Friday, November 30, 2007

Omigosh, a conservative producer!

Because, after all, isn't everyone in Hollywood a Godless homosexual communist?

Hmm, I was curious about the context for the quote, and noted among other things that this appeared only in the Moonie-controlled Washington Times (so in case there was any doubt as to what paper Bruce Tinsley reads, that's been settled once and for all). There's no context given for the quote, but let's look at the man himself. He describes himself as a "right-wing nut" and he got a visit from the dean of West Point himself to talk about his TV show 24. Seems, that the dean of West Point felt that the TV show had a "toxic effect" on efforts to train soldiers and he'd "like them to stop".

In that same speech, Surnow indicated that he favored Rudy Giuliani, he of the mysterious accounting and collossally bad judgment. Now that's nuts.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wow, one I can agree with (kind of)

Because I really liked A Wrinkle in Time when I read it in the sixth grade. I've got the whole Time Quartet on my wish list should anyone care to refresh my memory.

Where I part ways with the duck is with the unspoken assumption that anything new exists at the expense of the old. There's great new literature coming out all the time, and I think that someone who doesn't want to look at anything new or who feels that the creation of new works, especially anything popular is a bad thing is... hey, I think I get part of how conservatives are made. It's fear of new stuff.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sometimes he just makes me so sad

It's the continual harping on the same topics over and over. This is virtually the same lame attempt at a joke as yesterday's post.

And insofar as there's any basis to the claims, the truth is, professional women get shoved into a narrow corridor between these two extremes and get savagely attacked for any deviation out of what's allowed for them. Be too feminine and you get this, don't be feminine enough and you get this. One hopes that comics editors everywhere will have the good sense to pull the strip should Clinton be elected president next year rather than print day after day of misogynistic rantings.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Welcome to 1979

Seriously, this looks like it's a critique of feminism ca 1979. I guess the "Wow, Abby, you'd be a great presidential candidate!" is supposed to be a reference to Clinton. Because Bruce thinks that she's stuck with 1970s era views of gender roles just like him.

Umm, Bruce, I think I know why you're still single and living in Mom's basement.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Monday, November 26, 2007

He's so cute when he's incoherent

I'm an Obama man in this campaign cycle (although if Gore were to run this year, I'd take a leave of absence from my job to campaign for him full time, especially if it were a Gore/Obama ticket), but if Clinton makes Bruce this apoplectic, there's something to be said for her being the nominee.

As for the critiques, I have to say that the planted question thing is rather damaging, and John Dickerson does a pretty good job of explaining why in a column at slate. Personally, we've already had four years of Bush-style politics. I don't want any more of that.

Driver's licenses for illegal aliens? On the merits, this is unquestionably the right thing to do. But courtesy of widespread xenophobia whipped up by demagogues who don't think past the next election, it's an irrationally unpopular one. Personally, I think that Clinton's response was as good as you can get if you hope to get elected in the current political climate.

And waffling? I did some quick googling, and it's a phrase that gets thrown around a lot with Hillary, but again, I'd rather have someone who is willing to consider all sides of a story than someone who mindlessly refuses to change their mind no matter what the facts may say.

And let's throw in a bit of art critique: Bruce gets a lot of criticism for drawing characters as racial stereotypes, but looking at his version of Hillary, you can see he's given her the buck teeth that he puts on his Asian characters and the nose he gives his Jewish characters. Maybe he just can't help but draw characters as racial caricatures.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ummm, what?

So apparently Payton Manning is in a lot of commercials. That doesn't really make this a joke.

On the other hand, looking at the artwork this week, the duck appears to be somehow affixed to the side of a giant pillow while staring at something that might be a television, except that it's too thick to be a flat panel and too thin to be a CRT TV. I think maybe he couldn't afford a real TV, so he's made a fake one out of heating ducts. Bruce Tinsley himself is trapped inside it which explains the lame joke emanating from the front of the box.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thank God, we're off the writers' strike...

... and the duck's dysfunctional family values to wish a happy birthday to one of his heroes, a man with a wry sense of humor and a penchant for threatening violence when he feels insulted. As an aside, the wikipedia article on Buckley is full of odd bits of misplaced text, for example:

In 1973, Buckley served as a delegate to the United Nations. In 1981, Buckley informed President-elect (and personal friend) Ronald Reagan that he would decline any official position offered to him in Reagan's administration. Reagan jokingly replied that that was too bad, because he had wanted to make Buckley ambassador to (then Soviet-occupied) Afghanistan.
and my favorite:
Buckley participated in an ABC live and very heated debate with scientist Carl Sagan, following the airing of The Day After, a 1983 made-for-TV movie about the effects of nuclear war. Sagan argued against nuclear proliferation, while Buckley, a staunch anti-communist, promoted the concept of nuclear deterrence. During the debate, Sagan discussed the concept of nuclear winter and made his famous analogy, equating the arms race to "two sworn enemies standing waist-deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with five." In 1991, Buckley received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George H. W. Bush.

Normally, I edit these kinds of howlers out of articles, but these are good enough to be left alone for a while. Maybe I'll fix up the article next week sometime.

And while I generally disagree with much of what Buckley writes, says and does, there are occasions on which we agree.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Friday, November 23, 2007

Is there a joke here?

Really the thought balloon coming from the balding white guy's foot probably should have read "they're not affected by writers' strikes." Then it would have made sense.

So for those who don't have a knee-jerk unions=bad reaction to any strike news, what's at stake? The writers think that they deserve a little more than $.04 per DVD given how much money is being made on the DVD market (which is far bigger than would have been predicted back in 1988 when almost nobody ever bought VHS cassettes... they just taped movies off of HBO).

But the big issue is how much money the writers should get for online sales of TV shows and movies. The writers would like to get more than $.04/download. The producers think that the writers should get nothing.

Which brings us full-circle back to the strip. College football where millions are made and the players get, well, nothing. Yet another thing for a right-wing ideologue to like about college football.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Thursday, November 22, 2007

I like my family more than Bruce does

I've always been a bit mystified by the hostility that so many people seem to express towards their families, particularly at the holidays. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I enjoy spending time with my family (I even enjoy spending time with my wife's family). As Bruce reveals, when he returns to attempting to mine humor from the writers strike after a curiously-timed joke about Sarkozy, he apparently doesn't much care for his. I guess the difference is that I have my own place and Bruce perhaps lives in his parents' basement?

As for Thanksgiving TV, I've not paid that much attention, but as I recall Thanksgiving TV is generally composed of football, reruns and a very special episode of Friends, none of which would be impacted by the writers' strike. In fact, I caught a promo last night for an all new episode of Gray's Anatomy to be shown tonight, so it looks like the duck's prediction isn't going to happen.

Let me close with a happy Thanksgiving to all. If you're estranged from your family, hey give 'em a chance. Forget about whatever it was that upset you. Don't bring it up, don't let them bring it up, just focus on the present and the future. Hey, if I can get along fine with my republican brothers, you can make it through an afternoon with your drunken uncle Bruce who lives in Grandma's basement.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

France, land of crazy America-haters

Ah, such great subtlety and timeliness. A mere six months and two weeks after he took office, Nicolas Sarkozy is recognized by the duck. And how do we note this, by providing two shivering devils. Just in case the artwork might have been too subtle, we note that one of the devils is reading the Hell Journal. Apparently this is a sister publication of another newspaper popular with the evil one.

But it's about time that the French stopped hating us. Most recently, they claimed that Saddam Hussein was not an imminent threat. Before that, we fought against them in both world wars, they supported the British during the American revolution and the only thing they ever gave us was a corroded green statue of some lady with a pointy hat, a burning stick and an invitation for nasty immigrants to enter our border. Mr Sarkozy has a lot to make up for.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Solidarity? Yes, please.

You know Bruce, most of the time, strips written by panels of writers are painfully bad (q.v., Archie, B.C., Dennis the Menace), but frankly, in your case it would be an improvement. In the meantime, I would whole-heartedly support blank Mallard Fillmores for the duration of the strike.

Oh by the way Duck, keep this in mind: First they exploited the TV writers but I didn't care because I wasn't a TV writer. Then they exploited the movie writers but I didn't care because I wasn't a movie writer. And then they
exploited the purveyors of conservative schlock and I was left to suffer because all the striking Hollywood folks were too overcome with laughter to save me from the evil exploiting corporation.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Monday, November 19, 2007

Just to make it official

I'm back, baby, I'm back.

The duck is still absent from the pages of the L.A. Times, but there's an election coming up, a strike in Hollywood, and loads of fact-checking to be done.

Because what's the duck without a little mindless union-bashing?

There's something appropriate about the duck talking about Stephen Colbert. After all Colbert is funny and pretends to be conservative. The duck is conservative and pretends to be funny. It's a beautiful symmetry, don't you think?

As for the "substance" of the strip, it's worth noting that (a) Colbert is, in fact, a WGA member himself, (2) he would be unlikely to cross the picket lines if he weren't and (iii) he probably remembers Funny People, NBC's attempt at putting on a TV show without writers back in the last writer's strike. This show, hosted by Rita Rudner, Leeza Gibbons and Blake Clark was an astonishing disaster. I remember in particular an episode in which the hosts attempted to interview John Cleese who demonstrated to them that if you're going to ad lib a show, you need to be able to think on your feet. Another episode had Clark ad lib some anti-semitic comment leaving his co-hosts too dumbfounded to respond. Not surprisingly, almost all traces of the show have been wiped from the face of the earth.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip