Is This All There Is?
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June 20th, 2012

Is This All There Is?


Discussion (25)¬

  1. Chazzahra says:

    great comic strips, Darrin! I'm undergraduate English linguistics student from Indonesia and now is doing my thesis dealing with American slang found in your comic strips :)

    • ChayaFradle says:

      OMG, I was wondering if Bell had fans around the world. Now I know! Fantastic. Chazzahra, I wish there was some way you could give us a link to be able to read the end product when you finish it! I would love to read that. In fact, you might be able to publish it as a book!

      • Chazzahra says:

        Thank you very much indeed, Chaya Fradle! Soon after I finished my work, I'll give you the link for the journal where it will be published.. Now it is still half-finished, n I would be very-very happy if you can give me some help. Since I'm not a native speaker, I find some difficulties finding the meaning for some American slang.. Please let me know if you can help me out.. :)

        • ChayaFradle says:

          How can I help, Chazzahra?

        • ChayaFradle says:

          Probably, if you have a phrase you need explained by Bell's fans or me, you can just ask on here if Darrin Bell says it's ok for you to do so. You will find many of us are teachers, former teachers, lawyers, and from many areas of life and would love to help you.

          • Chazzahra says:

            How kind.., is it ok if I post my questions here? I'm afraid whether it's too long. My questions are:
            1. What's the meaning of 'playa' in 'sup playa?'
            2. What's the meaning of 'hootie-hoo' in Sep 30th 2011 strip, 'snookie' in Feb 15th 2012, and why the characters used that words?
            Actually I've tried to find out the meaning in some online slang dictionaries, but I don't know which one of their several definitions that suit with the context.
            Thanks in advance :)

          • ChayaFradle says:

            No, it's not too long. In fact, I only know a couple. The rest, others will need to explain. "sup" means what's up, or what is happening. Playa means player, signifying a guy who plays around with many women. I don't know hootie hoo. Snookie is an actual movie star person. That's her name.

          • ChayaFradle says:

            Why the characters used the words: C-Dawg (nickname for Clyde) is Black. In America, Black Americans often devise their own slang terminology. Historically, it was because they wanted to be able to hide their verbal communication from Caucasions, who used to be very racist and hurtful. So, "sup playa" is one of the Black slang terms, I think.

          • Macushla Bubbe says:

            Oy! I hate to think of "Snookie" as a 'movie star person'! Chazzahra, Snookie is the "star" of a hideous U.S. so-called "reality show," called "Jersey Shore." Snookie is her nickname; her real name [I looked it up; I don't actually follow this fool's appalling rise to fame!] is Nicole Polizzi. I don't know if you are pursuing your studies in Indonesia or are studying here in the U.S. If the latter, you may already have seen this absurd show– It is [I gather; I've never actually seen it, except for clips shown on other programs] about a group of under-educated, stereotypical Italian-American young people from New Jersey ,who are mainly interested in heavy drinking, pot, clubbing, partying & beach rowdiness. "Snookie" in particular, is known for her very orange-colored sun [or tanning booth] tan & short stature. She's now pregnant & claims to be staying healthily away from alcohol, drugs and tanning. The comic strip episode you mention is humorous because the Syrian murderous dictator is lured to an interview with Lemont on the absurd premise that he would be talking about this flirtatious, degenerate 'starlet.' There are stories of various anti-U.S. dictators having such bizarre 'crushes' on American pop celebrities, which makes this odd premise of the strip actually somewhat believable in an absurdist way.
            In the strip you mention where the Exxon Oil CEO [whom Darrin caricatures in an accurate face drawing] is dancing with C-Dawg, it is funny-ironic that this rich, older white male cries out "Hootie-hoo!" for the very reason that you found multiple slang definitions of the phrase. It has taken on an African-American usage as a general exclamation about partying, But, as Urban Dictionary notes, it began on a penultimate U.S. TV show of a long bygone, much more "innocent" era of the early 1960s, The Andy Griffin Show. If you have not seen any of it, it is worth looking at as a prime example of TV Americana! It's an idealized depiction of small town, Southern U.S. culture– idealized because it does not address the most important scar in that very culture– namely the deep segregation of the races, harsh "Jim Crow laws," white racism in general, and the rise of Civil Rights Movement in particular. None of the characters in the Andy Griffith Show , nor indeed the main actors, ever display any overt racism; it's a "Simple Life," simplistic, pro-family, feel-good portrayal. Anyway, as the Urban Dictionary mentions, this phrase, "hootie hoo," was used in that show as a greeting by the fictitious "lodge" on that show. The "lodge" is another piece of Americana… An historically all-male, generally segregated & one-race, male-bonding community organization, supposedly based on community service, but often largely socializing in a setting away from work, wives and the outside world. So, finally back to Darrin's comic strip on C-Dawg's hilarious & improbable 'friendship' with this big oil tycoon: that CEO is far more likely to be exclaiming 'hootie hoo!" as a reflection of his memories of that show and perhaps naively thinking that that is what African Americans mean by it as well.
            Well, if YOU were worrying about being too long… I'm the one who tends to go on too long…
            Do let us all know when and where we can read the final product. I am a linguist as well, a former French teacher.

          • Chazzahra says:

            Wow! Chaya Fradle, Macushla Bubbe, and definitely Darrin Bell, could I say that you're so 'cool' (I learn to use slang now :p) Thanks a gazillion for the amazing answers! I appreciate it much! I'm pursuing my study in Indonesia hence I have a little background about American culture. The first reason why I decide to take 'slang' as my object of study is because it's still uncommon and examining slang in comic strip I believe has never been done yet by any student in my uni that's why I don't have sufficient references here. My email address is chazzahra@gmail.com if you don't mind to have a much more longer talk about language, especially slang.. :)

          • ChayaFradle says:

            I don't know if anyone in America has ever done a thesis on slang in comic strips, either. This will be a break-through in research!

          • ChayaFradle says:

            I love Macushla's response. I don't think it is at all too long. In fact, I could spend HOURS reading her information, as Macushla is so very, very intelligent!

          • Chazzahra says:

            Hi, it' s me, . Sorry for bothering again. I have another questions, would you like to help me, again?

          • Chazzahra says:

            I want to know:
            1. What' s the abbreviation for BIJKSDTIS after ROTFLMAO (which I've already known)?( 7 Sep 2011)
            2. What' s the literal and contextual meaning of 'hockey-puck' (3 may 2012)
            Thanks a lot :)

          • Macushla Bubbe says:

            Chazzahra-
            1. If you use the "Browse Archives" link in the upper left margin, under the calendar page to get back to the comic you cite (7 Sept 2011), you can click onto the panel to get the original page, including comments. There, a commenter says he figured out that the entire textspeak acronym is read together as: "Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off, But I'm Just Kidding, So Don't Take It Seriously." Another comment cites a link to a site called The Daily Comics Review, which also provides the same guess. The site might prove of use in your research, but I don't know how often they mention Candorville.

            2. You don't know the literal meaning of hockey puck? That's easily found on-line. It's the hard rubber disk passed across the ice in ice hockey, a sport extremely popular in Canada.
            As for contextual meaning, you can disregard the vulgar meanings found in Urban Dictionary, because they do not apply to Susan's elderly boss. The use of the term 'hockey puck' as insult [implying the person is "as dumb as a hockey puck"], was popularized by a now elderly, but still working, American "Insult Comic," Don Rickles. He's on Wickipedia and I'm sure there are videos of him on Youtube. His 'schtick' includes constantly insulting members of the audience or whoever might be interviewing him. One of his favorite, generic insults is to call someone "Hockey Puck."

            You can find citations to this by googling or yahoo searching "Hockey Puck used as insult" — they will lead you right to Don Rickles. In Darrin's strip in question, the Arizona cops are following that states then newly enacted law seeking to track down immigrants without legal documents to be here. When Susan's boss says "Eh?" [a stereotypical Canadian interjection], the police officers mistake Susan's boss as Canadian. Since hockey is Canada's national sport, this gives a double meaning to the insult "hockey puck."

          • Chazzahra says:

            1. Oh my! I am so sorry I didn't notice that.. I was just looking at the strip without reading the comments..
            2. Yeah, again, I didn't look it up carefully.. Since my study is about slang, what I found in online slang dictionary is that 'Hockey puck' is a term for 'Black Canadian' and I was perplexed because I know that Susan's elderly boss isn't 'black' so why does he should be called like that. Thanks a lot, again Machusla! Love to read your answer :D

          • ChayaFradle says:

            I'm glad you asked those questions, because I, also, didn't know the answers!

    • Darrin Bell says:

      Thanks! That's great to hear. Please send me a copy of it when you're done, I'd love to read it.

      • Chazzahra says:

        Thank you very much indeed, Chaya Fradle! Soon after I finished my work, I'll give you the link for the journal where it will be published.. Now it is still half-finished, n I would be very-very happy if you can give me some help. Since I'm not a native speaker, I find some difficulties finding the meaning for some American slang.. Please let me know if you can help me out.. :)

        • Chazzahra says:

          It is me who owe you a debt of gratitude, Mr Bell! I'd been searching subject for my work for months, and, thanks God, finally I found your comic strip! I promise to send you a copy when I've finished my work..

      • ChayaFradle says:

        Darrin, perhaps you would be better able to answer the above questions, since they are your characters.

      • ChayaFradle says:

        Well, this is an intelligent comic strip with an intelligent author and artist, and intelligent readers. Including myself. LOL. But, yes, really.

  2. John says:

    I suddenly want to see Imani show up. With Clyde sitting… right… there…

    I'm sure reason and rational debate will overcome any difficulties.

    Right?

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