauty.

Half way through I pointed to the wet green slime thickly lining the tunnel walls. "Fancy rubbing your face in that?" I asked him. "Might be cures for thngs not discovered yet" So I started to sing then, noisily, happily, revelling in the tunnel reverberations.

The taxman's taken all my dough
Left me in this stately home
Lazing on a sunny afternoon...

Stuart was attacked again last week. In the pub. By a prostitute. I think she was annoyed at him offering free what she could ask good money for. But it was just a spat. Handbags at forty paces. They both have scratched faces and arm, but nothing worse.

Save me save me save me from this squeeeeeeze
I got a big fat momma
Tryin to please meeeeeeeee.

Stuart looked beautiful when I called at his house. Unshaven, haggard and with his normally immaculate hair completely awry. I would have put him at about 55. It was a wondrous sight. So I challenged him to "faces in the mirror" but he didn't dare. Well, he did, just a little bit, just enough to show who was winning the race against time and gravity. Me! But then he backed off and called me a cow. Hee hee. Such moments are precious and life-enhancing.

Lazin on a sunny afternoooooon...
In the summertime...

Before the dark. The completely obscene dark we get up here at 57 degrees - the latitude of Moscow. More tomorrow, or when I can be bothered. Sweet dreams. I will.

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Friday, September 28, 2001


Well, that's it then. Another week over and what has been achieved? Well, I remained alive.

Bit minimalist that, I can hear you thinking. Bit sodding depressed, if you ask me, guv. Who is dis creep?

Well, dis creep, as you put it, ceased working two months ago, on receipt of a small inheritance. Freedom from drudgery would allow pursuit of all the fascinating things that labour had previously forestalled. I would get my house in order, visit people, call up old friends and say, "Hi - remember me?" And of course that very freedom would encourage my once-budding interest in webby stuff, and might even lead to the odd job or two. Not too much, you understand, not enough to even think about a Beemer, but maybe the odd bit of IKEA here and there - spruce up the image, get in the loop, all the hot dudes.

And what has happened? Fuck all. The house is even worse - I'm sure if any authorities got even a peep at it they would drag me off screaming to a home. Freelance work began with a (sort of) bang, and has ended, as always without even a whimper.

Social life? Forget it. I got invited to lots of parties, and eagerly accepted. "This is the new, sociable me!" I gaily kidded myself. "Born again star!" But after the first such do, where I sat terrified all evening unable to speak to anyone, there haven't been any more attempts at that. I accept, then don't turn up. Easy.

So, a sad pathetic life of three afternoons in the pub, and four days work that I hated, has turned into seven afternoons in the pub, and an inheritance dwindling away. Who loves ya, baby? Well, publicans seem to.

Time for .... ZOMBIEFLOWER!! Hypericin. Extracted from Hypericum Perforatum, aka St Joh's Wort. Worked a treat last season. We shall see. I'll keep you posted.

By the way. Blogging is as addictive and ultimately destructive as IRC. It takes over what little life you have, and eases you down a big black bloghole of your own and all the other neurotic diarists' making. The ultimate result is that you live entirely in blogland, doing nothing, seeing no-one, achieving nowt but a daily trawl of yesterday's searches, encouraged on with this one and that one's bleatings from across the globe.

Choose life. Not blogs. But vote dark green.

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Thursday, September 27, 2001


Bar chat...

Suicide Nick: "Darling, have you used up your inheritance yet?"
Me: "No. But you're not getting any of it."
SN: "No, darling, I didn't mean that. I just meant... have you ever thought of getting a new suit?"
Me: "Did I ask for a fucking fashion consultation?"
SN: "No..."
Me: "Then shove it..., darling. And by the way, you would look a lot better without that silly baseball cap on. You're not 13 any more, you know..."

In tennis I think they call this deuce.

Two subscription sites but with fun tasters are Copstation. (For gay men.) And Allnudesports (For the more heterosexual male.)
Of course, you might have even more fun if you swap over. Sorry nothing for the ladies today, but there are two great women's blogs in the story below.

Keep those votes coming in!! (Buttons to your left.) We're already the "most voted on" new site, and just one more good one will put us in the Top Ten Blogs. Remember the message... "Don't be mean, vote dark green."

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Tuesday, September 25, 2001


Women do the prettiest blogs. Take a look at Mimi. Beautiful. Also spectacular is one I discovered yesterday called Bulletproof and Bleeding. It's by a woman who lives in NYC, and is going to funerals these days. "They didn't want to bury Dave until they'd found some more parts of him..."

In stark contrast is, so masculine it almost fucks you. Check them out.

How do I find these great sites? Well, they turn up in searches. And the thing Firehouse was searching was that damn devil picture, which is flooding my site with enquirers, not one of whom wants to read Naked Blog. (It's two stories down, if you've got this far. And the charge is a vote on the dark green button to your left.)

So, am I discouraged? Not a bit. NB is not to everybody's taste, but the internet casts wide indeed, and day by day the word is spreading.

Real life tales
Got myself showered up yesterday, which felt great until I sprayed deodorant, which stung like hell. It does that when you've not used it for a few days. Goes to show. Then I chose the "going to the pub" option, which was nice after a weekend of smelly solitude.

All were there. Barbara the chef was pretending to be angry with me. "Why did you call me an 'angry chef' in your blog?" she demanded. "You would be angry if you had to deal with this lot!" (Someone had taken in pages and pages of Naked Blog so they could read about themselves. Creepy.)

When she'd finished her shift, we sat and drank and laughed with Alex, who is moving to Boston to join her husband next week. We looked forward and we looked back, but mostly we just bitched about people we knew. Fun.

Stuart was at the bar too, cackling away with a new friend called Roger. I joined them for a chat, but it felt a bit uncomfortable, so I left them to it. Roger is apparently straight, and writing a book about witchcraft. Fascinating the people you meet.

I'm putting Bulletproof on the sidebar for a trial period. Five is all there's room for, so reluctantly, Brad will have to go. (Great, but a bit corporate.) So you've got one week's notice to bookmark him, and I hope you do.

Regular readers will notice a new feature to the left, with coloured buttons. Don't worry what they mean, just click on the dark green one.

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Monday, September 24, 2001


Any child born in Scotland in the last three months will have permanently impaired eyesight through lack of exposure to full daylight. What has happened to our weather/climate? Every morning the same... wall-to-wall grey. Leaden, lumpen, lowering. It doesn't even rain, just hangs there like a reprimand, blocking out the universe. Well - talk of the devil, here's some rain now. Maybe that will lead to five minutes of sunshine. Better get my coat on quick, as it surely won't last.

Today's to-do's. After a solid week of nothing, I should really get my act together a bit and do something today. Do you ever get that paralysed feeling that there's so much needs doing that it's all too much, so what the hell, let's go to the pub? Do you? Is it alcoholism - no... I never get cravings - or something more intractable?

Some chick wrote in The Guardian last week that advanced domestic mess is a symptom of deep-seated psychological disorder. I do wish they'd got in touch with me - my own house is rapidly going off the scale. Once you accept that you will never, ever have any visitors, then there's really no point in cleaning, is there? And once you realise that even a whole day's hard work will hardly dent the surface, then the surely the natural thing to do is not to do it. If you get my drift.

Wow - even as I speak, the sun has come out. I'm gonna give it a capital letter. The Sun has come out. Nostradamus got nothing on Naked Blog.

It's the same with "personal freshness". Once you discover that your skin remains perfectly well even if you never shower at all, then there's less of that false imperative to do so. But of course, other people do matter, and it's long been said that people are far more willing to listen to your problems if you look nice and smell nice.

"Nice" here means all your natural odour stripped away and replaced with the currently fashionable chemical. Me, I go for the mossy smells. The ones that hint you might live in the woods, and sleep under logs and stars. Their tins are usually a dark green/ light brown colour, like 999933. Another nice smell is 00ffff, which is invariably called Aqua or Arctic or Surf or summat. Different tins for different smells. Oh - they got it all worked out.

Me, I would design one called ff9900. (Yesterday's piss?) Or how about 993300. (Name it yourself.)

Oh, if only. Reality tells me I gotta shower, shave and put on something nice and smelly to do some photography for a client today. It's a cosmetic conspiracy.

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Sunday, September 23, 2001


Our link in September 16 below has been pulled by the newspaper involved, but here is the picture you want. (At Naked Blog we care for our visitors.)

Continuing the caring, there's an interesting article on the photo here. (Doing Google's work for them, haha!)

Last night's search log showed a trend I'd never noticed before. David Beckham, a leading footballer and handsome dude, was a guest on a BBC talk show from 9pm to 10pm. So from 9 onwards, we were flooded with searches for - you can guess it - David Beckham naked. (Sadly we haven't got any.)

Then around 3am the focus changed completely to the Devil pic mentioned above. Maybe there was some mention on American TV, or maybe we'd just been freshly crawled. I kinda doubt the latter though, as the reference was way back on Sep16, and the usual crawl lag is just 3 days max. Again sadly, none of those visitors would have got what they wanted here, as the Philadelphia Daily News has pulled the picture. It's gone ballistic, apparently, but we managed to track down the photographer's site.

He says no reproduction, which we haven't, no download, which we haven't, and then somewhat bizzarely, no links without written permission. Puhleeze. I thought this was called the internet.

Anyway, devil or not, have a nice Sunday, if no more copy comes in.

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Saturday, September 22, 2001


I knew, just knew there was something in that name, from the moment Tony emailed me about it, but the full significance didn't hit me until the middle of last night. It's a weapon, make no mistake. And you saw it first here, folks. Feel free to tell the CIA or whoever.

Meet the author
Delighted to meet Andy yesterday evening, a reader up from London. Andy commutes between London and Beijing, but doesn't take his eye off Naked Blog for long! Wise man, Andy!!

This, from Toronto, Canada on my search results, and I reckon it's probably the funniest one yet. Must be the ultimate in oral examinations. I'd heard they're both liberal and liberated in Toronto, and I guess that kinda proves it. As always, there's tons of fun on Disturbing Search Requests.

From my postbag
Had three emails telling me that Mark Wahlberg was a preppy type all along, just pretending to be a homie in movies such as "Basketball Diaries". Someone said that he's actually got all of Barbra Streisand's albums. Hmmmm. Next it'll be Kevin Dillon in the remake of Tootsie, and that would never do, now would it Rex?

Burchill is back, but they've bit off her balls
Yep, Jihad Julie is back in The Guardian today after last week's still-unexplained absence, but what a piece!! They must have held a gun to her head to get this grotesquely untopical (is that a word?) rant about Germans.

Falwell, Falwell, rot in hell
Now, I'm not a religious dude. But I would take Mass from His Holiness himself if that would consign Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson et al to an eternity of deserved agony for the remarks they have made since the attacks. In an extraordinary remake of Sodom and Gomorrah, these "men of God" sit on prime-time American TV and calmly blame gays, civil-libertarians, abortionists etc. for "angering God" and thus bringing on the terror. I knew, just knew it would be our fault somehow. Superpower? Not between the ears, if you ask me!

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Friday, September 21, 2001


Let me add my small voice to what I'm sure will be a mountain of praise to GWB for his speech to the American Congress. Never have I seen such an accomplishment spring from such shaky beginnings. It was all there, everything essential and more, as he spoke to the world and to his people. In particular, the dead policeman's "Mom Arlene" is right now the most famous mom of all time. A truly Nixon moment.

Oh, there were a couple of missed emphases, but not many, especially when you realise that this was possibly the most-heard and seen speech ever made. What an audience! And there was one part where he crescendoed over three whole phrases, climaxing to tumultuous applause. "Is he gonna make it?" I gaped. "Has he got the guts to go for it?" And George was there, splendidly. I sense there's been a whole lot of coaching going on. Lots.

So, dear reader, if this tragedy has achieved anything, it must surely have informed the American people how very much compassion the world feels.

The phone just rang. It was Sandra, Alligator Johnny's lady. "Get my man off that internet!" I felt sure she was going to shout at me. But no - it was just some talk about photography I'm doing for her business. Well, that's all right then. For now.

Last week's events have hit the TV schedules hard, as unsuitable material has been pulled, bigtime. Even Microsoft Flight Simulator is being patched to remove the WTC. (Well - get real... where do you think every spotty teen would point his simulated plane?) But it's Hollywood that's feeling the wind of change most strongly, as reality has proved itself ever stranger than their most fevered imaginations. For reasons of sheer good taste, a whole genre has disappeared at a stroke. So - what next?

Two to read are Andrew Pulver and John Patterson.

Here's a gratuitous pic. I kinda went off Mark Wahlberg when I heard him at the Oscars lately. His voice has changed from a delicious teen thug to Chandler Bing. Not all drama coaching is good.

One at a time, boys

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Thursday, September 20, 2001


That was our submission to Disturbing Search Requests today. Naked and ordinary - hasn't it got a nice ring about it? No pervs, no freaks, no illiterates, just some guy looking for his sweetheart-to-be. And I truly hope he finds her. Sadly she isn't here, despite us being number one in the discovered universe for such a search. Which just goes to show how useless and pathetic Google really is. Sue me, Google - I don't care.

Nimda. It's Admin backwards, as I'm sure you've already worked out. So is Nimda phase two of an attack? Or is it just some deranged sicko choosing his moment? Bet you a fiver to a brick shithouse that the CIA would pay anything at all for a guaranteed safeguard. It's not the time for computer failure. Sadly our own scripts faded away decades ago.

Several times I've referred to my friend Alligator Johnny. Johnny is a great guy, but he has wild staring eyes and alligator teeth. He told me once the teeth were partly false, but yesterday they were munching the pasta bigtime. He'll probably go mad if he knows I've put his pic here, but so many readers keep asking what all these people look like. I'll just pop one in now and again. Oh - Johnny's totally straight, by the way, so don't go getting ideas...

Alligator Johnny

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Tuesday, September 18, 2001


Bought a copy of Private Eye this evening, in my supermarket. British readers will know it as a topical/satirical magazine. But this issue wasn't topical. It was from "before". Not one story, not one target of their skilful wit, had more than the most trivial and superficial resonance. The journalists at Private Eye will have their mental and emotional resources strained to the very limits to produce their next copy.

Staying on a news/journalism theme for tonight, a reader sends this story from Matthew Parris of The Times.

Someone on the telly described so-and-so as having had a "very good week". Then he quickly added, "in journalistic terms, of course". And of course he's right - they are in news heaven. From the execrable Kate Adie, who never, ever will realise that it's the news they want, not her, through Clarence Mitchell, upgraded from ratings-hell News 24 to front line New York, to the surreal youngsters they put on Channel 5 News, each with eyes and teeth so white they look like nothing so much as characters from Thunderbirds. Or Max Headroom, with all that bleached and spiked hair. Gruesome.

Sam Shaw summed it up on Day Two. "Those newsmen were cumming in their pants," he quietly observed. And of course he too is right. An abominable profession, which normally Naked Blog successfully ignores, until this week when we too hung on their every picture. Who couldn't?

Here's a Guardian cartoon...

Just about says it all, nes pas? Well, maybe not. Here's a letter, again from the Guardian...

"Shortly after 3pm British time [last Tuesday], as the events in the US were unfolding, BBC News began analysing how the situation would affect share prices - surely yet more proof, as if any were needed, of what a sick world we live in."
Jeff Harrison, London.

Naked Blog hasn't done very well in this crisis - in contrast to some others who have been superb. This space was never meant for such analysis and comment, being rather the home for light-hearted observations of life's peccadilloes. In the face of such horrific reality, we've tended to freeze like a rabbit in a headlight, out of steam and out of depth.

But neither have we behaved vulture-like, such as those unspeakable newsreaders who get their rocks off in the dusty catacombs of these dreadful days, each of them praying for their Hindenburg moment. Some were thrust much higher than they had flown before, as the Sultans of Soundbite were literally unable to get there. Now eclipsed by Adie, Bowen et al, they can at least tell their grandchildren, "I was there - and I reported it. I was there, and I gave the murderers the A-feature they'd prayed for, beyond their maddest, most twisted dreams. I was there, and I made no fucking difference at all."

Once again, we close for a while. I try to write about other matters, but can't yet. So there's nothing more I can usefully do, except maybe one thing.... has lent its awesome linking power to this petition. It's called I would really like you to see it.

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Sunday, September 16, 2001


I was reduced to gaping incoherence at this big-wig from The World Bank on the Frost programme. "Terror will only cease when poverty is eliminated, and that is what the World Bank is for." And Frost, who is almost as awestruck by the very rich as he is by the very powerful, let him away with it. Oh - he mentioned something about interest rates, but that just led to another three minute platitude. Big Money getting its word in, big-time. Ghastly.

My local Indian Restaurant, which is M*sl*m-owned, had its window smashed in the night before last. So yesterday I went in to buy a small meal, which I didn't really want, but to show some support. The owner came out of the kitchen to greet me, and just stood in front of me, quietly. "I'm so sorry about this," I said, waving my arm at the still-wrecked scene. "Thank you," he replied. "There've been some others who have said the same." It seemed time for a big hug. So the notionally Christian fag hugged the non-terrorist M*sl*m straight guy, and it was good. Sorry once again for the asterisks, but I really don't want the hate-people finding this page. The sex-people I can now cope with, mostly, thanks in part to DSR.

I really hope Americans realise just how very much Britain and other countries have been supportive of your people's grief. Yet I sense our respects will get only the briefest of airings in your media, so here is a selection of what has been done...

  • Parliament was recalled on Friday from its summer holiday for an emergency debate, which stressed total solidarity both within this country and to yourselves. The Prime Minister was at pains to emphasise that there should be no racial or religious backlash at ordinary law-abiding people.
  • The Queen ordered the Stars and Stripes to be played instead of our own National Anthem at the daily Changing of the Guard.
  • Eight hundred million people across Europe held a three-minute silence on Friday, and then in London there was a special service in St Paul's Cathedral attended by the Queen and her family, the Prime Minister, the American ambassador, and also ordinary people.
  • Last night was the Last Night of The Proms, an annual, month-long music festival in London. The traditional British songs were replaced by Samuel Barber's Adagio For Strings, ('Platoon' music), and the concert ended with Beethoven's Ninth. Stirring stuff.

    Because there is a real danger of a huge national depression setting in here also, the TV stations are pumping out the cream of entertainment as a balance to the horror. Last night it was Pulp Fiction, that delicious cake of a film. I only watched the section where the chick OD's on coke, and Travolta has to resuscitate her, but it was sweet viewing indeed, taking me back to those heady drug-filled days of the nineties, when being a dealer wasn't just cool, it was essential.

    Rex said some lovely words to me yesterday. We've all been supporting each other as best we can, and some of us are having worse times than others. Writing this Blog has helped a lot, and so has reading the words of my colleagues on the sidebar. Ordinary people living ordinary American lives, just blessed with that subtle gift of readability. Read them.

    What Rex said was, "Peter, if you never do anything else much with your life, then your writings of this last week will stand as something very special." Thank you for that one, R. Very much.

    Mimi sends me this photo from a Philadelphia newspaper, showing the very Devil himself amongst the smoke. Ye truly cannot serve God and Mammon.

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    Saturday, September 15, 2001


    "Julie Burchill is away", it says, off-hand, as if it didn't matter, in my Saturday Guardian. Never mind that almost every sentient being in the country has been desperately waiting to read her, at the end of this of all weeks. (Rex has got me really paranoid about commas now.) No - I'll bet you a fiver to a brick shithouse that they, "weren't able to use her copy". Betcha. The last time this happened to anybody even half as interesting was with Germaine Greer, who resigned on the spot. Don't you do it, Julie. Your country needs you, but not enough to follow you to another paper, I'm afraid. Fandom has its limits.

    Or, of course, she might have had sufficient threats to really have to leave. After all, both sides know where she lives.

    We've avoided The Guardian, both in print and on-line, until today, to preserve the formation of our own thoughts and opinions. They're just so damn good at the Grauny that you can't help but think - oh yes, that's it, I almost thought of that myself, what's on the telly or should I go to The Village? So, today, in the absence of the Delphic One, let me just point you to two of my own faves. By the way - skip the novelists... Ian MacEwan, Jan McInerney, et al. Asking a novelist what they think about a real matter is much equivalent to asking Barbara Windsor. And where the hell is Norman Mailer when you really, really don't need him? Or have I missed something?

    No, the people to read today are Mark Lawson "Part of the shock to America's self-image has been a sense of divine abandonment." And also Jonathan Freedland. "Bush wore the deer-in-the-headlights expression made famous by his father's hapless deputy, Dan Quayle.

    God Bless America
    Are you, dear British reader, getting as sick of hearing this as am I? This platitude with its unspoken corollary, "...and fuck everybody else." That sentiment was loud and clear from the Washington cathedral yesterday, as Dubya fluffed yet another "one small step" moment. He really doesn't deliver a line terribly well, does he? Maybe his writers should underline the words to stress.

    I've learned a lot this week, even with tear-filled eyes much of the time. I've learned that American policy has earned that country many enemies. But American foreign policy is dictated by Big Money, only signed by politicians, and I sense not even desperately cared about by average American citizens. Yet it was citizens who perished by the suicide bombers, not politicians, and certainly not Money, which is essentially inviolable. The bereft deserve our thoughts.

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    Thursday, September 13, 2001


    You will have seen and heard Lord Robertson, the Secretary General of NATO, and a Scot, saying those words which have not been said for fifty-two years, "An attack on one is an attack on us all." I start with this to try to reassure you that you are not alone in this horror. Your country is more than capable unilaterally of the most devastating reprisals wherever it chooses, but alone seems not to be necessary. Almost the whole world is with you at this time.

    It's not just in military terms, either. We too have had blanket coverage of these shocking events, discussions, speeches, dissections. We too have seen the technicolor fireballs till we could watch no more, and heard probably those same people in the street as you did - the guy with the shaved blond hair and moustache, the woman with big lipstick, the hispanic guy covered in dust, the black woman with the bleeding leg, and the guy with the blue shirt who jumped back. One world. One terror.

    As well as the estimated 500+ Brits who are thought to have perished in New York, this devastation has also released a sort of "grief-syndrome" in a lot of folk here, people with their own unresolved mournings, not yet closed. So just this morning the whole of a studio chat-show was given over to phone-ins to psychologists and counsellors.

    You are not alone. We are with you, in every sense. Hands across the ocean. (And that hasn't been said for nearly sixty years.)

    Naked blog is taking a few days holiday now. Three pieces in three days have worn me out, and I wouldn't have done this much if it hadn't been for the harrowing searches, some I sense from people quite young. ( Eg., "david boreanaz thoughts on america under attack".)

    Here is a reference sent by a friend on the thoughts of Michael Moore. You should all read it.

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    Wednesday, September 12, 2001


    The differences between Julie Burchill and me are (a) she's a much better writer, and (b) she has to write a column today, whereas I can choose. The reason I mention JB is that frequently in her work she bitterly decries the governance of the US, and our own administration's toadying to it. She once famously wondered in print how Monica Lewinsky had got anywhere near Clinton's dick, because Tony Blair was permanently glued on to it.

    So here goes, while we speak the unspeakable, and think the unthinkable. (My first instinct is just to shut up. It's easier. But seeing as everybody else will be sticking their two cents in, then maybe we should do the same. Just once. Just this time.)

    Yesterday saw unspeakable acts of murder. But what wasn't once mentioned, in the eight hours of coverage I watched, was that it also saw a number of acts of suicide. I don't want to use the pertinent words, as they will attract searches, but the next days and weeks will see the A-word, and the I-word and the M-word bandied about like snowflakes in January.

    Because it's so easy. T*rr*rist. F*nd*m*ntalist. Wh*te M**itia. Oh - well, that's all right then. That explains everything. Well, it doesn't. It explains diddly squit.

    You see, what was attacked yesterday were not only thousands of good people pursuing their livelihoods, but also something quite different. Something we too have written about here and elsewhere. What was attacked yesterday was Money, the real ruler of the earth. Money which merely uses the offices of the USA and the European governments to further its only cause, which is to grow. And in this growth it treads carelessly and callously wherever it chooses, enslaving and impoverishing across the less-developed world in order to fuel its cancerous growth.

    Most of those who perished were employed in the service of Money, and they have paid a terrible price - the ultimate price - and of course they didn't deserve it. But whereas they now lie dead amidst the ruins of the temple, Money itself is only slightly dented.

    It will immediately bounce back, for its governance is all we understand. Government by Truth and Goodness and Fairness is not even at the starting-block.

    Naked Blog abhors and detests violence in any shape or form. But not everybody shares that feeling. It's not over yet.

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    Tuesday, September 11, 2001


    Any comment would be unworthy of the thousands who have perished. So let me just offer my own, and I'm sure that of all of my British readers', sympathies to our friends across the US on this most dreadful of days.

    Drew and Mimi have already written their accounts - Drew was in a TV studio as it happened. Mimi has links to webcams.

    God bless you and keep you all.


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    Monday, September 10, 2001


    In Edinburgh's most fashionable bar, chatting to the owner, after just buying a white wine and soda for my friend Rex.

    Me: Is white wine and soda really two pounds fifty-five? (About five dollars, but remember this is Scotland, not Los Angeles.)

    Alastair (mentally adding): Yes

    Me: I feel quite faint at that.

    Alastair: Then have a seat.

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    Sunday, September 09, 2001


    Rest and recreation in The Village yesterday. All the usual suspects were there - Shetland John, SamShaw redemption, Robin the Sixties survivor, Babs the angry chef, Rex reading The Times, and Alligator Johnny.

    Johnny is a great guy, but he has wild staring eyes and alligator teeth. He told me once the teeth were partly false, but yesterday his dentition was quite perfect, a subtle blend of human and plastic. Do porcelain teeth a Cyborg make? Was my Granny an astronaut? Makes yer think.

    Then from through in the Lounge I heard the non-too-subtle cries of Stuart The Witch, who was doing a session of tarot readings. It's a profitable sideline for him. "Aye - up yer wee hairy bits, yer radge bastard!" drifted through the ether. (I won't translate - it's jocular abuse.) However, less jocular for Stuart was a couple of weeks ago, when he had a fight with a prostitute. (In a different bar.)

    He called her a slag. She punched him in the face. I think she was annoyed at Stuart offering free what she could charge good money for. Anyway, Stu got barred from that pub. Dreadful. But it'll never stick. More of a suspended sentence.

    "Dinnae call me hen!" Johnny shouted at Sam. "OK, HEN!" Sam shouted back. Gay and straight men at play together can be very, very amusing. But not all straight men can handle it. Johnny loves it.

    Somehow the queens got started singing "My Way", a song of my era and my sentiment. We bawled our heads off into the afternoon autumn sun, as if it were nearer midnight. The final curtain. Then I realised they'd all stopped, and I was the only one still singing - not a pretty sound! "Stick to calling the bingo numbers," Johnny loudly advised. "Yer singin's shite!" And he's right - it's one of the few talents we haven't got.

    The Village. Go there. Or at least see the website.

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    Friday, September 07, 2001


    Can't write much tonight, as after 30 mins of AbFab (yes, there is a new series!), and 50min of Lily Savage, I'm more of a parody even than usual. This morning's offer to DSR was naked Hooters restaurant pictures, which I thought was hilarious, until later on somebody wrote to say there really are restaurants called Hooters with naked waitresses. (Have I got that right? If it's true it's fucking unbelievable man.) Culture clash. I've got too old.

    Quote from Ms Savage re Victoria Beckham: "They pelted her with fruit and veg but it's that long since she's eaten she didn't know what it was."

    Loads of naked requests last night, with David Beckham the clear winner, and poor Robbie Williams last with only one. I sense that Google is now the best indicator of career longevity. Don't book any expensive holidays for next year, Robbie.

    God this is shit. I was glancing through this journal, and realised I've only done two things in the last three weeks. All the rest is cyber-circling with a bit of telly. Appalling. Tomorrow I'm gonna do stuff. Gotta go now to watch Buffy. Those kids do it for me. Teeth.

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    Thursday, September 06, 2001


    Hi folks, and good to see you again. Well, the hits keep raining down faster than volcanic rocks on a bad lava day. And it's all thanks to our lovely, lovely friends at Disturbing Search Requests.

    This morning I gave them enema fun, (number 1 in the world on AOL), a totally true story about one of the ladies from my former bingo. Who would have thought that old Mrs Stewart would go global at this late stage of her life? It goes to show you never can tell. And who knows what tomorrow's pervpages will bring?

    Mimi, my new literary discovery, wrote to ask if I was anything to do with exploited camwhores. I replied that I wasn't exploited, don't have a cam (darlings, I'm fifty-four - get REAL), and am no more a whore than the next person. Well, considerably less, for the same reason. But Mimi has decided that naked blog is ok to link from. It is restored.

    Blogger is good. DSR is good. New client yesterday. God is good.

    I was going to write about the Stanley Kubrick three-parter on BBC, to which I sat glued. I was intensely glued, super-glued almost, at Malcolm Macdowell, who must also be 54, reprising his time with Clockwork Orange. "There are some roles, which no-one else can do, and which you know you were just born to play. That was one of them." Gripping.

    And filmmaker Alex Cox on Kubrick: "Round about the time of Clockwork Orange, Kubrick ceased taking inspiration from others, and from then on took inspiration only from himself."

    Gripping. We sit, auto-inspired, in awe of them both.

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    Wednesday, September 05, 2001


    The story so far: Yesterday my dear friend and valued critic Rex wrote to me about the use of correct accents in words such as café. Quick to oblige, we immediately incorporated them into our work. But their use has spread already...

    O Rex, what have you done to the internet? Non-ASCII characters are sweeping the very web as I speak. Take a look at Drew and his elegant paragraph...

    "My cafétière (that's a French press to some people) wouldn't plunge this morning. I tried to force it and it shot coffee all over me and all over the kitchen. I had to sit and chill for about half an hour after that."

    Plongeur indeed. Coincidence or what? I think not.

    Also, still on a continental theme, we're number 6 on Lycos Recherche (that's French) for humour gay. But all this is gaslight compared to the latest developments, beginning with...

    Pübescent Lésbianism

    And no, that's not taking the piss - it's to put off Google. Makes a change from all those asterisks. Between our primacy on dogpile (it's called June99), and our novelty on Disturbing Search Requests, we scored more hits yesterday than on any day since last year's Big Brother. (That was 1k plus a day. I've kept the reports.)

    More than all the Blog lists put together! Perversion apparently pays.

    Now, I've never met a pubesçent lesßian in my life, nor do I wish to. The adult version is challenging enough. But wherever you are, thank you girls - you've made a lot of old men very happy. Off you go now and play. With your dolls, of course.

    Going to dinner tonight with Alligator Johnny and Sandra, his lady. But I've been isolated so long, I've quite forgotten how to speak. Should be a riot.

    Mimi on the sidebar is a therapeutic masseuse. Spotted her on DSR. Read her. Love her. But don't try any nonsense!

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    Tuesday, September 04, 2001


    Rex kindly writes to berate me on my mis-spelling of French terms on one of the hugely-popular commercial websites I manage. He singles out cafe and papier-mache as examples. We stand, once again, guilty, m'lud.

    And yet, and yet... Readers familiar with the mark-up arts will know what a damn pain it is to do characters outside UK and US English. (Entities.) You have to find the book, hunt for the Appendix, delve through four pages of close type, to discover that CAFÉ in the title above can only be rendered thus:
    C A F & # 2 0 1. Whereas café, in lower-case, is to be indicated c a f & # 2 3 3 . It's a total bügger. When we were young, these would have instantly and easily committed to memory. But our hard disk (disc?) filled up decades ago, and upgrades are kinda hard to come by.

    Pleased therefore to see that internet usage doesn't demand the accent, in cafe at least. (Don't believe me? Nip over to the prize-winning Guardian Unlimited and search away. More cafes than you could sit in!! And not an accent in site.)

    Disturbing Search Requests
    You'll never believe it department!! Readers who pay attention will have noticed more than a few recent gripes about search terms. In fact about a week ago we got so angry that we literally closed Naked Blog. Shut! However, as the closure lasted less than a day, there was no discernable gap to the punter.

    Well, only this morning I was skimming through yesterday's pig-poo searches when happenstance led me to Disturbing Search Requests. It's a riot. I thought I was being trendy sending them one of my golden oldies, "pub*scent lesb**nism" (we're number 1 in the world on dogpile for that, btw), but some of these just curl you up!

    "pleading to keep job after porn surfing"
    "I'm so drunk I can't tell my ass from a hole in the ground"

    Cancel all your appointments and go right now to Disturbing Search Requests! Tell them I sent you. It's, as always, so good to know you're not alone. Vive la net! Long live filth!! Nutters rule suprême!!!

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    Sunday, September 02, 2001


    Bit of culture for you today, specially selected from yesterday's Guardian...

    Foxtrot, by Lavinia Greenlaw

    Nothing like the hang-dog
    I caught out in the green belt at dawn,
    nosing his way along the hard shoulder,
    a backwater teenager hitching home:

    fair game
    for the double-act coming off night patrol,
    open-armed, under-performed
    and aching to croon into their cold radio:

    'Foxtrot Alpha Sierra Tango',
    a chance to turn the lights down low,
    to demonstrate fancy moves that don't show,
    taking it slow, slow, slow-slow, slow...

    (From Guardian Saturday Poems)

    Interesting piece, eh? Take a day to savour and ponder, and tomorrow there'll be a test.

    We at Naked Blog are no strangers to the poetic arts, even those of oriental form. Last year we had a couple of haiku published in, strangely, the Guardian Unlimited haiku section. (Haiku have the form 5-7-5 beats.) The first was at the time of the fuel strikes...

    Fuel moves again.
    The drivers have made their point.
    Was Maggie watching?

    There is a £20 book token (I think) for the best entry each week. Delighted to be published in such an august journal, even if only in the online edition, we immediately dashed off the following, more as a laugh over its second line.

    My haiku was in
    Guardian Unlimited,
    But it didn't win.

    And that one didn't win either. But it did get published!

    Watched Oliver Stone's film JFK last night, and it's got more stars than the Milky Way. (I love the smell of cliche in the morning.) This nicely illustrates a Hollywood paradox. Do you find, as I do, that 'stars' really get in the way? You're not so much watching the New Orleans District Attorney, as Kevin Costner pretending to be him. And Sissy Spacek pretending to be his wife. And so ad infinitum. (One recent turkey I sat through starred David Schwimmer being a surgeon. Ridiculous! David Schwimmer is a paleontologist - everybody knows that.)

    With independent cinema it's better. Because you've never seen the performers before, you can that much more easily suspend your disbelief. Of course, in the golden days, nobody gave a toss about the character or even the plot - all the punters wanted to see were Bette being Bette and Joan being Joan. But they don't make them like that any more :)

    Just as well The Guardian can persuade people to send in poems, as their regular writers seem hardly to have left Primary School. Here are today's bloopers. (The ones they confess to, at least.)

    fluoride/flouride (that one would have been picked up by a spell-check)
    women's/womens' (four times in one piece, apparently)
    Colosseum or Coliseum but not Colloseum

    Now, we at Naked Blog are old enough and ugly enough to know that spelling does not the writer make. I have a friend Ian, who, on form, can dazzle with the inventiveness of his writing, yet he would be the first to agree that it enjoys a wee proofread. So what's wrong, Grauniad? These are not 'typos' - that most euphemistic of excuses. They are examples of downright illiteracy. And call me old-fashioned if you will, but I would rather read literate writers.

    Well - you could have knocked me dahn wiv a fevver guv, when the very next article I read featured that old clanger, "straight-jacket". Just no damn excuse. If they're looking for someone who can both write and spell - and knows the rudiments of modern usage, then their search is ended. Usual rates.

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    Saturday, September 01, 2001


    Yes folks, it's that time again! Three weeks to the equinox and that makes just sixteen to the winter solstice, if my arithmetic is holding up. Well now, doesn't time just fly!

    Second day of isolation, and mucho enjoying it. There's TV, web practice, and thoughts, glorious thoughts. I really do wish it were possible to have some sort of social life sans alcohol, as I'm coming to detest the damn stuff. It wouldn't be so bad if you could just enjoy it for a while, then flick a switch to turn off the aftermath. It's not so much the drinking and chatting, which are fine, but after even just a couple of pints the day is badly damaged.

    This never mattered for those late-night after-work bevvies, but now with afternoons the preferred social time, I find that two liquid hours of pleasure lead to ten of waste, stuck in front of shite telly unable to either sleep or wake up. I'm sure some of you will have gone that road.

    No such probs today, however. We're clear as a ding-dong bell, and bizarrely still focussed on Mr Beckham, who has quite replaced Pitt The Younger on my Fantasy Island. Just a pity about his voice, though - it's a bit high for such a studly face and body.

    What a pervy auld git I'm becoming. But nice with it, my friends tell me, the odd time I see one.

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