Halls of book-learnin’
Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 2/13/07
For reasons I can’t explain I find the hillbilly library in panel one of this strip incredibly charming. It’s not just a thatched-roof, ill-built wooden shanty — it’s a thatched-roof, ill-built wooden shanty with a wooden monumental neoclassical entrance, complete with columns, which are presumably the trunks of local trees. It’s like the cargo cults of New Guinea: these poor mountain folks, having once been exposed to book-learnin’ during the heyday of the Tennessee Valley Authority but unable to produce any themselves, built this shell of a library and filled it with fake books in hope of recapturing the city slickers’ magic.
For Better Or For Worse, 2/13/07
In the interest of keeping foobish vitriol to a minimum, I am only going to discuss Weed’s dialogue in the second panel here; frankly, it arouses quite enough vitriol to go around. Mainly it strikes me as a particularly egregious example of Things Nobody Actually Says, to wit:
- “B.Y.O.B., right?” As the lead-off to his party description, this makes it sound like “B.Y.O.B.” is shorthand for something awesome rather than something tight-fisted that 22-year-olds do. It’s possible that it means something else in Canada, though. Like, since everyone drinks domestic beer all the time up there, this is going to be an all-import party, featuring Budweiser, Yeungling, Old Milwaukee, and a variety of beers from Belgium.
- “We line up a food trough…” Dear God, if these party-goers arrive at this party to discover to their horror that the only food available is a six-foot long, three-foot deep box of Chex Mix, I will be very, very happy.
- “…score some seats…” It’s true that Weed’s bizarrely spacious loft seems to remarkably free of sitting surfaces, other than some uncomfortable-looking ultramodern couches. However, the verb “score” conjures up a pleasing image of Weed and Mike driving in to the seedy side of Toronto, looking for this guy a friend of a friend of guy they work with knows … “Yo, I got Eames, I got Barcoloungers, I got Aeron, check it out … hey, you guys aren’t narcs, are you?”
- “…wind up the tunes…” Yes, we’ll gather ‘round the Victrola! We have the latest Dixieland platters! It will be delightful!
- “…an’ ta-daah!” I’m willing to accept dropped “d”s as a fundamental aspect of the Patterson patois, but somehow I expected better from you, Weeder.
Mary Worth, 2/13/07
Take a good look at Jeff’s facial expressions in these two panels. In the first, he’s actually grinning a little, as if he’s pleased that Mary, to the extent that she’s capable of expressing human need, is begging him to come home with her. Then she reaches out to touch his face, and he recoils in anger and disgust.
Generally speaking, a plugger will barricade himself in his bedroom, shrieking about how he’s not going to turn his motherfucking back on you for one God-damned second, you cocksucker, on the sixth day of his meth binge.