Past Opinion Articles

Article for the week of 10/12/08

ďOpusĒ Goes the Way of the DoDo

By, Puns McKenna

Everybody loves the morose Penguin, right? Well, some days even a morose penguin canít win. After five years, the lovable penguin is hanging up his hat. Are we sad? Iím sure that somewhere someone is. Iím not sure Iím particularly attached to this comic strip though.
Yeah the stripís creator has been doing this for thirty years. But it seems to me that he canít make up his mind what a good strip is. Now, as if itís going to make a difference, heís ending the five-year-old strip and going off to write books.

Will they make any more sense than the strips he wrote? I dunno. If the title of his new kids book is anything to go on, Iím gonna vote no. But hey! This is from the guy that brought us such strips as ďBloom CountyĒ and ďOutlandĒ. So will Opus be getting a new look? Is Opus going to become the creature feature in Berkleyís new books?

One really has to wonder if this is the end of the little morose penguin or just the beginning of a new journey. Will we see dear little Opus gallivanting around the childrenís section of the library now, spreading his morosity to our kids? I can just imagine it. ďOpus, The Morose Little PenguinĒ books, right along side ďClifford, The Big Red DogĒ books.

Personally, I think that whatever the morose little Opus goes into, wonít last long enough to make a difference. Five lonely years for a morose penguin and now da boot. Itís a shame really. Even though I never got into the morose nonsense, itís no way for a comic to go out. No comic should die just so its creator can go write a book. Besides, will ďPete & PicklesĒ really replace the one and only ďOpusĒ? Only time will tell. In the end Opus will cease and Berkley Breathed will move on, leaving us one morose penguin short of a comic.

Confessions of a Dislocated Texan
We are all just doodling in the sand
By Ezra Mann
(Article also Posted at the White Hall Progress Web site)
Sometimes even in my life I like to say wise things that are not necessarily followed quickly by rolling eyes or a threat made with a cast iron object. That said my latest ponderings might offend or please both bible thumpers and philosophy majors alike.
Like many who grew up in the pickup-laden southern states I did not escape the influence of the almighty and his right hand perfect man. I went and still go to services on most Sundays, though I learned that itís not necessarily the place you worship, but the message you pick up in it. On a recent visit to the pews I was reminded how the J-Dude would draw in the dirt before some of his most epic thoughts.
Before that unfortunate nailed to the tree incident the savior in training and his 12 homeboys did not always meet in the same place all that often and his message was no less powerful than the last. There were no denominations, just one creed and interpretation was open as long as the lesson was not lost in the shuffle.
Then the son of the man upstairs went home and we just had to play twister with the creative license. All of a sudden one church was better than the other, we were all going to burn in eternal damnation and the doodling in the sand was replaced with a pissing contest. Itís like weíre not electing a new president this November, but the next cross jockey.
Now if youíre expecting me to tell you who you should vote for you are in for disappointment and havenít quite got the point of this column yet. However, perhaps we could take the lesson in the fact that when Christ was making lines on the ground he was taking the time to think and didnít just answer just to shut up his followers.
We could follow the set example in any decision especially the next leader of our nation, who does not have to be from one of the two major parties. Thatís right the third party candidates have a message too, though most of them actually will take the time to answer questions instead of waste more than an hour in a debate on national television. Then again, why try when we can just stick with the geniuses that have stolen another $700 billion from the next several generations.
Isnít it a wonderful state of affairs when we can get a barrel of oil for $89, but prices for the gasoline this time around is up to a dollar or more than the last time it was that much for the same barrel? Sure, weíve got inflation, but inflation alone doesnít pay for the vacation packages we must be giving to companies that only pretend to be interested in helping out the consumer.
Oh and then thereís the jockeying pharmaceutical companies upping the price of medication and health insurance companies following suit each five minutes because itís the American thing to do deprive working citizens of the right to stay healthy. Iím wondering how in the world we are expected to help our neighbors when we canít even help ourselves. Thatís ok, Iíll just pretend Iím not going to die if I get cancer or another life ending condition.
There are some days when I wonder if we even take the time to examine what is happening to us or if weíve just forgotten what itís like to imagine. Children are even exposed to the ignorance that envelopes our society and support this or that candidate because mommy and daddy forgot to do a little research.
You donít have to be a scholar to notice that we keep making some of the same mistakes. The question is if we are going to only wash our hands of the matters or actually listen to the man making the footprints in the sand. I know that I donít want future generations to keep carrying the problems I said werenít my fault.

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