The Crumbling Newspaper

From Cristiano, who explains “It was published in an Italian magazine called ‘La Settimana Enigmistica’ (a famous crosswords magazine). It’s rather well known for the… ‘curious’ comics it contains. This one had no captions and no other context indications, it was “standalone” just as you see it…”

33 Comments

  1. Just playing with the nature of cartoons. Normally that distorted rectangle with horizontal lines means a stack of paper sheets, with lines of text, only abstracted. Here, it’s apparently a flat container full of actual black linear objects, which are leaking out.

  2. Surely I’m not the only one who frets when they see a book place in a shelf upside down and worries that the words are all going to shift and jostle (and the sentences will fragment).

  3. woozy: When you see an electrical outlet with nothing plugged into it, do you also worry about electrons leaking out of the outlet and falling on the floor beneath it? If I recall correctly, James Thurber claimed his mother worried thus.

  4. ” When you see an electrical outlet with nothing plugged into it, do you also worry about electrons leaking out of the outlet and falling on the floor beneath it? ”

    Don’t be silly; electricity is high-tech and they take that into account.

    electrical outlets are sealed containers. It’s only when plug a cord in them that they appliances can suck the electrons up as through a straw.

    But microwaves and VCRs do feel anxious and congested if you don’t set their clocks and leave their blinking lights on. In the old days answering machines used to hate holding their breath waiting for you to play their message.

  5. “Surely I’m not the only one who frets when they see a book place in a shelf upside down and worries that the words are all going to shift and jostle (and the sentences will fragment).”

    I think it actually happened to my copy of “Finnegan’s Wake”.

    Even worse happened to my copy of “Cloth” by Aram Saroyan.

  6. I guess the comic shows one should read newspapers flat on a table and not held vertically.

    Music notation falling off the staves is a not-uncommon trope.

    I like to think that if you kink a lamp’s electrical cord, electron flow will be constricted and the light will dim.

    Remember the spinning newspaper scenes in many mid-20th century films? I wonder if the text gets thrown off the front page from the force of rotation.

  7. Looking at today’s strip, I’d never have known it wasn’t American; do other countries use the term ‘brat’, or even have an equivalent thereof?

  8. I don’t know why you’d have more than one book on a shelf. I just keep a dictionary. I can enjoy any story I want by just reading the words in the right order.

  9. Yeah, the news (on the radio) this morning was listing Trib reporters who are taking buy-outs on their contracts.

  10. Singapore Bill: Why so extravagant? You don’t need a dictionary, just use a list of 2*26=52 letters and some punctuation marks.

  11. “Brat” is British. Citation: “This brat is none of mine; it is the issue of Polixenes.” Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale, Act 2 Scene 3.

  12. “Why so extravagant? You don’t need a dictionary, just use a list of 2*26=52 letters and some punctuation marks.”

    I like the leather binding.

  13. “Hmm, not sure I can spel that.”

    Well you will need to repeat a few letters…

    AAAAABBCDDDDDEEEEEEEEEGHHHIIIIIJLLLLNNNNNNNOOOOPPQRRRSSSSSSSTTTTTTTTTUUUUWWWXYY()””

  14. Since no one seems to have got it, this is what I think it is. Newspapers are “crumbling”, that is, they are almost already dead. So it isn’t a joke exactly, but it’s a literal portrayal of the state of newspapers.

  15. I think we’ve all been saying it’s just a new classic site gag, no allegorical meaning necessary.

  16. dvandom – as said on some TV show or other back in the 1960s or 70s (80s?) – “When news break, we fix it.”

    shrug – in our house there are no empty electric outlets and many of them have 3 way splitters in them (1949 construction, and yes we have had added some circuits and outlets – mostly for air conditioners and (circa 1980s) copying machine.

    woosy – We still have an answering machine. Makes it easy to avoid all those junk calls and still my 92yo mom or my sisters (calling about mom) can reach us. When the phone rings we each freeze in place and then listen in case there is a message – 99% of the time there is no message – and most messages are quarterly calls from pharmacy letting us know the prescriptions we renewed are ready. (I have learned – good or neutral news comes by email or text, bad news comes by telephone.) Actually we have 3 answering machines – the one in the bedroom is set to 3 (maximum allowed) rings, the one in the office and the one in the kitchen are each set to 2 rings. When in the office or kitchen and phone rings we turn on the machine in the room and then shut off it as there is no message. (Yes, we are too lazy to walk from the office (spare bedroom) across the hall to the bedroom to find out there was no message.)

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