February 17, 2020February 17, 2020 by CIDU Bill Skycapp CIDU Andy Capp, Bill Bickel, comic strips, comics, Doug Bratton, humor, Pop Culture Shock Therapy 27 Comments As well he should have; but what’s the joke? Related
Do you see how the words are all sloppy and so is the speech bubble? And his nose is red? Andy is really, really drunk and he’s behaving in a way that will destroy a career he must have spent decades building. So, you see, it’s funny when people with addiction issues destroy their lives.
I wish this were a two-panel strip, though. Surely in the next panel they would be rolling around in a big dust cloud as he beats her with the bottle.
And to continue SB’s idea from his first paragraph: This shows that Andy wasn’t always a drunk layabout. He worked hard and had a good, steady job until alcoholism brought him down. He became a man who could have been great (or at least good) but for his tragic flaw. And that flaw reduced him to the broke, sly, conniving, wife-beating brawler we see in the comics.
Oh, wait. We were supposed to be figuring out why this was funny, weren’t we.
Sarcasm ill befits you, SingaporeBill. Besides, the real Andy cleaned up his act a long time ago. He’s still a brawling sot, but he stopped smoking, and of all the people he beats up, Flo is no longer one of them. Kind of a shame, though, since she was one of the few who made it an even fight.
Oh, I hadn’t noticed that this is Pop Culture comic. It has a pop culture icon (Andy Capp) in it. That’s the extent of the joke of all of those I’ve seen on this site (and I never see them elsewhere).
I fully understand why my initial comment (ex: @1) has been deleted, but even after reading the CIDU FAQs, I still maintain that this panel is in incredibly poor taste, and is not even the slightest bit funny. I’m willing to agree that cartoonists deserve to be treated with respect(*), but this comic does not deserve any respect at all.
P.S. (*) – In the spirit of the FAQ, I think I shall give up reading and commenting on anything related to “Close to Home” for the foreseeable future.
“Hate the cartoon, not the cartoonist”?
Not to be nit-picky, but shouldn’t he be saying ’50 quid’ rather than ’50 bucks’? This is a British comic, right? Also, those uniforms are quite similar to BA.
I suppose that this could just add to the humour that SB and Arthur mentioned. His addiction to and abuse of alcohol is at such a stage that not only has he ruined his entire professional career, but it’s reached a point where his cultural identity is fading as well. He not only slurs his words, but is losing the very the lexicon that identifies him and ties him to his social roots, leaving him a hollow shell of his former self. Subtle, but hilarious!
It would be interesting to know whether this is new, or whether GoComics is recycling older panels. I wanted to look up the PCST website (to find out where Bratton grew up), but the URL that he puts on every panel no longer works (it’s been squatted upon by a Japanese service provider): de mortuis nil nisi bonum.
P.S. Or maybe he just forgot to pay the hosting bill: Amazon says that he lives in New Jersey, and is the NYC chapter head of the NCS (National Cartoonist’s Society).
I think the joke is that “Capp” is very close to “CAP” (Commercial Airline Pilot). Other than that, I got nothing.
My father was an airline pilot and he and his colleagues were often three sheets to the wind at social gatherings, though as far as I know never in charge of an aircraft. There was a rule of eight hours, or maybe twelve hours, bottle to throttle. My father did admit to once taking off in a plane with a few passengers while mildly sloshed, but it would have been in an RAF Avro Anson in Canada in about 1943, when he was a flying instructor; obviously this is not perfect behaviour but then it was a few mates, not 100+ paying stranger passengers. And there was a war on.
Well, I was going to comment that Andy Capp is working class, which means in the rigid class conscious Britain of his creation, he would never have been able to become a pilot, but then narmitaj posted, and not only is he British, his father was a pilot, so I decided not to stick my neck out…
larK, keep in mind that it was during the War. At the time they had to tolerate many of the great unwashed acting above their station. This caused no end of trouble when many of them expressed resentment and resisted being put back in their place. Andy here, you see, tried to make a go of it as an airline pilot, but his inferior genes won out and his tendency to drunken, belligerent sloth prevailed.
I think it is the subtext of the comics that I really enjoy.
“This caused no end of trouble when many of them expressed resentment and resisted being put back in their place.”
I’m reading a mystery series that takes place from end of WWI thru WWII, and this is mentioned/occurs quite often. WWI marked the end of the ‘Downstairs’ folks, as so many were in the war and refused to go back to being servants when they returned.
Reminds me quite a bit of the women who worked at ‘men’s jobs’ during WWII, and were then expected to return to the kitchen and the nursery when the [male] soldiers returned.
World War II was probably the final nail in the coffin. Jean Renoir’s Le Grande Illusion ( https://www.criterionchannel.com/grand-illusion ) took the position that World War I was the end of the nobility/aristocracy of Europe. Renoir was a WWI veteran (though a pilot, not in the mud of the trenches) and made the film in 1937. It’s quite interesting; it paints a good picture of military men (on all sides) and is very cynical about war itself.
My father was not particularly of working class stock – his father was an architect turned (due to ill health) market gardener before the Great War, growing tomatoes, and was himself the son of a teacher.
He (my grandfather) was also a Quaker and a conscientious objector during the Great War, one of about 6000+ imprisoned (in his case, with hard labour in Wormwood Scrubs and Exeter, released Sept 1918 due to ill health). He died in 1929 with a bad heart.
My father and his brothers all joined the military in WW2, but they wrote explanatory/apologetic letters to their widowed mother about the situation (Hitler being a particular menace to civilisation, they said).
Here’s my father (middle back) as commander of a Liberator crew on anti-sub & anti-shipping patrols in the North Sea/ North Atlantic/ Baltic with 547 Squadron RAF Coastal Command in the last few months of the war, once he stopped being an instructor:
One interesting element of watching the recent film 1917: it was set in early April 1917, and my father was born in December 1917, so he was just two weeks (or thereabouts) conceived at the time it was set.
Here’s my grandfather’s recorded war service (so he was in jail when his son was born, and for nearly a year after):
“War Service Som.L.I. [must be Somerset Light Infantry] Taunton; CM (Court Martial) Taunton 25.5.17 – 6 months com.112 days, Wormwood S.; CM (Court Martial) Taunton 6.9.17 – 8 months HL (With hard labour), Exeter CP (Civil Prison); CM (Court Martial) Taunton Barracks 26.4.18 – 1yr.HL (With hard labour), Exeter CP (Civil Prison)”
“Wormwood S. 31.5.17 to 27.8.17 to Escort; Exeter CP (Civil Prison) 13.9.17 to 27.3.18; Exeter CP (Civil Prison) 3.5.18 to 23.8.18 Discharged by special Home Office order – 6.9.18 Illness – released on medical grounds to Army Reserve Class ‘W’ false”
Incidentally, before my father joined the RAF in 1941 he spent in a year in the Somerset Light Infantry, the outfit his father was notionally signed up for (everyone eligible was assumed by Act of Parliament to have been inducted into the army, which is why he could be court-martialled even though he never joined the army).
How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down on the Farm (After They’ve Seen Paree)?
In synchronicity, I just received email from Penguin Random House about books set in WWII, both fiction and non-fiction. Whoever’s reading my emails is doing a good job of matching them to books to read.
Andréa, I barely notice things like that anymore: a couple of weeks ago I made some fairly-obscure reference hereon CIDU, and a few minutes later there was a related ad in my Facebook news feed.
Likelihood of coincidence: zero.
He used to be Cap. Andy, but that’s all behind him now?
So actually, before I go and try and untangle the British class system vis a vis the military, maybe I could get some clarification of the American class system vis a vis the military: the movie The Best Years of our Lives, filmed in 1946, right after WWII, is regarded as a classic, and supposedly very realistic, not flinching at any details (an actual amputee sailor stars as one of the characters). Of the three main characters, the one is the actual real life amputee veteran; the other two are a well off bank manager, presumably college educated, who was a Sergeant, and a soda jerk who was a Captain and pilot, and a lot of the plot is about how they have trouble readjusting to civilian life. It never made sense to me that the soda jerk with no college education would be made a Captain, and then have nothing to fall back on upon discharge but to become a soda jerk again, equally that the bank manager was only made a Sergeant and not an officer. The two on top of each other really strains my credulity — sure, it makes for compelling story telling, but really?? Especially in this film, where there are telling the hard unflinching Truth. Anyone able to comment? Would a soda jerk really be made a Captain without any education and/or certifications that would benefit him upon discharge?
At the start of WW II, the US had almost no qualified combat airmen. They started training pilots and support personnel by the thousands. Education wasn’t as important as physical standards. Once a in the Army Air Corp, advancement tended to be rapid due to attrition. There’s the Maudlin cartoon with Willie’s nephew: almost a kid, flight jacket, Colonel’s eagles:
As far as the bank manager, if he didn’t go through Officer Candidate School, then he probably would not be an officer. For the infantry, they were pretty old-school about that.
In “Starship Troopers”, Heinlein vents a fair amount of vitriolic steam against the practice of commissioning civilians with no combat experience as officers. He doesn’t identify the U.S. Army (or Navy) by name (his publisher would never have permitted that back then), but his descriptions are obviously directed toward WWII and Korean War practices (the book appeared too early to be criticism of what went on in Vietnam).
I am on another list and the people on it cannot understand the difference between servants and employees.
BTW – while in the 1700s young girls in the British colonies had to have well off fathers to learn embroidery – father had to have servants to do the housework so the daughter(s) had time to learn plus he had to have the means to buy to buy the supplies. On the other hand in England poor girls were taught embroidery at schools (often run by Quakers) so that they could go to one of the “great houses” and get as job as a servant doing needlework.
Andréea, could you please check in? Thanks.