1. I have heard things like “fascists gonna fash”, so I can follow it. This a fascist police officer. Cyanide and Happiness isn’t, in this case, taking a position on whether ALL police officers are fascists, but THIS one is.

  2. …and that is about as far as this can go before it breaks down into pro-fascism and anti-fascism comments.

  3. Maybe it’s about fascin? As in:

    Actin-binding protein that contains 2 major actin binding sites. Organizes filamentous actin into parallel bundles. Plays a role in the organization of actin filament bundles and the formation of microspikes, membrane ruffles, and stress fibers. Important for the formation of a diverse set of cell protrusions, such as filopodia, and for cell motility and migration. Mediates reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton and axon growth cone collapse in response to NGF. Belongs to the fascin family. Ubiquitous.

    OK, that’s less a definition than a really bad Quiz Bowl question.

  4. I’m with Downpuppy, now :~) . When I couldn’t get from “fascist” to ” fascin’ “, all I could come up with was “fascinating”, which I could NOT get to fit with the scenario. (..but it made me laugh; so, maybe that’s it?)

  5. It’s awkward and being a fan of language policing I ought to complain and reject it (“it” being the reduction of “being a fascist” to “fascin'”)…. but the switch from an explanation of “police who monitor X” to “police who do a homophone of X” and the trope of having police who moniter X (“food police” “fashion police” “language police”) to a very different, and the fact that it is a decent and very unexpected pun (if you accept the word “fascin'” which is very hard to do) and the depiction a fascist police was so unexpected yet cynically compelling I think it works okay.

    I had to think, blink, reread… but then when realization dawned it was a laugh. As long as the laugh comes eventually on ones own it’s a good good, even if it doesn’t come immediately. Sometimes the blinking, and reading, can compell the joke to be stronger. As I think it was in this case.

  6. “A friendly reminder to avoid political arguments; we’re just trying to understand the comic.”

    Well, we ought to be able to say “we agree a political belief exists and for better or worse this cartoon is expressing it” without saying we agree or disagree with it.

    Although, as ianosmond points out, we don’t have to quite go that far. The comic is a pun on “fascin’ = bein’ a fascist”. No need to take a political side on it. (although the author of C&H surely has not such compunction to avoid politics).

  7. I find it interesting that we got the “avoid politics” reminder. It’s as if the admins already understood the joke. 🙂

  8. Mark M: I didn’t understand the joke – and am still not really sure I understand it. But I saw something that seems to relate to the word “fascism,” so I could/can guess that it can have something to do with politics even if I don’t get it.

  9. WW

    There’s not much to get. ianosmond has it that “fascists gonna fasc” makes “Fascin'” is participle meaning actively being a fascist. So it’s a pun. Orange shirt things he’s saying he’s a “fashion police” and points out his outfit is fine. But it turns out he’s a fascin’ police meaning he’s just going around being a fascist for the heck of it and so he starts beating innocent orange shirt with a club because…. well, because fascists gonna fasc….

    Cyanide and Happiness is a cynical strip so there is a meta-joke in that this is presented as a simply light hearted pun. But the pun involves a sadistic fascist beating an innocent civilian senseless for no better reason than it makes the pun. That’s horrific and at odds with the light-hearted presentation.

  10. @DNH: ““Fascisting”, apparently … because you can verbize any word.”

    As the OTHER C&H informed us many years ago, verbing weirds language.

  11. “We’re working on a new method of producing nuclear warfare called ‘nuclear fashion.’ We have a warhead disguised as a mannequin. It throws off the enemies’ anti-missile-missiles. They can’t tell that it’s a missile, because the mannequin is all dressed up in the latest fashion.”

    — Storyteller Joe Frank (NPR; KCRW, Santa Monica), “Warheads” (circa 1980) via NPR Playhouse

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