Here A Blue Law, There A Blue Law

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Given it’s a Sunday, when Blue Laws are usually in effect, I thought I’d share this comic strip by Danny Lewis, who’s an artist living in Massachusetts. Blue Laws, of course, are antiquated laws, usually religiously based.

A blue law is a type of law designed to enforce religious standards, particularly the observance of a day of worship or rest. In the US, most blue laws have been repealed, declared unconstitutional, or are simply unenforced; though prohibitions on the sale of alcoholic beverages or prohibitions of almost all commerce on Sundays are still enforced in many areas. Blue laws often prohibit an activity only during certain hours and there are usually exceptions to the prohibition of commerce, like grocery and drug stores. In some places, blue laws may be enforced due to religious principles, but others are retained as a matter of tradition or out of convenience.

While most have been repealed, not all of them have been, and his comic strip talks about some of the remaining ones.

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Click here to see the cartoon full size.

Three Logicians Walk Into A Bar …

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While I had a logic class in college, and dabbled in debate, I’ve probably forgotten more than I ever learned. But I still love the notion of breaking down the thought process. My son, who’s 11 and autistic, often has trouble understanding humor. As a result, I increasingly find myself trying to explain the punchline of a joke — why it’s funny — and I’ll break it down for him. What invariably happens, of course, is that in that process, the joke is stripped of its humor and is no longer funny. For some reason, that never deters me. I’ve always had a thing for jokes and thinking about why they’re funny. If I wasn’t so damn shy I would have loved to have tried my hand at stand-up comedy back when I was a younger man. I think that’s why I loved The Aristocrats so much. Ninety minutes breaking down and re-telling one joke. What’s not to love?

So check out the comic strip below. It’s mildly amusing, at least to me. You most likely won’t laugh out loud, but you may smile, at least. But from the point of view of logic, it’s also quite correct, and instructional. It was originally posted by Spiked Math Comics, who admits he doesn’t know the strip’s original creator.

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But here’s where it veers headlong into geekdom. It was picked up by a Danish University linguistics student, Emil Kirkegaard, who posted Three Logicians Walk Into a Bar: A Formal Explanation, a breakdown and analysis of the joke, complete with formulas, and explanation of the logic principles behind it.

Here’s one expressing the root problem: E↔(Wa∧Wb∧Wc)

The whole explanation is just as funny as the original strip, to me at least, in its own right and certainly does explain the joke, although if you didn’t think it was funny to begin with, this probably isn’t going to help. But us geeks have to stick together, no matter what geekworld we belong to.

My Little Pony Keg

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I love Google Images. You just never know what you’ll find and over the years I’ve found some truly odd images. And this has to be among the stranger finds. Apparently there are people obsessed with My Little Pony. I really shouldn’t be surprised, for pretty much anything you could name, people have turned their solitary obsession into a full-fledged hobby, with similar-minded people coming together from all over the globe. The internet has made this particularly easy, and I can only imagine that the sheer number of different groups, organizations, associations, clubs, etc. surrounding almost anything we could name, no matter how obscure, has exploded over the last decade. Anyway, I stumbled upon a My Little Pony imageboard — an internet forum — called Ponychan.

An entire thread titled “Alcohol Thread” began with “What is your drink of choice and why? Are you bastards even old enough to drink?” A fair question, given the only reason I am so very familiar with My Little Pony is because I have an 8-year old daughter. The thread includes images of ponies drinking beer and cider, as forum users express their favorite alcoholic drinks.

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My wife informs me — I have no idea how she knows this — that there is an entire subset of adult males who are into My Little Pony known as “Bronies.” That’s more than a little creepy.

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So here’s a few of the drinking ponies from the thread. I can only imagine the neo-prohibitionists would be going crazy if these were to see the light of day, emerging from the murky shadows of the internet. Children’s characters drinking? Oh, the horror!

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But I’ll raise toast to the ponies. Drunk ponies could only be more interesting than I remember them, having to endure their sober exploits with my daughter Alice. Thank goodness she’s moved past the little ponies, but sadly what’s she’s into now — iCarly, Victorious and the Winx Club — are hardly much better.

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Hokey Smokes! Cartoons Are Only For Kids?

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As a lifelong lover of all things drawn — comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, cartoons and animated films — there’s an argument that the neo-prohibitionist wingnuts make from time to to time that absolutely frys my bacon. And they’re at it again. The increasingly neo-prohibitionist group Alcohol Justice (AJ) is unhappy once more with Anheuser-Busch InBev (are they ever happy?), this time because they’re using — gasp! — cartoons to promote their association with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). In Bud Light and UFC Push Beer to Kids with Comics, AJ makes the same tired argument they always do whenever anybody uses an image that’s been drawn in an advertisement. Here’s how they put it this time:

So how does a company that says it’s committed to not advertising to kids choose to spend millions of its marketing dollars? Get this: comic strips, posted on Facebook, targeting fans of mixed-martial arts fighting, also known as Ultimate Fighting Championships. As the primary sponsor of the brutal and offensive UFC, A-B InBev gets the Bud Light logo delivered directly to the computer screens of millions of kids worldwide. Moreover, they use the quintessential child-friendly format of comic strips to do it. The only way they could top this direct advertising to youth is if they plastered Sponge Bob SquarePants’ picture on Bud Light cans.

Well get this, comic strips and other animated fare is NOT JUST FOR KIDS. They never, ever have been. Yes, there are cartoons aimed at kids, but many, many are either for all ages or are for more mature people. People able to separate content from delivery, something that AJ is apparently incapable of, understand this. The folks that come up with these arguments must be the least fun people to be around, if they avoid anything that’s been animated because they believe it must be for kids only. Think what they’re missing.

But just a short history should convince even the most jaded neo-prohibitionist that comics have long been for all ages, and many were aimed at adults since they were first created. The very first comic strip, The Yellow Kid, began in newspapers in the last decade of the 19th century. It tackled social and political topics, and was for the adults who read newspapers. The first animated film, Gertie the Dinosaur, created by Windsor McCay in 1914, was similarly not exclusively kiddie-fare. McKay used it in his vaudeville act, which was not for kids.

All those Looney Toons, Tom & Jerry’s, Popeye’s and other cartoons we grew up watching Saturday mornings and after school began as the cartoon shown before the main attraction started at movie theaters. And we’re not talking about kiddie files, but all films. They were aimed at either the adults there to see an adult film or were for all ages (Disney being exception and the prime example of a studio that did more family-friendly stuff). That’s why there are lots of old Warner Brothers cartoons (and others) that are never shown on television when they repackaged them for TV, because their subject matter is seen as inappropriate for today’s youth.

Comic books in the 1950s covered a wide range of subjects, not just superheroes, but another wingnut wrote “Seduction of the Innocent,” a deeply flawed book that equated violence with reading comic books, and comic books were reduced to only kid-friendly stories (at least until the 1980s).

Try to watch Rocky & Bullwinkle or Beany & Cecil and not see all the adult political references. You’d have to be utterly clueless to not see that cartoons have never been the exclusive realm of children. Many mature adults love cartoons now, and have since people first started drawing them.

That AJ and other anti-alcohol folks claim this is, for me, more proof of how they’re willing to bend the truth, and common sense, to push their agenda. I don’t even like the UFC, or any type of fighting sports like boxing, etc. (except for the NFL), but just because they use a comic strip promoting it does not ipso facto mean they’re targeting kids. You’d have to be a child yourself to make, or swallow, that line of reasoning.

Another interesting tactic that AJ uses again here is claiming they’re not the only one outraged, when they state that “Culinary Workers Union recently sent a forceful letter to A-B InBev expressing disgust at the company’s ‘socially irresponsible behavior.'” Except that when you look at this letter, it’s also signed by AJ’s executive director Bruce Lee Livingston, meaning it’s more likely AJ’s letter, or at a minimum a joint letter. But that fact is conveniently left out of their press release, most likely because it would weaken their already questionable argument. As I said, I’m no fan of the UFC, or similar spectacles, and I tend to believe the world would be a better place if people didn’t enjoy violence quite so much, but any meaningful public discussion has to start by being honest. And starting that discussion by claiming that if anybody uses a cartoon then they’re only targeting kids, is hardly honest. Now I need a beer, and the Simpsons is on.

Beer Can Dads 2012

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I posted these last year a couple of weeks before Father’s Day, but figured today was a good day to take another look at them. Last year, the good folks at Every Guyed designed eight beer can dads.

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Here was the idea:

To celebrate Father’s Day, EveryGuyed and Moxy Creative House have teamed up once again to deliver the second installment of the ‘Cheers!’. This time we had creative director Glenn Michael raise a glass — and his brush — to 8 iconic animated dads, re-envisioning them as beer cans.

When you were a kid, Father’s Day was a pretty boring affair. Now you’re of age, and all of a sudden you have the chance to do something with your dad that he’ll actually enjoy: share a cold one together.

See if you can guess all of the cartoon dads. You can see all eight of them in the slideshow above. The answers can found at the bottom of last year’s post.

Now I want my own dad can. What would yours look like?

Beer Can Dads

fathers
With Father’s day less than two weeks away, I thought I’d share this fun project done by the folks at Every Guyed, where they designed eight beer can dads.

fathersday-cartoondads

Here’s the idea:

To celebrate Father’s Day, EveryGuyed and Moxy Creative House have teamed up once again to deliver the second installment of the ‘Cheers!’. This time we had creative director Glenn Michael raise a glass — and his brush — to 8 iconic animated dads, re-envisioning them as beer cans.

When you were a kid, Father’s Day was a pretty boring affair. Now you’re of age, and all of a sudden you have the chance to do something with your dad that he’ll actually enjoy: share a cold one together.

See if you can guess all of the cartoon dads. The answers are below, just under the slideshow, where you can see the eight individuals posters for each beer can dad.

Now I want my own dad can. What would yours look like?

  1. Homer Simpson
  2. Peter Griffin (Family Guy)
  3. Fred Flintstone
  4. Papa Smurf
  5. Popeye
  6. George Jetson
  7. Mr. Incredible
  8. Mufasa (The Lion King)

You can even buy any of the prints as a poster at Moxy Creative House.

Buffalo With Buffalo: Beer!

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I confess I don’t “get” the humor in this 2006 cartoon. I imagine there’s an inside joke here that would be apparent if I was a regular reader of Buffalo with Buffalo, a comic strip written occasionally by a Buffalo, New York blogger. But it is all about beer, so I thought I’d share. If you think you understand the joke, please leave a comment with your best guess.

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