Tag Archives: humor

Top Five: TV Cartoon Characters

Okay, time for something light and silly.

Dig deep into the past, unless perhaps you’ve had free time lately to ingest some animated goofiness, and reveal to the world which cartoon characters have made you really laugh?

Mine:
1. Daffy Duck
2. Bugs Bunny
3. Ren (of “Ren & Stimpy”)
4. Bart Simpson
5. Yosemite Sam

Okay, I’m a little Bugs-heavy, but hey, Mel Blanc was a freakin’ genius. If I could only watch one kind of cartoon ever again, it would definitely be Looney Tunes. (Every Saturday morning as a kid I used to watch the hour-long Looney Tunes cartoon show. Religiously.)

So which colorful character gets your funny bone in a spasm?

Advertisements

9 Comments

Filed under Top Five

Autodidact curriculum

Some folks, after being plied with a couple of brewskis, might shyly admit to having fantasies of being a star quarterback, a rock god or maybe even royalty. My confession: I fantasize of being a syndicated columnist.

My first hero was Molly Ivins, who unfortunately for the world of words and intelligence has passed on.

But I’ve found someone else I’d like to learn from: Mark Morford of the San Francisco Chronicle.

I love to read him for his wit and intelligence, but I hate to read him because he gets away with so many “illegal” writing conventions that come fairly naturally to me (I am NOT saying I can pull them off as well as he can) but that I am told to drop from my writing because “it is not allowed.”

Similar to how, fifteen years before the Harry Potter phenomenon, I was told by my fifth grade creative writing teacher that I shouldn’t continue my story about the magical girl but should focus on “reality.”

One of Morford’s apparently successful infractions: using second person.

I’ll be writing an essay and I’ll want to build an imaginary scenario for the reader. Without making the conscious decision, I find myself talking to the reader, inviting, suggesting, seducing their imagination to follow me down some rabbit hole where we might get a glimpse of a new world, or at least the old world turned on its head. It works so well to say, “You.” But you’re not supposed to.

And yet week after week he uses this tactic, among many others, to great effect.

Though it’s been a couple of years since I took my last class, still I spent enough years being indoctrinated into the scholarly method that I think I will give myself some study materials to figure out what makes Morford’s writing so damn good. I have a pile of his articles that I will inspect, analyze, but above all, enjoy.

I will be writing at least one follow up blog post to let you know what I’ve discovered.

1 Comment

Filed under writing

Book Review: “The Last Straw”

Hold your applause ’til after the show please, but I, who require a minimum of three months to get through so much as a magazine article, read an entire book this morning!

Okay, it is a kid’s book.  But it does have 217 pages in it!

Fine, most of those pages consist of cartoony drawings.  Nevertheless, it is indisputably a book, and I without a doubt did begin and finish it along with my morning cup of java.  (I have witnesses.)

Making its appearance on the book scene on January 13th, 2009, The Last Straw is the third volume in Jeff Kinney’s series Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  My son discovered the first one when he was about 10, I think, and after he read it everyone in the house passed it around and had a good laugh.  

I get a kick out of the realism; it is fashioned to be an actual kid’s diary, with a font resembling handwritten words on lined paper and cartoon illustrations, drawn at the level of a child’s ability (although still in general better than I could do!), on every page.

The main character is endearing and hilarious in all his vulnerability, crazy assumptions, slapstick mistakes and naive undertakings.  He faces the challenges of childhood with the kind of sloth, paranoia and heartrending hopefulness that we can all relate to.

I highly recommend any of this series of books for you to give as a gift to any funny-bone endowed youngster with an upcoming birthday, or perhaps a late Christmas gift!  Or just because you happened to be at the store buying a world map for your youngest daughter and you noticed that the new book had just come out a couple of days ago.  

But make sure you let the child on the receiving end of your purchase know that you are first in line to read it after them, because that line will get pretty long pretty fast.  

Read it for no other reason than that it WILL make you laugh out loud, and you WILL be able to brag that you finished an entire book in under an hour.  (As long as no one asks the title, you will be hailed as the new superstar of the literate set.)

You may now commence thunderous applause.

3 Comments

Filed under literature