Apparently…

tonic

… GoComics doesn’t pay anybody to look over old comics scheduled for rerunning to see whether they belong in 2019 newspapers (or even on the GoComics website). At least once a year, there’s a Mutt and Jeff that make us say “Oh, hell no…”

I’m not advocating censorship, or in any way making the old strips cease to exist. Put them in collections. Have a Mutt and Jeff archive site. But some strips really don’t belong in the general daily feed.

(And this is far from the most cringeworthy example)

22 Comments

  1. So is it the corporal punishment, the spousal abuse, or the narcotics consumption that is most objectionable?

  2. “So is it the corporal punishment, the spousal abuse, or the narcotics consumption that is most objectionable?”

    Don’t be silly. It’s the “everybody wearing gloves all the time”.

  3. GoComics is not the only culprit. Andrews McMeel appears be the ones who scan the old (paper) archives to turn these archaic comics into digital form. At the very least, whoever applies the hideous coloration should be able to flag these items.

  4. Spanking might raise some eyebrows these days, but drug and alcohol use is still played for laughs. I’ll concede that you wouldn’t get many laughs with violence against women, but violence against men is the fodder for half of the entertainment industry, from videogames to films. Even rape is funny if it’s a man being raped. Soap dropping jokes even appear in children’s shows.

  5. I seem to recall that GoComics doesn’t review anything. If they get a new comic from the “creator” or whatever, it runs.

  6. The violence in this strip reminds me of “The Katzenjammer Kids”, which was still running when this “Mutt & Jeff” originally appeared (Fisher’s signature is on the tablecloth in the last panel, so it must have been published before 1932.) Wallopping kids was acceptable back then (at least in some circles), but the same could be said for lynching.
    Ever so slowly (despite current setbacks), our society is progressing toward peace and tolerance. I doubt we’ll ever reach a social utopia such as that depicted in “Star Trek”, but I am rather happy not to have grown up in the sort of climate that my grandparents did.

  7. “At the very least, whoever applies the hideous coloration should be able to flag these items.”

    There’s a good chance this is being done overseas, by a person who may or may not have any English. (Every once in a while, you come across a colored comic where the text refers to the color of something, but it’s colored differently. ) If it is being done locally, it’s clear nobody is actually READING the comics.

    ” the limp, beaten body in the closet is kind of dark.”

    I read this as “he’s hiding”, not “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”.

    “Wallopping kids was acceptable back then (at least in some circles)”

    It’s acceptable now.

    (Negative-reinforcement training is perfectly valid. It’s now recognized that positive-reinforcement training works better, but negative-reinforcement works.)

  8. I don’t spank my kids, but I’m not particularly troubled that other parents use it as a parenting technique for their kids (obviously, though, some parents might use it in ways or to an extent that it becomes troubling). But spanking a baby seems pretty hard to defend. I’m pretty sure a baby can’t make any sort of connection between why they’re being spanked, or anything that they’ve done. I can’t even think of what sort of discipline lessons it would be reasonable to want a baby to learn.

  9. Hitting a kid works to stop the immediate bad behavior, but it’s quite likely to result in future, much worse, bad acts.

  10. “Hitting a kid works to stop the immediate bad behavior, but it’s quite likely to result in future, much worse, bad acts.”

    I don’t think this is true. There’s a strong correlation between children who are abused and future abuse, but A) that’s “abuse”, not “spanking”, and even there, the problem is lack of proper guidance rather than the correction method.
    Spanking has the positive effect of being able to immediately capture the child’s attention. When it’s rarely used, the times it IS used stands out. When it’s overused, the immediacy and attention-getting effects are substantially reduced. Eventually, the kid learns to tune it out completely. That’s not a problem if you have another method to get the kid’s attention, and correct the misbehavior. If not, then…

    I didn’t, as a general rule, spank my kid. But I had it in the toolbox.

  11. Not to be an Internet know-it-all, but…
    “Negative reinforcement” is not the same as punishment. The “negative” part means removing a stimulus, in an effort to increase behavior (reinforcement ALWAYS means to increase behavior, while punishment means to decrease it). An example would be, “If you bring home an A on the test you won’t have to mow the lawn this weekend.”

  12. The husband is not hiding. Note that his feet are off the floor. He is hanging from a hook like a garment.

  13. “The husband is not hiding. Note that his feet are off the floor. He is hanging from a hook like a garment.”

    These are not mutually exclusive.

  14. “The husband is not hiding. Note that his feet are off the floor. He is hanging from a hook like a garment.”

    “Hanging from a hook” and “hiding” are not mutually exclusive.

  15. My uncle (dad’s brother) would hit his sons with his belt. My parents almost never hit us – and never with anything but a hand. My dad used to joke that if he if took off his belt his pants would fall down.

    Mom hit me twice (think I posted before) – once when I was in kindergarten and I crossed the avenue ( wider & busier than the (cross) streets which I was allowed to cross ) with 2 friends who were older and allowed to cross the avenue – and who “crossed me”. I thought I had followed the rules, but when I told mom she was angry and hit me.

    In first grade (by now we had moved from Brooklyn to Long Island) a friend of mine who was in 2nd grade came to the first grade (only) playground, spoke to the monitor lady in charge of it and was allowed to come in and talk to me. She told me that my mom had called the school and I was suppose to go home with her after school. Since the monitor lady had let her come and talk to me – I thought it was true. I went home with her, (around the corner from our house) told her mom that I was suppose to stay there and spent the afternoon with her,we went out running errands – my mom was terrified as I never came home – she called the school, the bus company and was about to call the police when I called to see if she was home – and of course she was.

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