Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mr. Potter Would Love It

If you read today’s Dinette Set comic, you have dismissed it as not one of the best. If so, you missed the joke. On the surface, Julie Larson has led you to believe that the humor is to be found in contrasting Dale’s idiotic purchase of a large Christmas tree with Timmy sagacious selection of “one big present … or the cash equivalent”. However, thinking a little deeper, you realize that Timmy’s grandma knows it is Santa who determines what the present is, not Timmy; she is cruelly exploiting the boy’s genetically underdeveloped intellect and trauma induced retardation for her own amusement. Though the habitual child abuse by Timmy’s grandparents, which undermines his mental development, is a continuing theme of Larson’s “humor”, that is not the real joke today. You may have noticed Burl’s holiday sweatshirt, which reads: “I stole LuLu’s petals”, making reference to the classic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”, in which the Bailey family waif has a beloved rose that has lost two petals. The petals become the talisman providing George Bailey his tenuous connection back to his real life. The idea of stealing the poor child’s petals and, moreover, her father’s life, extends the hilarious child abuse theme, but, again, that is not the real joke. If you remember the movie, or read the information in the link, you know that the girl’s name is Zuzu, not Lulu. You may think that Larson has made an error but, no, the wrong name is intentional. Burl obviously bought the sweatshirt at the Crustwood WalMart, who purchased their stock of holiday sweatshirts from China. You know this because you know that the impoverished, exploited factory workers in China do not celebrate Christmas, they don’t know what “It’s a Wonderful Life” is or who Zuzu is and they wouldn’t know that the American name “Lulu” has only one capital “L”, not two. What Burl has done is help WalMart take away American jobs, destroy our economy and lead us to the point where Timmy will be lucky to get even one small present. So, it is not Timmy, it is not Dale, it is Burl who is the real “blockhead” and THAT is the joke in today’s strip. I laugh every time I look at it.

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