26 Comments

  1. For Twitter, maybe it would be better written as:

    I quite illiterate but I reed lot’s.

    (Then again, maybe several could benefit from misspellings and omitted and misplaced punctuation.)

  2. Are the quotations from the books meant to be accurate? Or already rough adaptations?
    I ask in particular because of the Alice one, which I remember as saying I can believe three impossible things, before breakfast.

  3. OK, having checked:

    Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

    Also raises intriguing question of whether this could be the origin of the ‘accomplishment before breakfast’ cliché.

  4. I think the Instagram quote is in direct opposition to what social media sites in general represent. These sites seem to allow for people to believe all kinds of impossible things.

    I could see that quote being applied to Snopes or some other debunking site, but those sites aren’t social media.

  5. Dana K, In the military, apparently, ‘we do more before break fast than most people do all day’. Or so their ad said, decades ago. I think they figured out that that was not much of a selling point for teens at the time. Or ever.

  6. TedD: I took the Instagram quote to be sarcastic.

    (I don’t associate Instagram with misinformation more than any other social media site, but I don’t have firsthand experience with any of these sites other than YouTube.)

  7. They all make at least some sense except the last. I don’t get the “Brave New World = TikTok” connection except that TikTok is, well, new compared to the others. But that seems too superficial even for this comic.

  8. Chak, I remember the ad as “We do more before 9 AM than most people do all day”. But maybe there was another version out there.

  9. @Dana K; “Are the quotations from the books meant to be accurate? Or already rough adaptations?”

    Neither — just riffs on their themes, I think.

    As for the “before breakfast” one, not quite relevant but I’ve always liked Zaphod Beeblebrox’s warning “Don’t try to out-weird me — I see weirder things than you in my breakfast food!”

  10. CaroZ, I don’t know anything first-hand about TikTok, but from watching (on YouTube etc) some of that Sea Shanty business, a feature of TikTok seems to be that you can “duet” along with somebody else’s TikTok video and record the result, without arranging it with them. So this could be what the “What is an individual?” question is meant to be touching on.

  11. Shrug, but I think Dana K demonstrated that “One can’t believe impossible things” was in fact an exact quote (apart from making it a full sentence); despite the “six impossible things before breakfast” part being more famous.

    The appropriateness to Instagram is still not obvious. Perhaps on the thought of the “Pics or it never happened!” joke-taunt.

  12. I think it’s likely that “before breakfast” was around before “Alice”. There are many references to things a child would know or have heard, such as the riddle about Humpty Dumpty, mad as a hatter and mad as a March hare, and so on. Also the kids would have known the poems that are parodied such as “How Doth the Little Busy Bee”.

  13. If you’ve done six impossible things this morning, why not round it out with breakfast at Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe!

  14. CaroZ says: @Carl, the 1984 reference was on YouTube.

    Right, Carl’s call out to Big Brother goes to 1984 rather than Brave New World (which in the cartoon is paired to Tik Tok).

    Those two books are paired up for me — as I suppose they may be for many people — but in my case for a local (Miami / Dade) censorship event. It was the late 50s or early 60s, and I was not yet in high school, but the school board ordered those two books removed from high school libraries. The ostensible grounds were not political or social satire but the claim both books were too sexualized.

  15. For the Wizard of Oz, I’d have liked one that kept with the alliteration. I didn’t find a good candidate in the Ws.

  16. That seems more to the side of “bad” versus “average”. Or, maybe you meant like Lake Woebegone.

    The one that showed up in synonym lists was “wonted” (habitual; usual) but a lot of people wouldn’t know what that meant

  17. Right, “woebegone” is far from perfect. Maybe I was mesmerized (btw it was his birthday earlier this week) by trying to match the scansion of “wonderful” as well as the alliteration.

  18. Correction to a parenthetical — Mesmer’s death date (not birth date) is coming up (not recently passed) on March 5.

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