about "The Best Comic Strip Ever!"

The characters in my strip, set in Africa's Western Rift Valley, are: the Foolish Pride of lions (Leon, the haughty and lethargic King of Beasts; his queen, Leona; and their cub Lionel, an unpromising heir to the throne); Secretary Bird, a liason between the Royal Court and the rest of the animals; cerebral, man-imitating Ape, a reader of the Substandard; peevish Rhinoceros; harmless but senseless Ostrich; Crocodile, resident of the much-frequented Watering Hole, and his dentist, Crocodile Bird; Honey Badger (alias Ratel), the "Meanest Animal in the World", and his one associate, Honeyguide; Mumbo the elephant, a descendant of Jumbo and a butt of jokes about his weight and the size of his ears and nose; Duncan the dung beetle; ill-favored and unwashed Warthog; the craven, henpecked male and shrewish female hyaenas, both of them foul-smelling and perpetually at war vs. the lions; the mistaken-identity-plagued zebras; slow and superannuated Tortoise; Oxpecker, a companion of large herbivores; Hugh the chamaeleon; and walled-up Mrs. Hornbill.

The Best Comic Strip Ever!

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20 July 2011

Uncommon Commentary #200!: He Even Spells His Name "Jack" Instead of "Quack"

I often watch the cable television network Turner Classic Movies (TCM); one of the programming themes for this month, as seems to be true of one month each year, is "Race and Hollywood." This time, the self-appointed ethnic representative who gets to air not only films of his choice, but also his whining grievances about alleged cinematic stereotyping of his people, is a Dr. Jack Shaheen, author of some book that charges Hollywood with vilifying Arabs. The subject for yesterday night was portrayals of Arab women; among the films that Shaheen chose to illustrate his points on this topic, in his capacity as co-host, was Caesar and Cleopatra! Does this man, to whom the TCM site refers as "acclaimed" and as a "Middle East expert," have so little knowledge of history as to think that Cleopatra (VII) was an Arab? "Dr." Shaheen might find it edifying to learn that the Queen of the Nile was of the purely European Ptolemaic dynasty, and that she lived more than 600 years before there were any Arabs in Egypt. Since the TCM site also mentions the depiction of the Ayyubid ruler Saladin in The Crusader, it seems that Shaheen is equally ignorant of the fact that Saladin was not Arabic but Kurdish. How many box-tops did this guy mail in to get his doctorate?