494: Secretary: Part 1

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Secretary: Part 1
The blueprints for the Department of the Internet offices call for Ceiling Cat-themed sprinkler heads.
Title text: The blueprints for the Department of the Internet offices call for Ceiling Cat-themed sprinkler heads.


The President of the United States of America is the head of the United States of America. The tubes being clogged is a reference to the, now deceased, Alaska Senator Ted Stevens who, during a congressional debate on net neutrality described the Internet as a series of tubes (be sure to listen to the audio clips in that Wikipedia page, and you'll see why he became a big hit with the Internet). Ted Stevens also gained notoriety for backing a proposal to build a bridge to nowhere using federal funds.

Cats are notorious for being hard to herd, thus the idiom "herding cats" meaning an extremely difficult task that can very quickly get away from anyone undertaking it. Lolcats are pictures of cats, usually in humorous poses, that have insipid captions on them. The conflation of Lolcats and the herding idiom escaped the president (who is presumably somebody not savvy to either or both terms.)

As with cats, Bloggers are an ideologically diverse bunch, and are hard to get to go in a single direction.


Spring 2009- The new president faces a crisis...

[Man is talking to an unseen Mr. President, who is sitting behind a desk.]

Man: Mr. President, the bloggers are restless

Mr. President: What are they a-twitter about now?

Man: It's the tubes sir. They're clogged. We put too much stuff on them.

Mr. President: How bad is it?

Man: The internet could be inoperative within days.

Man: We can't let a crucial resource go unshepherded.

Mr. President: Go on.

Man: I recommend you appoint a Secretary of the Internet. Someone to impose some orders on this mess.

Mr. President: Ordering bloggers around? Doesn't sound easy.

Man: No; it's like herding lolcats.

Mr. President: What?

Man: Nothing.

Mr. President: Do you have someone in mind for the post?

Man: I know just the guy.


Phone: <<Ring>>

[Man-with-hat looks away from his computer at the ringing phone]

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