2472: Fuzzy Blob
Title text: If there's no dome, how do you explain the irregularities the board discovered in the zoning permits issued in that area!?
| This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by an unknown creature that is fuzzy and can teleport . More discussion of specifics of comic events (leap to cloaking device from nothing, involvement of historic church by historic committee to raise awareness of historic church being misunderstood as church is cloaked dome by media.) Do NOT delete this tag too soon.|
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
Cueball is taking a picture of his house, but sees a large fuzzy blob on the side of the picture. This blob seems to come from Cueball making the mistake of putting one of his fingers partially in front of the lens. This is a common enough occurrence with smartphones or compact cameras that an ordinary user should immediately be able to identify the problem; however, the comic derives humor from having no one in the comic come to this conclusion, and accordingly taking it very seriously as a perplexing mystery.
Likely, this comic stems from the resurgent talk of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO) now dubbed "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" (UAP) The topic regained popularity after the Department of Defense (DoD), recently confirmed the authenticity of 3 videos taken by US Naval personnel. It has been much discussed in mainstream news, not just among extraterrestrial enthusiasts or conspiracy theorists, some of whom have created QAnon spin-off theories.
Randall has previously expressed skepticism about claims of witnesses who claim to have seen unproven phenomena (including 'flying saucers', as well as supernatural events and cryptozoological specimens) based on the simple reality enough people carry cameras that they would be constantly captured in photos and videos. (See 1235: Settled).
In this strip Randall appears cases where phenomena have been caught on film, but are generally unclear and ambiguous. He appears to be suggesting that there are generally simpler explanations for what we see in the videos that objects of alien origin. Examples in the past have turned out to be things, such as birds, dirt on camera lenses, and lights being reflected off glass windows or bodies of water. The fact that many people seem uninterested in the more mundane and likely explanations and assume these videos are proof of alien crafts is mocked here.
It's worth noting that Randall is a strong enthusiast for space exploration, and has expressed certainty that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the galaxy. This strip is likely not intended to mock belief that other intelligences exist (notably, the conspiracy theorists in the strip assume the "flob" is manmade, not alien) but instead to make fun of excessive credulity, and point out that any definitive conclusion of aliens is overhyped.
The tendency to make unwarranted connections to unrelated but synchronous 'evidence' is shown in the title text. Investigation of this phenomena has brought to light 'irregularities' in the local zoning permits. Such irregularities are extremely common in most bureaucracies, and may be the result of mundane corruption, incompetence, honest mistakes in a complex system, or the result of complexities that make consistent documents difficult or impossible. To connect such irregularities to an identified image does not follow logically, as both are pretty normal occurrences. However, conspiracy theories make similar leaps all the time, insisting that some case of corruption, bad decision by a government official, or developing social problem is proof of a conspiracy, rather than a very normal government problem.
An alternate intention of the word 'irregularities' might be due to the necessarily zig-zaggy nature of defining a 'circular' zone footprint by drawing best-fit boundary lines only along streets, within any established grid-based system of city 'blocks'. The interpretation of why any zone is a complex and crinkly shape, rather than a strictly utilitarian rectangle, may not be so obvious from an overview that does not take into account geological or political restrictions such as the curve of a watercourse in a valley or a mandate against hi-rise buildings within a certain radius of a monument.
- [Cueball takes picture of his house from a distance great enough to get the whole house in the picture. He holds the camera (or smartphone) in both hands. The shutter makes a sound:]
- [The picture he has taken is shown below. The picture is lying tilted compared to the panel, and shows the house but with a fuzzy light brown blob covering the left part of the picture, just touching the left side of the house. Above and partly over the picture is a small frame with Cueball's response when he sees the picture:]
- What the...
- [White Hat gestures towards Cueball with one hand, while Cueball holds his camera in one hand towards White Hat, with the picture shown on the screen, too small to see though.]
- White Hat: What's that fuzzy blob next to your house? It's huge!
- Cueball: I don't know! I looked up and it was gone!
- White Hat: How can a giant structure vanish?
- Cueball and White Hat: ...Cloaking device?!!
- [Blondie is standing at the front of the panel with a microphone in her hand speaking towards the viewer. Behind her is a close up of the Blob (in black and white) on a screen. To the left of the screen is an almost bald man with hair behind his ears, holding a hand to his chin. To the right is Megan, who is holding one hand out palm up, towards the picture, which they are both looking at.]
- Blondie: The fuzzy blob, dubbed "flob" by internet sleuths, has city planners stumped.
- Man: No, that's not any type of building I'm familiar with.
- Megan: Could be an experimental military dome.
- [Hairbun is standing on a podium behind a lectern with a microphone on it. She addresses three people in front of the stage, Cueball, Megan and White Hat. Behind them Blondie is turned the other way speaking to a camera, on a tripod. She has a microphone in her hand.]
- Hairbun: The zoning board investigation has found no evidence of a cloaked dome structure.
- Hairbun: The historical commission will be joining the research into these domes and other unusual buildings, such as the historic 4th Ave Church...
- Blondie: This only raises more questions.
add a comment! ⋅ add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ refresh comments!