Saturday, April 21, 2018

A Slap in the Facebook, or, There's a Zuckerberg Every Minute

Welcome to the latest update from Bizarro Studios North. Here's a look back at this week's cartoon offerings.

We started the week with a timely gag, commenting on recent revelations about our online privacy, or lack thereof. Maybe "confirmation" is a more apt description than "revelation," since we've all at least noticed targeted ads on our social media pages. Some people even claim that ads pop up for things they've discussed, but didn't search for online, believing that apps on their phones are listening in on offline conversations.

Quite a few people shared this one, so we can all probably expect to hear from bail bond agencies offering their services.

Tuesday's cartoon includes a ride through the Uncanny Valley. That term usually describes humanoid objects that appear almost, but not quite like actual human beings, but it can also apply to artificial voices. I find talking apps that are programmed to sound conversational or make jokes to be particularly disturbing.

Speaking of self-driving cars and odd near-resemblances, Google named their self-driving car division "Waymo," which has resulted in occasional confusion as shown below.
Source: Wazobia Global Times
Source: CBS News
These are actual, unaltered screen captures. We once even received a phone call from some news organization wanting to write about this particular technology. I declined to comment.

After completing this cartoon, I was surprised to find that the term Compassion Deficit Disorder is not new, and was coined by Diane E. Levin, professor of early childhood education at Wheelock College in Boston, to describe children who act without empathy or regard for others. There's probably something to it, at least as applied to kids who have been influenced to act that way. Unfortunately, "CDD" seems to have become a dominant characteristic of far too many adults, particularly among those in seats of power.

Here we present a Bizarro twist on a familiar cartoon trope. We're not sure how Yoga Mom & Dad ended up in front of a firing squad, but you must admire their commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

Friday's gag is my favorite of the week. When laying out a weekly sequence, I usually put the one I feel is strongest in the Friday slot. Dan Piraro and I are both animal lovers, but we also understand that our dogs and cats are playing us. This one was a true collaboration. My original sketch included the line about big, sad, dewy eyes. Dan added the "slight cock of the head," which really nailed it.

My first caption for this one was was "Infantile Court." But, we decided to go with the actual phrase "Juvenile Court." By current standards, the behavior depicted in this gag is positively statesmanlike.

Be sure to go to Dan's blog for his thoughts on this batch of Bizarritude, his always-spectacular Sunday comic, and a link to the Bizarro Shop, where you can purchase beautiful enamel pins, t-shirts, mugs and other Jazz Pickle Essentials.

Look for me on Facebook, if I haven't been removed by their goon squad.

Addendum: About That Title

The title for this week's post pays tribute to one of my favorite animated cartoons, Jay Ward's The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. Each storyline ran over multiple episodes, ending with a cliffhanger situation. The series' announcer, William Conrad, would then tee up the next segment with a pair of titles, usually involving obscure pop culture references and terrible puns. A typical example would be Conrad's emphatic reminder to "Tune in again next time, for The Snowman Cometh, or, An Icicle Built for Two!"


  1. Well, my favorite of the week was Juvenile Court.

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  2. Thanks for the wonderful shoutout to "Rocky and Bullwinkle" - a wonderful, pun-filled, super-sophisticated yet pratfall-filled cartoon that helped me learn a lot about humor. And thanks for your slightly tilted look at the world that Never resorts to outright cruelty - well, except maybe to poor ol' Josh's victim!

  3. Thanks for the kind comments. I love that description:
    slightly tilted look at the world."

    I've learned pretty quickly that Bizarro has the best readers.