Suddenly, ray guns don't seem so inappropriate

Posted on March 20th, 2006

Like pretty much everything you'll see here, this actually happened. As the product of spectacularly poor parents myself, I want nothing more than to be a good father to my three-year-old. At the same time, even the most casual reader will have long since identified me as a hopeless geek. As such, I've been dying to show my daughter Star Wars since the day she was born. Every day I debate whether the undeniable coolness of a lightsaber battle justifies me showing a preschooler the smoking corpses of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru.

Shirley Temple seemed like the wiser choice. A female protagonist my daughter could identify with. She sings, she dances, she… oh shit.

Ok. Lesson learned. Now let us never speak of it again.

Last Monday we introduced words vs. pictures and promised that we'd make it a regular feature if response was positive. We're now reneging on that promise: considering our traffic, a few hundred votes don't really constitute an overwhelming response, but we had fun doing it so we're going to keep doing it anyway. What the hell, right?

Last week's question was “Would you rather be famous now and forgotten after your death or obscure while alive and revered 100 years after your death?” and last week's answer was “48% of respondents are clearly related to Jamie in some way.” More interesting to me was the 9% who cared enough to read the entire blog, visit the poll, and go through the voting process just to call us morons. Nine per cent, I suspect, is the exact percentage of respondents that constitutes my relatives. My favourite comment was from the individual who said “Hookers don't take worms for HJs, Graham.” I had to have that one explained to me, as I first interpreted it to be an attack on the size of my genitalia.

Join this week's debate here.



Graham is not a racist. Just in case you got the wrong impression (as suggested by several unsubscribe e-mails). Not to dumb it down, but... the whole point of the comic is that you want to shelter your children from the ignorance of racism.

I've had a similar experience to Graham's Shirley Temple episode: My son has a ravenous appetite for Tintin. If you don't know about this series, it's a tale of adventures featuring a 14 year old boy that travels around with abusive, drunken old Captain Haddock (who is in no way related to him). They were written in a different time. The 30's were a time when it was OK to smoke in a children's book. Herge's ethnocentric view and reliance on cultural stereotypes aside, they're fun books. At times, though, my wife and I feel like those guys who censor military documents - black marking out anything we deem offensive. "Daddy, you skipped a page!" Uh, no I didn't. Go to sleep.


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