Finally, something important to write about…. (More)

“He may have been a boy in 1981, but he’s not now”

Yes, I know, there’s oodles of news today. In a press conference yesterday, Klanmaster General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any DOJ investigations of the God-King’s ties to Russia and the Wall Street Journal says Sessions used campaign funds to attend the Republican National Convention, while the New York Times reports that the God-King’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, also met with Russian Ambassator Sergey Kislyak.

Also, the Vice-God-King used a personal email account for official business when he was Governor of Indiana, and he was hacked. As did EPA Secretary Scott Pruit, when he was Attorney General of Oklahoma.

But former Clinton Email Inquisitor Trey Gowdy says the real issue is government employees talking to the media and the God-King’s staffers want a purge of all Obama-era appointees. To stop the leaks, they say.

Oh, and House Republicans can’t find their secret Obamacare replacement bill. Maybe the dog ate it.

But let’s get to Today’s Really Important Story:

Garfield is lazy; Garfield is a cat; Garfield likes lasagna.

Is there really much more to say about Garfield? The character is not complicated. Since the comic debuted in 1978, Garfield’s core qualities have shifted less than the mostly immobile cat himself.

But this is 2017 – a time of Internet wars, social conundrums and claims to competing evidence about Garfield’s gender identity.

Wikipedia had to put Garfield’s page on lockdown last week after a 60-hour editing war in which the character’s listed gender vacillated back and forth indeterminately like a cartoon version of Schrödinger’s cat: male one minute; not the next.

“He may have been a boy in 1981, but he’s not now,” one editor argued.

I consider myself an expert on fictitious animal characters, but I’ll withhold judgment until I see the facts:

It all started with a comment Garfield’s creator, Jim Davis, made two years ago in an interview with Mental Floss – titled innocuously: “20 Things You Might Not Know About Garfield.”
[…]
“Garfield is very universal,” Davis told Mental Floss mid-interview. “By virtue of being a cat, really, he’s not really male or female or any particular race or nationality, young or old.”

Well, that seemed clear enough to Virgil Texas:

Okay, I guess. I mean, most pet owners get their cats spayed or neutered – as you should – so most house cats are indeed kinda sexless. And to make matters more complicated, the Wikipedia form lists Gender, which isn’t the same as Sex. Lion prides have gender roles: the women feed everyone while the male fights with other males, which Pootie the Precious says they learned from watching humans. Maybe so.

Regardless, I haven’t seen much gender role distinction in house cats, until there’s a cat in heat somewhere nearby. More evidence, please:

Almost instantly, the universe of Garfield fans clawed in.

A Wikipedia editor reverted Garfield’s gender back to male less than an hour after Texas’s change.

One minute later, someone in the Philippines made Garfield genderless again.

Well sure. We’ve discussed Wikipedia edit wars and they’re A Thing.

Cue Wikipedia editors citing strips where Jon says “Good boy” to Garfield, where the talking scale refers to him as “young man” or “boy,” and where Garfield says of himself “I’m a bad boy.”

Wikipedia finally declared that Garfield is male and locked the page from edits, but the debate continued:

Yet a Heat Street writer dragged the argument to the very end of February – citing the spinoff character Garzooka’s “hard pecs” and “prominent bulge” as evidence of “a rugged, heterosexual American MAN.”

That didn’t resolve anything, of course.

Au contraire. It resolves that the Heat Street writer is insecure about his own masculinity.

Why not ask the artist himself? Oh, they did:

“Garfield is male,” Davis told the Washington Post on Tuesday. “He has a girlfriend, Arlene.”

Well, that should settle it.

Not.

Presented with new evidence, the satirist deferred to the creator. “He’s in charge of the canon,” Texas said. “I’m just curious how it squares with his prior statement …

“If I had the opportunity I would interrogate him.”

And you wonder why Garfield and I are so grumpy.

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Cartoon Credit: Jim Davis (Paws Inc.)

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Good day and good nuts