Well, he would, wouldn’t he?

Merry Christmas everybody. We’re back on Boxing Day.

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Discussion (60)¬

  1. HaggisForBrains says:

    You just made my christmas a little merrier, so thanks, and have a cool yule 🙂

  2. Simon Bishop says:

    Brilliant, as always.

    Merry Christmas Author.

  3. Tomas (the doubter) says:

    What Simon said!

  4. martin_z says:

    And a Merry Christmas to you too!

    And thanks for all the brilliant cartoons – may you never fail to have inspiration from the wellmeaning religious…!

  5. Maggs says:

    Sooo perceptive. As always. Cool Yule every one

  6. Okay, once again you got an audible laugh out of me. That takes some doing these days. Have a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

  7. jerry w says:

    Dear Jesus, how does it feel to be Flock Blocked?

  8. Try the Irish archbishops, Jeez, I bet they’d block you too.

  9. Sondra says:

    a literal LOL – thanks! and Happy Every Day!

  10. WalterWalcarpit says:

    Brilliant! This one had me laughing out loud and indeed giggling into my soup for quite some time. Truly excellent.

    Season’s Greetings to one and all.

  11. This one reminds me of the movie “Back to School” with Rodney Dangerfield. Rodney is supposed to do a book report. So Rodney hires the author of the book to write a report on his own work. The teacher gives Rodney an F and tells Rodney that was not the meaning the author intended to convey.

    Seriously the Pope would HAVE to block Jesus. The Pope’s authority would be zero if Jesus were to actually talk to people.

  12. durham669 says:

    Merry Christmas author, thanks for the laughs, really appreciate your work.

    “If Jesus came back and saw what was being done in his name, he’d never stop throwing up.” ? Woody Allen, Hannah and Her Sisters

  13. E.A. Blair says:

    The pope puts the TWIT in Twitter

  14. MarkyWarky says:

    Happy Christmas (yep, I still call it that, just like I call Thursday Thursday even though I don’t believe in Thor!), Author and everyone else. Have a good’un 🙂

  15. Robert Shelton says:

    I wonder if THIS reader could offer a tip to YOU. Although I LOVE your cartoons, I don’t think it’s NECESSARY, and if anything it’s DISTRACTING, when you use a BOLD FONT just to point out the speaker’s INFLECTION. A well-written dialogue will allow the READER to interpret that for him- or her-SELF. (Just take a look at my PRIOR SENTENCE for example; as the COMPOSER I didn’t hear the word “DIALOGUE” emphasized, but you as the READER may well have, but EITHER WAY has it no effect on the MEANING.) So again this isn’t meant to be put you DOWN because your cartoons are GREAT (especially THIS one), but it’s just something that I thought you might want to CONSIDER.

  16. Strobes says:

    Thanks for your delightful, insightful and hilarious cartoons. Especially this one.

  17. henry ford says:

    So nice…… Happy christmas ……… Prosperous new year………. hehe

  18. Don says:


    For us geordies it is still Thorsday.

  19. MarkyWarky says:

    @Don, ah yes, true. I’m flying to Newcastle tomorrow morning!

  20. Marcos says:

    Well, you know that joke about him when he was just Cardinal Ratzinger –

  21. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    I don’t get this one!
    Why would a man who is both leader of the Church of Rome and an erstwhile member of the Nazi Youth refuse to take orders from a Jew?

    Happy Christmas everybody.

  22. Nassar Ben Houdja says:

    Another celebrity on twitter
    Intellectual contents of kitty litter
    How trendy, how kewel
    Tweet, conditioned to drool
    Something to read whilst on the shitter

  23. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Nassar, a good idea, old love, but I wouldn’t recommend trying to read religious tweets* on the loo, they tighten the sphincter too much.

    *Not that I’ve ever been on Twitter; I’m absolutely certain that my life isn’t interesting enough for me to have to ‘tweet’ about every sip of coffee or bowel movement that I have, and I sure as shit am not interested in reading of anybody elses.
    Leaving an occasional post or two on sites such as this is fine, but in my ever-so ‘umble opinion, a Twitter account is nought but Narcissus electronified.

  24. Harleyriv says:

    Hi J&M – How about a 6 plate strip – it would allow a more subtle argument to develop – more opportunity for light and shade…..what do you think?

  25. Robert says:

    Well, darn. I didn’t expect you to slip me a fiver for the idea.

  26. HaggisForBrains says:

    @ Robert Shelton & Harleyriv – How about setting up your own cartoon strip? We’ll let you know.

  27. kennypo65 says:

    Bravo, that was perfect. I really needed a laugh, thank you

  28. xxxFred says:

    Brings a new meaning to the worfd “excommunication”

  29. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    “obert Shelton says:
    December 19, 2012 at 6:04 pm
    ….I don’t think it’s NECESSARY, and if anything it’s DISTRACTING, when you use a BOLD FONT just to point out the speaker’s INFLECTION…… but it’s just something that I thought you might want to CONSIDER”

    Methinks somebody is confusing a bold font with UPPER CASE.

  30. Don says:

    While we are being constructively critical, may I say that this piece epitomises the economy and perfect delivery of the format?

    A good journalist or writer would probably need a thousand words to make the point with that precision.

  31. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Too right, Don. Author has yet to fail to deliver in four panels, so if it ain’t broken and all that.

  32. Jstackpo says:

    Don (12/20) sed:

    “A good journalist or writer would probably need a thousand words to make the point with that precision.”

    Dostoevsky took more than a mere 1000 words to make much the same point (via the Grand Inquisitor), but they were/are pretty good words.

  33. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    “Jstackpo says:
    December 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Dostoevsky took more than a mere 1000 words to make much the same point (via the Grand Inquisitor), but they were/are pretty good words”

    If it took Dostoevsky thousands of words to make the same point that Author makes in just seventy-two, I’d say that old Dozzy was padding out his gags a bit too much; playing Ronnie Corbett to Author’s Lee Mack, if you will 🙂

  34. A question just occurred to me: How do Jesus and Mo pay their rent and bar tab? They never work and have no visible means of support. Are they on the dole? Or are they like the clergy, supported by the believers and tax free? Or is Author paying their rent just to keep them in his cast of characters?
    You think maybe they are becoming a bit too real to me? Hey, if you can fantasize about Barmaid, I can have my questions.

  35. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    DH, that collection plate money doesn’t spend itself, you know.

  36. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    To my fellow UPOTW members: for its crimes in abetting the ‘dumbing-down’ of language skills, I am issuing a potwa to Twitter. It’s bad enough that people on web sites and fora the whole world over now seem incapable of writing a name or pseudonym without preceding it with the totally unnecessary ‘@’ (a habit that is not as widespread here, thank you all), but for me the tipping point from annoyance to potwa-issuing came half an hour ago as I was collecting Mrs. o’Sagan from the hairdressers and wlalked in on the tail end of a conversation between an excited young lady (EYL) and her equally excited stylist friend (EESF), which ran thus:
    EYL; “See you at mine tonight, Babes, hashtag partytime!”
    EEST; “Yeah, Babes, gonna be a scream, hashtag Jaegerbombs!”
    EYL; “Don’t forget your mistletoe, Babes, because…”
    EYL & EESF, loudly and in unison “Hashtag fit guys!”

    Stop the world, I want to get off. NOW!

  37. hotrats says:

    hashtag projectile vomiting…potwa heartily endorsed.

  38. Author says:

    @DH – I pay them in vouchers.

  39. hotrats says:

    sorry, hopelessly out of touch again, it should of course be
    ‘hashtag projectilevomiting’

  40. HaggisForBrains says:

    AoS – As a founder member of UPOTWA, I have to issue a heartfelt mea culpa for the crime of using @ before people’s nicknames. I had no idea where this originated, as I do not twat (or whatever), and simply assumed that this was the correct form of address on a blog. I shall say ten hail spaghetti monsters as a penance, and promise not to do it again.

  41. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Hotrats, thanks for the endorsement. Potwa is now formally issued.

    HFB, don’t worry; I too thought at first that it was simply a blog ‘thing’ but stopped using it a long time ago because its use clashed with my inherent good manners. The symbol ‘@’ means ‘at’, and as I explained on these hallowed pages many moons ago, I do not speak ‘at’ people but ‘to’ them.
    I accept that on Twitter ‘@’ is a necessary part of the username, much as ‘www.’ is a necessary part of a web ‘address’, but there can be no tolerance with the habit spreading beyond the borders of Twatland (I asssume that’s what it’s called) lest the use of the ‘@’ preceding proper nouns becomes not only ‘accepted’ for use in standard written English, or indeed any language – ultimately to creep into the spoken word, as per my ‘hashtag conversation-induced potwa – but, perish the thought, becomes the ‘correct’ one.
    For anybody who thinks that I’m going a little over-the-top I suggest that whenever you’re reading through comments on the ‘net, every time you see ‘@’, read it as the word it represents, ‘at’, and you’ll realise just how ridiculous things begin to sound.
    Do you really want to hear people saying things like “Did you see atQi last night? atStephen Fry was on hasttag top form and atAlan Davies had a great rapport with atPhil Jupitus and atSarah Millican. Great stuff atBBC, hastag funnyteevee”?
    Of course you don’t; we have to stand together on this!

  42. hotrats says:

    To: Acolyte of Sagan, Esq.
    I am as guilty as any of @ing people, using it in the email sense of ‘addressed to’: I’m also not entirely content with it, but what to write? Author, no less, subscribes to the practice when addressing you in person (see 3 posts up).

    I don’t find it offensive, or see it as a dangerous trend in written English, in the J&M comments context – it sounds curt to use a bare name, and the conventional salutations don’t fit nicknames well:
    ‘To:’ now looks suspiciously like an emoticon,
    ‘Freefox:’ makes the post look like a definition,
    ‘Dear Acolyte’ sounds frightfully tea-and-biscuits,
    ‘Yo HaggisForBrains’ is well disrespectful, while
    ‘FAO WalterWalcarpit’ is too much like a memo about an invoice.

    I support the Potwa as proposed – against leakage of Twatter jargon into speech – not for banning the @ symbol from these comments. If that is what you now propose, you need to make a better case than asserting that it is spreading into ‘use in standard written English’, of which I haven’t yet seen any evidence.

    I would also suggest that it is unreasonable to reject customary usage until you propose an alternative salutation/referent suitable for bloggers, of greater elegance and utility than the consensual norm. Have @ you, sir!

  43. WalterWalcarpit says:

    Heard on the BBC radio news on Saturday 22.12.12:
    “Yesterday we reported on a group who, following a Mayan calendar,  believed the world was going to end.” Followed by a perfectly deadpan  ”It didn’t.”

  44. WalterWalcarpit says:

    I’m kinda with hotrats and Author here. I am relatively new to forums and blogs and I can see that using @ before a name addresses that individual in particular and does so efficiently – as distinct from mentioning them as I have done in this post.
    I have more trouble concentrating on not giving hotrats a capital H, and I appreciate that se bothers to give me my big double ewes. (Clearly autocorrect is not going to help me there.)

  45. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Hotrats, we’re not writing letters to each other here, we’re having conversations. When your friends speak to you do you begin your responses with ‘Dear’ or ‘To’? Of course not, and I’m certain that you don’t feel offended when you’re not formally addressed by your friends; you’d probably find it highly strange if they did. The more I see it used in informal settings such as this, the more ‘@’ looks to me like ‘Oi!’.
    I can understand the ‘@’ being used as a necessary prefix to a Twitter username; I can almost understand – though disagree with – its use at the very start of a response to a specific person in a comments section, but it is already being widely used on the ‘net to precede any name (I’ve often seen posts along the lines of “I was reading the posts by @hotrats and @freefox….” for example) for no discernible reason other than the writer has seen others do it and assumes that its usage is therefore correct.* We don’t need superfluous ‘@’s to help us identify proper nouns: that’s what upper case initialing is for.
    There is also a second string to my ‘letter-writing’ analogy. Even if you don’t accept our to-ings and fro-ings here as conversations, they cannot be viewed as formal written communications either. They’re more like messages on Post-It notes – albeit pretty big ones sometimes – which again, just as with face-to-face conversations, do not require a formal ‘Dear’ or ‘To’.
    That said, my potwa was issued for the completely unnecessary and unacceptable verbalisation of the hash symbol; I detest the usage of ‘@’ away from its proper application but, unlike its freshly perverted Twatland overspill the verbal hash, I fear it is now too deeply engrained in the minds of those born into a world of SMS, shorter attention spans, and falling educational standards** for a potwa to have any effect.

    *Did you really quote Author’s usage as part of your argument and expect it to be accepted just because Author’s Author? I’m shocked, I tell you, shocked to the core! If I were asked to write a list of all the people I thought might make arguments from authority, your name wouldn’t have entered my head.

    **This is not snobbery, before anybody points fingers; I left school (secondary modern) at 16, but I bloody well paid attention whilst I was there.

  46. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Oh, Walter, what I wouldn’t give to see one of your big double ewes, preferably with gravy and mint sauce. I’ll bet the wool yield’s not bad per beast too.

    To all, please feel free to ignore my ranting over the dreaded ‘@’, ’tis little more than the moaning of a grumpy old git born at a time of valve radios and slide rules who is increasingly confused, bemused and frequently disappointed with the hi-tech, rapidly changing world I’ve found myself thrust into, so am clinging on to the familiar as a castaway clings to driftwood.

  47. HaggisForBrains says:

    Ah, Slide rules – *sigh*. When 3 significant figures was considered the height of accuracy. I remember carrying out an experiment with two colleagues. My job was to call out the figure from one dial (a proper one with a pointer) and then the chap opposite me called out from his dial the figure which had to be multiplied by mine. Our third colleague sat with the slide rule studiously carrying out the calculation. “Two”, I called. Pause. “Two”, called out the guy opposite. Slide Rule fiddled for a moment, then called out “3.99 – call it 4”.

    To the point – I agree with AoS that we need to be vigilant to prevent all this degradation of our wonderful language, which is why we formed the United Pendants of the World Association (I prefer the full UPOTWA version because of the ironic built-it tautology).

  48. HaggisForBrains says:

    Hey guys, bad news. In an idle moment (it’s Sunday after all), I Googled POTWA. Bad mistake! Check out this: I still prefer it as our version of a fatwa, but who’da thunkit. Sorry, who would have thought it. I’ve clearly been hanging out in too many US blogs (and websites, pace Jerry Coyne).

  49. hotrats says:

    yo HaggisForBrains,
    I don’t think that the Put On The Whole Armour (of ‘God’) reading detracts from our use of Potwa, any more than the other versions do (Pussy of the Week, a Star Wars beer, another spelling of patois, Potable Water, and the Post and Telecoms Workers Association); in fact the pompous presumtion of the original salts the wit, as does the redundant Association in UPOTWA (reminds me of the Firesign Theater’s classic ‘Department of Redundancy Department’).

    Oh Acolyte, yoo hoo!
    Not so much an argument from Authority, as a reminder that splashing Author with a Potwa is at best indiscriminate, and at worst biting the hand that feeds.

  50. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    “hotrats says:
    December 23, 2012 at 2:23 pm
    …Oh Acolyte, yoo hoo!
    Not so much an argument from Authority, as a reminder that splashing Author with a Potwa is at best indiscriminate, and at worst biting the hand that feeds.

    Oh dear, hotrats. If you’re going to try and snitch to Sir, then if only for the sake of your own dignity you could be a tad more discreet, not to mention honest.
    You know full well that the POTWA was issued over the unacceptable and quite frankly disturbing misuse of the ‘hash’ symbol, that it was issued only against Twitter, and furthermore it was you who was the first to endorse its issue.
    I made it perfectly clear that my problem with the over-use of the ‘@’ is nought but a personal dislike and not a POTWA-worthy offence, at least not when used as Author and most others here do. I don’t like to see it used to address people but I’m not suggesting that everybody has to agree with me and stop using it; it’s when it’s used Twitter style to precede pretty much each and every proper noun – a habit that I clearly stated none of the regulars here had picked up as yet – that it stops being a mere personal annoyance and starts to stray into POTWA territory.
    You are aware, of course, that the deliberate distortion or mis-representation of the words of another is as serious a crime against language as any other offence, if not more so: the ‘hashtag and at sign addicts’ at least have the excuse that their actions are for the most part unthinking, so can in part be forgiven for ‘they know not what they have done’, but you do not have the luxury of the defence of ignorance and so I can only conclude that you were attempting to ‘stitch me up’. Now, if your original mention of Author “Author, no less, subscribes to the practice when addressing you in person” was not the appeal to authority it so closely resembled, then by using carefully selected parts of my earlier posts you have instead created a ‘strawman’ argument; either way it’s very naughty of you, and rather careless to boot. Not only could anybody with the will to do so simply read up the page to see the falsehood of your claim but by making that claim you are risking a POTWA yourself, with all the attendant shame and loss of reputation that comes with the imposition of that POTWA.
    All-in-all, a fairly mediocre piece of mischief-making, hotrats. Well, terrible really, since your tactics have acheived no more than to call your own credibility into question.
    Bloody good job it’s not serious.

  51. jerry w says:

    Considering the above, could the correct and up to date nomenclature for a legal opinion or ruling issued by an Islamic scholar be f@wa? Just asking….

  52. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Jerry, I just fell in love with you. All it akes is a sharp wit 🙂

    A very happy fictional saviour’s un-birthday to you all*. May your stockings be stuffed and your birds stay moist.
    And remember, folks, a dog is not just for Christmas; if thinly carved it should last until at least New Year’s Eve.

    *Yes, @hotrats (that ‘@‘ is your present from me, by the way; enjoy!) that includes you, unless of course you selectively read my seasonal greeting and run to tell Author that I wished you a very unhappy season of bad will 😉

  53. hotrats says:

    Forgive me if I took the impression that you had conflated your @-aversion into the Potwa (evidently along with HFB), mea culpa etc., but it makes no difference to my essential argument, which is that the regrettable proliferation of @ as a prefix to names in public discourse does not preclude its usefulness here in personalizing replies.

    As to the argument from Authority, pointing out to you that (as the de facto arbiter of J&M house style) Author endorses the practice, in the most literal sense it is Author-ity, but it is personal, and not doctrinal in the sense you suggest.

    Your portayal of me as a sneaking sycophant is a indefensible slur – I was informing you that you apparently disapprove of Author, not informing him of your disapproval – I think we can assume he reads all posts without my bidding. The whiny accusations of ‘snitching to Sir’, ‘running to tell Author’ seem to be no more than reflex outrage at my having mentioned his name while offering you criticism.

    I am aware, of course, that the deliberate distortion or mis-representation of the words of another is as serious a crime against language as any other offence, if not more so: so I would be the last to accuse you of any disingenuousness, especially in this Season of Cheer and Goodwill – as you say, good job it’s not serious.
    yrs, hotr@s

  54. Acolyte of Sagan says:

    Hotrats, please don’t mistake my disapproval of the use of a symbol as disapproval of the individual using it. Christ on a bike, man, I’d have no friends left if that were the case.
    I think we’ve just about picked the meat off of this particular bone, but just for clarity: Hashtag insanity deserves its shiny new potwa: an ‘at’ sign at the very start of a post is like cocaine; it isn’t to my liking but that’s just my personal taste. I don’t use it myself but have no valid objection to others doing so, though I would warn against addiction which could easily lead to a Twitter-esque proliferation of ‘at’ signs (or a destroyed septum), which would then lead the user back into potwa territory (or into the care of the Betty Ford clinic).
    That’s me done now until at least Boxing Day, so thank you for the debate, hotrats, I enjoyed it. Now get yourself a beer, you deserve one, and I’ll wish a final Happy Christmas to you and to all.

  55. Don says:

    Merry Christmas to all.

  56. HaggisForBrains says:

    A Cool Yule to all my friends :-)!

  57. Anon says:

    Wouldn’t “peace” involve not killing babies?

  58. Tamfang says:

    Is this what drove B16 out of office?

  59. Richard says:

    He is listening to you.

  60. ve4gap says:

    Just don’t let Jesus in, casue he’ll start flippin’ tables…


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