Monday, May 15, 2006

The World's Edge

The World's Edge

Romantic Truth Forsaken

It must have been thrilling to live in a time when so much of our world was unexplainable, and open to wild interpretation. I mean, Science is great and everything — I really dig the modern solutions for breast enhancement, and Scratch & Sniff technology — but we've had to sacrifice a lot of romantic notions because of Science's grade-grubbing.

I'm not just talking about the "The World is Flat / Edge of the World" type myth, either. We've lost the "Sun is a Dude in a Chariot" myth, the "Lightning is Angels Bowling" myth, and the "People with Goat Legs Exist" myth. Those were great explanations — and from my perspective, much better fodder for an obelisk bas-relief than electon charges or periodic charts. Sure, the Old World had its plagues and its low, low life-expectancy; but wouldn't it have been great to be considered an authority figure just because you tell the BEST stories? Back then, my lazy approach to research would have been a boon; my knack for creating names of gods (check this out: Polekcules, God of Sweating) would allow me to explain anything and everything.

So all you Romantics out there... what do you think? Have you any refuted myths to lament? Or perhaps you've got one of your own to create? Today, consider Bearskinrug a refuge from Science...

...and we'll say Math as well — just for good measure.

Comments on this Article

There are currently 38 comments.

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Yay, I got the first comment in. HAH!


Sorry, I'll be less irreverent. Yeah, it's hard to come up with anything radically new and pathbreaking anymore. It's all been done. I coulda been Newton or something if I was born some hundreds of years earlier. I mightn't even have needed apples.


Oh man... Anders is gonna be PISSED...

Yeah - if I ever went back in time, I'd invent all the stuff I need from the future... like Peanut Butter... or Toilet Paper.


Love what you did with colour here.


Thanks Rachael! :D

s. zeilenga

Yeah, that color is great. It is one of the brightest comics I have seen on this site yet. I love the orange.

As far as myths go, I hesitate to say they are all lost. I am still on a search for the truth behind this tall-tale called reality.


John Nick

I'm still bummed over the Egyptian Book of the Dead's version of the "Sun = Dude + Chariot" myth.

If memory serves, they believed the sun was born from the womb of this big lady, it sailed across the sky in a little boat, then at sunset that same lady EATS the sun!

It's so Medea.

Mojo should star in an all-male (though not necessarily all-monkey) version of Medea.


I think the "Gold At End Of Rainbow" myth is a sorry loss. I know it cost many leprechaun hunters their livelihood.

Terry Tolleson

Scratch 'n' Sniff Augmented Breasts? To each his own, I suppose...

At any rate, technology and science has really had an impact on storytelling as a whole. It's hard to generate a good myth when science is there to debunk it before it ever gets through the first sentence.

Everything must be explainable and society's suspension of disbelief has become increasingly narrowed. I suppose this is why all the tales set in the present time are romantic comedies...


I find this whole "Sun in the center" concept confusing. Everyone knows that Toronto Canada is the center of the multiverse.

Erik Drabløs

Ah, yes, the power one feels when explaining the inexplicable by weaving utter nonsense into a fine myth. These days I guess that only works with kids.

I made up some mighty fine myths in my days as a child. I especially remembemer one explaining the history of this large patch of moss in the marsh close to our school. It was in the shape of a wolf's paw, and best of all, it appeared to bleed when you poked it. Just imagine the possibilities...


DIBYO and KC - no prob, all the purdy colours put me in a good mood, so I'll let it slip...THIS time...

s. zeilenga

Actually, after seeing the previews of M. Night Shyamalan's "Lady in the Water" I tend to think that not all mythwriters have faded into the mists of time. We may have them in our midst and not even know it.


S. Zeilenga - The truth behind reality can be summed up like this: Everything Tastes Like Chicken.

John Nick - Tell you what, if you think you can get Mojo to remember more than 15 words, you can direct it - no questions asked!

Charles - Meh - I'm indifferent to their plight - who wants a leprechaun pelt anyways?

Terry - I'm not sure that society is getting less gullible... I mean, how many movies feature animals that can talk to one another, but the humans still can't comprehend what's being said. Why should inter-species communication exclude US?

SomeJeff - Really? That's going to surprise a lot of New Yorkers.

Erik - Yeah - that's one thing I can look forward to when I have kids... giving them false explanations, not unlike Calvin's Father in Calvin & Hobbes...

Nikki Noodle

Thanks for posting such a color happy comic today! It's bad enough that it's a rainy Monday, but when they're calling for an entire WEEK of grey, we're gonna need that little gem to look at throughout the week...

the Brightside

The origin stories--and the eschatology, actually--of Norse mythology is a loss I regret. It takes a pretty singular culture to create a world where your gods not only can die, but will, and will in such a fashion that the universe itself will freeze over.

(That was of course before the 12th century introduction of Christianity, where the tale turned from a beautifully climactic tragedy into a vaguely indecisive story about rebirth. Pish, I say to that.)

I also regret the death of magic. Alchemy, too. That gold was the sunshine slowed down and made solid almost makes the price of the metal worthwhile.


the Brightside

12th or 14th century, I am unwilling to fact-check, as that is a tool of the evil known as Science! Fie!

But seriously I can't remember. Also, I do not regret double-posting! Fie again!


I just hope that the myth about the man from Racine who invented a certain kind of machine holds some basis in reality.

PS - Off the New Yorkers! We don't all think we're at the center of the Universe - we just know that New Jersey has to be somewhere near the rectum.


Behold the mighty Testikles, God of....on second thought never mind, wrong crowd, wrong crowd....


An electon charge... that must have to do with the myth that the president is actually elected by the majority... or was that ever really a myth? Politics and Mythology - I'll stick with Math and Science!

Lets try this one - somebody figure out the integral of dcabin over cabin.

See? Math IS fun!

And rational.

Nikki Noodle

Also, congrad's on beating Drawn! to the punch with the Rodney White link. Looks like the tables have turned!!


My grandma always told me if I dreamt about losing a tooth or having a tooth taken out, the next morning I'd be dead. After that, I became an insomniac. Until one day I did fall asleep...and dreamt about losing a tooth.

I like to think I'm alive right now, thanks.


I don't think we've lost it completely. All these myths seemed to make perfect sense when you were a kid, crappin yourself at the first sign of thunder and lightning and your folks calming you down with some nice story... and I bet, we'll all be saying the same things to our kids and they theirs...

We are getting to smart for our own good tho. Oh for simpler times of childhood, both on a personal level and as a society :)

... This is the part where the Wayne's World Dream Scene Effect cuts in... feel free to have your own flashback here!


Nikki - Uh oh... an entire week? I'll have to cancel all my garden tea-parties!

The Brightside - Norse mythology is pretty interesting... AND they've got Frigg — Va-va-va-voom!

BigA - Haha - I'm going to say "Ouch" for New Jersey!

Merritt - For pete's sake, Merritt - put your loincloth on while you worship!

Randallard - Integral? Cabin? Fun? I'm flunking my own site's commentary!

Sue - Wow - I've always heard that a missing tooth means you're dealing with change.

I mean changes in your life, as opposed to spare change.

Of course in real life, a missing tooth means you can get change. If you're under ten.

Or even if you're older.

Besty - I know if my kids are afraid of thunder, I'll tell them what my parents told me: "Get on the roof and wave this pipe at the thunder, to scare it away."


tsk, tsk. i would think that you would be above pitting science against mythology in such a reductive way. as both buddhist mythology and quantum mechanics will tell you, the lines between things are always fuzzier than that.


Wayne... you should know that I'm above NOTHING. Except leaving an upper-decker. I draw the line there.


Favorite myth: weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Runner up: the moon is made of cheese.


Haha - yeah, the moon one is awesome! Although you have to wonder why no other celestial bodies are made of food...

{ SiNuS BRaDy }

i too get a bit flustered w/ the state of technology ... science ... mathematics ... these things all seem to get so much credit as being practical and life-saving in so many ways, while the pursuit of art or poetry, let's say, get entirely discounted as impractical and frivolous ... when, in fact, there is nothing more completely unpragmatic than surgically fastening a human ear onto the back of a mouse, or proving some silly equation to be true under x + y assumptions ... 1 + 1 = 11 ...


There's all kinds of legitimate reasons to attach an ear to a mouse's back... I bet he completey understands human speech, now.


I know I'm a few days late, but I love mythology too much to not comment. If there's one thing that many anthropologists would argue is that mythology changes to the needs of the culture. And I would venture to say we're rife with myths but can't tell because we think we're being scientific.
But in terms of stories I miss, I miss the ones where villains unknowingly pass their own sentences and dead horse heads can still talk. That, and the fact that the world started with a cow licking ice.

Yev Webber

Very funny :)


Seeks - Oooh - those are some good ones... I don't think I know what that villain one is... EXPLAIN!

Yev - Thanks :D


At the risk of sounding stupid, what about superheroes? X-Men? Superman? Batman? Don't their stories constitute mythology?


Sure! I think that's a legitimate claim :D

But are they myths that were previously accepted as truth? Or do they explain previously unexplainable phenomena? Probably not...

Except for Aquaman... that explains how all dolphins know how to do all those nifty tricks...


Heh @ Aquaman. Yeah, I know they probably don't apply to myths previously accepted as truths or explain previously unexplainable phenomena, but I couldn't resist bringing it up :-p

The mythology as far as superheroes are concerned can be very interesting, though — often you can draw a lot of parallels to the 'real world'.


Edit to above post^^ : But then you already know that.


I hear ya.. there are a lot of parallels... like how chicks in the comics wouldn't date me either. *sniffle*

You'll regret that choice someday, She-Hulk!

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