vive la différence

Butt! Butt! He said, “Butt!” Believe me, it was not easy to slip such profanity into the comics back in the good ol’ days of United Media. Over at Universal Press Syndicate, strips like Doonesbury and Bloom County had been using words such as “damn” and “hell” and “snugglebunnies” for years, but UM prided itself on upholding a very old and rigid standard in the comics. “Butt” was a huge win for the forces of darkness. Gene and family will continue next week in the current strips, and we’ll resume our previous conversations then. I hope you enjoy your weekend!
Buy the new book, "Beaucoup Arlo & Janis!"Today's "Arlo & Janis!"

139 responses to “vive la différence

  1. As soon as I saw that word, I thought “that’s pretty risque for the comics”-of course I know A&J has a history of pushing the envelop, for example, toilets in comics.

  2. Loved the Twitter reference in today’s strip, very with it. 😉

    Speaking of butts, have started watching “The Ranch” on Netflix. I am enjoying because it is Texas humor that I can relate back to my youth. Plus it has Sam Elliott and Debra Wenger. Confession, first time I’ve watched Netflix, using Loon’s accountant.

  3. “’Butt’ was a huge win for the forces of darkness.” Aha! So that’s from whence The Dark Side sprang!

    Jimmy, it seems obvious from the responses that you could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and you wouldn’t lose fans. Oh, wait. I was thinking of something else. Never mind.

  4. I have always regarded this particular strip as one of the peaks of A&J or of any cartoon strip. Her elation at Gene phoning is stunning and stunningly drawn—that is, it is exactly a posture that rarely though certainly happens—when cheering elatedly. But the writer has to build up to such a point in a real way—consistent with real people, and over days. It is one of the things that sets A&J in the top echelon, minutely careful prep and great realization. What springs this moment is such an incongruity—Gene thinking he tanked. Two realities! A whopping contrast. And, oh, the memories for all of us.

    Get me Mr. Reed’s snail mail address. I’m a-gon’ write me a letter. Overdue.

    Thanks, Jimmy, for the Ruth reprints!

  5. If I only knew then what I know now: I didn’t realize many girls in my school were just as shy and insecure as I was. That knowledge would have given me the courage got just given them a call.

  6. And after a long conversation with a boy, Ruth’s tidy, normal phone cord from the fourth panel two strips earlier is now a twisted, gnarled mess in the first panel of the present strip. Another attentive detail from Our Humble Author.

    In Gene’s limited sample, both Mary Lou and Ruth were pretty keen on kissing him, much to his surprise. Maybe there is something to the Shy Boy routine after all…

  7. We managed to get two frames, both boats, glued permanently in place. We got stringers fitted but not glued on first boat but not second.

    Someone compared this to assembling a puzzle after you make and cut out your own puzzle. That is a good analogy.

  8. I’m confused. In the real-time strip, Gene is now a vivid blonde. He and MaryLou are back-to-nature farmers but he bleaches his hair?? Cannot claim that his hair is “sun-kissed.” What’s up JJ?

  9. Bonnie from Gloucester MA, bad choice by whoever colors the onllne comics at GoComics? I believe Jimmy has sent coloring guides, but they are probably taken as suggestions at the syndicate. Jimmy is only responsible for colors in his Sunday pages, since he said he colors them himself.(unless that’s changed lately, and I didn’t get the memo.)

  10. Ghost: Hadn’t noticed that touch. JJ is a genius.

    Osprey plumage: brief search yielded 0 / tan spot in closer osprey. Calling individual was probably the female. Site says they more often give the warning/alarm call, which the one I heard seemed to be: ‘Somebody out there is closer than we like.’ Peace,

  11. And these strips illustrate the true difference between men and women. Men tend to be afraid of being turned down (at least I was), and women are afraid no one will call. That being said, it’s a miracle humanity survived the invention of the telephone.

  12. But it’s wonderful to find someone you can have those long conversations with, even though talking on the phone has been replaced by texting or messaging through the ‘net.

  13. Good morning Villagers…..

    I’m loving the story line within A&J…..I wondered when JJ was going to get around to it 🙂

    Mark, the trouble with today’s ‘youts’ is they have no social skills within the business world. As you said it’s all texting and messaging.

    Think I’ll work both days this weekend….bad vibes in this house.

    Ya’ll have a blessed day.

  14. Last night someone said that I was a cross between the Pied Piper and Tom Sawyer. I have heard that before.

    Personally I think Andy Rooney and a snake oil pitchman.

    Been doing this since I was a kid in Grammer school, getting people to take part in things of larger scope. “Wow! Gang we can put on a play-rodeo-musical-dance-charity-party-design show-boat festival-cooking-whatever. It will be fun and we can do it!”

    Usually, almost always, Tom Sawyer or Andy make it work out.

  15. 2″ fresh snow, p.c., 18F, light breeze. Supposed to reach 33F today. Ground no longer real cold. May mostly melt today. Poss. snow showers tonight, but 38F pred. / Sunday. BSO concert 1400 Sun. Hope it’s our last snow this winter. Peace,

  16. Yes, the short cute one, not the grouchy curmudgeon, with Judy Garland in movies, always hyper and enthusiastic and organizing events and adventures.

    What were the movies? It was a series.

  17. Fifteen movies in ten years, an average of eight months each. Hollywood used to grind out films almost like TV series episodes today, and a lot of them were pretty darn good. Now it often takes ten years just to get one movie written, options bought, green-lighted, rewritten multiple times, a director attached, a cast signed, product placements sold, shot, edited, re-edited, re-re-edited, publicized, and released. And most of them still stink.

  18. Bonnie from Gloucester: I noticed Gene’s hair color too. But remember from many months/years ago, JJ told us that he does not do the colors. I’m guessing the colorist does not remember what Gene looked like.

  19. Mechanical noise at the G.H. owl site. Not a chain saw. This is the second time I’ve seen what appear to be white leghorn feathers on the nest.

    Lots more sticks on the Chesapeake osprey nest. Both birds were there, but the one w/ the tan nape took off just after I logged on about 1409. Also, two crows mating on Salisbury Plain here in Bemidji, sighted from the Prius at about 1400. Now know that, at least sometimes, they mate on the ground. Considering birds’ typical anatomy, sounds more practical than in the air. Peace,

  20. Lost in A**2, that is quite conceivable, given the “black and white” nature of things as they appear above. But as it turns out, when Our Humble Author himself colors the Sunday strips, Gene has brown hair, and Ludwig is actually purple. =O

    According to Gene, Mary Lou has hair “the color of home-baked bread.” With eyes that are “black pearls.” Methinks Our Humble Author was recalling someone when he wrote that…

    And am I just mis-remembering, or did it turn out that Ruth was a redhead?

  21. Debbe

    My girls would rather eat out of the bulk bin than their individual
    dish right there.

    Plants are going to be confused – Lilacs are starting to bud so it is time for
    Crabgrass Preventer but it has been too cold & windy for lawn work.

  22. It’s sunny/cloudy/rainy/snowy/windy/still today. The only constant is cold. Yesterday was warm. Apparently, Indiana’s April Fool’s is Mother Nature flipoing through the season cycle every five minutes for a weekend. 🙁

  23. Same around here, Lady Mindy, without being quite so cold. Still very much a case of, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait about fifteen minutes.”

  24. Funny thing happened. I was looking for something online and up popped the A and J blog from two years ago with my comments and yours of course, all of you. Dang, we were funnier then. Downright clever and chatty and conversant, full of wicked humor.

    What happened? Life?

  25. ‘Where does the white go when the snow melts?’

    Couple of answers [yesterday there might have been more, but one day a year is enough].

    1. All snow is at least a little dirty. As ice crystals gradually turn to water, which trickles down to the ground, the dirt gets left behind. The snow gradually loses its whiteness and becomes snirt [also sp. ‘snert’]. [The whiteness becomes invisible and migrates poleward for cold storage, whence it emerges and migrates south next fall, right?] Since snirt absorbs more light than pure driven snow, it melts faster, hastening the process, leaving little crooked streaks of black on sidewalks, signs of impending spring.

    2. Since snow is white because it reflects all the colors in sunlight, it mostly goes back through the air into space, keeping things cool. In Bemidji’s summer, usually about Bastille Day, the same amount of white light arrives, but most of it is absorbed by soil, plants, concrete, blacktop, and critters, warming things up. The light absorbed by green plants and such, drives the complex process of photosynthesis*, the primary source of energy of energy for most of Earth’s ecosystems, and for storage as combustible carbon in peat, coal, and oil. Some state legislators don’t want us to talk about ‘side’ effects of burning that stuff, stored over millions of years, in just a few centuries. Actually, some don’t want us to talk about anything that took over 6,000-10,000 years.

    *Photosynthesis actually traps only a few % of Sol’s visible light. The rest is reradiated as heat, and evaporates a lot of water. Peace,


  26. Hope all with snow on the ground are there out of necessity. I’ve cut my grass four times since the end of January. It will probably be weekly form now on but it is a little cooler here. Low tonight will be in the low 40’s but rain and noon day heat make the grass grow. I’m not fond of cold. I’ll take my chances with hurricanes. Pax te cum.

    God bless us every one.

  27. Good morning Villagers…

    JJ slipped one in on us….yeah, I read the morning’s TDS post and someone asked why is Homer Simpson behind the clouds. Sure enough he is there.

    gotta go

    have a blessed day

    right now it’s 29 degrees on my front porch and the high today is supposed to be 60 degrees.

  28. all righty it finally came to me….The River of No Return starred Marlyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum….and that is Marilyn singing the title song……

  29. I assume today’s comic is a call back to the famous “Something about a peek” strip. I started smiling immediately when I saw the first panel.

  30. So I finished my Marathon yesterday. The weather started out OK with slight wind. Then halfway through it was 30 plus miles per hour sustained winds with gusts up to 60. As I was finishing up the porta potties that were parked next to my car blew over! Fortunately all I smelled was the disinfectant. I’m a little sore today, as a matter fact I decided to stay over here in West Lafayette because I didn’t want to drive home last night with all of the wind and not being 100%.

  31. People don’t remember Marilyn as a singer but she did her own vocals and danced in a lot of musicals. That song was actually a big pop hit for her that year and also covered by a lot of other singers. I of course saw movie and owned record, very poignant.

    Marilyn was quite talented and intelligent, good comedian. Who can blame her for her personal addictions? She was always a tragic figure.

    By the way, I gave my Marilyn tee with her quote “A smile is all the make a woman needs” to one of my wonderful helpers who came from Key West for two weeks and smiled more than me and can actually build boats.

    I will buy myself another. I am going to send my other Canadian the tee that says “I am a lady with the vocabulary of a well educated sailor” She was amazing draftsman and builder and will write a building guide with photos for our boats. Amazing women.

    Today is Rustys birthday and he is in Oz now but he checks in here still. Happy birthday Rusty!

  32. emb, could be Loon, she is sporting black toenails at present. She claims it is a formal look that goes with her French manicure.

  33. Miss them, sounds like their club. In fact, I miss the city and time.

    Yes, exactly. It is apparently not kosher to wait tables in Houston or food service with black nails.

    Lying or laying? In 1960s, suspended in time in a beach cottage in Texas. Weird. Air conditioning is period too.

  34. Don’t stop watching Debbe’s video too soon. Keep watching. Good one. BTW, as you can imagine I have about a million things keeping me busy right now and I’ll drop in when I can so keep the water warm.

  35. Earlier tonight, I watched part of the Academy of Country Music Awards show with a friend. When did so many of the male performers begin looking like homeless people and so many of the female performers like street hookers?

  36. However, they design quick and cheap built boats supposedly that have been neither. We will end up with a lot of both invested.

    On the other hand, they will sail like banshees.

  37. Good morning Villagers..

    Jackie, saw the movie and when she started singing I couldn’t believe she had such a lovely voice. I had read that she took singing lessons. The movie was great, I’ve seen it twice. She could really fill out those jeans 🙂

    Jerry, that was a pretty cool video….and I don’t remember how I discovered it. Glad you enjoyed it.

    The high today is 58, and right now its 58, tonight the low in the upper 20’s. It’s going to be a yo yo all week.

    Ya’ll have a blessed Monday

  38. I’ve not looked, but I’d be totally not surprised to find there actually is a “Farm Girls Gone Wild” site on the InterWebNet.

  39. Just saw a George Booth cartoon for Ghost. Woman in suit walks by couple, wife removes woman from suit in her mind. Husband sees naked woman, removing suit.

    George Booth of New Yorker fame is my favorite all time single frame cartoonist. Love his dogs but especially the cats. Rest of his cartoons are OK but the ubiquitous cats and dogs are the meow and arff of cartooning.

    Mark, I know you can link them here, the one I just found “Working on Plan B” seems appropriate!

  40. emb, if you click on that and enlarge it, the man isn’t pointing. He is holding a pair of gloves, and one finger of them is sticking out.

    Jackie, I love George Booth too. Started buying his book collections years ago, such as “Think Good Thoughts About A Pussycat”. Will find some to link in later, after work.

  41. Just thinking I need to start looking for his books at used book stores!

    There seem to be a number. I just finished reading an archived article from 1980 on subject of marketing cats, the beginning of Kilban, Garfield, Heathcliff. They didn’t begin to anticipate today.

  42. ***Jimmy, you ole rascal, “Farm girls gone wild.” 😉 ***

    Sand, how the younger generation gets not only technologically more sophisticated, but also reckless.

    In a strip from long, long ago, Janis pre-emptively tells Arlo as they are opening up their safe deposit box at the bank that they are there to look for certain documents, and “don’t have time to look at those Poloroids.”

    Of course, on the other hand, in another strip, Arlo finds a Poloroid inside the pages of a book at their home. Janis protests that Gene might have found it. Arlo scoffs at the notion; it was in a BOOK.

    I cannot see having such photos on one’s phone being a good idea. It always seems to turn out badly. And if the photos are backed up on the Cloud?? Jennifer Lawrence says that is a bad, bad idea. 🙁

  43. I don’t recall that one, Jackie. Ruth Anne, you are welcome. The commandments came from someone I recently friended on Facebook. From his profile, he both reads and writes science fiction and fantasy, and is strongly interested in military history.

  44. Mark, they are sitting in living room with cats everywhere on sofa, floor, etc. And husband (I think?) Pulls curtain back and says the Kitty litter truck is there.

    Had it for years and lost it. Of course I can’t find my JJ original from auction right now.

  45. eMb, on the Decorah eagle site, can you tell what kind of bird’s remains are at lower right? How about the animal residue just above same – looks like a rabbit, but with coloring unfamiliar to me.

  46. 1came across CMA AWARDS summary while reading JJ Caleb obit in Rolling Stone. Why was Carrie Underwood wearing black garbage bags?

  47. Part of the weekend was devoted to prepping my mom’s urn planters for planting. Unlike Lovely Janis™ and Frisky Mary Lou™, I was not wearing a fetching, spaghetti-strapped camisole top for my gardening chores, but like Lou (and, I’d wager, Janis) I wasn’t wearing a bra, either.

    Mark, if you really want to be helpful, find a link to the “lady in a suit” cartoon. 😉

  48. Goodnight. In more ways than one. Leaving coast tomorrow. If I can get someone to lift the biggest Yeti known to man into my truck. Didn’t occur to me until I began cleaning the REAL fridge. We have been moving beer and soda and the food ice chests back and forth for two weeks.

    I lost the volunteers! I left the new grill and smoker with the boat school for them to use.

  49. Ghostly one, very reassuring to your female fans that you are a braless hunk. Guessing no thongs in your drawers neither. Spell chucker tried to replace braless with brainless; that would not have worked.

  50. Today’s real time is a keeper. 🙂 Work is work, and kitties make me crazy. (Blacklight somehow knows when her wet food didn’t come from Petco and won’t touch it from any other store. Exact same stuff. Three for three. Maddening.)

  51. Not intentionally rehashing old news, but this is a tribute video to our fallen officer. It comes the closest to expressing both the raw emotion and the scope of the enormity the ceremonies. No slight against the officer intended. In my mind, his death seems to have given many a focus of grief in this general atmosphere of loss of greater good. People seem to have come from everywhere to grieve, give support, but there is a definite sense this is to help alleviate a burdern of a much larger ache. (If that makes sense.)

  52. Dear Ruth Anne, many thanks for finding the cartoon! I do believe that it’s from 30 or 40 years ago, and it’s by Cobean — not Booth. Must look Cobean up, he was popular and prolific, long ago.

  53. You are right Miss Charlotte I am certain. From New Yorker cartoons I am certain because that is where I have been looking.

    Ghost, that is the husband and wife undressing the lady in the suit.

    Now when someone finds the Kitty litter cartoon it will probably turn out to be someone else too.

  54. Actually, it’s the one Ghost was asking for. No wonder it didn’t turn up when I was looking through the Booth comics. Thank you. I like Gahan Wilson very much too. He was in Playboy, though, not The New Yorker. And also in National Lampoon.

  55. It is Sam Codean and he drew for New Yorker too, close friends with Addams, as in Addams Family. Died at 38. The book of cartoons was The Naked Eye. Perfect for Ghost.

    It is still circulating so maybe can buy used?

  56. Good morning Villagers….

    Love the cartoons….who was the one cartoonist who drew the little old lady with bowling pin looking breasts in Playboy…that one was always a hoot….heh, I just read the articles and cartoons 🙂

    And Mark…that is how they look when you corner a loose hen…spastic.

    Jerry…don’t leave us hanging…..

    Old Bear…I remember that old song…”here I am at, Camp Granada….

    Ya’ll have a blessed day

    gonna try one more time to get in my email…..

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