Note on Ideas


In the history of ideas … right. It is not so much that there are good ideas and bad ideas; rather, every once in a while the question arises, “What, this is an idea?”

No, no, no. That is not really about the artistic product. Playing with such ideas is part of cartooning, especially in the network century. Given that truth is stranger than fiction, we can expect the cartoonists will never actually catch up, even those who catch on.

Detail of SMBC, 30 September 2014, by Zach WeinerThere are some ideas that seem so removed from the realm of good ideas that we might wonder whence they rise. That is to say, given the content of the annals of life, the idea that one might try such an approach is, well, yes, it is possible. And, given that this is the twenty-first century, after all, why not? Think of politics. If you do not like the question, make something up. And if someone complains that you did not answer the question, argue that you did. So that if the question is the economics of family and you hear a Republican declare that intra-uterine devices are abortifacients, bear in mind that it is, after all, an answer. What would make anyone think it is a good or even relevant answer has nothing to do with anything.

Divorce humor is one thing. Humor in divorce is quite another. The saddest part is that we can rest assured that something like this has happened before. It has all happened before, and it will all happen again until humanity chooses extinction, which, in turn, is an idea, and with the benefit of being applicable to nearly any question.

Meanwhile, Zach Weiner tries his hand at something having to do with divorce and humor, and considering the history of ideas, the disheartening thing is the realization that while life is not so simple as to be adequately explained in eight frames, neither is it so routine that such a proposition should seem extraordinary.

Rule Thirty-Four: Not a Challenge


Sometimes the most benign phrases tell us more about ourselves than we ever wanted to know. “Remember,” I told my Minecraft-obsessed daughter, “there’s a wiki for everything.” Which, of course, is not quite true; there is not, say, a wiki for my personal, individual left nut.

To the other, it’s my daughter, so I didn’t clarify that it’s not quite like Rule Thirty-Four.

And then, of course, it hits me. Certes, if I look hard enough, I can find a pornwiki. But (gulp!) do I really want to know if I can find wikiporn?

In truth, I do not intend to resolve this question for myself; something about “priorities” goes here, and maybe something about Tommy Shaw, which would in turn constitute another Rule Thirty-Four question I really, really don’t want to know the answer to.

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We’re caught up in an unfortunate shares dispute regarding merchandising, and thus have delayed the launch of the wiki for my right testicle. Never mind.

On Christian Faith, American Politics, and Some Specific Human Conditions


It’s just one of those things: Can we laugh, now?

After all, some issues really are serious, and no matter how laughably absurd we might find a moment, well, it never is laughable if we find ourselves in the middle of it all.

Bryan FischerIn response to the influx of Central American children fleeing to the southern border of the U.S., the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer is repeating his belief that all national borders were determined by God and therefore anybody who crosses them without permission is directly offending the Creator.

In a column for BarbWire today, Fischer writes, “What we learn from the Bible is that borders are God’s idea, and that such borders are to be respected. They are not to be crossed without permission.”

(Blue)

To the one, come on, that’s absolutely laughable. To the other, it would not be a particularly reliable promise that laughing our way through the current refugee crisis at our southern border would be an exercise of any useful function.

Right Wing WatchTo a third, one might notice that Mr. Fischer is invoking God’s judgment for earthly authority; we might imagine that his explanation of “what would Jesus do?” would be rather quite interesting. Especially considering the fact that Fischer’s exception to the rule is war.

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Blue, Miranda. “Bryan Fischer: ‘Our Southern Border Is There By God’s Design'”. Right Wing Watch. 10 July 2014.

With Apologies to Matt Tarpley


To: Matt Tarpley

re: Facebook spoilers

(sigh)Why do I feel like I’m betraying you if I link to one of your comics on Facebook?

I mean, this just isn’t conducive to fourth-frame humor, and it certainly doesn’t help this panel arrangement; there’s almost no reason to click the link. Out of curiosity, are the artists grumbling, muttering, murmuring, smoldering, fuming, spitting, whatnot and so-how?

Anyway, yeah. Sorry.

Sigh.

I Learned Something Today


Stop saying that you want to motorboat my pasta!Do you really want to know? It’s just that seldom does one encounter such a new phrase. Quite honestly, I can’t say I ever heard this one before. And then I looked it up and really wished I hadn’t, but only because it brought to mind an old line from Stephen King―Pet Sematary, I think―having to do with “Bozo the Clown on a pogo stick”.

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What? It’s true, whenever I see an advert for a Vince Vaughn comedy, I know that’s a film I will only watch if I’m actually trapped in a room where it’s playing. And even then I’ll start looking for an electrical socket sufficient for a shocking rendezvous.

Image credit: Detail of Bug Martini, by Adam Huber, 18 June 2014.

I’ll Just Be In the Corner ….


Two beers.To the one, we’re on cartoons at the moment. To the other, it’s been a while since we paused to sniff the rosebuds at Bug Martini. To the beeblebrox, it really is oddly timed; but then again, that’s not the kind of joke one sits on until November, lest it actually receive some rational thought, which in turn would discourage presentation. And, you know, hey, if I happened to be a dog, that I might count a fourth—and, incidentally, never leave the house for reasons best not discussed in polite company—it would be enough to say that I wish my brother George was here. Except I don’t have a brother named George.

And as to the brother I do have? Well, yeah. Raise a glass, dude.

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Image credit: Detail of Adam Huber, Bug Martini.

Dreamswipe


¿What the f@ck is that f@cking noise?Truth told, my problem with phone alarms, quite simply, is the difference between snooze and reset. But, still, yes, it’s something akin to answering a phone in a dream, which really ought to be a line in a pop song, except those bands are all gone, now. Would probably have gone over better than answering machine songs.

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Image credit: Detail of Randall Munroe, xkcd #1359.

Blue Rabbit in Real Time


Steven Brust has high argumentative ambitions.

A “blue rabbit” is, simply, the term I use for an occasional random flash of insight. Specifically, it has to do with something already in your memory and knowledge base suddenly fitting together with a similar component, resulting in a brief, but usually useless flash of dialectic resolution.

The term comes from third grade; a girl complained about a boy coloring his rabbit blue. The teacher blithely mediated: “Well, I think there might have been blue rabbits, maybe. But there aren’t anymore.” Six years later, for absolutely no reason I could remember, it struck me over breakfast: There never were any blue rabbits.

It’s not like this was a particularly vexing question; I had long forgotten the episode until, suddenly, right: There never were any blue rabbits.

Thus prefaced, a note for Steven Brust, and several years later than … er … right. So, the only reason to even mention this is the fact that the pieces took years to correspond, join up, and click into place.

So, anyway: Ingenious use of the inclined plane?

Yeah. That one finally hit me. I’m accustomed to playing Where’s Devera? but I freely and even gladly admit that it never occurred to me to ask, “Where’s Eddi?”

And just like wrecking Buddy Ebsen’s credit record, Steve knows why. Well, most likely.

And maybe he’ll even tell us.

Anyway, yeah. Now it’s just a matter of digging up the text.

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Image credit: via The Dream Café.