I used to be able to recite the Jabberwocky. Then I came across Isabelle Di Caprio’s Jabber-Whacky, and ever since then I can’t get it right anymore… I’ll get two lines in and then find myself saying, “All Pillsbury were the Taystee loaves,” and people start looking at me funnier than usual.
Nate: I’m just saying that those kind of jokes are played out. Yes, Fox News and Mallard Fillmore are unbelievably biased, but MSNBC and Doonesbury are exactly the same, only on the opposite side of the political spectrum.
@Crunchy Frog – MAD Magazine did a Jabberwocky parody a long time ago using video game words. Now I can’t help but recite their version. “‘Twas Billy, and the Shyguy Clones/Did Grax and Grumple in the Kraid/All Lizzie were the Hanger Zones/and Phanto Renegade.”
Equating MALLARD FILLMORE & DOONESBURY is like equating Stephen King & Dickens. DOONESBURY is an intelligent, sensitive strip that rarely stoops to cheap shots, that has characters from across the political spectrum, & that has developed characters for forty years.
MALLARD FILLMORE, on the other hand, distorts facts & simplifies issues merely to take cheap shots at anyone with whom the author disagrees. It has no characters, simply straw men.
Matthew: You misinterpreted what I said. I didn’t say that Mallard’s charcters were deep and free of bias? I was saying that Doonesbury also, as you put it, “distorts facts & simplifies issues merely to take cheap shots at anyone with whom the author disagrees.”
No, Jim, PLEASE read what you wrote. I don’t have time for a silly back-&-forth with you. You said that EVERYTHING I said about MALLARD FILLMORE “can be said about Doonesbury”, and I suppose that it CAN, but to say that DOONESBURY “has no characters, simply straw men” is as false as saying that the Earth is flat, but you CAN say that, too, if you want.
Now, if you want to contend that DOONESBURY “distorts facts & simplifies issues merely to take cheap shots at anyone with whom the author disagrees”, then please point to some DOONESBURY strips that hold distorted facts.
Our Galaxy, ya see, is a spiral (technically, multiple nested spiral.)
Doonesbury rests at one end of the spiral, that is to say, dead center. While it started out as a college strip, its grown over the years to occupy the American centrist maintream (…or maybe the mainstream grew … who can say?) Look at his coverage of our recent wars; not one other cartoonist has taken a more serious (albeit often lighthearted) look at what they mean to the troops on the ground.
Mallard OTOH lies, with the 1st Foundation, far at the other end of the spiral, out where there is mostly darkness and a few dim stars (technically, balls of flaming gas.)
Matthew: If I point them out, what’s to say that you won’t ignore the distortions because of your bias?
I think the only reason you’re ticked off with me is because I criticized both a right-leaning comic AND a left-leaning comic. Kind of like when I say that both FOX and MSNBC are heavily biased. You don’t mind when I speak badly about the former, but you don’t want to hear anything bad about the latter because that caters to your views.
But hey, if it makes you feal any better, you can take a shot at the publications I subscribe to. Say something nasty about Reason magazine if it’ll make you feel better.
Funny thing, it’s not actually the politics that makes this work for me. It’s the fact that the strip has a journalist duck who gets in front of a camera or sits in front of a television quite frequently to rant his political views. Regardless of what they are, it is vastly improved when it switches to classic lit. Especially because it switches to absurd classic lit, and not something from the opposite political spectrum.
I think the point Matthew was trying to make was not necessarily about the politics of the two strips; they do come at their subjects from different ends of the spectrum. Rather it was that Doonesbury tells stories with more-or-less fully-realized characters and in the telling of stories gets its unique point of view across. Mallard Fillmore, on the other hand, tells no stories and has no fully-realized characters. It just makes more-or-less direct observations based upon the author’s unique point of view. My personal preference is to follow stories and characters rather than be subjected to someone’s unvarnished opinion — regardless of the politics involved.
Beware the Tinsleybruce, my son!
The ducks that bite, the talking points that snatch!
Beware the drunkdrunk bird, and shun
The frumious Mallardsnatch!
Hm, okay, I’m not as good at this as I think I am. I’m still better than Tinsley could ever hope to be, though. I don’t agree with his viewpoints, but that doesn’t make his comic bad – it’s his utter lack of talent that makes his comic bad. I’ve looked at a lot of convservative cartoon’s for fairness’ sake, and most of them are at least better drawn than what Tinsley does(emphasis on “most” – look up Joe Liccar on google, then weep for the fact that he’s employed somewhere and countless more deserving cartoonists aren’t), and they do try to make decent jokes or at least make a stronger point than Tinsley ever dares to.
Yes, Tyler, part of my point is that DOONESBURY is thoughtfully & artfully done, and one demonstration of that thoughtfulness & artfulness is the development of growing, multi-dimensional characters, while MALLARD FILLMORE uses characters simply didactically as straw men in service of the author’s political inclination. DOONESBURY’s politics rarely stoops to cheap shots, and it bases its contentions & accusations on facts.
Besides the character of B.D., could MALLARD FILLMORE do anything like what DOONESBURY did with its eponymous hero? Mike Doonesbury supported John Anderson in 1980, voted Republican in 1994, & supported Steve Forbes in 1988, which brought him his fascinating wife, Kim. He supported Joe Lieberman in the 2004 primaries & has recently, because of the egregious criminality (my words, not Mike’s) of Bush-Dick returned to leaning to the left.
In its more overtly political strips, DOONESBURY has lambasted both Republican & Democrats.
Isn’t the so-called “cheap shot” necessarily one of the arrows in the quiver of the political satirist? Problems ensue when that’s the only arrow in the quiver. (Mallard could benefit from realizing that another arrow is “jokes.”)
I think Trudeau himself said that criticizing a satirist for being unfair is like criticizing a nose guard for being physical. A satirist is supposed to have a distinct point of view. A smart and effective satirist is able to be insightful enough to present a point of view that doesn’t conform lock-step to the talking points of a particular political party. (Doonesbury accomplishes this; Mallard doesn’t.) Over the course of history, after all, Doonesbury has managed to make Presidents Carter and Clinton look ridiculous; try to imagine Mallard doing that to Bush.
Trudeau does stumble sometimes, as any daily strip artist is bound to do; I thought his savaging of Ralph Nader felt like it was in the service not of satire but of the Committee to Elect John Kerry. And his Brett Kimberlin strips were, in retrospect, ill-advised.
But those errors are minor in the face of having created what is arguably the most nuanced, complex and artful example of sustained serial fiction ever conceived. Not for nothing was William F. Buckley a grudging admirer of its craft.