Molarity Classic 106-110

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Author: Michael Molinelli '82

Strips 106-110 of the popular comic strip Molarity, which previewed in The Observer in 1977, follow the ever-present changes to the ND alcohol policy and the heartbreak of football losses.

Molarity by Michael Molinelli

106. This cartoon did not launch well, as people could not get past the first statement. The University was justifying their alcohol policy because Notre Dame’s instances of alcohol abuse were above national averages. So I figure if our instances of sexual activity were below the national average, the administration would work to bring up the average. The headline in The Observer on November 17, 1978, was about the Jim Jones Camp’s mass suicide in Guyana.

Molarity by Michael Molinelli

107. This was the last cartoon headed into the break. Notre Dame was ranked #8 with an 8-2 record and headed to California to play #3 Southern Cal with a 9-1 record.

Molarity by Michael Molinelli

108. This was the first cartoon after the break and the USC game. At halftime USC led 17 to 3. But in the fourth quarter, Montana and the Irish came back with three touchdowns. The Irish were leading 25 – 24 with 56 seconds left in the game. A quarterback sack forced a USC fumble but the ref’s called it an incomplete pass. Instead of the Irish recovering the ball, USC stayed alive and got a field goal with 2 seconds left to win 27-25. In the cartoon, the games the doctor prescribed are the original green jersey game at home (USC 16 – ND 49) and the national championship victory (ND 38 – Texas 10).

Molarity by Michael Molinelli

109. A cover story in The Observer reported on the San Francisco shooting by Dan White of Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk. The sports page had an extensive article on Joe Montana, the “comeback kid.”

Molarity by Michael Molinelli

110. With mass suicide in Guyana, a series of major earthquakes hitting Mexico and the Harvey Milk shooting in San Francisco, the editorial in this Observer is complaining that the University Administration would not permit a student-operated “record” store on campus. By way of explanation, “records” were used to play our music on our car-sized “stereos.” We would go to a store and “download” them from bins and pay for them using “cash” we handed to a “cashier.”


See the first five classic strips. Check back monthly for more classic Molarity strips. Molarity Redux, the updated, continuing adventures of Jim Mole and friends, also is posted monthly. For those new strips, check out the cartoon archives.


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