Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Importance of Not Being Ernest

My ideal Sunday morning has 2 ingredients: brunch and the Sunday paper. The first section I read is the comics. Every strip gets some notice. This past Sunday's Frank and Ernest, however, deserves closer attention (click on the name to read the strip).

Frank is telling Ernest why his relationship with girlfriend Ernestine is in trouble. The dialog goes like this:
Frank: You criticize everything she says.
Ernest: That just shows I'm a good listener.

Frank: And you constantly tell her what a poor dresser she is.
Ernest: That just shows how comfortable I am sharing my feelings.

Frank: You spend 6 nights a week out with the guys.
Ernest: I'm in tune with giving her lots of space.

Frank: She says you show no sign of changing.
Ernest: That just shows how stable I am.

Frank: Ernie, do you realize your relationship has a serious problem?
Ernest: I sure do! Ernestine doesn't appreciate me!
This is kind of humorous and witty, and it's also close to identical to how abusive boyfriends and husbands begin to justify their violence.

So I'm taking this strip on a test-drive. I will begin using it in my self-defense classes to open a discussion about domestic violence, and see how it flies. And, sometime in the future, will report back in this blog about how it went.

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