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Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Comic 960: FedXkcd
Title: Subliminal; alt-text: Once you see it, you can't help seeing it every time. Until your body finishes metabolizing the mushrooms.
You know what, let's start this thing off on a good note. Randall shows instead of telling! The guy sees crazy stuff, and Randall shows us the same thing! Oh. And then he has to tell us what we're seeing. Well, scratch that, I guess.
The main problem with today's strip is that it has no substance. This is essentially equivalent to someone saying, "What do you think that cloud looks like?" and someone else responding with something wacky. If Randall had started there, he would have realized that that's no joke. Problem is, he didn't start there.
No, this joke likely came from Randall discovering the FedEx arrow for the first time and thinking, "I bet I can make a comic about this!" (You can tell by the way he tries to hide it with the line, "I thought everyone knew about it.") Further evidence for this theory comes from the fact that the setup, focus, and punchline of the joke are all distinct from each other (and I'm giving him a lot of credit by not counting the "medication" line as post-punchline dialogue).
Think about it. Subliminal messaging (in this case, the FedEx arrow) is one distinct concept. Seeing shapes and images where they don't exist ("pareidolia" for those of you interested in the so-called "soft" sciences) is one distinct concept. Blaming medication for something is one distinct concept (seriously, think of how many jokes that punchline could finish). Ever seen the "Cartoon Wars" episodes of South Park, where Family Guy jokes are constructed by manatees matching up several random "idea balls"? That's what this is. This is a manatee joke.