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« America's Most Hated The RantsSkeptics' Circle #55 »

Duck and Cover
2007.02.24 (Sat) 11:27

We admit it — we find neo-con, er, "humor" to be so odd that it actually is funny to us, though always in a way that was never intended by the "comedian" in question. Sometimes we like to just point and stare in befuddled bemusement at these people as they spew their off-base, factually-devoid, oft-hateful diatribes which they've disturbingly labeled as "comedy." While we don't, as a rule, rubberneck at an actual traffic accident (not that our own self-control ever helps the idiots staring at a busted fender to drive faster), we often feel our necks craning when we pass by conservative train wrecks like these, and we can't help but gawk a little.

If you share this particular proclivity, then may we humbly suggest a visit to Duck and Cover. To be clear, Duck and Cover itself isn't the neo-con vitriol we were referring to above. Rather, it is a site that comments on one prime example of said vitriol. Like many comic strip commentary blogs, Duck and Cover presents an extremely specific focus: in this case, offering daily musings on the latest feverish brain-spooge that squirts forth from the mind of Bruce Tinsley on any given day.

For those of you who are unaware of him, Tinsley is the batshit insane, incoherently raving, neo-conservative cartoonist who pens the comic strip Mallard Fillmore. Please take note: we're not attempting to insult the man with our descriptive phrases — that's just a pretty damn accurate description of Bruce Tinsley. We could also throw in "raging alcoholic," but we're not that petty. (Oh, wait...did we link those out loud?)

The description of Tinsley's title character, the conservative duck reporter Mallard Fillmore, claims that he "thinks average, hardworking Americans need a break instead of a lecture." So naturally, Mallard (channeling Tinsley) provides us all with a rabid conservative screed every single day. Thanks for the break, duck.

In brief, Tinsley is basically the poor man's Bill O'Reilly — accompanied by crappy caricatures that never resemble their intended targets, and sometimes, if we're terribly unlucky, incredibly poorly executed rhymes (the man breaks the meter so much, his mangling of poetry may be intended as some form of protest against the metric system — foreigners and liberal scientists are into that crap, you know). And lest you think we are being unnecessarily harsh toward a mere cartoonist who is "trying to be funny," please note that Tinsley has definitely thrown back more than his fair share of the raving neo-con Kool-Aid. His strips regularly refer to the fictional War on Christmas, the non-existent attempts to stop Christians from practicing their religion, imaginary liberals who wax gleeful about abortions, skewed and in some cases incomprehensible takes on evolution, and of course damning the Democrats by warning that they will fuck over the middle class while ignoring the fact that the Republicans have been doing just that for the past decade. He's a typical delusional (or flat out deceitful) neo-con, and he's got his own syndicated soap box from which to spew his puzzlingly fucked up diatribes.

Recently, Tinsley/Mallard engaged in a one-man crusade to push black conservative Walter Williams (who may well be the next Chuck Norris) into the next presidential race. This crusade included publishing Williams' personal e-mail address repeatedly without any sign that he had prior approval from Williams (who was reportedly "flattered" after the fact). Apparently, Mallard (and presumably, by extension, Bruce Tinsley) psychotically thinks that this crusade had any impact on the political landscape whatsoever. Dude, suck the helium out of your ego and enjoy the buzz.

Now the duck is back to standard operating procedure: "bashing" liberals. We think. It's hard to tell, given his usual level of coherence, eloquence, and consistency (which is to say, none at all).

But we have to admit, we're firmly with Duck and Cover author DaveyK on two of this weeks' more bizarre strips — what ass is Mallard pulling this stuff out of? Tinsley/Mallard has offered up two strips in a "storyline" which seems to suggest that, aside from thinking that conservatives are some sort of alien beast, liberals — because they're, you know, liberals — really, really want their daughters dating pierced, tattooed, transgendered anarchists. And no, we're not pulling those words out of our asses; they're directly from the strip itself.

Now, to be honest, while we don't consider ourselves liberals across the board, we're certainly liberal enough that Mallard's jab is aimed at us. And while we aren't heavily into the piercing and tattooing scene ourselves, we know plenty of great folks who are, and that fact wouldn't dampen our relationships with them; same thing with the transgendered crew, who have our firm support in doing whatever it is they're into doing. And though we aren't anarchists, as far as we're concerned, they're free to rock on, too, as long as they leave us out of it (and don't try anything sneaky like overthrowing our government, at least, not if you don't have something better to put in its place when you're done).

But all that said...are we jonesing to have our daughters (or our sons — Mallard's the one painting this in a sexist light, not us) date so-called "fringe" elements, or become such themselves? Uh, no. Not for reasons of intolerance, but just because we're well aware of how difficult it can sometimes be for such folks to find acceptance and, more importantly, a lucrative career in this country, and we naturally want the best for our children. Any advantage is an advantage, kids, and if you can refrain from having your tongue cut in half until after you're settled in a well-paying job, then you've probably made a good choice. Of course, the fact that we defend the rights of any group of people, whether we personally agree with their choices or not, is a concept that is lost on people like Tinsley.

The two Mallard strips in question (and we're sure there are many more such strips in the syndication queue) are really just weird. If Tinsley had any talent and/or grasp of reality at all, perhaps the strips might be considered "ironic." Instead — and as usual — he simply sets up a straw man and ineffectively insults it. As we've been suggesting in this post: even if this straw man were accurate, the poke at this liberal for being tolerant of irrelevant personal characteristics is just silly. Bruce, honey: it's not an insult when you point out that someone isn't as narrowminded as you.

Before we get the nitpickers in here, we'll point out that we agree that the anarchist versus conservative element isn't irrelevant, being a reference to a choice of philosophical beliefs and political positions. But in that regard, we "liberals" would be hard-pressed to choose between an anarchist and a conservative — on that basis alone — when it comes to who our kids date. That is, if we really had any right to make such choices in the first place, which Mallard clearly thinks we do.

If nothing else, a daily dose of Mallard really drives home how utterly psychotic some people out there truly are — whether conservative, liberal, or anywhere in between. We really just stare at a Mallard panel for a full fifteen seconds after reading the dialogue, trying to figure out in what possible way this stuff is supposed to be funny. As was recently pointed out online (sorry, we didn't save the link for this one), it appears that Mallard is only drawn as a comic strip so that Tinsley has a chance of getting it into newspapers — because his incoherent rantings alone wouldn't even merit the classified section without colorful scribbles to accompany them. The funnies are a bit lax about their requirements, from what we've seen. Have you drawn something? Check. Did you put some sort of border around it? Check. Can we shrink it down to a few inches and still retain a modicum of legibility? Check. Welcome to syndication!

— • —

[Yes, every so often, we like to lighten things up a little here. While this post isn't nearly as light as, say, our link to the Ultimate Showdown video, it does mark our second foray in less than two months into the funny pages, and yeah, that's pretty light. Just enjoy the ride, folks, and take the opportunity to bookmark the consistently smart Duck and Cover blog for future reading! — Ed.]

— • —
[  Filed under: % Computers & the Internet  % Government & Politics  % Media & Censorship  ]

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.twopercentco.com/rants/tpc-trkbk.cgi/428

Comments (2)

Eric, 2007.02.27 (Tue) 14:15 [Link] »

When this horrible strip started appearing my local paper, at first I thought that it was SO bad that perhaps it was drawn by somebody on the left to make conservatives look like goons.

But after reading it a couple times a week, I've come to the realization that no liberal could come up with this insanity day after day. This guy is for real.

I find that fact pretty terrifying.

IYce, 2007.06.02 (Sat) 12:17 [Link] »

Did anyone else happen to notice the striking resemblence between 'Eddie' and the goldfish from American Dad. And that Mallard looks like Daffy Duck? 'Cause that's all I got out of it. The cutting relevance of the dialouge juxtaposed against the experience of modern socio-economic trends just went right over my head crazy moonlight starday love child of satan fetch my bongos please.
Shine on Tinsley, shine on you crazy, crazy diamond...
I'll stick to Dilbert for my two panel comics. At least Dilbert makes sense.

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