Because he’s wearing a white hat??

Cidu Bill on Apr 19th 2017

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Filed in Bill Bickel, CIDU, New Yorker, comics, humor | 27 responses so far

27 Responses to “Because he’s wearing a white hat??”

  1. James Schend Apr 19th 2017 at 01:57 pm 1

    If this joke form the 60s?

    In old westerns, you could always tell the bad guy because he was wearing a black hat. But I’m talking *really* old “signing cowboy”-type westerns.

    The joke is that the PR guy is smart enough to realize that the company wants to be viewed as the good guys, and thus is the only one wearing a white hat.

    (Stupid aside: the term “black hat” and “white hat” have been used by computer hackers to describe whether they’re hacking a system without permission of the owner, or whether they have full permission and are just testing for vulnerabilities to help the owner. Black hats do it without permission.)

  2. Cidu Bill Apr 19th 2017 at 02:14 pm 2

    James, it’s a current comic.

  3. James Schend Apr 19th 2017 at 03:44 pm 3

    Heh. Not sure how many people here in 2017 know the “white hat = good, black hat = evil” thing.

  4. Winter Wallaby Apr 19th 2017 at 03:51 pm 4

    I don’t think the hat coloring for cowboys is that obscure, I would expect most Americans to know it.

    (I also think the hat coloring for hacking is pretty well known as well, although my sampling may be skewed, as I work in the computer industry.)

  5. James Pollock Apr 19th 2017 at 04:01 pm 5

    “I don’t think the hat coloring for cowboys is that obscure, I would expect most Americans to know it.”

    I agree. Movies have moved on to other ways of visually signalling “this is the bad guy” since the sunset of the Westerns, but black hats and white hats is still a well-known cliche.

    Note that hackers come with hat colors besides white and black. There are gray-hat hackers and blue-hat hackers, and probably others my lazy brain is failing to pull forth at the moment.

  6. Christine Apr 19th 2017 at 07:00 pm 6

    I have to ask: what’s a blue-hat hacker? I’ve never heard of them. (And I would expect that techies are going to be the most familiar with the white hat/black hat thing, specifically from referring to hackers. But that’s me as a Millennial.)

    And I would say it’s less that he’s the one who’s smart enough to try and be not-evil. The hat is more that he’s good enough at spinning things (his job as a PR guy) so that he comes out as a good guy, despite the fact that the company is clearly evil.

  7. Winter Wallaby Apr 19th 2017 at 07:12 pm 7

    A red hat hacker is a one who specializes in hacking Red Hat Linux. So presumably a blue hat hacker is one who specializes in hacking Blue Hat Linux.

  8. Arthur Apr 19th 2017 at 07:31 pm 8

    I didn’t think of it as a white hat/black hat thing.

    “Bart” is a typical oater name. HE is a cowboy and dresses
    cowboy style. He’s the one responsible for the company dress
    code.

  9. James Pollock Apr 19th 2017 at 07:32 pm 9

    “I have to ask: what’s a blue-hat hacker?”
    The ones who work in law enforcement.

  10. James Pollock Apr 19th 2017 at 07:38 pm 10

    “I didn’t think of it as a white hat/black hat thing.”

    It’s definitely a white-hat/black-hat thing. Bart is actually a black-hat person, just like everyone else at this company… but PR folks are good at arranging things so that things seem different from what they really are. (Well, most of them are. Some say stupid things like defending Hitler(!?) during Passover(!?) as a guy who, bad as he was, at least never used chemical weapons(???). CLARIFICATION: never used chemical weapons against innocent civilians. CLARIFICATION TO THE CLARIFICATION: Never used chemical weapons dropped from airplanes.

  11. Mark in Boston Apr 19th 2017 at 08:41 pm 11

    “signing cowboy” — now I’m picturing Roy Rogers doing “Happy Trails to You” in ASL.

  12. PeterW Apr 19th 2017 at 09:11 pm 12

    I didn’t even look at the color of their hats, but I do notice white hats/black hats in old TV westerns.

    My father who is a developer has a blue beret he wore for some kind of programmers’ awareness day, which some digging has turned up as Blue Beanie Day for web standards awareness. My dim recollection was that it was for something related to Open Source software, which kind of makes sense to mirror with Red Hat, because Red Hat is a semi-proprietary distro of Linux.

    (Blue Beret Day just turns up military stuff, and Blue Hat Day is autism awareness.)

  13. Kilby Apr 20th 2017 at 04:31 am 13

    @ Winter Wallaby (7) - I would have thought that the “blue hatters” worked for (or possibly against) IBM.

    @ JP (10) - I used to work for a German munitions disposal company: although both sides had stockpiles, as far as I know, chemical weapons were not used at all in Europe (by either side) during World War II. On the other hand, both France and Germany are still finding (and disposing of) old shells left over from WWI, and there was even a major discovery in the early 90’s in Washington, D.C., of a previously unknown disposal site, which took several months to clean up.

  14. James Pollock Apr 20th 2017 at 05:03 am 14

    “I would have thought that the “blue hatters” worked for (or possibly against) IBM.”

    IBM employees wore suits (always) but not hats, blue or otherwise.
    Cops where blue hats. (OK, not the plainclothes detectives and even the ones with the blue hats in their uniforms only wear them for parades and funerals, but… their hats are blue.)

    “as far as I know, chemical weapons were not used at all in Europe (by either side) during World War II”
    Can’t holocaust-denial get you in trouble in Germany?

    (US stocks of nerve gas were stored at a depot in Northeastern Oregon, until a decades-long disposal effort got rid of the last of it.)

  15. Kilby Apr 20th 2017 at 05:30 am 15

    @ JP (14) - I meant in combat, but you are of course correct, Zyklon B is a chemical, and certainly could be classified as a weapon.

  16. James Pollock Apr 20th 2017 at 06:17 am 16

    By any chance, are you blissfully unaware of a certain press secretary’s stumblings about on this exact subject? (Last I heard, there was a clarification of the clarification of the clarification of the original comment).

  17. Kilby Apr 20th 2017 at 06:56 am 17

    @ JP (16) - Yes: In order to maintain even a shred of bliss, I strive to maximize my unawareness about the idiocies occurring in Washington. Every time I let my guard down and read something, it gives me heartburn.

  18. James Pollock Apr 20th 2017 at 01:33 pm 18

    I apologize for cracking your blissful outer coating and exposing the delicious candy center.

  19. Olivier Apr 20th 2017 at 02:31 pm 19

    Even the French know about white hats : http://www.bedetheque.com/media/Couvertures/luckylukec43.jpg
    It also works with knights.

  20. Winter Wallaby Apr 20th 2017 at 05:24 pm 20

    Kilby #17: Not sure how long you’ve been avoiding news about Washington, but a warning in case it’s been more than 6 months: Don’t check to see how the Nov 2016 election turned out!

  21. Kilby Apr 21st 2017 at 05:49 am 21

    @ Olivier (19) - Yesterday evening I asked my son, “What color hat does the ‘bad guy’ cowboy wear?“, followed by same question for the “good guy”. He’s still in elementary school, but nevertheless he knew instantly that the respective answers were “black” and “white” (he seemed somewhat surprised that I should need to ask).

    P.S. @ Winter Wallaby (20) - Why else would I be avoiding the news? I archived my entire link list of editorial cartoonists in the third week of November 2016, but I plan to revisit them all (at least briefly) in early December 2020. Reading “The Nib” and Bloom County” provide all the political commentary and/or surrealism that I can handle for the moment.

  22. Mark M Apr 21st 2017 at 10:12 am 22

    Arthur @8 mentioned that Bart is a typical oater name. But more specifically, “Black Bart” was an outlaw in the 1800s known for leaving poetic notes at the scene of his robberies. That probably doesn’t help in explaining the joke though.

  23. Winter Wallaby Apr 21st 2017 at 12:48 pm 23

    Kilby #21: “I plan to revisit them all (at least briefly) in early December 2020.”

    Or December 2024! Ha, ha!

  24. James Pollock Apr 21st 2017 at 12:52 pm 24

    ““Black Bart” was an outlaw in the 1800s known for leaving poetic notes at the scene of his robberies.”

    The notorious outlaw “El Barto” leaves grafitti at the scenes of his crimes. Even less helpful in explaining the cartoon.

  25. Brian in STL Apr 21st 2017 at 12:57 pm 25

    Web searching finds different definitions for many of the various “hat colors”.

  26. Boise Ed Apr 22nd 2017 at 05:11 pm 26

    ‘Movies have moved on to other ways of visually signalling “this is the bad guy” …’

    Yeah, they moved on to giving the baddies a scruffy look, like they shaved 2-3 days ago. Now, however, that has become fashionable, so I guess they need to find yet another indicator of baddie-ness.

    James [10, 16]: Not only is Spicer an apparent airhead, but he has a voice made for newspapers. He’s about as qualified for his job as most of his fellow appointees. [/rant off]

  27. Meryl A Apr 26th 2017 at 01:42 am 27

    Oh, the political discussions here are so much nicer than at SIL’s house. We walked out Christmas Day before dinner after her husband turned on us and HIS mom in “ha ha I won sort of thing”. Not really sure where he will be getting his illegal immigrants to work for him any more though - so the final laugh may be on him.

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