Sunday Funnies – LOLs, September 25th, 2022

Nice to meet a dragon these days that isn’t a Game of Thrones nor a Wagnerian dragon.

More evidence for the idea that any philosophical system extended too far develops problems.

It’s in the detail!

The allusion surely does not need explication here at CIDU!

Okay, we’ll allow an Ewww-LOL this time!


  1. Now that existentialcomics has quit putting explanatory paragraphs at the bottom, does anyone recognize the philosophers in this strip?

  2. Is the warning on that Viking’s ladder suppose to protect the attackers from making a misstep, or dissuade the defenders from staging a counterattack down the ladder?

  3. It reads like something the manufacturer, or a leasing company, would put on a non-supported rung (or edge of a van, where this is commonly seen).
    And then maybe the joke is mostly in the idea that these siege ladders were purchased from a commercial supplier, rather than crafted by the invaders as needed.

  4. I guess not everyone is aware that it’s a common warning on the last rung of a ladder.

    Besides that, it’s not really a good strategy from the attackers if the defenders are on the roof waiting for them. A simple push on the top sends the attacker plummeting to the ground.

  5. Is that not a Wagnerian dragon?
    I don’t know anything about dragon mythology. But I know that Fafner, the dragon from Wagner’s Ring spent years guarding a hoard of gold.

  6. Here’s a trailer for a production of the Ring. It only shows a tiny bit of the dragon, who does not in this instance resemble the St. George’s type dragon in the cartoon. But you’re right, the story does make that remark about it being non-Wagnerian show as inaccurate.

    Though this doesn’t show much of the dragon, it shows a lot of what my brother and his partner, devoted Ring attendees, dismissively joined many critics in calling “The Machine”. I have never been to any Wagner opera performance in person, but Jason and Pepi have done three; I think two in San Francisco and one in Seattle. They were preparing to come to Chicago for a week and I was going to join them for the Ring at Lyric Opera here — in April 2020, so it all got cancelled, for COVID.

    Some other time I was browsing clips and documentaries and ran across one showing a behind the scenes about what it takes to put together a production of the Ring. I think this was from The Met in NYC. One of the most compelling sequences was someone climbing into a cockpit that was in the dragon’s head, and learning to drive it around! Fascinating.

  7. @ Mark M – I was aware that it was a common warning, I just wasn’t sure whether the text was oriented in the “proper” direction (which it is, at least according to your theory).

  8. I think the warning is facing the wrong way. I don’t think it ultimately matters, however, since the invader can just climb over that rung from the one below it.

    The joke could simply be that it’s a modern warning on an ancient ladder.

  9. Neither Smaug nor Fafner seemed to have any problems caused by sleeping on piles of gold, at least while they were alive. Smaug frequently got up and flew around here and there, without evidence of back pain. Fafner pretty much did nothing but sleep.

  10. Mark M: scaling ladders were nonetheless a thing.

    On the subject of details though, one of the defenders seems to have been shot in the back by his own side and there’s nothing to explain why…

  11. @ Dave – one would think that in the (nearly) three decades since that comic first appeared, Larson would have had time to notice these sort or details and fix them, but perhaps he’s still working on a revised version of “Cow Tools“.

  12. @Downpuppy, I wouldn’t say that they “quit”, just that explanations are not particularly frequent. Known philosophers are still identified when they appear, there just aren’t any in this one.

    The previous comic had Nietzsche in it, and he got a “Philosophers in this comic:” link. And the one before that had an explanatory paragraph.

  13. Dave in Boston – I don’t disagree that the use of ladders to scale an enemy’s wall was a thing. But that only works in a sneak attack. Once you look up and see a defender staring down at you, you’re pretty much finished. Besides, never bring swords to a bow and arrow fight.

  14. I don’t think that’s true; once the ladder has a couple guys in armor on it, pushing it off isn’t going to be very easy. The idea is to send more guys up than the defenders can deal with at once, and then once you establish a foothold on top of the wall you can bring more up rapidly. It’ll be a meat grinder, certainly, but that’s true of any sort of frontal assault.

    Regarding the archers, once the attackers are up on the wall the archers are in trouble, and before that point there are likely archers on the ground firing up. Granted, there aren’t any in this cartoon. But the cartoon also features horns on helmets, and a beard on the attacker, and other things that are standard visual tropes rather than accurate, so it doesn’t necessarily mean much.

  15. Well, if you object to AirBNB as a verb, you need to also object to “let’s Google it”. And perhaps “butter your toast” when you should say “put butter on your toast.” After you go out to water the cows, come back and milk the kitten.

  16. Kilby: Some 30 years ago, we quipped that “Nowadays, any noun can be verbed.” It’s not a recent thing; Shakespeare did it (e.g., “portcullised” in Richard II). I still dislike the practice, but it has won out. MiB is right.

  17. I still disagree. I actively avoid using “Google” as a verb, but that has nothing to do with verbing a noun: it’s because I dislike giving free advertising to a company that already has an obscene monopoly. My objection to AirBnB is only partly about “verbing”: it’s especially ugly because it is a four-syllable spoken acronym, which Bliss then compounds by conjugating in third person singular. The construction is just ugly and sounds awkward.

  18. Not all trademarks get verbed. I’ve heard people say “bandage the wound” but I haven’t heard anyone say “Band-Aid the wound.”

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