Maybe this should be held until the next time we assemble an Oopsies list post. But even if the wording owes something to bad translation or the author not being a native speaker of English, it’s still hard to guess how anything even somewhat plausibly translatable this way could fuel a story or joke to go with the drawing. Hey, is that even un patito at all?
It’s a reference to The Ugly Duckling, who grows up to be a beautiful swan. This oriole (?) ain’t going be nothing but an oriole, so he goes to the plastic surgeon to become a swan.
As for “non-hegemonic,” it just means not belonging to the group in power. That is, he ain’t a swan.
But that is ready to go political, which I know you’d rather not.
I’m trying to connect with “nevermore”, as quoted by a raven. Did Dr. More do surgery, turn the non-hegemonic duckling into a hegemonic raven who goes around telling everyone, “never more!”, as in never use Dr. more? I can’t quite get it to fit.
Does anyone know where the original Spanish language version might be found? It does not seem to be available (or at least not findable) at GoComics.
It’s the Ugly Duckling, who has gone for corrective surgery. But we don’t shame people by calling them ‘ugly’ these days, we use PC language.
Also, the story’s protagonist wasn’t un patito, it was un cygnet.
Thanks, Pete. What I was sort of complaining about was that the bird in the drawing didn’t seem (to me) to look like a duckling. But you are right, if this is in some sense the bird from the “Ugly Duckling” story it should be a cygnet, not a duckling.
But then, is this a reasonable rendering of a cygnet? I’m starting to like where some people are going with calling it a crow or raven (or perhaps Poe’s raven in particular.
It looks as much like a cygnet as Dr More looks like a human.
It looks like a real cygnet about as much as Dr More looks like a real human.
The only bird it looks like is a male Eurasian Blackbird. since all the North American blackbird, crow & raven species I could find have dark bills. so, no help with the joke.
It turns out that baby black swans look like ducks, and are white.
What is PC for ugly? “Visually challenging”?
A question was raised (in email) about the post title. I said it was the best I could do at the spur of the moment to play off the “less is more” saying in the form of a name. I said I recall the Car Talk guys doing a better version, but I couldn’t recall it exactly and hadn’t looked it up.
So, now I have looked it up, and it was Les Ismore. (He was “Manager of Car Talk Capital Depreciation Fund”) The full list, for your enjoyment, is at https://www.cartalk.com/content/staff-credits
I think that the essential/important idea on the left side is that the the bird is not shaped like a duck, nor is it shaped like a swan.
“Hegemonic” is, of course, required; Max’s definition is better than the Oxford Dictionary of English (but not better than the OED; The O..D..E.. has how to use the word but not fully how the word is used 🙂 ).
After fully taking that all in, take a good look at the face, hands, and stance of Dr. MORE.
[I like how the doctor takes up 3/4 or the entire panel; try moving your eyes from looking at the bird to looking at the doctor.
What is PC for ugly? “Visually challenging”?
I think most PC forms use challenged rather than that challenging.
So maybe “appearance-challenged”?
oops, I didn’t mean to exclude the Doctor’s specialty.
Does anyone know where the original Spanish language version might be found?
Kilby, I’m not so confident as you are that there is a Spanish version.
Since you recently dug it up for a question much like this, I have been on-and-off following Ham’s Spanish-language feature, called something like “Aaarrrggh”. (In fact there will be a CIDU post for that comic coming up next week.) But that is not a Spanish version of “LOE”, in the sense that Baldo, say, has an English and a Spanish version with the same comic on the same day. What they have in common is the cartoonist’s peculiar drawing style and, um, nonlinear sense of humor.
As I may have said in email, I don’t expect that a Spanish “original”, if it were to be found, would clarify much of anything. There is a language problem, yes, but it’s not like a translation problem — it’s just the total inappropriateness of “non hegemonic” as part of the description of a bird.
Kevin, I sense that you’re setting a riddle for us; but I still am making not much progress. The more I look at the doctor’s face, the more he looks like a dinosaur!
All this talk about birds reminds me of this classic scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8Rn_f75UHs&t=10s
If another plastic surgeon met Dr. More but did not know that Dr. More was a plastic surgeon, he would ask Dr. More, “Have you ever thought about doing something about your nose?”
@Mitch4 – I’m trying to point out that the plastic surgeon is smiling, and I believe it is because he’s feeling the joy of possibly getting to do such a large project, in which case the bill for the surgery may be bigger even than that bill of a nose he’s got.
[People who don’t read Ham comics regularly may not realize that’s a smile and not a fold in his neck. On the long skinny necks, the frown or smile that Ham draws looks like it on or below the Adam’s apple.]
@Mitch4 – smiling and folding his hands
The doctor looks like a bent thumb, minus thumbnail.
“Where is Thumbkin? Where is Thumbkin?
Here I am! Here I am!”
Back when two of the regulars on 60 Minutes were Morley Safer and Lesley Stahl, some wag said, “What 60 Minutes needs is more Lesley and less Morley.”
And you’ve all heard about the apocryphal gravestone:
Here Lies The Body of
The Lester Moore gravestone is not apocryphal:
Well, that taught Les a lesson he’ll never forget. Bet he didn’t do that no more.