Archive: Crock

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Crock, 6/9/24

Crock is a strip in perpetual reruns for obvious reasons, and today’s (“today’s”) strip is a delightful puzzle to try to figure out when exactly it was published. Honestly the list presented of things we’d all prefer to be shot to avoid is a testament to the long human lifespan, littered as it is with complaints both contemporary (Facebook) and outdated (boomboxes). If I had to guess, I’d peg this around 2009 or so, as social media started becoming unavoidable, the financial crisis had cratered many people’s IRAs, and health care and global warming were both issues the new presidential administration seemed poised to tackle. Old age, of course, will never go away as an object of fear and driver of those who would seek a more exciting death, but honestly trying to map all this out has only made it seem closer for me.

Six Chix, 6/9/24

OK, look, I know enough about modern mating rituals to know they happen on the apps, but as a happily monogamous married person, I don’t know much more than that. Do people use … hashtags, on the apps? Hashtags, the thing famously developed to make it easier to search on specific terms? Are people on the apps out there searching on “#annielikestocuddle”? People who want to cuddle, with other people named Annie, specifically?

Shoe, 6/9/24

Honestly rude of the Perfesser to blame the slovenly state of his home on his barely tolerated nephew/ward, when it’s quite clear that the mess is mostly his own doing. Very sad that, by design, the poor boy will keep getting the message that he’s an unwanted imposition right down to his uncle’s final moments.

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Blondie, 4/17/24

Most Blondie strips aren’t exactly Shakespeare, but there’s usually … a recognizable joke? A punchline? People are way too ready to say this, but today’s strip — which is just “Wow, there’s an app for everything!” “Too bad there isn’t an app for loading the dishes!” “There should be an app for loading the dishes, the thing I’m doing right now!” — is so disjointed and nonsensical that it almost feels like AI wrote it. Rather than just harboring such dark suspicions, I decided to go to the source: ChatGPT itself.

On one hand, it honestly brings me no pleasure to report that this joke is actually substantially better than the one that made it into newspapers (though it does require you to know that “stack overflow” is a kind of error that computer programs sometimes have). On the other, it at least reassures me that AI was not in fact used to make today’s strip, because if it had been, it would’ve been funnier.

Gasoline Alley, 4/17/24

Oh, God, wait, is a Gasoline Alley character in-universe actually consulting AI? Well, I already have that tab open, might as well just see what I get —

I think we can agree that, while “Energy Avenue” isn’t the same as “Electric Acres,” it’s in the same ballpark. And I’m obviously not paying for access to the high-test version of ChatGPT, so I think it’s pretty clear that Assistant Mayor Imeswine has gotten himself ripped off.

Crock, 4/17/24

You ever get depressed about the state of technology, folks? You ever long for the days when you and a friend were looking through the windows of a store that sold computers, and your friend asked you if you “surf the web often,” and you tell her you visited one website exactly one time? And then it devolves into some good-natured (?) ribbing about how your husband sucks. Those were simpler days, people, simpler days.

Rhymes With Orange, 4/17/24

You ever think about whether after we die, we become diaphanous ghosts with the same topology as a jellyfish, with an interior “pocket” that has only one entrance, and that other souls can use you like a sack to envelop their own spectral form, and you and them are thus intermingled and tumbling through the air, invisible to the living, forever? You wouldn’t talk to an AI about this. They’re too young, too innocent. They know nothing of death, and we should keep it that way.

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Alice, 4/15/24

I’m happy to report that, sine I started reading Alice a few weeks ago, I have fallen thoroughly, 100% under its spell. This strip takes perfectly ordinary situations, like when you receive parrot medicine from beloved novelist and short story writer Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) but are then unable to give it to your parrot because it flies away, and turns them into delightfully surreal episodes. Ha ha, that parrot does not want to take that medicine! Also Alice (?) is … flying? And her head …. looks like that? Anyway! Alice, I don’t fully “get it” but I’m keenly interested to see what it’s doing next!

Crock, 4/15/24

Look, man, I get what you’re going for here and it’s basically cute and whimsical, but maybe don’t have your characters stumble upon a field of hacked-off human extremities rotting in the desert sun if your comic set is against the backdrop of grinding colonial insurgency, OK? Just … trust me on this one.

The Phantom, 4/15/24

So this current Phantom storyline, it turns out, is about Kit Jr. joining the Ghost Who Walks on one of his adventures, so we can all find out if he really has it what it takes to step up, become the 22nd Phantom, the ultimate jungle warrior and seemingly immortal crime fighter, and fulfill the destiny he was born and bred for. Anyway, turns out he definitely does not have what it takes! He’s just going to get strangled with a chain by some low-level henchman wearing a tank top, because he wasn’t paying attention, like a dumbass.