Since he took the latest Post buyout, Gene Weingarten's been chatting irregularly. He did one on September 29th where he took Zits somewhat to task (in the first poll) for racial insensitivity.
Actually, in his comments later, he says, "Gene Weingarten: I am surprised that I am in such a small minority that finds both versions of the cartoon problematic. To me, both versions are (humorously) equating the suffering of victims of terrible cataclysmic human injustices -- the Holocaust, slavery -- to the suffering of high school students in detention." He's speaking of a reference to Harriet Tubman smuggling a student in the original, versus Oskar Schindler in his modified version. For the record, neither particularly bothered me. The debate between Gene and his readers goes on for a while if one is interested.
I agree with this responder: Baltimore, Md.: "To me, both versions are (humorously) equating the suffering of victims of terrible cataclysmic human injustices -- the Holocaust, slavery -- to the suffering of high school students in detention." Really? Can't believe you, of all people, read it so literally. It's not about detention = slavery and the Holocaust. It's about Stupid Teenage Drama that equates detention with "terrible cataclysmic human injustices."
Gene Weingarten: I accept that is how most people are reading it. I'll go further: I'll accept that I must be oversensitive.
In the second poll, he took some shots at the first Our Town panel. The polls running pretty hard against Our Town, but that's perhaps due to the negative slant the questions have. On the other hand, this was a bad choice to start the feature off with. The idea of a park for handicapped kids is not an intuitive one, as most of us have never seen such a park.
As I continue reading, I find Gene says in response to someone who'd been to the park and liked it "I don't get it. If this is about a place for handicapped children, why are there no handicapped children? If it is filled with rides, why are there no rides shown? If it is a place of extreme bliss, why is no one shown having fun? Why is everyone just... standing around? Why do the words -- bliss, joy, etc. -- seem to counteract the imagery? Does it seem to anyone else as though this seemed a little ... snide and sarcastic? I cannot believe it was meant to be that, but I'm not sure it's delivering whatever it meant to deliver. Why no color, except for in an occasional insignificant place? What purpose do the asterisks serve -- none that seems consistent with any prior use of asterisks that I have seen. Why is "acronym" continuously misused?"