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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30 November 2015

[Monday's] Miscellaneous Musing [#76]: Mongol Marauders Made Mayhem

Among the many things that irk me is hearing someone speak as if there had been such a thing as a Mongol “empire”.  Temujin (the man known to history by the title “Genghis Khan”) and his successors conquered immense territories, but the Mongols, being nomadic barbarians, had neither the willingness nor the ability to rule what they conquered; they merely exacted tribute from defeated peoples, by threatening to return and do something even worse than what they had done previously.  Their system was highly effective for a rather long time, but it was not imperialism; it was banditry on a national scale. (Temujin’s descendant Kublai Khan did rule an empire, but it was not a Mongol empire; it was a Chinese empire with a Mongol dynasty.) I have seen some historical maps in which tributary states are included in other “empires” such as the hegemony established by the Guptas over much of India, and the word “empire” is often used very loosely; to talk of a Mongol “empire”, though, which gives the impression that the Mongols not merely enjoyed ascendancy but actually controlled a realm stretching from Eastern Europe to Korea, is, in my opinion, to use that word much more loosely than it ought to be used.