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« September 2011 »

Memo to the Funny Pages: THANKS, BUT NO THANKS.

Happy September 1st, 2011, everyone! It's a date that's just one "1" away from being completely fucking insufferable. But don't worry. The insufferable won't wait until the actual tenth anniversary of 9/11. An entire nation doesn't wallow in its collective butthurt for just one day. This is gonna be like Woodstock, only with hairshirts instead of hair.

I'm not saying 9/11 wasn't a tragedy, obviously. I'm just saying what I've been saying for the last ten fucking years. That the only thing with a bigger lack of perspective than America about 9/11 is whatever guy designed the 9/11 commemorative coin sold on TV. You know, the one where the Twin Towers are on a hinge and you can stand them up with the coin as a base? And then find a coin with a picture of a plane on it and throw it at the other coin to see if you can knock the towers down? That's how they marketed that coin, right? As the world's most insensitive game of "quarters" ever?

Yes, Virginia. Ten years ago, America was the victim of a single successful attack in an asymmetrical war that hardly any of us knew we were fighting in the first place. And yes, innocent victims were targeted, either because of decades of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, American bases in Saudi Arabia, or, more likely, because they happened to have them freedoms. But I can't think of a better way to give jihadists* boners than to treat it like the worst thing ever in the history of very bad things for ten consecutive fucking years.

There are going to be tributes. And many of them will suck like you would not believe. But none will suck more like you can believe less than this one. ACTUAL ANNOUNCEMENT TIME!

"With the anniversary falling on a Sunday, more than 90 cartoonists with five different syndicates have banded together to dedicate their strips on Sept. 11 to those whose lives were lost in the attacks. Sept. 11-themed strips will appear from the writers and artists of 'Family Circus,' 'Mallard Fillmore,' 'Candorville,' 'Doonesbury' and 'Pluggers,' among others."

NO THANK YOU. In fact, I bet I could take two eggs worth of Silly Putty, shove them up my ass, pull them out again, and whatever imagery it peels off the inside of my rectum would be more entertaining, moving, and fulfilling than this entire tribute event.

And that includes "Doonesbury", although of all of them, that's the one least likely to suck. Mallard Fillmore? That ought to be sensitive. How the fuck is "Pluggers" going to memorialize the tenth anniversary of 9/11? Is some old, depressed bear in a trucker's hat going to draw some connection between flaming skyscrapers and his sad, Luddite, lower-middle-class Midwestern lifestyle?

I don't know much about Candorville, but since yesterday's strip included a lamp-style iMac and an iconic, but ancient, curved phone handset, I'll assume they're commemorating 9/11 by setting the strip in the early days of the new millennium.

Do not get me started on Family Circus. Unless I see "Not Me" dressed up as Osama bin Laden, I don't even want to know what the Keane empire has in store. especially after reading this quote from current writer Jeff Keane, who has clearly been driven insane by a half-century of being portrayed as a low-functioning toddler in America's newspapers.

"Because `Family Circus' is more of a realistic look at family, and I don't necessarily have a cartoon that is a `joke a day,' but more sentimental and more emotional, it was easier for me to look at it that way."

There is a difference between "not being funny" and being "deep", Jeffy. Just because it's an awful, awful, retreaded joke, threadbare from being run through the comedy wringer once every month or so since 1960, doesn't mean it's not "a joke a day". At the risk of being Curmudgeonly, here's the most recent Family Circus available on the Internet. The kids are on a swing-set. The parents are on lawn chairs. It is either twilight, or Hurricane Irene is bearing down on an unsuspecting or uncaring Keane household. And Billy says "It's almost dark, Mommy. Shouldn't you and Daddy be goin' in the house now?"

That's not sentiment! That's not emotion! That is either another shitty fucking joke about a six-year-old trying and failing to fool his parents, or a veiled allusion to sex. Either way, I don't want to see that sensibility take on 9/11. We've had ten years of childish attitudes about it already.

*The few thousand actual ones, I mean, not "followers of Islam" or "guys with beards".