Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

A Confession Unto the World Weiner

Detail of 'Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal' by Zach Weiner, 11 February 2015.

With apologies to the Weiner Almighty; forgive me, Weiner, for I have sinned, and yes, I owe you another apology for trying to cram “weiner” into the sentence twice thrice.

Still, though, it is unkind to give away the punch line. Then again … something about cosmic justice goes here. That is to say, if only ....

I mean, it was always a doctor, or a lawyer, or in the eighties an MBA or other special someone in finance, and even if one hasn’t a care in the world about who their daughters marry, look at what the rest of us have gotten from that stupid, greedy ownership culture.

No daughter of yours is going to marry a Negro? No son of yours is gonna be a queer? Tell us this: Now that your kids have fucked the whole of American society, are you proud of the social disease you passed along?

So while you fret about whether or not you own your kids’ sex lives or whatever, the rest of us will be over in the corner talking about something important. You know, like giving away the punch line.

____________________

Weiner, Zach. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. 11 February 2015.

The Trouble With Marketplace Solutions (Weiner Style)

Detail of 'Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal' by Zach Weiner, 8 February 2015.

In the meantime, while we flail about looking for something useful to post that actually warrants attention, we might as well spend the moment whispering arcane suggestions about marketplace solutions, or more simply, point you to Zach Weiner’s latest assembly of potted humor parts and remind that sometimes the long setup is worth it. That, at least, is worth some attention.

____________________

Weiner, Zach. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. 8 February 2015.

A Very Brief Art Lesson

Detail of 'Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal', by Zach Weiner, 21 January 2015.

Sometimes the problem with pointing out that something isn’t funny is that such a statement simply does not suffice to convey what is actually happening. To wit, Zach Weiner offered up a variation on a classic theme, the guardian angel versus the devil attendant.

And it’s true. This is not as funny as the gag is usually intended. And while one might suggest that it is not as funny as Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal usually is, that might be erroneous.

SMBC, quite often, simply isn’t funny.

But that’s the point.

There’s a grim irony to the chuckle, sure, but the adjective―grim―is sort of the point.

And this is something that art can do.

Irony is not always funny.

But sometimes, the joke seems nearly sublime.

Click the bait. Read the strip. Really, it’s not funny if you’ve ever actually experienced that sort of here and now, or then and there. But it is also of tremendous comfort to many, who might not otherwise be getting the message that they’re not the only one who feels this way.

And that essential communication? Well, it is true that we expect “comics” to be funny. Which is why we laugh at morbid editorial cartoons, or even the punch line this time around.

But comics do, in fact, fall under the paradigm of art, and sometimes artistic communication―even in the humor sector―requires that the art be something other than hilarious.

It’s a good punch line, following a great setup; but it’s not necessarily funny.

Nor are we in any condition right now to expound on the concept of pathos.

____________________

Weiner, Zach. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. 21 January 2015.

Quotastic

“Your mother and I screwed twice this week.”

Zach Weiner

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, by Zach WeinerIt’s okay … you can laugh and click at the same time. And, yes, sometimes the best joke does come prematurely.

____________________

Weiner, Zach. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. 14 January 2015.

Our Best Wishes for the Happiest of Genocide Days

Easter in the nation's capital was a dark and gloomy day with a chill breeze blowing, but U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt.

In honor of our American Feast of the Genocide, how about some thematically-related cartoons?

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 28 November 2014.Adam Huber leads off, giving thanks to the internet that he might post tomorrow’s cartoon today, that in turn he might spend tomorrow either hung over or tryptocomatose.

Lalo Alcaraz, like many others, reflects on the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

• Speaking of true meanings, Adam Huber took a shot at it earlier this week.

• Or maybe Brian McFadden puts forward a more appropriate reflection on the true meaning of “Thanksgiving Day”.

―No, really. Steve Benen offered a vignette earlier this week explaining one of the great political controversies surrounding the idea of “Thanksgiving Day” that is worth the two minutes it takes the average literate American to read. It is also where we got the photo of FDR on Easter. Go figure; go fish.

Detail of cartoon by Jen Sorensen, 25 November 2014, via Daily Kos Comics.Jen Sorensen attempts to summarize the crazy, tinfoil relative who reminds us why we need to keep the fact of attempted genocide in mind as a fundamental component of our Thanksgiving Day rituals.

Reuben Bolling offers a glimpse at Genocide Day Thanksgiving Day in Chagrin Falls.

• #TBT the time Adam Huber won the Genocide Day Cartoon Parade by starting in April.

In re the above, to the one we promise that is the last of the Huber cartoons for today. Prolific about genocide? Genocide-prolific? Can we just go with genolific? At any rate, our apologies for this post in general; we’ve known it was coming for months, having filed this cartoon away for this year’s celebration.

• We might note that Matt Tarpley managed an actual feelgood cartoon in honor of “Thanksgiving Day”. It is also worth pointing out that apparently Death closes his eyes when swinging. And yet, Death bats a thousand.

• Not to disparage the fine artists above, but Zach Weiner deserves some sort of award for skipping the holiday edition altogether. Thus, a cartoon from earlier this week that reminds us to give thanks for consumerism, undereducation, and paranoia, which really are the thematic components of what we Americans make of this day.

And while the wannabe patriots and pragmatists might moan about how people just won’t forget history and celebrate the glorious triumph of all that came after the attempted genocide, it is equally appropriate to remind them to go screw and give thanks that nobody is trading them death blankets as an act of biological warfare disguised in alleged commerce.

Otherwise, give thanks like you would for any other day, that we are still here and get to experience it, and perhaps take a moment to wonder why we put ourselves through this ritual that nobody seems to like, since we’re always muttering about the Turkey Pardon, the banality of parades, fretting over how to get the best Black Friday deals (Hint: Do your shopping last Monday, at least until next year when the new statistics show us which day actually has the best prices), or complaining that anyone would spend this miserable day of family gatherings—over tasteless ritual food and football games that more often than not have nothing to do with your favorite team—getting drunk.

But make sure to raise a wrist for genocide.

The Real Dangers and Rewards of Geek Humor

Detail of 'Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal' by Zach Weiner, 25 November 2014.One of the dangers of geek humor is that the setup often requires more labor than, say, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” or “A U.S. Senator walks into an airport bathroom ....”

Naturally, Zach Weiner’s Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal is anxious to demonstrate the point.

But therein also lies one of the hidden treasures of geek humor. Complicated setups offer myriad thematic variations, digressions, and mutations. To wit, it might occur to someone considering the proposition of ten-thousand iterations of a metaphorical argument about reality, somewhere in there reality itself invented the Republican Party.

Do away with science, and there are no more arguments about reality, metaphorical or otherwise.

____________________

Weiner, Zach. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. 25 November 2014.

Abrams, Lindsay. “House Republicans just passed a bill forbidding scientists from advising the EPA on their own research”. 19 November 2014.

Marcos, Cristina. “House passes bill to limit EPA ‘secret science'”. The Hill. 19 November 2014.

A Glimpse Ahead to Yesterday

Detail of 'This Modern World' by Tom Tomorrow, 24 November 2014, via Daily Kos Comics.Every once in a while, it occurs to me to wonder about what seems a recurring fault in futurist speculation, and that is the tendency to translate what other people might think or feel in terms of what we see. It works the same way when looking at history; we can rest assured the Founding Fathers were not consciously calculating just how evil they could be while taking the piss in the form of a Three-Fifths “compromise”.

And then I remind myself that, in the end, the consideration is of setups and punch lines in comic strips, which takes some of the sting out of it.

Detail of 'Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal' by Zach Weiner, 24 November 2014.But then one might point out that it is the twenty-first century, and our social mores often seem tethered to the 1950s. You know, in the glorious world of the future, will there really be a journalistic cottage industry dedicated to exposing the sex lives of celebrities? Of course there will.

And so on.

It is easy enough to talk oneself out of hope.

____________________

Tomorrow, Tom. This Modern World. Daily Kos Comics. 24 November 2014.

Weiner, Zach. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. 24 November 2014.

Automated Vengeance

Detail of 'Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal', by Zach Weiner, 20 November 2014.

Coincidence. Synchronicity. I don’t know, God’s will? Hell, why not get mystical, right?

Or is it just that we happened to see the same article as Zach Weiner?

Which would bring us back to coincidence. But, hey, we don’t know.

Question for an interview that will never happen: From conception to posting, about how long does it take you to produce a cartoon? Or is that already answered in a podcast?

____________________

Weiner, Zach. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. 20 November 2014.

The Funky Fishscale Fog

Detail of 'La Pêche Miraculeuse', ca. 1610, by Peter Paul Rubens.

The fictional Jebediah Springfield famously explained, “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.” In the modern day, wise men like Bill Maher question the vapidity of the word “spirit”. Either way, a transfusion seems out of the question:

So, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is blocking health care benefits for low-income families in order to help them “live the American dream” and Gov. Pence is curtailing food aid in order “ennoble” people.

How very gracious of them.

In theory, the “give someone a fish” adage sounds quite nice, and in a booming economy with low unemployment and broad job opportunities, we can have a credible conversation about work requirements and the safety net.

But Pence, like Walker, runs the risk of sounding horribly out of touch – their argument is predicated on the assumption that the economy is in great shape, and everyone who wants a job can easily get one. I suspect most of the American mainstream would offer a different assessment of economic conditions.

(Benen)

We might also note that while once upon a time perhaps it was possible to teach a man to fish, such that he could do the work properly and earn a living, in a day. In modern times, though, that isn’t quite so easy. That is to say, we can certainly test the thesis, but probably need not: Go out on the street and give a job to the first unemployed person you find.

The objections and complications are easily predictable.

Who says that person is qualified, for instance? Maybe she was a waitress before the restaurant closed to make room for the McDonald’s in the Walmart, or he was a janitor who cleaned the school restrooms before being laid off for budget cuts. In either case, though, you need a “people person” with strong reading, speaking, and interpersonal skills, and maybe, just maybe you can teach that person to solicit telephone survey responses and appropriately record the data in a day.

Or maybe not. Either way, that person is going to need to eat at some point during the day.

And, you know, in most markets you’re probably going to be paying that employee less than they need to continue living in order to do the work.

(more…)

Sisyphus Weiner Galt

Detail of 'Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal', by Zach Weiner, 18 November 2014.

Dystopia is burning, which ought to be a good thing except it is burning with the passions of the stage and just wants to dance! Which, of course, ought to be about as inspiring as Rush Limbaugh in a thong leotard.

Then again, one would think that at some point, prostitution would be the sort of thing only humans could do for each other, but I think society has yet to get through polygamy, incest, and bestiality before moving onto giant robot anime porn. Oh, wait. Rule Thirty-Four. Serves me right for trying to steal a line.

I don’t know, something about mechaphilia or mechasexual goes here. Still, in the Weiner dystopia at least the labor conditions for human prostitutes has improved. To the other, though, it would seem there is not so much difference between the Luddite punch line and a PG-rated future, which on this occasion means post-Galtian.

In the end, perhaps that is the point; people are what the really pointless labor exists for. Maybe that is why we must presume Sisyphus happy. Fruitless labor? Hey, it’s job security.

____________________

Weiner, Zach. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. 18 November 2014.