Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ziggy 2009: The Rise of The Machines

Back in the world of Tom Wilson II, Ziggy is still doing exactly what Ziggy always does: living in a cultural landscape that hasn't been relevant for years. Once again, Mr. Wilson II is struggling against his impulse to take Ziggy all the way back to the Middle Ages. He is not entirely able to defeat this impulse; he is certainly not setting the comic now. Take a look at that computer. I have a computer like that. It is ten years old, and I don't use it any more. It is ancient, dysfunctional, and obsolete...sort of like Ziggy.

The attitude expressed in the comic is also quite an old one. TWII is, in fact, drawing on a social anxiety that existed in 1968, when 2001: A Space Odyssey came out: the idea that those newfangled computers are eventually going to become sentient and either kill us all or brainwash us and make us kill each other.* Such an anxiety tends to arise every time a new technology is introduced to a society. In fact, I would wager that TWII is here commenting on computers only because he is not quite brave enough to go all the way back to the printing press. You can almost sense the cartoonist's yearning to draw Ziggy setting type while his parrot worries that his mind will be enslaved to the lower cases.

Be strong, TWII. Follow your first impulse. If you really do just go ahead and make Ziggy as obsolete as hell, it may become a great, great comic strip.



Jessica said...

Is it my imagination, or is Ziggy now sailing full speed in to Dadaism?

Michael said...

Thank you, Kem for explaining this cartoon to me. I hadn't realized that the computer was supposed to be hypnotizing Ziggy. But then I've often had trouble finding the point of Ziggy.*

Jessica, I suspect Ziggy has gone past Dada and is now in WTF.

*Assuming it has a point.**

**Which is a massively large assumption.***

***One that I'm not willing to put out very much effort to make.