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CSotD: Weekend Watch

Radio Patrol is, granted, a Vintage strip I read for its camp qualities, but today’s final panel knocked me out of my chair because “Cheese it! The cops!” is a stock phrase like “23 Skidoo” that I can’t believe anyone actually said in real life.

Though I’ll admit to having said “Far out” until it became a ridiculous cliche, which, by the way, didn’t take long.

Radio Patrol ran from 1933 to 1950, and this particular strip is from April, 1949, so the end is in sight, but perhaps the street slang hearkens to an earlier time. It all seems like the Bowery Boys to me.

But, as I say, that’s kind of why I read it, though apparently it was quite popular back in its time.

 

I don’t get it

 

DD Degg covers this elsewhere, but Barnes & Noble has been rescued by a private equity firm and Comics Beat has its own coverage and I’m left feeling puzzled.

I gather that people who live in NYC think of Barnes & Noble as the nice big complete bookstore in their town, but for those of us in Upstate USA, B&N is just one of the three or four faceless chains that came in and started knocking out our independent bookstores right around the time Amazon was warming up to finish the job.

So, for those of us who only knew it as a predatory chain, this happy response to B&N’s apparent rescue feels a little like cheering for Rite Aid or Walmart.

Particularly when it’s framed as the poor chain being threatened by Amazon and by the revival of independent bookstores, that latter part being what the rest of us consider to be the good news in all this.

 

Still newsworthy

The latest bulletin is that Dear Leader has called off the Mexican tariff threat because Mexico has promised to scramble troops to its southern border to keep Central Americans from fleeing violence and starvation.

Or possibly because the Republicans suddenly realized they did have testicles after all and told him they wouldn’t support such an idiotic move.

Which latter explanation would be actual news, but, in any case, Dear Leader is once more invoking the Pee Wee Herman Doctrine, which reads, “I meant to do that.

(Has anyone ever seen Pee Wee Herman and Stephen Miller in the same place?)

There were several pinata cartoons, but Christopher Weyant‘s was the best and the fact that Dear Leader has a habit of backing away from stupid responses to non-existent crises keeps it relevant.

He may have lowered the stick for the moment, but he hasn’t taken off the blindfold.

Oh, and, BTW, all his hot air and freshly painted fences and diversion of funds from where they’re needed to where he wants them does not appear to have solved much of anything.

But that’s not news.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Ann Telnaes)

(Joe Heller)

I was saddened by news that the security cop at Parkland had been arrested and charged with failure to be Chuck Norris.

The plain fact is that nobody knows how they’ll react in a true emergency and, if you want to guarantee that someone will run towards the danger, you hire two or three people on the theory that one of them will respond appropriately and, with luck, the others will follow.

If you are only going to hire one guy, you might as well not hire anybody.

I could see some civil suits, I could certainly see stripping him of his ability to work in security.  But charging him with a crime seems draconian and, well, uncool.

Revenge, while understandable, is not a civilized response, which is why we have laws in the first place.

Moreover, as Telnaes and Heller point out, there is equal guilt in those who, by their lack of responsible leadership, enable these monstrous events to happen again and again and again.

We have laws to punish bartenders for over-serving a driver who then causes a fatal accident.

But bartenders don’t have the kind of wealth and connections that keep legislators and other governmental poohbahs immune from accountability.

 

Other Juxtaposition of the Day

(Clay Jones)

(Steve Sack)

The continued attempt to use the Census as a tool for national gerrymandering seems like one of those scams so blatant that the courts should simply strike it down, perhaps using the judge’s gavel to also deliver a couple of whacks on the noggin to the perpetrators of this colossal fraud.

I mean, calling the citizenship question an attempt to help preserve voting rights doesn’t pass the laugh test when it is put forward by this particular administration. It’s like Netanyahu claiming that all that West Bank construction is low-income housing for displaced Palestinians.

Jared Kushner’s interview was insulting and absurd, and his general deer-in-the-headlights expression doesn’t add much credibility to his inability to explain his actions or attitudes, but that’s simply adding insult to planned injury: If Wilbur Ross believes the nonsense he’s putting forward, well, maybe that’s why he got the job.

Having been the census reporter for a newspaper in 1990, I’m quite familiar with the department’s ability to self-justify, twiddle their thumbs and fling bullshit, secure in the knowledge that they won’t be around by the time their foolishness, inability to plan and general lack of organization has been fully revealed.

But at least then it was confined to undercounting the homeless and cheating their own employees.

Setting up a 10-year partisan gerrymander is a more far-reaching mistake, especially when it isn’t a mistake.

 

And now, this:

Morten Morland provides a British view of recent events:

Community Comments

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#1 Kip Williams
June/8/2019
@ 9:30 am

For me, Barnes & Noble is about the best bookstore in town, because of the large section of used books. It’s also where the Shakespeare group meets, and the science fiction club. Next up (for me) would be the bookstore section at the central library, and that one used book store near Eastman that has a whole lot of sheet music.

Now I’m at the time in my life when I need to start seeing which of these will take used books when I bring them in. And giving me some money in return would be nice, I guess.

#2 Brad Walker
June/8/2019
@ 12:57 pm

None of the B&N’s around here carry used books. For that we rely on Half Price Books.

#3 Terry Bone
June/8/2019
@ 2:34 pm

My small city has a wonderful bookstore with both new and used book, a view of the bay, and amazing customer service. I went to B&N once when I first moved here; I was disappointed that they didn’t have the book I wanted (and couldn’t find anyone to ask if they would order it for me). I never returned. We also have a large funky used bookstore downtown.

#4 Denny Lien
June/8/2019
@ 2:44 pm

I go to a specific suburban Barnes and Noble every two months, since it’s the only place I know of in my large metro area that stocks (the bimonthly) ASIMOV’S SF MAGAZINE. The monopolistic local magazine distributor “doesn’t want to bother” with supplying the magazine to either of the local sf speciality stores, and the other B&N branches do not want to bother carrying a bimonthly fiction digest that would take up a little bit of space that could otherwise to devoted to more profitable celebrity gossip rags, automobile fetishist magazines, etc.

The suburban B&N in question apparently has a buyer who’s an offtrail magazine fan (it also carries ANALOG; ELLERY QUEEN’S; HITCHCOCK’S; THE STRAND; INTERZONE; FORTEAN TIMES; etc.), which so far as I know also can’t be found anywhere else locally. If the buyer ever retires or moves, I assume her replacement will drop the lot. Or if the B&N head local office (or head head office) decides to crack the whip and insist that all outlets carry the same cookie-cutter selection — same outcome.

I recall the days of my youth, when newstands, multiple drugstores, and even some supermarkets in the much smaller towns I lived around carried a large variety of magazines, and did so reliabilty, month after month. All gone now.

#5 Bill and Karen Harris
June/8/2019
@ 7:18 pm

How many people who want to tally one’s citizenship can readily prove that they are citizens? For that matter, what’s to stop non-citizens from lying and say that are citizens? Seems like this plan is not to well thought out (what a surprise… )

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