Mallard Fillmore 8/26/01 - HIV-baiting?

I’d include a link to the current strip, but King Features Syndicate doesn’t web-publish strips until 2 weeks after the date they appear in papers.

The 8/26 edition of the comic strip Mallard Fillmore is about a “Lemming Convention” in which the speaker is going on about why lemmings jump off of cliffs. The speaker (a lemming) makes the comment that lemmings jump off cliffs because the government doesn’t provide enough funding for research as to why lemmings jump off of cliffs.

Now, I read this and my first thought is “Other than the vague handwaving over government funding of anything, where’s the obnoxious right-wing viewpoint that Tinsley manages to swack us across the head with every week?” Then I notice that the speaker is wearing a red ribbon.

Fuck you, Tinsley. Fuck your goddamn one-winged duck. Fuck your stupid comic strip. The idiotic shitbucket of an editorial cartoon should be on the Op/Ed page in the first place. If it’s good enough for Doonesbury

It’s popular on the Right to decry government funding for AIDS. After all, it’s a “gay disease” or a “druggie disease”. But interestingly enough, most of the people who criticize calls for more AIDS funding usually counter with “what about funding for cancer research? or heart disease?” Well, guess what, folks…many cancers and many cases of heart disease are caused by personal choices, also. It’s just that those personal choices don’t involve sex or illicit drugs, two taboos in our present society.

To close, Mallard Fillmore is a right-wing shitbucket of an anatidinous clitclamp! Fuck you, Tinsley…


I read the Boston Globe, which puts both Mallard Fillomre and Doonesbury in the comics. However, it doesn’t carry the Sunday Mallard Fillmore so I have not seen the strip in question.

Perhaps he was making the point that AIDS is preventable, easily, for both straights and gays. I see nothing necessarily homophobic about the strip. That said, I wouldn’t put it past him to spend the next several days on the link between gays and AIDS, but as of yet, see no reason to get bent out of shape.

Maybe, but the strip was more of a “straw that broke…” than anything. Tinsley never fails to irk me. Disingenuous, barely veiled, sanctimonious, fake “you-know-what?-I-just-realized-this!” inkbites that pass for a comic strip…guh…

Tinsley and Hart should co-create the ultimate right-wing Christian comic strip and try to sell it to Jack Chick…

And I have the opposite problem, waterj2. Our paper carries the Sunday MF but not the weekday ones.


Uhhm, im my paper the ribbon is purple. I’m not really hip on the protest-ribbon code, and looking up “purple ribbon” on google has three different groups for the first three hits (of 7,200 hits): “Stop Violence”, “Stop Animal Abuse”, and “Fellowship of the Earth”. I’m sure there are plenty more groups claiming the brand as well.

I took the cartoon to mean that a lot of people blame the government for not stopping them from doing stupid things. I didn’t attribute it to AIDS at all.

And I’m very very much in agreement with that sentiment.

The ribbon is purple in my paper as well. I agree with Bill H. on the message he is trying to express in the cartoon. I don’t think he was trying to be disrespectful to AIDS patients.

Also, lemmings don’t actually jump off cliffs, so that made the cartoon a little silly IMO.

Hmmm…I don’t know how much we can quibble over newspaper comic section color. I’ll allow that it may not be a commentary on AIDS research funding. But it seems unlikely to me. But then my mileage varies on a daily basis sometimes.


The MF from 8/24 or 8/25 featured a not-exactly-backhanded slap at public school teachers. I don’t remember the specifics, but it basically said that they were dreaming hippies without grounding in reality, or something to that effect. Yeah, that’ll help improve test scores.

It reminds me of the complaints about the “liberal media.” Go to any journalism school, or the education department in a college for the sake of this topic, and try to count the conservatives amongst the students. You’d be lucky to get 10% these days. If you don’t like the filthy hippies teaching or reporting, send some upstanding Young Republicans to even it out. But you don’t see that happening much, do you?


If the purple ribbon is indeed for the PETA types, that would seem to make the lemmings angle sharper, no?

Woo-hoo! Mundane AND Pointless in the same post! Too bad it’s in the wrong nostril-raping board!


[sub](yeah, I think I got some cred with the nostril-raping bit…)[/sub]

The version I have is in the op-ed section, so it’s in black-and-white, but I’m going to hazard a guess that the strip is a generic slam at people who grub for federal bucks. Methinks jayjay is looking for something to be offended about, and if you look hard enough you’ll always find it.

What, you’re just noticing?

Damn shame to waste a large expanse of four-color funny papers on such a claptrap strip, though.

How about this, if they have to take Mallard Fillmore out of the comics page because it is political they also have to remove The Boondocks? And Garfield (just because it is stupid). And For Better or Worse (because it promotes sinful living).

Or maybe we just don’t read the comic strips we don’t like. I, personally, haven’t seen a Mallard Fillmore strip in years but I remember it being pretty stupid. But I’m always amazed that whenever Hart or Mallard Fillmore say something religiously or politically conservative all of a sudden people are crying out about how politics do not belong on the comics page.

Politics are almost always on the comics pages, you just usually agree with it.

On Doonesbury, most of the papers I’ve read publish it on the comics page.

Mallard Fillmore should be removed from comics pages on the very firm ground that it sucks. It’s a gag strip that’s just not funny. It’s mean-spirited and predictable, and makes no attempt at fairness or balance.

I can’t believe that people compare it to Doonesbury. While Doonesbury does have a definite liberal bent to it, Trudeau will slam his “own kind” often enough. Like him or not, you have to admit he’s fair.

I realize that papers won’t remove strips because they suck. Garfield and Ziggy and Marvin and who knows how many more are guaranteed life everlasting on the grounds that papers won’t remove strips that suck. And yes, I won’t read strips that I don’t like. But it infuriates me to see garbage taking up space where good strips could possibly go.

Are there any conservatives out there who are doing daily strips who can actually be fair, or at the very least, funny? Jeff MacNelly was a conservative, from what I understand, but Shoe wasn’t an especially political strip (though it bears mentioning that MacNelly’s political cartoons were always fair, with him never giving too much leeway to conservatives or gunning too hard for liberals. Jeff MacNelly, R.I.P.) I’m serious. I don’t know of any conservatives who do quality comics. If they exist, could someone let me know? Is there a conservative Garry Trudeau or Berke Breathed out there?

If you think Garry Trudeau is “fair” then we have different definitions of fair.

(I’m not saying that Doonesbury isn’t infinitely better than Mallard Fillmore but it isn’t fair. Trudeau will attack liberal people, but he attacks conservative ideas (as well as conservative people).

Chance the Gardener wrote

Jeez, first I gotta read your whinings about how the election isn’t fair, then come here to read how Doonesbury is? Please.

Yeah, and then let’s ban Huckleberry Finn. It uses the N-Word.

(I’m not saying that Doonesbury isn’t infinitely better than Mallard Fillmore but it isn’t fair. Trudeau will attack liberal people, but he attacks conservative ideas (as well as conservative people).

obfuscationist, Trudeau also attacks liberal ideas. Tinsley, typical of conservative ideologues, never attacks conservative ideas.

You don’t have to read anything, Bill H. And if you can cite some examples as to how Doonesbury isn’t fair, feel free to provide. Click on the link provided and peruse the entire thirty-plus-year archive of the strip. Read through and you’ll see that everyone gets blasted, left right and center. Sure, there’s a liberal bent to the strip, but Trudeau does try to be fair, and succeeds.

Furthermore, it’s a sad state of affairs when discourse on ideas of government in this country are dismissed out-of-hand as “whining.”

You know, you could stand to pick up a dictionary some time and look up the difference between aesthetics and censorship. It might help others to take you seriously.