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Interesting News Presents: Zoidberg’s Revenge

There is a problem with sorting through The Lady News Of The Day when you are — as one unidentified, but sexy blogger may well be! — under the influence of copious cold medication and/or pretty much unable to breathe. (“Would a cigarette help with this?” — Sady’s Tragic Addiction.) First: The Lady News Of The Day is boring. It has been for a while, actually. But when the breaking shit includes stuff like “White Male Authors: Maybe People Actually Privilege Those?” and/or “Porn: Folks Don’t Use Condoms In It,” and/or “I Hear That Glenn Beck Fellow Is Pretty Racist,” well… that whole “blogs as medium for distributing new takes and/or information” hypothesis is tested. SORELY TESTED.

Second: Even if any of this information were new and exciting, none of it would make any sense. To you, the breathing-and-cognition-deficient, anyway! Information, when you are this state, does not spark new associations and/or insights and/or outrage. I spent fully half an hour reading AV Club commenters talk about Katy Perry’s “titties” and also what a “whore” she is, and I felt… nothing. Nothing! (“Internet Comment Sections: You Always Hope None Of The Dudes In Them Are Secretly Your Boyfriend!” Like I said: The news, it is old.) Information, in this state, lands in your mind with the dull, wet smack of a dead fish on a snare drum.


No: We are not going to be visiting any of these years-old controversies today, or dignifying them with the assumption that these latest iterations are somehow new and exciting. What we are going to do is to talk about the Real Issues of our time, issues so global in their import that it will soon make all of our gender warfare seem pitifully irrelevant. The Real Issues of our time include: The Giant Squid! THEY’RE LEARNING.

Okay, so what they are learning has to do with “simple concepts” and “spatial reasoning” and “thus far more or less coconut-shell-based tool utilization,” and also, for some reason, “this article pertains mostly to octopi and not THE DEADLY GIANT SQUID WHICH YOU’D THINK WE’D WANT TO FOCUS ON, what with their established murderyness and drastically under-researched potential to construct nuclear weapons or whatever.” But it is a grim, cephalopod-centric future ahead of us, kids. And for some reason, I don’t think any of us will be worried about the subtle nuances of the condoms-in-porn debate when we have the wet and vengeful tentacles of Professor Squiddington locked in a death embrace around our faces. (This will actually be part of how he gets tenure, for some reason. Don’t question Professor Squiddington’s research methods! Professor Squiddington has a career to look out for!)

Although, you know, maybe some of you will? Care, I mean. In which case, keep fighting the good fight. I’m going to go lie down.


  1. N'Awlins Contrarian wrote:

    Nobody cares enough to comment? Okay, three small thoughts:

    (1) Sounds like a day made for vegging in front of the TV with Squidward Tentacles on SpongeBob SquarePants, instead of worrying about your Professor Squiddington and the cephalopod-centric future.

    (2) As a cheer-up, in lieu of fresh tomato basil soup, I just made a very small but symbolically big (for me—really, you have no idea) donation.

    (3) As far as SpongeBob goes, not only is the show (IMHO) part of the best tradition of cartoons, at times it also carries forward cartoon action that I’m sure one of your contributors could turn into a Ph.D. dissertation: has anyone ever written “The history, development, and psycho-social significance of latent and emerging homo-erotica in American children’s cartoons”? I mean, have you taken note of who SpongeBob, Patrick, and Mr. Crabs have kissed? This is the kind of question that might amuse you, if you have had too much cold medication and thereby gotten in the right frame of mind.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 1:06 am | Permalink
  2. Maud wrote:

    Have you actually had occasion to observe the sound made by a dead fish on a snare drum? Because if so, I urge you to share the circumstances surrounding that event with your readers when you are feeling up to it. I feel sure it would be of broad, general interest.

    Also, there is nothing to fear from cephalopods, no matter how well-educated they become. It is a known fact that cute animals are harmless, and only scary-looking ones present any danger. I understand that some people consider cephalopods to be scary-looking, but these people are mistaken. Cephalopods are freaking adorable, ergo, they are harmless. Science is such a comfort.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 3:17 am | Permalink
  3. Jen Dratman wrote:

    I like the octopus in Gravity’s Rainbow. Definitely a strong character. Although easily led astray by crabs.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 6:08 am | Permalink
  4. Ray Gunn wrote:

    I’d like to de-lurk here to second Maud heartily (and wish you a head free from excessive mucus!). I’ve had the pleasure of frolicking in the waves with both an octopus and a cuttlefish. I snuggled their squishy little innards out, then I emptied my pension funds for them. Best decision I ever made.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 7:58 am | Permalink
  5. Laura wrote:

    I’m pretty sure it’s just octopi and cuttlefish that are smart, and squid are pretty stupid, even the giant ones.

    Also, there is a squid that’s even bigger than the giant squid. It’s called the colossal squid.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 10:49 am | Permalink
  6. Lu wrote:

    Sadly, the same fears are borne out for the comments on the blog post you linked to. Just a lot of “haw-haw, cephalopods are delicious,” as if advocating the consumption of animals were somehow subversive rather than numbingly predictable. Bleah.

    Cephalopods are awesome. Thanks for bringing the Cephalove blog and its original series ( to our attention!

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 10:50 am | Permalink
  7. Sooz wrote:

    Sady that link has made my day you have no idea.

    Oh man octopi are amazing.

    And that coconut one is the epitome of cuteness.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Permalink
  8. Laughingrat wrote:

    See? Lovecraft was right. At least about vengeful monsters from the depths, not so much about the social stuff.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Permalink
  9. Traitorfish wrote:

    @Laura: But what if the octopi learn to tame the squids, and harness that great tentacular power for their own malevolent ends? It is not a possibility that we should overlook!

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Permalink
  10. J wrote:

    I couldn’t find any contact email/section, but I thought everyone here at TB may find this interesting; it’s a first-time comment so I’m assuming it’ll be stuck in the moderation queue either way:

    I think the headline was enough of a warning for what lay ahead: “Too Few Women In Tech? Stop Blaming The Men.”

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Permalink
  11. Flewellyn wrote:

    Information, in this state, lands in your mind with the dull, wet smack of a dead fish on a snare drum.

    This is, quite possibly, the best metaphor in the history of everything.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Permalink
  12. bmichael wrote:


    Thursday, September 2, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Permalink
  13. Thanks for the linkage! I have to take contention with the claim that all cute animals are harmless, though, as much as I might wish it were true. As my counter example, I present the Blue-ringed octopus . “Despite their small size and relatively docile nature, they are currently recognized as one of the world’s most venomous animals… Furthermore, their bites are tiny and often painless, with many victims not realizing they have been envenomated until respiratory depression and paralysis start to set in.”

    Friday, September 3, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Permalink
  14. CJP wrote:

    “This will actually be part of how he gets tenure, for some reason.”

    That is just unspeakably brilliant.

    Friday, September 3, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Permalink
  15. stormy wrote:

    I’m way ahead of you on this one. I’ve stopped eating squid entirely, just to avoid angering my soon-to-be-tentacled-masters.

    Friday, September 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Permalink