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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Those damned Irish

What's Mallard raving about today?

2007, New Year's Day, St. Valentine's Day, St. Patricks Day.

I hope an Irishman takes offense at Mallard calling all Irishmen drunks and punches him right in his bill.

Is it just me, or does the St. Valentine's Day schmoe look like he is holding a turkey of some kind?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Those damned postmen

What's Mallard raving about today?

The United States Postal Service, UPS, FedEx.

Even if I give Mallard the benefit of the doubt and stipulate that his postman leaves packages in his driveway, rather than bringing them up to the door, which is what mine does, this particular panel still just cements him as a bitter, angry, crazy crank. And an unimaginative crank, with his edgy opposition to the post office.

I submit that the reason the postman won't come to Mallard's door is because, when he does, Mallard spends 30 minutes berating him over some apocryphal item he's just read on a right wing blog.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Those damned college administrators

What's Mallard raving about today?

College administrators, Minorities, Vegans, Marxists.

I am appalled that this particular college administrator is not protecting the rights of turnips.

This is the single laziest bit of poetry ever concocted. He rhymes me with C and he can't even think hard enough to come up with a rhyme for speech so he just tosses in the extremely musty epithet Marxist. Hasn't anyone told Mallard that you're-not-with-us-so-you-must-be-with-the-terrorists is the new Red Scare?

Unless I miss my guess, by the way, Mallard is suggesting that Harry Potter grew up to become a liberal college administrator.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

That damned Nancy Pelosi

What's Mallard raving about today?

Nancy Pelosi, the G.O.P., the Democrats, reaching out, bipartisanship.

I honestly though yesterday's claim that the recent Republican Congress was centrist was totally beyond the pale. But now he's claiming they attempted to reach out and act in a bipartisan manner. Not only that, he seems to be suggesting the Democrats, which had not won a national election since 1996, even know where the jugular might be.

What color is the sky in your world, Mallard?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Those damned centrists

What's Mallard raving about today?

The G.O.P., smarmy centrists, Pence, Armey.

It does not surprise me at all to find that Mallard feels the current group of Republicans are "centrists." In light of the recent elections, however, that certainly calls into question the claim that Mallard's "politics are a lot more like yours and mine than Peter Jennings' and Jane Fonda's."

I do wonder why he thinks they are smarmy, however.

For those lacking any frame of reference for the person named "Pence" referenced in the panel, he is an Indiana Republican. He is one of the people who was involved in releasing Iraqi documents for political reasons that had the net result of putting a primer on building a nuclear weapon onto the Internet (subscription required, but there is an abstract).

Update: Realized I had forgotten to link the comic, and in doing so, looked at it again (my eyes! my eyes!). I have to ask, can anyone suggest how one is supposed to read that last sentence, punctuated with an interrobang/ellipses combination? Honestly, is there anyone in the world who overuses the ellipsis more than Mallard?

Also, I just realized that the only reason he considers Republicans smarmy is because smarmy rhymes with Armey. That's right, this crap is poetry.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Those damned emissions

What's Mallard raving about today?

Cows, the U.N., greenhouse gasses.

In my time doing this blog, this particular panel may be the single stupidest and wrong-headed premise yet (though by no means the most offensive). There are so many things here worth comment that I am just going to pick the two most obvious and leave it to commenters to pick the rest of it apart.

The algebra at work here is that cow farting and belching is as much of a biological imperative as other forms of human greenhouse gas production. I don't know about cows, but I could definitely stop driving my car before I could stop farting.

The idea that a cow could retain enough methane gas to float before exploding is quaint, but worthy of Mythbusters. And yet, the position of the footnote asterisk is quite interestingly placed in a way that it appears as if the U.N. is the source of this particular idea. Highly subtle hating on the U.N.

Monday, December 25, 2006

That damned war

What's Mallard raving about today?

Schools, government, public places, straw men.

It is depressingly un-ironic that on a Christmas Day in which it appears as though four U.S. Soldiers will never return home from a real war, Mallard is prattling on about a phony War on Religion and a phony War on Christmas; carrying water for the Pharisees and the Money Lenders in the Temple of our times.

Merry Christmas to everyone but Mallard.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

That damned persecution

What's Mallard raving about today?


At first glance, there's nothing overtly objectionable today's panel. Until you notice the implication that Christians are the only persecuted religion in the world, failing to note that it all religions face similar persecution. Coupling that omission with saying that the predominantly Christian United States has offered safe haven for all religions, he's implicitly contrasting the nobility of Christianity with the barbarism of the rest of the world's religions.

And, thus, something as noble as the United States is turned into a cudgel to insult everyone else in the world.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Those damned amendments

What's Mallard raving about today?

Amendment 1 of the Constitution.

One man's establishment of a state religion is another man's prohibition of the free exercise thereof. Welcome back screeching political Mallard!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Those damned Moms

What's Mallard raving about today?

Holiday spirit, Moms, reality-TV.

I never thought I'd be relieved to see a pile of obese women fighting each other, but I find myself preferring that to another holiday foods panel. That said, there appears to be 3 PlayStation 3 boxes in that pile of women, so wouldn't the title, more correctly, be: Eleven Crazed Moms Fight to the Death Over 3 PlayStation 3s?

That woman sinking her teeth into another woman's flesh is the mole in this reality TV show, by the way. She is rather obviously actually a he.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

That damned edible box

What's Mallard raving about today?

Top-of-the-stove "stuffing"

My expectations weren't high, and yet this panel still manages to disappoint.

I have to ask, why did Mallard suddenly decide to make his Holiday Food series poetry? But since he's bothered to do it, let's examine the effort. Does Mallard think it counts to rhyme incredible and edible (you might as well rhyme inedible with edible)? Does he actually believe that incredible rhymes with regrettable? Same question for container and remainder.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Those damned cows

What's Mallard raving about today?

Non-dairy whipped topping, millions of people, cows.

I am so tired of this, so you'll forgive me if I try to write this post in a style that conveys my boredom at having to expend the energy to even mock it.

This is not a food that is specifically associated with the holidays.

The drawing of a cow looks more like a pig.

When you have to put words in bold to indicate they are meant to rhyme with each other, it's time to give up on poetry.

Please, God, make it stop...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Those damned cranberries

What's Mallard raving about today?

Canned cranberry sauce.

I grant that cranberry sauce is fairly easy to make from scratch.

That doesn't excuse making me look at a really frightening woman with a gigantic cockeyed smile, who seems like a bad (even for Mallard) caricature of Hilary Clinton. That doesn't excuse drawing someone yet again with their eyes shut for no apparent reason (is Mallard afraid of people's pupils?) And it certainly doesn't excuse using the term viscous when you mean gelatinous.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Those damned cans

What's Mallard raving about today?

Instant mashed potatoes, cylindrical containers.

Hmmmm, is it just me or does that can of mashed potatoes look like something other than a can of mashed potatoes? Something a lot less powdery, for instance...

I can't believe we have at least another solid week left of this topic. When these panels were being written, wasn't there a liberal somewhere doing something worth commenting on?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Those damned children

What's Mallard raving about today?

Children, parents, reading.

If there's anything more frightening than Mallard frothing about a political topic, it's Mallard attempting to adopt a public-service announcement tone which ends up coming off as more maudlin than sincere.

And a note to should get that white spot on your beak in the first panel looked at. It might be melanoma.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Those damned Americans

What's Mallard raving about today?

Turkey, most American families, primitive cultural urges, the Academy Awards.

Anyone on the point of spotting the flaw in this panel, which says that American families only cook turkey once per year, at Christmas?

Oh, and when you say primitive cultural urges, do you mean tradition? I admit it sounds much more sinister and liberal when you say primitive cultural urges, but I cook turkey because it's a tradition.

And, finally, for the record my turkey is fabulous (you're not invited over to confirm that).

Friday, December 15, 2006

That damned popcorn

What's Mallard raving about today?

Enormous tins of popcorn.

The use of the phrase "not only is the popcorn delicious" makes this the single most confusing panel in this holiday food series. It's possible this phrase is meant to be sarcastic. It's more likely Mallard is simply insane.

Hopefully there's only one more day of this left...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Those damned mushrooms

What's Mallard raving about today?

Cream of Mushroom soup, covert military applications, inedible casseroles and gravies.

Um...I don't think there's anything that specifically links this food to the holidays.

Mallard's description of the history of the soup provides a truly disturbing glimpse into Mallard's I'm sure we all wish we'd never been subjected to.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Those damned Jell-o Salads

What's Mallard raving about today?

Jell-o Salads, horse's hooves, fruits, vegetables, nuts, the relative who's not in the room.

Same artwork, same topic, same level of lameness.

Only this time we are treated to what appears to be a crazy aunt sticking her nose into a Jell-o salad...literally.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Meta-Post: DUI

For those not aware, Mallard Fillmore creator Bruce Tinsley was arrested for DUI on December 4. The news item has been appearing on some other blogs, such as This Modern World (which itself has a political comic that I recommend taking a look at), and has been generating some new visitors to this site, so welcome.

If you have the time and interest, pay a visit to some of the other comics-commentary blogs (listed at right). There's a really great community of people turning terrible stuff on the comics pages into fun reading on the web.

I take no pleasure from anyone's suffering and I have no sympathy for anyone getting behind the wheel while drunk. Which is all I will say about the incident in question.

That damned egg nog

What's Mallard raving about today?

Fake Egg Nog.

Completely recycled panel artwork seems appropriate to a series of panels devoted to rants about "Holiday" fare. So steel yourself for a week of Mallard with his tongue lolling out and an unidentified fluffy white substance in front of him.

Perhaps I am just dense, but I don't see how the label saying it "contains no alcohol" could be construed as a "reference" to the fact that you need to drink heavily to tolerate it. Calling it a "warning" perhaps might have worked, but that would have required Mallard to put 2 seconds of thought into this tripe.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Those damned meat baskets

What's Mallard raving about today?

Lunch-meat gift baskets, co-workers.

Why do I suspect Mallard has gotten more than a few lunch-meat gift baskets from co-workers in his time?

Less than a month ago, Mallard spent 5 days extolling the virtues of fruitcake. He then turns around and makes fun of lunch-meat gift baskets for being the kind of gift that no one consumes, but just passes down from generation-to-generation.

Honestly, it must take a special kind of mental dullness to go through a life this filled with irony without recognizing the irony.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

That damned WalMart

What's Mallard raving about today?

Wal-Mart, Rich Liberals, Uncle Sam.

Most. Schizophrenic. Panel. Ever.

Almost the entire top section is devoted to caveatting the remainder of the panel because Mallard objects to Wal-Mart's offshore manufacturing. Of course, Mallard is blind to the irony of the fact that Wal-Mart is able to offer the low prices that form the basis for the rest of the panel precisely because of their offshore manufacturing.

But Mallard won't let any of that get in the way of a good rant against both government and liberals, or in this case the dreaded rich liberals.

Free advice: when you have to throw in a meaningless phrase like "In fact I'm counting the ways" simply to maintain your erratic rhyme scheme, it's time to recognize the fact that you should stop with the freaking poetry!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Those damned catch phrase users

What's Mallard raving about today?

Trite-trendy-catch-phrase users, annoying catch phrase abusers.

It takes a special kind of generalized hatred towards all of humanity to bear enough ill will towards people who use the phrase "it is what it is" or "it's all good" that you work it up into a poorly-named invention. But what really interests me is why Mallard has to wear the silly hat in order to to use the silly gun.

Friday, December 08, 2006

That damned IRS

What's Mallard raving about today?

The IRS, Form 1040, the folks in the House and Senate who make tax law.

Nice try taking credit for this idea, but except for the starting amount and the tax rate, this is Steven Forbes' tax plan.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Those damned future students

What's Mallard raving about today?

Pearl Harbor, future students.

Points off for using a national tragedy as an extremely flimsy backdrop to carp about youth and education. Points given for not attempting a caricature of a WWII Japanese soldier as part of the panel.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

That damned culture

What's Mallard raving about today?

Tolerance, diversity, inclusiveness, political correctness, the holidays, our culture.

I don't care what your race or creed, everyone will be offended by a decapitated elf head mounted on a snowman's body.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Those damned holidays

What's Mallard raving about today?

The holidays, tolerance, inclusion, diversity, political correctness.

Someone's been listening to too much O'Reilly. And we're going to have to sit through a multiple part recitation of apocryphal "War on Christmas" nonsense.

One thing I do like however, is how Mallard unironically tosses out the words tolerant, inclusive, and diverse as if these words, which typically have a fairly positive meaning, can only be construed as a bad thing. Use of language in this way is an example of the type of "code" that Mallard was ranting against just 3 days ago.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Those damned people

What's Mallard raving about today?

Those people, some company, the Apocalypse.

I admit I am not completely familiar with Revelations. That said, I think lazy people are a tad tame as far as signs of the Apocalypse goes.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Those damned athletes

What's Mallard raving about today?


The only possible point of devoting a huge Sunday panel to this drivel is to make sure you don't forget that Mallard is a self-righteous curmudgeon. As if you could ever forget.

The more pressing questions: Where the hell is that box of whatever-it-is supposed to be perched? On his left shoulder? Is Mallard's remote actually drooping?

And finally, there is no need to show the bottom of Mallard's feet at that size. Ever.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Those damned dinosaurs

What's Mallard raving about today?

Liberals, dinosaurs.

I seriously don't understand the point of today's panel. I mean, don't get me wrong, I understand that I'm being told liberals are bad and overly sensitive. What I don't understand is how the dinosaur metaphor is supposed to provide illuminating commentary on the modern liberal.

To deconstruct this a bit, we know dinosaurs had brains the size of a pea as a matter of scientific fact, so objecting to it on "speciesism" terms is utter nonsense. By extension, that would mean Mallard is telling us that the modern equivalent, rejecting racially-coded statements for example, is also a rejection of scientific fact and therefore nonsense. So, to pick one modern example, Mallard wants to say that objecting to Bill Bennet's claim that aborting all black babies would reduce the crime rate is nonsense because black people have criminal tendencies as a matter of scientific fact.

That can't possibly be what he's saying, but I'm at a loss for another explanation.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Those damned sniffing dogs

What's Mallard raving about today?

Democrats, sniffing dogs.

A couple of things raise this particular panel above an ordinary "Democrats=bad" effort. Such as the stilted use of the word "agenda" to separate the two bits of text; I'm not sure any reporter since the 1940's has used that type of lead-in. Or the policeman with strange raccoon eyes. Or the rather suspicious-looking dog glancing sideways at the reader. Or the dog with bow-legged posture. Or the use of the term "sniffing dog" which is missing a hyphenate to modify sniffing (such as "bomb-sniffing") so the dogs are something other than ordinary butt-sniffing, genital-licking dogs.

But the real gem is the rather blatant comparison of Democrats to terrorists who have left a bomb in the capitol building.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

That damned Jimmy Carter

What's Mallard raving about today?

The GOP, Dems, U.S. Voters, Jimmy Carter.

See, despite all Mallard's posturing that the GOP got what it deserved for its fiscal irresponsibility, the truth comes out. It's the fault of stupid U.S. voters who should have ignored all those pesky details, like massive corruption and the deteriorating situation in Iraq, and just voted for Republicans anyway.

And yet, despite that loathsome sentiment, it's the smirk on Mallard's face that pisses me off more than anything in today's panel.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Those damned them

What's Mallard raving about today?

The GOP, agendaless/clueless Democrats.

I can't get myself worked up about the fact that Mallard still can't bring himself to write a sympathy card without insulting Democrats. I can't get myself worked up about the fact that he ignores the evidence that most shifts in power are precisely votes for "them" because they are not "you."

All I can think about is this: why does the elephant have stink lines coming from his stomach?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Those damned drunks

What's Mallard raving about today?

The GOP, drunken Democrats.

So much going on in such a short space. There's the cheap shot at the Democrats and the prediction that the GOP will only be out of power for two years, proving that the panel is not actually about what it pretends to be about.

Then there is the tacit admission that Mallard will keep voting for the GOP, no matter what happens, despite the apparent brazeness of his sympathy cards. The clear suggestion is that this is one cultist for whom human sacrifice is the only possible action that could turn him against the cult.

Finally, there is the fact that Mallard spends the second half of the card discussing drunken Republicans, despite the fact that the set-up does not actually suggest that the Republicans were drunk, it just compares them to drunken Democrats.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Those damned big spenders

What's Mallard raving about today?

The GOP, Conservative voters, big spenders.

It's interesting, as I said previously, that Mallard is suddenly trying to convince everyone that he doesn't (and did not) support the Republican Party, despite the fact that he never expressed such a sentiment until after they lost the election.

It's interesting that Mallard thinks the reason they lost is because conservative voters stayed home out of anger over the GOP's big spending, when most analysis suggest that Iraq, President Bush, and corruption were the main issues on voters' minds and that the swing came from large numbers of Independent voters choosing Democratic candidates for the first time since the 80's.

It's really interesting (though when you are as divorced from reality as Mallard it's hardly surprising) to discover that Mallard sees the GOP as transvestite elephants.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

That damned Kim Jong Il

What's Mallard raving about today?

Kim Jong Il.

I'm not entirely sure what the combination of Kim Jong Il and a quasi-rap lyric is supposed to signify, beyond the fact that Kim Jong Il is nuts (which we already knew) and that Mallard can't write a decent lyric (which we could probably have guessed).

Amongst a completely embarrassing collection, the stanza starting with "They say I'm..." is particularly galling for its impossible scansion. A close second, however, is a section containing nothing but six repetitions of the syllable "yo" just so he can rhyme with "blow".

Saturday, November 25, 2006

That damned Angry letter writer

What's Mallard raving about today?

John Kerry.

Okay, so Mallard has now mentioned the John Kerry non-event twice (compared with one mention of the Mark Foley scandal and coverup). Between the two mentions (interrupted by his realization that he forgot Veteran's Day and William F. Buckley's birthday) Mallard made a point of saying that all veterans, a group which includes John Kerry, deserve our thanks.

So this is the thanks he gets?

And yet, Mallard can't be blamed. If it weren't for a wholly fictitious letter-writer, he was done with the whole subject matter.

Oh, and I suspect "John Kerry joke" would be considered a phrase, not a term.

Friday, November 24, 2006

That damned G.O.P.

What's Mallard raving about today?

William F. Buckley, the G.O.P.

I think it's safe to assume this panel was written after the election. I say this because Mallard has had nothing bad to say about the G.O.P in the entire time I have been writing this blog, until now.

And the rat-leaving-the-ship attitude combined with the tried, but true "the current Republicans are not true conservatives even though just days ago I was saying the opposite" would be in keeping with pretty much all of the "informed" commentary since the election.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Those damned fat-police

What's Mallard raving about today?

Nanny states, fat-police.

There's so much about this panel that bothers me...

Mallard's obsession with laws against fat is his personal version of Bill O'Reilly's fictional War on Christmas. Just a strawman being used to fan the flames of culture war.

There is the incorrect grammatical placement of the ellipsis, creating a sense of dialog trailing off in the middle of a sentence for no reason. And the fact that the ellipsis includes four dots instead of three (even more....of a Nanny State).

There's also the large plate of white glop. I suppose showing a turkey drumstick might have been a bit too close to cannibalism. But still, has there ever been a less well-drawn representation of Thanksgiving dinner?

Finally, there's the hyphenated phrase fat-police. I suppose Mallard was trying to avoid confusing the reader with images of obese policemen. But the use of the hyphen is not correct no matter what his reason.

Happy Thanksgiving to one an all.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Those damned mice

What's Mallard raving aout today?

Obese mice.

Nice work, Mallard. Ignore the completely obvious answer in order to make a fat joke that isn't funny in the first place.

I know this should have occurred to me sooner, but based on the fact that yesterday's panel was written on Veteran's Day, that means that this panel was written about 4 days past the Midterm elections, and Mallard has yet to mention it. Denial anyone?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Meta-Post: D'oh!

Side note to DaveyK, I like this blog but is there any particular reason you don't allow anonymous comments? It would be more fun if this blog had a lot of responses.
I didn't even realize I had it set up that way! It is now changed to allow anomymous comments.

I agree it would be better with lots of comments and I hope this change will enable that. I've always wondered why more people did not vent their spleen about Mallard...

Those veterans

What's Mallard raving about today?


Yes, thanks to every veteran. For example, John Kerry.

Monday, November 20, 2006

That damned John Kerry

What's Mallard raving about today?

John Kerry.

Almost three weeks late, Mallard belatedly tries to make an issue of John Kerry's gaffe. Only problem is, the entire uproar was manufactured in an attempt to stem the bleeding of the Midterm elections, so bringing it up belatedly makes about as much sense as the whole thing did in the first place.

While I agree with Mallard that allowing John Kerry to host Saturday Night Live would be a very bad idea, given his penchant for gaffes and his overall boringness, I have a feeling we're in for a whole week of John Kerry jokes. Which seems like a good time to remind ourselves that Mallard devoted a single panel to Mark Foley soliciting sex from underage Congressional pages and the coverup of that fact by Republican Leadership.

Finally, if you are going to caricature John Kerry, why in God's name would you compose the panel so his chin is not visible?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Those damned turkeys

What's Mallard raving about today?

The media, Thanksgiving, turkeys.

There's no power on earth that could make this panel funny. That said you could have prevented the panel from making the reader feel downright uncomfortable by not including the phrase "decimating the indigenous." That phrase immediately conjures up images of decimating the indigenous Native American population, which the fanatical religious immigrants who came to these shores were, unfortunately, fairly intent on.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Those damned mimes

What's Mallard raving about today?


Boy, I can't wait for this week to end.

Still, what better way to end 4 days of fruitcake poetry than with commentary on "trite hackneyed" jokes about fruitcake than by making a trite hackneyed joke about mimes? And what better way to cap it all off than using the completely redundant phrase "trite hackneyed"

Friday, November 17, 2006

That damned ACLU

What's Mallard raving about today?

Fruitcake, the ACLU.

And, in the end, all is right with the world after all. Mallard's 4-day paean to fruitcake turns out to actually just be an elaborate rant about the ACLU.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Those damned stoics

What's Mallard raving about today?


Actually, Mallard, the reason they endure their ordeal in stoic silence is that they are inanimate objects.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Those damned odes

What's Mallard raving about today?


Sweet Lord, this is going to be a painful week. I mean, I always thought I'd be happy if Mallard went totally bat-shit insane...

Of course we could read this as being an admission that prejudice against homosexuals is one of the last bastions of socially-acceptable prejudice. That's fairly unlikely, but I imagine the rest of the week will be less painful if we all just mentally substitute the metaphoric meaning of fruitcake for the literal meaning whenever Mallard uses it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Those damned true confessions

What's Mallard raving about today?

Himself, fruitcake.

I think I finally understand what's going on in Mallard recently. He suffered some sort of dissociative break during the run-up to the Midterms as a defense mechanism against living through the agony of seeing the Republicans lose an election. As a result we're going to be subjected to a multiple-part storyline about his love of fruitcake.

It's also possible this is code and Mallard is coming out of the closet this week.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Those damned reanimated corpses

What's Mallard raving about today?

Nothing...I'm serious.

Unless I am mistaken, Mallard just made an honest-to-God joke, with an honest-to-God punchline, with no political content whatsoever. This development may be more dangerous for the future of Planet Earth than Mallard showing a meteor strike, since I believe it is one of the signs of the Apocalypse.

To make matters even freakier for me, I have to admit I was making similar jokes about Keith Richards earlier this week (when The Rolling Stones played in my city), so I'm living in a glass house on this one.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Those damned naked Senators

What's Mallard raving about today?

Fatty foods, giant meteors, Senator Clinton.

Mallard is being disingenuous. His "prediction" was actually asterisked as being based on So, his claim that his power to turn preposterous suggestions into fact is, in fact, a preposterous suggestion based on fiction.

And, to be utterly frank, I'd rather see Senator Clinton naked for the rest of her term than see Senator Hastert in a towel coming out of the Senatorial sauna once.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Those damned married people

What's Mallard raving about today?

Married people, minorities.

I'm reasonably sure that Mallard intended to insult political correctness with this particular effort. In the end, however, he ends up insulting either married people (for wanting to be called "people of marriage") or the entire minority population of America (by extension). This cavalier insult of every minority group on the planet may explain why, for example, only approximately 30% of Hispanics voted Republican in the 2006 elections.

Friday, November 10, 2006

That damned Harvard

What's Mallard raving about today?

Married people, minorities, Harvard.

So, apparently, Mallard is just going to run this premise through every one of his standard gripes. Today he goes after eductational standards. It is a mystery why he thinks anyone will find this remotely interesting in the days after the election, whose outcome he did not know but could assume would have been major news, no matter which way it went.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Those damned liberals

What's Mallard raving about today?

Married people, minorities, liberals.

To summarize...Mallard has run across a statistic somewhere that says that married people are now a minority in the USA. He devotes two days (so far) to using this information to attack liberals, not for anything to do with marriage, but for their support of minorities.

Is it just me, or is he really grasping at straws?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Those damned married people

What's Mallard raving about today?

Married people, minority status, stand-up comedy.

Election, what election? While I sympathize with Mallard's deadlines and his inability to predict the future, I simply cannot comment on something this boring and irrelevant today, of all days.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Those damned stupid voters

What's Mallard raving about today?

Stupid voters.

Let me try saying the exact opposite of what Mallard is saying, by way of expressing my own sentiments: No matter who you vote for, remember to vote today.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Those damned voters

What's Mallard raving about today?


Yeah, you stupid voters. Stay home. Leave voting to the professionals. And by "professionals" we mean only those people Mallard thinks deserve to vote. Come to think of it, we could make this simpler and less expensive if we just made Mallard the Decider and let him Decide the outcome of the election.

Apparently this is what our Democracy has been reduced to...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Those damned bananas

What's Mallard raving about today?

Bananas, handguns, liberals, the mainstream media.

Wow, a total grab bag of rants today. And, as is often the case, without any sort of punchline and all in service of a strawman. In this case, the strawman purports that all liberals believe handguns will never prevent violent assaults. Which is a fairly unlikely supposition on which to base anything.

Regarding Mallard's aggrievement against his editors, and without subjecting myself to the agony of reading back panels of Mallard to find out what previous depictions he is referring to, I'm willing to bet that the issue was context. Because it's hard to credibly suggest that newspaper editors won't allow depictions of guns in comic strips.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

That damned giddiness

What's Mallard raving about today?

Midterm elections, the Media, the Democrats.

Mallard seems to be confusing the media with its delivery mechanism. The giddily boinging TV, Mallard, is just the medium through which the media is transmitted. It has no actual emotions. The crazy, smiling, unidentifiable caricature on the TV, on the other hand...

I don't envy Mallard the task of trying to appear aware of what's happening in an election taking place weeks after he's penned the strips. The next few days should be interesting to watch.

Friday, November 03, 2006

That damned grade inflation

What's Mallard raving about today?

USA Today, College, Grade Inflation, Remedial Classes, Dumbing-down Curricula.

Oh, for God's sake, Mallard must've been rejected at whatever college he wanted to attend to have this much pent-up hostility towards the general concept of college.

Anyway, someone wake me up when Mallard finishes carping about this subject.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Those damned colleges

What's Mallard raving about today?

The higher-education establishment, calling something progressive.

OK, I'm lazy and I am not going to look for a three week old USA Today story to figure out what the hell Mallard is talking about. I assume the problem is that students are ill-prepared for college by their high schools. In which case, shouldn't the blame lie with high schools?

And, something appearing in USA Today is not an indication of anything other than the fact that words can be used to describe it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Those damned liberals

What's Mallard raving about today?

Liberals, fat detainees.

In fact, I made that exact "accusation" yesterday. Now, clearly I was joking, but given today's flap over John Kerry's remarks, I'm sure Mallard would willfully misunderstand and accuse me of being a traitor.

Today's Freudian slip: using the word internment, thus conjuring up a comparison to the Japanese Internment in World War 2.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

That damned Gitmo

What's Mallard raving about today?

Gitmo, obesity, American innovation.

Giving them coronary artery disease may also be the slowest-acting torture in recorded history.

I imagine Mallard believes this to be proof that everything is OK at Gitmo. As if enough food and so little exercise that you gain 20 pounds is enough to make up for the fact that you are being imprisoned without any legal recourse.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Those damned pigs

What's Mallard raving about today?

Fat cops, mandatory seat belts laws, his tax dollars.

Ahhh, a fat cop joke. I suppose I should admire his restraint for eschewing the donut shop reference. Tune in next week, as Mallard takes on airline food.

By the way Mallard, Mr. T.V. Policeperson is an actor, not a real policeperson. And talking to the T.V. is a sign of late-stage dementia. Please, take the medications like the doctor says, and stay on them.

Plus, "policeperson"? Awfully PC of Mallard, no?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Those damned fatty foods

What's Mallard raving about today?

Fatty foods, bans on same.

It's funny, in general I'd say I was with Mallard on this one in believing such bans may go too far, especially in these times where slippery slopes are proving very slippery, indeed. And then he compares it to mandatory seat belt laws, which have been very successful for very little cost in individual rights, and suddenly I'm wondering if maybe I should reconsider.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Those damned pie throwers

What's Mallard raving about today?

Liberals. Pie throwing.

I won't speak for all conservatives, but the fact that the actions of a few pie throwers is conflated to represent the attitude of every single liberal in the world explains why Mallard would be considered closed-minded.

And congratulations to the liberals = free-speech-enemies topic for its second appearance, making it equal in importance, in Mallard's mind, to the Mark Foley scandal.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Those damned Ivy Leaguers

What's Mallard raving about today?

Free speech, Ivy League colleges.

Yep, our government doesn't stifle dissent. For the last 6 years it just branded all dissenters as traitors. But feel free to dissent all you want...traitor.

On a slightly different note, this panel contains the least helpful footnote ever. As far as I can tell, the furor is over a Columbia hockey team flyer that was banned for saying "don't be a pussy." How we leapt from there to "this pies for you *@#ing right winger" is beyond me.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

That damned Don King

What's Mallard raving about today?

Kim Jong Il, Don King.

Can I confess that I am less worried about Kim Jong Il's nuclear weapons than that lumpy forefinger of his? I'm sure that finger is the source of all his power...and evil.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

That damned nuclear test

What's Mallard raving about today?

North Korea's nuclear test, Mark Foley.

I think it's worth at least 3 days of our time to discuss how North Korea, an Axis of Evil country, was permitted to develop nuclear capabilities as a result of the Bush Administration's inept foreign policy. But I'd rather just point out the single worst caricature of the world's most caraciture-ready leader. Although I like his devil-may-care, hand-in-pocket posture.

Monday, October 23, 2006

That damned...who?

What's Mallard raving about today?

Gerry Studds, the Democrats, the Media.

Damn, I was wrong. Mallad's not blaming the media for Mark Foley, he's blaming the media and the Democrats. Ignoring the obvious moral relativism of the defense, a couple points. First, if Wikipedia is to be believed, his relationship was with "a 17-year-old male congressional page who was of the age of legal consent. The relationship was consensual (which made it legal, in accordance with state law), although very unprofessional of a politician..." Second, no mention from Mallard of Republican Dan Crane, implicated in the same scandal as Studds. Third, with a name like Studds...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

That damned Big Media

What's Mallard raving about today?

"Big Media" and its purported liberal bias, America's obseity issue.

Again, Mallard's pimping an obscure conservative Women's group, which is spreading like "wildfire" despite the fact that only "seven chapters, including one at the College of William & Mary, were formed during the 2005-06 academic year" (according to a Washington Times article linked from the group's own website).

Oh, and before I forget, I think it is the job of Little Media to report on stories you can't see anywhere else, not Big Media. Pretty much by definition, if a story appears in Big Media there's no reason to complain that you can't hear about it anywhere else.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Those damned future generations

What's Mallard raving about today?

The future.

Apparently nothing is galling him sufficiently, so now Mallard is just making up stuff to rave about. Yep, and in the future, sex between heterosexuals will be illegal in favor of state-enforced homosexuality. Christianity will be an underground religion, persecuted by thuggish Wiccans. And a turnip will be admitted to UC Berkeley.

My prediction: starting Monday, Mallard will beging blaming the media for reporting the Mark Foley story.

Friday, October 20, 2006

That damned publicist

What's Mallard raving about today?

President Clinton, Terrell Owens, Terrell Owens Publicist.

Well, at least yesterday's panel suddenly makes sone "sense" now that it is revealed that it was just a ham-handed prologue to today's "joke". Apparently Mallard wasn't sure people would understand that Terrell Owens is a media hound without a day of explanation.

In case you are still keeping score, the Republican pedophile cover-up story is considered merely 33% as significant as President Clinton and his outburst, only50% as important as Terrell Owens, and equal in importantance with Terrell Owen's publicist.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

That damned Terrel Owens

What's Mallard raving about today?

Terrell Owens.

The point of today's panel escapes me. The irony of the fact that Mallard Fillmore, intrepid reporter, is reporting on Terrell Owen's breakfast choice as well as the fact that the media is "not reporting on it" does not escape me.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

That damned liberal media

What's Mallard raving about today?

President Clinton, Fox News, the liberal media, Affirmative Action.

Based on the number of panels devoted to the two events, Mallard rates an outburst by a former President as being twice as significant as a Republican Congressman soliciting sex from underage Congressional Pages. A demonstration of family values, no doubt.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

That damned bias

What's Mallard raving about today?

Fox News, President Clinton.

I have to assume that this is some sort of reference to President Clinton's angry reaction in his Fox News interview, though the reference is about as well-executed as the caricature of President Clinton. More interesting is that Mallard apparently thinks soliciting sex with minors is worth just one day's worth of commentary. It'll be interesting to see how many days he spends on President Clinton.

Monday, October 16, 2006

That damned Bill Clinton

What's Mallard raving about today?

Mark Foley, the Republican Congressional Page Sex Scandal, Bill Clinton.

Zing! See, Mark Foley's not so bad, because Bill Clinton had consensual sex with an adult Intern. Which is exactly the same as soliciting sex from underage Congressional Pages. But, no matter, because the Republicans decry moral relativism anyway.

This may be one of the few times when the half-life of a story exceeds Mallard's lead times.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Those damned poor people

What's Mallard raving about today?

The poor.

One one level, you almost want to root for today's Mallard because it shows compassion for the poor outside the US. Until you realize that he's making the point by taking a swipe at the poor inside the US, saying they are fat. As if that fact makes them a target of derision and, presumably, implies that they are getting fat by suckling on the Government's teat.

And then you find yourself wondering where the figure in the barren landscape is supposed to have gotten an English-language newspaper.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

That damned Bella Abzug

What's Mallard raving about today?

Liberal parents, Bella Abzug.

Bella Abzug, eh? I think that blithe reference tells you everything you need to know about Mallard's perception of his own demographic.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Those damned women

What's Mallard raving about today?

Liberal parents, N.O.W., S.D.S.

We're back to the college-age conservative daughter plot line again? At least now it's clear that the entire thing was an excuse for Mallard to mention a conservative women's group he read about, probably in the Washington Times (NEW movement sweeps college campuses).

The Times has a lower threshold for the definition of "sweeps" than most:
Karin Agness founded the Network of Enlightened Women (NEW) in September 2004...Seven chapters, including one at the College of William & Mary, were formed during the 2005-06 academic year.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Those damned Muslims

What's Mallard raving about today?

Muslims. All Muslims. No exceptions granted.

Sometimes you just have to appreciate Mallard.

In yesterday's panel he was up in arms about people being squeamish about the use of the term "Islamo-facist." I struggled with what to write yesterday because I see it as a nuanced question (despite the fact that Mallard sees no such nuance). Plus, I was not sure how to make the point and keep the blog from becoming a political commentary, so I just kind of dodged the larger question.

What I wanted to write was that I have no qualms about invective directed towards would-be terrorists. On the other hand, I understand the objection to the broad use of the term, which sweeps up billions of Muslims and lumps them together with violent radicals.

Today, Mallard makes the point better than I ever could by offering no dainty distinctions and just insulting every single Muslim in the world. Thanks, Mallard!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Those damned strawmen

What's Mallard raving about today?

Lots of prominent Democrats, terrorist's feelings.

A+ for the use of empty rhetorical tricks by combining the strawman (lots of democrats) with a useful distortion (offending terrorists). I know of exactly one democrat (Russ Feingold) who objected, saying "We must avoid using misleading and offensive terms that link Islam with those who subvert this great religion or who distort its teachings to justify terrorist activities." Feel free to disagree, but try to do so honestly.

Oh, and the punchline, such as it is, simply doesn't work. I assume Mallard was trying to reference the use of the term "facist" and not "islamo-facist" but he gets so lost in the rant that it's just not clear.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Those damned Islamo-whateverists

What's Mallard raving about today?

People without the proper expression of hatred in their labels.

Right, because the best way to win the War on Terror is to come up with ever nastier names for our enemies. Way to be a man, Mallard. Much better than, say, enlisting. (Given the strain on our military, I hear they lifted their ban on enlisting waterfowl.)

Monday, October 09, 2006

That damned New York Times

What's Mallard raving about today?

The pope's remarks about Islam, The New York Times.

Actually, Mallard, not surprisingly, you're the only one still talking about it. You see, it seems the Republican leadership hid knowledge of a pedophile in their midst because they wanted to hold onto his seat in the House of Representatives. Plus North Korea set off a nuclear weapon. People are kind of busy talking about those things right now.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

That damned frenzied media

What's Mallard raving about today?

Sharks, the media, Valerie Plame, Mark Karr, obesity.

I confess...I like the sharks' facial expressions. But I am not sure where the bubbles are supposed to be coming from. Is the shark on the left supposed to be flatulent? Can sharks be flatulent? These are much more interesting questions that the one the panel is actually screeching about, by the way.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

That damned liberal media

What's Mallard raving about today?

Liberal parents, don't ask don't tell, the liberal media.

The simpler answer to Mallard's liberal straw man's question: Fox News.

And congrats to Mallard, who will probably be making a rare appearance at The Silent Penultimate Panel Watch! It's a rarity for a strip that usually only has one or two panels, but I am sure SPP will welcome you with open arms.

Friday, October 06, 2006

That damned Bob Dylan

What's Mallard raving about today?

Liberal parents, Bob Dylan, the times.

Given the fact that Mallard often raves for days about the same subject matter, I'm not exactly sure what distinguishes these two panels as some sort of continuing plotline. In any case, quite the anti-climax. And whatever it was, it's supposedly over, since there is no indication that it will be continued. That said, I won't be surprised if tomorrow's panel is on the exact same topic.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Those damned college students

What's Mallard raving about today?

Lesbians, probably liberals (although since this is just part one of a continued panel, we can only guess)

Ooooh, to be continued! Well, it will be nearly impossible to wait for the thrilling continuation of this plotline, but I'll just have to master my raging curiosity. In the meantime, I will spend my time wondering why Mallard mentioned the lesbian aunt by name in this panel. Will that become important later or is it just a red herring?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Those damned gender neutral types

What's Mallard raving about today?

UC Berkeley, education standards, the gender neutral community, freshman tolerance-diversity orientation, turnips.

One thing you have to hand to Mallard, the little morality play involving a turnip being admitted to UC Berkeley really allows him a large canvas against which to vent his spleen. Because once you've decided to advance the premise that a turnip has been accepted to UC Berkeley, there's really no idiotic premise that would be beyond the scope of this particular dementia.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Those damned speech codes

What's Mallard raving about today?

UC Berkeley, Education standard, turnips, campus speech codes.

Looks like we've got a week of U.C. Berkeley turnip jokes to withstand. I think I'll just ignore this entire week and try to look forward to Mallard's commentary on former Representative Mark Foley, which should happen in 2-3 weeks time, just about the time it's no longer topical.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Those damn turnips

What's Mallard raving about today?

UC Berkeley, Harvard, Education standard, turnips, aparagus.

Either Mallard has so completely run out of ideas that he is blatantly recycling jokes from 2 months ago or he believes no one pays attention long enough to spot the repetition. If it weren't for the dicates of this blog, in my case the latter would be a safe assumption.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Those damned dinosaurs

What's Mallard raving about today?

Federal employees, conventional wisdom, who gets credit for ending the Great Depression, Geocentrists.

Be careful what you wish for...Mallard's finally done raving about The Path to 9-11, but now he's back to Federal employee's wages, a subject I'd hoped was left for dead 2-1/2 weeks ago.

Important note, however for Mallard: the definition of Conventional Wisdom is "certain ideas or explanations that are generally accepted as true by the public." It has not been Conventional Wisdom that the Sun revolves around the Earth since somewhere around the 13th century.

Also, there can only be one factor to which we assign credit for ending the Great Depression? That's the definition of sophomoric historical insight. Gratuitous, but on-point, Simpsons reference:
Proctor: All right, here's your last question. What was the cause of the Civil War?
Apu: Actually, there were numerous causes. Aside from the obvious schism between the abolitionists and the anti-abolitionists, there were economic factors, both domestic and inter--
Proctor: Wait, wait... just say slavery.
Apu: Slavery it is, sir.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

That damned ABC

What's Mallard raving about today?

What else? ABC, Democrats, The Path to 9-11.

For God's sake, the miniseries itself lasted less time than Mallard's incessant whining about it.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Those damned dead horses

What's Mallard raving about today?

ABC, Powerful Democrats, Bill Clinton, The Path to 9-11.

At least there's only two more days left in this week and hopefully Mallard will move on to a new topic soon. A little too late, unfortunately, since he's beaten this dead horse so thoroughly that he was forced into over-writing today's screed such that the last panel makes no sense at all.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Those damned Golden Weenies

What's Mallard raving about today?

Do you really need to ask? ABC, Democrats, The Path to 9-11.

The power of the Democrats compels you! I think someone should tell Mallard that there are 4 broadcast networks, so the fact that his Golden Weenie award doesn't appear on 3 of them can only be attributed to the fact that it is the ranting of a lunatic duck.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Those damned power-drunk Democrats

What's Mallard raving about today?

Democrats, ABC, The Path to 9-11.

Seriously, has anyone more vastly overestimated the power of the Democrats than Mallard is currently doing? It should also be pointed out that doing the evening news in a tutu couldn't actually damage what little is left of Charles Gibson's journalistic integrity.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

Those damned gas prices

What's Mallard raving about today?

Opponents of the Iraq War.

Ahh, the strawman argument! Nothing like defining the opposition's position on an issue to make them easier to defeat in a debate. Besides, you can also make them scrunch up their eyes so they look shrill while you look implaccable and reasonable...well as implaccable and reasonable as is possible with a duck's bill, anyway.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Those damned invaders

What's Mallard raving about today?

AOL Zogby poll results, our education system, our lazy rear-ends.

I would not have guessed that Mallard is such an America-hater that he's actively promoting the invasion and overthrow of our country. But, here you have it...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Those damned holidays

What's Mallard raving about today?

Christmas decorations in September.

None of us is above a bit of carping about the early appearance of Christmas decorations which happens sooner every single year. The topic is mildly boring when discussed amongst friends and family. It's simply stultifying when appearing in a nationally syndicated cartoon. What's up next...complaining about alcoholic relatives?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Those damned fat kids

What's Mallard raving about today?

Childhood obesity, substandard geography knowledge, possibly Colorado and Mississippi.

Wow. Mallard must be off his medications recently. I have no idea what connection I am supposed to draw between the fact that Colorado and Mississippi have the lowest/highest obesity rates and are the least recognizeable states, geographically-speaking. Are these two fact supposed to be related in some nefarious way? If so, the connection is beyond me.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Those damned Hollywood types

What's Mallard raving about today?

Tom Cruise ( I think), Hollywood (in general), possibly Paramount.

Boy, those Hollywood types, are they ever bizarre? All of them. Yep, the whole lot. And their views? Equally bizarre. Yep, every one of them has bizarre views. I just wanted to make sure we're all clear on that fact. Now, please move along.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

That damned Kofi Annan

What's Mallard raving about today?

Kofi Annan, plugged toilets.

I never realized how much Kofi Annan, apparently, looks like Robert Guillaume. I mention this in lieu of discussing the actual content of today's panel because there is nothing quite so tiresomely repetetive as right-wing carping about the United Nations. Now, if you want to get into plugged toilets, on the other hand, man does that get me steamed!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

That damned United Nations

What's Mallard raving about today?

The United Nations.

Do you suppose the fellow being caricatured in the yellow shirt and vest is supposed to be Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? The Mr. Rogers ensemble has a disarming effect on the man that no number of U.N. sanctions could possibly hope to equal. "Would you like to visit the nuclear weapons program in the neighborhood?"

Monday, September 18, 2006

That damned gleeful media

What's Mallard raving about today?

Gleeful media.

Of all the Mallard Fillmore standard formats, "Remember when this happened? Neither do I." is probably the most tiresome by dint of it's schoolyard-argument quality. I know you are, Mallard, but what am I?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

That damned agriculture department

What's Mallard raving about today?

The Department of Agriculture, farm subsidies, cow-raising doctors, wheat-raising lawyers, sheep-raising stockbrokers.

Isn't this program decades old? And Mallard is just now complaining about it? And, not to be picky, but you raise cows and sheep, but you grow wheat. Important lesson, Mallard, if you are going to set up a parallel structure, try to make it parallel.

Thanks for the mention to Matt over at The Silent Penultimate Panel Watch, a favorite comics blog of mine and probably the single most specific comics blog around. If you're not familiar with it, it's required daily reading.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

That damned BCS rating system

What's Mallard raving about today?

The BCS rating system, Samoan linemen.

Considering that the BCS' first poll comes out somewhere around mid-October, this outrage is a bit premature.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Those damed coots

What's Mallard raving about today?

The hell if I know.

These old coaches must be Democrats, right? Because if they aren't then Mallard is mocking the senile and that's just cruel.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Those damned Democrats

What's Mallard raving about today?

Federal employees, Congressional Democrats, Martini-drinking pigs.

Um, isn't the traditional symbol of the Democratic party a donkey? The martini-swilling pig is the traditional symbol of Rush Limbaugh, if I am not mistaken.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Those damned federal employees

What's Mallard raving about today?

Federal employees and their work ethic, pinching oneself.

So far Mallard has blamed the media for not reporting this and Federal employees for being shiftless. He's not yet blamed Republicans for the fact that Federal wages have risen 38 percent compared with 14 percent in the private sector over just the last 5 years of Republican-control.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

That damned media

What's Mallard raving about today?

Federal employees, the media, tirades about income inequality.

Why does Mallard change from black to green every other panel? And what exactly do his gigantic webbed feet, which are intermingled in the last two panels, add to our the federal/private income debate?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Those damned strawmen

What's Mallard raving about today?

Straw Men.

Nice to commemorate 9-11 with a sophomoric, intellectually-bankrupt, rhetorically-empty strawman argument to further a partisan agenda, and cheapening the memory of those lost in the process.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Those damned assholes

Comic is here.

I'm hoping Mallard's use of the phrase pre-911 world is not meant to echo the loaded/coded phrase "pre-911 mindset" as used often by Vice President Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. But within this particular subject matter, I'm giving him a pass.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Those damn Hollywood celebrities

What's Mallard raving about today?

Pluto, the International Astronomical Union (I.A.U), Congressional funding.

Whew, after about 5 days in the cold, we're finally back onto familiar ground.

Friday, September 08, 2006

That damned Dr. Phil

What's Mallard raving about today?

Pluto, Dr. Phil.

After a week of Mel Gibson spittle, this week has been pretty tame as far as bile-spewing is concerned.

But I suddenly realized that these panels were, of course, written weeks before Katie Couric's debut and the final decision on Pluto, so their appearance in papers and on the Internet would coincide with the actual events. Hence they were written in a generic fashion with no specific reference to actual events. It explains why Mallard doesn't know that Pluto was downgraded to "dwarf planet" status (not "second-class planet" or "pluton" status).

It's just a shame that Katie didn't go ballistic and get into a shouting match with Rush Limbaugh during his anti-everyone-who-doesn't-agree-with-me "Free Speech" segment, which would have made those panels seem eerily off-topic.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Those damned astronomical unions

What's Mallard raving about today?

The International Astronomical Union, Mickey Mouse.

From what I can tell, the next cartoonist to find a decent joke in the Pluto-is-not-a-planet story will be the first one. Though in Mallard's case, I'm guessing he's upset because it was a union that made the change.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

That damned smile

What's Mallard raving about today?

Katie Couric (I can only assume; that caricature could be anyone), unnaturally huge smiles.

Dear God, I think we're in for a whole week of Katie Couric strips.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

That damned desk

What's Mallard raving about today?

Katie Couric, desks which obscure views of lithe, tan, muscular calves.

The duck doth protest too much, methinks. Especially since Mallard has obviously engaged in way more thought about Katie Couric's legs than is healthy.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Those damned lawyers

What's Mallard raving about today?

Trial lawyers, Hezbollah, Mako Sharks, Gingivitis

Sweet lord, this is the worst example of parallel structure I've ever seen. The only one of the three comparisons that represents an apples-to-apples comparison is the one involving the Mako Shark. The rest are just weird and wrong. The Hezbollah comparison is especially mystifying since it includes the image of some guy in a polka-dot bow tie (not the image which comes to mind when I think of Hezbollah) and an unprovoked attack on The Rotary Club.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Those damned liberals

What's Mallard raving about today?

Liberals, the U.N., Mel Gibson-haters, nouns.

If you asked me a week ago whether anything would make me want to see more back-to-school tips, I would have said no. But a week of unrelenting Mel Gibson strips has managed to make me hope for a return to the back-to-school tips.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Those damned special reports

What's Mallard raving about today?

The mainstream media, Mel Gibson haters, anti-Christian slurs, in-depth special reports.

Sorry to have to tell you this, Mallard, but one month later and you're the only one talking about this issue anymore. Let's hope this panel is the last about poor Mel. It certainly should be since it introduces nothing which hasn't already been said in other Mel Gibson strips in this series.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Those damned double-standards

What's Mallard raving about today?

Mel Gibson haters (yet again), anti-Christian slurs*, double-standards in the media, some balding guy who thinks he has proof Mallard is a "hater".

One month later, there've still been no arrests made in the savage beating-to-death of the Mel Gibson story...though Mallard Fillmore remains the prime suspect. As is typical of poor Mallard, the lag between when the strips are written and published means he is often the only one talking about the issue when it finally appears, which becomes highly ironic in this particular case.

* If you are interested, the article I presume Mallard is referencing for this strip comes from L. Brent Bozell III and his right-wing media watchdog site (Media Research Center) and is called "Mel Gibson and the Politics of Bigotry". The general flaw in Mr. Bozell's argument is that it requires moral equivalency between what Gibson did and anti-religious expressions made as part of comedy (Dennis O'Leary), satire (South Park), or fiction (The DaVinci Code).

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Those damned straw men

What's Mallard raving about today?

Straw men.

Well, at least Mallard's come clean about why the Mel Gibson thing has him so upset. It makes no sense, of course, but at least we can stop wondering. The only remaining question is how upset is he, measured in total days worth of strips. He's up to 3 so far.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Those damned media parents

What's Mallard raving about today?

Media parents and media kids, drunk drivers, the mainstream media and their Mel Gibson obsession.

Still with the Mel Gibson thing? Mallard must be an Executive Producer on Apocalypto. What precisely is a "Media Parent" anyway?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Those damned savages

What's Mallard raving about today?

The mainstream media, Mel Gibson-haters, the perfect murder.

Readers of Mallard Fillmore should feel justified doing a little raving themself today, regarding metaphors which don't work. It's also fair to ask why there is both a TV camera and a computer monitor which, based on the angle of the camera, will appear on air.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Those damned cultural oligarchs

What's Mallard raving about today?

The Emmys, A Capricious Cadre of Cultural Oligarchs, unpopular but critically-acclaimed shows, Redeeming Social Value, Presidential Primaries.

Couldn't you come up with one more "c" word to complete the alliterative phrase correctly? I suggest "Capricious Cadre of Cultural Cabalists." That said, given the general furor over the new Emmy nomination process, it hardly requires conjuring up the spectre of the Illuminati to explain the nominations.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Those damned mediocrities

What's Mallard raving about today?

Teacher's unions, principles of mediocrity, seniority-based pay systems.

Speaking of principles of mediocrity, how about a two-panel comic which uses an arrow to indicate that the first panel acts as a lead-in to the second panel?

Friday, August 25, 2006

That dammed Charles Darwin

What's Mallard raving about today?

Scientists, School Officials, Charles Darwin, Cave Men.

Mallard needs a refresher course on Intelligent Design or he'd know that it's not about who "created evolution" but life on earth being designed by an intelligent creator. Belief in evolution, no matter who you think created it, can get you kicked out of the club.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Those damned Anti-Americans

What's Mallard raving about today?

The Anti-American community, "some" districts (actually just one, but who's counting).

Mallard is behind the ACLU 100% on this issue:
The American Civil Liberties Union weighed in against a ban on flag displays and said "students' right of expression in public schools should be given as much room as possible," according to a statement from ACLU attorney Mark Silverstein.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Those damned turnips

What's Mallard raving about today?

Grade Inflation, Academic Standards, UC Berkeley Students and Faculty, Diversity, Two-Career Families, Turnips. (Today's list courtesy of yellojkt by way of The Comics Curmudgeon)

Oh, UC Berkeley...will you damn hippies never learn?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Truth. Lies. Mallard Fillmore.

When I first decided to do a comics blog, I originally thought about doing one about the always shrill Mallard Fillmore and his political ravings. After a few days living with the idea, however, I decided it would be a bit too much like writing a political blog and decided to tackle The Dinette Set instead.

Then, a few days ago, on The Comics Curmudgeon (still the greatest blog on earth), I saw this brilliant comment from yellojkt:
Most. Unhinged. Mallard Fillmore. Ever.

I think Tinsley was just throwing all his usual red meat attacks against the wall to see which would make his mouth-breathing fan base snort the loudest. In fifty-four words he manages to attack:

grade inflation
academic standards
UC-Berkeley (faculty and students)
two-career families
and turnips

All without an actual punchline.

So, with all due credit to yellojkt, I decided that, in addition to The Dinette Set, I could look at Mallard Fillmore on those limited terms...summarizing who he is raving about each day.

For those not familiar with Mallard Fillmore by Bruce Tinsley, you can find detailed information on this page which provides at least two startling insights.

Apparently the comic Mallard Fillmore has characters other than Mallard himself. This is hard for me to believe since every panel I have ever seen involves only a head shot of Mallard, a rant about some perceived ill or another, and a background image that may or may not help illustrate the rant.

Also, "his politics are a lot more like yours and mine than Peter Jennings' and Jane Fonda's." That is making a really large assumption about how mainstream his politics are while vastly overestimating the political importance of Jane Fonda and Peter Jennings.