Jon does not simply observe that his typical night at home might be about as stultifying as listening to a professional address on a subject he knows nothing about. He suggests that his personal expertise might coincide with and enhance a perverse appreciation for the lecture. Jon's connoisseurship of dullness is a joke about the empty plains of his personal life, but when sized up next to the gradual triumph of cult, camp and divergent art criticism in the 20th century, it is not far-fetched. As Andy Warhol said, "I like boring things", an apparent contradiction (If you "like" it, can it be "boring"?) that bears an outrageous truth on its back. What is Warhol's greatest legacy, but a meta-joke he shared in common with Garfield?: the cultivation of ennui as a cultural commodity and pursuit unto itself. But there's a difference. Where Warhol ironically regurgitated the used-up spectacle of celebrity culture as a demonstration of how our preoccupations are hollow and malnourishing, Garfield never got worked up about anything in the first place. There is not an ironic turn when Jon explains why he's anticipating a lecture he won't understand.
Intricate discourse on hyperspecialized topics obviously interests me, and some days Garfield seems to comment or speak indirectly about the journey of Permanent Monday itself. It may not be that anyone reading is a Garfield expert. From the hate mail, I presume a large portion of the audience is not even Garfield fans. But during some lectures, it's not the topic itself.