Category: Print/ Publishing


The American Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865, killing close to 6300,000 men and wounding  400,000 more. Countless homes were destroyed, lives and families ruined, cities devastated, and the social structure of the South dramatically altered. Not to brag, but we Americans know how to party.

"That was AWESOME! Let's shoot Ted out of the cannon next."

 This conflict did have long reaching effects that lasted for decades, most of them not good. Politically, the nation was still divided, and assassinating the president never really helps anyone except the undertaker, and the newspaper man, and the vice president, and…okay it helped a few people, but they don’t count in the grand scheme o’ things. Let us not forget the plight, segregation, and degradation of an entire race of people a century after the end of the war.

Not to mention the sterotypes they must combat against.

 The thing that gets to me the most is that people claim the American Civil War was not fought over slavery. The argument is that the Conferderacy was formed and fought for a way of life (to own slaves), to protect states’ rights (that owned slaves) and to stand in defiance of the federal government (when they didn’t want you to have slaves). There really isn’t any middle ground on this, or room for grey area. Either you’re for enslaving an entire race of people or against it. It’s pretty much black and white.

                                                                                                                                                              

What bothers me is how each side is portrayed in this conflict. Unlike the rest of the world, we Americans tend to view conflicts in terms of “good-guy”/”bad-guy”. The rest of the world tends to view things in a more practical sense. For example, at the beginning of World War II, Americans didn’t like the Germans because they were being oppressive to their conquered peoples. Great Britain didn’t like Germany simply because they were becoming too powerful on the continent and upsetting the balance of power.

Because Britain has a long tradition of caring for its conquered peoples...or colonies. Whatever.

So why is it that America views the Confederacy with a kind of admiration? We view the colonists as saintly and the British as evil overlords during the American Revolution, even though we weren’t really justified in our rebellion. We tend to view the Southern rebels as a sort of American spirit, led by gentlemen, followed by honest, noble county-boys.

With the 150th anniversary of the start of the war behind us, it seemed that everyone wanted to weigh in on the Civil War. The descendents of Confederates, people who are in the same state the Confederates were, and the descendents of slaves. The white people remembered it as a time their great-grandfathers fought for honor, statehood, and their homes. Black people remembered it as when their ancestors were no longer  dragged around in chains having their asses whipped to pulp.

People who have the Confederate flag on their trucks seem to not remember how all these little houses got all over the South.

The point of the matter that I’m trying to get at is is that history is there for us to learn from, not change so we as a nation can feel good about ourselves. The Civil War was fought for America’s soul…and to keep America’s penis as part of the Union (yep, that’s you Florida).  We need to remember that although the war was fought at the start to keep the Union together, it started over slavery and became the war to end it. If you think I’ll trying to fuel flames here or am trying to portray the South as delisional, I’m not. They are doing it all on their own. The main example I point to is the name the South refers to the Civil War. The Civil War is what it’s called in the north. The south calls it “The War Between the States” and “The War of Northern Aggression.”

"Look how agressive they are in that Fort Sumter. Get every gun known to God and blow it up."

 Obviously this entry will solve nothing: Northerners will eat at IHOP and Southerners will eat at the Waffle House. That, and the memories of the Civil War will always be biased. At least we can rest knowing that today we are united as a nation…

Oy...

        Leave a comment folks. More entries to come.

See you on The Far Side

Newspapers are slowly but surely becoming a thing of the past. With the internet becoming ever more present in our lives, people see no point in paying to read about yesterday’s news when the internet provides up-to the minute news. What about the comics in the newspaper? It seems that even they are inferior to their internet counterparts.

Internet comics are very popular. Whereas the comics in the paper come regardless whether you like them or not, internet comics are comics that you seek out because you are interested. These strips have become so popular, that they have begun to sell merchandise based on their comic.

The reason these strips have reached such fame is that they target niche markets and relate to the viewers in a personal way lacking from most newspaper comics. For example, for video gamers, there is www.cad-comic.com. For a humorous fantasy-epic, there is www.lfgcomic.com. These comics put in a lot of effort while it seems those in the newspapers have been slacking.

The comics in the newspaper seem to be stuck doing the same jokes and humor they’ve been doing for years. It’s aggravating to expect something humorous when it’s just another golf joke about how golfers destroy their golf clubs in frustration. Now, I know the comics I’m about to rag on are dear to some viewers (both of you). I know that the exaggerated flaws and characteristics that I’ll mention “make” the strip. I’m sorry, but I’m going to rip on them.

Cathy: I’ve tried to like this one, but I can’t. This woman is forever obsessed with clothing, her weight, and shoes to a ridiculous degree, and feels it’s appropriate to shout “AACCKKK!” in public. It’s never appropriate to shout that in public. This woman gets frazzled by anything, like cookies, or a pair of shoes, or her dog. I don’t think this woman is reliable in high-stress situations. And somehow she got married! I don’t think this woman who can be defeated by a summer sales woman is really reliable in high-stress situation.

Look at her problem-sloving skills!

Dennis the Menace and Marvin: When the kids in the strip never age and never change, the parents must do something drastic to make sure they don’t lose their sanity. Like Ritilin or beatings. Dennis annoys his neighbor Mr. Wilson so much that Mr. Wilson should be justified in tazoring Dennis. I am serious about this. How many times can a kid track mud in a house, break a window with a baseball, or destroy his parent’s personal things and still tack it up to “mischief?” He’s a problem child. Marvin is an annoying brat who has whipped both his parents at the age of 2. That is new-age parenting for you.

Family Circus: I know this is a slice of innocence, but that’s just it…it’s innocent to the point of blissful ignorance. The children sound downright retarded when they call “lightning” “Mother Nature’s fireworks”. So they probably think the  sinkhole in Guatemala is…you know, I’m gonna leave that one alone. These kids are also completely innocent and delightful, as if cut off from every form of news and their parents never have have an argument. This is the world Sarah Palin dreams of.

And he has more viewers than me.

Sally Forth: It is a funny strip, but the husband/father has no backbone. The man never stands up for himself to anyone (that includes his daughter), has no friends, and is regarded but everyone as a hopeless loser. I like the movie The Last Starfighter (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7NaxBxFWSo) as well and that doesn’t make me hopeless (I hope).

Heathecliff: The cat doesn’t chase mice, constantly cheats or is kicked out of sporting events, knocks over garbage, fights with everything, and has a dad who is in jail and constantly escapes. Why is the dad in jail? Is he a murderer? A burgular? An Enron executive? The truth must come out. 

Annie: I am sorry it ended, but any kid who goes through what Annie has and can only say “Gee whiz!” when someone pulls a gun on her (again) is repressing some serious stuff. She’s going to end up in therapy or a retreat of some sort when she’s 16.

Notice: no soul.

Garfield: It’s. Not. Funny. Lasaga could be funny, maybe once. The whole strip is about a cat living a perfect life devoid of responsibility, eating, and abusing it’s owner relentlessly. Any cat owner will tell you that they don’t need to read the strip since their cat does the exact same stuff to them.

 Anyway, here’s where you guys come in. What’s the comic strip you love to read and which one do you hate? What would you do for the comics page?

P.S. – I think you should watch this trailer from the E3 conference:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBGvAJ6-SsY