It’s been years since I’ve watched a local television newscast, mostly because they all follow the same, predictable formula. Open with sex, violence, scandal, or an empty statement from a high-ranking public official. Then move on quickly to celebrity news, health news, weather, and sports. Close with a feel-good community story, preferably one that involves children or animals. I appreciated today’s Edge City because the toilet comment is precisely the type of thing you’d never hear on a local newscast. I wish that weren’t the case, but such is the sad state of affairs in the press.
Archive for March, 2008
This has been a banner week for strange comics, capped off by this thoroughly inscrutable installment of Arlo & Janis. Why has Arlo been turned into a Centaur? Why does he chase after Janis until she mounts him and points off into the distance? Why does Janice spend the final panel shoveling feces onto a flowerbed? I’m ill-equipped to find a punchline here, so I suppose the next best thing is to marvel at the strip’s sheer, unadulterated weirdness.
I think it’s safe to say that most people drool on their pillow from time to time, so I’m not sure I identify with the desire to hide said drool by washing one’s pillowcase in the middle of the night. But I can definitely appreciate the bizarre world of Broom Hilda; a world where this sort of compulsion is so widespread that it creates a line at the washing machine. I especially like the way this strip argues against the obvious alternative of turning the pillow over by suggesting that neglected spit will eventually turn into mushrooms.
Who says competitive poetry can’t be entertaining? I’ve been in the audience at three National Poetry Slam events, and all of them featured lively readings in front of decidedly young audiences. There were judges, scorecards, and even a crew from 60 Minutes at one of the events. That said, poetry isn’t mainstream (unless you count hip-hop), so I can understand why Fillmore’s Poetry Olympics might be relegated to Public Access TV. But I’d still tune in, if only to see what the Haiku Hurdles were all about.
It’s late March and the Major League Baseball season has already started, with the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics splitting two games in Japan. But this strip doesn’t remind me of baseball (my favorite player is the obviously-not-roided-up Ichiro Suzuki) so much as it reminds me of last night’s trippy episode of South Park. Either way, it makes me chuckle.
First things first: Little Nemo in Slumberland is one of my all-time favorite strips. I still remember visiting the Milwaukee Art Museum a few years ago to see its comprehensive comics exhibit, and spending so much time in front of the Little Nemo strips that I had to rush through the last two rooms. So I appreciate the reference in today’s Cul de Sac. But what I like even more is the third panel, with its catatonic hero, its awkward use of exclamation points, and the unlikely phrase, “a bulwark of stasis in an active world.”
I’m used to seeing overt political references in the comics, especially in Rudy Park, but I was surprised to see these characters having an overt discussion about sex. There’s lots of innuendo on the comics page, but it’s rare that you’ll see the word “sex” in print, and the phrase “the sex is good too” might just be unprecedented. Hey, if parents and schools refuse to talk about it, then maybe the comics can serve as a form of sex education for teens. Then again, this strip isn’t very educational when it comes to sex. It’s much more educational when it comes to superdelegates.