The Home-Schooled Hero

The Home-Schooled Hero
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I’m probably going to catch some flak from defensive home-schoolers because of this cartoon. I will attempt to preemptively address their concerns, because there are few things that make people angrier than suggesting that they’re raising their kids the wrong way. One of the other things is telling them their religious views are something you don’t share.

First off, I don’t have a problem with home-schooling little kids. You don’t need an education degree to recite the alphabet and teach a kid to fingerpaint. They might miss out on developing some social skills, and making friends, but the world needs a new generation of sheltered weirdoes to become its next cartoonists.

Through junior high and high school, I must’ve had two or three dozen different teachers in various subjects. Some where shitty, some were great, but most knew how to teach their specific field because they spent years with it. I don’t think a parent can do the work of 20 or so people, who probably have hundreds of years of cumulative experience, by reading a couple of books and downloading some lesson plans.

What do I know? I don’t have kids. If I ever do, I hope I would send them to school and raise them free range style. But they say money and having children are the two things that can turn liberals into conservatives.

Here’s a relevant sketch from The Whitest Kids U Know:

Next Week: Baseball’s Not-So-Greats

Matt Groening On Alt-Weekly Comics

The AV Club interviews Matt Groening and asks him about the future of alt-weekly comics:

AVC: Speaking of dying media, how do you think comics like Life In Hell are going to adapt?

MG: Speaking as an alternative newsweekly cartoonist, we’re at the bottom of the food chain. We’re hoping that weekly newspapers don’t go the way of dime novels. It may be that the time has come and passed, but I don’t know. I hope not. It seems to me that if you have a publication with a strategy, with some enthusiasm, and some design sense, I think there is a way of keeping it alive.

AVC: Do you think it will become just a web phenomenon?

MG: It’s possible. I personally like the idea of newspapers. It’s a good format. You can read it in whatever order you want. You can glance at it. There is something about a single screen and scrolling through pages that just doesn’t have the same appeal. But I don’t have a Kindle yet, so maybe I’ll change my mind. [Laughs.]

Life in Hell is the reason Big Fat Whale exists. It blazed a trail for all the other alt-weekly comics that followed, and helped shape my sense of humor. It’s also the reason BFW is a giant square instead of a more marketable rectangular strip. When I started the comic, I was clumsily aping Groening’s LiH, but with a whale instead of a rabbit.

Thankfully BFW grew into its own thing, but the square format remains a constant reminder of Groening’s influence.

Thoughts on Obama’s Presser

There were some good questions in there, but none were from the left. Questions such as, “Krugman says Geithner’s plan is taxpayer ass-rape, on a scale of micropenis to John Holmes, how big is the dong this toxic asset plan shoves up our asses?”

It goes without saying that all the conservative questions have been mentioned and refuted a billion times before. Here’s how I would’ve answered some of those dummies’ questions. I’m paraphrasing, of course.

“There’s going to be lots of debt in 8 or 10 years!” Is that right Doc Brown? If there is not substantial economic growth by then, which is what your projections assume, we will all be eating shit sandwiches under bridges, all of which collapsed due to our neglected and unfunded infrastructure.

“Stem cells are people!” Did you just get here from 2003 on that other guy’s time machine? Stem cells are a microscopic clump from a lady who was recently fuckin’ or they come from a petri dish in a fertility factory. It’s 2009 and this is only debated by folks who believe in magic.

Chinese Communists! dollar, dollar bills, yo.” Communism didn’t make all those shitty toys and killer milk. Also, for communists, they sure aren’t sharing any of their money.

Your Health and You

Your Health and You
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Last month I found out that my cholesterol is a little high, so I had to start paying attention to my diet. Somehow I forgot that 6 eggs and a brick of Cabot’s Seriously Sharp every week might not be the most heart-healthy habit.

“Early Onset Crazy Irish Eyebrows” is a real thing and I won’t rest until there’s a telethon to find a cure.

Next Week: Home-Schooled Hero

Beware Bonnie “Prince” Billy

I didn’t know he had a new album out until I read about it in the AV Club this morning. I picked it up right away. It came out a perfect time too, since I’m suffering from podcast and news fatigue.

Bonnie “Prince” Billy – I Am Goodbye, Beware

He’s great and all, but he makes me feel inadequate about my own facial hair. If beards were boobs, he’d have solid D’s while I’m rocking nothing but bee stings.

Future Stars of the GOP

Future Stars of the GOP
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Sorry for the delay. I forgot to adjust WordPress for daylight savings.

It’s amazing how bereft of talent and charisma the current Republican bench is. It’s not a fluke. When a party’s ideals are that selfish and delusion-based, the chances of finding someone who believes in them and can appear sympathetic to normal people are pretty slim. I doubt that person even exists.

If you missed it last week, you can now harass me on Twitter.

Next Week: Your Health and You

Godlessness is on the Rise. Hallelujah!

Religious affiliation in Massachusetts dropped sharply over the past 20 years. Particularly striking is the shrinking Catholic and growing nonreligious populations.

Seems like my fellow potato-eaters are finally wising up:

Silk said the study found that Irish-Americans, along with people of Jewish ancestry and Asian-Americans, are disproportionately represented among those who report no religious affiliation.

The study also found that America as a whole is becoming less Christian, and that Vermont is the least religious, with 34% of its residents not at all concerned with magic and ghosts. Vermont keeps getting cooler and cooler. They make bricks of awesome cheese, great beer that you can drink in their state campgrounds, Howard Dean, and they’re number one when it comes to reason.

I’d move there if it wasn’t so goddamn cold 7 months out of the year.

Ted Rall on the Comics Collapse

Ted’s latest column covers the ongoing plight of editorial cartoonists.

As publications shift their focus to their websites, comics should be a part of it. Comics can generate way more pageviews than articles or columns. Even if an op-ed was fantastic, who has the time to plow through an archive of long-ass essays? A reader can (and frequently will) click through a dozen comics in a short amount time if they liked the cartoon. More pageviews equals more advertising revenue and maybe even getting more people to read your paper, which is what editors want, unless they are bad at their job.

Bill Hicks on Rush Limbaugh

Bill Hicks has been dead for just over 15 years. Yet Rush still blusters on and even took up a huge chunk of today’s news. There is no justice. We really do let the demons run amok.

I guess I have Hicks on the brain. I alluded to his Leno Doritos bit on Friday, and I watched one of his stand-up specials earlier today. I love that poor, dead genius.