please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Ziggy Circus

I've mentioned this before. Since 'Ziggy' and 'The Family Circus' appear right next to each other on the comics page in my particular paper, it has become the habit of me and many others in this town to see what you get when you give them each others' punchlines.

(I wish that I had the basic computer skills to just switch the punchlines over myself, but at this time, I just don't.)

Sometimes the juxtaposition is just surreal, like this one. The real star here is the waiter, who in his long-term bitterness at his neglectful childhood, has decided that Ziggy is his father, which as we all know, can't be possible.
Furthermore, under the parameters of this game, everyone in Ziggy's universe ends up getting called "Mommy," or "Gramma," or whatever.

And then sometimes the joke only works in one direction, in this case not least because of what a shitty, tired joke the 'Ziggy' panel has. But look how sad Zig looks as he informs his parrot named Jeffy of the death of Twitter.

But then I saw that Tom Wilson, author of 'Ziggy', had also written a book. "Oh good..." I thought.

Zig Zagging is exactly what you never, ever asked for: the guy who writes 'Ziggy' gives you some advice on life. It's about as good as it sounds, I bet, but even more interesting are the reviews...

"Ziggy cartoonist Tom Wilson didn't see it coming: after losing his beloved young wife to breast cancer, it's up to him to raise two children alone and keep the laughs coming in his cartoons worldwide—even as his own personal orbit is falling apart."
That is the Amazon review, written by someone who works at Amazon. Aside from the weird feeling it gave me when they pointed out how extra sad it is that someone's young wife died, that was pretty straightforward.

"Wilson's leg was crushed in a car accident, his wife died at age 44 of breast cancer, leaving Wilson with their two sons, and his father—both mentor and hero to Wilson—also had a serious illness. Immobilized by depression, Wilson's faith failed him, and he concluded that the mercy of God [was] an apparent fiction...With ideas like imagining Moses as the first Superman, Wilson delights with fresh, well-considered insights..."
That's the Publisher's Weekly review. There is what might very well be some concealed laughter going on around the office, based on some of those passages.

"Tom Wilson is a man who gets it.

"But there is a difference here: Tom IS love. That fact didn't come easily for him, and if anything he fought and resisted in even though he was a part of him the whole time and literally staring him in the face. But he had to go through this amazing journey to learn that. But in the end the result is a ménage a trois between Tom, Ziggy and God; an interesting relationship to say the least
Now that is the work of one Ric Morgan, who is kind enough to provide us with some bibliographical information about himself:

Ric Morgan is the author of a power-packed, life-changing little book called The Keys: The Textbook to a Successful Life, nominated for a 2009 Pulitzer Prize and two Nautilus Book Awards...

(And I imagine that he meant 'God' is love, not 'Tom', but who knows? Furthermore, I know I'm not the only one around here who got a terrible mental image regarding 'a menage a trois between Tom, Ziggy and God'.)

So really, it's just logrolling, his being here. Matter o' fact, let's look at some reviews of Ric's work...Well, aside from 'Sunsphere Lover' of Knoxville, the only other person to review Ric's work is one Elfreda R. Pretorius.

(Sigh) And who's that? Well, Elfreda Pretorius is the best selling author of Stop Struggling, Start Living, of course! Who likes it? "Tony Davies, Business Executive," that's who!

Now, for all I know, this is a totally worthwhile body of work being put forth here by these nice people who I do not know at all, but all I see is the logrolling, in which they all review each others' books, glowingly. If you Google 'Elfreda Pretorius', you'll find very little about her that wasn't written by Elfreda Pretorius. It's possible that the self-help scam is finally drying up, leaving a bunch of vanity press authors alone with each other, in a big, echoey room.

Speaking of a big, echoey room:

That poorly miked video there was Elfreda's co-author Mike O'Hare, "&nbspand I am the owner," he wants you to know.

He also wants you to know that "I want to provide you with the very best information about Internet markeing."

I admire his forthrightness. Here is a man who is one hundred per cent certain of what his spiritual path is. But what do I know? I'm a man who doesn't get it.



Blogger Salty Miss Jill said...

Well, you got Bee, and she's pretty amazing. ;)

4:33 PM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

Good point. Now tell her to write somethin', would ya'?

5:02 PM  

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