It was twenty years ago today… and the times, they aren’t a-changin’. [As I announced in May, I’m cutting back to one new episode per month for a while, and in between I’m running strips from 1987.]
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I remember this strip. As always, today it is surprisingly current and eerily foreboding.
Today, at a panel discussion at Naropa here in Boulder, Abigail Child, an experimental filmmaker, poet, and lesbian among other identities, showed leaked footage of a stealth bombing attack on people and vehicles around a mosque. It was made using a night vision camera attached to the bottom of the bomber and was, as Abigail pointed out, chillingly like a video game. Horrifying.
I always return to the question: how do we live in a world filled with both utter cruelty and sheer joy?
Except today, rather than “palatable and uninformative,” the networks seem primarily interested in keeping the news sensational and titillating (so as to sell more stuff). Jeepers, I’m having a touch of Weltschmerz myself! (Oh, how I do love Mo!)
If Al Gore invented the internet
then Mo invented Global Warming.
Okay…maybe Dylan was idealizing just a tad…
I’ll give you that much…Molison.
Hey I’m near the top o’ the column!
Well political/media euphemisms are still a growth industry aren’t they? Sigh… I love Mo…
I don’t mean to pick, but didn’t we get an archive strip last time? Ordinarily, I wouldn’t mind (I do love the old strips), but, Alison, you left us with quite the cliff-hanger back on 6/12. Help!
A bit of a rant.
You know what I’m waiting for? Seriously? I saw a glimpse of it the other night when Michael Moore (who, I’m sorry, usually repulses me because of his self-serving tactics and ambush journalism) told off Wolf Blitzer.
Finally, someone put the three dots together:
1. Liberal/Progressives/Democrats get smacked around by lunatics like Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Tony Snow and their cavalcade of selective semi-facts.
2. L/P/D tries to calmly point out what’s in error.
3. Go to line 1.
Like I said, that was the start. Moore told CNN/Blitzer off. He finally got tired of apologizing for getting shot in the face by someone else and he shoved back hard.
That’s how things will change. The L/P/D/’s are finally beginning to get so thoroughly pissed off that they’ve learned the crucial lesson: Gandhian tactics only work if you can shame the aggressor. The aggressors in this case cannot be shamed because shame requires thought and introspection. Letting the schoolyard bully hit you in the hopes that he’ll get tired of it eventually only means that the bully knows he can go on to terrorize someone else next week.
The NY Times had a letter to the editor a few weeks back from someone who was complaining about the “myth” of global warming. Her argument was that because there isn’t conclusive proof (wrong, but I digress) of global warming, putting into place the steps the environmentalists want would mean that her children would not have access to the same level of goods/services/opportunities that she has, and she couldn’t allow that.
That’s the opposition in a nutshell: Me want. Me want. It’s the mentality of a three-year-old, and you don’t debate with a three-year-old. You don’t “value” and “respect” a child’s opinion. You listen to the child, sure, but you don’t negotiate. You raise the child, and that means teaching the child what behaviors will not be acceptable: screaming in stores, tantrums at weddings, stealing, shoving, greed, etc.
I used to wait tables in a certain larger city in western Massachusetts. I still remember how some of the “progressive” parents would let their children run wild in the restaurant. And I used to have a little internal dialogue. Here it is, as I can recall it. It reads very similarly to what I wish someone had told Barbara Bush when she brought little Georgie home from the hospital.
“Hey! Yeah, you with the crystals. You see this little rug rat? See all these people carrying trays of hot food, cutlery and dishes? Great. Still with me? Super. Your chakras still aligned to the Mother Goddess? Great. When your kid runs into one of the waiters and all that stuff comes crashing down on your kid, do you think, on your way to the ER, that you’ll be able to debate gravity and time into undoing the damage? No. Doesn’t work that way. So stop letting your kid run amok. He’s your kid, that means you raise him, not me. And that means you have to learn how to control him or he’s going to grow up into someone that no one’s going to want to be around.”
I hope more people start learning to smack the MSM in the nose with a rolled up paper. “Bad Wolf! No biscuit!”
OH MY GOSH!
I remember this strip from High School, because then, I was so insanely desirous of Mo’s awesome “Batwimmin” tee shirt. It is still so cool. I guess my taste hasn’t changed much–I still covet it! Especially if it’s available in purple!
Yep, a new strip appeared in our local community paper last Friday. I’m sure AB will make it available online soon. In the meantime, some of us get to experience that once-familiar feeling of rushing to the newsbox on publication day…
Well, Alex the Bold, the reason that P/L/D (and really, that combination does *not* work for me; I’m old enough to remember when “Democrat” was as likely as not to mean frothing racists blocking Civil Rights legislation)get kicked around is that they keep hoping that in the next election they’ll take the White House again, and then they’ll get invited to a State Dinner. There’s really no need to take on Coulter et al. Just bide your time and the Goddess will make it all well. (And we can see how swiftly and decisively the Democrats have acted since they regained control of Congress last November.)
And it really isn’t that P/L/D are any nicer than Coulter, Buchanan, et al. They often do attack people who get in their way with just as much fifth-grade venom, though mostly they rely on passive-aggressive sniping and whining. And they’re slow, too: the right-wing media blitz has been going on since the late 1970s (again, I’m old enough to remember Anita Bryant, the Moral Majority, etc.), and so many of them are just now figuring out that something might be wrong. Actually a lot of liberals not-so-secretly liked Reagan, because he made it possible for them to slide to the right while pointing out that they weren’t as bad as he was. There’s a reason why “liberal” has had bad connotations among minorities since before I was born (see Langston Hughes’s “Simple” Stories, for example): they wave their high principles around so that they can make a show of abandoning them in the name of pragmatism, bipartisanship, and common sense.
But after all, “Democrat” still means killing a million Iraqis with sanctions, cynically killing or making refugees of thousands of Yugoslavians in the name of “democracy,” changing the name and location of the School of the Americas for PR purposes while still sponsoring torture and murder around the world, NAFTA, DOMA, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and on and on. People have such short memories — but then, someone here was surprised that Mo was brooding on climate change back in 1987. Loudmouthed ideological fanatics like Mo(and me)have known about such things all along, because we were paying attention while the nice P/L/Ds were pooh-poohing us as doomsayers, conspiracy theorists, and cynics.
As for the MSM (married straight males?), they’ve always been terrible. Again, some of us were paying attention before Anne Coulter was welcomed into their circles. The answer is not to hope that if we form a meditation circle and visualize World Peace, the Corporate media will see the light, but to support alternative media. There’s a lot of it out there, so use it, support it. There are plenty of people besides Moore out there, but he gets to talk on-camera to Wolf Blitzer because he makes movies to popular to ignore (but not to defame and lie about). Other people simply get *shut out* of the Corporate Media. This is well known to those of us nuts who attend to what FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy In Media) have been saying for decades, or Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman’s “Manufacturing Consent,” or any number of other useful sources. That’s okay — it’s their media, they can choose their playmates — and it’s our own responsibility to inform ourselves.
“smack the MSM in the nose with a rolled up paper”? Please. You seem to have the notion that the corporate media don’t like people like Michael Savage, Coulter, Limbaugh, Sullivan, and the other fascists they’ve embraced, but don’t know how to get them to behave.
I suppose this is a Mo-style rant. So be it. She’s been off her feed lately.
you don’t sound very Mo-like to me but we don’t have to debate that. I certainly don’t think Alex was suggesting that the Mainstream Media smack themselves in the nose with a rolled up paper…??
So, you’re old enough to remember…good…share what you’ve learned, give encouragement, promote positive action. YOu are reminding me of the issue you had with the youngster on YouTube. Don’t punish the young for their youth…for what they have yet to see. Take them by the hand and lead the way.
Alex the Bold. That’s a good name. Don’t take him down a notch…encourage him to charge ahead. Otherwise, we will end up simply whining along with Mo. If you are hopeless then better to be quiet than to discourage others. If you have hope (ie, in alternative media) why not emphasize the possibilities you see for creating social change, c’mon Duncan, don’t criticize them because you’ve been here longer, share, lead on.
and Alex, yeah, I am a hippy overgrown flower child but I NEVER let my kid run around in restaurants! That so makes me nuts. I was a waitress in that same joint and I so hear you.
Which restaurant in western mass, y’all? It would be so cool to know that there’s a bunch of us floating around out here.
And for the record, I don’t have kids. But if I did, and they tried to run around in a restaurant, I’d do what my parents did, and take them out to the car until they could chill out.
Oh, Sorry Dane, I only meant metaphysically…
or, uhm, metaphorically.
The restaurants that I worked in were in Philadelphia,
the Jersey shore and the Philly Suburbs.
Although never perfect, the mainstream media have not always been terrible. Remember Watergate? Things changed in the ’80s when the media let Reagan’s crimes slide because, unlike Tricky Dick, he was “likable”.
Saith Richard Nixon: @#$&!
As always, a fantastic strip, and a fantastic highlight of the little ironic moments of life…
In one way things have changed: Mo appears to be worrying about global cooling, not global warming !
And don’t get me started on Coulter: I’m ashamed to be in the same phylum….. Oh, hang on a second, I’m not – I’m a chordate, but she’s a mollusc: a slug, to be exact. I suppose this makes squids and octopuses ashamed, though.
I love Mo’s face, especially the eyes, in the closeup panel on the bottom row. 🙂
I agree: the penultimate panel is a treat. It is the only way that feels “modern”; it connects this stylistically dated strip to the more recent ones.
The only one, I meant.
I am so dying to see the new strip!!! Do you think this is a mistake or she really is going to shift orders so that papers get the strips first now? Maybe they were complaining.
Is it pathetic that I count the days now it is once a month?
oh Jaibe, some folks were counting the days when new strips were fortnightly!
how can *anyone* (even Alison) say that things are the same as they were 20 years ago?!!?! we don’t have missiles piling up here. nooooooooooo! the problem now is that we’re using them up and need new supplies — bunker busters, if you please!
Jaibe and mlk–Yes,we may be reduced to re-reading past collections. Why,just last night I was perusing The Indelible
Alison Bechdel while also watching a Point of View indy film on PBS about the race rebellions in the 60s. Tom Hayden,who worked on a community organizing project in Newark,NJ started by SDSers in 1967,provided interesting commentary. The show also featured a number of Black male community leaders reflecting on 1967 and the present,and there were some good mid-60s footage of meetings and marches.
there *was* some good…
I wish I could’ve seen that Michael Mooore interview; hmmm, maybe it’s on YouTube… speaking of Ann Coulter, et. al., a good friend sent me the following link:
take the quiz, let us know how you scored!
Jaibe and others; I too have beeen waiting for the new strip–maybe there was some kind of mixup?
Here is the Michael Moore interview, where he gets upset about the news media’s coverage of Iraq and also about the piece that ran minutes earlier claiming that the movie Sicko ‘fudged facts’. Moore backs up the criticized facts on his website here.
By the way, I’m a ‘Peace Patroller’ in that quiz. I wonder what Mo would be.
I don’t think there was a mixup … don’t I remember reading somewhere on this site that the print media readers get the new episodes first? And wasn’t AB working on some system whereby one can subscribe, can pay to get the fresh episodes mailed to one directly (via e-mail that is; hard copies would require way too much office help)? Am I making this up? I thought I remembered reading it somewhere around here, but can’t seem to find it now, even though I checked the “Frivolous, Aimless Queries. Complete with Answers” section.
If I have got this all mixed up, somebody please sort me out. If I’ve got something resembling the truth here, then great, and maybe those who can’t wait will get some gratification, and AB will get some well-deserved extra cash … I admit the cliffhanger on the most recent of the “new” episodes is extreme.
Be well and have a good summer, all!
I took the test!
My Liberal Breed is “Reality-Based Intellectualist.”
“You are a Reality-Based Intellectualist, also known as the liberal elite. You are a proud member of what’s known as the reality-based community, where science, reason, and non-Jesus-based thought reign supreme.”
Holy Crow, it’s like they can read my mind!
(And sorry, Duncan about “L/P/D.” You make good points. In my defense, it’s been 30 days since Mo found out Sydney’s a lying/cheating low-life deadbeat! Boo! Hiss!)
Alison said she would be putting out a new strip once a month. That’s twelve times a year. Once every four weeks would be thirteen times a year. So, we may still be waiting for July’s strip. (Yes, someone did report a new print strip but she neglected to say which number it was — possibly the cliffhanger that we’ve already seen.) I have no inside information about this — it’s my best guess as to what’s going on.
However that may be, we’re going to have to get used to sketchier plot development and possibly some lines being dropped. Alison was having a hard time keeping all her plot lines going when she was putting out a strip every other week.
I think the idea of distributing the strip by email got dropped. For those who think Alison deserves more cash, there’s always the PayPal button. It’s accessible from the home page. I think she should make it more prominent and make it accessible from the pages with the strips, to allow for impulse donations. But then, I’m more vulgar than Alison.
I’m a peace patroller also.
I suspect that the person saw an older newer strip, too.
I think they get posted here pretty fresh off the drawing board and I don’t think Alison would have finished a strip, sent it out and forgotten to post it here. I think there have been times where she said, oops, I’ve been meaning to get this posted but I don’t think it’d be days and days without the new strip appearing post completion.
I know the strips run much later, relatively speaking, in LC than they appear here on the blog. I suspect it takes awhile for them to get out and published in other print media outlets as well. So, fret not…we haven’t missed anything. I don’t think our characters will tone down at all or simplify their lives…even with us having privy to their progress less frequently. Time in the world of dtwof waits for everyone…every one of us.
I’m a “Social Justice Crusader”, apparently. Who knew ?
I, too, seem to be a reality based intellectualist. and now I’ve got to get the book so I can see the “whole picture.” these bits and pieces from taking the test multiple times and reading the results just isn’t doing it for me!
good thing I’m at the library . . .
Andrew B, I think your suggestion is more practical than vulgar. so far as I can tell, Alison’s a pretty practical person. maybe she just didn’t think of this?
Yet another Peace Patroller. However,I must say that the scope of this quiz is too narrow; I for one don’t want to be considered a “liberal”,which I consider too wishy-washy. Proud intellectual socialist feminist activist here,who understands issues of race,gender and class and tries to live a socially responsible,though not self-rightous,life.
Proud member of the “reality-based” community here!
That quiz is a hoot ‘n’ a holler 🙂
But can I recombine my own naked pyramid? Soooo many to choose from…
Social Justice Crusader. But I would NEVER use the word “crusade” myself, with its hateful christian warmongering roots. I’m with Feminista. When I hear liberal, I think of the Phil Ochs song, “Love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal.” Look up the lyrics for a trip down sarcasm lane. I prefer radical, from the root word “at the roots” or revolutionary. I seek art, poliltics, lifestyle and spirituality that questions all the lies simultaneously. And the choices on this quiz were depressingly white and male.
I came out as a “Social Justice Crusader” too, which is probably pretty accurate. I was flipping coins on a few of the questions, though, so it could easily have come out differently.
Sadly, although like many liberals these days I like the word “progressive”, I really am a liberal at heart. That is, I think that it’s generally better to change things a bit at a time, with the assent of a decent proportion of the populace, than all at one swell foop whether the people are ready or not. Revolutions — real revolutions, like the French and Russian ones — always start with good intentions, but far too often end up with the wrong people’s heads rolling.
Don’t get me wrong, I think there’s plenty of room for pure unadulterated radical rage — but when it comes to action, it’s worth remembering that despite his faults, FDR got a lot more good accomplished than Norman Thomas. Arguments between liberals and radicals remind me of the Peanuts cartoon in which Linus says, “It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.” Charlie Brown replies, “That’s a good thought, but there will always be those who disagree.” Final panel: Lucy, alone in the night, yelling: “YOU STUPID DARKNESS!!”
We’ve all got a bit of Lucy in us, but Linus is still right.
Write on,filosopher. My late husband used to quote the Ochs song,and I quoted it back at him when he started subscribing to The Nation. (One of the lines in Love Me I’m a Liberal goes I read New Republic and Nation..) Nonetheless he remained a radical,and was quite effective in his political work.
Re: FDR and Thomas. FDR was able to accomplish what he did BECAUSE of the great deal of left activity,including union,anti-racist,civil liberties,and anti-war organizing,in the 1930s.
I play on a softball team that Alison used to play on years ago (Red Scare in Northampton), and last night was one of those times when I remember why I still play. In spite of the aches (more frequent these days), when the day cools off a little, and we’re having a good game with a fun team, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. If I make one of those spectacularly lucky catches, it’s just gravy.
Hear, hear, Feminista. My grandfather was a Wobby who loathed FDR because Roosevelt instituted just enough reforms to stop a socialist revolution in this country, but balked at, for instance, bombing the railway lines to Auschwitz. I believe in histiography that studies what the people were trying to accomplish, not the so-called leaders who came along and took credit for the work of thousands unnamed.
Not all revolutions are violent; just the ones that fail.
Well, I wanted to be a Reality-Based Intellectual, but dammit, it seems I’m a Social Justice Crusader. I guess there’s no escaping my civil disobedience past.
And Josiah, thank you for referencing my favorite Peanuts strip ever!! Sometimes I just feel like yelling “You stupid darkness!!” my own self…
This is one of the few strips that has Mo in something besides the striped top/tank/turtleneck. Mo needs a new piece of clothing or two….Go ahead Mo, raid Sydney’s closet!
I can’t believe it but this is the first DTWOF strip I ever saw! I read it on a calendar in the apartment of my dyke friends and I have been an addict ever since. And I was in the middle of learning to care about baseball thanks to Bull Durham. Of course, that didn’t last, esp since the Red Sox won the pennant. Three cheers for softball and Mo’s unstriped shirt!
i loved Mo’s rant…i feel that way sometimes….for a strip written in 1987…most of those predictions came true…more ppl should read ur strip Alison…the political discouse is enthralling and enlightening and should not just be shelved away w. LBGT issues since what Mo spoke of affects everyone…thanks for the gr8 work u put out…keep it up!….i hope you get this comment 🙂
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