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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Those damned things

What's Mallard raving about today?

The Postal Service, Immigrants, College, Reality TV.

In case one, a square surcharge has been around since 1979, because sorting machines are not made for square envelopes. So I would say Mallard is more than "late" with this prediction.

In case two, given Mallard's hatred of and contempt for higher education, why does he care?

In case three, let me introduce you to a few features of your television, Mallard. The first is called a channel-changer. It can be used to change what you are watching; it's how I avoid Fox "News" for example. The second feature is called an off switch. It can be used to shut the TV off entirely. Heresy, I know, but it is another option.

11 comments:

BillyWitchDoctor said...

Ya gotta wonder what the mean ol' USPS ever did to poor widdle Tinny that he devotes at least two strips a year to cursing them; if he doesn't whine and moan about a three-cent postage increase, he screeches and farts about damaged packages. Oh, wait...they're a Federal agency, never mind. (Why does Tinny hate America?)

Further, will he ever, in all his years of such mewling and barking, ever suggest a superior alternative? Even the USPS' current free-market competition handles my packages no better or worse than they. Or is he just carrying on for the sake of carrying on? [Mr. Woodcock] Rhetorical question, Bruce! I already know the answer! [/Mr. Woodcock]

The other elements of the strip are just more of Tinny's butt-ugly racism bubbling to the surface. I'm surprised the USPS bit is even there; perhaps he couldn't come up with a third oh-so-witty load of Oh Noes Teh Brown Peeple's Comin' Ta Git Us horsehockey.

Funny how he has nothing witty to say about those who attract illegal immigrants into the country by employing them at substandard wages...

dbymyc said...

I'm going to regret asking this, but what does that retarded little tag say?

BillyWitchDoctor said...

It's hard to tell, dbymyc--I couldn't find a bigger version of today's strip--but I think it reads "out the wazoo."

...Oh ye Gods. Fire away, right?

While looking for a bigger version, I came across this article at Don Markstein's Toonopedia:

It's ironic that the popular comic strip Mallard Fillmore, where political correctitude is deplored with a passion rivaling that of The Big Bad Wolf for pork, owes its existence to exactly that phenomenon. But it's true — when, in 1991, cartoonist Bruce Tinsley, then on staff at Charlottesville, Virginia's Daily Progress, was asked to create a mascot for the paper's new entertainment section, his first two tries were rejected on grounds of causing possible offense to certain specialized human types. The first, a big nose with a pair of glasses, was not only potentially offensive to anyone with a big nose (such as Jews and Arabs), but was also alleged to suggest a permissive attitude toward cocaine. The second, a hippopotamus, was simply unacceptable to any publication whose subscribers include fat people. The one that finally found favor was an inoffensive little duck named after the 13th U.S. president, Millard Fillmore.

Another irony is, that inoffensive little duck is what got Tinsley fired. He used Mallard Fillmore to make fun of the National Endowment for the Arts, in a way that offended certain interests who didn't share the cartoonist's conservative point of view. Tinsley shopped his duck around, and quickly found a new venue in The Washington Times, where, according to editor Mary Lou Forbes, he provided "a new way of looking at things". On Monday, May 30, 1994, Mallard was picked up as a seven-day-a-week comic by King Features Syndicate, the industry giant responsible for comics as popular as The Family Circus and as critically acclaimed as Krazy Kat.

A third irony is that in the scenario within which the little green fowl lives in his King Features incarnation, he owes his job to political correctitude — Washington TV station WFDR, which employs him as a news anchor, does so because otherwise, it wouldn't meet its quota for Amphibious Americans.


...The origin of Mr. Noseworthy, Mallard's Jewish stereotype, media-controlling boss! He's a real class act, that Bruce fellow. (I won't blame Markstein for simply printing the "official" version of the story, but I have my doubts Tinny got fired for being "insufficiently PC"--given his track record, it was probably his poorly-disguised bigotry and open loathing of anyone to his left that got him shown the door.)

...Cocaine. Heh.

ajmilner said...

"Ya gotta wonder what the mean ol' USPS ever did to poor widdle Tinny that he devotes at least two strips a year to cursing them"

Same with colleges. I'm a college grad myself and have stories of run-ins with professors and administrators that would make your blood run cold, but guess what? I grew up and got over it. Unlike Tinsley, I'm not wasting my time ghettoizing the entire higher ed system...

Kaitlyn said...

Of course you pay less if you live IN the same state as your college.

Does he think a high school grad in Ohio should pay in state tuition at the University of Hawaii?*

That would be nice...

Wow, Mallard, made a point...

*You can do that by participating in the national student exchange, but you can't do it your freshman year.

Anonymous said...

Tank yoo mallard and broose for telling me about the librul evils like blaks and meksicans. I'm Homeskooled

exanonymous said...

Man, I hated going to college! All those damn illegal aliens taking all the space up. And I send EVERYTHING by square envelope, damn it, the gov't hates me! And who wants to marry a US citizen is what, the MAIL ORDER RUSSIAN BRIDE CHANNEL?

Seriously, all of this has been around for a while (a LONG while), it hasn't killed us yet.

Erich said...

The post-office bit, with its "what's that about?" attitude towards something with a logical, obvious-if-you-think-about-it explanation reminds me of one comedian who complained about other comedians doing gags with false premises:

"I saw one guy who said, 'I was in the store the other day and I saw sugar-free chocolate. Sugar-free chocolate? Who's that for?' It's for DIABETICS, you idiot!"

I wish I could remember that comedian's name...

BillyWitchDoctor said...

Uh-oh, I think I'ma haveta break out my Dr. Katz DVD set, 'cause I'm almost certain that's where I've heard that joke. I think the comedian might have been Kevin Meaney, not absolutely certain.

Always makes me laugh my ass complete off.

Kaitlyn said...

Erich & Billywitchdoctor - that quote - about the diabetic chocolate - reminds me of something I saw in The Salmon of Doubt, I think. Douglas Adams didn't (::sniff::) find the 'joke' about why airplanes aren't made out of the black box material, since the black box is indestructible.

Why? Because it's too heavy!

The Salmon of Doubt is such a sad book...

Erich said...

Just a guess on my part as to why he's ranting about the postage: Considering the timing of the strip and the approximate two-week lead time, I'm betting Tinsley got a lot of Christmas cards returned for insufficient postage.