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CSotD: Niches, riches & what to feed your bitches

So apparently Trump is bookending Photoshopped pictures of an inaugural crowd that never showed up with Photoshopped pictures of a million protesters who likewise and ain’t that appropriate and while it doesn’t quite close out the fiasco, it’s a good reason to stop obsessing and have some fun.

Not that this precludes political cartoons. It just changes the focus a bit.

For example, this Jeff Danziger (WPWG) piece is an example of “way too smart for the room,” which is not a bad thing at all, but assumes that we’ve not only read Ambrose Bierce’s classic short story but that it wasn’t 60 years ago so that we remember the stunning trick ending, because otherwise the cartoon makes no sense.

Here’s the text, and it’s worth your time because it’s not just Great Literature but a great story and inspired a good cartoon.

Though I’m willing to bet that the story hasn’t been taught in at least a quarter of a century and don’t get me started on the pap that is.

Anyway, it was a really good cartoon for the five aged lit majors who got it.

 

Kal Kallaugher (The Economist) is, by contrast, only slightly too smart for the room, because everyone knows Don Quixote tilted with windmills, on accounta it happens in the first 7 percent of a book everyone pretends to have read but didn’t.

They don’t realize that he is delusional and has mistaken the windmills for giants and that his servant, Pancho Sanchez, only goes along with it out of affection for the old fool. But Kal manages to fill in enough context with that bit of dialogue, and Pancho’s dubious look, that it doesn’t matter.

Cartoons don’t have to be simpleminded, but they do have to communicate, and it can be a delicate balance but, then again, it provides an interesting challenge for good cartoonists.

 

A different contrast is seen, regularly, at Existential Comics, which is intended for people who at least sat through a fair amount of philosophy classes, even if they didn’t major in the stuff. Or particularly enjoy whole sections of it, which is where this satire of Edmund Husserl comes in.

I’d never heard of Husserl until I saw this comic, but I instantly recognized the premise (you should go back and read the rest).

I liked reading and talking about ethics and how to live, but I hated metaphysics, I suppose because I didn’t get it and so it made me feel stupid, and nobody likes that, whether or not they are.

Thanks to the Internet, niche comics are a viable resource. I don’t understand all the nerd humor at SMBC or xkcd and that’s okay. I still get a laugh or two from them that justifies the head-shakers which I’m sure knock more tech-savvy math-types out of their chairs.

Your reach should exceed your intellectual grasp.

Which, likewise however, does not dismiss silly humor, as seen in this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Free Range – Creators)

 

(Pooch Cafe – AMS)

The nice thing about Clifford the Big Red Dog satires is that most of them manage to avoid mocking the childish fun of the premise, and focus, instead, on the idea of “What if he really existed?” which doesn’t suggest that kids shouldn’t enjoy pretending.

But what if he really did? The good thing is that, if a kid saw this pair in the funnies, they wouldn’t destroy the fun of Clifford or insult kids for having liked him. The kid would probably laugh.

Comics aren’t only for kids, but kids do read them. Again, there is a necessary balance to be achieved.

Bearing in mind that I’m still pissed at Charles Schulz for having spoilered “Citizen Kane” well before I was old enough to have seen it.

 

And speaking both of kids and of niche cartoons, Alex — a niche cartoon from the business pages of the Telegraph UK — provides a laugh but makes a point.

When I was in my 20s and working in advertising, I’d come up with these logical, well-researched presentations, only to find the sales going to the guys who played golf and went drinking with clients.

On a deadly serious level, that’s why it’s so damnably wrong for country clubs to discriminate against women and minorities: Development of shopping centers and office buildings are awarded based on buddy-buddy contact. If you’re not (literally) a player, you’re not in the game.

As the cartoon suggests, it’s a vestige of a fading generation, but, then again, that doesn’t mean it isn’t still true, and the Millennials and Xers are more apt to modify it than to be rid of it all together.

However, I did laugh at the cartoon, mostly remembering my younger self.

 

Speaking of reviving old memories, the combination of retirement and Covid meant that, when my laptop died this fall, I bought a desktop because I’m not going anywhere anymore anyway.

But this F-Minus (AMS) reminded me not only of the little notes TSA puts in your luggage, but of a place from the dawn of websurfing, which by golly, still exists.

Start your Christmas shopping here.

 

Finally, today, this Buckets (AMS) offers philosophy and business in a bundle.

How, as Doggo brand asks, can you really know what dogs love?

Meanwhile Chinchilla Acres lays their business plan straight out on the package, with “better” being an example of puffery, while “more expensive” is a specific claim that I’ll bet they can back up.

Though “more expensive” is a really competitive market segment. If Rover gets a touch of diarrhea, you face the old-fashioned choice of simply giving him rice or canned pumpkin at his next meal or of immediately switching to an imported non-GMO gluten-free vegan diet that will make his dinner twice the price of yours.

There is this: Premium dog foods result in smaller, firmer poops.

OTOH, Gravy Train not only makes its own gravy right in the bowl but then dyes those larger, softer poops red, which makes them easier to find and scoop this time of year.

 

Community Comments

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#1 Phil Maish
November/15/2020
@ 8:03 am

The Don’s sidekick was Sancho Panza. Our Don’s was, I guess, Roger Stone?

#2 Steve Herberger
November/15/2020
@ 8:17 am

Glad to know I’m not the only one who remembers that Peanuts strip!

#3 Grant Thompson
November/15/2020
@ 8:59 am

I would bet more people remember the Bierce story from the Twilight Zone then lit class. Recall it as a French production and it was not shown in the interminable re-runs until recently. It’s a memory so could be (likely is ) inaccurate.

#4 Bud Simpson
November/15/2020
@ 10:41 am

“Pancho Sanchez” sent me Google-scrambling to see if my memory had been compromised. This is not unlikely – the sixties were good to me, and I’m not yet fully caffeinated this morning.

I do have a nice track of Pancho Sanchez’s version of “Watermelon Man”, though.

#5 Mark Jackson
November/15/2020
@ 11:00 am

It seems likely that “Man of La Mancha” has rendered the nature of the Quixote-Panza relationship reasonably well-known.

(The version of “Watermelon Man” on *my* iPhone is by Mongo Santamaria, as not played by Alex Karras.)

#6 Brad Walker
November/15/2020
@ 1:34 pm

I wanted to show a clip from “Happy Days.” The Cunninghams, sans Richie, are going to see the movie “Psycho.” Ralph busts out, “What a great movie! Tony Perkins is his own mother!” He spoils their next two choices and then Howard says, “We’re going to see ‘Cinderella.’ Have you seen that?” Shrugging, Ralph goes “The slipper fits!”

#7 Ed Rush
November/15/2020
@ 2:47 pm

Even half a century ago, I was disappointed in that Bierce story, dropping it into the “and then he woke up” pigeonhole.

#8 Mary McNeil
November/15/2020
@ 5:28 pm

Jeez – maybe Senor Quixote thought those b-a-a-a-d windmills were causing cancer ?

As to designer dog foods – as if the pup wouldn’t run out and eat week old road kill if he had a chance….

#9 Mike Beede
November/15/2020
@ 7:04 pm

Huh, I was a math major and I got both those cartoons immediately. And they both made me smile. The expression on the rear-quartering elephant was really good.

I expect “our Don’s” sidekick was Bilbo Bagman, aka the Attorney General.

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