Beat Noel

Today’s Zippy, “Merry Whatever”, set in the Beatnik District of Dingburg, supplies (in the second panel) a burlesque of a beloved Christmas carol:

(#1)

So you can line up the burlesque with the model:

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright

If you had just the first line of the burlesque, you might not recognize that it’s a take-off (because the burlesque is so far from the model phonologically), but then

All is Guam, all is Sprite

brings you to the carol.

Otherwise, the strip is loaded with references, to beatnik-talk, Allen Ginsberg, e.e. cummings, existentialism, and current consumer technology, as well as Christmas.

I’m not sure how to interpret that final no-el (beyond Noel / Noël ‘Christmas’), though I’m tempted to see the no as a negative, as in this prohibitive sign:

(#2)

(I haven’t seen the “No L” symbol attributed to any specific source, and it seems likely that many people hit on the idea independently, once the convention of a slash for prohibitions became widespread.)

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