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August 21, 2007


Filed under: B.C., Bill Bickel, CIDU, comic strips, comics, humor, school busing, skool — Cidu Bill @ 12:02 am




  1. My first sex ed came in the form of dirty jokes told by 10 y.o. boys, far away from the classroom itself.

    Comment by Keera — August 21, 2007 @ 2:11 am

  2. Public school is one giant adventure in learning. Then you get to class, and the teacher stops it, temporarily; but you know afterwards the big means boys will teach you your proper place in the world, and swirly you till your eyes sting from the toilet water, and the rage of a million suns will burn inside you as you learn hatred for your fellow man. Then you will internalize this lesson, and play it out on the younger generation after you. In later years, a violent, bitter man, you will reflect on the lessons you learned, and realize that school buses were your first enemy, and you will write jokes denigrating them, hoping against hope that younger generations aren’t learning the same lessons, because if they are then you’re pretty sure the next shooting will be even bigger….

    Comment by Steve — August 21, 2007 @ 8:01 am

  3. I’m trying to figure out Hart’s thoughts on this. The point of the comic is “school busing” – which does not mean “taking kids to school” but is 70s Americaspeak for “putting black and white children who live apart together in the same school”.

    Hart seems to have said here that this racial mixing would likely lead to a loss of innocence among white children. Why – because minority children will corrupt pure white children?

    It reminds me of the basic idea behind the sundown towns you find in the northern and midwestern US – keep the blacks out after sundown and they won’t corrupt the young.

    Comment by Charlene — August 21, 2007 @ 8:35 am

  4. Busing can be bussing, i.e. kissing, facts of life. It all follows

    Comment by MrKenneth — August 21, 2007 @ 9:23 am

  5. Education *is* half the point of desegregation: expose kids to other cultures so they won’t be so paranoid about them when they grow up. (I support the goal, though I’m not sure it worked for me.) Given Hart’s conservatism, however, you might expect him to be against busing, in which case he probably means that busing teaches kids that liberals will jerk them around for their pie-in-the-sky fantasies, or some such.

    Comment by Lihtox — August 21, 2007 @ 1:43 pm

  6. I’ve been puzzling about this one all day. For some reason, it really bothers me that “learn” is underlined.

    Like Charlene and Lihtox, I’m assuming from the first panel that Johnny Hart is opposed to busing, meaning school integration. But why busing is bad is not very clear—Charlene’s explanation that racial mixing leads to corruption makes the most sense, but the message is not very clear. I’m guessing that the lack of clarity is intentional. Probably what happened is that Hart wanted to say something bigoted, but also wanted to obfuscate things enough to to get it by newspaper editors, and to give him plausible deniability if people complained. So we end up with something that’s halfway between a nonsensical bigoted statement and a nonsensical almost-joke. It’s like his Islam-slam-outhouse strip—see here—which can either be read as an hidden bigoted attack on Islam, or a nonsensical joke-free strip.

    Comment by Autumn Harvest — August 21, 2007 @ 11:54 pm

  7. School busing != racial busing.

    Comment by Powers — August 22, 2007 @ 7:06 am

  8. “Busing can be bussing, i.e. kissing, facts of life. It all follows”

    I’m pretty sure that slang has European origins, and Hart wouldn’t have even imagined that pun-work… although given his love for puns in all things, I might be wrong.

    Comment by Steve — August 22, 2007 @ 8:41 am

  9. Powers: > School busing != racial busing.

    I grew up in an all-white rural school in the 70s in which 90% of the kids normally rode the big yellow busses to get to school (because the district covered a very large geographic area).

    Even in that environment, yes “school busing” does indeed = “racial busing”.

    Sad, but true.

    Comment by Michele — August 22, 2007 @ 12:21 pm

  10. Then tell me this: how could Hart have written this so that it was clear he was not referring to racial busing?

    The joke about learning the facts of life only works if he was just referring to regular school buses.

    Comment by Powers — August 23, 2007 @ 7:19 am

  11. Perhaps “facts of life” in this context doesn’t mean “sex”, but rather something along the lines of “people don’t want your kind here”?

    (Note: not saying that I agree with that sentiment, but that fits in with the racial busing thing.)

    I might be reaching….

    Comment by Michele — August 24, 2007 @ 11:59 am

  12. Or it might have to do with racial stereotyping — that black kids would somehow be in a position to teach white kids a thing or two about sex.

    Having said all that, the “student” in this strip is black. Wonder if Hart thought of that?

    Comment by Molly — August 24, 2007 @ 12:14 pm

  13. If he hadn’t meant racial busing, then why the question about the “real” purpose? The real purpose of busing to get kids from far away to school is pretty obvious. The answer I don’t understand at all.

    Comment by Scott — August 24, 2007 @ 4:54 pm

  14. aren’t all of these new BC strips just recycled pictures and parts of jokes rewritten by his family? The jokes have been a bit forced since then…

    Comment by dd — August 25, 2007 @ 4:54 pm

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