Possibly New Sentences

There’s a bit I’ve done a couple times on this site where I make sentences that, according to Google, have not ever appeared on the Internet before.

That was all well and good, but I can’t really do it now. I don’t trust Google’s completeness as a search engine anymore. Maybe it was never as complete as I hoped. I was never under the illusion it that they had literally managed to catalogue everything that was online, but I did think that’s what they were trying to do. I thought that surely in the future you’d be able to check the entire Internet and find what you were looking for, no matter how obscure. I’m not surprised that Google has become about giving you results that are mostly ads, but I am surprised that searches that I know for a fact once came up with results now come up with that cursed “did not match any documents” message. Certainly things on this site, such as the sentences I invented in my previous posts, don’t show up in the results anymore. I have watched obscure videos on Youtube (a site owned by Google remember) and searched Google for the video’s name and not found that video in the results. Google is no longer reliable in the one thing I considered its most important use.

Anyway, I’ve still gotta try to do more new sentences, but I have no way of knowing if they are ACTUALLY new or not. Well, here goes:

  • “I part my hair on the right side, the left side.”
  • “World War 2 will go down in history as a good time for waffles.”
  • “Your hat is hidden behind the Pope’s hat.”
  • “In the future, we’ll all be able to fart our favourite songs.”
  • “If an object spins fast enough, it can transcend the physical universe and entertain ghosts.”
  • “Nobody can say if the Internet has sentences on it.”

And while I’m doing old stuff:

Haiku!

You can’t trust Google
They are not doing their job
But they are still rich

Rocket Racer should be Medium Smart

In issue number 104 of Spectacular Spider-Man, in which Peter Parker for the first time takes an interest in Rocket Racer as a person instead of just as a punching bag, he learns that Robert Farrell is really smart.

It’s absolutely the sort of thing I want in a Rocket Racer story. Bright young man ruined by the society he lives in and his attempts to better things get him painted as a criminal. My only problem with this is the comparison to Reed Richards. For those not in the know, Reed is Marvel’s superest super-scientist. He’s the type who can do ANYTHING science-related as if by magic. Create a spaceship? Open a gateway to another dimension? Hypnotize aliens into thinking they’re cows? Sure. And what do you want him to do in the afternoon? All fields of science are open to Reed Richards.

Bob doesn’t need to be THAT smart. I like him better at a more realistic (for comics) depiction of a super-scientist. Let him be more comparable to Peter himself. Bob should be good at aerodynamics and engineering and computers, but if you need him to do stuff chemistry or botany or whatever, let that be outside of his scope of knowledge. I am Rocket Racer’s biggest fan and I’d hate to see him trapped in the “Smartest Man On Earth” pit that people like Iron Man fall into. I can say this: Any character who Marvel has claimed to be “one of the smartest people on Earth” is not someone I care for.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that there’s another good take on this whole thing in an issue of the Ta-Nahisi Coates run on Black Panther. A supervillain named Thunderball (a personal favourite from his appearances in Damage Control) is lamenting that before getting into the dumb villainy gig, he was a respected scientist, known as “the Black Bruce Banner” to some. T’Challa, the Black Panther, notes that the “prisons heave with Black Bruce Banners.” So many people who had so much potential, wasted because of the system in which they live.

Super-scientists like Reed Richards are great for big cosmic-scaled tales, but Rocket Racer’s story belongs at street level. He’s a genius, but his focus is on struggling against society in a valiant effort to make things better for his loved ones. Reed Richards could probably destroy capitalism overnight if he wanted to. Bob needs to struggle. If we want a character similar to Bob to play on the grander scale, use Thunderball! This is an amusing request because Thunderball has probably thrice the appearances that Racer does and is infinitely more likely be be used in a comic than Bob is, but I’m still right.

Incidentally, while seeking images for this post (I need something better than pictures of comics taken by my phone, after all), I went to an illicit site featuring comics scans. There, beneath the scans of the issue of Spectacular Spider-Man, was a four-year-old comment saying “Somehow, I liked Rocket Racer better when they weren’t trying to make him sympathetic, and he was just a two-bit punk. Now, he’s going to turn into a hero soon enough. Ugh.” and “And what is this about Rocket Racer making his gear in a junkyard? I could have sworn in his earlier appearances it was mentioned that the Tinkerer provided his gear based on his specifications.” I’m not going to engage with an ancient comment in that shady corner of the Internet, but I’ll sure as heck do it here on mine: Spectacular Spider-Man #104 is Racer’s fourth appearance. Appearances two and three both included his mother’s illness in the plot. The first appearance was four pages long and included the fact that he made his own equipment. If this were a comment about modern comics, I’d be sure the commenter was just being a racist bemoaning “wokeness” ruining the genre. As it is, I just have to assume they’re an idiot who has out-sized nostalgia for the cover to Amazing Spider-Man #172. So, that’s my rebuttal to some jerk on the Internet. This is why you’re not supposed to read comments on the Internet, especially not on illegal scan sites.

Something has BEEn going on in Heathcliff

Heathcliff is a comic strip about an orange cat who terrifies his neighbourhood. In recent years, the strip has gotten especially strange in a way that makes it worth checking out from time to time.

But recently the weirdness has not been the only thing to draw my attention:

August 31st: “Hey! Heathcliff is in a beekeeping outfit! And hanging out with Beekeepers! I bet I could get a review out of that!”

September 13th: “Wait, Heathcliff is in love with a Beekeeper! Is it one of the Beekeepers from the previous strip?”

October 7th: “Now he’s wearing bees and walking past some different Beekeepers? Is he trying to impress them? Is he in love with one of these two? Is he trying to pick one up after being rejected by one of the others? Or is he just walking through the Beekeeping part of town to get to his friends from the previous strip?”

The fact is, I can’t answer this stuff. I’d have to go through all of the Heathcliff comic strips and comic books and television shows and whatnot to see if there are any clues I’m missing. Often when I am coming across a Beekeeper to review in a piece of media that has existed for some time I can find some corner of the Internet devoted to that media that will catalogue the appearances I need to look out for. The venerable Heathcliff Wiki lists both “Bee” and “Bee Suit” as running gags, but with precious little other information. And, indeed, image searching for “Heathcliff beekeeper” gives a lot of results. Multiple strips where Heathcliff plays music for bees. A strip where Heathcliff avoids the police by being surrounded by a swarm of bees. It goes on like this.

Is Heathcliff himself a Beekeeper? He’s certainly enjoyed some of the perks, but apart from playing music for bees, we’ve never seen him doing the work. And even when he’s doing that we’re shown actual Beekeepers doing the actual job. But those Beekeepers are not characters. They don’t even look the same every time, so I have to assume it’s a host of different ones.

I need more information before I can review anything here, but to maintain my credibility as the world’s foremost reviewer of fictional beekeepers I had to make it know that I’m aware something is going on.

Beekeeper Review: Basil

“[B]rother, I didn’t know that you’d STOLEN ONE OF MY BEES TO STING YOUR HORSE, UNTIL I COUNTED THEM”

In the interests of being thorough, I must review Beekeepers wherever I find them, which is why I’ve ended up with a list of over 200 Beekeepers Reviews I’ve got ahead of me. That’s a lot of research I must do, so when I find a relatively easy job, like Basil, the Beekeeper who appears in a parodic hypothetical period drama story, you know I’ll act quickly.

Basil has made millions selling his honey, so it must be good stuff, and he cares enough for his bees that he can count them and tell that one is missing. He is also the type who will give shelter to a distress runaway and the type who will investigate a mystery, both signs of the sort of nobility I ask in a Beekeeper. It’s also possible he fought in some manner of Bee Wars. All very impressive.

Basil’s scheming brother, the wealthy Lord Cucumberly, causes all the drama of the plot, but Basil reveals his brother’s lies and wins the trust of the heroine. It’s a happy ending for Basil, and for the heroine, who gets to spend her life with such a catch.

Four Honeycombs out of Five.

A Superman Character By Any Other Name Would Something Something

There’s a lot of mistakes on the Internet, and nobody ought to be surprised by that. I am not smart, so I don’t always catch the mistakes. Sure, I’ll notice if a lyrics page has the wrong words to a song I like or whatever, but most of the time I just innocently wander the Internet and assume that somebody knows what they’re talking about. I’ve probably taken in all sorts of incorrect information from such mistakes.

But not all incorrect information on the Internet is a mistake. Some of it has been put there on purpose. Yup. Sometimes, people on the Internet lie. (It’s okay, take some time to deal with the shock you are feeling to learn that.) And some of those lies relate to Superman.

For example, the DC Fandom page for Bash Bashford, a minor Superboy supporting cast member, insists that he is named Bradley. There’s no basis for that in the comics. But someone who edited that page decided to claim he is named Bradley.

Similarly, several sources on the Internet think that the minor Superman villain called the Archer was named Fenton Quigley. The surname is correct, he was called Quigley in the comics, but given name Fenton comes from someone claiming it once, and it propagating from there. (In fairness the the DC Fandom page, they correctly do not call him Fenton.)

Even the mighty Wikipedia, which has mostly overcome its former reputation for being inaccurate, has such errors, one example being on the “List of Superman enemies” page, where the one-appearance villain Mr. Sinister (who predates the Marvel villain of that name by decades) is given the real name “Lylo”. Again, this is the invention of someone outside the source material.

I have my suspicions about why people make such “mistakes” on the sites: I think they are hoping the inaccuracies will become real. I think that they think that some writer who wants to use an obscure supervillain or reference an obscure Superboy cast member might search the ol’ Superhighway for easy information, see the lies about character names, and use them in official books unknowingly. On some level I can respect that. I don’t particularly like that the Superman franchise is entirely controlled by corporate interests, so I can almost root for these people to add a dash of the common folk into the lore. But it’s also dishonest. The Internet doesn’t need more inaccurate information.

I don’t think I’ll ever call Bash Bashford “Bradley” (Smallville is already home to Brad Wilson and that’s Brad enough for me), but I admit the name “Fenton Quigley” has kind of grown on me over the years. If that or Lylo were mistakenly added to official canon in some way, I’d be conflicted. It would be a victory for some regular fan person who wanted to get their fingerprints on a part of Superman’s world, no matter how small that part is. But it would also be a victory for a jerk. That’s not as good.