Our comment feature appears to be broken beyond repair, at least for our current platform, which inspires (finally!) a redesign, which will take a while. In the meantime, we hope you’ll give us feedback on the social media where we announce our new postings. (Illo by Henry Justice Ford)
There’s a lot of political commentary in cartoons, but I’m not in the mood and apparently neither is First Dog on the Moon, who — though often very political — instead, gives us this reflection on pademelons and bandicoots and elderly border collies that go woof in the night.
Which he helpfully follows up with this photo of a pademelon from his garden, since he lives in a land down under where wombats glow and numbats plunder but not all of us know what they are.
Incidentally, you may have noticed that one fellow is able to comment on our site, but he comes from New Zealand, another land down under and so I think he is able to break through because of the Coriolanus Effect, which has to do with Shakespeare plays most people have seen about as often as they’ve seen pademelons.
But enough of that. I am not, after all, a biologist.
And, if I were a biologist (linking a second time to make sure you click on that), I’d join others who have observed, as illustrated in today’s Lockhorns (KFS), that the difference between men and women is that men go into a store, get what they want and get out, while women enjoy wandering around checking it all out.
Men hunt, women gather.
The pandemic has sent us all into online shopping, which can satisfy either itch, but has morphed into a hybrid, in which you hunt on line, but then drive to the store where it has been gathered for you.
This seems to have worked for the stores, because our new Target has 30 (almost entirely vacant) slots for people to sit in their cars and not go inside. Since they take up the closest spaces, you end up walking farther to get into the store than you will once you’re there.
This online/driveup hybrid is only about 24 hours faster than ordering from Amazon, though, if you don’t consider the cost of gasoline, it’s cheaper than tipping a Grubhub driver to pick it up for you.
Yes, I’m in that kind of mood. And I intend to stay there.
Alex Masterley caught flak from readers for this commentary on the new reality. There have been plenty of jokes in comics about working from home, but this is the first I’ve seen that lampoons the self-indulgent aspect in such stark terms.
I both laughed and celebrated his ability to get something into the paper that didn’t pull the punch.
While over here in the US of A, the Argyle Sweater (AMS) seems to have gotten one past the goalie, though it’s hard to tell these days.
Mike Peters got complaints when he first showed Grimmy drinking out of a toilet, and that gag has since become a cliché, while Todd Clark caught hell for a fart joke in Lola and farts, too, are now regular features.
I’m not criticizing, mind you. Manga has reveled in poop jokes from the start, because different cultures have different taboos. Bollywood has shifted its attitude not so much about kissing specifically as towards public displays of affection in general.
Still, genitalia jokes seem a breakthrough, which, again, is more observation than criticism, and, besides, Mr. Potato Head is already in the crosshairs of the MAGAts, so I don’t suppose this will shake any new puritans.
There are all sorts of jokes that little kids don’t get, and my experience is that they just shrug and move on.
But I’m old, so this one reminded me of the fellow in Jim Bouton’s then-scandalous 1970 memoir, Ball Four, who observed that the hardest part of playing Major League Baseball was explaining to your wife why she needs to take penicillin for your kidney infection.
Hey, if you’re old enough to get the joke, you’re old enough to date Matt Gaetz.
Juxtaposition of Stupidity
You don’t have to look under rocks to find dumb-as-them material, and I’ve given up on most TV comedies, having seen people focus on something else, then look up and laugh when the laugh track tells them to.
I admire British shows like Fawlty Tours or Blackadder or The Good Life for doing however many clever shows they can manage and then ending before they descend into repetitious self-parody, but there is a substantial audience for repetitious self-parody, even if the original show didn’t begin as particularly clever anyway.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show began as a comedy about a single woman, her nutty landlady and her neurotic best friend, but the WJM crew became, largely by happenstance, an ensemble that took over the show. Imitators tried to recreate that, but their prefab cast of eccentric types never seemed to work, with a few exceptions — Taxi and Cheers among them.
However, when I say they “didn’t work,” I mean critically, not in terms of drawing an audience.
As this Non Sequitur (AMS) suggests, all it took was a catchphrase, which is the video equivalent of Dagwood hanging off the gutter or Sarge beating up Beetle — something familiar for people to look for.
It might be clever the first time, but then it simply cues the laugh track, which in turn is the cue to look up and laugh.
The phenomenon became so tried-and-true that Seinfeld, which began as clever, eventually jumped the shark and simply extruded the catch-phrase of the week.
Which I guess means that, while I’m in the mood for stupid jokes today, they have to be jokes. Stupid alone won’t do it.
For instance, Madam & Eve offers a joke about stupidity that is both timely and funny, capitalizing on both the pandemic and South Africa’s crime rate.
Even Frazz (AMS), noted for intellectual humor, takes a moment today for a bit of seasonal silliness.
Though, having planted the ear worm earlier, I’ll paraphrase Mick Dundee:
That’s not silly.
THIS is silly!