This morning, all over North America and possibly even in some other places,* people opened their newspapers and glanced casually at B.C. The resulting collective "Huh?" could be heard on Mars.**
On the surface, it seems that the only thing that could possibly be responsible for this strip would be utter insanity.*** If I stretch my imagination, which is vast, a great deal, I can just about see that whatever hapless Hart descendant is writing the comic now may have been trying for some sort of reference to the Joker making people laugh and Batman possibly stopping that laughter by stopping the Joker, but I still can't see how such a reference is meant to make me laugh and thus apparently keep me from succumbing to mental illness (to which, by the way, the Joker himself has already succumbed, despite the fact that he spends quite a lot of his time laughing).****
However, it is entirely possible that the miserable writer is simply drawing on the humour of a previous age. Though his medieval-style japery is lost on us, and no amount of scholarship can force it to make sense to modern sensibilities, fourteenth-century courtiers might very well have screamed with laughter upon reading the strip. The Hart descendant, loyal to the concept of this comic as firmly rooted in a past era, has simply gone back a little too far. He is to be commended for his refusal to compromise his ancient, carefully crafted joke by bringing it more in line with twenty-first-century-style humour.
In other words, though I still cannot explain today's B.C., I can appreciate its complete obsolescence. I think this Hart descendant really has the hang of the modern comics page. He will go far.
*God help them all.
**Yes, I know there is no sound in space. Even so.
***Possibly caused by lack of laughter, but who knows?
****And now my head hurts. A lot.