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Can someone explain this old Far Side cartoon to me?

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El Supremo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:03 AM
Original message
Can someone explain this old Far Side cartoon to me?
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MrScorpio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:14 AM
Response to Original message
1. Too many whisky sours?
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Auggie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
2. Maybe it's funny to cows...
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
3. Here ya go:
"...Gary Larson would later say that it was the strip he'd gotten the most inquiries about, as people tried in vain to figure out what the hell they were for, when in fact Larson hadn't meant them to be anything but strange. Larson later said that he regretted having made one of the tools look vaguely like a saw, thus implying the rest had real-world counterparts. He got the idea from the (now discredited) anthropology theory that what separated humans from animals was using tools, and then wondered what it would be like if cows did have tools. He thinks his biggest mistake was thinking this was funnywhich it was, but for different reasons than what he intended."
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CowTools


"Larson has said that the inspiration behind the cartoon was hearing the statement in college that man could be defined as "the only animal that made and shaped tools". Having a weird fascination with cows, he later wondered what kind of tools a cow would make, and came up with the published cartoon. Larson has also said that his first mistake with Cow Tools was thinking that it was funny. The second was that he made one of the tools look like a hand saw.

People lost their minds ... well as much as you can lose your mind over a cartoon. Larson's publisher was inundated with requests about the cartoon. What did it "mean"? Why would a cow make a saw? What's the saw for? What are the other tools for? What kind of political statement was Larson trying to make with Cow Tools? etc. People formed organizations to discuss Cow Tools. Ultimately, the press surrounding Cow Tools turned Larson from a semi-struggling cartoonist into a massively syndicated brand. Good for him.
http://www.mmorpg.com/showFeature.cfm/loadFeature/3911/...
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Glassunion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Beat me to it... +1 for you.
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Glassunion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:37 AM
Response to Original message
4. Simple...
I read a story about this one.

You know in museums they have displays of ancient human technology. This is a display of ancient cow technology on display.

This one cartoon sparked more letters to his publisher than any other. No one got it. Myself included. But it gave Larson a chuckle, so he published it.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
6. um
it's funny because cows don't really make or use tools...

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nolabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
7. Not so much funny as merely amoosing.
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geardaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. That's udderly ridicowlus.
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Fire Walk With Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. And also udderly predictable.
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Don't have a cow, man.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
9. it's a complete Focaultian deconstruction of pre-WWII Hollywood anti-semitism.
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Sabriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. It's more in line with Dairyda
Not Focowtian at all.
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petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #16
28. Oh, very well played!
:rofl:
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Sabriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. Yeah, I knew those classes would be useful someday.
They finally came in handy!
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MilesColtrane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
11. It is a commentary on the general condition of irremediable...
defects in nationalist ideology, and the primordial fatality of particular languages and their association with particular territorial units.

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Lucian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
13. I never did find the Far Side to be funny.
It's like BC and The Family Circus. Whenever I'm finished reading them, I always ask myself "why do they still publish this?"
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
14. Ahhh! far side. My favourite far side cartoon is an airport scene where there are a bunch
of large flying babies. One of the pilots is talking on the radio, "Let's get this baby off the ground!"

I just googled it and though I could not find the cartoon itself it is mentioned as a fav of a few people.
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Tom_Foolery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:34 AM
Response to Reply #14
19. Here you go...
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. Thanks.
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Tom_Foolery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. You are very welcome!!
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av8rdave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:12 PM
Response to Original message
15. If only cows had opposable hooves
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Locrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 06:31 AM
Response to Original message
17. this was always my favorite
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 08:20 AM
Response to Original message
18. Larson's commentary, IIRC...
...added that main thrust of the joke is the cow's posing with the tools, a take-off on old National Geographic-style pictures of aboriginal people displaying their own handiwork. This toon is clearly part of the record of a scientist's visit to Cowland, perhaps a first look at a culture untouched by civilized man.
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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
20. I always liked this one:


:rofl:
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nolabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. That's certainly the one we refer to the most here at Casa de Doghair.
But I think they're faking it.
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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. Oh, they're totally faking it.
They've mastered the art of the dumb look, but they know exactly what you're saying.
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pokerfan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #20
26. Frasier converted it to live action
Death and the Dog: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MqQcOEVxmE

Always makes me laugh.
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Frank Cannon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
21. Here's my favorite.


The dog's spelling reminds me of Freepers when they try to be clever with their signs.
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Supply Side Jesus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
22. My favorite


strip still make me chuckle years later
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