And awaaaay we go.
I hope everyone had a happy Easter. He is truly risen, alleluia.
Cartoonist Brooke McEldowney, who writes the comic strips 9 Chickweed Lane and Pibgorn has been running a series on Chickweed wherein one of his female characters, a young woman by the name of Edda, has found herself to be accidentally pregnant. He has found himself suddenly deluged with letters from people who have suggestions as to how this storyline should proceed, and he has this to say:
Of late, a few correspondents have demanded that Edda, in her current dilemma on 9 Chickweed Lane, grappling with the idea that she is pregnant, should help herself to an abortion pronto, because abortions are a hard won right, and that for her to take any other course would be political atavism. It has also been averred that no strong, intelligent young woman would ever find herself accidentally pregnant, and that it is impossible in this day and age for accidental pregnancies to occur (really, this is what they say). Therefore, it is fervently insisted that Edda be the paragon of all that is right politically, socially and sexually, bearing on high like an oriflamme the views of the correspondents. They regard any woman who might find herself accidentally pregnant, of necessity, weak, stupid, an object of contempt and scorn. Sort of like a pharmacologically challenged Hester Prynne.While I love the smack down he is delivering here, I would caution against cheering this as a prolife stance. This reply has more to do with a few points of storytelling and authorship than anything else. His main point is similar to what John C Wright has often said: that political correctness is undramatic and tedious, and does not make for a lively tale. His second point, the underpinning assumption of this piece: It's my tale, blow it out your ear. And that I can respect.
People do demand a lot of the lowly cartoonist, given that our work is basically a fool's trade, to entertain rather than limn the path to the straight gate. They think there is scant room in the world for characters who display weakness, fears, who make bad choices and suffer worse consequences; characters who are deplorably human, who put on socks that don't match and play merry hell with their prepositions.
According to my correspondents, what we need is fewer characters who, through their flaws, irritate and annoy; more characters who, conferring virtue on themselves by dint of correct thought, are downright insufferable.
Speaking again of Canada's Got Talent- I seem to be about the only person I know who has watched any of it, and I've stopped. It has no heat. The producers of the show and the network have made several very, very huge mistakes, and have killed the show. The biggest mistake of all is their decision to not allow any clips from the show to be posted on YouTube, and to only make the show available on the Rogers homepage. For the most part, they don't even have any clips, merely the entire episodes.
This is so monumentally foolish on their part as to be almost impossible to explain or justify. The breakout stars of the Got Talent series - Paul Potts, Susan Boyle, Jackie Evancho and now Jonathan Antoine were all YouTube phenomenas. They all started as clips that went viral. Those clips did not steal from the network ratings, they fueled it, as people tuned in to watch the heroes of these viral videos perform. They provided drama: Would they make through to the next round? Would they win? I cannot explain the Canadian decision except as rank human stupidity. I find that explanation covers a lot of human activity, actually.
Strange things said by my mother this Easter Weekend.
First: (I should explain this a little. Mother's home does no have a doorbell, nor a knocker. The only way to get her attention and have her let one in is to open the milk box (remember those?) shove one's head inside and shout "HEY MOM! LET ME IN!" Having done just that this weekend, mother appeared at the top of the stairs just inside the door, saw me with my head sticking through the milk box, and said): "Gosh, you look just like my Mama."
Mom, to Puff: What are your favourite roses again?
Puff: Salmon coloured tea roses.
Mom: No, that's not it.