Sunday, August 06, 2006

Mallard, Mallard, Mallard

Easily the best part of my exposure to the Wilmington Star-News for the past week was the lack of The Family Circus. Just imagine! No big-headed cutesy kids sayin' the darndest things. How wonderful! But the worst part of my exposure to the Wilmington Star-News? Mallard Fillmore! Yugh.

First, major props to Austin, who actually wrote his paper to complain about Mallard. Read about it here. Even better -- in his letter of July 6, Austin writes "The problem with Mallard Fillmore is by the time he draws the strip and submits it and it’s published, whatever he was writing about has vanished off the political radar. In about three weeks we’ll get the first batch of North Korea missile test 'jokes'." And, here is the Mallard Fillmore of July 24:

Wow, Austin, it's like you have some sort of "in" with the Mallard people. Is there something we need to know?

So, the problem with Mallard (as I see it) is not that it's normally so conservative (although, I'll admit, that's what gets under my skin). The problem is, you have a duck reporting an event, then a commentary on said event. No character development, no plot, no change in the setting, just the same thing day after day after day. Duck, comment, editorializing. But, OK, I would probably just write it off as another lame strip if it didn't offend my liberal sensibilities. So, I think it is doing its job where I am concerned.

The Mallards I got to enjoy over the past week were a series of back to school tips, which essentially pointed out the liberal and nefarious nature of schools today. To wit:

OK, now something I learned in school (maybe because I didn't sleep) is the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." If this kid ain't disruptin' class by his prayin', no one can tell him otherwise. As I see it, you can pray silently (as would be the case when mistaken for sleeping) before every class, test, meal, whenever. Any teacher who tries to stop you is in the WRONG. The problem we liberals have is with organized, sanctioned prayer. Pray away, students. Although, this guy here is cutting a serious log, so why the teacher might think that is praying is beyond me.

Another reason not to sleep in class is because you won't learn anything. Also, it is disrespectful to an authority figure. Learning and respect. These would seem to be conservative values, no?

Well, I don't have much to say about this one. I think the point is that we liberals are all too sensitive and worry too much about offending people. Probably true. Still, not funny.

Yay, Mallard! Good work! While the other strips were just sort of eye-rolling and dumb, this one actually managed to make me mad! I know for a fact that in Mallard's world, I would be considered a liberal. This despite the fact that I am a married white woman living in the suburbs. Despite the fact that I served in the military, and my husband continues to serve in the reserves. Despite the fact that we are both Christians. And, oh no! We have been allowed to marry each other. Raising kids? Well, stand by. Ugh. We're good people. I know a lot of liberals who are darned good people who make wonderful contributions to society (like, for instance, teaching your kids for low pay). And you know what? I know a lot of good conservative people too. Can't we just all get along? (what a namby pamby pinko liberal thing for me to say).

That's not the point. The point is that mankind's. . . ooops . . . humankind's actions are speeding up and/or slowing down the natural warming and cooling trends. . . Oh, I just don't even have the energy.

Game, set, match: Mallard Fillmore. You have worn me down, you righteous, unfunny duck, you. Thank God I am back to the Raleigh News & Observer. Bring on the cute Keane kids because they are a hell of a lot better than this damn duck!


Blogger Jennifer Larson said...

You neatly summed up the thing that was driving me nuts about Mallard (I mean, other than the obnoxious conservative screed nature of the comic itself): the lack of character development, plot line or anything else useful at all. It's not a comic strip. It really should just be an editorial cartoon for some right-wing journal.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Austin said...

Hey, Big Al, thanks for the link! My letter never did get published, and I think it's a little late at this point for it to be published. Oh well. At least they know how I feel.

Keep up the good blogging!

11:18 AM  

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