Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Technology


Me too Zero, you googly-eyed, buck-toothed ignorant bastard! I, too, love technology! What a twist on the standard "Technology is Difficult" line of "joke."

And while we're on the subject of difficult technology, those funny dots and dashes at the top of the comic? Some of you have commented on this before. It's because I have had trouble with Blogger picture uploading. I've resorted to taking snaps of the pictures with screen capture software. The Houston Chronicle comics site has the date centered at the top of each strip. Sometimes I am careless and leave the bottom part of the date. And some of you thought it was something devious! No, it is not Morse code or secret messages to the NSA (Hi, there Gen. Hayden!). HA HA! Isn't it funny when technology kicks your ass even just a little bit?

Hey, you know who must NOT love technology?


Why, it's Mr. Mitchell! Of course, it depends on your definition of "technology," because Mr. M does have an electric desk lamp and a Texas Instruments-sized calculator. Join the 21st Century, Mr. M! While fraught with their own frustrations, Quicken, online bill paying, and Internet banking will at least keep you from being hunched over your graphing calculator, stamps, and checkbook. That, in turn, will save you from the back and neck pain that little bottle of non-gelcap aspirin is there to ease.

Of course, he probably doesn't want a computer for fear of leaning in too close. That sharp beak of a nose would probably do a number on his screen!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Mallard says: "White Kidz is Stoopid"

We don't get Mallard Fillmore in the Raleigh News & Observer. That means I have to actively seek it out. So, I usually miss it. Too bad, because its blend of conservative politics and lame jokes are two of my least favorite things.

Word is that most papers run Mallard to counteract the liberal Doonesbury. LIBERAL BIAS ALERT: Doonesbury is nuanced, with finely drawn characters confronting a wide range of issues from geo-politics to where to go to college. Mallard Fillmore has a talking duck. It's the conservative comic strip version of an AFLAC trivia question.

Also? Someone thinks the comics need to balance out all the liberal views going on there? Have these people not enjoyed the 1950s stylings of Blondie, Beetle Bailey, Hi&Lois, Dennis the Menace, The Family Circus . . .? Heck, I know Hagar takes place in Beowulf-times, but its cheesy blend of "doctors are quacks/ women are nags/ men like beer humor" seems like some of the same jokes that kept Baby and her family entertained during summers at Kellerman's.

So, anyway: Mallard Fillmore. This week has been a "Kennedys are bad/drunk drivers" joke week. Ah, Kennedy bashing! OK, so not particularly funny, but . . . well, it's kind of true. I don't plan on getting into a Kennedy-powered vehicle any time soon. And I am sure this will be followed by a week of "Rush Limbaugh is a pill popping freak" jokes, right?

So, imagine my surprise at today's strip:

Nary a Kennedy to be found.

So, this bashes U.S.-born Caucasians? More likely, it's just a "damn those slant-eyes and dot-not-feather-Indians and their smart, geeky ways." Or, maybe Mallard really is hating on the white males! Could it be?

I think they may not major in "Math and Science," because "Math and Science" isn't really a degree. Well, "Math" is, but "Science?" Mallard, FYI, nowadays they break that down into, you know, physics, engineering, chemistry, computer science, biology and the like.

And what the hell is he talking about? I went to a fine undergraduate institution where 2/3 of the student body (predominately "U.S.-born Caucasians") majored in a science or math discipline. Not me, no sir, I'm just a crazy, lazy, liberal poly sci gal, but there are others who did. And my brother, and his wife, and my best friend from high school, and all the kids at the dental school where I work . . . Shut up, Mallard. I know lots of U.S-born Caucasians majoring in science and math. There are probably a lot fewer U.S.-born AFRICAN AMERICANS majoring in science and math. Maybe that would have been a more logical joke, huh? But, you wouldn't want a diatribe like that letting your readers confuse you with The Boondocks. I understand.

Besides, are you sure this is something you want to push? You get a lot of Caucasians majoring in things like biology and environmental science, next thing you know they start believing in the "science" of "evolution" and the "facts" behind "climate change," and the "idea" that "condoms" can prevent the spread of "disease." AND WE ALL KNOW THAT'S NOT TRUE.

WHITEY DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' SCIENCE!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Oops, I Did it Again


Here's further proof that the Keanes have not spent any time near real children since the turn of the century: Dolly, while nicely buckled in, is not sitting in any sort of car seat or booster seat. While not mandated in every state, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends booster seats for all children between 40 and 80 pounds (about 4 to 8 years old). And since we know Dolly isn't 8 yet . . . OK, she is hefty, but over 80?? Nope. The Keanes just aren't aware of the current state of child-rearing.

Thelma, you are a careless mother, but, hey . . . when have you and Britney Spears ever had anything in common before?

And, boy, does Mama Keane have some high-backed front seat or what?

This is from yesterday, but I didn't have time to post:

Can someone please explain? That's not a rhetorical question. I really don't get it. OK, I get the "joke" in Panel 2. The team is soooooo bad you can't even assume they will catch a pop fly. HA HA HA! That's a really bad team! HA HA.

Stop calling me UMP? Huh? I do not get it. Is this some kind of movie quote or cultural reference that I'm not catching? I mean, she IS an ump. So what's wrong with calling her that? They call her "The Fat Broad" all the time, but she draws the line at "ump?" Seriously, what? I am so confused. What does she want him to call her? If the "joke" (remember: the team is really bad) is in Panel 2, what's the point of Panel 3?

Someone please explain. Even if the explanation is "Big Al, you idiot the joke is so obvious . . ." Whatever. The "joke" doesn't even have to be funny (see Panel 2), I just want to know what the joke IS. Thank you.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

TAP-TAP-TAAP-TAP TAP-TAP-TAAP TAAP-TAP-TAAP-TAP TAAP-TAP-TAAP


SOME DAY I WILL RULE YOU ALL.

I commend Foxtrot on its creativity. It often makes you think, and in this case, it makes you translate. It's very rarely your standard "dads like golf," "teenagers are lazy" tired cliche.

That said, this isn't particularly funny. Some day I will rule you all. Huh. Probably. Jason Fox is such a brain that he's surely a future Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Jeff Bezos at the least. More than likely Jason Fox will indeed one day be vastly more successful than the Randy/Paula/Simons of the local middle school talent show.

I guess I expected a little more. A hidden message. It's an interesting way to do a strip. I think it could have been a little more subversive. Not profane, per se, but just a little more . . . sneaky?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Get You're Wurds Write



"Now comes New Thayer and my bother Danny!" What?? New Thayer MAY BOTHER Danny? If so, why?

Or does he mean "my BROTHER Danny?" I can't really tell most of the Gil characters apart -- there's Gil, Brent (fat guy/rap dawg), the beat poet-looking announcer, and of course, Ursula, errrr . . . Mrs. Raptor. Other than those folks . . . sorry, I don't know who's who. Oh wait! How could I forget the inimitable Brick House?!?!? I loved that guy. What's he been up to, I wonder?

This guy may indeed have a brother Danny. I wouldn't know, even though I read the strip every day. It just doesn't really ever sink in.

I don't mean to harp on the typographical (or lettering-ographical or whatever) errors of baseball-themed comic strips. . . Oh, who am I kidding? It's what I live for . . . it's what I do. To help poor, innocent mer-folk, like yourself . . . ACK ACK ACK! I've been taken over by Ursula (yeah, I know the lyrics to songs from The Little Mermaid, what of it??)

Those in glass houses, I know . . . I shouldn't be harping on this if I can't go several posts without a typo myself, right? Screw that! Gil Thorpe and B.C. are syndicated nationwide. They get PAID to do what they do every day. Thousands of people read them every day. They SHOULD have a higher standard than I do.

PROOFREAD your comics, people!

And I apologize profusely if that's NOT a "typo" and should, indeed, read "my bother Danny." Maybe it's a pet name. Maybe I am just that dense, and this makes perfect sense to everyone else. I will eat my words if that's the case.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day is a red-letter day for the comics, and today was no exception. However, I am shocked, and more than a little saddened, to report that in my paper there was nary a burnt piece of toast. No destroyed kitchen, dripping with the gloppy leftovers of a young child's pancake experiment gone awry. In short, no ruined breakfast in bed, which is a staple of the Mother's Day humor genre. What is the world coming to? It would be like a Father's Day funny page with no heinously ugly ties.

Does that mean that there was no "ruined breakfast in bed" printed today? Egads! I hope not. Please let me know if your paper printed one, but there wasn't one in the News & Observer. We don't get Curtis on Sundays. Maybe the boys surprised mom with breakfast in bed?

In addition, there was no example of any poor, addled dads/doofus husbands forgetting the event entirely. But, we don't get Drabble on Sundays, either, and Drabble seems a prime candidate for that. Daryl MacPherson (Baby Blues) did leave his three kids in the flower shop, but he did buy Wanda jewelry and flowers, and made dinner reservations!

Happily, there was an example of an ill-conceived, but well-intentioned Mother's Day gift -- Jason Fox gave his mother glow-in-the-dark nail polish. And in my favorite for the day, the moms in Rhymes with Orange brought their bath beads to a paint ball arena. HA HA! They even set up a "Tea Roses vs. Lily of the Valleys" contest.

Hi & Lois and B.C. both imparted this fascinating lesson: everyone has a mother. You don't say!

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I Hate B.C.


What are these ster-i-ods of which he speaks? Why do they make you split your bat when you take your practice swing?

There are two issues here. First, is the use of the word "steriod," which I will just assume is a mistake, and the misspelling ISN'T key to the understanding of the joke. Second, is the fact that well, I don't get it. It seems to be saying you will be so strong that even when you swing on a practice swing, you will break your bat. Uhm, OK. I can't really picture that, but I think it is called "EXAGGERATION," and it is supposed to be funny. But it's not. Not funny at all.

And why, why, why is this strip set in prehistoric times? They play baseball and conduct interviews with microphones. I also think that is part of the humor. HA HA! Cavemen (except Johnny Damon) didn't play baseball! But I don't think that's funny, either.

There seem to be more candidates for Mrs. Raptor's true identity:

Elton John?



Divine?



Mimi from The Drew Carrey Show?


Come on, people? Do any of those suggestions make ANY SENSE? Why would any of these folks disguise themselves as a high school mom in a small town stuck in the 1950s? No reason. Only World Domination, which is of course why Ursula is doing it.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Those Poor, Unfortunate Souls

So, I have a theory about Brent's Mom who has played a rather prominent role recently in Gil Thorpe:


The theory is that she is none other than Ursula, the half-octopus witch from Disney's The Little Mermaid:

As you can see it is a rather thin (ba dum dum) disguise. One key difference is that Brent's Mom has man hands, while Ursula has tentacles (not pictured here).

I believe that she is ultimately trying to steal Gil's voice, so that she can use it to lure Lebron James/OJ Mayo-caliber high school basketball recruits to her lair. For evil purposes or attempted World Domination, no doubt. How this evil plan will actually work, I'm not sure. But, any time you get a disguised half-octopus witch with man hands threatening the high school coach, evil is sure to follow.

BWAH HA HA HA!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Honorable Manchu Wok Now Presiding



Oh, Family Circus, why do you torture me so? Not just your lame-ness and your too-cutesy by half children, but why can't you put your Sunday strips online in a timely manner? I just want to make fun of them as soon as I can without resulting to scanning in an unreadable copy. Is that too much to ask?

HA HA! He's taking them to the FOOD court. Get it? They all look so worried in the first panel that you might think they are concerned he actually IS going to take them to a real, actual court of law (and you could tell this if this weren't just a crappy scan). OK, so the kids fall for his stupid joke, but, Thelma? Does she really think he's going to sue the pants off the lot of them?

Noisy and unruly I get -- they're kids for crying out loud. But "extravagant?" What does that mean Daddy? It means you are going to be VERY POPULAR when your ass is sitting in prison, Jeffy. Gah! Family Circus really does bring out the demons in my soul.

Hey, why isn't the dad offering to help carry something? Even little P.J. has his arms full. And dad can't carry a thing? Oh, that's right:


It's because he has his camera. On a trip to the mall. Yeah. Wants to make sure he gets a visual record of the day spent at the Baby Gap and Kay-Bee toys. Seriously. Why does he bring his camera on a trip to THE MALL? To the zoo, circus, park, baseball game . . . these I'd understand. The mall?

Of course, it's not just any old mall. It's the


Reading this in my paper I thought it was the Blossom Mall, but, no . . . it's Blessem. The Family Circus, God Blessem!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

George Gershwin and the Baha Men

The comics today brought a smile to my face and a song to my heart. It was as if they had their own little soundtracks. I wish I could link these strips to their respective songs, but, alas, I am not so tech savvy. Plus, I only have one of these songs in my CD collection.


Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof) !!!


And for good measure:

So, it's a bit more of a stretch, but "One of these days I'm going to rise up suddenly . . . " had me humming Gershwin's "Summertime" all morning:

Summertime,
And the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'
And the cotton is high
One of these mornings
You're going to rise up singing
Then you'll spread your wings
And you'll take to the sky
And I love how Hagar's "I'm home Helga" in Panel 1 is so exciting, or boisterous, or loud (and we know loud = funny) that the word balloon itself is vibrating.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Pimentos: Not Funny


So, the "little red part of the olive" isn't TECHNICALLY "part of the olive." It's a pimento stuffed in there. And I don't think it is particularly fattening or high in calories. Which I guess is the joke: taking out the pimento doesn't make the martini "diet!" HA HA HA! The pimento is probably the lowest calorie thing in the whole drink. HOO HOO, I get it now, ooh boy that's funny. It's about as funny as hard of hearing ducks!

Unfortunately, in yesterday's list of things that aren't funny, I left out both olives and pimentos. Neither are particularly humorous. Not necessarily UN-funny, just, you know, random things. Here are some OTHER things in the category: page numbers, sweat bands, scented candles.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Loud Things: Not Funny

It's been almost a two-week hiatus (thank you very much for your patience . . . that is, if there's anyone still out there), and you'd think I would have saved up all sorts of complaints and annoyances to share. Not so much. I didn't even read the comics most of the days I was on the road. So, it has taken me two days to catch up with what's going on. I mean, in today's funnies alone, so many confusing things:

  • Dagwood feels animosity toward Mr. J.C. Dithers? WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN??
  • Jon can't get a date!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
  • Dolly Keane mis-interprets Grandma's wise aphorisms? IS THIS STILL FAMILY CIRCUS?
  • Cathy has money troubles, and no willpower?? The HELL?? What is going on?
  • Gen. Halftrack doesn't understand technology?? SINCE WHEN?

Since forever, right? Just like all the above. Forever, and forever, and forever. They are the same as they ever were.

Now, I did miss John Patterson's car purchase in FBOFW and Daryl's telescope purchase in Baby Blues. And Ted and Sally's neighbor died? Woah. And since Funky Winkerbean has moved along to wacky high school hi-jinx, I am guessing that Wally didn't die in the path of an IED, never getting to know his unborn child?

Oh yeah, also not new -- Hagar isn't funny:
So, the joke here seems to be "Loud Things are Funny"? Or is it "Watching Lucky Eddie Suffer is Funny"? Or is it "Hagar is an Asshole"?

It's not even a bad pun. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Slapstick is funny. For whatever reason, watching someone fall on their ass is humorous. Watching people crash into each other is funny. Slapstick worked for Ed Norton in the Honeymooners and for Cosmo Kramer on Seinfeld. IT DOES NOT WORK IN THE COMICS. It's the actual motion and crashing and cringe-worthy possible pain that triggers the laugh. Seeing a drawing of this . . . just not funny. The stars and bubbles, and whatever that "s" looking thing is don't help.

Plus, loud things aren't funny. They aren't necessarily un-funny, either. I can think of a lot of things in this category: batting gloves, for instance. Not funny. Not really un-funny either. Tundra, TiVo, NFL game tape, shoe laces, hospital bracelets . . . see, there are a lot of things that aren't funny.