Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Offenses

First, I must correct an error. In last week's post about Beloved Spouse and his upcoming surgery, I made the common English-language mistake of referring to a chaise longue as a "chaise lounge."  Quelle horreur! While the chaise is a chair for lounging, the French name actually translates to "long chair." Which is stunningly obvious, now that I think of it, and really the word "lounge" works just as well as "longue," which I would probably just mispronounce anyway. In any event, I've made the correction in the original post. I'm nothing if not punctilious.

And I would hate to offend the French.
 Speaking of offensive, there's this:

Copyright blah blah blah who cares.
This is today's edition of the comic strip "Marvin," by Tom Armstrong. If you're not familiar with it, it's the continuing adventures of a rascally toddler and his frazzled family. It's sort of like "Family Guy," except that once in a while "Family Guy" achieves some level of cultural relevance and humor. (And OK, the clip of Stewie parodying William Shatner's version of "Rocket Man" cracks me up.) 
"Marvin" is one of those long-running comic strips that has stuck around because it's not much worse than most of the other medicore comic strips out there, and even if its stable of approximately three jokes (Marvin makes a mess, Marvin makes a mess in his diaper, Marvin's parents are tired) get tiresome, well, people keep having babies, so there's a lot of turnover in its target audience of people who might find poop humor funny. And at least the jokes don't make anybody mad.

Except today. Tom Armstrong, in what febrile reality is it witty, amusing, or even tolerable to suggest that motherhood is the province of the unemployable and/or unskilled? Or that Jenny (the mom in the strip) is raising this child because every other path in her life was a dead end? Or that women who lack education or skills and also have a baby should consider it some kind of cosmic punishment for not doing more with their lives? Or that women who choose to be stay-at-home moms made that choice because really they had nothing much going for them in the workplace anyway?

There are so many ways to find this strip offensive, and only one way to find it funny, which is that within the universe of "Marvin," the baby is constantly saying things that in the real world would be uttered only by an emotionally stunted and intellectually stifled adult who hates what his artistic career has become.

On the other hand, congratulations for getting me riled up over a comic strip I normally don't even read, much less think about, Mr. Armstrong. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go see what Mark Trail is up to.

But before I do, here's one more offensive thing:  the mental image of this man...

...running naked down the hall of a $3000-a-night hotel suite.


Only in France could this man be known as "The Great Seducer." And this isn't even his first sex scandal!

Sorry, French people. I tried to be nice, but you just do these things to yourself.

1 comment:

  1. I wish my local paper would drop Marvin and give the space to something worthwhile. Marvin stopped being funny over a decade ago.


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