Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Grading on the Curves


The audiable roar of an angry teenage girl could be heard roaring throughout the hall outside the faculty room.  Inside, the teacher felt a pang of fear, knowing exactly what this disturbance was about.

The door bust wide open from the girl’s exaggerated strength which only seemed to increase with every passing second.

“Oh, hello,” the teacher said, nonchantly greeting the furious teen, having regained his composure.

“Don’t act all so innocent!  I just read the latest news!” she said, holding up the latest edition of the evening papers.  The headline screamed “TOKYO MEDICAL UNIVERSITY WOMEN’S EXAMS INTENTIONALLY LOWERED”.

“There weren’t enough men being admitted to being doctors, so women’s test scores were lowered to make up for the loss.” the teacher said, explaining the headline, as if she didn’t understand.

“I already KNOW that!  But then, I thought, did you do the same thing with me?”

“You have to understand.  It was for the greater good.”

“Don’t play innocent!  When I failed my last exam, you comforted me at my moment of weakness!  And what was it you said?”
“You would probably be better off as a housewife anyways”, a flashback appeared in the background.
“Do you have any idea how humiliating that was?  It was as if you were saying that all my effort amounted to nothing.  That my mind wasn’t something to be appreciated.”

“I was saving you the hardship of being constantly feeled up and ignored in the largely male-dominated areas of research where you’d be put down on a daily basis, then quit and become a housewife anyways.”

“Maybe that’s because there’s hardly ANY women allowed in these fields, which would explain why their numbers are so low!  And what you’ve described is hardly any different from how I’m living NOW.  What was the REAL reason you kept lowering our scores?”

“It was felt that if the girls were seen doing better than the men, it would be a severe blow to their self-esteem - ”

“THEIR self-esteem?!  What about MY self-esteem?!  I spent every second of my free time on my studies!  Time that I could’ve been doing other things!   Reading!  Relaxing!  Texting!  Gaming!  Having fun with my friends!  And what did I get for all my efforts?  A slightly lower mark than the consistent top rankers.  What were my ACTUAL test scores?”

“That’s priviliged information.  You’re not allowed to know those ahead of time.”

She looked at the teacher with pure undisguised disgust on her face.  “For a society that places extreme value over school marks, this is an unjust abuse of the system.”

“Look, the Medical University need more doctors.  Too many women were entering the field and not enough men.  Besides, a woman is better qualified to be a nurse.”

“So have the women be doctors, and let the men be nurses.”

“Are you kidding?!  That’s a woman’s job!”

“Only because you let it be.”

Friday, August 31, 2018

A Very Special Fridge Door

When a creator's been working on a title for any extended period of time, they get a sense of importance, and feel the need to be doing something serious with their time.  That in order to get recognized as a platform of notoriety, they should be contributing something of substance to their work, which can wind up being offputting in execution.

At least, that's my interpretation after seeing multiple iterations of what I've seen from multiple works, some with some success, some less so.  And this was present within the features of The Fridge Door with the introduction of a completely new frenetic character, that accurately matches the Word of the Week.

This guy is Morder, and he has something to sell you.

There's a certain ominous quality to these Word of the Weeks throughout the month lately.

Morder's look can't seem to look consistent from one week to the next, which could be representative of his mental state.  One day, he's got bugged-out eyes.  The next, he's wearing glasses and a fancy suit.  The next, he's wearing Dark glasses and a tank top, looking more like one of Antonio Prohias' Spy Vs. Spy.  Oh, and his hair and nose certainly look like weed, and not the plant kind.  Subtle, this ain't.

After a month of idly standing by and watching the scenario play out in front of him, Eugene finally decides to intervene with his alien powers.

And so ends the Say NO to Drugs segment of The Fridge Door.  Needless to say, we won't be seeing this guy again anytime soon, though we will be encountering another important message near this feature's run, which would wind up defining it for better or for ill.

For next month, a welcome return to silly meaningless shenanigans.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Camping Funnies

While Skyler is a frequent goer at Military Camp, there are other instances of comic characters going camping with unfavorable results, usually as being forced into something they don't want to.

The exploits of the Patterson family and Fox Trot are already well-known, so I won't bother reprinting those, and focus on a lesser-known arc from Sibling Revelry.

Due to the scattered selection of the Newspapers, we're missing a few comics from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and I don't want to splurge for the costs of browsing the online Newspapers archives, so you'll have to settle for this.  There's a gap between June 27-28, but fortunately, nothing important's been lost in their absence.

This seems like a random spot to suddenly cut off, and you'd be correct in thinking that there would be more to tell, since the week isn't over yet.  But the very next strip wasn't missing, and went back to daily gag-a-day comics.  To make up for that shortcoming, here's the start of a Sally Forth comic that started on June 22, 1992.

For a change of pace, we've got a child who wants to go to camp.

Or rather, who wants to go to a selective kind of camp.

Who wants to commune with all that pesky nature?

The very next week completely dropped this camp arc, but then picked it up almost a month later on August 10th.  If anybody had been paying attention, that would be some skillful setup right there.  But since Sally Forth comics are rather unremarkable and hardly linger on the mind after you've read them, it's not surprising that people forgot.

For some reason, we cut away from Hillary's camping activities to see the parental figures back home.  I suppose constantly drawing those bunk beds, wire mesh and dense trees in the background was too much to deal with.  Camping can be hard on the kids, but its just as equally hard on cartoonists who aren't used to drawing outside their home turf.

Counting the first half of the second week, it would be exactly three days for Sally to feel nostalgic for her growing child.  And already, you're forgetting what, if anything, actually happened.  If you look above, you'll see that they cut away before doing any activities.  We don't get any sense of anything being accomplished - just general sarcastic reactions.

Which is why things going wrong is a natural mainstay for camping stories, so the painful memories linger in the minds longer.

Because of stories like these, I never embraced camping the same way other people seemed to naturally gravitate being close to nature.  For one thing, I had no interest in the great outdoors.  I could deal with sleeping with total strangers.  I could tolerate the food (of which there was plenty, and I ate myself sick).  But because I was deaf, I couldn't properly understand anything that was happening, and couldn't communicate with anybody in a noisy environment.  So I opted to stay
and watch NFB shorts on a projector instead.

I have no fond memories of camp.  I just waited for the whole experience to be over.  The only things I remember is having a burnt marshmallow at a campfire, and seeing someone read a Hulk Hogan Rock 'n' Wrestling Panini sticker album with 3D hidden images that were revealed through red glasses.

There was also a poster of orange blobby-like Mr. Men men who were shaving, gleefully dropping dishes on the floor, flipping a pancake, and sticking a tongue out at a laughing Mr. man that always made me uncomfortable.  Looking back now, it was supposed to represent the sheer anarchic fun of being at camp, but all I could see was half of it was devoted to destructive behavior.

It's safe to say that camp experience was aimed at sociable people.  And I was not exactly a sociable person.