Websites: From Van Gogh to Bob Dylan in just a few clicks
Tuesday 30 September 1997
Physicist Mark Robbins spent his year off before university working on an assembly line in Rochford, making Matchbox toys. But that's not really an adequate clue to the quality of obsession displayed here. The site traces the Matchbox company history, from demob beginnings and its rivalry with Dinky through the million-selling Coronation Royal State Coach model of 1953. The visitors book is passionate -"Looking for a seat for the sidecar of my No 9 Sunbeam cycle" - and poignant - "My mom threw out my Matchboxes while dusting."
Van Gogh's Bedroom
As the song has it, at least in the US, where did Vincent Van Gogh? Up to his room, apparently, where he made famous paintings of his wooden bed, green shutters, hatrack, water jug and the rest. Mixing conjecture and 3D-modelling software, this site fills in the walls Van Gogh never painted, along with his ottoman, pipe and "Sunflowers"-style vase. There's another view from the perspective of the well-known hat, and a rather Dali-esque overhead shot. Author Pete Clements is a sort of renaissance hobbyist with an interest in 3D, anamorphic pictures and other optical trickery.
A J Weberman presents ...
You don t need a Weberman to know which way the wind blows, but the science of "garbology" might just help. This approach to Dylan Studies has less to do with Christoper Ricks or Greil Marcus than with self-publicity and a desire to rummage through the dustbins of the rich and famous. Sixties radical Weberman first came to fame by going through Dylan's trash to find clues to his songs; in 1971, Dylan caught him in the act and thumped him. After a detour into JFK assassination theory, he has launched himself on the Web with both Bob and his son Jakob Dylan the targets of his attention. Jokingly (but you never can tell), he now claims to have plans to break into the recycle bin of the singer's computer. In fact, AJ created the first digital Dylan concordance, using punch-cards, way back in the Seventies. The resulting exegeses are online here, along with the usual tirades about how Bob has sold out, and a critique of the new CD which is honest at least: "I haven't heard it yet, but I can tell you already I don't like it." Expect extra guards on the backstage bins at Wembley next Sunday.
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