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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.