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Saturday, August 25, 2007
Down Memory Lane
Didja hear the latest about tomorrow's Opus comic strip? It's allegedly been spiked, by some newspapers, for offensiveness. This mild effort is supposedly the forbidden strip.
But has it been spiked for being mean to Muslims? Not entirely -- there's also the spicy sex joke. Read the comic linked again. Spicy!
It'll be interesting to see who defends the spiking. I remember, long ago, when Opus was Bloom County and was actually funny. There was a series in which Steve Dallas appears in a music video. The pyrotechnics used ignite his chest hair (he used flmmable mascara, for a fluffier look), leading to a lengthy hospital stay.
In one strip, Opus is trying to get the doctor to tell him what Steve can and can't do while he's convalescing. The doctor forbids more and more improbable things, with Opus elaborately winking at him all the time. Finally the doctor pauses and says, "No fooling around." Opus turns and shouts into Steve's room, "The big one is out!"
This strip drew an outRAGEd! letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, decrying the MORAL SEWER we have lowered ourselves into, where even the comic strips wallow in FILTHY UNCHRISTIAN SEX. Won't someone THINK OF THE CHILDREN??
Strangely enough, just a few days later, I noticed that a character in Steve Nomad (or Mike Canyon, I forget) washed up in Las Vegas and speculated about "findin' a showgirl t' give me a tumble". And yet there were no outraged letters about that. Perhaps because anthropomorphic penguins are considered, by the simple-minded, to be solely the province of children.
Anyway, will the sort of right-thinking types who sneered at puckered religious moralists before, do so again? Stay tuned!
What's with abbreviations like "t'" and "th'" in comic strips, anyway? I vividly remember the "t'" in this particular panel. I used to try to read Snuffy Smith (I know, a mistake at any age) by pronouncing its t's and th's literally, and it sounded ridiculous. No one ever talked like that.
I think it's supposed to be a symbol of educational level in a character, but the only people who never pronounce "the" "thuh" or "to" "tuh" are annoying prissy-pants milquetoast characters in old movies. And they're meant to be made fun of.