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30.06.08 – The Masquerade of Capitalism

Posted by clapping for waffles on 30.June.08

30.06.08 -The Masquerade of Capitalism

At first glance, Tom Wilson seems to be making a comment about the lack of ingenuity created by what he believes is the driving force of innovation in modern society: the merchant.  Wilson’s depiction of the slight deviations between the different kind of chili at a business that focuses solely on chili is a tacit condemnation of the complacency of the modern corporation and their lack of affording the common man options.  The different products are the same base chili (or chili-like product) with more spiciness added on top of that (although what adds the extra levels of spice is not clarified).  While this plan may be economically reasonable, Mr. Wilson decries it as lazy.  He (through his avatar, Ziggy) looks at the menu and is underwhelmed by the lack of choices that are given to him.  However, when he fixes his gaze upon the fourth item on this menu, that of “whatever doesn’t destroy me makes me stronger,” he starts to become afraid.

Is he afraid that there is a new buying option?  Ziggy sees the fourth item on the menu, the abstract ideal of perseverance, the option that does not include food of any kind, and does not know how to react.  He sees that this kind does not involve the trading of money for goods and services?  Ziggy looks up at the menu at this restaurant which, if Ziggy is a part of its patronage, is a cutting edge eatery and sees a phasing-out of materials for which to exchange money.  The gradual easing away from providing food and the movement towards providing a general concept alarms Ziggy.  His worry starts to show through because, as in every case, a general shift away from the providing of goods and services for money can only lead to one thing: a general uprising leading to the abolishment of currency in an order to create equilibrium.  In other words: the rise of communist chili.

The idea of communist chili, chili that eschews currency for a common ownership frightens Ziggy.  Ziggy’s world, while full of misfortune, is based on the capitalist ideals that this country was founded on.  The idea of a kind of food so insidious that it breaks down the entire fabric of the modern economy is alarm to Ziggy to say the least.  Tom Wilson understands that the only way to fight communism is to strike at the very heart of the red beast.  There has not been a red scare since the end of the Cold War, this much is true.  However, Mr. Wilson understands that at any moment, we could all wake up one day yearning for borscht, the collected works of Karl Marx, and an overwhelming need to cast off the shackles of capitalist oppression and create an egalitarian based society that eschews class and currency.  Tom Wilson wakes up every day and checks to see if he himself has become a capitalist.  But he knows that every day he can go to Dave’s Chili Palace, buy some chili, and keep the commies at bay.

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My Update Schedule…

Posted by clapping for waffles on 19.May.08

has belied the title of this blog.  Sorry about that, but real life has interceded for a while.  Expect an update by the end of the day.  And a new section to catch myself up, called “The Lost Ziggy Files” aka the entires I’ve missed so far.

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13.05.2008

Posted by clapping for waffles on 13.May.08

13.05.2008 – A New Concept: Sexuality and The Internet

Ziggy is a sex-less being. Tom Wilson draws him as though he were a male, but his lack of definition in really any way combined with his lack of pants seem to speak otherwise. Pantlessness can only be pulled off by improv comedians on a subway or cartoon animals. I should hope that Tom Wilson realizes that his creation is simply a cartoon and not a pet or an androgynous offspring. Tom Wilson has created Ziggy to be the ultimate contradiction, an absolute non-entity in the sexual world who is immediately and urgently sexually free. Ziggy’s lack of pants speaks to a predatory, free-love series of encounters with women (and possibly men, there are no clues to Ziggy’s sexuality. In fact, his rejection from eHarmony could stem from his wanton, laissez-faire attitude towards sexual identity.) Tom Wilson seems to back up this overbearing sexuality pouring from Ziggy based on the shape of his mouth. Normally, Ziggy is drawn with a simple facial expression denoting his mood (smile, frown, etc.). However, in this installment, Ziggy’s mouth simulates a single sperm. Tom Wilson is tapping into the heart of the carnal sexuality of Ziggy and giving it a physical outlet in the most expressive part of Ziggy’s face (citation needed).

Ziggy’s consternation at his lack of harmonic verisimilitude is only magnified by the fact that in Ziggy’s world, in the mind of Tom Wilson, the internet has become a brick and mortar world. I don’t know if Tom Wilson has stumbled upon some sort of all-immersive, virtual reality machine that allows physical entry into buildings affiliated with websites, but if anyone were to have that and hold out on the rest of the world, it would be Tom Wilson. While it occurs to me that Ziggy could possibly have walked into the corporate headquarters of eHarmony.com and tried to meet women there, I doubt they would have critiqued his singing ability while he were there. Ziggy’s sad sack existence does lead to a lot of seemingly unprovoked rejection by customer service representatives, and eHarmony’s website is notorious for their strict policy of rejection for not conforming to the ideologies. While this speaks to his depravity as well as his possible pansexual identity, Ziggy’s ability to alienate anyone around him, whether they be his own pets, the food service industry, his bank, his therapist, or, in this case, a group of people at a website that has physically manifested itself as a building, speaks to his inability to make personal connections. While this lack of ability to make personal connections could be seen as another, generic “sad-sack Ziggy” personality quirk, Tom Wilson’s subtle use of Ziggy’s boiling under the surface sexual perversions seem to fully explain his lack of interpersonal relationships.

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12.5.2008

Posted by clapping for waffles on 12.May.08

12.5.2008 – A Terrible Harbinger of the Near Past

While this cartoon may seem like the railing against of this new fad of creating appliances and electronics that serve more than one purpose (You mean it cuts meat and spreads butter on toast? Back in my day, we had two utensils for that kind of thing and we enjoyed it), Tom Wilson is once again playing on our natural fears of performing tasks simultaneously and using that gut reaction of the refusal to multi-task to subvert our expectations. Tom Wilson isn’t scared that our lives will be controlled by one machine that caters to our every need. He readily accepts that the time will come for that kind of technology. Tom Wilson is warning us of the dangers of the transition to that one, all-knowing obelisk (for these purposes, I assume this theoretical super-machine is a giant obelisk that will be placed in the middle of a studio-like apartment and will be able to project television, bake a pie, and check your email). Tom Wilson presents Ziggy’s confusion as coming not from his toilet’s new version of Microsoft Outlook Express (Ziggy probably should have gotten a Mac toilet. They crash less and last longer), but from his now urgent want to defecate on his computer.

toilet computerLet me take you back to the halcyon days of 2001. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers failed in their valiant quest to take the Grey Cup. We lost both Jack Lemmon and Hank the Angry Drunk Dwarf (how we’ve been able to continue after losing these two great thespians, I’ll never know). And a plucky young QuakeCon goer named EnVaDoR created this monstrosity. Tom Wilson, an avid Quake player if there ever was one, has known about this horrifying hybrid of fecal waste and cyberspace for seven years. He understands that people might not be willing to use a toilet as a means to look at silly pictures of cats or play Solitaire while at work. Tom Wilson understands that people will see this toilet-shaped computer and decide that if the toilet has now replaced the computer as the primary internet conduit, then something must replace the toilet as the main receptacle of wadded up toilet paper, dead pets and human (and possibly animal) feces. Tom Wilson’s concern lies not in the streamlined future. He readily accepts the day when his job will be rendered obsolete by a small, simian-like robot named Sir Draws-a-Lot. Tom Wilson is concerned, like he always is, of the present. He is concerned about his loyal readers who one day might wake up and find a world filled with CRT-less, email checking toilets in their bathrooms and feces and animal carcass laden CPU’s in their offices.

Credit for the toilet computer

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