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Important teen life lessons, presented in a medium no teenager reads

Gil Thorp and Funky Winkerbean, 5/21/12

So it looks like the cross shape on Tasha’s neck that I dismissed as a shadow a few weeks back is … an elaborate cross neck tattoo after all? Which I find just a touch unrealistic, as it seems to me that any parent who thinks that “teen mother bringing her child to important events in her life” is the moral equivalent to “whore-monster seducing innocents to sluttery” wouldn’t be particularly high on her own daughter getting a large, highly visible tattoo, even if it celebrates the Lord. From this strip it looks like it might be just a big chunky earring, but take a look at the strip from a few weeks ago and explain to me how it’s supposed to be attached to anything but her neck.

Still, as ham-handed as Tasha’s mother’s disapproval is, at least the student at the center of this teen-morality plot has a name and personality and is in fact at the center of this teen-morality plot, unlike the poor gay teens of Funky Winkerbean, who exist solely to help Becky’s dad finally stand up to his wife and life companion of many years, who is awful and everyone hates her. Congrats, nameless gay teens! You may have briefly been the target of unjustified opprobrium, but you suffered that criticism to help prompt the straight father of a straight main character find his voice, and use that voice to yell at his wife in front of everyone. Savor this victory, none will be sweeter!

Mary Worth, 5/21/12

Oh, man, Mary’s world tour of self-congratulation is in full effect! Here’s Howie and Carm, whose problem wasn’t even interesting enough to merit a Mary Worth plot (and let that sink in for a second) but who have apparently popped up to make it clear that, even though we readers aren’t necessarily privy to all of Mary’s comings and goings, we should rest assured that she’s selflessly helping others at all times, even if we can’t see her.

If this were an ancient Greek tragedy (and given that most ancient Greek tragedies ended in horrific carnage, I dearly wish it were), all this Mary-congratulation would only be serving to reinforce her hubris. This would be followed by atë, the action taken by the hero that leads to her downfall. In this case, Mary, drunk with power and believing her meddling to be infallible, will run eagerly into the immovable object that is Dawn Weston’s love life.

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