How to Cover for Your Own Ignorance

Sorry for the gap in the posting schedule. My hard drive conked out. I'm back in action and am posting this comic a bit early.

For the record, I lost NONE of my important data, due in no small part ot Jungledisk . No, they aren't paying me to tell you. I just want to make sure everybody's backing up like they should. 

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Reader Comments (43)

Hu, even better for not knowing history ... no American forefather was involved in sinking the Bismarck afaik.

November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterUmmon

On the subject of backups:

November 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermathuaerknedam

I wonder how many people will Google "Battleship Bismark" so they can get the reference. I wonder how many people will share this comic with others to see if others know their history....

November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

I love panel four.

The German Battleship Bismarck was at sea for a few days, during which it sank HMS Hood, the pride of the British Royal Navy. The sinking of Hood caused the Royal navy to make an all-out effort in which they sank Bismarck. Bismarck's poor antiaircraft ability cost the ship its life, and the same goes for most Japanese battleships. The United States only Lost Oklahoma and Arizona because they were caught off guard, but we lost no other battleships in WWII because we gave ours ample AAA.

November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterContrajoe


November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMos

It was pretty funny up until the last panel. Now I'm kinda depressed.

November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTabitha

LOL on the anger in the second panel!

*first time commenter

November 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteranas

Last post was brilliant. I can't stop chuckling.

November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterZapp

So. True.

November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBenjamin

If they taught people history properly in schools, people would remember it because it would be exciting or at least memorable. They'd be all "Remember that episode we saw about Paul Revere racing through the night on his horse?" or "Can you imagine practically living in a foxhole while shooting at people and hoping the people shooting back from their foxholes missed?"

November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKrisL

Thank god for Johnny Horton, or I'd be lost.

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWolfe Tone

the Paul Revere story is generally regarded as an untrue half-truth. :)

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Obviously cartoon Scott doesn't listen to oldies radio..

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTed

The day Americans learn history.... hell, I can't even imagine that day.

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjeric

That last line is priceless. I'll remember that the next time somebody unwittingly uses the "right to ignorance" as a defense tactic. (They rarely use it on purpose, though it happens.)

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRadien

Attacking the smarter person is a great American trait. I may not have a fancy community college education BUT AT LEAST I DIDN'T HAVE A DIVORCE.

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJimB

Besides, it's not like ST2 - It's like Star Trek First Contact, where the starships are all taking shots at one large target. Of course, the analogy breaks down at that point, since (I don't think) the Germans didn't have a smaller ship fly out of the wreckage and time travel...


November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBalentius

Love the second panel, I'm all for using Star Trek references to win arguments.

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermisterpold


November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLordassenfroth

Hey, some Americans know history. Basically it's a reference to the state the Bismarck eventually found itself staring at three battleships without much fuel reserves (it took a hit, almost assuredly from KGV that contaminated a bunch of its fuel oil), with its rudder jammed to one side so it couldn't even make a run for Brest. So it found itself staring at a massively overwhelming force with no ability to even make combat maneuvers. Jeez, that's even popular and stuff, so it's no wonder even an American can get it. Tell you what, any of you who want to make fun of Americans gets to tell me about the battle of Lissa, Tsushima or the Yalu River and their effect on later naval trends. Bonus points if you can tell me about the connection between Lissa and a disaster at a British Fleet review.

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRick

Drawn Scott doesn't look fat at all.

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClassic Steve

Ha! Yeah...

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJason

the last panel hits true. Just ask someone what we are doing in Afgfanistan and you'll get " you mean you don't support the troops? your a communist ! "

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjames yeamans


I hate to be picky, nut the Bismarck was actually quite well provide with AA, and the very latest (at the time) mechanical fire control computers. The problem was that the Fleet Air Arm Swordfish that launched the attack had considered obsolete for years by that point, and their top speed was in fact somewhat lower than the lowest speed that the Bismarck's fire control system could cope with. In effect every single round the AA guns fired passed harmlessly in front of the attackers.

You do however raise a good point, US navy battleships were very well defended, and had systems designed to deal with the threats they faced, which was not true of any other force, even ours (the Royal Navy.)

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWilf

I don't know... This comic rings a bit false to me. An American male not knowing everything about World War II? J'accuse!

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstenz

@james: And if you ask that on the internet, it'd probably be spelled that way too.

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterADSF

Nope. It's still too soon after the recent mid-term elections.

All right, I laughed a little bit.

November 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSoul of Wit

We're going to sink the Bismark, the terror of the sea!

November 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterW.R.Printz

"Fleet Air Arm Swordfish" I know all those words, but that sentence doesn't make any sense. Perhaps if you added some commas?

November 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAtheismo

I've heard of the Bismarck, but I'm not sure if it counts when you gather tidbits of history from song lyrics. Hmmm, now I need to google so I can remember the name of that song...

Oh, and panel 4 was very funny.

November 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

@Rick: Very well, then. The battle of Tsushima was the decisive naval battle of the Russo-Japanese war, demonstrating the utility of wireless in naval combat and the importance of speed and gun calibre in battleship design, leading to the construction of HMS DREADNOUGHT and her successors.

The Battle of the Yalu River took place during the first Sino-Japanese war, ending in a tactical victory for the Japanese fleet but (arguably) a Chinese strategic victory. It showed severe shortcomings in iron-plated wooden ships, exacerbated by the poor training of the Chinese crews and the corruption endemic within the Chinese navy.

The Battle of Lissa took place during the Italian Wars of Independence off the island of Vis. Despite being outnumbered and outgunned, the Prussians defeated an Italian fleet. the imbalance between gunnery and armour displayed in this battle led to the addition of rams to many nations' warships and a belief in the utility of ramming as a combat tactic. The only connection I can see from this is to the accidental ramming of HMS VICTORIA by HMS CAMPERDOWN, however it is debatable whether this incident would have had a different outcome had CAMPERDOWN not been fitted with a ram. Also, this took place during manoeuvres with the Mediterranean Fleet... not during a Fleet Review.

November 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRowan

Wrath of Khan! Best Trek movie ever!

And yes, everyone in the office WILL know.

November 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMikey

This is America! We speak American here!

November 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Rick (catchy name for a fan of this comic)
Which Lissa? there are at least two

November 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavo

You're batting 1.000, Scott.

November 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric

@Stenz: "An American male not knowing everything about World War II? J'accuse!"

Surely every American male knows WW2 started in December 1941 - the Bismarck was sunk in May '41 so not surprising cartoon Scott doesn't know about it ;)

November 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNFN

Count me as another American who first learned of the Bismark from the Johnny Horton song.

(I did build the styrene model and watch the movie, but only because I'd heard the song first.)

Shifting the conversation to Wrath of Kahn was a good move, though. Sauce for the goose, you know.

November 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRob

So Scott is going to be shot down during his upcoming meeting because he's rudderless and his oppressors are attacking him with obsolete ideas that he has no way of countering due to the fact that he uses current technology? :)

November 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThat Jeff

@That Jeff - no, Scott is just going to pace the meeting table in slow slow circles to *starboard knowing that nothing will result in any ending other than slow, painful, destruction.

*can't recall which was the rudder was jammed**, but it's 50/50 so I figure I am sure to be wrong.

** Yes I could look it up but I didn't.

November 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClumber

I bet they didn't have spirited discussions like this on the home page for "Cathy."

November 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRay
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