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CSotD: Some Funny Things Happened To Me On the Way to the Apocalypse

This is as close to political cartoons as I plan to get today: Morten Morland is certainly not the first or only cartoonist to riff on the difficulty of re-adjusting to life in the office, but doing something better is an excellent defense for not having done it first.

And lining them up on the morning train platform was a brilliant way to get them all in the shot. You couldn’t justify having this many people standing around the water cooler at the office, plus one hopes that, by the first break of the day, they’d have sorted things out.

Plus it’s simply a brilliant display of what people have been doing while working at home.

To which I would add, having worked in offices and at home equally throughout my career, most white collar jobs do not require physical presence. Productivity should be measured by production, not by hours spent pressing nose against grindstone.

For that matter, I’ve known a lot of welders and auto mechanics who got as much done in a workshop next to their house as anyone ever got done in a workshop three miles away.

Without tying a tie, and often with the cat for company.

Meanwhile, here’s our our

Juxtaposition of the School Day

(Frazz)

 

(Zits)

Frazz is a bit of a stretch, since a lot of schools have given up on the traditional post-Labor-Day start-up.

In fact, a lot of states seem to be in a conspiracy with local tourist attractions to keep families from leaving town for either Memorial Day or Labor Day.

OTOH, Zits addresses the issue of “summer learning loss,” which either is or isn’t a real thing, depending on who you ask, but which likely has to do not with how long kids are out of school — due to summer or the pandemic or both — but what they’ve been doing during that off-time.

Which, with a kid like Pierce, could go either way: He might have been a slacker, or he might have been buried in tech manuals and music theory way beyond his grade level.

Which, in turn, provides the difference between the two strips: Caulfield often appears held back by academics and learns more while sheltering in place among his books and on-line resources.

 

Also on the topic of schools and decisions made on behalf of kids, Ben once more taps into the subplot that his son-in-law is a first or second generation Japanese-Canadian whose father, living on the West Coast, is adamant that the grandchildren not lose their ancestral language and culture.

I’m envious of kids who grow up speaking one language at home and learning another in kindergarten. I knew a woman who grew up speaking Polish and Ukrainian at home, then learned English in school and subsequently picked up German, Russian, Spanish, Quebecois French and Brazilian Portuguese because those little gates in her brain had been opened early.

Well, and also because she was exceptionally gifted in that area, yes. When I knew her, she was learning joual, a dialect of Quebecois French, from the workmen building her studio.

I also used to cover two school boards, one in a small college town, the other about 30 miles away in a very rural community of loggers and farmers.

During budget meetings at one board, language teachers explained to the members why they had an itinerant language teacher visiting K-2 classrooms to expose the kids to Spanish. They carefully explained how early language acquisition was critical to fluency, but the board members voted the program out of the budget, insisting that the kids could learn foreign languages perfectly well in junior high.

Guess which board?

No, not the loggers and farmers, who generally deferred to the expertise of the people they’d hired to educate their children.

It was, of course, the know-it-alls in the college town, who were wise even in areas where they were totally ignorant.

These are the sort of arrogant twits who want our kids to achieve like kids in other countries, but who refuse to allow our schools to operate the way the schools in those other countries operate.

 

Oh, wotthehell, let’s rant on about education some more.

Tank McNamara outlines the crisis facing college athletic programs, but it would be a wonderful world indeed if that were the only place in which colleges were currently straining to justify $elf-$erving policies.

I won’t repeat my rant about how kids should take a gap year rather than spend $40,000 to have about a quarter of the college experience. You’ve heard it from me several times already.

But yesterday I caught a segment on “On the Media” in which New York University Stern School of Business professor Scott Galloway outlined the financial issues facing colleges in the pandemic and how they managed to get themselves into such a bind.

And if you think athletic departments are the only ones on campus seeking the right experts to justify the decisions they were going to make anyway, well, listen and despair to Galloway’s explanation of how higher education sold its soul.

And why it’s so important that the kids show up on campus.

In case you thought only newspapers were being destroyed by hedge fund managers.

Finally, on a lighter note, this

Juxtaposition of Comix History

(Big Ben Bolt, August, 1960)

 

(Rip Kirby, April 1961)

These story arcs appeared nearly a year apart originally, but they’re running in tandem on the Vintage pages at Comics Kingdom.

Both involve dying gaffers passing on little boxes with mysterious contents, and, while we haven’t seen enough of Rip Kirby yet to know how the town of Harmony disappeared, there’s already a Monkey’s Paw element unfolding in Big Ben Bolt.

The real mystery being why nobody in the editing sequence for Rip Kirby suggested to John Prentice that he needed a little more time to pass before pursuing this storyline.

 

I’d recommend a gumshoe intervention, with the aid of Inky Rickshaw.

Otherwise, you could find yourself in … well …

 

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