Sunday, December 23, 2007

Amen brother

Of course remember that if you cut out all the parts of the Bible that talk about taking care of the poor, there's very little left. And yet, this is something that polls poorly (so to speak) with the Republican focus groups. Interesting, that.

Over the next eight days, posting will be a bit more erratic than usual, but I will get a post out daily although possibly appearing a day or two after the actual date. It's either that, or put a bunch of blank do-it-yourself postings up for the week.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Too late or wrong joke

Rush Limbaugh (oh my God, yes, Rush Limbaugh) did those joke better on his TV show back in '92 (fifteen years ago, folks!) when he showed up with about fifty colored ribbons on his suit coat. Back then, it was kind of funny.

And then if you're gonna reference Lance Armstrong, shouldn't you mention the whole, well, doping thing?

Not if you're Bruce Tinsley. Instead you go for the lamest possible take on the subject you can.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas at the Tinsley household must be a blast

It's days like these that I find myself thinking that Bruce is probably better off not doing a daily comic strip. He doesn't have the ideas to come up with something every day. Perhaps he should switch to weekly. Or monthly. Or yearly. Or once a century. Or once. Or none at all.

Lame scansion, and the only smile I can get out of this is imagining the gift recipient locking Bruce outside in the cold Indiana winter after getting a present like this.

Although, I did find this great comment about the strip at The Comics Curmudgeon courtesy of True Fable:

Perfect, considering the shit Tinsley often offers up and calls ‘humor’.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Flat isn't the same thing as fair

Back in 1996, one of the candidate's flat tax plans was published in TV Guide. I plugged in my numbers. The flat tax was going to raise my taxes. In fact, a flat tax pretty much raises everyone's taxes except for the wealthy. Probably even Bruce will see a tax increase. Of course we've been busily cutting taxes on the wealthy for the last 40 years which has resulted in dramatic income inequality increases

As for getting it "fast", we all know how well things worked out the last time law was passed quickly.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dude, you're not even close to getting the problem

Being married to a (legal) immigrant, I know a bit about all of this. The problem isn't merely that the immigration process is long and tortuous (and it's not the step of going from legal immigrant to citizen where the problem lies, but the step of becoming a legal immigrant in the first place), but that for many people, it's not even a possibility. For the vast majority of illegal immigrants, there is no legal path.

The other half of the problem is purely domestic. The anti-immigrant people use illegal immigration as a proxy for racism, plain and simple. They don't want to make things easier for legal immigrants to become citizens, they want to keep people whose skin tone doesn't match their own from living near them. Never mind that all immigrants follow nearly identical paths of cultural assimilation (it takes three generations for immigrants to become assimilated, always has and pretty much always will). Never mind that immigrants are a driving force for the economy. Never mind that you can go back and hear the same things currently being said about Mexicans being said about Slavs in the early 20th century, or Chinese and Irish in the 19th century.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Speaking of religions of peace

One of the favorite games that conservatives play is trying to get liberals to defend the indefensible. Today's strip is a classic example of this.

I'm not playing.

I think that the whole punishing the teacher for allowing her kids to name a teddy bear "Mohammed" was a gross injustice.

But to insinuate that this sort of extremism is unique to Islam is absurd. After all, does anyone remember the reaction to Piss Christ? Or perhaps another shining example of the Christian virtue of turning the other cheek? Neither of these reactions are anything close to the Christianity that I practice.

And likewise, many Muslims were quick to condemn the Sudanese incident. Which Muslims are the real Muslims? For that matter, which Christians are the real Christians?

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Monday, December 17, 2007

For the love of God...

OK, here's the deal. I'm a liberal. Way left. And a Catholic. The fact of the matter is that being liberal is the natural outcome of being Catholic.

But come on, are other Christians so insecure that the idea that there are people out there who don't celebrate Christmas (many of whom, in fact, are Christians themselves!) and that as a matter of courtesy, it's not necessary to force one's beliefs on them.

And as for stores, substituting "Happy Holidays" for "Merry Christmas," the people who are all up in arms about this are the same ones who previously were lamenting the commercialization of Christmas.

Folks, go rent A Charlie Brown Christmas or pull out the old video tape of it you made back in the 80s and watch it again and remind yourself what Christmas is all about.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Time to rip off stand-up acts that were stale when they were fresh

Wow, this is just so insightful. It reminds me of stand-up comics on the Tonight Show in the 70s. And they were lame jokes back then.

And frankly, I think that men are more likely to polish off Christmas shopping in a hurry. For example, comparing card shopping policies, my wife will inspect every card in the category. I just try to make sure that I match the category and recipient (and sender) on the card. After all, it would be a bit embarrassing to give a condolences on the death of your grandmother card to my cousin for his bar mitzvah.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Has Bruce gone off his meds?

A lot of humor is about context. If this same strip were to appear under the title "Bizarro," it would be hilarious. If it were to appear under the heading "The Family Circus," it would be funny. And under the heading "Mallard Fillmore," it mostly leaves me relieved that there aren't any more of the lame gift ideas.

But what does the strip mean? A google search on "the golden flash" doesn't turn up any likely candidates. I'm stumped. Maybe it's another cryptic plea for socialized medicine.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Friday, December 14, 2007

Hey he said something funny

He said that is balanced!

Let's see when I visited, the top story criticized ABC & CBS for for not slamming Al Gore for "America Bashing". Yeah, because it's pure anti-American Godless communism that lead Gore to critique the current administrations stonewalling on climate change reactions.

The whole thing is a typical right-wing whine about the media's coverage, when the media really follows a herd mentality and generally serves their corporate overlords.

Want some good balanced coverage? How about or Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.

And since it's Friday and I talk about these things on Fridays, WWWMF is now in the top ten results for searches on "Mallard Fillmore". Be sure to visit the poor sops who are spending a penny a day to put a picture of someone's shorts-bedecked bottom in the upper left corner of this page.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Good luck with that one

Certainly, I'm sympathetic with the idea that we shouldn't be buying so much crap from China, but we've had so many years of policies which have resulted in so much of our manufacturing shipped overseas that it's good luck with that. Throw in a destruction of the oversight of imports under Bush II and not only is it coming from China, but it's hurting us physically as well as economically.

Speaking China, anyone else remember when they were the Bush crew's number one choice for our sparring partner in World War III?

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A recipe for joy

Once again, we're treated to a gift idea which isn't such a bad idea, although I can just imagine the look of joy when Mr Couch Potato opens the box and finds a note which says "turn off the TV." A sure-fire recipe for domestic joy, that.

Of course there are some people who could perhaps benefit from watching more TV (as long as it's not Fox News). Jokes stolen from TV sitcoms would be a welcome change of pace.

And what's up with starting from #32 yesterday? Were ideas 1-31 in previous years or were they far lamer than these have been.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Even when he tries to be right, he's wrong

OK, first off, let me say, that yes, if you're getting a dog, you should get it from a shelter, not from a puppy mill.

But even more important, unless you're sure the recipient wants a dog, you shouldn't give them one, and even if they do, you should probably let them pick the animal themselves.

This goes for all pets, by the way.

At least he didn't make some racist comment about Asians eating dogs.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mallard Fillmore tackles health care

Some might read today's strip as some sort of booze-induced incoherence. And they're probably right. But I prefer to see this as Bruce Tinsley waking up to the mess that's the healthcare system in the United States and making his own covert plea for a single-payer system to finally make sure that all Americans have access to quality health care. After all, in our current system, we spend more and get less than every industrialized country with universal health care. They say that a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged. What's a conservative who's been mugged by his insurance company?

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Another weak Sunday strip

The duck forgoes politics this week to make a shabby joke about how some people resolve their existential questions with GPS and Blackberry. Twenty years ago, he could have written the strip substituting "road atlas" for "GPS" and "Filofax" for "Blackberry". And if he published that today, it would at least have the anachronistic charm of They Do it Every Time, whose writer/artist died Friday.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The inevitability meme

So Bruce is pushing the inevitability meme. Just in time for Obama to pick up some steam against her.

It's too bad the republicans don't have any strong candidates. Every single one of them has some huge disqualifier:

  • Giuliani - cross-dresser, serial adulterer, corrupt
  • Romney - Mormon, dubious history on abortion and homosexuality
  • Thompson - senile, dubious abortion credentials
  • Huckabee - not paying attention to world events, freed serial rapist to rape and kill again, religious fundamentalism won't play beyond evangelicals
  • McCain - too old, blew maverick credentials by cozying with religious right
  • Paul - libertarian schtick doesn't play beyond internet faithful, the Howard Dean of 2008

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Friday, December 7, 2007

And it's back to the misogyny

I'm starting to regret this resuscitation of the blog... all the toxic attitudes of Bruce's strip are a bit much.

I suppose we could substitute "senator" for "president" and have the strip be about Dole, or "representative" for it to be about Bono. But we're talking about Clinton, a woman who has a law degree from Yale, was a congressional legal counsel, and was twice named one of the one hundred most influential lawyers in America. She was active enough during her husband's administration that Mallard was indignant enough to cry, "who elected her?" and is in her second term as the junior senator from New York. That's a better resume than some of the Republican candidates for president have.

But you see, she's a woman and therefore an inferior being in Bruce Tinsley's eyes.

In other news, this blog is currently search result #11 for "Mallard Fillmore". Breaking into the top ten will take a bit of effort since positions 1-5 and 7 are the strip itself, with Wikipedia at 6 and amazon at 10. That means I most likely would be displacing a Huffington Post article or Don Markstein's Toonopedia to get in the top 10.

For "Bruce Tinsley" I'm currently at #19, but since I don't mention his name that often, it's understandable.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Making America safe for poisonous toys

Ignoring the reindeer who looks like the bastard offspring of Rudolph and Ernest Borgnine, how funny, lead in toys makes them heavy. Certainly not dangerous. Because if they were dangerous, Bush and his cronies would have some 'splainin' to do.

What's really interesting is that in some cases, our lax regulatory regime means that there are products exported to the U.S. aren't legal in China. Now that's comedy!

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

If it were up to me, I'd take away the guns

My view of guns is heavily colored by posters which were in the old downtown Chicago library when I was a kid: They showed a kid holding a gun while his friend lay at his feet in a pool of blood with the caption, "I didn't know it was loaded." This is at least partially responsible for the fact that I have never fired a gun in my life (not even a BB gun).

And while I'm sure that reasonable people might come to other conclusions, about gun control, one of the big proponents of the anti-gun control argument is a bit of an embarrassment.

Nice how Bruce manages to throw in a dig at workplace harassment laws there. Given his track record of misogyny, I think he's heard the phrase "hostile work environment" more than once in his life.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's been almost seven years and STILL

He's got an anti-Bill Clinton fetish. Which I suppose is part and parcel of the anti-Hillary Clinton fetish. Of course all the statements he attributes to Bill are even more applicable to the current resident of the White House.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Monday, December 3, 2007

Because we have people who live to provide fodder for satire...

Well, it appears that the duck is off the topic of Hillary Clinton and has decided to turn his eye towards some other topic.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Apparently Bruce's mom asked him to vacuum

That's about all I have to say on this one. It did make me smile a little but not as much as today's Mary Worth. Poor Bruce, even when he remembers to make a joke, Mary manages to be funnier without even trying.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Misogyny week continues

Apparently having (he thinks) handily disposed of Hilary Clinton, Bruce takes on his oedipal issues by making a bizarre stab at Katie Couric.

And, um, "Heroes clone phonemenon"? What? While I make no claims for pop culture hipness, this is one phenomenon which has managed to pass me by without making the slightest impression.

Be a glutton for punishment: Read the strip