Last Word on The Passion

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I think it's safe to say that a cultural thread is utterly frayed when it comes down to protesting a Mallard Fillmore comic strip. From the Boston Globe, in response to an April 26 strip that you, I, and all of America except for Mr.–excuse me, Dr.–Morgentaler somehow overlooked:

'Fillmore' offends
April 27, 2004

I AM OUTRAGED by Bruce Tinsley's comic strip "Mallard Fillmore" (April 26) in which he triumphantly suggests that "The Passion of the Christ" has failed to produce predicted reports of violence (April 26). As a child of Holocaust survivors and as someone who was accused of being a Christ-killer as a child because I was Jewish, I am appalled at Tinsley's gloating. The violence of racism of any stripe happens in so many ways, even in the absence of dramatic events (so far) such as the burning of a temple.

Is there any reason why readers of the Globe are subjected to Tinsley's ignorance and insensitivity?

ABRAHAM MORGENTALER
Associate clinical professor of surgery
Harvard Medical School

In a related story, The New Yorker asks, "Why do editors keep throwing ?The Boondocks? off the funnies page?" Better questions would include: Why don't editors keep it off the funnies page? And why don't they strangle Mallard Fillmore while they're at?

NEXT: Holy City of Najaf

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  1. Just to amplify the point that other posters have touched on:

    “Mallard Fillmore”, although sometimes funny, is pretty much a one-trick pony in terms of liberal bashing. “Doonesbury” and “The Boondocks”, while definitely left-wing, do go after liberals and radicals on occasion. Indeed, some of “The Boondocks'” most cutting strips have been those that ridicule Black pop culture. I can’t think of a “Mallard Fillmore” strip pointing out how insipid the “Left Behind” series is or anything equivalent.

    (Incidentally, in Denver the local paper that carries “The Boondocks” has asked readers several times if it should be moved to the editorial pages and each time the demand has been overwhelmingly to keep it in the comics section.)

  2. The leaders of that camp, Gibson and his production team, made several edits to the film in order to take out the parts that were considered the most inciteful.

    It is invalid to claim that cutting these unspecified parts from the film made the difference between nothing happening at all and Christian middle America going on some frothy rabid crusade against the Jews. Regardless of that fact, the people who said “you’re overreacting” to the many pundits (who never saw this “director’s cut” and just got their panties in a bunch when they saw the word “Passion”) were still correct.

  3. Great, we go from whether or not one’s politics fits on a bumber sticker, to whether it can fit in a 3 panel comic strip.

  4. More posts from Mr Nice Guy, please!

  5. Much like that other dreary humanity-hater, Harvey Pekar, MacGruder doesn’t even draw his own strips. If you aren’t sick enough of Boondocks yet, just wait: it’s coming to Fox, in animation.

  6. Boondocks coming to Fox??? So much for the notion that Rupert Murdoch is right-wing propagandist.

    However, we know that when they put the blatently anti-captialist Simpsons on the air.

  7. Discuss: Why are leftist considered to have a sense of humor, while conservatives are not?

  8. Mark S: The Simpsons may be “anti-capitalist”, but Fox showing them is very capitalist. Besides, the Simpsons is about as left wing as King of the Hill is right wing. I always found it funny that Fox shows the most base and demeaning shows, but is still beloved by Bible thumpers (at least their news division). Don’t they realize that watching Fox helps crap like Joe Millionaire and the Swan to be aired?

  9. Mo: Point taken. I just found it ironic; like the Che Guevera T-Shirts I saw selling for $18 at Hot Topic.

  10. >>

    i don’t know. both are essentially hilarious.

    in the aquinas sense of the word. 🙂

  11. John Bergstrom’s the only funny conservative cartoonist I’ve found. http://www.attackcartoons.com/ I’m sure that a lot of people here will appreciate his mocking “Libertarian Man” strips. Sadly, he’s stopped updating, but the archives are still a good read.

  12. You beat me to it, Jennifer. Thanks for giving Bil Keane a well-deserved kick in the balls. I’ve got several dozen Family Circus cartoons that are funny–I know, because I wrote the new captions for them myself (e.g., changing the names of Not Me and Ida Know to Eat Me and Fuck You, Bitch).

    As for Fillmore, he was funny sometimes back when the Republicans were in the oppostion. His spoof of liberal news anchors wringing their hands over “anti-government extremists” in the 1770s was priceless. For that matter, Rush was funny sometimes back in the ’90s. But being in the position of daily apologist for whatever the current administration does really racks the shit out of your credibility.

  13. Click on the URL for the best current source (that I know of) for funnier-than-the-original Family Circus captions.

  14. When someone protests against a celebration of people’s ability to coexist without violence, the discussion has reached rock bottom, whether a comic strip is involved or not.

    Mallard Fillmore was funny in its first year or two of existence, then Tinsey turned it into an editorial cartoon and buried the libertarian tendencies that occasionally surfaced in the early cartoons.

    Oh, BTW, I’m posting from Harvard.

  15. Is there any reason why readers of the Globe are subjected to Tinsley’s ignorance and insensitivity?

    Because in this country we have the right to express unpopular opinions. Even in the People’s Republic of Cambridge.

    Morgentaler should shove it up his ass. The camp that was saying, “you’re overreacting” has thus far been proven correct. It is not surprising that a few cartoonists noticed that. I thought the cartoon mildly amusing myself.

  16. Aaron McGruder’s politics can be obnoxious sometimes, but in the strip he’s an equal opportunity offender, and he rarely lets ideology get in the way of a good joke. It sure beats Hi & Lois.

    Here’s a good recent one.

  17. But isn’t the real issue here that “Mallard Fillmore” is ridiculously unfunny? That’s the real crime. If this is supposed to be the Conservative answer to Doonesbury the Right is in real trouble. Boondocks (which has really goned downhill I admit) and Doonesbury are biased but at least the mouthpieces within the cartoon have their characters fleshed out a little bit. Mallard Filmore is hardly more than a collection of Rush’s throway lines. Where is the Peter Bagge of the dailies?

  18. Peter Bart has a hell of a last word, criticizing the NYT’s Augusta/Martha Burk-esque coverage…

  19. “For that matter, Rush was funny sometimes back in the ’90s. But being in the position of daily apologist for whatever the current administration does really racks the shit out of your credibility.”

    And back in 1992… it was all “Rush is finished now that the Dems are in power… he’ll stop being popular and funny.”

  20. The creator of “Boondocks” is an angry, hypersensitive, humourless man who takes himself far too seriously? What a shock.

  21. Mallard Fillmore’s worthless, but I wouldn’t say Doonesbury’s characters are “fleshed out.” That strip has been lifeless for decades.

    Speaking of McGruder:

    ?I don?t go to the cartoonist conventions,? McGruder said. ?I went once, to the Reuben Awards??the Oscars of cartooning??and I didn?t feel very welcome. I felt a palpable sense of resentment. Bil Keane was the m.c., and he opened doing more than one joke that was clearly aimed at me. It was raw?just some fucked-up shit. O.K., and yet, if I get out of my chair right now and beat the shit out of you, then I?m the bad guy? You?re sitting here, clearly dogging me?not by name, but how many black cartoonists are working? He told some joke about diversity in comics. Like ?There?s a lot of diversity in comics these days. They don?t have to be funny, they just have to be diverse.? There were a couple of shots at me where I was like, ?Motherfucker, you don?t know me. We?re not cool.??

    He let Bil Fucking Keane get under his skin? What a loser.

  22. Walk a mile, Josh, the guy felt like he was being singled out for crude ridicule by a speaker in front of a group he was in the midst of. I think most folks would find that offensive and discomforting. Sure, lines like “consider the source” and “take it with a grain of salt” make for good advice. But sometimes they’re easier said than done. For all of us.

    Re Mallard Fillmore, I agree it’s fairly worthless. And this from someone who’d choose Thomas Sowell over Molly Ivins any day of eternity, so it’s not simply because of my politics.

  23. I’d say Bil Keane was the loser, for using his MC duties as an excuse to insult those comic artists he doesn’t like. And for Bil Keane to insult someone for being non-funny is like Bill Clinton insulting someone for being an unfaithful spouse.

  24. “In a related story, The New Yorker asks, “Why do editors keep throwing ?The Boondocks? off the funnies page?” Better questions would include: Why don’t editors keep it off the funnies page?”

    I don’t laugh at “Boodocks” quite as much as I used to, but I still do (Disclaimer, I am a white rabble rouser and dedicated s..t disturber). May I assume that Mr. Gillespie is taking a stance AGAINST the free market and the first amendment, just as Mr. Morgentaler seems to do? I do not imagine that with how many people are disturbed by Boodocks, that the papers would keep printing it if it didn’t have a fan base.

    C’mon Libertarians, lets all join the fight against “Things that offend us personally”, just like the conservatives and liberals. Hoo Graa Nickikins.

  25. “Last Word on The Passion”

    Is that a promise?

  26. Jennifer: What are you talking about?! Bil Keane is hilarious!! I’m amazed that he is still funny after all these years. Sure, he has done that “walking-lines all over town” bit about a thousand times, but it only means that I’m laughing a thousand times. Today’s comic is a typical gem. Billy is holding a coloring book, and asks “Can I have crayons for a knight, a princess, and a dragon?”. Don’t kids say the funniest things? See, it’s funny because Billy fails to see the unlimited coloring possibilities of a crayon. He assumes that there are special crayons for specific characters. He’s a fucking moron!! BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA I’m dying here!! BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA

  27. BWA-haha-hahahaha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha

    choke

    ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha haha-hahahahaha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha haha-hahahahaha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha haha-hahahahaha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha haha-hahahaha

  28. HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HAHA-HA-HA-HA BWA-HA-HA-HAHA-HA-HA-HA-HA BWA-HA-HA-HA-HAHA-HA-HA-HA-HA (GASP) BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HAHA-HA-HA-HA BWA-HA-HA-HAHA-HA-HA

  29. ‘The camp that was saying, “you’re overreacting” has thus far been proven correct.’ The leaders of that camp, Gibson and his production team, made several edits to the film in order to take out the parts that were considered the most inciteful.

    Bill Keane sounds like a real prick.

    About half of Boondock’s humor is apolitical (Huey writing “Thug For Life” backwards on his belly because he did it in the mirror), and at least half of the political humor is targetted towards radicals/black nationalists themselves.

  30. This republican Duck is just that, It is used as a cover. It is propaganda 101. Having a cartoon character speak for you isolates the the person making the comment. Using this propaganda technique, this cartoon seems to feel more free to put out cartoons that are highly slanderous, insulting, and outrageous.

    The rite side should not complain about being disliked. When your hate produces thinks such as this mallard trash, what do you expect?

    I tolerated this duck until the anthrax attack on specific Democrats, and the Postal system. I say specific, because this mallard cartoon slammed the same people, and institutions for several weeks before this attacks, All mallard political attacks stopped for a long period after the anthrax incident. HMM. The proof is in your duck cartoons, I saved them.

    I feel that this republican duck, at the least, caused some right sided xtian nut out there to act. There is just too much similarity for this to be a coincidence. All the same groups that this cartoon attacked, several weeks prior to the attack, got the anthrax. So, if you want to help stop terroist attacks, clean up the content of this cartoon.

    I resent the attacks on Public schools, the Postal System, and other national institutions that the greedy are anxious to get a piece of. I can remember that these institutions were all fine until the republicans and their co-conspiriters tampered with them. We are not all stupid and blind.

    I, and many others are sick and tired of all the Elephant poop that is being dropped everywhere. It’s time to remove it and make the US a peaceful, and honorable country again.

    PS, I was a registered Republican until all the “special” interest groups, and the haters, jumped on board in the mid 80s.

  31. This republican Duck is just that, It is used as a cover. It is propaganda 101. Having a cartoon character speak for you isolates the the person making the comment. Using this propaganda technique, this cartoon seems to feel more free to put out cartoons that are highly slanderous, insulting, and outrageous.

    The rite side should not complain about being disliked. When your hate produces thinks such as this mallard trash, what do you expect?

    I tolerated this duck until the anthrax attack on specific Democrats, and the Postal system. I say specific, because this mallard cartoon slammed the same people, and institutions for several weeks before this attacks, All mallard political attacks stopped for a long period after the anthrax incident. HMM. The proof is in your duck cartoons, I saved them.

    I feel that this republican duck, at the least, caused some right sided xtian nut out there to act. There is just too much similarity for this to be a coincidence. All the same groups that this cartoon attacked, several weeks prior to the attack, got the anthrax. So, if you want to help stop terroist attacks, clean up the content of this cartoon.

    I resent the attacks on Public schools, the Postal System, and other national institutions that the greedy are anxious to get a piece of. I can remember that these institutions were all fine until the republicans and their co-conspiriters tampered with them. We are not all stupid and blind.

    I, and many others are sick and tired of all the Elephant poop that is being dropped everywhere. It’s time to remove it and make the US a peaceful, and honorable country again.

    PS, I was a registered Republican until all the “special” interest groups, and the haters, jumped on board in the mid 80s.

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