Are we having fun yet?
Perhaps the most unpopular story your humble correspondent ever wrote for NewsBusters was probably the one about Zippy the Pinhead. Most readers found it impossible to interpret Zippy into any form of reasonable thought. The main complaint being that Zippy was indecipherably confusing. Here are a few of the complaints from the previous Zippy story:
Sorry, this one Zipped right by me, over my head
that strip makes no sense at all...
Aren’t comic strips supposed to stand alone in their message and humor? Or is it just so abstract that it’s rendered ineffectual? The official site of the strip gives credit to my charge, as it actually has a tutorial to help people understand the strip.
The only true way to understand Zippy is to become as severely impaired cognitively as Zippy. No way I'm trying that!
Okay, I think I understand the complaints. However, since today is Christmas I hope, Dear Reader, that in the spirit of the day you will cut me some slack as I once again present another Zippy the Pinhead comic strip (below the fold). I found this one to be quite interesting because not only does Zippy's family bemoan the rapid decline of newspapers but Zippy the Pinhead also mocks the Huffington Post as a news source.
Zippy's money quote comes in the final panel:
Now, now, honey, you'll get used to th' Huffington Post soon---& I know it's difficult to conceive of now, but you may even grow to like getting your news from fairly unreliable sources!
Zippy's wife replies with an accurate assessment of the sad state of comic strips in newspapers today:
...And th' comics in today's paper--You need a magnifying lens to read Beetle Baily!!
So despite the perception that Zippy the Pinhead is indecipherable, it seems that Zippy and family are quite perceptive in their own weird way about the current state of the newspaper business.
Still confused by Zippy the Pinhead? Here is a bit more explanation of the character created by cartoonist Bill Griffith:
The Zippy comic strip has a cult following of devoted readers; however, there are those who find the strip incomprehensible. This antagonism and confusion is so common that the official Zippy website contains a tutorial on understanding the comic strip . The original home of the strip was the San Francisco Examiner, where it was first published daily in 1985. It was picked up for worldwide syndication by King Features in 1986. When the San Francisco Chronicle canceled Zippy briefly in 2002, the Chronicle received thousands of letters of protest, including one from Robert Crumb, who called Zippy "by far the very best daily comic strip that exists in America". The Chronicle quickly restored the strip, but dropped it again in 2004, leading to more protests as well as grateful letters from non-fans. The strip continues to be syndicated in many other papers, but often ranks at or near the bottom of reader polls.
I hope that helps and remember what today is so please be kind in your harsh responses to this Zippy story. After all you sort of have to admire a character who was born in a satellite dish outside of Cincinnati and lives on a diet of corn nuts and polysorbate 80. And in the spirit of Christmas, should you spot Zippy today, please treat him to his favorite dessert of yogurt covered with taco sauce.
I love ROCK 'N ROLL! I memorized the all WORDS to "WIPE-OUT'' in 1965!! ---Zippy the Pinhead