The Internet Kills Beloved Cartoon PenguinOpus, Berkeley Breathed's troubled, herring-loving penguin, has managed to eek out an existence since he first hit the strip "Bloom County" in 1980. But now he's gonna die, because Breathed is gonna kill him, and it's all your fault, snarky snarking internet users! Asked why Breathed is ending Opus's self-named strip next week after a five year run, Breathed tells Salon, "We're not a movie. In most aspects, there's no arc to the human story. Only a line heading upward. For nearly everything. In this case, the coarsening of the National Discourse. We aren't returning someday to any sort of golden era of political civility. The line heads heavenward and has been since the Republic started. And with the intersection of two rather dramatic dynamics — the cable and Web technology allowing All Snark All the Time ... and the political realities of No More Free Lunch in America, it will spike in the coming years like Don Draper's sex life, and I hereby pledge that that's the last pop reference I use." But isn't it during dark times that we most need funny satire? Screw you, noob!
It's not so much dark times now, as profane and loud. Satire you'll have, oh dear me, indeedy yes. "Vomitous" and "awash" are two words that come to mind. It used to be that everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. How antediluvian. Rather, everyone will now want a satirical YouTube film with 15 megabytes. Satire we'll have. Rather, the real dearth in our world will be sweetness, comfort, thoughtfulness and civility. If I could do "Peanuts," that's what I'd be doing. Alas, I've tried. And oh, you get way, way richer.