X is the real Y

From the web comic A Softer World (#737, 11/9/11):

In a comment:

(heartbreak is the real chlamydia)

This looks like a new snowclone-like figure X is the real Y, where X and Y denote things that are not normally compared, like emotions and diseases. (Contrast this with the ubiquitous snowclone X is the new Y, where X and Y denote things from the same semantic domain, like two colors or two ages.)

(Hat tip to Paul Armstrong.)

This is a hard one to search for, since {“is the real”} pulls up huge numbers of hits for “is the real thing”, “is the real deal”, and non-figurative examples like “is the real villain”. But here are two cases that are moving into figurative territory:

Money is the real Green Power (link)

Famine is the Real Obscenity (link)

The second is a video that begins with bleeped-out obscenities and continues with pitches (by K’Naan, Liya Kebede, George Clooney, Idris Elba, Bono, Annie Lennox, Colin Farrell, and Bill Nighy) on behalf of the Hungry No More campaign.

Now about A Softer World, which lies somewhere in that gray zone between cartooning and Art (see my posting “But is it art?”, here). From the webpage:

A Softer World is a comic that was created by Emily Horne and Joey Comeau so that people would recognize them as important artistic geniuses. Sometimes the “comic” is sad or harsh. It should be noted that this is in the tradition of George Simenon’s ‘romans durs’ (or ‘hard novels’) and not in the lesser traditions of comics like Peanuts or anything else not French.

About Joey, in his own words:

Joey is a firm believer in the idea that if you can’t be a good example, you have an obligation to be a horrible warning…. He has a degree in linguistics which really only comes in handy when smart-asses try to correct his grammar at parties.

There’s also a Wikipedia page for him.

What you can do with a degree in linguistics …

One Response to “X is the real Y”

  1. Cartoon 1: What kills people « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] today. The first is from Horne & Comeau’s A Softer World (information on the webcomic here), under the title […]

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