Sunday, August 22, 2010

Trial Separation

My dear fans of the blog and fellow Lockhorn lovers, let me convey to you may sincerest apologies. As most of you may have noticed, my daily Lockhorn commentary project "Lockhorn vs. Lockhorn" has been on an unexplained hiatus with no new updates since mid April. It has been quite a while. In the last few months I've been a bit busy with the end of law school, studying for and taking the bar exam, and a few other miscellany. As the days piled up I had said to myself that once all my major personal obligations passed I would eventually get around to doing, as I've done in the past, a mass update to get everything caught up. I now find myself a newly minted graduate (i.e. unemployed) with all my exams and tests completed with an excess supply of free time on my hands.

Even with my relatively open schedule though, the prospect of going back and spending hours upon hours updating over 4 months of daily Lockhorn strips (including those monstrous 5 part Sunday sections) totaling well over 200 panels was more than a little overwhelming (I'm pretty sure extended exposure to that much bitterness, anger, and martial dysfunction is fatal). I was actually contemplating the extremely tempting idea of calling it a year and starting fresh in 2011. However, the more I thought about it, the more I began to realize that such an action would be in gross contrast to the Lockhorns' central theme of uncompromising masochistic stubbornness. Leroy and Loretta could swiftly put an end to their eternal domestic hell by getting a divorce or resorting to murder-suicide but it is their classic, spiteful, totally psychotic, devotion to making each other absolutely miserable via the institution of marriage that has sustained the comic for all these decades. Given that, the blog must go on.

Since there is definitely too much material to safely cover in one shot without losing my mind, I'm going to attempt to gradually everything up over the next month or so. I loosely calculated that if I can average about five updates a day I could get it done in a little over a month. Whether I will actually be successful in reaching that goal after going through my 100th or so joke about Loretta's bad driving or Leroy's drinking problems will be no guarantee. But as the Lockhorns manage to continue their failing marriage, I will manage to continue my failing blog about their failing marriage.

Friday, August 13, 2010

All good things must come to an AACK!!

So after thirty-four chocolate craving, shoe obsessing, yo-yo dieting, mother stressing years, it appears that long time comic "Cathy" will be acking off into the sunset. I can't say that it's all that shocking, the writing was on the wall when she married Irving in 2005. For a comic devoted to the daily travails of a miserable, love (and chocolate) starved, single woman getting Cathy to finally marry was the equivalent of Beetle Bailey being dishonorably discharged from the army, or the Lockhorns filing for a divorce, or Garfield being diagnosed with feline AIDS.

As a staple of the newspaper comic section I occasionally read a "Cathy" comic or two growing up and I, like most males and people under 50, had always written off "Cathy" as an unrelatable, unfunny, waste of ad space and printer's ink that had long since lost any relevance; living a lazy, half-assed existence recycling its tired old jokes and tropes while enjoying its comfortable tenure. During my recent Lockhorn archiving experiment (currently on hiatus), my perusing of the daily comics got myself a chance to reevaluate many of the old comics I grew up with, including "Cathy", and after looking at the antics of Cathy through the wizened perspective of an adult I must say it still sucks.

Why anyone would have any interest or empathy for this miserable, annoying, shrill troll of a woman who somehow manages to be both ugly on the outside and inside is a mystery. What's even more perplexing is how "Cathy" has a reputation as some sort of female cultural icon. So what exactly is there in this patently offensive hideous caricature of the modern female that fellow contemporary women can take to heart? Are women deep down all really that superficial/hysterical/whinny and "Cathy" is some common gender relating figure? If you did the old gender switcheroo and instead of Cathy Guisewhite it was her husband who created and wrote "Cathy", I don't think it would have been nearly as successful.

Then again, maybe I'm just unfairly picking on "Cathy" since most comic strips suck. I can't say I'm sad to see it go so this stops short of a eulogy, but for something that has consistently existed everyday for my entire existence to soon be gone forever, at least some attention must be paid. Now all that's left is to speculate about what the big finale would be October 3rd. There definitely isn't enough development time for a baby but I'm thinking maybe she'll get pregnant (as horrifying as the implications are). Although I'd be willing to completely reevaluate my comments on the entire series run if the ending is anything like the insane existential nightmare Garfield strips that ran the week before Halloween in 1989.

P.S. While google image searching for a decent sized picture of Cathy, I came across this horrifying "Cathy" parody that someone created for their blog. It is beyond "Not Safe For Work" it's more closer to "Not Safe For Human Eyes". Click at your own peril, but remember you can never unsee it.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

You know what I like about you English? "Octopussy". Man I must have seen that movie...twice!

If you haven't already heard the buzz around the internet, today, August 1, 2010 is indeed the foretold wedding date of one Lisa Simpson and Hugh Parkfield from the classic season 6 episode "Lisa's Wedding". I find it all too proper that Lisa's wedding immediately followed the high profile real life wedding of another notably nerdy 90s adolescent. As amusing as it is that today is actually the day noted all those years ago in the episode (the fact that the writers even got the proper day of the week shows the sort of admirable dedication and attention to detail that made those early era Simpson episodes so classic), it's also more than a little horrifying that this once oh so distant future has arrived and that it really has been 15 years since I first caught this episode in middle school.

Obviously while the episode's predictions about 2010 were greatly exaggerated for comic effect, it's still really interesting to note and compare just how completely far off the episode's world of 2010 is from today:

Trees, while endangered and threatened with deforestation all throughout the planet, have not thus far faced Lorax style extinction. In addition, our hologram monument making technology is also way behind expectations.

While gaining some measure of critical acclaim and a few golden globe nominations (and even a win) in the last two decades, Jim Carrey and his films have yet to enter the classic film canon. Also, as of 2010 he's only done about 33 movies.

Celebrities are not plaguing modern society (at least not through violent crimes). Heather Locklear did divorced long time husband Richie Sambora but has yet to marry Elizabeth Taylor's ex-husband number 8, Larry Fortensky.

America is still mired in two military engagements but World War III never occurred, with the British coming to America's aid.

We actually do have video phone technology but it never really caught on, additionally hardly anyone has a home phone line anymore. Maybe the new iPhone's FaceTime feature will really take off?

And despite all the exaggerated visions of the future, the Rolling Stones continue to be active and tour (although they don't seem to be tirelessly working to preserve historic buildings):

Well, I guess we'll have an additional 15 or so more years until the celebration of the not-so-classic "Bart to the Future".