Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tommy Can You Hear Me?

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I was pleased when I came up with this take on the famous "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" adage, but didn't think much of it beyond that. I didn't predict that it would be as popular as it turned out to be; I got quite a lot of emails about it. I guess many of us are weary of seeing everyone buried in electronic devices constantly. Cops say that a person wearing headphones is more likely to be victimized by a robber or pickpocket, which makes good sense I suppose. You're less likely to see or hear them coming when involved in whatever is going on in your ears. Do I sound like the proverbial Jewish mother, yet? How about this: Ear buds are more likely to cause hearing damage than large headphones. This actually does concern me because I've already got a permanent ringing in my ears and have lost of bit of hearing, presumably from being in a band years ago. Now I sound like a Jewish grandfather.

In truth, I don't care if you lose your hearing or get mugged. Do what you want, you're going to anyway. I'll just sit here talking to myself and wait to die.

Speaking of three chimps, here is another gag about electronics, this one about texting. It was a collaboration with a friend of mine who was a regular writer on Seinfeld, Andy Cowan. You'll occasionally see his name on my cartoons as I've been enjoying working with him.

Lastly, is this cartoon about the odd ways of the Amish. They're famous for raising barns but not razing them. Is there another example in the English language of homonyms that are antonyms? (For those readers not familiar with these grammatical terms, a "homonym" is a word that describes gay people in some way, an "antonym" is, you guessed it, one that describes ants.)

I'm off to Woodstock Sanctuary for the Moby concert tonight, which, I'm thrilled to say, is sold out. Have a great weekend and use plenty of TNT.


Anonymous said...

>> Is there another example in the English language of homonyms that are antonyms?

"Cleave" means to take a cleaver and cut something in two. In older usage (or currently among republicans probably), in means to join together, as in the biblical "man cleaves to his wife"...

Love your work!

Binky said...

The texting cartoon is too true. Without technology, I think half of us wouldn't be able to communicate.

Shantanu.bayaskar said...

Great fan of your creative work..
We all are addicted to electronics..
Am leavin this comment through a mobile phone itself..
But your take on them is very cool..
Thanx for your creativity..

Anonymous said...

Words that sound the same are homophones. Homonyms are words that are spelled the same. "Cleave" is an example of a homonym that's also an antonym.

William C Bonner said...

Because of the active part of the iPhone I assumed your comic was See Evil, Hear Evil, Speak Evil.

That didn't take away from any derived humor.

Karen said...

Cleave means to split apart, as in barbarians cleaving skulls in battle, and also to stick together, as in married folks cleaving one to the other. Granted, you usually only hear about that one during church weddings.

Anonymous said...


Don't ask me how I got here, but I have a question which is as close as possible to life-or-death question I've ever had:

I noticed you sport the stache and soul patch combo, like myself. I'm eager to know where did you get the inspiration for such (rather unusual) facial-hair style?
The moustache alone is very rare among young people like I am, but the soul patch combo- that's practically fashionable suicide.
I'm really interested in the reasons for such a weird decision. It looked good on Zappa and on the meme of young mexicans, but why, damn it, why?

Feel free to reply here: or in the blog... I shall bookmark it.

Piraro said...

@anonymous...I have not particular reason for wearing the mustache and soul patch other than that I like it. I've been playing with various facial hairstyles for years, I used to have a big, whopping Salvadore Dali mustache, but got rid of it because it was too much trouble to maintain. I liked Zappa, too, maybe that's a subconscious influence.

ojeano said...

I especially like the detail of the chimps' and the nuances of their body language, like the way the one "speaking no..." is resting his knuckles on the ground (but not wresting them from anything).

Here is my found art on the topic of "see no evil..." Photo shot as discovered one day at TJmax:

Aardwolf said...

it is the one i like

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Piraro.

I like the Dali thing also, alas, it is way too attention grabbing for me.

But the soul patch/moustache combo is probably the finest example of biological engineering on earth, after (or along with) the DNA molecule.
So simple yet... So sophisticated.

Christina said...

From wiki:In linguistics, a homonym is, in the strict sense, one of a group of words that share the same spelling and the same pronunciation but have different meanings (in other words, are both homographs and homophones),[1] usually as a result of the two words having different origins. The state of being a homonym is called homonymy. Examples of pairs of homonyms are stalk (part of a plant) and stalk (follow/harass a person), and left (opposite of right) and left (past tense of leave).
In a looser non-technical sense, the term "homonym" can be used to refer to words that share the same spelling irrespective of pronunciation, or share the same pronunciation irrespective of spelling – in other words, they are homographs or homophones.[1] In this sense, pairs such as row (propel with oars) and row (argument), and read (peruse) and reed (waterside plant), would also be homonyms.
A distinction may be made between "true" homonyms, which are unrelated in origin, such as skate (glide on ice) and skate (the fish), and polysemous homonyms, or polysemes, which have a shared origin, such as mouth (of a river) and mouth (of an animal).[2][3]

Christina said...

The wiki means that you were correct. Whether the word is spelled the same or not, it's a homonym. Homophone is what "they" are using in school these days.

oroboros said...

Here's a list of homonyms/antonyms:

oroboros said...

And here's a list of autoantonyms (e.g.,cleave), should you be interested: is a great website for all word needs...