495: Secretary: Part 2
|Secretary: Part 2|
Title text: That helmet won't save him.
Whenever something big happens the news, media likes to have at least two things: interviews with people who are the news, and on-the-scene reporters. In this case, Blondie as a news anchor is shown to begin with talking about Black Hat, and she has even been out at his house. Even if those reporters are simply standing in front of a building that something happened in, they have to be on-scene. To thwart the media (and probably everyone else), Black Hat has built a moat around his apartment building. The second reporter is on-the-scene from the Internet, or rather, one of its darkest corners: 4chan. In more detail, 4chan is a collection of image boards that act somewhat like forums, where users go to share images. The different boards are named by their "folder" structure, for lack of a better term. Therefore, the name /b/ comes from its URL: 4chan.org/b/. Pronounced "slash bee" (because the second forward slash is not necessary), /b/ is the "random" board, where anything goes, where anything is the superset of all sets, as in anything. Absolutely. Anything. As in, going more than two seconds without seeing pornographic content or hateful slurs is almost unheard of. /b/ is also the one that gets the most publicity, because it has started many of the memes  on the Internet, as well as the birthplace of Anonymous. The chaotic nature of the forums explains why the title text suggests that the reporter isn't safe, even though he is wearing a helmet. In fact, a goofy helmet like that is liable to get the trolls on him faster than if he didn't have it. This may be a Densha Otoko reference, which features helmet-wearing /b/ members.
This series was released on five consecutive days (Monday to Friday) and not over the usual schedule of three comics a week. It may be a continuation of the comic 493: Actuarial, in which Black Hat demonstrates great power over even Internet trolls via his sociopathic ways. This would explain why Black Hat was nominated as Internet secretary. These are all the comics in Secretary series:
- 494: Secretary: Part 1
- 495: Secretary: Part 2
- 496: Secretary: Part 3
- 497: Secretary: Part 4
- 498: Secretary: Part 5
Ron Paul is a man who was a U.S. Representative for Texas at the time. At the time the comic was published, he was running, for the second time, for President of the United States. A haberdasher is a person who sells small articles of clothing that have been or can be sewed. In modern English, a haberdashery (where a haberdasher would work) is a place that sells hats. This could be a reference to former President Harry S. Truman, who operated a failed haberdashery in the early 1920s. Ron Paul's 2008 presidential campaign did, in fact, use a blimp that was named the Ron Paul Blimp. However, despite their elegant appearance, blimps are not a fast way to travel.
The images on the /b/ board behind the reporter are:
- "Ayyy", a common exclamation by the character Fonzie from the TV show Happy Days, usually while giving two thumbs up.
- /b/, the "random" discussion board on 4chan.
- A Compact Disc (or "CD"), a plastic disc for optical data storage.
- Epic Fail Guy, a meme that originated on 4chan, of a stick-figure character (often wearing a Guy Fawkes mask) who fails at everything he tries.
Together, the initial letters of these items spell out "ABCDEFG".
The title text states that the second reporter (Tom)'s helmet won't help him, though from what, it is unclear as he himself stated he wasn't sure why he was wearing the helmet.
- [Blondie as a news anchor sitting behind a desk is reading from a paper she holds in her hands. There is a picture of Black Hat on a screen behind her. There is a caption below the picture.]
- Blondie: Breaking news—the President has made a nomination to the new post of Internet Secretary. We know little about the man, shown here.
- Caption: Possibly a haberdasher?
- [Blondie keeps talking over a scene showing her standing with a microphone in front of a water-filled moat that has been dug between the road and a house. A small stair up to the house is just on the other side of the moat. Behind her is Cueball with a large TV camera on his shoulder pointing towards her and the house.]
- Blondie (narrating): Attempts to reach the nominee at home were unsuccessful.
- Blondie: What the hell kind of apartment has a moat?
- [Back to Blondie behind her desk, the paper is gone, and she leans one arm on the desk. There is no screen behind her.]
- Blondie: To understand the culture from which he came — and which he may soon administer — we sent a reporter to what we're told is the source of that culture.
- Blondie: Tom?
- [This panel is much larger than the three previous panels and partly hidden behind the last. Tom, looking like Cueball with a military helmet with camouflage marks strapped under his chin, holds a large microphone in front of him while standing in front of a large screen. The screen shows a message board with four picture posts. Each picture has a text to the right, but those are unreadable scribbles. The top drawing is of a man with wild hair who holds out his hands with thumbs up. The next is text. Then there is a circle with a smaller circle in the middle and at the bottom what appears to be a Cueball-like man with a fencing mask. Blondie still speaks to him from off-panel left.]
- Tom: I'm coming to you live from the 4chan /b/ board. Despite the tube cloggage, nascent memes are flying fast and furious.
- Blondie (off-panel): Why are you wearing a helmet, Tom?
- Tom: I'm not sure.
- Image with text only: /b/
- [Ponytail is sitting in front of a large control unit using the two levers coming out of it from below two buttons that are again below the lit screen. A voice comes from off-panel left. Above the top of the panels frame, there is a frame with a caption:]
- Meanwhile in Ron Paul's blimp.
- Ron Paul (off-panel): Ahoy! What news of the blogs?
- [Zoom out showing Ponytail, who has turned around on her office chair away from the controls towards Ron Paul drawn like Cueball but with a cane. She holds up a piece of paper with a small square insert visible at the top. Apart from that, it is white.]
- Ponytail: Dr. Paul! The President's named his nominee!
- Ron Paul: It's not me?
- [Ron Paul's blimp is shown from the outside. His voice can be seen coming from the airship. There is text on the blimp, with the four letters after the first written mirrored to spell another word.]
- Ron Paul (from inside the blimp): Wait! I remember that guy from the campaign! He's a notorious troll!
- Ron Paul
- [Back inside the blimp, Ron Paul points to Ponytail, while his other hand is lifted to his chin. His cane leans against his legs. Ponytail looks at him from her chair, the paper now held in her lap.]
- Ron Paul: They mustn't put him in charge. Quick, call the capitol!
- [Ponytail turns around on her chair towards the controls and takes hold of one of the sticks. Ron Paul has taken the cane in his hand again.]
- Ponytail: Can't, sir. The tubes just went down completely.
- Ron Paul: Blast!
- [Ponytail now holds onto both sticks as Ron Paul lifts his cane up into the air pointing away from her up and right.]
- Ron Paul: Then we'll go ourselves. Full speed ahead!
- [A full view of the blimp hanging in the air to the left over a broad landscape. There seems to be a small lake just in front of the blimp. The horizon is shown all along this full width panel, and after the lake, there are five small mountain peaks, two behind the three in front. After the last of these, there follow one more peak and a small mound. Features are shown on the ground. In the air in front of the blimp, there are a small cloud inside the panel at the end of the lake and a large cloud breaking the upper frame over the end of the five mountains stretching over the next peak and mound.]
- Ron Paul
- [Same image. The blimp has advanced minutely, taking the tip clearly over the lake. Beat panel #1]
- Ron Paul
- [Same image. The blimp has advanced minutely again. Beat panel #2]
- Ron Paul
- [Same image, but now the two speak from within the blimp. The blimp has again advanced minutely so the gondola below the blimp is now also almost at the edge of the lake.]
- Ron Paul: I said full speed!
- Ponytail: It's a blimp, sir.
- Ron Paul
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