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Johnny Hart stirs up more controversy
January 19, 2004 3:20 PM   Subscribe

Johnny Hart stirs up more controversy, this time among the Asian community. Back in November it was the Muslims. How does he manage to stay on the comics page? At what point is a mainstream comic no longer acceptable to the mainstream?
posted by tommasz (34 comments total)

 
Me? I like the biting social commentary of Marmaduke.
posted by ColdChef at 3:23 PM on January 19, 2004


Me? I'd just appreciate a look at the comic so I can judge for myself.

The hullabaloo over the strip a few months back was over nothing, IMHO... without seeing this new strip, I'm going to have to give Johnny the benefit of the doubt.
posted by silusGROK at 3:31 PM on January 19, 2004


An Irishman, a Scottsman and a Frenchman walk into a bar...
[CENSORED DUE TO INAPPROPRIATE RACIAL STEREOTYPING]

However, I can guarantee the joke was not actually funny anyway, so no great loss.
posted by Jimbob at 3:43 PM on January 19, 2004


I hate B.C. almost as much as I hate Mallard Filmore.
posted by trbrts at 3:47 PM on January 19, 2004


I don't recall a controversy when Futurama had basically a whole episode about the Wong joke..
posted by benh57 at 3:47 PM on January 19, 2004


As a New Mexico resident, I feel like I should point out that the Clovis and Portales papers aren't exactly the mightiest journalistic engines in the state. They've got a combined readership of maybe 50,000, assuming every living human being in both towns buys the paper. Wake me if the Albuquerque Journal pulls the strip.

This said, I wonder why the guy from Creators Syndicate refused to send a copy of the strip to the AP when it was requested? That just makes the whole thing look worse.
posted by vorfeed at 3:54 PM on January 19, 2004


I gonna take a shot in the dark here: this is a lot of fuss over abso-fucking-lutely nothing. Same as with the other "controversial" Muslim strip a few months back.

I hate BC as much as the next guy, but can't we pick on a comic strip that deserves it?
posted by dhoyt at 3:55 PM on January 19, 2004


I don't recall a controversy when Futurama

it's the liberal media's fault of course (.pdf)

it's pretty clear that Hart, who ceased long ago to be even marginally funny (if he ever was funny in the first place), has by now stooped so low as to Engrish and "Islam-as-outhouse" jokes.
but after all, someone's must still be reading him, so to each his own.
me, I am pissed that NBC canceled Boomtown, that's all
posted by matteo at 3:59 PM on January 19, 2004


Oh man, lets put down the political correctness guns for a minute. If Hart goes then so will Boondocks and anything mildly controversial. Comics are dumb enough.
posted by skallas at 4:02 PM on January 19, 2004


In other humorless related news fresh from the AP:

"Oy vey" was too meshugga for the city Transportation Department. The department said Monday it rejected a request from Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz for a sign on the Williamsburg Bridge reading "Leaving Brooklyn: Oy Vey!"
posted by skallas at 4:05 PM on January 19, 2004


"Two Wongs don't make a Wright"

Is that it? It's not funny, but it's not racism either.

If only Prince Phillip could be that innocuous. While on a state visit to China, he told a group of British students, "If you stay here much longer, you'll all be slitty-eyed".
posted by MarkC at 4:05 PM on January 19, 2004


Wait, it gets better:
The city earlier nixed a sign reading "Leaving Brooklyn: Fuhgeddaboudit!" at the Verazzano Narrows Bridge for what agency spokesman Tom Cocola said was the same reason: "a lack of directional information."

While the "Fuhgeddaboudit!" sign was criticized by some as an anti-Italian slur, Cocola said any concern that the "Oy Vey" sign might offend Brooklyn's large Jewish community was not part of the agency's decision.
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=519&e=18&u=/ap/brf_slogan_denied
posted by skallas at 4:07 PM on January 19, 2004


me, I am pissed that NBC canceled Boomtown, that's all

You and me both.

What was this post about again? Jack Chick or something?
posted by eyeballkid at 4:09 PM on January 19, 2004


Johnny Hart is the comic strip equivalent of a born-again table spritzer playing the Borscht Belt. You shouldn't hate him because he's offensive--you should hate him because his material is so old it was handed down to him on carved stone tablets.
posted by turaho at 4:10 PM on January 19, 2004


Has anyone else noticed that the Chinese/Japanese/Korean average person does not get as offended by these things as a tiny minority think they should?

It's like Norwegians being upset at hearing a Norweigian joke.
posted by kablam at 4:12 PM on January 19, 2004


Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and sometimes a joke, is just a joke.
posted by geist at 4:21 PM on January 19, 2004


Besides, surely, it's two Wongs don't make a white?
posted by nicwolff at 4:27 PM on January 19, 2004


Sorta reminds me of another old joke...

Q: What do you call an Irishman that bounces off the walls?

A: Rick O'Shea
posted by bobo123 at 4:27 PM on January 19, 2004


The phonetic properties of a word are not a goddamned characteristic of race, so wt-holy-f? I'm about so fed up with people.
posted by xmutex at 4:35 PM on January 19, 2004


Sullivan said his test for running the strip was whether the message could be communicated "without insulting the person you are making fun of?"

Wait, now...say what?
posted by rushmc at 4:41 PM on January 19, 2004


If you ax me, we got gypped! ;-P
posted by mischief at 4:46 PM on January 19, 2004


When are we going to ban junior/high school? More mean, insensitive, racist things are said there in a day than a month of Michael Savage. Or a year of BC.
posted by namespan at 4:47 PM on January 19, 2004


I used the term "mainstream" in the post because I think of it as a typical newspaper comic strip: amusing, but not too edgy or controversial. I, and I suspect a lot of people, don't expect the same thing as you might get from a Boondocks. So it's no so much the material itself as it is the context. Hart seems like he wants to provoke some controversy, he just lacks the comic chops nowadays to do it with class.
posted by tommasz at 5:47 PM on January 19, 2004


And so once more, Hart rises from the graveyard of forgotten comics, only to descend once more into the muck.
posted by Outlawyr at 5:56 PM on January 19, 2004


Oh man, lets put down the political correctness guns for a minute. If Hart goes then so will Boondocks and anything mildly controversial. Comics are dumb enough.

Not necessarily, if our criteria is that we allow the intelligent examination of sensitive topics, but do not allow racial slurs. You admit a difference, right? So I don't think we necessarily have to throw the baby out with the bath water.
posted by Hildago at 6:47 PM on January 19, 2004


bobo123, I assume you know about Rick O'Shay.
posted by skyscraper at 7:24 PM on January 19, 2004


While the "Fuhgeddaboudit!" sign was criticized by some as an anti-Italian slur,

This is ridiculous. That's just a Brooklyn accent, period. "Oy Vey," is Yiddish, but Gentiles all over the place use it in New York, so anyone not sensitive to the point of neurosis wouldn't be offended at either one.

Actually, the perfect slogan would be "Leaving Brooklyn: What The Fuck Are You Lookin' At, Asshole?!"
posted by jonmc at 8:56 PM on January 19, 2004


Has anyone else noticed that the Chinese/Japanese/Korean average person does not get as offended by these things as a tiny minority think they should?


Kablam, this is always a question. People have asked it about the Native American community as well. Regarding Asians-- it depends on which people you mean. If you mean an immigrant whose English isn't very good (definitely not good enough to understand puns), whose education level is not very high (maybe as low as 6th- or 8th-grade equivalent), or who doesn't bother themselves too much with American culture, then their lack of response looks different.


Anyways, people complain all the time about things that other Americans need to wake up and pay attention to. Are the complainers' allegations baseless, or are the masses in need of enlightenment? Who knows.


posted by halonine at 11:03 PM on January 19, 2004


At what point is a mainstream comic no longer acceptable to the mainstream?

When it hasn't been funny since I was eight yrs old?
posted by Ty Webb at 11:06 PM on January 19, 2004


A few weeks ago I looked at a current "Annie" strip, which I don't think I'd read in about 25 years. If you're curious, Daddy Warbucks is apparently now fighting terrorists in a country called "Ratznestistan." Subtle, that.
posted by lisa g at 11:08 PM on January 19, 2004


I agree with the general sense that this is a little weak of an item to get exercised about. But it doesn't change the fact that Johnny Hart continues to be a completely unfunny, talentless hack who couldn't joke his way out of a barf bag.
posted by soyjoy at 8:03 AM on January 20, 2004


A few weeks ago I looked at a current "Annie" strip, which I don't think I'd read in about 25 years. If you're curious, Daddy Warbucks is apparently now fighting terrorists in a country called "Ratznestistan." Subtle, that.

There is a current "Annie" strip?! Wow, if it teamed up with Prince Valiant the two of them could quite possibly reverse the flow of time.
posted by vorfeed at 12:48 PM on January 20, 2004


Please stop with that "community" crap.
posted by shoos at 4:20 PM on January 20, 2004


"It's like Norwegians being upset at hearing a Norweigian joke."

On the subject on old jokes, this is probably the first joke I ever heard:

Q: What do you get if you crossbreed a turtle and a monkey?
A: A Norwegian with a helmet.

Am I controversial yet?

I might have heard it with 'Swede with helmet', I'm not sure anymore. Also, I'm terribly sorry and apologise profusely.
posted by spazzm at 12:50 AM on January 21, 2004


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