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CSotD: Friday Funnies Anyway

A little politics on a nonpolitical day, and BTW, while this is a Friday and we’ll be having Funnies, it’s purely coincidental. I start each morning with a wander through Facebook and Twitter and this felt like a good day not to engage.

But then I got to the comics and Candorville (WPWG) stopped me short, because I was sure that Gary Hart — one of my senators in them thar days — had dropped out before the primaries got rolling.

Ah, but that was 1988, back when monkey business made you ineligible for serious consideration. (Yes, a very long time ago.)

As Darrin Bell says, Hart was a serious contender in 1984, finishing second to Mondale in the primaries, but electability was a factor beyond whether either of them could beat Reagan.

Which is to say that it came down to a contest between Jimmy Carter’s VP and the guy who had headed George McGovern’s presidential campaign, and so you may insert your own joke.

As Wikipedia chronicles it, Mondale was always the front-runner and, while Hart had a chance to overtake him, he managed to commit enough minor screwups that he never quite got there.

But I don’t remember anyone really thinking Mondale was likely to beat Reagan either, though I don’t think anybody thought it could possibly be as huge a wipeout as it turned out to be.

So four years later, the Democrats nominated Dukakis, just to make sure.

See? I’m really not in the mood for politics today.

Onward.

Well, in a minute.

This F-Minus (AMS) set me to wondering if there is some secret training academy for rightwing trolls where they teach them terms like “ad hominem” and “straw man” to use when common sense and decency fail in a conversation.

Leftwingers foam at the mouth and become incoherent, but rightwingers calmly make these pretentious jargon-filled statements that make you sure they wear ties and ill-fitting jackets all the time . . .

. . . and stand around looking as if they were posing for a high school yearbook photo.

Then I realized they learn those terms in Debate Club, where logic counts more than common sense, positions are selected at random and where the point is not to be on the right side but on the winning side.

And where kicks to the groin are not permitted, attractive a rejoinder as they may seem.

 

Cheap booze is one of the benefits of life in the Granite State, which makes this Next Door Neighbors (AMS) funnier, because when you can buy 750 ml of Old Crow for under nine bucks, the price tags on the fancy-schmancy stuff become even more laughable.

(Yes, we have liquor stores at the rest stops on the Interstate. Tourists make it possible for us to forego both income and sales tax. And we’re a very narrow state, so by the time they become a problem, they’re not our problem.)

I’m not insensible to the quality of the good stuff, though I’m not convinced that anything in the gap between cheap and expensive is worth it.

But I’m damn sure that you shouldn’t pay $45 for a bottle of hooch just because it was made 10 miles away instead of in Kentucky.

“Shopping local” ends at 5 o’clock.

 

Dark Side of the Horse (AMS) goes particularly dark for this one.

I don’t care about birthdays, having had enough of them that the novelty has worn off, but I am a big fan of thoughtful communication.

As noted here before, I hate people who respond with GIFs and emojis, which are rarely precise and never original.

Our collective IQ went down by 30 points the day someone developed the turd emoji.

But I’ve felt a much more significant sense of loss recently.

I was doing some major decluttering and came across a folder of letters from one of my closest friends, a thoughtful, brilliant schoolmate who had ended up in Japan and with whom I kept up a correspondence for several years.

He died in an accident in the mid-90s, when his daughter was just becoming a teenager, a terrible time to lose your dad, so I bundled up his letters and sent them to her.

But they had stopped a decade before he died, because that was when we both got email.

And while it is possible to keep email, once we were just popping off quick, random thoughts back and forth, we no longer took the time to craft those dense, intelligent, insightful letters that had had to cross the Pacific on thin sheets of folded blue airmail.

And you can’t save what you never wrote.

 

This Mother Goose & Grimm (KFS) made me laugh, but it also made me think back to when I was “just single,” which mostly made me wince.

I was just 34 years old and so still pretty hot stuff, and, while I’d spent the past 13 years as a faithful husband, I nevertheless was not nearly as stupid as I had been in my first bachelorhood.

But part of my being hot was that I was badly burned and it took a little time and distance for me to get back on the beam.

I remember, in the very early days, starting up I-25 to a party in Denver but getting halfway there before I decided I couldn’t take it and turned back.

Probably a wise move, but hang on a minute before you give me too much credit.

Because before I got to that point, I was pulled over for having a tail light out, and, as the State Trooper was writing me out a warning, I found myself glancing at her left hand.

Which was when I realized that I was definitely not ready to be out in public yet.

The most important thing to know about all that is that you should make no decisions in that first year, a revelation that will come to you in about your third year.

And you won’t be ready to watch “Starting Over” until at least your fifth year.

At which point, you’ll still wince, but at least you’ll finally be able to laugh.

 

Community Comments

#1 Harley Liebenson
January/29/2021
@ 7:54 am

I take umbrage at your attack on Debate Clubs.

While I assume you consider Debate pure sophistry, as a former Debater and Debate Coach let me assure you it ain’t.

What I learned and taught in Debate were Critical Thinking Skills, Organization Techniques, Diction, and yes, Poise.

Not only that, but myself and most of my erstwhile students are all proud lefties (Facebook confirms they continue to be)

One of my old pals even ran against the ill suited Congressman you have pictured. Sadly, my friend lost in that Gerrymandered District.

Garbage in, Garbage out. Damaged people come out of Debate just as damaged as before. If they become Trolls, ‘twas not Debate that made them so.

#2 Mike Peterson
January/29/2021
@ 10:32 am

I was, of course, speaking ex post facto and nihil obstat.

#3 Brad Walker
January/29/2021
@ 10:59 am

De minimus non curat lex.

(Minnie Mouse knows Pastor Luthor.)

#4 Mike Peterson
January/29/2021
@ 12:08 pm

To be honest, as I was writing that, I thought of a friend who went to college on a debating scholarship and hoped she wouldn’t take offense.

But I think it’s like martial arts — The people who master it don’t need to talk it up, and not only do they never kill anybody after all, but they no longer feel the need to.

Perhaps debate is the same thing. I never heard her use any of the terminology, but, then again, I never saw her lose an argument.

#5 Mark Jackson
January/29/2021
@ 1:05 pm

I did four years of debate in high school, and two in college. I don’t recall much name-checking of logical fallacies (which we had lessons on my first year) but on the other hand the experience did further develop some tendencies toward verbal aggression I had to unlearn later.

On the other hand some of the individual events – especially extemporaneous and impromptu speaking – established some flexibility and presentation skills that have been very valuable.

#6 Mike Peterson
January/29/2021
@ 1:16 pm

Well, I didn’t mean to flame anyone, so please don’t take burnt umbrage.

#7 Darryl Heine
January/29/2021
@ 2:58 pm

Some Candorville strips a week are reruns but with face masks added in due to the COVID pandemic.

#8 Ed Rush
January/29/2021
@ 6:01 pm

I agree with both you and Harley Liebenson (above). He’s right about debate teaching critical thinking skills, organization techniques, diction, and even poise. But you are right that it prizes logic more than common sense, and that the point is not to be on the right side but on the winning side.

I think many of today’s Republican Senators know that tRump was a danger to the country, but that opposing him could cost them their cushy jobs, so they choose the winning side over the right side. A secret vote on the impeachment trial might well succeed.

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