19 Comments

  1. Overboard: The butterflies are smart enough to hide behind the
    man who’ll defend them from the collector. I think that explains
    what happened, but leaves the joke for someone else to explain.

    Rubes: This is hazing. Many bright butterflies (such as the
    monarch) are poisonous.

  2. My initial thought on Overboard was that the butterflies went to the pirate rather than the butterfly collector because he was, to them, the less dangerous of the two. But Arthur may be right that the pirate is their protector.

    Brightly colored butterflies are usually foul-tasting to predators, so in Rubes, Little Brother is going to be disappointed if he expects it to taste like candy.

  3. And ‘crowd intelligence’ refers that groups of animals (anthills, flocking birds, schooling fish) can manifest apparently intelligent behavior based on simple inborn rules.

  4. My impression was that the two men were coordinating a pincer attack on a group of butterflies, but were outsmarted. That seems pretty lame, but so do the alternatives.

  5. I think the first one is a disparaging commentary on “Crowd Intelligence” (*). Once one butterfly figured out the safe place to flutter, they all joined in. This is not a summation of smarts, but simply everyone playing “follow the leader”.

    P.S. (*) It might have worked even better with “Cloud Intelligence” as the caption.

  6. P.P.S. The second one reminded me of a stupid trick my brother and I played on my sister: we told her that ketchup looks like blood, so it would be a good (curative) salve for a scrape on her arm. She fell for it, with painful results, and I’ve felt bad about it ever since.

  7. The frog cartoon reminds me of a National Lampoon cartoon, I believe from their “rejection collection.” The young frog has shot his tongue out at a fly, and the parent frog has grabbed the tongue in mid-air, saying, “Watch out there son, for some reason those shiny green ones always taste like s**t.”

  8. The second one is just that ridiculous “joke” people play on others. They give them something to eat and misrepresent it. Maybe it is very spicy or it tastes bad, whatever. When the subject eats it and reacts with shock, surprise, or disgust, the perpetrators laugh and laugh and laugh. I do not think this is funny. Such people should be executed.

    The first one is about the idea of “crowd sourcing” for ideas, taking advantage of “crowd intelligence.” An individual may be uninformed or dumb and may make bad, even dangerously wrong, decisions. However, if you get a large group of people, because the group will not let the bad ideas survive, the best and most beneficial answer/action will emerge. Like the Nuremberg rallies or the 2016 election.

  9. I have no reason to doubt that brightly colored taste as least as good as regular ones, and it seems quite likely true. So I thought the joke was just that frogs like sweets.

  10. “The second one is just that ridiculous “joke” people play on others.”

    Specifically, older brother people. People who are older brothers, or who had one growing up, will recognize the trope.
    I was one. I maintain that my younger sister and my younger brother were made stronger by the, er, educational opportunities presented to them. They are both fine people today, and not in any way permanently scarred, physically or psychologically by the experiences.

    Or so they tell me. It’s possible my sister is just playing the long game, waiting for me to let my guard down.

  11. “Who calls animal control on butterflies.”

    Depends on just how many there are.

  12. ““The second one is just that ridiculous “joke” people play on others.””

    Off topic. When I was in second grade a classmate came up to my “Hey, Do you want some gum!”. I answered politely “No, thank you. I don’t like gum”. “No, c’mon really! It’s good.” I said “No, it’s okay. I really don’t like gum”. He shoved it in my hands “Take it!” and ran away. I walked around with the gum in my hands for a while when another kid, a rather big and tough kid, came up and asked what it was. I told him I didn’t like gum and he said “Really? Can I have it?” and I said “sure” and… it didn’t end too well for me. I managed to talk myself out of a beating as he had to admit that such tricks really weren’t my style.

  13. ranedeer: It’s quite common for poisonous insects to be brightly colored as a warning. And many non-poisonous ones are also brightly colored so that they share in the protection of bright-colors-as-warning.

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