February 29, 2020February 24, 2020 by CIDU Bill Leap Day Oy Oy Baldo, Bill Bickel, Bizarro, comic strips, comics, humor, Jeffrey Caulfield and Brian Ponshock, Wayno, Yaffle 26 Comments Submitted by Andréa Related
I love the Baldo pun, but that first one is too much of a stretch. If the comic’s society is numbers or furniture or sows or whatever, fine, but clearly the society here is humans, with just that one exception of a talking piece of meat. The Bizarro makes for a good editorial cartoon.
@ Boise Ed – Thanks for making me look at that “Bizarro” again. I didn’t get the pun at all back in January, and I still didn’t think it was funny when I first saw it here. Only just now did I realize that “iniquity” is normally spelled with three “I”s (and no “E”s).
P.S. I was wondering why Baldo looked a little different (for instance: no wide-mouth grins), then I noticed that this strip is 13 years old.
Wouldn’t the ham have turned back into a pig’s butt? Would have taken at least two panels, I guess. And still wouldn’t be all that funny, with the blood and all.
And re your title, someone said that the the reason for February 29 is that it takes a whole day to explain leap year.
I doubt I’ll recover where this came from, but I have a pretty vivid memory of a moment in a detective story on TV or in a book, where the investigator is just bantering with a standup comic or comedic stage actor or playwright, and the latter says something like “Hey wait a minute, that’s pretty good! Mind if I use it?” but later adds “Nah, it’s too subtle — the public wouldn’t get the underlying knowledge necessary to get the joke.”
There were two quips in question, actually. One was “I’ve been taken for a ride — by the Government — it’s the Rides of March” ; the part the general public might not get was the “Ides of March” in Julius Caesar ; and the fact that income tax day was on March 15 before being moved to April 15.
The other was related to the above comic. (To finally get to the point!) It was about non-union actors in a noisy protest, which was said to raise “a din of inEquity”. But the public might not know that Equity is the actors’ union, and perhaps not know the expression “den of iniquity”.
I’m not sure that this kind of den would have such a public window; it makes the pun a little challenging to understand. (It was funny ’til I thought too much.) A speakeasy wouldn’t have their fare exposed to the sidewalk or wherever the alien is hovering. I may be missing something. Why the term “den”?
Mitch4: The scene you remember is from an early chapter of AND BE A VILLAIN, a Nero Wolfe novel by Rex Stout; Archie is the guy offering the “Rides of March” joke which the radio comic who’s called him in thinks was pretty good, but which his agent shoots down as way too obscure for their public.
I’m actually not much of a Nero Wolfe fan (read them all as a kid, but never felt the urge to reread any), but for some reason I also have remembered that one specific scene for over fifty years (though I had to look some plot summaries just now to identify just which one it came from).
I used to read and reread the Nero Wolfe books quite a lot, so I am not surprised that Archie’s scene stuck with me.
But then maybe “the din of inEquity” was from someone else. Uh … would a guess of Dorothy Parker be aiming too high?
Is the concept of Leap Day really all that complicated? The earth takes 365 1/4 days to go around the sun, so we have to sliw down the calendar a bit too even it out.
Now Groundhog Day, THAT’S something nobody understands.
@ Kevin A – The word “den” is used to refer to the dwellings of various kinds of wild animals (dogs, foxes, bears, etc.), and by extension, the hideouts of certain unsavory elements (robbers, thieves, etc.)
P.S. In general I agree with you about the window, but it reminded me of the “disreputable” pub in “The Dover Boys“, in which the window has a (very brief) important purpose.
@ Kilby – ohhh.., one of my favorite Warner Brothers cartoons, it was really unique. I was hoping against hope (a phrase, I have no idea what means) that it was the one you were talking about. When I saw the name, I felt it in my gut rather than immediately remembering the images. (It’s probably been near 40 years since I’ve seen it.)
This is the best version I found on YouTube (the 4K one is distorted):
Mitch4 (FEBRUARY 29, 2020 AT 12:53 PM): The idea of underlying knowledge necessary to get the joke doesn’t seem to bother some cartoonists. Fairly often I puzzle over one that depends on recognizing not only some pop musician, but a lyric from one of his/her songs. Often, even after some commenter identifies the musician, it’s someone whose name is completely alien to me.
I think that joke should be “Deviled ham”, because that thing is obviously possessed. There is no other reason it would be animate.
Bizarro is perpetuating a falsehood to make this weak joke. Statistics Canada released its latest study on the “gender wage gap” recently. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/75-004-m/75-004-m2019004-eng.htm
Now, there IS a gap between what men and women earn when taken as a whole (but the study found it decreasing), but it is not as it is always reported, that women are victims. To quote the study:
-The reduction in the gender wage gap between 1998 and 2018 was largely explained by changes in the distribution of men and women across occupations; women’s increased educational attainment; and the decline in the share of men in unionized employment.
-The two largest factors explaining the remaining gender wage gap in 2018 were the distribution of women and men across industries, and women’s overrepresentation in part-time work. These were also the largest explanatory factors behind the gap in 1998.
-Similar to other studies, nearly two-thirds of the gap in 2018 was unexplained. Possible explanations for this portion include gender differences in characteristics that were beyond the scope of this study, such as work experience, as well as unobservable factors, such as any gender-related biases.
So, women, as an average, earn less per hour than men because they work fewer hours and work in lower paying jobs. So, rather obvious and not excited, so the media and special interest groups deliberately distort the results.
So, for me, it’s a comic I understand but don’t think is funny. If your joke asserts something not true is true and must be true for the joke to work, it’s a bad joke. Unless it’s just absurd, like the cured ham, which obviously doesn’t claim to portray a truth about the world. So, that raises an interesting question about what role comic strip artists play in informing public perceptions and their responsibility to not misinform people. A topic on my mind since the Lone Ranger comic that popped up for discussion the other day. “Close to Home” wasn’t it?
Now, as for Baldo, that does make me think doing a comic is a sweet gig. Just get a book of old jokes and draw out the jokes as an exchange between characters and profit!
SingaporeBill: yes, and also, jobs become less prestigious and pay less as more women do them. The world is a horrible place. And there’s nothing inaccurate about the comic.
That’s why comic creators have a responsibility to not perpetuate inaccuracies. Eventually, it becomes ideology and people will scream it’s true even when confronted with the truth.
The comic is not inaccurate: she (like many women) is probably being offered a low paying, arduous job (like washing dishes), whereas the men get to work at the bar and waiting tables, where they are are not only paid better, but get the lion’s share of the tips. The primary reason for the (very real) wage gap is not that women seek lower paying jobs, it’s because residual prejudice discourages and/or prevents many women from getting a fair shot at the better positions. (One could replace “women” with “minorities” without reducing the veracity of that statement at all.)
“Similar to other studies, nearly two-thirds of the gap in 2018 was unexplained. Possible explanations … include … unobservable factors, such as any gender-related biases.” That’s a lot of wiggle room for interpreting a study’s results.
Wow, I have to admit I totally miss read the Bizarro. I thought it was about the lack of equity found in the completely false assertion that women get paid less than men for the same job just for being women. I didn’t realize she was going to be doing a completely different job with different requirements and compensation. To some that might seem reasonable: different job, different job description and pay. However, Bizarro is taking a brave, pro-Communism stand and pointing out the lack of equity when not all workers are paid the same. Makes total sense when you think about it. Why should a burger flipper get paid less than a neurosurgeon? Workers Unite!
If you like “The Dover Boys at Pimento University, or, The Rivals of Roquefort Hall,” here it is reanimated by more than 90 animators, each doing a few seconds worth, to the original soundtrack: https://youtu.be/j0U8iL38xfM
@ SingaporeBill – “… Baldo … is a sweet gig. Just get a book of old jokes…”
Perhaps you would prefer today’s Frazz, which starts almost on the same exact page, but then ups the ante (at least a little):
I know it’s just part of an old saying, but “Different Drum” to me always meant this song by Michael Nesmith as performed by Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys.
She had such a beautiful voice. It’s a shame she’s lost it.
also, clearly I can tyep tonihgt.
@Dave in Boston: First, I’d like to explicitly state that I’m not arguing for actual sex discrimination in compensation for people, but I do think we can’t deal with the genuine injustices there are if we buy into falsehoods. Now, that said, that’s a very interesting article. The “reasons” provided by the U.S. soccer overseers isn’t very convincing, considering the women have a better record AND bring in more money. I think the story buries a really telling fact at the bottom, though:
“Cordeiro claimed that US Soccer had offered an equal pay package for matches under its control.
But the governing body did not offer compensation for the difference in prize money paid to men and women’s teams at World Cups, as they are of responsibility of Fifa, the global governing body.
The last men’s World Cup champions France received $38m (£29.6m) after winning the tournament in Russia, in 2018.
The US women’s team however, went home with $4m (£3.1m) for winning the trophy last year.”
It seems that part of the discrepancy comes from inequality in what FIFA pays out in prize money and, if what the story says is true, that would mean less money to pay women’s team. I wonder how much of the money the women are paid comes out of those FIFA prizes and how much comes from US Soccer?
Of course, professional athletes do represent the antithesis of people working in shops, restaurants, and cubical farms, where employers largely see workers as largely interchangeable. In many of those cases, particularly with larger firms, there is little correlation between one’s performance and one’s pay. Back in my time with a multi-billion dollar financial institution, I had a friend (who is an outstanding worker), challenge his performance rating at annual review time. He’d received the second-highest rating but felt he should have received the highest. The rating was tied to how much bonus he received (it might have been worth an extra $500-$1000) and would likely have given him an annual salary increase of 2.5% instead of 2%. So not huge stakes financially. The big difference is that having the highest rating would give him a huge advantage in applying for internal promotion within the company. Because it was a large company, there was actually a mechanism to challenge this. That’s not possible in a lot of smaller companies.