This Week in Milford

April 22, 2018

Vaya con carne, Martín Luna

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This has to have gone down as the Gil Thorp arc with the least amount of actual sports action ever. It also has to be near the top of arcs requiring the greatest suspension of disbelief. On top of all we’ve had to choke down around Marty, Pirate Boy and the Milford Pirate Network (does one station constitute a network?), now we’re supposed to believe that WDIG has at least three studios? Couldn’t at least one of them held Marty’s substitute, re-creating the basketball games Ronald Reagan style while Marty was suspended?

Marty played his traditional role of designated heel, between making light of the Padillas’ life situation, the gratuitous Mexican food references (intended to woo a potential sponsor but interpreted as “Puerto Ricans/Mexicans are all alike and their cultures all the same”) and the mispronunciation/pissy over-pronunciation in response to criticism. But really, Gil doesn’t come off as much less of a schmuck either. True, he couldn’t have anticipated the tack the MPN took on covering Milford hoops – nor Marty’s blue response to them – but he did in effect goad them on to goad Marty on. His ham-handed efforts at negotiation showed how little he thinks of Milford girls’ basketball and required us to connect the dots and assume Marty’s suspension would turn into termination if Marty didn’t accede.

Finally, Gil’s little dig at Marty in the last panel (yet another in which characters depart via a doorway), meant to remind Marty of the Boricua culture of which he is so ignorant, comes off a bit dickish as well. I’ll admit I like the idea of Marty as Scooby-Doo villain, but wouldn’t that mean he’s actually somebody else under a rubber mask? My money’s on Dr. Pearl.

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April 19, 2018

Gil’s Not Alone in Needing Good Ideas

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If you were plugged into the 24/7 news cycle yesterday, you know that much of Puerto Rico has gone dark again. You also know that that didn’t stop The Show from going on… unlike in Pleasantville Milford, where suspending Marty stops the show dead in its tracks.

Rubin is forcing us to connect many dots today as he lurches toward an awkward, tone-deaf ending to this underwhelming, once-promising arc. The first dot is Gil’s acknowledgement that Karina, at his suggestion, instigated the Milford Pirate Boy Network and thus had a hand in bringing about Marty’s suspension. The second dot is that Gil convinced the Padillas’ and Karina’s teacher to let them skip class (he has a history of doing this, y’know) to sit around the most lovingly rendered cafeteria table in comics history and decide on Marty’s penance. The third dot (and maybe several more after that) is that whatever terms the kids decided on were presented by Gil to Pocket Square Sporting Radio Station Manager, who accepted them and delivered them to Marty as an ultimatum – agree to these or you’re fired.

All of this unfolded even more slowly than Boo Radley’s fatal car crash, but faster than the full restoration of Puerto Rico’s power grid. In a world where teens can tweet and stand against social injustice while adults cower and hedge, all of this would’ve played out in the course of a week. We could’ve been treated with two months of Drunken Uber Driver Marty Moon dumpster diving for the dregs of Johnnie Walker bottles and begging for a cameo on Pirate Boy’s YouTube livestream.

So sit back and buckle up for the last few days of this bumpy ride. Me, I’m off in search of some Pudge Coffee. (Seriously. Check it out. Not affiliated with Pudge or his coffee.)

April 14, 2018

Saturday haiku à la Padilla

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Marty Moon’s boss is

covering his ass big time

Slow trigger finger?

 

“Imploded” must mean

“using the seven words you

can’t say on TV”

 

Don’t know why Gil Thorp

plays intermediary

to the Padillas

 

Who cares if Marty

is “disgraced, embarrassed and

suspended”? Can him!

 

Paloma gets it

Jorge wants to get along

Milford ain’t Georgia!

 

Marty should offer

A public apology

Over the airwaves

 

Then we can move on

From this disgraceful story

I give it a week

April 12, 2018

Marty Moon: The Straw That Stirs the Milford Drink

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Today’s strip just serves to bring the glaring plot holes, inconsistencies and missed opportunities into stark relief, not unlike Marty’s face in P2.  Without belaboring the obvious – oh, who am I kidding? Let’s belabor the obvious:

  1. If an Aagard scores 26 points and there’s no one there to report on it, does it make a sound? Last winter’s saga of Aaron and his opioid-addicted mother ended with his transfer into the protective custody of the Hiatt-Brown family. Rubin brought Aaron back this season, but Big Ken Brown is no longer around to make things happen. Couldn’t those loose ends have been tied up in a panel?
  2. Nice use of parallel drinking by the not-broadcasting broadcasters, one with hooch, the other with Yoo-Hoo (or does that just say “Poo”?). The glaring sign behind Marty’s head must be meant to offer a contrast to his apparent sour mood. It also offers a nice segue into a song parody but I fear those days are behind me. The idea that WDIG can’t or won’t run games without Marty to call them borders on the absurd. Absurd doesn’t begin to describe the Milford Pirate Network’s approach to the games. If they’d been up front about why they popped up then played it straight, they’d still be on the air and no one would’ve cared that there was no coverage from Marty and WDIG. But noooo, MPN based its whole schtick on taunting Marty, so no Marty, no MPN. For that matter…
  3. … no Marty, no Gil to antagonize or be antagonized by Marty. Hence Gil’s call on Pocket Square Sporting Radio Station Manager to no doubt try to get Marty back on the air. As with his meeting with Marty, Gil’s on neutral ground where drinks are involved but this time it’s only coffee (unless Gil’s secretly making it Irish).

If all this is a pivot towards turning this strip from Gil Thorp into Marty Moon, I could be persuaded to stick around. The travails of a drunken shock jock looking to redeem himself to unwitting victims of his shock doesn’t cover new ground but it has potential.

late metapost: Over lunch I came across this article about Latinos attempting to assimilate in the American South. No one in the story is Puerto Rican, but it touches on an angle Rubin has chosen not to pursue to much extent in this arc.

April 7, 2018

Lo siento, no lo siento

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Okay, so Gil’s not meeting Marty at his crate shack but on neutral ground. Dunno why Gil acts so surprised: he knows Marty’s a known souse and it’s not like Gil doesn’t knock back a few every now and then, in public, even. Marty’s got his Captain Haddock brows working again and, yeah, he wants Gil to clean up his mess.

That weak-assed excuse for a mea culpa doesn’t fly anymore, if it ever did. Everyone and her brother knows that “I’m sorry you were offended by my actions” is not the same as “I’m sorry for my actions.”  There’s a few dots here that haven’t been connected – like how Marty thinks all of this is the Padillas’ doing – but hey, baseball season is a week old so let’s wrap this thing up, shall we?

Now I guess we just sit back and wait to see what level of public apology from Marty will suffice. An appearance with Pirate Nebbish Boy from MPN seems more than likely.

April 5, 2018

Marty Blowed Up Real Good!

Filed under: Gil Thorp, hideous scar faces, Marty Moon, Mimi Thorp — teenchy @ 7:18 am

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Ooh, Mimi, twist that knife girl!

I’m enjoying Gil’s mental gymnastics as he justifies the broad hints he threw at Karina. (I’m also wondering how that laundry basket got more cubical overnight.)

I’m on the road most of today. Have fun deciphering how far Gil would let things go up to swearing (hint: interrupting Marty’s broadcasts are apparently a go).

March 31, 2018

Pining for the fjords? No, just for some actual sports action

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Oh look, Pirate Boy Levin finally got his puffy shirt, and just as Seinfeld was a show about nothing, this has become a plot about nothing.

It’s just become a mockery on so many levels it’s ceased to even be funny. The whole idea of the alternative broadcast was to compete with the WDIG broadcast and to protest Marty’s culturally insensitive references to Jorge Padilla via occasional outbursts. The outbursts haven’t been protests so much as snark; only Pirate Boy has even brought up the Pirate Network’s reason for being. And competitive? There’s been zero effort to make this anything but a bunch of goofy, childish antics. “Sportsball” is what people who are contemptuous of sports (and the people who play them) call sports. By playing up this angle, Pirate Boy & co. are as disrespectful to Jorge in their own way as Marty has been in his.

I dunno. Maybe I was expecting MPN to play the games a little straighter, showing some sensitivity to the Padillas’ situation and calling Marty out for his lack of same. Maybe Pirate Boy will hit Marty with that stick on Monday, but I’m not holding my breath.

March 24, 2018

Clowntime Is Over

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I really feel for Paloma Padilla (remember her?): what started out as an indignant response to Marty’s callous, bigoted attitude toward her brother, her fellow Puerto Ricans, and their plight turned, in the hands of her erstwhile friend Karina and the horrible, nebbishy stereotype Duncan Levin, into a clown show. Worse still, the Milford kids – from the Dollanganger family in the Goshen stands to the mullet with the bad knockoff Joy Division t-shirt on his Dove Bar laptop at home – are lapping it up. Where’s that Al-Jo Ames when you need her (and how dated does that last hyperlinked strip look now)?

At this point I keep hoping against hope for any one of the following, in no particular order:

  1. MPN streams another Milford game, preferably the girls’ game, and plays it straighter than this. Can’t happen: mostly immature MHS kids can’t not be goofs.
  2. Los Morenos rejects WDIG and sponsors MPN. It’s possible: Dr. Pearl would love the revenue.
  3. Marty gets fired. Never in a million years: Marty is a permanent landmark on the Milford landscape, the eternal Iago to Gil’s Othello.

Musical inspiration for today’s post:

 

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