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day permlink Tuesday, 10 September 2002

permlink 7up and Dr. Pepper recipes

Found via girlhacker's link to the new soft drink dnL (alternate press release with picture here): Cooking with Dr Pepper and 7 UP, a set of recipes incorporating their main products.

Making punches out of 7up, sure. 7up Beef Tips? Making a sauce with Dr. Pepper, oil, ketchup, lemon juice, garlic powder and minced onion? Uh... I'll just take your word for it.

Reminiscent of the Gallery of Regrettable Food (specifically a section on corporation-generated recipes, which now seems to be available only in the dead-tree, pay edition). permlink  

permlink software annoyances

Here's a software annoyance that I'll write about but not bother to learn Mozilla's whole bug-submission system for (yes, yes: lazy weblogger, no cookie). In IE/Mac, [spacebar] scrolls down a webpage a screen at a time. [option-spacebar] scrolls back up the page, a screen at a time.

Mozilla (also Chimera) seems to only duplicate the first behavior. Is there a key combo I'm unaware of in Mozilla?

Separate annoyance: Movable Type still crashes for me at Pair, but it seems to have centered itself on the step where I would ping Solution: I'm not pinging any more, as of today. I'm looking into the RSS thing instead (which I'll be writing about soon, and which I was already doing before I was aware that I was; the hazards of running code you didn't write!). permlink     3 comment(s)  
[shift-spacebar] pages up in Mozilla/Windows. Maybe that works for Mozilla/Mac as well?
      ...posted by on September 10, 2002 6:43 PM
Nope, no combination of shift, control, option and/or command will do it.
      ...posted by Steve on September 10, 2002 6:57 PM
For what it's worth, the bug appears to be in the Mozilla bug database:
      ...posted by on September 10, 2002 7:44 PM
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permlink Cerebus 281 review: Dave's losing it, even more than he already has

Dave's losing it, even more than he already has. Heidi MacDonald wrote memorably about him more than a decade ago (I'm recalling as best I can, so it's not 100% verbatim): "Dave is frustrating because he's equal parts genius and asshole. And he knows it." Over the last several years, the 'genius' part has been overshadowed more and more. Though in certain arenas he remains a master, it's ever harder to ignore the loudmouth side with its nutty convictions and bizarre behaviors. And with his latest output, I think that his 'genius' status is starting to fade entirely.

The latest issue of Cerebus, #281 (cover copy: "Latter Days #16, And it came to passe"), is the worst example yet of the weird turn Dave Sim's taken in telling the aardvark's closing years. He's now even more explicitly shoehorning in his own religious obsessions by having Cerebus babble on and on for numerous pages in small-point text about his snickeringly oddball [mis]interpretations and deconstructions of the first several chapters of Genesis. All this is ostensibly being told to a Woody Allen character "Konigsberg" (who doesn't exhibit much of a personality beyond his goofy glasses and generic internal monologue about nothing much besides the occasional sexual turn). I do expect that I'm missing some in-jokes in the Allen/Konigsberg monologue, but I don't think I care; by now Dave's in-jokes are getting very very 'in'.

How is this interesting? Where is there a plot with any kind of forward motion? The text pieces in Jaka's Story were at least new content done with Wilde-style panache and revealing historical tidbits about a major character; this is like being locked in a closet with an unbalanced fanatic who won't shut up.

Many years have passed in the last several issues, and the plots of yesteryear are still unresolved (unless I missed it in a long, dense, calligraphed paragraph somewhere). Are the Cirinists just... gone? All dead? Peacefully remaining within their own borders? (Ha!) Did Jaka just slink away? How's Astoria nowadays, or Suenteus Po? We're following an endless tangent instead, and it's way beyond tedious.

Cerebus has been increasingly uneven for years now (even if you ignore Sim's own self-marginalizing meltdowns in his non-story writings, and that's... impossible), but now Dave's extremist misanthropy and urge to proselytize are seriously leaking into the story. Prime example: [minorSpoiler issues="265,275-278"] once Cerebus discarded Jaka, he built a stable society around himself by... annually executing the most annoying women as chosen by an informal show of hands? What? Oh, and a few men will get lynched too if they're particularly obnoxious. Hey presto, a society of docile folk who do what the majority would like! Utopia! Um. [/minorSpoiler]

Before the Konigsberg storyline, you could at least count on some interesting or funny sequence out of the 20 monthly story pages. Now, it's just wall-to-wall garbage. Well-drawn and well-lettered garbage, but rotten smelly garbage all the same (with free, long bonus polemics on religions and women in the back that I've stopped trying to wade through/make sense of).

According to Sim's own account, he knew the outline for the entire 300-issue run quite early on (by the end of #50, unless I'm mistaken). Does anyone believe this is really what he had in mind? Or has his anti-woman, Bizarro-Christianity agenda fundamentally derailed his own story?

He's on issue #281 of 300... there are only 19 more in the entire storyline. So I've read over 93% of the whole already... am I annoyed enough to abandon all hope that the last 7% will be worth reading? Sigh.

I have to see how it ends, because I have hope he'll write something approximating his original intent, which I still believe was going to be interesting.

So. 19 more issues, then no more Dave for me. If I can even stand it for that long. permlink     3 comment(s)  
Interesting stuff. I've read Cerebus for 20 years now..think the first issue I bought was 21, and then I caught up rapidly. I agree wholeheartedly with your point that it defies logic Sim had this plot (or at least its emphasis and execution) in mind when he plotted out the 300 issues, and like yourself I find it harder and harder to bother to (try to) read the blasted thing. The light-hearted humour found in much of the first 100 or so issues seems long gone, as Sim focuses on his bizarre rants about the nature of god.

I have spent the lst few years hoping we would see the often-promised return of the funnier Cerebus, or at least the blaanced and thoughtful prose of the excellent "Jaka's Story" arc, but it looks unlikely. Maybe Cerebus - the comic and its creator - will die "alone, unmourned and unloved" along with their character in issue 300.
      ...posted by Matt on January 31, 2003 1:18 PM
I have to agree:After purchasing several of the early phonebooks (2-7 I think) and enjoying the hell out of them, I found it harder and harder to make it through the later ones. 'Guys' was pretty fun, and most of 'Rick's Story' was pretty entertaining as well, but I'll never really be able to get into the second half of 'Going Home' with the obsession on F. Scott Fitzgerald, or, even worse, the 50-page adaptation of Hemmingway wife's diary of their African Safari. I will say, though, that if I was to start a story in the 1970's, and carry it through all the way to 2004, that even if I had a central idea in place waaaaaay back then, by the time I even got halfway through the whole thing would probably be meaningless. So, hopefully the 265-300 phonebook will be lighter on the hero-worship of favorite authors, and heavier on the story. After all, when it ends, that it......
      ...posted by John on April 24, 2003 2:58 AM
I actually started to enjoy Cerebus as the story aged. The initial story arc (to me) was little more than sight gags & so-so art. As Sim found 'his voice' (as he previously stated) - i feel his work improved immersurably. The story became interesting & the art improved with Sim's conviction of 'something to say' - within his monthly publication. For me, Sim & Cerebus have been far more interesting once Sim stated his '300' issue quset. BobbyN .
      ...posted by BobbyN on July 22, 2004 11:40 PM
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