Friday, November 7, 2008
Friday Five Philosophy
After an exhausting election here in the states it's time for some spirit lifting! Join me with a nice cup of tea or coffee or cocoa and let's sit back and read the Funny Papers!
1. What was your favorite comic strip as a child?
I think my favorites were Dick Tracy, Prince Valiant and later Peanuts.
2. Which comic strip today most consistently tickles your funny bone?
I still follow BC. Johnny Hart lived just down the road so BC is still an important part of the local scenery. Hart was quite religious and many of his cartoons had themes that supported faith.
I get my news on line anymore and I miss the comics. I still look to the acid sarcasm of Doonsbury for a commentary on the news. Such satire is necessary to keep us from becoming too full of ourselves.
3. Which Peanuts character is closest to being you?
I am a combination of Peppermint Patty and Lucy. But there are times—like when Charlie is bundled up in all his winter clothes and falls down and cannot get up—I am Charlie. And there are times too when I feel like Snoopy sitting on top of his doghouse.
4. Some say that comic strips have replaced philosophy as a paying job, so to speak. Does this ring true with you?
There is some truth in this. We don’t have too many philosophers running around loose these days. We clergy end up having to fill in and most of us don’t have the training. But I also think that cartoon and bumper sticker philosophers are killing the art of preaching. Sound bites are all we are able to sustain. Folks can’t listen to a sermon anymore. It is as if all theology has to be visual. The fine art of preaching is being eroded. It worries me.
5. What do you think the appeal is for the really long running comic strips like Blondie, Family Circus, Dennis the Menace as some examples?
I believe that it is the only place where people can articulate their values within the context of their lives. Certainly we cannot find such values with in the political realm. Comics allow us to see ourselves in the news of life and allow us to know that we are not alone in our foibles, our insecurities or our dreams.
Bonus question: Which discontinued comic strip would you like to see back in print?
I miss Li’l Abner and the Katzenamer Kids. I think Li’l Abner poked the most fun at the edge between country and city life better than any cartoon out there.