October 20 – November 1, 2008

This is the way the world ends…not with a bang but with twenty billion midterms to mark and no time to mark them in!



44 thoughts on “October 20 – November 1, 2008

  1. I don’t get it, does this have to do with WoB? The only thing worst then midterm stuff it’s end of term stuff, which is happening now for the land downunder with this being the last week before exam. I am just glad I am not TAing this semester.
    Actually I just wanted to be first on this comment, don’t have anything to add to the recent comic. Although I wouldn’t mind seeing Casey and Rahim do a little joustling for Marie’s honour kind of thing.

  2. Yo, SunshineRain: Read the first post again. Every two weeks (at the beginning of each mini-storyline), I’ll be posting some kind of non sequitur just to give you guys a space to comment (and so that each thread doesn’t get too unwieldy). In this case, the non sequitur is true. Midterms have eaten my brain.

  3. Dear Rahim. That is all. Except…what on earth is going on with Casey?

    To respond to Kari’s comment in the previous thread – hey, as long as we’re here speculating about it, it’s not bad writing. 🙂 It is however an uncannily deep mystery; regardless of what Casey’s been hiding there seems no reason he should treat poor Marie this way. Unless maybe he’s trying to misdirect her away from something…

  4. I ❤ Rahim. It’s a good thing that Casey’s not her only male influence, or surely she’d go mad…

  5. Oh I know (well not really I read that a while back but I guess I forgot) but I just wanted to see if I can pry any addition plot from you by analysing this nonsensical sentence, you know the unconscious and such.. oh wait or was that the subconscious.
    So instead of joustling for Marie’s honour, Rahim and Casey will see who can mark the most midterm without going crazy? Such a deadly game you play there.

  6. Hurray for Hallowe’en!
    I vote for Jason of the Argonauts because I don’t know who any of the people mention in the third panel is, except for Ganelon who I have heard in games before.

  7. For general interest (all that really matters is that they’re all traitors, as should be apparent from Casey’s final statement, but I am fascinated by treachery and am thus going to tell you about these guys whether you like it or not):

    Brutus: Betrayed Julius Caesar, apparently prompting the question, “Et tu, Brute?”

    Judas: Betrayed Jesus Christ. ‘Nuff said.

    Mordred: Betrayed King Arthur, his father-slash-uncle, by stealing his throne and, in some traditions, his wife. The two of them eventually killed each other on the battlefield.

    Vidkun Quisling: Betrayed Norway for the sake of the Nazis, leading to the subjection of his entire country.

    Ganelon: Betrayed Roland and, through him, Charlemagne…but Roland was the one who ended up dead.

    Benedict Arnold: Betrayed the American army during the American Revolutionary War by switching sides and fighting as a Loyalist.

    Some Obscure Canadian Equivalent: I don’t know. I’m sure there have been plenty of Canadian traitors, but their names have been lost to posterity (or to my memory of posterity).

  8. Yeah I got the betrayal theme, that’s why I picked Jason: Betrayed Medea after all the betrayal that she did for him in the name of “Love” (the Goddess).

    Okay now I remember all of them except for that Vidkun Quisling guy, never heard of him before except now. Learn something new everyday, although not sure how useful that would be.
    Eh Canadian? The only one I know is Sir George Arthur, maybe they are just too trustful.

  9. Kari: First, thanks for the mention of a piece of Norwegian history. It seems so rare for any part of Norway’s past that does not include vikings to be brought up in North American culture, so thank you. 🙂

    I would however like to point out that Norway would have been occupied with or without Vidkun Quislings actions. He was a politician before the war, and an opportunist who tried to seize power (with Hitlers blessing), after the occupation. He ultimately fail in that however, but remained in the Nazis service until the end of the war.

    As a side note, his name, Quisling, now means traitor in Norwegian. A traitor of the works kind.

  10. Perceptor: Yeah, I know…I was exaggerating a bit for the sake of brevity. I do know about the idea of “a Quisling” being a traitor; the word is, I believe, used throughout Europe, and it has also made it to Canada, though we are probably more familiar with the term “a Benedict Arnold” (which the Americans use in the same way you use “a Quisling”). I guess the point about Quisling is that people tend to exaggerate the stories of traitors, ultimately endowing them with more power than they ever really had.

    P.S.: I am, in fact, of Norwegian ancestry, so I tend to get quite interested whenever bits of Norwegian history that don’t involve Vikings come up.

  11. I had guessed as much about your ancestry Kari. You name, especially your last name, strongly implied the possibility.

    But you’re right, stories about traitors do become exaggerated as time goes by. Though I will admit I did not know that this particular word was used in the English language as well.

  12. Perceptor: I am honour-bound to repudiate Wikipedia forever, but it does have a fairly illuminating article on Quisling…not so much regarding his actual life, but certainly in terms of his lasting fame:


    Check near the bottom; there’s a list of pop-culture references, most of them in English, to our treacherous friend.

    And yes, my name does tend to imply that I may have Norwegian ancestry. Scandinavians tend to get this right away; non-Scandinavians often think I’m Dutch. I have to launch into a laborious explanation about how the double “a” was an attempt by my ancestors to replicate the letter “å.”

  13. In regards to the wiki article: how little did I know. Thanks Kari.

    In regards to your last name (and without knowing your family history), your ancestors may not have replaced “å” with “aa”. The use of “aa” instead of “å” was common in Norway until fairly recently (and it still is, when used in first names: the current crown prince for example writes his name as Haakon). The letter “å” didnt replace “aa” officially until the early 19-hundreds (if I recall correctly), so it is quite possible that your ancestors did spell their name with “aa” instead of “å”, though the pronunciation would have been the same.

  14. Perceptor: Actually, my parents are amateur genealogists (I think all parents eventually become amateur genealogists), and they’ve traced the Norwegian branch of our family back to something like the sixteenth century. We definitely started out as “Mårens.” When the family came to North America and scattered to various places, some became “Maarens” and some “Morens”; we’ve had some contact with the Minnesota Morens, who probably, unlike us, actually get people pronouncing their name almost correctly (everybody calls me “Carrie Maren”…and yeah, my first name should be pronounced “Kahri,” not “Carrie”).

  15. You know, I just googled the name Kari (wanting to find out if it’s Norwegian) and found this:

    “Kari – Virtual Girlfriend:
    Home of the Virtual Girlfriend. KARI is the ultimate girlfriend simulation. Talk to her like any other girl and see how your relationship blossoms.”

    I… I am officially creeped out for the day.

  16. Earthgirl: Heh. Yes, I found the Virtual Girlfriend site a while ago and, bemused, sent the link to my friends, who found the whole concept rather funny, for some reason.

    And yes, the name “Kari” is Scandinavian. It can be either a girl’s or a guy’s name.

  17. Kari: Interesting how the name has changed into two different variations. I have family in the states, but due to marriage the family name was not carried on. As is common in some countries, Norwegian last names are traditionally the same as the place the family comes from, so your last name may give similar indications.

    And on a side note: your last name is also a weasel species, written with the definitive article (we use a post-fix definitive article), that live in Norway. Thus, your last name, directly (and uncritically) translated is “the weasel”. My first name is the same, only for a species of fish. 🙂

    EarthGirl: Yes, Kari is a common name in Norway, and yes, the virtual girlfriend thingy is creepy.

  18. Perceptor: Yes…there is, or was, a farm and possibly some sort of small village called Måren. I believe my uncle took a picture of the farm when he was visiting Norway a few decades ago.

    Weasels! That makes sense. I was always told otters, but I could never find any indication that that was so (I do know some Swedish…long story…and so I can barely get by in written Norwegian if I put a huge amount of effort in. Consequently, incidentally, I know about the definite article thing). I guess my parents somehow got the species mixed up. I think I almost like the weasel angle better. Weasels are quite fun.

  19. Yeah…that’s a pine marten. It IS in the weasel family, but it’s a sort of more specific kind of weasel. I like the pine marten; I’ve always thought its name sounded nice. Now it turns out I’m related to it. Hurrah!

  20. Kari: after some searching, it seems that “mår” serves both as a name for the entire weasel family (though then often referred to as “mårdyr”), and the name of this specific species. Its kind of like how cat can refer to the species some people keep as pets, but also to the family of animals that include larger cats like lions and tigers.

    Bottom line: you can safely refer to yourself as Kari the Weasel 🙂

  21. Perceptor: Excellent.

    I am intrigued by the way this thread started out being about traitors and evolved into a detailed discussion of the Norwegian name of the pine marten…with one tiny Marie-related comment intruding.

  22. Yes, that is intriguing. It seems to have started out with Quisling (add that to his repertoire), and then it spiraled of. I will stop now, and I humbly offer this comment on the comics in hopes of forgiveness:

    Alot of people have suggested that Marie might be imagining things, but what if its Casey’s grasp on reality that has slipped?

  23. Hey…I have no problem with off-topic posts. I was justing teasing when I brought up the oddness of the treachery/pine marten conversation. Besides, the banner is WoB-related and therefore on topic.

    Thanks, by the way.

  24. So Casey can play the lute? I am not that surprise really. I do wonder who he is dress up as though, let’s make wild guesses before Kari comes. Sorta look like Romeo so I am going to guess that it’s Mad Max if Shakespeare was the writer.

  25. Perhaps one may ask where Casey got the lute from? And, yes, I’g like to know what he’s dressed up to, but I can’t guess.

  26. Yes, that’s a real lute. It’s probably safer not to ask why he has it.

    He took it in exchange for someone’s soul, obviously.

  27. Or maybe the lute is somebody’s soul. Not that I know that much on the intricate process of soul taking but they usual take on the shape of what is dear to one’s heart at the time of the soul acquisition.
    On the first panel I thought he was some sort of olden day hockey player. Second panel look like the cover of a The Beatles album oh wait or was that a ABBA album. The third panel look like he has puppy dog eye and the last panel he just look like a man defeated.

  28. Maybe I’m being unimaginative here, but I just thought he resembled some lovable Shakespearean bard/jester type, possibly Feste from Twelfth Night?

  29. huh… never realized that he cared about the Barbara calling him the devil thing. Well, maybe he didn’t, until now.

  30. Earthgirl: He could easily just be stating a fact.

    Re. Casey’s costume: I like all your guesses. I sort of just wanted to give him a “Renaissance minstrel” kind of feel, though I like Annael’s interpretation of him as Feste. Casey would make quite an interesting Feste.

  31. I think “Kari” means “rocker” or “rock ‘n’ roll type of person” in Finnish. I once met a guy named Hari Kari.

    Nice expressive hand-drawing in the latest strip.

  32. Ah the Turquoise Screen of Death, the artsy variant of BoD. Sorry to hear about your computer problem.
    By the way who is Peggy Engrove? I would look it up but then I wouldn’t have been able to post in here. Feel free to take your time in answering or just ignore it, either way look like things are moving along interestingly.

  33. SunshineRain: The February 24, 2007 strip also features Peggy Engrove, who is based on a real person with a different name (but one punnily related to “Peggy Engrove”). You may find a clue if you Google the 2008 Massey Lecture. Such a Googling may also offer further insight into the title panel.

    Yes, it’s true: I’m a bad person. That title panel is largely an in-joke for Masseyites. The rest of the comic is not, though anyone who has ever heard this particular person speak (or was at tonight’s lecture) will probably enjoy an extra giggle or two.

  34. This is completely unrelated to anything, but: I just remembered that in undergrad, I had a tall blond friend named Casey, upon whom a dark-haired friend of mine had an unrequited crush. However, he was never accused of being the devil, and did not carry a cane.

  35. Just wanted to say hi and tell you how much I enjoyed the Davis Lecture comic–Peggy’s hair, especially, even though she’s too short for us to see the bright pink shawl! Also, does anyone know whether the real, um, Peggy always speaks/reads in a monotone? Or was she just doing it on that occasion for the effect of irony (because her jokes are so much funnier when delivered ironically)? I suspect the former, though I would so love to imagine the performative possibilities for her persona if the latter were true.

    I’m sorry about the screen of death and the theft of your bike, but hope your week ends better than how it began. (I, on the other hand, have my comp exam tomorrow… kill me now please.) Hope everything is well at the college–it was good to see you!

  36. Hi, Sang. Thanks, and good luck tomorrow (you’ll be fine). “Peggy Engrove” does indeed always speak in a monotone; though I expect she’s capable of screaming on a high note, I simply can’t imagine her doing it. She has learned to use her voice relatively effectively, but no, it doesn’t really vary widely in tone.

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