Sunday, August 23, 2009

Charlie Brown, wishy-washy blogger, Mar. 1970

We have previously discussed the progression of fandom into the blogosphere (or the genesis of the latter in the former depending on your perspective). In this Sunday Peanuts strip we find good ol' Charlie Brown dipping a toe into the proto-blogging scene with a fanzine dedicated to his idol, the never-seen baseball player Joe Shlabotnik.

Shlabotnik can be viewed as Charlie Brown's alter ego, should Charlie Brown's future-self luck into playing big league ball despite ineptitude that rapidly reels back whatever distance a hopeful heart may take him.

Prior to the time
of Charlie Brown's writing of the premiere issue, Shlabotnik had been sent down to the minor leagues and was presumably working at a car wash to supplement his income.

Substitute the word "print" with the phrase "upload" and the strip remains eerily hip and relevant 40 years later. Upon further reflection, given Charlie Brown's ink-pen disability, he no doubt would have been similarly challenged in sending a blog post to his PC's printer. Perhaps the strip remains technically timely and no change is necessary after all.

Charlie Brown dutifully details Shlabotnik's momentary lapses into mediocrity from his slavish dedication to sucking. As a fan operating as a niche journalist or historian, he pursues a true calling in publishing facts no one else cares about lest they be forgotten or misspelled. Misspelled like the autograph Shlabotnik once wrote on the ball he had hit into a superfluous bloop single. "I guess he was pretty excited about that bloop single..."

Hope springs eternal.
Good ol' Charlie Brown.

Yep. Eerily relevant 40 years later.


View this comic strip in its historical context here.

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