Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wiki Wiki

Bizarro is brought to you today Americans for the Right to Call Your Band Ska When it is Actually Polka.

In the mid-to-late 1900s, when I was a kid, encyclopedia, dictionary, and bible salesmen used to go door-to-door carrying heavy sample cases full of their wares. It would be hard to believe if I couldn't remember it from my own childhood. My parents actually bought a set of World Book Encyclopedias from a guy who came to the door. I think my mother worried he may drop dead if she sent him away with a full case.

Back then, before scientists had discovered the wonders of the Internets, an encyclopedia was the only way to research something in a shallow, half-assed way without going to the library. So that made it perfect for school projects. From such cursory forays into its pages, I learned that Idaho's main crop was cotton, that rock and roll music was a passing teenage phase, and that the Romans did not kill Jesus, the Jews did. I also learned how airplanes fly (pilots make them), what atom bombs are good for (keeping us safe from Soviets), and that the capital of China is Peking (until they changed it to Beijing, because it is harder to remember how to spell.)

My own Wikipedia page is rife with errors. I was not born on the 10th of anything (nor on any other day in July), I did not "drop out" of college (I was asked to leave at gunpoint), and in the picture of me it looks as though I am holding up two fingers when I was actually holding up one. Other than that, the site is a gold mine of information and I use it regularly. Even though my days of shallow, half-assed paper writing are long gone.

70 comments:

anonymous said...

Ha. Ha. Because wikipedia isn't a physical object. Should we laugh now?

PIRARO said...

Yes. Laugh freely and without remorse.

Johnny said...

More like a commentary on how the base of our economy is now one of information and not actual product. We make and sell bits and bytes and have exported nearly all of our manufacturing capabilities.

Get it now, anonymouse, or was that too deep for you?

isee3dtoo said...

My dad was one of the top 10 World Book salesmen in the nation for 3 years running. It was awesome. How many kids got there own set of encyclopedias to cut up for school projects each year? Do a project on Brazil and I get to cut the maps out and use them.

Great comic if you get it. Anonymous doesn't get it.

anonymous said...

Johnny, after several re-reads I finally comprehended your complex thoughts. Your friends must really enjoy being around such a smart guy. Now exactly which part of the Bizarro is humorous?

anonymous said...

Hey isee - try a sense of humor on for size. Then look at the comic again.

isee3dtoo said...

anon - To me it is hilarious because my dad (and mom) both sold encyclopedias door-to-door. I guess, it is a comic in which you had to be there. A mixture of old door-to-door salesmen with the new world tech. I would probably have titled it, "What You Get When A Used-Car Salesman Tries to Sell Encyclopedias".

Jeremy said...

In order for a band to be polka, don't you have to have an accordion?

Dan- If your Wikipedia page is incorrect than you just have to edit it. You can also remove information if you don't want us to know when you were born.

Penny said...

My brother and I could not WAIT for our set of World Books to arrive. It was a grand day, and for once I'm not being a smart ass. I loved and treasured them. The internets totally rocks, though.

The "Seinfeld" set of Jackie Childs' office featured a set of World Books on the shelves behind his desk. I don't feel like (too huge of) a dork for knowing that; anyone who had World Books around as a kid is going to instantly recognize them.

And Dan, your wikipedia page is woefully wrong in so many ways. Please tell Mrs. CHNW that we're sorry they can't be bothered with getting her name right.

anonymous said...

For the record, I grew up with a set (later updated with a newer set) of World Book Encyclopedias which I loved to flip through. So I was "there."

Tracy H. said...

I'm sure there are comic strips I wouldn't like if I read them, but I can't imagine going to their Web site every day to criticize them.

anonymous said...

I'm sure there are quite a few things you cannot imagine, Traci.

julie said...

not. funny. but i am getting used to that.

Johnny said...

anonymous = troll

anonymous said...

johnny = insecure

La Framéricaine said...

Are you sure they got Dan's name right?

I'm beginning to think it's

Derek Julie Anonymous

or some such permutation of the

"Three Faces of Dan"

Nice cartoon.

I lusted after those books in the 1960s and never got closer than the neighbors' sets.

Johnny said...

And yet you respond every time.

Leigh said...

Wow... this post has just made some things from my childhood make sense.

It's not that my parents didn't want tp/couldn't spend money on encyclopedias for home use, it's that they wanted me to do THOROUGH research and so sent me to the library.

I think it's funny that there are still door to door vacuum sales men. Silly Kirby.

anonymous said...

Damn - ensnared yet again by your quick wit, Johnny.

Got you pretty worked up today, it seems.

julie said...

i'm so sorry to offend, fram. i don't know where i find the nerve to post on today's comic.

stephen said...

This prompted me to check out your wikipedia page and note that you went to BTW! So did I (in fact I just skipped my 10-year reunion) In my book, this makes you the most notable BTW alum.

derekamalo said...

PEANUT BUDDHA....



HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

shipping troll said...

Please don't equate a silly simp like anonymous with trolls, we're not that base. While we may have a bad reputation here in the English speaking world, we are quite well respected by the Nordic peoples. Besides we have a much better sense of humor, and can understand the intricate concepts of parody and caricature.
Some people need to criticize simply to feel like they have contributed. These are the same people who cause anorexia and road rage. So contribute away!

Robert Finis said...

Dan is Old! Or was old, until he removed his birthdate from Wikipedia. Now he's ageless.

The wikipedia salesman comic makes me think about how people can be unwilling to pay $20 for a piece of software, or music, or a movie, but the same people (as penny arcade pointed out) will gladly pay that much for a T-shirt with a ridiculous picture on it. People seem to value things by their physical properties, not their utility or intrinsic worth.

doug nicodemus said...

my dad still has the same set from 1965 on his shelfs and it is so funny to leaf through then state of the art knowledge...wow the world has changed..HAHAHA not a bad cartoon

julie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anonymous said...

Thanks for getting my back, "shipping troll." Appreciate it. You type so much more coherently than our special friend Johnny.

derekamalo said...

oh my god now johnnys getting his typing picked on ....im calling the cops....

speaking of calling the cops ...my dad lives out west ..he heard about piraros show last night ...i guess dan killed a heckler with a pocket comb

Penny said...

shipping troll, I just wanted to let you know that some of us here get your post and appreciate it.

SOME of us.

;-)

julie said...

Penny, did you find shipping troll's post hard to comprehend? And after reading and re-reading it again you finally "got it" and understood the meaning of his complex sentences? You must be proud of yourself. Because we all are.

Leigh said...

The quality of comments on this blog are dropping every day. The snarkiness is reminiscent of PAN (passiveaggressivenotes.com) but turned in on itself.

I say boo.

Forge said...

I didn't know you had a blog. I think you are funny as hell, plus I like you style of draw. If you get a chance, come over and take a look at my blog of comics. I stopped it, but still some interesting older work.

Mike Duffau said...

nothing beats the old school encyclopedia books! what if your computer crashes and you need to get the information??? at least have the books as a back-up.

FRAGA said...

Oh!

I loved your funny artwork and your fotographs!!!!

: )

Leigh said...

Tonight was great fun! I hope the SF go well! :)

Thanks again for jumping! I will send ya a link to the files when I get them together.

Shortcake said...

leigh-- agreed. sad, isn't it?

when i first came to this blog at it's conception, i was one of maybe six people who frequented it. we were all complimentary of the bizarro blog and praised mr. piraro for his talents and witty, subliminal commentaries. the more i visited, the more i was proud of my new favorite cartoonist that his blog had developed so quickly. i began seeing a daily rise in comments and thought "oh wow! he's getting popular! how awesome for him!" and then i actually read the comments. they started out pretty harmless, and the majority of us who frequented just ignored the dumb ones and went on our commenting way about how awesome the blog (still) is and that we are happy the joke of the day was funny (or not). then the critics started flowing in and felt it necessary to look deeper into these simple jokes than lassie looked in the well for timmy. then people realized they could post anonymously and criticized the critics for being too critical. then, human nature set in and the cute little comments began what many professionals call the "escelation theory," basically the scholarly way of saying "fueling the fire." i don't CARE if you have a natural tendency to believe you're smarter or more witty or the alpha-dog of online commenting, it's really not funny. and those of us who come here to enjoy a chuckle and submit an encouraging comment are absolutely sick of knowing that only 10 of the 35 comments on here are related the actual post. we wonder what's wrong with our world today and try to find solutions to make the future a better place for our kids. we pass laws and try to enforce rules and regulations, and we are wasting our time because nobody follows them. what ever happened to "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all?" isn't that something we teach our 3 year-olds? if we expect our children to listen to us, why don't we set good examples and practice what we preach? we tell our kids to "do as i say, not as i do" and actually expect them to listen to us! you realize they will do the same thing, and their kids, and their kids.... LEAD BY EXAMPLE. feel free to go on digg or reddit or some other massive site to leave your excrament.. but leave the independents out of your immature dribble.

piraro-- i am sorry to say that i have stopped coming here so often because i'm sick of filtering through the actual comments only to read passive-aggressive "i'm better than you are" crap. i'm still coming and laughing at your funny links, and i still love you and your artistry. but i'm afraid that the baddies are going to push out the goodies, because the goodies just have much better things to do than babysit.

Johnny said...

Ya know. It IS a comment section and I just could'nt stand to let some knucklehead who doesn't have the decency to identify themsleves, take a pot shot from below at Mr. Piraro's work. So I commented on a different way for them to appreciate the work, as social commentary, instead of the joke, since anon didn't get the humor.

Its a comments section. If anon has a voice in it, I should have a say as well. One that may or may not agree, in this case, it was to disagree and show a different view of how they might find an appreciation for it. Turns out anons a troll, lesson learned, I'll only respond to those with an identity from now on.

Leigh said...

@Shortcake

I agree with almost everything you said. Aside from the "not saying anything if you don't have anything to say. I have brought my son up to speak up and question things... only to keep what he's saying relevant and thought out.

@ Johnny

I haven't allowed anonymous users to respond to my posts for over a decade. People who are willing to put the effort into posting but not be honest about their identity are not people that I personally want to interact with. It's one thing if it was a site where people were getting advice (where being anonymous might be important) but that's a non-applicable concern here.

Generally speaking, people who go out of their way to post sarcastic content to show they don't like something, aren't people worth talking to because they've already made up their mind. Those sorts really should stick to 4chan, where trolling, flaming and bickering over bullshit is the norm.

I'm not saying that people shouldn't comment and speak up when they dislike something but there is a huge difference between someone being honest and speaking their mind (someone you can converse with and perhaps find mutual ground) and someone who is simply looking to start an argument, hurt someone, express disrespect, etc etc.

Leigh said...

@ Shortcake

heh. I meant to say, "Not saying anything if you don't have anything nice to say". :D

Mr. Johnson said...

Hey Dan... excellent show at the Grand Lake last night! Really fun to meet you, and the kids are totally jazzed about getting a signed copy of the Pirates book. I was so inspired after your show that I joined our local Atheist Church. We pray every day for god to come down and tell us all to "stop praying and get to frigging work cleaning the place up!" Keep doing what you do... you and John Stewart are our beacons of hope.

derekamalo said...

MAN OOH MAN DAN HasNT BLOGGED HE MUST STILL BE IN JAIL FROM THE MURDER....ILL CALL MY LAWYER AND SEE IF I CAN HELP...ANYONE ELSE WANT TO DONATE TO THE SAVE THE DAN MAN FUND..

Mr. Johnson said...

I can't donate... I already gave to the victim's fund (although the "Alaskan Victim's Fund" probably already gets money from Big Oil anyway...).

La Framéricaine said...

It's an interesting coincidence (to me) that I have been mulling over the issue of the quality, or lack thereof, of the comments posted at BizarroBlog, quietly, on my own, in the privacy of my own mind, and I come here, once again, only to find that I am not the only one mulling over this same matter.

It's not the end of the world if the comments here deteriorate to the lowest possible level. However, it is very interesting intellectually, in a compare and contrast sense.

At "The Bloggess" and "Bête de Jour", for example, to name only a couple, the author's are hysterically funny, screamingly funny, stomach achingly, tears streamingly funny which is just great.

You have to be careful not to have liquids in your mouth when you read them because those liquids risk ending up on your computer screen and keyboard. So... Cool. And I'm really happy to be able to go there and read them. And I am in awe of their comedic writing skills.

But what is gratifying about the sites is that the comments are also intelligent, well-written, and funny in their own right. They too can cause damage to your computer screen.

I was happy to see that Bizarro had a blog, and, initially, I thought that the commenters had a good, community-oriented, intelligent, encouraging, mutually-supportive, funny riff going. But I too have seen a precipitous decline in the quality of the discourse and I would like to add my 2 cents to the "debate," for lack of a better word for it.

You might be surprised, but it is my assertion that the responsibility for this decline rests firmly with the owner of the blog. I know that some of you will be annoyed by this statement but I believe that it is valid. A blog owner is a host and a host is the one who determines the tone of the blog as concerns comments.

Dan has stated, I am paraphrasing, that he likes to have a lively debate here. But a lively debate is not created by snarkiness, for its own sake, put downs, ad hominem attacks, or really poor writing.

This is not a call-in radio show. One's critical thinking skills and good faith effort to express oneself clearly in writing actually do count in a written medium.

One of the commenters on The Bloggess recently left the following excerpted quote:


September 10th, 2008 at 7:35 pm

And as for trolls and drive-bys? Ignore. Delete. Do not respond. Do not parapharase or write a post based on a really funny insult. Do not give them a forum.

This advice comes from Gavin DeBecker’s book, THE GIFT OF FEAR. He is an expert on dealing with stalkers and rapists and other such dangerous creeps.


Oddly enough, I read that book and gave it as a gift to many different people. The commenter is correct. The comments section is as important to the blog as is the blog posts. The have a symbiotic relationship.

Try to raise the quality of the comments section to the quality of the blog. The blog has the potential to reach a greater audience. I have always admired the cartoons. But the turgid, ill-written, doltish, combative, junior high school level comments by whatever is the opposite of one's supporters is actively keeping fans away from the blog.

I promise not to bring up this subject again, but it was on my mind because of the dramatic difference in quality between Bizarro Blog & the two blogs I mentioned.

I hope that commenters of good humor and goodwill continue to come and create a community while the commenters with no goodwill will receive the consequences reserved for murderers by the Greeks--their voices were silenced and their names were never uttered among the polis thereafter.

Leigh said...

Well stated La Framéricaine!

I've been online since the late 80's and that is exactly how we've dealt with trolls and morons alike. Before the internet was a graphical wonderland that tantalized the masses to sign up for AOL in droves, there were the dial-up BBSi.

The quality of the BBS, much like forums nowadays, was completely dependent on the SysOp. A good SysOp was like a monkey, keeping the message boards well groomed, picking out bugs and nom-noming them before anything bad happened.

I think that users in this environment should ignore the bored, problematic souls who post pointless negativity (it can be difficult to resist... I know). But I also think that whomever the domain belongs to should also make like a monkey and groom.

That is assuming that the person in question actually cares about some things. If they don't, that's kewl but a warning label, like the NSFW tag, would be nice.

"Beware! Troll Tolerated Zone"

La Framéricaine said...

Thank you, Leigh.

I am relatively new to the blogosphere and consider it tantamount to a life saver, in my own case. I am a fan of cartoons by Dan Piraro and have been for as long as I've been aware of his work.

I will be the very first to admit that I am particularly sensitive to thoughtless writing--even if it has spelling and/or grammatical errors, I can go with it if there is an effort at thoughtfulness and reflection.

The first person served by that contemplative effort is the author her/himself, so my own efforts are, first and foremost, selfish, I will be the first person to admit that.

I hope that we can work together to raise the bar on the comments here and restore the delightful humor and esprit de corps that this blog merits.

anonymous said...

"It IS a comment section and I just could'nt stand to let some knucklehead who doesn't have the decency to identify themsleves, take a pot shot from below at Mr. Piraro's work."

Johnny, who exactly is the knucklehead? When you click on your name, you get "profile not available." When you click on my name, you get "profile not available." Other than the name we've chosen, what exactly is the difference, knucklehead?

BTW, the "anonymous" moniker is in deference to our special friend Derek, who thought I left when Piraro disabled the anonymous comments.

Keep reading, Johnny!

anonymous said...

"I'm not saying that people shouldn't comment and speak up when they dislike something but there is a huge difference between someone being honest and speaking their mind (someone you can converse with and perhaps find mutual ground) and someone who is simply looking to start an argument, hurt someone, express disrespect, etc etc."

I agree, Leigh. And if you look back at all my posts you will find it all started with me stating a less than favorable opinion on a Bizarro, only to be attacked by the insecure drones such as Johnny trolling this board. I have not attacked unless I have been attacked.

jimbojones said...

sounds like they are attacking you again, derek

anonymous said...

Shortcake - so you would like a blog of one opinion only? Awfully close-minded of you. So you are not a fan of the freedoms our society enjoys?

derekamalo said...

i miss FIDo and more importantly am wondering how his peperes ass is

fido said...

As i have told you all before my grandpa or pepere for that matter has a virgin ass.

Penny said...

Nice try, ladies. :-(

julie said...

penny, really - give it a rest already.

Tracy H. said...

"I have not attacked unless I have been attacked."

Anonymous, your first comment in this thread is an attack.

derekamalo said...

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

FIDO IS BACK


LMAO..I THOUGHT HIS ACCOUNT WAS REMOVED


AT LEAST FIDO MENTIONS TOPICS WORTH TALKING ABOUT

anonymous said...

How so, "tracy"? Sounds like an opinion to me. Typical of Piararo's latest efforts, he goes overboard on the artwork (as nice as it may be) and puts next to no effort on the humor.

Leigh said...

@anonymous

"And if you look back at all my posts you will find it all started with me stating a less than favorable opinion on a Bizarro, only to be attacked by the insecure drones such as Johnny trolling this board. I have not attacked unless I have been attacked."

I'm going to have to say that I don't agree with you.

Let's look at your very first post to this specific blog.

"Ha. Ha. Because wikipedia isn't a physical object. Should we laugh now?"

That response is clearly sarcastic. Sarcasm is a dismissive form of humor that is generally intended to amuse the person speaking and those who agree with the speaking person while belittling the person it is directed at. That could be interpreted as an attack.

There is nothing that suggests you are looking to have a thoughtful conversation or that you want to discuss your reasons for not liking the post.

On the contrary, it looks like a bundled opinion intended to stand on it's own. It also comes across to me as if you've got something personal against the artist. Perhaps I simply do not understand the complexities of heckling.

That post on it's own isn't really that bad but it contradicts your response to me so I have to point it out. Even in your response to me, you made sure to take a moment to poke a stick at someone else. A minor attack perhaps but an attack nonetheless.

You are welcome to say what you want. I just don't think people should encourage you by responding at the level you consistently choose post.

Like I said before, maybe the complexities of heckling are lost on me but I don't really see the point of constantly repeating, "This isn't funny to me".

julianmaestas said...

huh i wonder where Dan has gotten to. Based on some comments about comedy shows perhaps he has been too busy travelling to update the blog.
or maybe he really is in jail for killing a heckler as derek suggested LOL.
also, I have been reading the blog since its inception, but one of you earlier in this massive 60 comment discussion stated that there were only 6 readers of this blog, but I would like to posit that just because only 6 people comment does not mean that only 6 people read the blog. i'm sure research has been done to find a ratio between readers and commenters, and it's probably quite low.

what i am trying to say is that there were probably a lot more than only 6 people reading the blog. not trying to be a troll or confrontational.

also, my own opinion of the subject matter of the comments is that yes it has gone downhill, but the 2nd law of thermodynamics states that the universe tends toward a state of entropy, so it was inevitable that the more readers the blog got the greater percentage of shit would appear in the comments. so i am not surprised at the emergence of trolls. they have already invaded the rest of the internet, you would have to be delusional to hope they would never infect this blog.

derekamalo said...

hahahah julie greater percentage of shit to appear hahahaha...

anonymous said...

"That could be interpreted as an attack."

Could be. Could not. Next.

"There is nothing that suggests you are looking to have a thoughtful conversation or that you want to discuss your reasons for not liking the post."

Apply that requirement to the rest of the bloggers here and you have no blog. I have been posting on this blog for awhile now. I don't feel a need to recap all my reasons with every post.

"...it looks like a bundled opinion intended to stand on it's own."

See any more of those on this blog? Yeah, that is right - most of them.

"Even in your response to me, you made sure to take a moment to poke a stick at someone else."

The poke was aimed at Johnny, an insecure clone that attacks posts that makes him feel uncomfortable. He is not alone.

"I just don't think people should encourage you by responding at the level you consistently choose post."

So far, everyone that has said that has responded again within a week or two. Everyone.

"...I don't really see the point of constantly repeating, "This isn't funny to me"."

Just as I do not see the point of repeatedly saying "this comic is great." If you do not care for what others have to say, move on. But one could say the critical eye is more useful to an artist than the constant stroking. And before you say it, I do give reasons. If you want to burn the calories, go back and read.

anonymous said...

Thanks for your support, Julian.

don said...

i really don't understand why everyone is getting so upset over a few bloggers.

La Framéricaine said...

I beg to differ on several points:

Other hilarious bloggers have 100s, yes, 100s of commenters who are just as hilarious as the blog author and they riff off of one another, thus maintaining a high level of esprit de corp and intelligent humor. The blog host also "grooms" the comments with the "delete" key as part of the larger responsibility of maintaining the blog.

Just as I do not see the point of repeatedly saying "this comic is great... ...But one could say the critical eye is more useful to an artist than the constant stroking.

Unless you have a nationwide cartoon that you created and nurtured throughout the years, you are talking out your ass, anonymously, no less.

Typical of Piraro's latest efforts, he goes overboard on the artwork (as nice as it may be) and puts next to no effort on the humor. Where do you come up with this crap? It is so pompous.

it was inevitable that the more readers the blog got the greater percentage of shit would appear in the comments. so i am not surprised at the emergence of trolls. they have already invaded the rest of the internet, you would have to be delusional to hope they would never infect this blog.

This blog does not have "a lot" of readers. It has a, comparatively, modest number. And it has trolls because the blog's host wants it to.

anonymous said...

"Unless you have a nationwide cartoon that you created and nurtured throughout the years, you are talking out your ass, anonymously, no less."

So he should never hear anything but comments from thoughtless drones such as yourself? Besides, you have no idea who I am or what I do.

"Where do you come up with this crap? It is so pompous."

Again - and your opinion is not because it is the same as the others?

I'm sorry to break this unfortunate fact to you, but my opinion is just as valid as anyone elses - mine just happens to be different. You apparently expect all bloggers to comment with wildly thoughtless and affectionate admiration, because you think Piraro is above criticism.

Perhaps rather than type any more tonight you should ask the nurse to give you your evening pills and call it a day.

anonymous said...

Oh, and one last thing - as I have said many times already, I am just as "anonymous" as most of the commenters on this blog. I just chose the name "anonymous" just as you chose whatever the hell it is you call yourself. Would "Tom" make things easier to grasp for you?

julie said...

this. comic. is. still. not. funny.

Shortcake said...

then. stop. coming. julie.

anonymous- no, i would like a blog with mature commenters. if maturity is indicitive of one opinion, then yes. count me in as one of those "closed-minded" people who enjoy real conversation and debate instead of grade-school competition. you read WAAAY too into peoples' comments. why don't you read what is written instead of assuming we are trying some snarky journalism tactic to weed out the morons. commenting on absolutely everything everyone says is not going to make you the top commenter. so, just stop trying.

anonymous said...

Exactly what "debate" would you like to have when you do not want to hear anyone's opinion but your own? Are you looking for an internal debate? Because it appears that you already got the ball rolling on that. By the way, didn't you say on more than one occasion that you were going to stop responding to the "negative" commenters such as myself? Yes, you did.

julie said...

Good one, shortie - you are sharp as a tack with those retorts. You really must be a delight.

B.A.D. said...

According to Wiki, we went vegan the same year.