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The former editor of the Beano has revealed that during the late 1980s, publishers D. C. Thomson & Co decided it would be best if Dennis the Menace laid off Walter the Softie lest he be accused of “gay-bashing” his apparently less than robustly heterosexual enemy. Euan Kerr was at the comic's helm between 1984 and 2006, and …
Nothing to do with political correctness really, but my first set of Sun boxes (IPCs) had hostnames from the Bash Street Kids (the first server was Cuthbert, after Cuthbert Cringeworthy, teacher's pet). Somehow I found it deeply satisfying when my manager asked "when do you expect to have finished that upgrade on plug?"
“We decided the best way to approach it was to make sure that, even though he and Dennis didn’t get along, Walter was completely happy about who he was and a confident, likeable character in his own right. We eventually gave Walter a girlfriend too, as a measure to combat any further criticism.”
so instead of making Dennis more accepting of homosexuality, they turn Walter straight. Riiiiight......
It's more offensive that they stopped the victimisation of this character because he looks "Gay". Obviously all gay people wear glasses, bow ties and collect flowers...WTF!
Jesus, if I knew someone like that I'd take the piss out him for being gay (Being a massive raving gay myself)!!
Viz does and always has gone out of its way to be as non PC as is possible, the net result... success.
Surely it makes sense for society to ignore the crap government that we seem to have had in this country since WW2 and just get on with laughing at British humour.
Women, mother's in law, wives, men, blacks, whites, Jews, Muslims etc. etc. are all perfect targets.
I think I just mentioned the war... but it's ok, I think I got away with it!
PC can be a force for good, it has helped us to be more forgiving and more tolerant of other cultures. If it wasn't for PC we'd all still be watching crap like Love they Neighbour and Mind Your Language, thinking it was funny to rip the wotnot out of those different to us, because they speak or look different. These interfering do-gooders seem to have no idea about context, they seem to think that if you can be nasty to someone for X reason, then surely that same must apply to all life's problems. Quick ban anything that could cause the any amount of offence, even if it's only one person who is bothered, we must save everyone from the nastiness in life!
Often Dennis used to beat up Walter, but in the end, the last frame, Dennis would often get his just rewards, a punishment for being nasty. I would much rather my kids understand a basic principle that most of the time, if you act like an ass and do nasty things, it will catch up with you and you will get punished one way or another.
Well I never, I thought he was just some nerdy kid.
Political Correctism is facism in disguise, it is just another thing for people to attack others on. It just moves the 'ism into attacking the colourful and flamboyant, just another way to spread hatred.
Political correctism is worse than the things it hates and attacks, as it has the added vice of hyprocrisy thrown into the mire.
...if one day people realise that PCness is just another way of avoiding reality the same as statistics, 'normal' politics, religion, etc.
If we could learn that dealing with issues is better that pretending they don't exist, the world would be a better place.
In fact, I'll go further and say that this kind of thing is the root of a lot of 'evil': This kind of PCness leads to people (kids in this case) being cocooned in cotton wool and is more likely to produce an adult that has warped morals and reasoning than any amount of unPC cartoon content.
Subsequent generations are going to end up totally unprepared to cope with anything remotely unusual and people who don't know how to cope often develop nasty reactions, eh?...
".. a slipper across the bottom. This sort of corporal punishment became outdated.."
I was eating my lunch while reading bits and bobs from the story, missed a bit and thought we were still talking about Walter... sounded saucy... for a minute...
Paris - because I'd punish her bottom for being a naughty lady...
When I was reading the Beano in the 1970s, the concept of homosexuality hadn't even impinged on my universe, and gay still meant bright and cheerful. Perhaps I had a sheltered upbringing?
Walter the Softy was a sissy, a bit girly, and generally transgressive of gender roles, but he wasn't gay. Firstly, because the concept wasn't there (or supposed to be there) to be associated with him, and secondly, because he had no sexuality and neither did the Menaces. Dennis would never have been seen dead associating with girls, let alone demonstrating heterosexuality to the extent of being attracted to one. If he did, it would be presented as obvious aberrant behaviour on his part, and his fellow Menaces would have cured him of it in short order.
Heh, maybe they should steal back an idea from 2000AD. In the Judge Dredd: Judgement Day storyline (1992) Sabbat the necromagus causes the dead to rise all over the world, and nearly conquers it. In the episode devoted to his origins, it is revealed that his name was originally 'Soppi' and he was persistently bullied by a spiky haired kid in a familiar red and black striped jumper. 'Dennis Mennis,' as his gravestone named him, became the the first victim of Soppi's magic, and, shortly afterward, his first zombie.
You may be confusing the (US) Herald-Tribune cartoon with the (UK) Beano version. Astonishingly, both started independently within 3 days of each other in 1951, and both have given rise to TV spin-offs.
I've never found the H-T version very funny, but I attributed this to my lack of a US sense of 'humor' - for all I know it has them rolling in the aisles in Peoria ...
"Dennis would never have been seen dead associating with girls"
But surely this fits in perfectly with the profile of a violent homophobe? He hates Walter because he himself isn't reconciled to his repressed inner desires. For Dennis, sex is synonymous with shame and aggression, hence his abuse of Walter (the Self as seen in the Other) and inability to sustain relationships with womyn. The exception to this is, of course, his mother, who Dennis and his father have reduced to an archetype of perfect womanhood, even to the point of denying her individuality by referring to her only as "Dennis's mum".
In the context of postwar deindustrialisation, of course, the conflict between Dennis and Walter is of course a metaphor of the changes occurring in the wider Western European economy i.e. the shift of power from heavy industry and manufacturing (Dennis) to the postindustrial knowledge economy (Walter). Dennis's perennial "uniform" of the stripey jumper is of course a signifier of working class uniforms (whether military, manufacturing or prison), while Walter's bow tie is clearly a reference to the preferred uniforms of editors, bankers and traders.
This conflict was especially real in the 1970s and 1980s to the employees of DC Thomson, as Dundee had both substantial presence of both traditional manufacturing and software/electronics firms. The fact that Dennis The Menace has declined in popularity since the 1980s is no surprise - it is merely a recognition that the "battle" for economic supremacy between industrial and postindustrial enterprises has been won, and that class (rightly or wrongly) is no longer part of the political discourse in the UK.
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Marvellous. Sort it out, el reg!
The IT angle is that the publishers of the Beano and Dandy are well aware that the majority of their readership are NOT kids, but middle-aged, usually (though by no means exclusively) male, and commonly work in IT or related geeky-type occupations. Or did before they retired.
They get an article like this in the papers, targeting the "broadsheets", a couple of times a year; it is free and excellently targeted, marketing.
No, not the one with the Beano - mine's got the Eagle.
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