TOM THE DANCING BUG: Hollingsworth Hound and the American Dream of Upward Mobility

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40 Responses to “TOM THE DANCING BUG: Hollingsworth Hound and the American Dream of Upward Mobility”

  1. neddyo says:

    Is that Lucky Ducky’s nephew getting that lukewarm pizza in the final panel? Is that DiGiorno’s? What a lucky duck!

  2. yosemite says:

    Well, that settles it. My first child will be named ‘Pendrick’.

  3. Tom Townsend says:

    Looks like PS34X is adding new jobs with the recent hire of their janitor!

  4. xzzy says:

    I think what this is saying is we need to start distributing e-books and nutrition goo to poor kids. Won’t fix the medical problems but it should improve the averages!

    Maybe air filtering hamster balls could be used to make sure no one gets sick anymore. 

  5. trefecta says:

    The masses don’t need to be protected, we just need to live long enough to reproduce and work, maybe come up with a few good ideas to be used by the super wealthy…

    We’re building pyramids this time, right?

  6. I assume that Pendrick’s surname is “Pup”. If this is not the case, the world is broken.

  7. LuciferWept says:

    Medical care, books and education, access to healthy food and clean drinking water, etc. Why not have single-payer for everything? Never gonna happen, I know. Meanwhile, back in the “real” world, we are blessed with all of these parents who know that they are unable to appropriately provide for their kids, and yet choose to have them anyway, thus burdening all of society as a direct result. And parental licensing is a bad idea because…?

    • UnholyMoses says:

      Well, this comes to mind, for starters …

      And if everyone were to wait to have kids until they could afford them, only rich people would have kids.

      • Daniel says:

        Yeah, let’s have psychologists and economists and other “experts” draw up lists of criteria to determine who gets to have children.  Sounds like heaven.  Wait, not heaven…what’s the other place again?

      • LuciferWept says:

        “Well, this comes to mind…” I love that book! Just get rid of the caste system and upgrade everyone, equally. Then, raise the kids and form the community just like they did in Huxley’s final masterpiece, Island, and you have the makings for an ideal future society, one which I would be thrilled to be a part of :-)

        “only rich people would have kids” That is just silly and you know it. There are countless non-rich people who have kids and they are doing just fine. Sure, raising kids is expensive as shit, but it does not require one to be a millionaire in order to do it successfully. But if you are struggling financially and cannot even afford to properly take care of yourself, then guess what?? You have NO business bringing another human being into this world! It is selfish. It is immoral. And it is should be illegal.

        • chgoliz says:

          This is one of the arguments used by those adoption agency people you have so much faith in: you’re poor right now, so of course that means you can’t possibly take care of a baby.  Except that most people make many changes in their lives over the course of 18 years, including couples who find themselves with unexpected/unwanted pregnancies.
          Of course, not all of those changes are positive.  Do we expect pregnant women to be psychic, to know that 10 years in the future their husband will die, or run off with the next door neighbor, or get hit by a car and have to declare bankruptcy due to the medical bills?Having children is the biggest gamble most people will make.  Doesn’t matter how well they think they’re prepared before they start.

        • UnholyMoses says:

          And who, exactly, would be the arbiter of who should and should not have kids? You said yourself that non-rich people have kids all the time, and do so successfully, so what is your criteria? A certain income threshold? Credit score? Money in the bank?

          Methinks you haven’t come close to fully understanding the implications of what you’re suggesting. In the world you suggest, rich people would have no problems having kids. But if you’ve had, say, a bankruptcy in your past, sorry — no kid for you!

          That’s some pretty damn oppressive shit right there. And nothing any sane society would ever implement.

          Of course, if we’re dealing with President Newt in 2013, our sanity would most definitely come into question …

      • digi_owl says:

        Huh, no reference to China and their single child policy (now repealed i think, because they started to get a society of mostly men)?

    • Thorzdad says:

      Why not drop the other shoe and insist on sterilization of the poor?

      • LuciferWept says:

        Equal the playing field: sterilize all boys, regardless of their economic background. When a boy hits puberty, take him to the doctor and have him leave several generous samples on ice (“No needles today, kid…just fill the cup!”) Then, tie their tubes. Let them fuck their bloody brains out without the fear of forever altering their lives by winding up with a child (or children) which they never wanted or planned on. Live life; go to school; travel. Then, when you are ready to settle down, apply for a license. Jump through the same hoops and hurdles that a prospective adopter has to: nothing more and certainly nothing less! Just because you don’t pass the test the first time does not mean you can’t take it again at a later date. Why would this be such a bad thing?   

        • retchdog says:

          war machine runs on broken children.

        • Brainspore says:

          Speaking as someone who went through IVF to conceive children with my spouse, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say you haven’t done much research into how much the procedure costs or how high the failure rates are. Not to mention the whole “invasive* and involuntary medical procedure” thing. Or the “government mandated eugenics**” thing.

          *Much, much less fun than having sex. Even for the guy.
          **Yes, it is. In practice if not intent. Show me a licensing procedure that people of all socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds can pass with an equal success rates and I’ll eat my hat.

          • phuzz says:

            Ah, but the point is, on the days when I think this is a good idea, I just don’t care how unpleasant the idea might be because those are the days when I don’t think the human race should be allowed to do things it’s own way.
            Unfortunately those days happen increasingly often nowadays.  Fourtunately for then rest of you, I will never be global dictator, shame that.

            (tho my personal eugenics fantasy would be; universal, but reversible sterilisation, so only people who both wanted kids would have them.)

    • J says:

      Because the monstrous society it would create two or three generations down the line would be truly, truly horrific.

      • LuciferWept says:

        I am completely baffled by your comment. We are talking about a future society where there would be no unwanted children. Every parent in that society would have gone out of their way to become one, which means they are dedicated and serious and ready to commit to what most people consider to be the Ultimate Responsibility: bringing life into this world. 

        You want to talk about a monstrous society?? When was the last time you watched the local news? I am shocked and horrified on a daily basis when I read about the atrocious things these parents are doing to each other and to their children. I was hoping to have gone numb a long time ago but every day there are fresh horrors which only reassert my firm belief that there needs to be some sort of socially-agreed-upon rules and regulations when it comes to breeding. 

        • chgoliz says:

          Considering all the narcissistic parents who have children to fulfill their needs and self-image, I doubt being able to prove one has the ‘appropriate’ lifestyle to become parents is the way to ensure happy, non-abusive childhoods for all.

    • atimoshenko says:

      It is typically not a very popular position, but as someone who has amazing parents, and after having seen many friends suffer for having not been so lucky, I would certainly second you on the parental licensing idea.

      With one caveat:
      Major social change should always be a two-step evaluation. First, consider if it would be a desirable outcome if it functioned properly. If yes, then consider if it could actually be designed to function properly. Go ahead only if it can be, but keep in mind that if you cannot presently think of a way to get it to function properly, this should not affect the answer to the first question.

      So, when it comes to the “design the logistics part” I am not so sure (although the system does seem to work enough well for adoptive parents, there can be scaling issues and others). But when it comes to the “ethically desirable” part, I can think of few counter-arguments. After all, as a parent you acquire close to unlimited power over the early years of your child, without that child ever having any say in the matter. By all principles of fairness, the ability of one member of society to acquire close to unlimited power over another member of society (especially without the latter first consenting to the arrangement) should be socially regulated. It’s why we require drivers, pilots, and doctors to get licenses as well… More simply, a world in which people inclined to mentally or physically neglect or abuse people under their care would not be given the opportunity would be a better world.

    • 666beast1 says:

      Parental licensing, maybe the poor can pay for that themselves, sounds like a good profit center. And a way to get those valuable babies into the open market where they can be given to suitable parents who can pay their “placement fees”. 
      You seem to view decent public education and medical care as some crazy socialist dream.  Our public education system functioned well until the Reagan era and then took a long downward slide with accountability and testing increasing in inverse proportion to education.  We pay 17% of the gdp for healthcare(the highest anmount of any western nation)while single-payer countries pay half that and we are 37th in quality of healthcare worldwideYour version of society is the one that has dominated for the last twenty years and has resulted in an economy that is collapsing in on itself. I assume you are single and young enough not to have encountered a larger and more complex world.  You will.

  8. Shinkuhadoken says:

    Make no mistake, the poor have always had it rough. There was a time when it was arguably worse, with no reliable government check coming in to pay the bills, and survival was strictly a matter of do-or-die working conditions or whatever the assistance the local church was willing to offer. Government assistance may have taken away some of the pain, but the political winds are shaping up in a way that even this may not be relied upon for much longer. The day is coming where you’ll be asked to sponsor children living in North America, “for pennies a day!”

    Too late, it’s already here:
    http://www2.children.org/en/us/info/United-States/Pages/Intro.aspx

  9. Mark A says:

    I like how the bookstore is ten times bigger than the public library. How dare they let people read books for free, capitalism is the only way to read books.

  10. jennybean42 says:

    As someone who DID get a license to have my child (I adopted through the DCYF) I can see the value in the process I went through– for all parents. However,  I’ve never figured out a way that it could be done– publicly or privately– that wouldn’t cock it up in some way. Pity.

  11. BookGuy says:

    I know he’s supposed to be the bad guy, but I still want a Hollingsworth Hound plushie.  He’s just so damn cute!

  12. benher says:

    Pendrick’s claw-like hand reaching for potatoes is not something I will soon forget. 
    Also, in the po’h folk skool  - vegetables? You mean Grade F dog food subsidized by Coca-Cora right?

  13. cmpalmer says:

    “Arguably worse”? There have certifiably been many times and places where it was worse to be poor than now.

    • trefecta says:

      “better” and “worse” are poor qualifiers. Are we talking psychological or physical? And where and when are we talking?

      Would you rather be in Sudan or North Korea now, Cambodia in the 1970′s, Germany in the 1930′s, Spain in the 1500′s, Egypt in 400 bc (or now)?

      Disease and hard physical work have been displaced for some, but that doesn’t necessarily make lives ‘better’. Misery has limits, and as long as people are getting tortured, raped, or murdered: shit is bad.

  14. Cormacolinde says:

    I love the book the kid is reading, “The Great War”. For those that don’t know, that’s the name World War I often went by in the 1918-1940 years, meaning he’s reading a 70-year old outdated history book…

  15. LuciferWept says:

    @Brainspore: Apologies, but I was unable to reply directly to your comment for some reason. Hope you get to read this…

    “you haven’t done much research into how much the procedure costs or how high the failure rates are” I imagine that, if and when such procedures were to become the norm, they would become more affordable by default. I also suspect that new techniques would be developed rather quickly which would  significantly improve the success rate.   

    “Much, much less fun than having sex. Even for the guy.” Oh, come now. This is a future where you would have the freedom to fuck kid-free for as long as you choose! Once you settle down and decide you are ready to breed, you acknowledge that it is going to require a little extra effort. It’s for the good of society. It’s for the good of the planet. It’s for the good of the kid. Get over it :-)   

    “Show me a licensing procedure that people of all socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds can pass with an equal success rates and I’ll eat my hat” Adoption agencies do not discriminate against your ethnic background. As far as the socioeconomic aspect is concerned, like I said above, if you are at a point in your life where you are unable to afford the child, then you have NO business having it. It is selfish and foolish, and the kid won’t thank you for it.

    • Brainspore says:

      I imagine that, if and when such procedures were to become the norm, they would become more affordable by default.

      I have no doubt that your plan would work perfectly in your imagination.

      I also suspect that new techniques would be developed rather quickly which would  significantly improve the success rate.

      Even if the success rate does improve there is no reason to believe that IVF (especially using frozen sperm) will ever have a higher success rate for most couples than natural sexual intercourse. Making forced sterilization and IVF the norm would guarantee that many otherwise-fertile couples would never have an opportunity to reproduce no matter how good their qualifications. Besides, freezers can fail and those little guys have a limited shelf life in the best of conditions.

      This is a future where you would have the freedom to fuck kid-free for as long as you choose!

      Oh, can I? Amazing! Except, wait. I already live in a society where I have easy access to birth control so that’s not really an issue for me. Besides, people would still need to use condoms if they wanted to protect themselves against STDs.

      Adoption agencies do not discriminate against your ethnic background.

      Have you actually looked at adoption statistics? Middle class white couples have much greater odds of being granted adoptions than people of other backgrounds. If you’re an American Indian foster child living in South Dakota, for example, odds are you’ll end up with a white family even if there are plenty of Indian foster parents available in your community.

      As far as the socioeconomic aspect is concerned, like I said above, if you are at a point in your life where you are unable to afford the child, then you have NO business having it.

      There is no reliable or objective way to determine who will or will not be able to afford to raise a child. Poor people can come into money. Rich people can lose their jobs. Couples may split up. Single people marry (or remarry). And who do you think should be making that “too poor for kids” judgment call, exactly? A credit score might be an OK metric for deciding who to give a car loan but it’s a pretty piss-poor way to grant basic human rights like reproductive freedom. History is not exactly rife with examples where government-mandated sterilizations still seemed like a good idea a few decades later.

  16. iamironman says:

    Nice tip of the hat to Carl Barks

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