This Week in Milford

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.)

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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 4, 2018

It Could Happen To You

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P1: Thanks for the exposition, Kaz. How much gel does Kaz have to use to get all of his sideburn hairs in parallel do y’all reckon?

P2: Is that even Paloma in the foreground hug with, uh, Karina I guess? Because the brunette in mid-panel looks closer to Paloma. Also, too, wasn’t this whole thing pretty much a Karina/Duncan joint with Jarrell ‘Spielberg’ Atkins directing?

P3: Jeeze, Mimi with a devastating toting the laundry walk by zinger. Meanwhile, Gil looks incredibly constipated as he just cannot deal with it that people keep bringing up this Marty Moon bullshit to him. It’s bad enough he has to show up at the games but he sure as hell didn’t sign up for talking about them for days afterwards.

Minus point: Karina has a terribly advanced case of trigger finger there in P2. Perhaps the Spring arc could help inform us about this potentially crippling condition and the plight of so afflicted high school athletes.

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:

 

February 3, 2018

Georgia On My Mouth

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A couple of years ago, when we were wrapping up up the True Standish/Addison “Boo, but not the ‘Boo’ from To Kill a Mockingbird” Radley arc, I made mention of the old Washington Senators outfielder Carlos Paula. The article I linked to about Paula noted that the Washington Post used to quote Paula using “misspelled words to emphasize his accent (‘Cooba’) and a Tarzan-like sentence structure: ‘Me happy. Me no show. Me smile inside but face no pretty. Me just ugly.’” Meanwhile the Washington Afro-American used “conventional, grammatically correct English” to quote him.

The patronizing, borderline racist convention the Post used to quote Carlos Paula and other Cuban baseball players* extended to its coverage of Southerners as well. Senators players from the South were quoted using dialogue that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Li’l Abner strip of the day. This treatment extended to Washington’s star shortstop Cecil Travis, who hailed from Riverdale, Georgia and was quoted as saying, “Why, Ah always was a shortstop until one day they needed a third baseman at Chattanooga. To tell the truth, Ah never did cotton to third base.”

Rubin does not stoop to using similar conventions for the siblings Padilla this winter… yet. Unfortunately he doesn’t give us any other clues (figures of speech, for example) to let us know how they sound, so we just have to be told repeatedly that Jorge has a Georgia accent. If Jorge told us he was fixin’ to get a chili steak and an FO, ring one, we’d know for sure, but Whigham has him drinking a Yoo-Hoo, Yogi’s beverage of choice. On the other hand, we just now learn that not only does his sister Paloma not have the same accent, she goes out of her way to not to. I can imagine future convos around her getting awkward, like the old SNL skit where Jimmy Smits joins the NBC News team. I can also imagine this arc turning to the age-old conflict between assimilation and maintaining one’s culture, with some sibling strife thrown in for good measure. Given the current state of affairs between Puerto Rico and the US government, I can imagine that turning nearly as awkward as the convo in the SNL skit.

I leave you all with this nice little piece of nostalgia that used to put yhs teenchy to bed in days gone by.

*For another example of the writing used to capture the pidgin English of the Cuban players, scroll down just a little bit from that Travis quote I linked to and read how the WaPo quoted Roberto Estalella.

January 20, 2018

Jadine, honey is that you?

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Okay, we get it. Paloma Padilla is suffering from survivor’s guilt of a sort, as she’s complained to her teammates at The Bucket for the past two days. Apparently when you say “chunky bracelets” they just bring you those, too. If this week has been prologue, we’ll spend the next couple of months having Paloma and everyone else tell us about things that happened that we never get to see happen.

Tell-Don’t-Show Disease has spread to Jacky Elenore (who Googles up a blank; guess that spelling throws things off) and Jadine Bynes, who rubs her cheek as if to show us some abrasion or contusion inflicted on her by Paloma. Jadine’s a veteran Lady Mudlark who’s used to getting knocked around by her teammates during practice. She should know how to handle that by now, assuming she’s gotten over those stomach problems.

I’m more impressed by Jacky’s ventriloquist act; throwing your voice while drinking water isn’t the easiest trick.

Today’s post title was a gimme. Get you some!

January 11, 2018

I bet he can handle himself alright if he has to

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Born in Puerto Rico

Raised in Georgia

My mama gave me the basic facts of life (of life…)

 

On top of all that, he played for the Nats.* Geez, hasn’t Jorge Padilla suffered enough?

Today’s inspiration:

*He could instead be the economist or the lawyer, which would be par for the Rubin course.

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