A periodical about the news business -- working in it, reading it, defending it, criticizing it, getting dumped on by it, living it.
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Thanks for the backup, Republicans. Michael Moore can speak for himself, but we're sure he appreciates the box office boost he got from whining protesters who tried to block "Fahrenheit 9-11" even before the lights went down. There's that old Puritan ethic at work, the antique American fear that it's a sin to sin -- but also a sin to let anybody else sin. So, knowing it would bring Moore free publicity, still the protesters protested, the better for their souls.
(We had a history prof in college who got his doctorate with a thesis on the sex lives of the colonial Puritans. He could resist lecturing about the subject, but we students couldn't resist asking, so of course we finished the course knowing more about Pilgrim fornibuggery than about Manifest Destiny. The Puritan Ethic is why Phyllis Schlafly used to be so loud about abortions and homosexual rights and stuff she knew nothing about. Well OK, poor example, but you get the idea.)
But more to the point, gee, anti-Mike Moore hordes and hordlets, the strategy is clear. Get Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and a couple of other mouth-breathing right-wingers to make a counterfilm. Leftists wouldn't dare picket the theaters. Oh well, one or two might buy tickets and heckle, shouting tasteless things like "Pill-popper!" and "Poor judge of domestic helpers!" at poor aching Rush. But on the other hand, the balcony won't smell like patchouli.
Then, come payday, we could let Billboard magazine's stats decide the election.
Oh, who cares about a little F-wording on the Senate floor? Clearly it's not the first strong language ever heard by a U.S. senator, nor a reporter lurking nearby. (Good lurking, by the way!) No, I think the Republicans have already forgiven their man, the Vice President Dick, Cheney.
As regards the Speed & Typo comic strip below, I should have mentioned that our boys' adventure was based on a true incident in the life of Dayton Daily News reporter Ace Elliot. He was supposed to be off to his rural-county beat but didn't get past the saloon caddy-corner to the DDN office. In real life the federal man knew Ace and let him go without sweating out of him what he was doing running out the back door of a beer joint. Nobody who knew Ace would ask about that.
This is a Speed & Typo comic from October, 1992. Some early Speed & Typos have been compiled into books that can be bought in print or downloaded from www.lulu.com/charley. Around 1992 we were offering sweatshirts with images of the Deft Duo, as interpreted by Don Vanderbeek. I got nasty notes for rendering the heroes visual. For many people they were like radio stars. For those poor souls it must have been like going from radio Gunsmoke to James Arness and the hip-shot shootout on TV. Well, the sweatshirts are collector's items.
COMIX SECTION. The Further Adventures of Herman "Speed" Graphic, ace photographer for the Chagrin Falls Commercial Scimitar, and his Faithful Companion, Typo the Wonder Pig.
PANEL ONE: Speed and Typo brave early flurries on the sidewalk outside the Bait Shop. Speed shudders, "No one told me about the new barmaid."
Typo sympathizes, "Wow, Boss! It's amazing what a couple of extra inches in neck size will do for bar-tab collections!"
PANEL TWO: Buttoning up his trenchcoat, a deathbed gift from an ancient mystic wire service executive editor on a fog-shrouded eastern island, Speed admits, "Well, we're supposed to be out in the freezing gale, covering the bean harvest! Let's see if that new saloon next to the bank has heard of us yet!"
PANEL THREE: Sipping nogs under a Boston fern, the Deft Duo are startled by a loud clanging. Typo gasps, "Boss! The bank's getting robbed! Grab your camera!"
Speed shouts, "Already on it, Typo! Let's head out the back door and make for the farm!"
PANEL FOUR: In the alley a phalanx of 3-piece suits barks, "FBI! Freeze!"
PANEL FIVE: Jogging along beside the paddy wagon, Typo yells, "Got it, Boss! And if the bartender won't float for your lawyer, what then?"