Let's hear it for the World Economic Conference, leaving its thirty-year venue in Davos, Switzerland, and plumping for good old NYC. This is a cynical calculation that because of last year's events, the protestors will think twice before trashing all the branches of Starbucks and Macdonalds. Ah hae me doots, as we say here. Make no mistake. The World Economic Conference is no more than a talk shop for new ways and fresh ideas to bleed the developing world even drier, while continuing to line the pockets of the already rich.
Big money - writ biggest of all. And they will always win. They own all the governments, you see.
Roll on Yellow Brick Road!
This site isn't gay enough. Who the fuck cares about wealthy bankers and Third World poverty? Where's the scream-scene in that? They haven't even got Pop Idol in the Philippines, as far as I know! So I've decided to give NB a gay makeover, starting with that ghastly blue colour. Far too much binarism. (And note the zazzy new tag-lines... bound to be a finalist next time! Who gives a flying fuck about Descartes, anyway?)
All these hettie pubs and weblogs have also got to go. It's CC's all the way - and did you know girls... The LAUGHING DUCK is gonna re-open soon, after its disastrous stint as an Irish Theme Pub? Yep - you saw it first here.
But gayness is all about looks. So I took a peek in the mirror yesterday - and couldn't see anything at all. Then I cleaned it a bit, and - frankly - wasn't too impressed with my reflection. In fact, I hardly recogised that sad old geezer looking back at me - the tattered remains of one thousand and one too many Arabian nights.
But - the good news is, with just a hint of hair transplant, a nice big box of Just For Men dye (targets only the grey), a touch of facial surgery, cosmetic dentistry, nipple reduction, multi-gym workouts, liposuction, testosterone implants, viagara in case the testosterone doesn't work, and of course penis enlargement - I could look quite the dude.
No reason why not. I'm a fit young stud trapped in an old queen's body. So just you keep checking back here for progress reports! I even think I'll make a Channel 4 series out of it. Naked Slob. Now how does that grab yer wee hairy bits?
Out and About 1
The Bloggies. I suppose I should congratulate all the winners, but really - 6 gongs for Wil Wheaton!?! Maybe they should think about a Bloggie for people who aren't already TV stars, and thus have an unfair advantage in the heads of the voting trailer-trash. I should also say that his winning tagline... 50,000 monkeys at 50,000 typewriters can't be wrong I first saw in the Readers' Digest around 1954. Too young, you see. All are too young.
Comiserations of course to GeekMan - I still think yours was the best, even though I haven't seen any of the others. I just know it would have been, as I've read too many of the earnest, worthy sort already. Even penned a couple, in my more alcoholic moments.
Similar to Hoopty, who lost out to What's New Pussycat? which is well-written and homely, but nothing all that different. I like edgy. Like this one. "Will he totally lose it before he gets to the end???"
Out and about 2
Blogger The one to which we all owe so much, even if we've since moved to other things. "It is not often you can say a website has changed the face of the web, and had an impact far beyond the confines of its own domain. But, for many, Blogger is such a site." Guardian article today.
From the heart, Blogger has changed my life, bringing an interest unmatched since the music studies of my teens and early twenties. Yes, Windows was first, and DOS even before that - but at the time of writing, Blogger is both the icing and the cherry.
Since April last year I've benefitted from both their software and their servers - for free. So I'm honour bound to purchase the new Blogger Pro, and I wish Mr Williams the prosperity he so richly deserves. "Fucking well done, pal!" as we say here.
PS The guy from the Guardian got to go all the way to SF for that interview. I assumed it was by phone, but then I saw the writer had the photo credit as well. Hell, I'll post up Evan Williams (the creator of Blogger) tomorrow for you, if I can be bothered. By no means a dog.
"Call yerselves a weblog community?" Rex asked, pensively, last night. "Red in tooth and claw, if you ask me."
"What on earth do you mean, Rex?" I enquired.
"You'd all sell your very grandmothers for a high-traffic mention," he declared, a little loudly, as he does, after a few. "I've seen them come and go on your site. The broken hearts, tossed aside to make room for the next fashionable big thing." I fell silent then, thinking. "Bloggers?" he half-shouted. "I'd rather take my chances with the Mob!"
So all that, ladies and gentlemen, segues lightly into today's first site, which is - once again - akacooties.Mike has written a song about the links on his sidebar. Not only has he written the song, but he's (de-)composed the music as well. Switch those speakers on, and if you're even half as crazy as are he and I, you'll love it.
Feeling a little horny after yesterday's naked parade? Sitting wishing you had a date with Robbie or Marky, but can't be bothered leaving the house? Well, you no longer have to.
Courtesy of valued reader and noted sex-fiend cyberslut, I today have the perfect site for you. Digital Intimacy contains an ideal blend of global good karma, linked with the new science of dildonics - the modern way to make that electronic, loving expression to your (cyber) nearest and dearest. And all at the click of a mouse. It's hysterical, and of course it had to come.
Many thanks to Dominique for her kind words yesterday. Lovely site - thoughtful and interesting. Unfortunately yesterday was kinda absorbed with windy matters, and not only has my TV aerial/antenna come down (more ghosts than a spiritualists' meeting), but I clean forgot my shopping date with Sandra.
Sandra was gonna fit me out for the Spring in the department store sales. Kind of max my card and min my waistline. Now I don't know about you, but I never buy clothes. Every time I even think of it, I always say - lose a bit weight first, you fat bastard. So neither thing ever happens, and bit by bit the clothes I have got are disintegrating. I even bought a small sewing kit from Woolworths, but have yet to open it.
The good news is I just landed a teaching assignment, instructing a prominent local businessman in FrontPage 2000. Now what do you reckon would be a realistic fee? Pounds, Dollars or Euro's - I take anything.
Wow! Ninety mph winds and rising! Severe structural damage is forecast, and I'm bound to get it. Even as I sit here emoting, the very floor itself is shaking beneath me. "Did the earth move? The bloody house fell down!"(A Touch of Class, Glenda Jackson to whatsisname.) My main fear always is of a window blowing in, decapitating me before I get this out to you.
Yes, I know you get tornadoes. They're never off Channel 5. Your cop chases, your security-cam robberies and your tornadoes. And they wonder why people go to the pub. They even have American football on half the night, as if there wasn't already too much of the proper sort. What earthly pleasure people get watching grown men kick a ball about a field completely eludes me.
Oh, it might be quite enjoyable to do, if you have the skills or are prepared to learn them - but to watch? Do me a favour guv!
Yesterday was a bit serious on Naked Blog, for a variety of reasons, so today it's fun-time, folks!!
From My Search Logs... Naked Top Ten (All of these individuals had naked after their names)
Robbie Williams (11 requests)
David Beckham (8)
Sophie Raworth (6)
Prince Harry (5)
Uma Thurman (3)
Prince Williams (3) (always with an s at the end. They must think he's related to Robbie.)
Jude Law (2)
Marge Simpson (2)
Cilla Black (2)
Mark Wahlberg (1)
New last night was "gay lions mating", which sounds incredibly catty, and don't forget the firm favourite, "Robbie Williams naked with his dick out". I mean - where else would his damn dick be if he was naked??? I blame the schools. (There were lots more people with one request, but I selected Mr Wahlberg for reasons I leave you to guess at.)
Prince Harry was a new entrant last week, and he remains two places ahead of his brother, even though the latter has distinctly better career opportunities. Marge Simpson (a regular here) demonstrates that you don't actually have to exist for some prevert to fancy you. And Cilla Black has come from nowhere to overtake Mark W, which is also interesting. The readership clearly gets ever more bizarre, although I did hear on the grapevine that Ms Black has something of a following amongst my Sapphic friends.
Up to ten people killed. Hundreds of millions of pounds of damage. Hundreds of lorries overturned. Thousands of homes without power. All trains stopped. All major bridges closed. All ferries in harbour. And you thought I was being a drama queen. (Don't try and deny it! I know you better than you know yourself!) More here.
The depression has moved to the North Sea now, and will arrive in Sweden this evening. The worst for twenty years, the coastguard said, and who are we to disagree? Time and rain will tell how much damage to my roof. There was an awful lot of rolling and clattering going on above me. But at least I'm not decapitated - this time.
Yes folks - it's that time of the year again. The season of drips and mellow muscle pains. We forget, as summer fades to autumn, then ghastly December is got through, that Mother Nature lies waiting with her armory of cold-bugs - ready to pounce in January and February. No sooner does one dry up, than the next one takes its place. Mucosal chairs. Or is it just in Britain?
They all come from birds, these germs, you know. Hong Kong chicken, variant CJD,subtype e-coli brucellosis. (I'm making it up. But the first three words are accurate.) Just over a year ago they slaughtered up to 15 million chickens in HK because they harboured a potentially lethal flu virus. Talk about crossing the species barrier.
Remembrance of things not yet past
It's Holocaust Remembrance Day, and I think back to the million-plus of my people, and also to all the others, who were slaughtered in the name of totalitarianism and blind obedience. And all this in the continent which regularly claims to be the most civilised on the planet, and from the people who brought you Beethoven, and less than ten years before my birth.
"Oh, but it could never happen again!" we say, as we lay our wreaths and shed our tears. Do not be kidded. The world is as hateful and divisive now as ever it was. All that's missing is a charismatic enough leader, with sufficient resources. Last September gave us the wicked fruits of one man's vile charisma - imagine if he'd had the industrial power of the German nation behind him. Makes yer think.
ScotMid closed until further notice shock
Yesterday evening, strolling out for my Saturday Guardian and ciggies, what should I find but a notice in the locked door of my local supermarket. Closed until further notice because of total power failure. Well - what a bonanza for the smaller, local shops! Sold out of everything by midday, they'd never seen so much money in their tills for years. Mardi gras!
ScotMid is short for Scottish and Midland Co-operative Society, or Co-op as they were called in my youth. Every town, and village however small, had its own branch of a Co-operative Wholesale Society, or CWS. Originating in Gothenburg, Sweden, the Co-operative movement was an attempt to bring provisions to the people on a non-profit basis.
It worked like this. My mother would send me to the Co-op to get groceries. Every purchase was written in the Dividend Book. Then, twice a year, came "Divi day", when all the women of the village queued at the shop to have their Dividend paid out - usually by a Dickensian guy, bespectacled and chain-smoking as was then the custom.
Divi was paid on all sorts of things, food, clothing, hardware - the Co-op actually stretched the length of half a street, with different shops for different goods. There were other, competing businesses of course, but always that lure of the Divi kept penny-conscious housewives going back. Sometimes I even got my ears soundly clipped for daring to shop at other, non-divi establishments. I learned my socialism the hard way.
Even more important than the Dividend book was the Ration Book. During the War, food was severely rationed. Although every square inch of suitable land was cultivated, there simply wasn't enough food, and grain had to be shipped in from our Empire and our Allies in North America. Many of the grain convoys were torpedoed, and things were desperate.
The rationing continued for some years after the War was over, and yes, I do recall it. "Sweets are off the ration now," my aunt told my mother one day. She gave me a pound, a huge sum in those days, and sent me to the Co-op to spend it all on sweets. And that was my own little chocolatey holocaust.
Later. Out and about
I was going to list out how splendidly everyone's doing right now, but I won't. I was going to put droll comments about Jim's cookery and Geek's bad acid and Josh's return, but I won't do that either. For I just learned today that while NB was (in vain) hustling votes for tinsel baubles, something much more important has been happening, and that is the return of Dave the Mad Monk here.
Start at the bottom of his page, have a full half-hour at your disposal, and put coffee and cigs (if used) to hand.
Weblogs, whether good or dreadful, are now one of the primary means of communication on the internet.
Guardian Editor Jan19
You will rarely, if ever, read a page like that again. My every good wish to you both - once more.
Words are easy, they always say, and for us, my blogging friends, the easiest of all. We toss them like gemstones into the sand - some cheap, some good - but we toss them nevertheless, knowing that tomorrow there'll always be more.
So how then to use those words, those flickering fluorescents on the cathode screen, to show your love and care for someone who is ill? That this time it isn't a performance, that now you really mean it, but that words are all we've got we'll ever share? Pray tell me that.
Hi folks - just a quickie. I'm having a design crisis at the moment. "What design?" I hear you ask, and so you might. You have no idea how much the concepts of colours, font-faces, and layouts upset me. Total angst. I just know - really, really know - that I hate this page with a vengeance unsurpassed since Beelzebub himself was cast out of the very heavens above.
If anybody has any helpful ideas, please let me know. Every day I see blogs from people who can hardly spell their own names, yet which glisten with design and sheer beauty. Yet we're stuck with this arsehole. I'll pay good money. Or - if you're a Naked Blog reader - we'll call it a fair exchange. Anything. Help. Please.
It's snowing. Outside and in my heart. Yes folks, thank you all so very much for your nominations, and I know they were there, but - tragically - Naked Blog didn't make any of the Bloggie finals. (Anticipating this, my good friend Sandra came round yesterday and hid all the razor blades.)
But - every cloud has a silver lining, and this at least means we can relax and slob out on NB again. Frankly, the strain of being a finalist might have been a bit too much for my Garland-esque constitution. I was even starting to lose it a bit during the nomination period.
So - what can we rescue from the ashes of dashed hopes and dreams? (Forgive me - but I can go quite mental now. Yeeehah!!)
It's easy. Several of the finalists are people we've already recommended to you. One is even on my Sites to See list... Oh yes - nothing but the best for you here! And I've even got a new surprise for you... But let's stay in order. Click here to bring up your Voting list in a new window, and then dot back and forth.
Best Article or Essay about Weblogs. The correct vote is Credo, by Mighty Geek. Obviously I would have voted for him anyway, but that work is breathtaking. One of the few pieces of webwriting I've ever seen that I couldn't have done myself. I haven't bothered reading the others, nor will I, as to quote the late, great Quentin Crisp, "Other people are a mistake."
Best European Weblog Well, it should have been us, but seeing as it ain't, my vote goes to plasticbag.org, for no other reason than the guy gave me a nice mention. Once again, there's no need to actually see any of the others.
Best Topical Weblog. The event organiser doesn't fully grasp the meaning of the word topical, but let that pass. Here topical means "about a topic". And the one to go for is Disturbing Search Requests, much-mentioned in our pages, and to which we contribute a lot. A win for this will be a tiny win for Naked Blog.
Best Kept Secret WeblogHoopty Loops. Energetic, refreshing, different. If you can imagine Naked Blog, but thirty years younger, hetero, and on crack... you've got the idea.
Best GLBT Weblog. Here, from information received, I can reveal that we were in the top ten, but didn't make the final cut. NB is not really a "very gay" site. Plus, after recent events, I think we could discount the T vote anyway. So who to choose? Should it be Tom, of plasticbag.org? Or have we returned the favour already above?
Well, now I want to tell you a story. A story about a young man who is quite brilliant at electioneering, and will undoubtedly go far. For what should start turning up on last night's referrals, but a new (to me) site called East Coast, West Coast, a two-man collaboration.
Philo, the San Francisco party, has a brain-wave. He thinks... "I've seen the list of first-line nominees. These guys have lots of readers. What if I gush a bit praise on them, give them a link or two, and in return they give us a recommendation... losers that they are, they might just fall for this!"
Honey it's worked. Plus your pal is quite a dish, esp with that meat-cleaver in his hand (always was a sucker for big choppers). So go on - vote East Coast West Coast. My blessings on you both, and congratulations on a great site. Once again, we won't be spending valuable time considering other options.
The snow is quite thick now and still falling steadily. Last night they forecast it for the morning rush-hour, but nature breathed kindly on Edinburgh, if not on Naked Blog.
I'll be back. This is still fun!
PS There are so many new links flying about today that Blogdex has completely broken down!!
You'll know when this one hits you, when you start getting bored with all these latest, ultra-gorgeous yet pointless games, and begin harking back to the good old DOS 5/Win3.1 days. When every game had its own boot disc, to fix those pesky CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files. (Younger readers, and those of more recent geekiness, won't have a clue what I'm talking about. Nor should they worry.)
For me it was DOOM what done it. Or more precisely, DOOM2. (Never could get things in the right order, even in the mid-nineties.) So now I can be found happily going BAM BAM BAM at every monster a man could conceive. I've just completed the level where you kill all the machine-gun cows in the middle, then the walls open up and a bunch of mechanical spiders come at you. Remember that one? Hint: The spiders topple like flies if you zap em with the shotgun. No heavy artillery required.
For a season I played in the British Doom League, under the title Deadly Nightshade. Tony was Acidman. But by then my DX50 and 8MB RAM were decidedly creaky, and basically their rockets had killed me before mine had left my house. Useless. At the end of the tournament I was ranked "a very disappointing last", by the organiser. Talk about rubbing it in. He probably had a damn Pentium 90 and 16 Megs. Show-off.
Next I'd love to have a shot at F16 Fighter Pilot - the original one, on a single floppy. Remember? All the scenery was triangulated, and no-one, but no-one ever got the thing to land without crashing!
You would descend from a cloudless sky, to see a black landing strip, the size of half a matchstick, racing towards you like schoolkids after the final bell. Once, only once, did I ever get on to that strip, but my path was diagonal across it, rather than the more conventional way, and - as ever - my lovely victorious fighter plane crashed headlong into a bunch of sheds, sending triangles flying across the screen. I adored it. Sometimes I would skip all the sorties, and just take-off, U-turn in the heavens, then practise landing. But there was no noticeable improvement. Piloting isn't my thing.
Out and about
It's a two-Mike day. Thanks to straight Mike in Canada for the link on akacooties. Many of you read him already, and he's always a treat. One you won't know, however, is gay Mike in northern England. His troubled diva site is a delicious pot-pourri of soft furnishings, snaps of his house (most gay men's second interest), and tasteful soft-porn tales about his sexual exploits. Sort of Jackie Collins meets Shannon Tweed meets Elton John. Not for the very-easily shocked, but then I don't think many of you are. Plus most straight people are a bit crinkly round the edges if you poke em a bit. Believe me, I've spent a lifetime doing it.
Also.... my good friend, protege and former writing student Scott has some great stuff on Hong Kong this very day.
[An extra-special, warm and woolly, welcome from sunny Leith to new visitors from plasticbag.org I hope you find something in our tales to interest and amuse you. We've given Naked Blog a C for Caution rating, as at times it contains strong language and adult material.]
OF ALL THE BARS...
It's amazing who you meet in the Port o Leith Bar these days. Oh, all the usual suspects were there of course - Evergreen Norma on her penultimate glass of white wine, Gerry Not Guilty booming "GOOD EVENING YOUNG MAN!" in his best (former) courtroom voice, and - how up-to-date can you get? - Andy (not his real name), who announced he was a first line judge for The Bloggies. It's all there, you see. Little if any need to go elsewhere.
You can tell when Norma's on her second-last glass, as her eyes glaze over and she starts to speak in tongues - usually downtown Glaswegian - by the way, Jimmy, ye ken... If you can imagine Billy Connolly's patter coming from a diminutive white-haired old lady's mouth, you'll get the general drift.
And it's also her second-last glass because you know that in a few minutes Mary the landlady will come over, pour her another one, and say, "OK, Norma - but this is your last drink." She loves that last drink, does our Norma. Tossing her charity-shop scarf about her shoulders she'll make a bee-line for the nearest group of men, aged about thirty - sailors a speciality - and begin her courtly dance of the seven veils. Usually they humour her, but some just tell her to fuck off. It's a risk she gladly takes, daily.
"There's a hell of a lot of blogs to get through," Andy announced. "It'll take me days." "But it was meant to be done by yesterday," I told him, dimly recalling the schedule. "Not any more," Andy said. "It's been extended to Wednesday." "Oh," I replied, still not daring to ask the obvious question.
Gerry Not Guilty's voice is genuine Glaswegian, of the most-educated variety. When he speaks he makes even Kirsty Wark sound common. A top lawyer in his day, he now too looks for victims, not of the seductive type, but rather to listen to his tales of courtroom yore. They can be fascinating - at first.
"I think it's all about elimination," Andy explained. "I'm dropping any sites that take for ever to load. And what can I do with the foreign ones I can't read?" So I pointed him to Tom who's already written about these very matters. "And yours has got quite a long URL," he observed. "Could be a disadvantage." Well, that answered that question at least. Sometimes you don't have to ask to get.
Mary, the proprietor, was bemused. Used to the greats of British and overseas writers and theatricals in her bar, I think the idea of Weblog Oscars seemed a little mundane."You've got to move with the times, Mary," I told her, as she poured my third Guinness. "David Mamet was then, weblogs are now." "Oh," she said, "that'll be two pounds please," not sounding too convinced. We drank, and chatted weblogs. Time passed.
I'm not sure whether Anwar, my local Pakistani restaurant-owner, is after my body or not. We've already had a heated debate about my shaggy winter-beard. "Shave it off!" he cries. "No! Not gonna happen!" I cry back. His fascination with, or maybe repulsion from my facial hair is odd indeed for a business person, whose interests rarely range beyond the pocket.
Take last night, while I waited for my Lamb Dhansak to go. It was a perfect opportunity for me to "suss him out" as we say here, as what should be playing on the TV on top of the chilled drinks cabinet but Pop Idol.
This programme purports to be a "talent show", but is really just an excuse for a bunch of pervy old-timers (Littlejohn, Waterman, etc.) to sit entranced by a few desperate kids barely past their first wet dream. All that was missing was Jonathan King and a bag of lollipops.
"She was very good," declared Anwar, about a schoolgirl whose act I'd missed. He was toasting my poppadum on the gas range that cooks the kebabs.
"Wow! you look good for sixteen!" stated old-timer judge number one. (The poor kid looked like she needed a friendly hug more than a record contract, btw.) With a chorus of "wonderful" and "marvellous" she was despatched to whatever hell such hopefuls go to, and then came on a similarly-pubescent boy dressed in a white suit and tie.
He sang "Mack the Knife" in a karaoke manner, to a bunch of similar accolades from the judges. Sinatra would have turned in his grave, while Robbie laughed all the way to the bank.
By now I was totally bored. "We should go on that show!" I suggested to Anwar. "I'd even shave my beard off. We could be a duo." Here he almost dropped my pakora in disbelief, as our two ages total 115. (I'd declined a free upgrade from veg. pakora to chicken, not wanting my meal to be too rich.)
I feel Anwar doesn't fully understand my humour. Our relationship would never work. But it's the pop kids I feel sorry for - used and abused for the enrichment of others, later to be tossed out like yesterday's curried left-overs. You could ask Adam Ant. Except he's sectioned in a locked psychiatric ward right now.
The light woke me this morning, at 8.30. That was nice. That was really nice, as the simplest of symmetrical calculations then shows it'll be light at 8.30 until November.
What a week it's been for this website! No sooner had the ink dried on last Sunday's treatise on attracting Google searches, then young Prince Hal shocked the world by drinking under-age, taking illegal drugs, and like totally getting away with it. Don't try and tell me royalty doesn't have it perks!
So, following our own detailed instructions, we were Number 4 for Prince Harry hash, and Number 5 for pics of Harry Pot Head, before you could say, "Are ye never gonna pass that joint, man?" Haven't seen so much traffic since Devil smoke picture WTC.
However, one-off searches do not a readership build, and they evaporate like snowflakes on a radiator. More on these matters is at plasticbag.org, a well-written if somewhat worthy site I discovered this week.
Talking of sites, the Naked Blog kiss of death seems to have hit almost everyone I know, with Mighty Geek the only one still churning out the goods. Come on folks! It's Bloggie week - not the time to be moving house, changing ISP, or having unresolved domains or broken pages. Every time I think of the Bloggies a picture of Cher pops into my mind, and I just know that if I could only afford the surgery, an Oscar would be mine without a doubt.
The finalists will be announced on Monday - I don't yet know how many categories we'll be in - and then it's up to the public once again. Let's hope it doesn't end in lawsuits over the Florida vote.
Talking of which, how is the esteemed GWB? Tony saw him on the telly and said his face looked nothing like pretzel-damaged. "A great big whopping thud," was how T described it. But then Tony, a married man, is himself sporting a largeish bruise on his forehead - sheepishly claiming he "bashed it on a door". I don't know. True love never runs smooth. Mixed marriages never work. But then neither do same-sex ones.
Can't wait till this Bloggie nonsense is over, and we can get back to self-indulgent, unlinked drivel again. Much more fun - for both of us.
This site needs more links to it. We're currently at something like 4060 on Blogdex, two positions below Dunkin Donuts. There was a huge boost thanks to a kind link from Mike at akacooties, which you should definitely see, but then the (link)rot set in again. The only way is down.
Most of the half-decent blogs I read are in the single thousands, and I see not the slightest reason why we shouldn't be up there too. I'm even thinking of buying a domain to make your life easier, if I could only find a provider who would (1) connect in less than a fortnight, and (2) stay in business for more than a month.
As this piece appears to have angered and offended in equal measure, I've decided to withdraw it. Julie Burchill I ain't. And for this money...
To those for whom the removal is too late, I was very interested to read your comments on trannyrant, and I've written a contribution there, if Nine chooses to post it.
Out and about
On to lighter matters. Talking of Boyzone, that's exactly what my Sites to See has become of late. So we're delighted to welcome Barbara from Canada, and Nine living in Edinburgh to bring a feminine touch to testosterone city. Both these sites were in my list of Bloggie nominations.
A whacking great NB thank you to Ryan and noyen, who've been with us almost since the beginning, and filled many a happy and thoughtful five minutes.
His Royal HIGHness
(Featuring the famous pic of Harry Pot Head!)
[On the revelation in yesterday's Murdoch gutter press that Prince Harry enjoys a wee toke of hash after his pint. South Park got nothing on this lot.]
I wasn't going to blog this one, on the basis that if I ignore the Royal Family sufficiently, they might just go away. But who am I to feel so influential, eh? Plus the green-haired diva has dunnit, and we can't let her pinch traffic that should rightfully be mine.
Prince Harry smokes cannabis shock!
Prince Harry drinks beer shock!
Dubya chokes on pretzel shock!
[Oops - wrong story]
My heart totally bleeds for this boy, with a lifetime of enormous salary, minimal duties and all the totty he could want stretching before him.
OK he has to put up with a couple of little worries, such as his brother being taller, sexier and maybe to be King some day, but I'm sure he'll cope. I mean, look at his Great-aunt Maggie, raised in the identical family position. Hasn't she done us proud over the years?
A big part of the Harrygate situation revolves around him drinking, at 16 yo, in his local pub. Aren't there licensing laws being broken here? Doesn't the prince, as third in line to the throne, have a Special Branch escort? And who was that mystery blonde who claimed she "loved him as a person - it wasn't the money - like, no way bro"?
There are more questions than answers. Read the full story in the News of the World.(My God - if you'd told me I would ever, ever send traffic to that despicable rag. How much lower can Naked Blog sink in its desperate hunt for ratings? )
INCREASE YOUR TRAFFIC - MAKE $$$$ FROM YOUR OWN HOME!!
Frequently I get letters from bloggers shocked by the graphic and disturbing search requests in their daily logs. "You have a robust and gutsy site," they write. "How do you cope with the inevitable fall-out?" And the answer is, dear readers, that I've become immune to it. Also, along the way, you unconsciously start to self-edit as you go. You learn from your own and others' mistakes.
What people search for is sex. Usually they want pictures of the young and foxy doing stuff. It's the modern price of fame.
I once wrote that I get so many searches for Robbie Williams naked that I'm beginning to think that is the poor man's name. But does that upset Mr Williams? Of course not. Does it upset me? Equally nada.
Where I do draw the absolute line however, is at any form of search request involving hatred, intolerance, or children. So you learn not to use certain words. You'll notice almost no mention of any religion in our pages, even though I find these things fascinating in a Freddy Krueger way. We never mention N*rthern I**land. Or Is**m. Or OBL. Numerals smaller than sixteen (I'll allow that one) simply don't appear, as they can and do attract the most despicable men. (Check out DSR and see the traps the unwary fall in to.)
But hey! This piece is called Increase Your Traffic, and there are some words which will get them flooding in like squaddies semen at a gang-bang. (Getting the idea? Hehe.)
Spice up your stories with mentions of the young and beautiful. However, even the more mature are not exempt. In our time we've had requests for Naked Bingo Hall, Queens Mum naked, and today I see on DSR there's an hilarious one for Cilla Black fetish. Age truly does not wither them.
Naked, of course, is a must. Mention this blog a lot - that's a painless way of slipping in the N-word. Equally essential are the words pictures or pics. When, oh when will searchers realise that the moment they type in pics of X naked, the one thing they won't get is a damn picture. They'll get writing, and nothing else. Google could and should address that.
(Readers of a sensitive nature should leave now.) Top not only of my lists, but of others' I also study, are the usual suspects. You don't need me to spell them out. Strangely, my own all-time number two (after naked) is enema.
A couple of years ago I wrote an entirely innocent, true account of a seventy-year-old lady who'd just had a barium enema to test for possible illness. The piece has no sexual connotations whatsoever, and is written purely as a "the things they say" tale. Yet poor Mrs Stewart is now possibly the most-read-about old lady in the world. At fifty-plus hits a day, barium and I have made her a high-colonic star.
Your own ideas, of course, will be very welcome...
Last night, after a splendid riverside walk to Slateford, I got chatting to Stewart - a fascinating guy of my own vintage. He's a virtual DJ.
Nowadays, increasingly I find myself drawn to those with variegated hair. And I'm not talking dye - I'm talking grey and white. It's almost as if the brown has to fade a bit, before the sense comes in. Readers in their second half-century will know what I'm talking about. Those in their twenties, with still-sparkling 'nads, rightly know that sex is a lot more fun than bingo, and couldn't give a shit about grey hair. Ah well - memories, memories! But I'm destroying my own argument, and that will never do.
Oh - and talking about bingo, who should I meet in Great Junction Street yesterday but Cathie and Isobel, two of my bingo ladies. Not customers, but former colleagues. It took me back. I really must have a spell working at the local bingo hall again. It's a hoot. Where else can a man in his mid-fifties get called "son" all day? Plus I must have what amounts to a Doctor's degree in the subject - everything from selling the old dears their bingo books, to calculating the prize-money, to the glittering insincerity of main-stage calling. There's much more to it than "legs eleven" you know! Yes - it's nearly time.
Those remotely interested can read us in bingo mode in the archives, from April to July. After that, a modest inheritance suddenly allowed this present spell of indolence. But all good things come to my end, as we say here.
Oh - and talking about ends, that's exactly what Stewart revealed to me in our chat. He runs a multi-occupancy house (don't dare say squat) up near Calton Hill, and apparently the residents are such avid Naked Blog fans that they print it all out, and hang it in the bathroom in the space normally reserved for Private Eye and The Big Issue magazines.
Dump your log with Naked Blog. I'm flattered of course, but at the same time it does make me want to wash my hands a bit. Stewart has kindly invited me to a naked lunch-gathering, in exchange for a short lecture on "How to write a Blog and get it read". I can't wait. Eat yer heart oot, Quentin.
And there we'll stop. It's a bit creepy writing directly to people sitting shitting. LogBlog! Don't forget to vote for NB in The Bloggies, two posts down from here.
Out and about
Those of you with Blogdex accounts will notice a quantum leap of at least 10 points in your rating now, as we've at last managed to get this new .php page crawled. It took two submissions and a begging letter - I kid you not.
Tony writes to tell me about the colour of the universe. Apparently it's almost the same colour as this blog, which shows I at least get some things right. The article is here, and I couldn't understand a single word of it. The typeface is enormous however, as if to compensate.
Tired of all those pesky pop-ups? You wouldn't buy that damn digital camera if it was the last one on earth? Then take a look at ways to opt out. Three of them are by my friend and colleague Nine here in Edinburgh.
(The physical world. Compare cyberspace qv...Naked Dictionary)
This word is so new, the ink isn't even dry yet. Doncha just love it? Don't you just think it's the perfect antidote to all those cybernauts and neuromancers you read and comment and email every day? Isn't it just so damn animal? (And by one of the sheerest coincidences of our beloved language, meatspace is also where you go to meet people.) Like the Port o' Leith, but maybe less smelly.
NB is indebted to surreally for my first sight of the word, on his/her page about the upcoming Blog-Con 2002 in Las Vegas. Blog-Con 2002 is a bloggers' conference, and apparently one of the proposed attractions will be a seance to resurrect Liberace. In keeping with the hi-tech medium, there will be a filmed documentary of the event, and the entire thing will be blogged live as it happens.
Special arrangements are being made for those bloggers too neurotic to actually speak to anybody. (I can tell you think I'm making it up! No so. Click the link and see fer yersel.)
O dear me. Yesterday was spent in the grip of some rhinovirus or other. Thankfully the naked nose didn't approach Niagara volumes, rather just a mountain stream. I soaked three cotton vests only. (Don't get agitated - they easily wash, and are by far the kindest thing on the pouring schnozzle.)
There are one hundred and one cold-remedies, but only two of them work. Vitamin C and Vindaloo. Vitamin C I had not, and by the nature of the malady, couldn't be bothered to go and get. (That stricture never applies to cigarettes, which must always be bought.) Non-smokers will simply not understand, and shouldn't trouble their healthy little heads trying.
Meat Vindaloo was closer by, in my local Pakistani (or P a k i , as GWB would have us think) restaurant. I bought, I ate, it conquered. Nose totally dry. You couldn't make it up. (Plus there's still half left for today's lunch.) Bombs away!!
Out and about
Welcome back to Jim, who's serving up some strong meat indeed. It's a must-see. Carrie has discontinued her weblog, and all here at NB send good wishes for now and the future, whatever, if anything, ails. My friend Scott has now sailed almost to Singapore, and you can read his adventures online. Younger readers (and there are more than a couple), might well appreciate Hoopty, who has a lively and refreshing style, and a huge, mainly female, following. More next time...
The Ultimate Palindrome? (From a letter in The Guardian)
What does it mean? Prize for the first correct answer drawn out of the hat! (Clue - it's not long to go.) And that's it - out for a walk now, away from all this cig-fug. Don't forget to vote for The Bloggies.
It's payback time! Yes folks, it's that time of the year again. What am I talking about? It's The Bloggies, the Weblog Oscars for 2001, and your vote can make a difference. Forget tired old film stars dripping in borrowed diamonds. Ignore those flashing cameras as the winners act their butts off, trying and failing to pretend humility. Cinema is fake - this is real. Cinema was then - this is now.
With the coming of the weblog community we at last can sense that fifties dream - of collective human consciousness. No medium, no art-form has had what we have now. When you weep, my heart lies heavy, and when you laugh my joy breaks bounds. For we - that's you and I, my literary friend - are the brave and stumbling pioneers, the very Sultans of Cyber.
And when your grandchildren, with their SMS virtual-reality implants, laugh at today's crude equipment, you can say, "At least we made a start".
But back to The Bloggies, for now. Why the heck should you vote for Naked Blog? Two reasons. One, I deserve it. You can search this site with a sniff-bot but you'll find no "wishlists," no PayPals, or anything remotely similar. Your nomination will more than repay the hours I've freely donated to you.
And Two - you'll obviously be nominating your own site, but then you also have to plump out your ballot with lots of other votes. Naked Blog is an ideal place to start. And remember - I might well be nominating YOU. Go on - make an old man happy :))
Categories for Naked Blog
There's a time and a place for modesty, but this isn't it. Clearly we don't expect a gong for Best Design. Let's get real. But the following all are nominations you could and should make...
Best European Weblog Ja wohl. Mais oui. Si Senor. Och aye the noo. Self-evident, this one. Why vote for some Latvian hill-farmer eking out an existence on two scrotes a day, when you can acknowledge the majesty of Metropolitan Pete.
Best Tagline of a Weblog "To write is human - to blog, divine." You couldn't make it up. But I did.
Best GLBT Weblog Yes - it's true, and it's on the sidebar. Just cos we don't rub your face in it daily (unlike some queens I could name), don't mean it ain't so. Avoid multi-nationals such as Daily Brad, RuPaul etc., and vote instead for the small man. Support your local poof.
Most humorous Weblog Goes without saying.
Best-kept-secret Weblog That means not in Blogdex Top 200. Well, we're currently languishing at Number 4723, so I guess that's pretty secret. We once hit 381 for a couple of days, but I never did work out how that happened. I didn't cry when it finished.
Best New Weblog Means started in 2001, like this one.
Lifetime achievement Weblog Oh yeah!
Weblog of the Year Just do it. Don't even think.
It's all online, of course, and your ballot sheet is here. Now, Naked Blog has a rather long and fussy URL, and I never did get round to buying a domain for it. To make filling in your form easier, our URL is www.ednet.co.uk/~magnificat/blogger.php for you to Edit|Copy and then Paste, Paste, Paste to your heart's content.
Thanks in advance, and see you at the Ceremony! I might even let you sit at my table. Remember - you've only got till Jan 12.
Had a totally fab birthday (don't even think about asking) in The Port o Leith yesterday, with the traditional fizzy wine, happy birthday song, and blow-up rubber birthday cake. My great thanks to Mary and to all those present for the love-waves, which were more precious than diamonds. Genuinely touching. (Waves of a different sort were supplied by Big Straight Al and the adorable Matthew. Yummm.)
"What goes around, comes around" Department
The Port is holding a fabulous "New Year Hair o' the Dug" disco from 2pm today, hosted by the delicious, delectable DJ Sam, who has promised to both turn up and be nice to people. I might even go...