See All Topics

Home / Section: Comic strips

CSotD: Protect Yourself at All Times

I dealt with Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open briefly yesterday, but it’s still getting a lot of attention, and I like Bill Bramhall’s take best.

It’s a personal thing. She did what she needed to do for her own sake, and he frames that here.

But it also has wider significance, which also fits within the cartoon.

Start with the fact that sports is entertainment. Getting coverage is part of the package, both to promote the product and, particularly in TV coverage, to help them gain audience to sell ads to justify the money they pay to license your sport, which, in turn, is how you can be compensated so generously.

A major difference between sports and drama is that the same people end up dead at the end of each production of Hamlet, so only the opening is covered, and most of the interviews happen in the lead-up to opening night.

Each sporting event is different, and so players and coaches get interviewed each time, even if reporters know certain people won’t really answer their questions.

That’s true of all interviews, BTW. Sometimes you ask politicians or business leaders a question simply in hopes that they’ll drop the mask and give you a straight answer.

Some questions are smart, a lot of questions are dumb, but we all have roles to play, and if you don’t want to be part of it, Walgreen’s is hiring.

That’s pretty much the question Naomi Osaka has to be pondering as she either takes a break or walks away entirely: Does she want to be part of this?

She’s 23 years old, so she’s not a kid anymore in the sports world, where 30 is middle-aged and 40 is ancient. But given the normal career track of a professional athlete, this may be the first time she’s taken a moment to look around and consider herself apart from her sport.

We should all take that moment, and few of us do, which is the larger point of her story.

Athletes, moreso than actors and other artists, are held up as role models, and, if her public decision to stop, think and do what she needs to do for herself can inspire someone else to do the same, she’s not only served her own needs but made a contribution to the public as well.

Depression needs to come out of the closet and, as Bramhall suggests, Osaka has scored a shut-out over shame and secrecy.

To which I would add that, if she comes back in a year or two, that’s a lovely Hollywood ending, but this is real life, and if she simply ditches the rat race and goes off to lead an unremarkable but happier life, she’ll be providing an equally valuable example.

 

Here’s a funny but sad commentary on society from Wumo (AMS).

There are refugee crises all over the world, but what I see mostly on social media are pleas to provide some “furbaby” with “a forever home.”

Not, as they say, that there’s anything wrong with that, though it would be nice if people would learn to apply a few filters so their pleas would remain within 100 miles or so of the specific furbaby.

Maybe the same people also care about refugees, but I haven’t seen a lot of pleas for anyone to sponsor little Fatima or Jose’s families so they can find their forever home.

And I know there are cool people out there.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Pat Byrnes)

 

(Jen Sorensen)

The Internet seems to be a combination of information we need but can’t find and input we didn’t need but can’t escape, and I have to say that everybody is doing a fabulous job of it.

(And a request to those with better memories: Sorensen’s piece reminds me of a brilliant series of cartoons — “memes,” I suppose — from the ’90s, in which someone captured the annoying personalities of Usenet and the emerging graphic Internet. Anybody know what I’m talking about?)

I’m not sure that the young executive in Pat Byrnes’ cartoon is entirely fictional, though I would also accept that they could pass the new website through an array of internal criticism without anyone saying, “Wait a minute: Where’s the phone number?”

Especially since nobody under 30 uses telephones as telephones anymore.

Well, goldurn it, I do!

My bank just made an upgrade to their website to make sure nobody could get into our accounts, which appears to include us. However, I not only know their phone number, but they’re two blocks from my apartment. We’ll figure this out.

Meanwhile, I have a supplier whose website is so impenetrable and dysfunctional that I use the phone instead, and I seem to get Americans, which makes me no nevermind except that American call-centers cost more, which makes me suspect that fixing the damn website would be a money-saver.

 

This Non Sequitur (AMS) is presumably a commentary on the recent acquisition of the Tribune Company by the butchers at Alden.

That dog will begin his reign by chasing a third of the cats out of the building, and then turning Cat World News into something that people who like cats won’t want to read anymore.

I like the doggy bowls next to the coffee stand, by the way.

Anyway, I worked for Alden Capital and it’s like an Agatha Christie story: You go along trying to figure things out while dead bodies keep popping up and confounding your latest theory.

Circling back to Naomi Osaka, there’s a point at which you need to ask yourself if the damage is worth the paycheck. Some Denver Post alums have started their own on-line paper, which is better than the tattered remains of the once-proud journal they escaped.

I’m hoping some of the Trib survivors will do likewise.

Trust me: Nothing is going to happen that will make sticking around worthwhile.

 

I guess I should be ashamed of myself

When I first read this Arlo & Janis (AMS), I thought her Gomer Pyle crack was about the philosophy, not the smile itself.

Does that make me a bad person?

Does passing along this earworm make me a bad person?

 

 

Community Comments

#1 Bill Dollar
June/2/2021
@ 5:10 am

Yep, it was an ear worm, all right!
.
“Go-o-o-o-llee!” and “Shazam!”

#2 Fred King
June/2/2021
@ 7:45 am

Yes, I remember Usenet. I remember the ASCII cows. I even remember BITnet. Which, in a way, is why I have no interest in Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and all those newfangled other things used by The Kids These Days (TM). They’re too slick, not as much fun, and I have other uses for what little of my brain is left.

#3 Mike Peterson
June/2/2021
@ 10:15 am

I found it — Mike Reed’s Flame Warriors, which apparently dates from 2001, though I think he started compiling them earlier. His site has gaps but this site has a pretty solid collection.

https://www.politicsforum.org/flame-warriors/

#4 Mark Jackson
June/2/2021
@ 12:24 pm

Thanks for that – I’ve been on what was then the ARPAnet since the last days of the flat namespace (1983), and Usenet since 1993, and I’d never seen those. I do remember seeing the Usenet Olympics posts, which included some ASCII art:

http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/docs/humor/usenet-olympics/

(The individual files can be opened in any text editor.)

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.