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Panel from Slylock Fox, 5/25/14

Let’s ignore, for the moment, that Count Weirdly has developed a functional, practical, and presumably quite marketable virtual reality device and is only using it to irritate Sly and Max. I think that the form he’s chosen for his holo-annoyance is quite revealing. Forget about random geographic inaccuracies; it’s more important that Slylock and Max have been thrust back to a world of pre-sapient animals, one where humans like Count Weirdly are still the dominant species. It would be as if we were suddenly confronted by specimens of Australopithecus africanus, Homo erectus, and Homo neanderthalensis: we would be far too unsettled at an encounter with our primitive ancestors, very much like us but at the same time separated by a vast intellectual gulf, to really spend much time griping that the native habitats of these various species were separated by thousands of miles and millions of years.

Perhaps Weirdly’s choice of holo-program reveals why his incredible invention has remained in his castle lab. If ultimately he can only imagine the animal species who dominate the outside world in terms of the primitive forms from his own childhood, then surely the idea of selling advanced technology to them must fill him with horror and contempt.

Panels from Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 5/25/14

Speaking of primitive societies, Snuffy Smith is here to remind us that notions of romantic love are a luxury available only to the global elite. In most times and places, simple economic calculations are the primary factors in choosing a mate.

Panels from Beetle Bailey, 5/25/14

On Memorial Day weekend, the soldiers of Beetle Bailey finally achieve a tragic degree of self-awareness — just enough to understand their predicament as characters in an absurdist comic strip, but not enough to do anything about it.