Archive: Family Circus

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Blondie, 2/20/17

The Singularity is a sci-fi idea that’s bled over into futurist circles (or maybe vice-versa, I can’t remember). Basically, it’s a prediction based on the increasing rate of technological change: someone who lived in, say 100,000 BC would feel right at home in 10,000 BC, and even someone from 200 AD would be able to understand the world of 1200 AD pretty easily. But around the time of the industrial revolution, new technologies started emerging and changing society fast enough that we could see their impacts within a human lifetime, and the rate of change is increasing in disorienting ways. The Singularity is the moment when the graph spikes to infinity, when tech changes so quickly that it’s impossible for us today to understand what our society on the other side of it would look like. Maybe our minds will transcend our physical existence, or maybe we’ll be wiped out by the superintelligent machines we create. A lot of critics have poked holes in the theory, calling it “the rapture of the nerds,” and I tend to agree with them, but you can really see the underlying mechanism at work in this strip. You can tell that the idea is “it’s fun to have children tell jokes about new-fangled technology,” and the writer thinks mass emails are a new-fangled technology. Simple, right? Just nobody tell him that no eight-year-old has ever used email in their life. They’re all on … YikYak now? Is that right? Kids love YikYak?

Family Circus, 2/20/17

I guess the joke here is that … sometimes driver’s license photos are out of date? Like, probably Thel’s was taken before any of her kids were born? And they think that’s funny? Honestly the real lesson here is that these poor children, cloistered behind the barbed-wire-topped walls of the Keane Kompound, are desperately starved for any form of entertainment.

Dick Tracy, 2/20/17

Last week as Dick and the Spirit got ready to head into battle, our masked guest star demurred when Dick offered him a gun. Bad choice, Spirit! You’re over there spending all this energy wresting a bad guy to the ground while Dick just up and shot the Brush in the face!

Marvin, 2/20/17

Ha ha, it’s funny because Marvin is smug about sitting out in the snow with a diaper full of frozen urine! Jokes on you, kid: notice how we don’t see your parents anywhere? That’s because they’ve left you out there in the cold, to die!

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Mary Worth and Judge Parker, 2/15/17

It’s interesting to me that the stereotypical, cartoonish drawing of tears has them coming out of the outer corners of your eyes, when human anatomy ensures that they’re much more likely to come out by our noses in real life. That’s how we know that Iris, with her messy, confusing motivations and emotions, is fully, gloriously human, and “Sophie” actually died in that car wreck and had her brain implanted into an android duplicate by her mysterious kidnapper. Her mysterious kidnapper who … she is maybe talking about today, for the first time? Her programming is malfunctioning!

Funky Winkerbean, 2/15/17

Haha, so, yesterday I joked about how the DMV was going to murder Funky, but today it’s like … it’s going to happen, and he wants them to do it. He’s egging them on. Last week he made his peace with death and now he wants it over with. This is suicide by cop, except it’s suicide by low-level bureaucrat and awful, awful wordplay.

Family Circus, 2/15/17


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Panel from Slylock Fox, 1/29/17

Haha, yes, coconuts are a source of both nutrition and life-giving water, they’re a balanced part of a healthy diet, this comic has been made possible by the Association of American Coconut Importers (You’ll Go Nuts … For Coconuts™!), blah blah blah, but: let’s not lose sight of the fact that the crew of this cargo ship has abandoned Sly and Max to die. Like, what is even the backstory here? Was Slylock deputized by the understaffed animal government to deal in cases of admiralty law and about to crack some case of nautical crime wide open? Or was the whole thing a ploy to lure him out to sea to kill the vulpine detective in a way that left no fingerprints? Anyway, thanks to Slylock’s knowledge of nutrition, this bunny-bear-wolf gang isn’t going to get away with this!

Family Circus, 1/29/17

After more than half a century of “Billy, Age 7” jokes, it’s becoming pretty clear that the Family Circus is running out of English words to play with. Still, I was vaguely amused when I got to the end of this strip of free-associative sub-puns; no matter what our political beliefs, I think we can all agree that our nation’s laws would be more fair and just if they were written by a tribe of beautiful, magical creatures who combined the wisdom of a human being with the grace and power of a horse.