750: Book Burning
Title text: Of course, since their cautionary tale was reported in a print newspaper, no one read it.
A group of people wanting to hold a book burning find themselves in a conundrum as they only have one book. Going to an online retailer reveals that the Kindle edition of the book is considerably less expensive than the hardcover edition. Unfortunately for the book-burners, the burning of a Kindle proves fatal because of the toxic fumes from the burning of its plastic shell, internal electronics, and/or the lithium polymer battery that powers it.
One purpose of book burning is to destroy heretical material and thus prevent the spread of those ideas. In this case, where a Kindle version downloaded and the device is burned, no heretical material is destroyed as the electronic version is still available for distribution. Those who survived the incident will then find that their actions did not prevent the spread of the heretical ideas, they have lost dear friends, and have to purchase new electronic devices.
Another purpose for a book burning is to have a public demonstration in protest of the ideas presented in the book. This may have been the purpose of the book burning mentioned in the comic, but this plan failed, as indicated by the title text, because it was reported in the newspaper, which no one reads.
In the past there were many book-burning incidents, most of which were based on violent actions against minorities.
There is also a subtle pun in that "kindle" means "to start a fire".
The title text further drives home the point that electronic media is becoming the norm, while print is being supplanted by inventions like the Kindle.
- [Cueball holds a book aloft, displaying it to his two friends.]
- Cueball: This book is full of heresy!
- Friend: Let's hold a book burning!
- [They confer more, then one friend runs off.]
- Cueball: I only have one copy.
- Friend #1: I guess we could buy more.
- Friend #2: I'll look online.
- [A screenshot from an online retailer's page displays pricing for the hardcover ($17.99) and Kindle ($9.99) editions of the mentioned book.]
- [The front page of a newspaper, titled "News", is shown above the fold. The first article's headline reads "Eight dead from toxic fume inhalation" and a picture is shown depicting three bodies strewn around a massive plume of tar-black smoke.]