Friday, November 14, 2008

And I Thought I Was Cynical...

The ferocious headache that I have gained by spending eight solid hours updating my teaching dossier in order to reapply for the job I have right now--not that there are any guarantees I'll get it again, so it's possible that next term I shall be living under a bridge in the Don Valley--and actually finishing everything a whole hour before the deadline*, then taking another hour and a half to get my damn computer to send the damn relevant files to the right damn address without freezing, crashing, developing an alternate personality, and trying to expel me into space...** any rate, the ferocious headache that I have gained doing all that is as nothing compared to the throbbing horror that invades my brain when I glance at today's Momma. I really don't understand why this comic is allowed to live. Who reads it? Who thinks it is funny? Who doesn't see Momma herself and go, "Aaargh! The bugs! The bugs are back!", then try to stomp on her before she scuttles beneath the sink?***

The harsh cruelty of Freda's proclamation that she can't tell the difference between a living husband and a dead one**** reveals her as a medieval antifeminist stereotype. You see, gentlemen, all women think of you as mere furniture. They are ugly, cold-hearted shrews who may have been quite pretty right up to the point they shrank three feet, gained forty pounds, started wearing ugly hats, and decided that husbands were unnecessary appendages. While a first glance tells us that the cartoonist is laughing at Freda's husband, the second confirms that he is, in fact, laughing at Freda. Scorn her, readers. Shake your heads sagely at her womanly callousness. That's what medieval antifeminist stereotypes are for.

Some day, I am going to lock Mell Lazarus in a room with sixteen older women and a number of chainsaws. He should consider this blog entry fair warning.

*Extremely unusual for me. I never get applications in more than five minute before they are due. I do not like this state of affairs, but it exists nonetheless.
**That's more like it.
***This "joke" was not intentionally stolen from Ces Marciuliano's Medium Large, but once I'd written it down, I started having the sneaking feeling that I may have been unintentionally plagiarising, and when I went to check, I found that Mr. Marciuliano had, indeed, portrayed Momma as a dust mite. To be fair, I think of her as more of a cockroach. I'm pretty sure that she's hatching her young in that coffin.
****Well, maybe he wasn't her husband. Maybe he was her brother. I think I just squicked myself out.


Michael said...

I have never found Momma to be funny. It's not only anti-feminist, it's anti-everyone. Nobody is well regarded, everyone is either a shrew or a nebbish* or both.

You write: "Some day, I am going to lock Mell Lazarus in a room with sixteen older women and a number of chainsaws." I would be happy to lend my chainsaw in aid of this endeavor. I'd even consider buying a second chainsaw if needed.

*nebbish, n. A weak or timid person. Origin: Yiddish nebekh, a weak or timid person.

Angry Kem said...

Yes...there are no likeable characters in Momma. We're apparently supposed to laugh at Momma's suitors and the uselessness of poor Francis...but why on earth, Mell Lazarus, do you think anyone is going to find any of this hilarious? And why don't you consider taking drawing lessons? Geez.*

*As a webtoonist whose art is shaky at best, I sometimes feel bad about criticising the art in newspaper strips. Then I remember that these cartoonists are actually paid for their comics, whereas I work for free. Then I cry a bit. Then I burn Overboard in effigy.**
**Hey...if you can have footnotes in your comment, I can have footnotes in mine.