Saturday, July 09, 2005

Not that I expect a response or anything...

Dear Mr. Tinsley,

I have been following your series of comic strips this week—in which you painstakingly explain to your readers that the Mallard Fillmore strip that appeared in America: the Book wasn’t a real MF strip—with great amusement. I see two possibilities here: either you want to spare the feelings of those of your readers who were stupid enough to think that Jon Stewart and company were trying to “fool” them—or you yourself are that stupid. If the former is the case, I salute your admirable humanitarian impulses. But honestly, who are we trying to fool here: both you and I know that that’s not it at all. You were actually under the impression that an obvious satire of your work was intended as a fiendish trap to trick unsuspecting readers.

I would simply laugh at your dimwittedness and leave it at that, but that would not be the Christian thing to do, and anyway, I think I see your problem: you aren’t familiar with the concept of “satire.” Having followed your work for some time, this comes as no great shock. However, it’s a useful thing for any cartoonist to know about, so I’ll explain it to you, using the fake strip in question as my example. Fair enough?

Okay, try to follow me here: you know how Mallard Fillmore typically consists of regurgitated talking points that you heard on Rush Limbaugh, without any discernable “joke?” Good. Now—listen closely here—Stewart was making fun of this tendency of yours by having your character do what he so often does—that is, regurgitate a right-wing talking point—and then actually acknowledge that there’s no joke! Of course, it’s not as funny if you have to explain it. Nonetheless, it remains funnier than anything you’ve ever written. Intentionally, at any rate.

So do you understand now? I know it’s a big, hard concept, and it’s difficult for a li’l cartoonist like you to wrap his brain around it. But if you think about it for a while, I’m sure it will eventually start to make sense. You have to believe in yourself, Bruce! Who knows, perhaps someday you’ll understand it well enough that—dare to dream!—you can even incorporate it in your strip!

I hope this lesson has been edifying for you, Mr. Tinsley. However, if you still persist in your delusional belief that that wascawy Jon Stewart is trying to pull one over on people, might I strongly suggest that you sue him for libel? After all, per your interpretation, he’s claiming you said something you never said! That’s the dictionary definition of libel. It would be an open-and-shut case. Don’t let a lousy comedian get away with something like this! Nail him!

Yours in Christ,
Geoffrey Moses


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