Bug Martini brings back memories of working at small newspapers, where IT was provided by outside sources rather than our own people.
Not that, as this classic (1998) The Norm noted, your own internal techs couldn't leave you standing around while they played with your computer.
But at least they knew what it was supposed to do besides (A) start up and (B) run.
The techs from town could re-install a program, but, if it were still crashing or freezing your computer, they wouldn't know why because they didn't know what something as specialized as Quark was supposed to do in the first place.
So either they would "fix" it by re-installing it, and then go away leaving you with a machine that would freeze up again about the time they were out of the parking lot, or they'd manage to replicate the error themselves without solving it, meaning that you'd stand around even longer while they repeatedly uninstalled and reinstalled it.
As for that last panel, at a paper large enough to have internal IT, there were rules. A big one was that those of us who laid out pages or manipulated images were not allowed to put wallpaper or screensavers on our machines, because it could throw off the color balance.
And nobody was supposed to go to Free_Movies/Totally_Not_Malware.crime, but that rule was mostly honored in the breach, particularly in circulation, where the rush of calls in the early hours of the morning tapered off into boredom by mid-day.
This was frustrating for the techs, because the majority of bugs and malware that could be traced went back to circ, where turnover was high enough that, even if you could get past the "don't worry, I know what I'm doing" atmosphere in general, most people hadn't been around the last time someone set up the entire system for failure.
The crowning achievement came when corporate decided for reasons known only to corporate to tie in the entire chain such that, if some bonehead in Nebraska went to Free_Movies/Totally_Not_Malware.crime and brought in a virus, it would pop up in every one of our newspapers throughout the nation.
Much as we often felt the techs were dedicated to making our lives difficult, the feeling was not only mutual, but they could prove their take on it.
(And, by the way, having a plain-putty background instead of colorful wallpaper didn't matter to me because my screen wasn't idle often enough to see it very often. Nor was I.)
Speaking of maintaining color balance
Tom the Dancing Bug has a good tie-in with "Finding Dory" and the bleaching crisis on the Great Barrier Reef. Read the rest of it here.
Dory's lack of memory is well-played, and sadly applicable, since there is little functional difference between what we don't know and what we don't want to know.
The death of the reef is pretty incontrovertible proof of the reality of climate change, but, then, lung cancer rates should have convincingly refuted the faux-science of the Tobacco Institute, and how many years did it take to get past their obstruction?
Which I think sets up these two cartoons as the ...
Juxtaposition of the Day
The commercialization of fear has been ongoing for several decades. We were warned as kids in the '50s not to take candy from strangers, and we knew about Bobby Greenlease, but nobody was making money off the exaggerated folk-legends we scared each other with.
If Bobby Greenlease's sad fate was shared and embroidered upon by children as a sort of ghost story, the exploitive, saturation coverage of Adam Walsh's abduction a generation later spawned a whole missing children industry, which begat lunatic Satanic Panic delusions.
This, in turn, launched the fingerprint-your-kids movement which taught kids that the more data the government collects on you, the safer you will be, despite the unlikeliness that a living, missing child would ever be identified by fingerprints.
We've now marketed fear to the level where an entire presidential campaign can be based on appeals to unreasoning paranoia.
In a rational world, it would take 30 seconds to unmask the Muslim immigrant fraud: You would only have to start by pointing out how very few refugees are admitted at all, and then end the conversation by showing the extreme steps, both at the UN camps and then once in our own system, through which those few refugees must pass before they are approved.
End of conversation. The lie, the legend, the fable revealed.
In a rational world.
But rationality gets no ratings, and now we are reaping the whirlwind.
How do I love thee?
Getting it right
A bit of cultural literacy from Robert Airial.
The expression "rats leaving a sinking ship" is too often used in reference to people who desert in a moment of crisis. The phrase, rather, refers to a sailor's superstition that rats leave a ship at dockside, somehow knowing that it is doomed to sink on the upcoming voyage.
Most cartoons that use the expression show the ship listing in mid-ocean, with the rats swimming away, and is used to suggest disloyalty in crisis. That's a worthy thing to criticize, and there is some validity in suggesting that those who don't go down with the ship were only there for the free ride, but it's not what the expression means.
For instance, here's a spot-on use by classic Punch cartoonist Russell Broadbank, which suggests that most of the crew, facing this new commander, would be wise to join the rats.
There are a number of cartoons at the moment showing the Trump candidacy in various forms of wreckage, but I like Airial's take because it shows -- as the expression is intended to -- impending disaster and the exit of those who can sense it ahead of time.
Though, going back to Toles, you wonder why they didn't foresee it in the first place.
Now here's Corey Lewandowski's moment of zen