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Monday, December 31, 2012

Meta-Post: Life Choices

I started Duck and Cover in August 2006, which means that I have now spent almost 6.5 years willfully inflicting a daily psychic wound on myself by reading Mallard Fillmore.

When I started, and for the first few years, I was usually taken aback by the audacity of Mallard Fillmore's rampant mendacity. It angered me, much as 6 years of Republican mendacity on the national stage angered me. And I wanted to correct the falsehoods and require that discourse be fact-based. In some extremely small way, it was my protest against President Bush and his cronies.

But for the past year or so, the task has become much more boring, much more pedestrian. Which is not to say that Mallard Fillmore (and those for whom he carries water) are any less mendacious. Probably they are more so. And that is not to say that their discourse is more fact-based. Probably it is less so.

But, frankly, I don't think Mallard Fillmore is actually trying anymore. Mallard Fillmore itself has become an empty husk. Where once it was rage-filled and self-righteous, now it simply repeats, in the most plodding terms imaginable, whatever is currently in a loop on Fox, Drudge, Townhall, or Breitbart.

There's barely any actual anger in Mallard Fillmore anymore...whether over the ginned up outrage or over the fact that no one is allowing themselves to be ginned up. Sure, the words are there, but it's just a pantomime. It's too tiring, I think, for Mallard Fillmore to generate anger and outrage knowing no one feeds on it anymore. Mallard Fillmore has become pathetic (though not pitiable).

Perhaps it's because 6 years of this have inoculated me to Right Wing faux outrage in a way that it seems (I hope) the nation and the media writ large are growing weary of and inoculated against as well. (Witness the impotent fury of the Right Wing over Benghazi while everyone else ignored them.) My tendency, now, is less outrage or desire to de-bunk falsehood and more of a bored shrug. It's The Boy Who Cried Wolf for the 21st Century.

In any event, all of that is to say that I am thinking of ceasing to update the blog. If Mallard Fillmore isn't going to try anymore, then why should I? Why not use the time each day I spend on this blog for something actually useful? And why not return to that blissful pre-2006 state when I never read Mallard Fillmore? Barely even knew it existed?

That said, if someone were interested in taking over, I would certainly entertain that. Just let me know in the comments!


DiR said...

I can't blame you at all, DaveyK. I"m not sure how long I've been hanging out here (three, four years?), I've lost count of how many times I've said either, "This isn't any fun if you don't try, Bruce." or "Oh, shit, Davey DID update for today's MF, it's just the same shit xeroxed."
If D&C ends, I for one will miss our little motley bunch's snark, but I don't know how much there is left to say. Ironic that, with a Democratic president if office, this should be the time when the strip is it most dynamic and bombastic; yet it becomes more watered down and, for lack of a better term, limp dicked.

If I could summarize my MF experience over the years, it would have to be this: Mallard Filmore is offensive. It is offensive to the readers, and to the thousands of conservative comic writers who would give their right leg to hold his job. Every day, Bruce pisses over what he's been given with a 4-minute sketch and a copy-pasted Fox News talking point, then jerks off over what a Champion of Freedom he's declared himself to be.

The local paper here carry's MF, so I'm sure I'll still read it out of habit. And I'll think of this blog when I do.

Kip W [Muffaroo] said...

Does this mean you'll come and comment at the Comics Curmudgeon more often, DaveyK? Because, you know, that would be swell.

I would miss this, but I don't know why you should put out more of an effort than Tinsley, and for no money whatever.

Whatever you do, know that you have brightened my life, and given me a venue for snarking on the truly low-lying fruit. I guess I'll comment at GoComics if, you know, that thing happens.

Thanks for all the fish!

CW in LA said...

Could we still comment here? I came here because the Comics Curmudgeon found this crappy little strip too toxic to deal with on his blog. So I certainly don't blame you, DaveyK. But I like the chance to vent.

*sigh* First Kim Jong Il Looking At Things goes bye-bye, and now Dumb Ass Duck Crapping On Things...

Frank Stone said...

Well, hey, our daily endeavors need to be fulfilling in some way, even those that are just diversions. If you no longer feel that continuing Duck and Cover is worth your while, you certainly can't be faulted for that; your assessment of MF's recent content is pretty spot-on. Whatever you choose moving forward, know that you've performed a valuable service.

MuddyRiverLover said...

I certainly wouldn't blame you for stepping down, but I would most definitely miss this blog. Even though I don't comment often, this blog is a daily stop on my swing through cyberspace.

My local newspaper has run Mallard Fillmore for at least a decade now, using the usual tired excuse that it needs something to "balance" Doonesbury. I have always read MF against my better judgement--morbid curiosity, I guess--and prior to 2006 I would shake my head each day, thinking that SOMEHOW we must expose to the world how wrong the strip is on so many levels.

Then I learned of this blog, and while I'm not sure the entire world has seen the light here, it has at least injected some fun into my daily masochistic ritual of reading MF.

Thank you for your valuable service to mankind.

Borborygmy said...

I've enjoyed the site, tho I'm a relative newcomer here. So many times I've read MF and wondered what the hell he was talking about. Tinsley lives in his own epistemic bubble, and is remarkably incoherent as well. I can almost always find an explanation here. It's a public service.

That said, you've served your time, DaveyK, honorably and with distinction, and no one can blame you if you walk away now.

Nietzsche said what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger. That isn't necessarily true. Sometimes it can just make us very sick.

You've probably dealt with this poison for long enough. Whatever, you decide to do, good luck, and thanks.

Anonymous said...

Everyone else has pretty much echoed my sentiment. I was able to avoid MF for well over two decades, until a move to VA exposed me to it in our local paper, a couple of strips below Doonesbury. I'm always reminded of the expression about someone being unable to avert eyes from a train wreck. It is a good idea to keep the blog open to comments.

Bill the Splut said...

The only thing worse than Bruce's infinite paychecks for doing nothing is that the only thing that justifies its pitiful existence is D&C's mocking of it.

DaveyK, I give you all the salutes that Batshit Bruce the DUI Guy forgot to give other veterans of pointless wars on multiple Veterans Days.

On the other hand--EVERYTHING BAD IS FAULT OF THE LIEBERALS GAY COMMIE NEGRO NAZIS BLAAAARRRGGHH (vomits on passenger seat, also passenger)

Marion Delgado said...

DaveyK I think you should do something else. Your comments were good and well-written. That said, you've exhausted what can be said about Mallard Fillmore. You should shutter the blog.

And *that* said:

Were I in your shoes I'd be a little transformative now. Do more fun comments, and maybe only every few comics. And meanwhile, transition to doing something else (assuming that's where your head is) and giving people a heads-up as to where you'll be and what you're doing.

It's not you, it's your subject. On top of its other sins, MF has become as repetitious and predictable as any zombie newspaper strip being done by cut-and-paste supervised by the descendents or whoever they sold it to.

Unknown said...

I'm a frequent reader and somtimes replier. I wanted to write something on this and saw that it was well-covered above. I appreciated your time and efforts DaveyK. Let us know what you're doing next.

Randy Winn said...

DavyK has suffered long enough.

But let's find a way to hang together if not here, then on Teh Evil Facebook or somewhere.

dlauthor said...

I'd like to say I have the chutzpah to take over this blog, but every DAY? When DaveyK is right and the comic is tapering off from lunatic-shouting-at-bus-station to drunk-mumbling-incoherently-in-corner-of-bar? Yeah, I'd probably have a problem doing that. I don't begrudge the end of this blog, and like others, am glad for the catharsis of knowing there are others who share the thousand blazing suns of my loathing for it, especially after Fruhlinger decided he didn't enjoy every other comment section at the Curmudgeon devolving into frothing teabaggers angry because someone dared comment on THEIR holy strip.

Anyway, we'll always (hopefully) have the comments section at Comics Kingdom, with the bonus of there being a small cadre of Mallard fans (!) there to troll. Angering them into incoherence (admittedly a short trip) is a nice fringe benefit.

In closing, shame on Tinshley. You're a talentless drunken racist hack, but at least you used to be a somewhat interesting talentless drunken racist hack.

dlauthor said...


"the thousand blazing suns of my loathing for Mallard." Not "it."

Kip W [Muffaroo] said...

Jeez, if that's not enough, the blog has morphed into one of those bloodspot blogs that won't accept my comments unless I open a different browser.

I was going to say I do LJ and Twitter. I quit Facebook quite a while ago and am not going back. It's not only evil, but in a very active way, and it keeps changing to be more evil than it was last time you checked to see how evil it was.

Kip W [Muffaroo] said...

Bloodspot? BLOGSPOT! (What's worse, it's the software I use too.)

And I'm not blaming DaveyK. Wasn't this always on bloodspot? It accepted my posts as recently as yesterday.

Erich said...

I can certainly understand your feelings, and I support your decision, whatever it may be. I do like what you're trying this week, simply providing the link and letting the discussion flow in the comments. It lets us have our fun at the strip's expense, and spares you the headache.

Kip W [Muffaroo] said...


Adam Robert-Catt said...

I just discovered this blog and it's already ending. Welp;

Marion Delgado said...

Adam the highlights were the annual awards for worst in category given by DaveyK, the Golden Asterisks (strip author and Hoosier Bruce Tinsley uses copious amounts of the creatures) and the fact that more often than not that hyperpatriot fascist troop-worshipper would forget Veteran's Day, Memorial Day, and even, memorably, Easter - and him more Christian than thou, too. Also how often the strip would take a break from fascist simplistic political ranting to disdainfully lecture the average Americans that the strip's blurb would announce needed "a break, not a lecture"

Anonymous said...

Quit. Neither you nor your fave posters have said anything new or remotely humorous in 5 years either. The usual daily crap - "Tinsley is a drunk; Conservatives are all stupid and register only 'faux outrage'; Tinsley didn't complain when ____ did the same thing." The only difference between you and Tinsley is he is allegedly conservative and you are allegedly liberal. Same attitude of oblivious ignorance toward the Constitution and the erosion of it by successive R and D administrations.