Archive: Pluggers

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Slylock Fox, 5/16/22

My intense study of the post-animalpocalypse world of Slylock Fox has been ongoing for sixteen years now, but every day we are still learning new things about how this society works. For instance, as we humans understand law and justice, Slylock is surely an agent of the government: he works directly for high regime officials, and has the authority to both investigate and prosecute crimes. Yet here we see him in the process of investigating insurance fraud, something that in our own economic system would be considered a civil matter. This hints that their government and law enforcement have a broader reach than ours do: maybe the regime believes they have an obligation to protect corporate bodies against harm just as they protect animal citizens against violence, or perhaps the insurance industry is itself wholly state-run rather than in the hands of private entities. These are rich avenues for study and more than justify the renewal of my academic research grant, so hopefully that check will be coming my way soon.

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 5/16/22

Sometimes, when you’re the producer of a media product that’s been running literally since the Wilson Administration and whose whole main shtick is a fairly problematic series of running jokes at the expense of some of America’s most economically desperate citizens, you need to spend a week or so getting new readers up to speed on your characters and letting them know why they should care about them. For instance, did you know that Snuffy Smith refuses to help around the house, and is also deeply in debt? Tune in this week for eight more endearing (?) facts about this dwarfish, potato-nosed rascal!

Pluggers, 5/16/22

Pluggers cannot bat away the constant, intrusive thoughts about death, because they’re aging and physically declining and will themselves be dead soon. That’s it! That’s the whole joke!

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Hi and Lois, 5/14/22

As readers of this blog well know, I like that Thirsty has in recent years been allowed to once again be the moderately functional alcoholic he was intended to be when this strip launched in the ’50s. Sometimes this is the crux of the joke, but sometimes it just adds to the strip’s flavor. Like, it’s funny that Thirsty is standing next his friend like, “Doing a chore, huh? Couldn’t be me” but it’s funnier that he’s probably had a buzz on since about 10 am.

Mary Worth, 5/14/22

I certainly hope that Helen has slipped her resignation letter under the door of the School Management office and is heading out of Santa Royale forever tonight. How could you ever show your face around town if people knew you held lifelong feelings for Ian? Toby, of course, is far beyond human shame now, but Helen must still have a shred of dignity.

Pluggers, 5/14/22

You’re a plugger if your life isn’t worth living anymore because the only people who still talk to you are the ones coordinating the elaborate series of pharmaceutical interventions necessary to keep you alive.

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Pluggers, 5/11/22

The historian Ronald Syme wrote that the Emperor Augustus, who died at 77, “outlast[ed] the friends, the enemies, and even the memory of his early days,” and I think about that a lot as I get older, about the way that, if you’re lucky enough to live to a ripe old age, you become something of an alien, as the world you grew up in recedes further and further in the past. And what do you get by way of compensation? Well, there’s more life, I suppose, which is not to be sneezed at. And old age maybe takes the edge off a bit by softening our vision and our minds, so we come to perceive the world through a comforting and gradually thickening haze. Unfortunately, modern society and so-called “advanced” medicine has allowed us to reverse this process, so that we can see, with abrupt clarity, the ruin that we have become. As usual, Pluggers, a strip I have been forced to respect more and more, has given me much to think about today.

Gil Thorp, 5/11/22

Speaking of seeing, Nolan Ryan could see, so I don’t know what to tell you, kid. God bless Scooter for sticking up for his tragically blind friend, but as a guy who was once a loser tween who blurted out some ill-thought-out defenses of his fellow losers, I can guarantee you that he will only feel more embarrassed in the coming innings, as Valley Tech sends Greggg flailing aimlessly at bunt after bunt after bunt that he can only hear.

Dustin, 5/11/22

“Can you imagine? It’s 2022! How would we even cash it?”