Propaganda and a lack of funny: a losing combination

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I fucking hate The Family Circus.

I firmly believe that this seemingly inoffensive little circle at the back of the comics section of countless newspapers across North America is one of the main things wrong with the world today.

It’s the comic equivalent of a huge tumour growing out of your friend’s dog’s ass: You don’t want to look at it because you know it’s going to upset you, but you can’t help but put yourself through the misery of staring at it for hours at a time.

There’s just something about human nature that won’t allow you to look away.

To my dismay, I recently read that the creator of The Family Circus, Bil Keane, has sold the rights for a Family Circus movie.

Add to this the fact that there actually is a Jeffy, who happens to be Bil’s son, and he plans to take over and produce the cartoon when Keane, now 88, finally kicks the bucket.

I begin to get the feeling that we might never get rid of this horrible blight on our society.

My main problem with The Family Circus is the fact that it is blatant right-wing Christian propaganda and not funny in the slightest.

I begin to get the feeling that we might never get rid of The Family Circus, this horrible blight on our society

I might be able to forgive it for one of these flaws, but not both.

The last thing I want printed in the same place I get my news is some preachy little bullshit penned by a guy who served as, in my opinion, a racist propagandist in the Second World War.

That’s right; one of Keane’s early comic endeavours was called “At Ease with the Japanese,” and it was even more offensive than the shitty little comic he’s grown into in his old age.

Now, I know Keane isn’t the only illustrator or animator to have been a racist propagandist during the war, but the total lack of funny in his comic, mixed with his obvious self-righteousness, makes me want to hold him underwater and beat him with a rubber hose.

I get it, OK? Jeffy has ADD and can’t walk in straight lines. And, little kids pronounce things wrong and often misunderstand adult concepts.

Oh, and what’s that? There’s actually a ghost named “Not Me” who’s been responsible for the household’s mischief this whole time? 

I say Keane should go back to writing the racist stuff because then people wouldn’t get so offended when I tell them that I’m planning a party when he dies.

In case you’re wondering, you’re all invited.

J. Williamez is all for hilarious propaganda, though.

Published in Volume 65, Number 10 of The Uniter (November 4, 2010)

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