This strip reminds me of the time I spent following professional wrestling in the early 1990s. Those were also recession years, and the country’s economic hardships were reflected in the ring. I have strong memories of Money, Inc., a villainous tag team comprised of the Million Dollar Man and Irwin R. Schyster (or I.R.S. for short). This hated duo bullied and cheated their way to championship glory, serving as stand-ins for the suddenly reviled upper-class. Enterprising promoters who hope to capitalize on today’s economic angst could hardly do better than Money, Inc., although El Bonus Mas Gordo might be a strong draw in his own right.
Archive for January, 2010
For a lot of people, West Side Story was part of their high school experience. This was true for me, but not as a performer. I videotaped my school’s production of the only musical contemporary audiences can stand, and got a kick out of the ambitious staging. We used a multilevel set, a chain-link fence, and decent fight scenes to augment the angst-filled story of star-crossed love. Today’s Luann reminds me of that production, and while I’m sure the strip’s “theatrical romance mirrors real-life romance” storyline will be tiresome and predictable, I’m holding out hope that it will include finger-snapping teens singing about Jets and Sharks.
As someone with the first name Dixon, I find it hard to jump on the “normal names make the best names” bandwagon. But even I have my limits. Blanket, for example, is not a good name for a child. Neither is Adolph Hitler, but that didn’t stop someone from naming their son just that. There are probably tons of other examples. I can think of Moonbeam, Canibus, and Glitter off the top of my head. These are made up names, of course, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some poor kid had to answer to them.
If I were a young boy, the idea of a huge dog standing at the foot of my bed and staring at me while I slept would make me ill at ease. In fact, the notion of a creepy, nocturnal dog monitoring my sleeping patterns gives me the willies even as an adult. My cat is five times smaller than the dog in this strip, but if I ever woke to find him standing at attention, studying me at my most vulnerable, I would be very concerned.
I attended two urban commuter schools on my way to earning a college degree, so the closest I came to frat parties were the sometimes small, sometimes enormous gatherings at my friends’ off-campus apartments. These were, by turns, fun, drunken, and rowdy, but they never reached the level of sad debauchery that typifies a random weekend at a large state school. Of course, my lack of fraternity experience hasn’t stopped me from picking up my cat by his hind legs and pushing him around like a wheelbarrow. I’ve only done this a few times, but I was sober on each occasion so I suppose there’s really no excuse for it.
Some words that should pack a punch have lost the bulk of their impact through casual use. Words like “insane” and “diabolical” have potent definitions, but their power weakens every time they’re used to describe something ordinary. Today’s Sally Forth describes the kind of terrifying and grotesque situation that would make these words appropriate. And if the horror of imagining a severed thumb isn’t enough, the strip throws in two creepy facial expressions for good measure: the man’s maniacal grin in panel two and his wife’s sly smile in panel three, complete with what could easily pass for a set of devil’s horns in the pale moonlight.
Despite being an avid Mac user, I have virtually no interest in Apple’s frothily anticipated tablet computer. Sure, I’ll read a couple of reviews, and will probably duck into the Apple Store at some point to fiddle with the tablet, but the idea of a bigger-than-an-iPhone-but-smaller-than-a-Macbook computer holds very little appeal for me. Will it serve as an e-reader? Maybe, but I’m a fan of printed books. Will it be an ideal device for gaming? Maybe, but I’ve yet to buy a single game for my iPhone. There are only two things I know for certain: the tablet will be pricey, and it will be awkward to compose text using the device’s touchscreen keyboard (or stylus, or other silly contraption). Go ahead, Apple. Prove me wrong.