Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Comics of the Day (On time edition!!!)


This is basically a visual strip, but the visual is very poorly drawn. I stared at this this for several minutes before I realized that Jeremy's cheeks had stretched out. Even when I got the joke, it isn't very funny. And what is up with the phrase "math cheeks?" A bad strip all around, which is unusual for Zits, as it's generally closer to the good end of the spectrum.
Runners up: Mother Goose & Grimm, Red and Rover, Family Circus, For Better or For Worse, Dennis the Menace (Calvin and Hobbes did this same joke, only much better; it's sad when you're ripping off a strip that's younger than your own)
Very much a role reversal today. Zits, which is generally good, wins worst, Beetle Bailey, which is usually bad, wins best. This strip is a little awkward, because you would expect the garbage dump to stink, and because I have a hard time picturing any of my grandparents saying "don't go there," but the punchline was cute, and the competition wasn't very stiff today.
Runners Up: Single and Looking & Agnes (both way cooler than my Halloween costume), Non-Sequiter (if Danae weren't about ten and a comic strip character, I would marry her), Frank and Ernest

Comics of the Day (belated Monday edition)


The premise is that guys are dumb enough to poke dangerous animals.

Runner up: Close to Home


I love Lio because of the expressiveness of the art. By eliminating the dialogue, Mark Tatulli forces himself to become even more expressive with his pictures. The moths coming out of the wallet are what really grabbed my attention.

Runner up: Sally Forth (I am loving the Ted stands up to Sally's mom storyline)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Comics of the Day (belated Sunday edition)

Lots of candidates for the worst strip on Sunday but the winner is

because nothing's funnier than innapropriate jokes about fat people. Hagar the Horrible is a close runner-up for perpetuating the horrible opera stereotype.
Runner ups: Hagar the Horrible, Beetle Bailey, Family Circus (you'll see this one here a lot)


I loved this strip on a lot of levels. First the question "Do you mind if I bemoan my fate?" might be the awesomest question ever. Second, the classification of people into haikus or limericks is brilliant. Third, I am a gentle haiku in love (but I'm recovering!) with a dirty limerick. Fourth, Trout's attitude toward Agnes (taking everything in stride) is a great representation of the fun dynamic of friendship that they have. The strip basically contains three really fun, awesome lines.

Runners up: Lio (this strip reminds me of the serial composers...ask me why sometime), Get Fuzzy (should lose points for having four static panels, but the artwork is so good Darby Conley can usually get away with it), Cul-de-Sac, Doonesbury (I think I related to it because we do this type of reframing a lot with the kids I work with)

Private vs. Public

The Post on Sunday included an article about Como Elementary School in Mississippi, which included the following:
About 25 percent or more of the population is white, but only a handful of whites -- about 1 percent -- attend the public schools. Many instead attend Magnolia Heights, a private academy.
Como Elementary's student body is 99 percent black, and most of the students live in poverty, many in tattered mobile homes.

Magnolia Heights seems like a nice school. Most kids go on to college, they seem to have a lot of extra curricular activities, a lot of parental involvement, including a planned giving campaign that pays for things like new computers and upgraded sports facilities, and the school is very white. Magnolia Heights was founded in 1970. School desegregation in Mississippi began (after years of stalling by any tactic available) began in 1970.

I don't disagree with private schools in theory, but part of the reason Como Elementary is the worst school in the country (the premise of the article), is almost certainly related to the fact that so many concerned, active parents are drained out of the public schools by Magnolia Heights and other private schools. It is unjust for parents to pull their children, and by extension their time and energy, from public schools because of school quality. It is better to solve the problem than to enable it with your behavior.

Of course it's easy for me to get on my soapbox when I don't have any kids, and don't have to wrestle with this incredibly tough decision myself.


Being in the 18% of Evangelical Christians who did not vote for George Bush in 2004, I find the intersection of religion and politics to be fascinating. My faith is deeply entwined with my politics, but unlike many Christians, I refuse to let one or two hot button issues define the morally correct side of politics. I do wish we could lessen the number of abortions (although I believe making it illegal is a very foolish way to do this), but this one issue does not make the Republicans a Christian party. Issues of justice (poverty, pollution's disproportionate affect on the poor and people of color, the marginalization of groups of people (the poor, people of color, gay or transgendered people, women), general environmental quality, an end to violence) are major religious issues too. Michelle Boorstein does an excellent job summarizing the discontent with the GOP in the article:
Pollsters and political scientistssay some religious voters who supported Bush now feel discouraged, either by the war in Iraq , or by the rich-poor gap, or because they feel he didn't go far enough on the hot-button social issues they cared about, such as abortion and gay marriage. And new issues have risen in importance for religious voters that are not seen as GOP priorities, such as the environment.

Comics of the Day (belated Saturday edition)

One of the features I hope to include regularly is the Best and Worst Comics of the day. I tracked for my own personal edification for a month last year, and found the exercise very fascinating. It made me take a more critical look at the comics, it made me realize how good or bad some comics are, and it was fun. Some ground rules: only comics published in the Post count, only comics that attempt to be humorous count (so no Judge Parker, Spider-Man or Mark Trail, which aim to be serious; no Zippy the Pinhead, which aims to be weird).


The reason I hate this current series in Mother Goose & Grimm is that it is based on an outdate cultural reference. I had to look up who Leonna Helmsley was, and I'm generally a very literate person who gets a lot of outdated references. The number of people under thirty who know who Leonna Helmsley was must be very small, and this ruins the joke. If it were Paris Hilton's dog, it would at least be accessible and kind of relevant (although still a waste of news print).

Runners Up: Close to Home (bad joke, worse art), Beetle Bailey, Hagar the Horrible, For Better or For Worse (overdone sentimentality)


I'm torn on this one. Get Fuzzy had the best joke (might as well give liberals boxing gloves), although as usual, it was not the punch line but a throw away line in the middle of the strip. Pooch Cafe made me smile, although the joke is not exactly sophisticated. I think the just checking punchline expressed the idea behind the strip perfectly. But I really just liked Mutts today. I don't normally enjoy Mutts overdone cuteness, but this one was nice. Maybe because I'm in a position where I wish love could bloom between to generally incompatible people.

Runners Up: Get Fuzzy, Pooch Cafe

Quote of the Day (belated Saturday edition)

One of seven children born to a minister and a baker, Nuamah never studied dance; no one did in Ghana, she said. She simply copied traditional dances and made up her own, earning several dance competition titles.

"It was pure talent," she said. "When you're good, you're good."

I absolutely loved this quote by Kukuwa Nuamah, for the total lack of humility displayed. Having said the same thing about my intelligence, I can understand where she's coming from. An honest assessment of your talent does not preclude humility. Humility is more displayed in your actions and your attitudes towards others. I am smarter than most people, that does not make me better than them. Nuamah is a better dancer than most people, that does not make her better than them.

Metapost: The Beginning

The purpose of this project is to provide an outlet for writing, a way to polish the writing skills I haven't really used since college. I grew up reading the Washington Post, and it seemed like a good way to structure my writing. I will post when I post, although the goal is to write enough to make this project worth while. Enjoy.