Excessive Self-Congratulation

One of my myriad of daily rituals, a vice or, perhaps, even a guilty pleasure, depending on your viewpoint, is reading the daily comics page in the paper. Every day, without fail, I open the paper to the comics page and read it while I enjoy my breakfast. Throughout the day I eventually read the rest of the paper, but the comics page is always the first thing I read.

There’s really only a couple I really, truly enjoy. Get Fuzzy, Frazz, and Foxtrot mostly. The rest I’m mostly indifferent on, with a couple of exceptions that I really don’t enjoy (who the hell still finds Marmaduke entertaining anyway?) Some I find humorous on occasion, others rarely. I still read them daily nonetheless.

One strip in particular, though, has lately started to leave a bad taste in mouth. That strip is Blondie. About a month ago the characters started going on and on about planning their anniversary. Every damn strip since then has revolved around this upcoming anniversary, and will continue to do so for almost another month. The anniversary they’re going on and on about is the strip’s anniversary, seventy-five years.

Now, I don’t mean to minimize the accomplishment of keeping the strip running for seventy-five years. That’s no small feat, and certainly something that should be acknowledged, celebrated even. But to go on and on about it daily for nearly two months? That smacks of braggadocio and self-congratulation to the point of becoming unseemly. I’m surprised they can even write and draw the strip anymore, I’d have expected their hands would have cramped up from reaching around to pat themselves on the back so much.

There’s a fine line between pride and pretension, one I feel they’ve crossed. Sad, really, as it’s turned what should have been a grand celebration of an impressive accomplishment into an ostentatious display of self-satisfaction. I’ve stopped reading the strip as a result, and it’s doubtful I’ll go back to reading it when the pomp has ended.