When the writer is so good that the funny isn't enough

Questionable Content's writing (art, too, but that's not what this is about) is very brilliant. Jacques is very good at giving us enough story in a strip while keeping the funny in there, that I dread the day when he misses his next update. This is not all good, because this way, he has spoiled us horridly, so much so, in fact, that I felt strangely unsatisfied by today's installment. Look at it, it's fucking hilarious (LOOK AT IT!), but it does nothing to advance the story, and at this point in the story, I wouldn't care if Pintsize made me barf out a lung from laughing; I want to know whether Marten bangs the OCD chick. And if he doesn't, what Faye's reaction will be when she finds out where he spent the night and of course she'll think and Dora's brother and Raven and ZOMG GOBBLE GOBBLE

Stand by, we are experiencing technical difficulties

I am terribly behind on the "Crack from Blackdog" thing I promised I would be doing, and yesterday I bricked my laptop that had the draft for the next installment sitting on it. Curses! Why did I not use Blogger's Draft feature, you ask? Why, because I wanted to be able to work on the entry should I be somewhere without connection. Didn't that work well? To atone for my sins, I give you the Ultimate Awesome (via Websnark)


We are gathered here today...

Richard PryorI am sad today because Richard Pryor is dead. More than once, his programs nearly cost me my life because I was laughing my head off when I should have been paying attention to traffic; he was not just funny, but thought-provoking and instructional. Here's to the funniest motherfucker ever lived. (via warrenellis.com)


When I'm grown up, I wanna be an American Corporate Fuck

This is a brilliant article by Doc Searls (via Boing Boing) detailing how the American Telco giants (and others) are going to fuck us over; the details are fairly complicated, and I don't think I completely understand it yet (he argues that the Intarweb should be treated as a place, and the carriers are going to kill it by treating it as a transport system), but it reminded me of two things that drive me up the wall.
First, the web is my playground, and that swedish dude's playground, and that african dude's over there (obviously not that Chinese dude's), and if someone wants to fuck with it, we can't do a fucking thing about it, because, hey, the web is fucking American! What are we gonna do? Write to our fucking Congressman? Woops, guess what, Germany just narrowly missed the cut to get into Congress last election, better luck next time. Best we can do is bitch and moan about it in our fucking blogs. Yeah, we're pretty much fucked.
Second, why are decisions in the "digital realm" (I'm using this term as ironically as possible, here) always made by people who have no clue? It's usually some bosses who think that this Internet is just a newfangled thingamajig that sounds vaguely dangerous, or legislators who really aren't any better. I never hear of any law being passed that sounds like the people who passed it knew what they were doing. Instead, it's always "regulate", "restrict", "danger", "think of the children" and "terrorists". I never hear "embrace", "free flow of information" or "digital freedom" (Of course not. You don't get to be a big fat corporate/legislator fuck by being a fucking hippie). Motherfuckers.


Blog, know thyself

I think it's pretty funny that Blogger's spellchecker doesn't know "blog".

My crack from Blackdog #1

Since this is the first installment of this segment, I'll now do a little introduction of "my crack from Blackdog":
While I was still living in Berlin, I used to have a pullbox at an absolutely awesome little all-US import comic book store, Blackdog Berlin. Since I moved away to Munich, I have been having the contents of my Blackdog pullbox shipped to me twice a month. In a bid to bring some content to this site (it's the second blog and maybe fifth website overall I spawned), I'll try and write a little bit about each of the books in the shipping, maybe even rate them on 1-10. That is to say, I'll do that for the first few posts, and if I notice it's not working (i.e. inconsistent) or it just cheeses me off, I might drop it. But you'll get to know what books I pull down, and what I think of them. And isn't that really what we all want?

Desolation Jones #4 (Wildstorm) - This series is absolute, pure, unadulterated, bile-spewing Ellis goodness. Jones is a character that has a similar level of charm to Ellis's most famous creation, Spider Jerusalem (still one of my favourite comic book characters of all time), but with enough qualities all his own to not seem derivative. He's sick and twisted (duh), but unlike Spider he doesn't like to talk all that much. Anyway, the story is about stolen Hitler amateur porn, so you already know you'll be loving it. However, while still very good, this particular issue isn't quite as good as the first three: there's not really much happening, and although we finally get some clarity on what might be going on overall, it didn't feel very satisfying. But, a black doctor with a colt and "FUCK" written on his golden front teeth? That's gotta be worth at least 7.5/10

Detective Comics #813 (DC) - This series was on my "why do I read this, anyway" list for a while (yeah, I read Burns) during the latest Batman Family Crossover fiasco ("War Crimes"? Or was it "Buy 35 books so you know what the fuck is going on"? Hell, I always get them confused), but City of Crime is back in full force and it has my armhair standing on edge. My only gripes are the somewhat too traditional art style (although the artist seems to be awesome, the facial expressions are practically alive) and the fact that somehow I don't know who or what these two girls are Bats is beating himself up about. Is this something old from BatHistory? Or did it happen in the beginning of City of Crime and I missed it? Or is it really only those couple somewhat offhand remarks they drop from time to time? If I simply missed it, knock this up one more notch, but as it is it's 6/10

Fables #43 (Vertigo) - What's to say? Art? Awesome with two hands throwing the goat. Every cover looks so that I want to frame it and I always feel guilty for not looking at those insanely beautiful borders long enough. Story? Guess why I don't look at the borders enough. The standard is high anyway here, and the introduction of the Arab Fables has given it all a new spark. Also, King Cole/Sinbad snark in Arab make 8.5/10

Powers #14 (Icon) - Good God. I honestly don't really know any other Bendis comics, but this is seriously cool. Way shway, or some shit like that. The art isn't beautiful, but it's raw and evocative, and complements Bendis's writing style. I don't think anyone I know can write natural sounding dialogue like Bendis. I really sounds like spoken; people interrupt themselves, start again, that kind of thing. Just awesome. I'm just having trouble finding the red thread that runs from issue to issue. 7.5/10

PVP #20 (Image) - What's there to say about PVP? It's PVPonline on paper, and everyone already reads that. I always think I found some bonus strip that wasn't on the site, but I think I just don't remember or something. It's "just" a brilliant webcomic that I love with an always gorgeous cover slapped on there and printed so I can put it in Mylar and put it in my longbox and call it "preciousss". Oh, and this month's cover? Absolute brilliance. And if I had the power to give them, Kurtz would get a tasty, tasty biscuit for the "Will Eisner Award Loser" badge he put on there. Alas I have only the power to deal out 8.5/10

Rocketo #3(Speakeasy) - The elitist in me cackles with glee each time I get a new issue of this not-so-well-known book (I'm sure there are some even more elitist than me who regard this mainstream, but what do they know. They probably read French stuff in black and white). The art is beautiful, and so different that I have to peer at the pages longer than in most other comics; I suspect (with my very limited expertise) that Espinosa paints rough silhouettes with watercolors and then goes in with ink brushes to bring out details. It's wonderful, anyway. As is the story, with its strange and interesting world and its classical adventure. However, in this issue the epic was missing a bit (the issues before were lots of flashbacks really big on the epic) so "only" 7.5/10

I hope to be doing one of these roughly every two weeks or so, although I might be dialing down the verbose level down a little bit. Hopefully someone will start reading soon...

Did anything at all happen with Openoffice 2?

Here's a post I made to the Openoffice Forums:
While I totally love Openoffice, there were a number of things that cheesed me off in 1.x, especially since we are trying to roll it out in a corporate environment to eventually displace MS Office. So when Oo2 went stable I thought "great, surely a lot of my problems will be fixed". Boy, to say that I was underwhelmed when I finally got around to a test install would be an undestatement.

  • This thing is still nigh fucking impossible to roll out in a windows multiuser environment where the user doesn't have admin rights. Instead of goddamn updating the existing install, I had two Oo installs competing for access on the files, and there is no way to update the filetype associations to use the new version (sure, I just installed Oo2, why wouldn't I want to use Oo1.1.4?). Uninstalling the old version manually left the filetypes dead, and now I get some gobbledygook about inserting the setup-CD everytime I try to open a file (mind you, I'm switching between user and admin here all the time. For the admin, everything works, but he doesn't actually work with Oo, now does he). In other words, nothing has improved.
  • The import filters for extraneous filetypes that I tried haven't improved at all. We have a couple of pretty big .xls files with graphs and stuff here that I just couldn't get to work in Oo1.x, and they are one of the major reasons we have *both* Oo and MSO installed on all machines right now. Well, the goddamn things look *exactly* the same in the new version. OK, I admit I didn't really expect these to work flawlessly now, but *no change*? What have you people been doing?

No, wait, let me guess:
The only thing I have seen up to now is the pretty. It seems the bulk of the whopping 50 MB that this thing is bigger than the previous version (200 MB? Jesus Christ of Nazareth on a Pogo Stick. Is there a 3D shooter in there as an easter egg?) has been spent on serious prettification. I'm practically frothing at the mouth here; have you been bought by Microsoft? Or Apple? Fuck.

Corporate Business, meet Openoffice. It's your best hope to get away from Microsoft; yeah, you're pretty much fucked.
Openoffice, meet Corporate Business that is willing to switch. You don't give a fuck about that, do you?
Of course, I caught some heat for this, and I'm pretty sure the post will be locked/deleted within a day or so. This is, of course, justified, as I did not use the language that should be used for such a complaint, and it was disrespectul of the creators of what is, in the end of the day, still a very fine piece of software. But I still feel that the points I made were, at least partially, valid. I did go into that install with great expectations, and what struck me first were that the things that had bothered me most were still there, and for that I got an art upgrade. All for the measly price of 50 more MB install size. I have since found a number of good things in the new version, but this update is pretty much tainted for me. Fuck.