CSotD: Thought-provoking Foolishness

Today’s Agnes is just plain silly, but it made me laugh because, I thought, there probably is a reason for the poofy hats, only I just looked it up and the reason, as I kind of suspected, is a combination of tradition, pretension and dubious folklore.

But it put me in mind of the National Comedy Center, which I thought of as soon as Agnes said “Poofy” which sounds like “Puffy.”

The Puffy Shirt is at the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, which, as I said a few months ago, is a place you aren’t apt to find yourself by accident but is well worth popping up to from the Billy Ireland or coming over to from the Baseball Hall of Fame.


And you’d only be about two and a half hours then from the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, which I have not visited but discovered because Mr. Potatohead is an inductee and I was checking him out after laughing at today’s Strange Brew, in which John Deering depicts what looks like a real potato instead of a plastic one.

Which made me wonder, which made me look, which led me to the knowledge that, yes, Mr. Potatohead indeed started out as things you could stick in a real potato.

What they don’t mention there is that I remember Mr Potatohead being, not a slick, plastic piece with holes or slots, but a brittle foam oval that, over time, filled up with holes from being poked with parts and then started flaking off little bits of whateveritwas when you handled it.


And speaking of cartoons that made me laff and think of another artist, today’s Flying McCoys started by making me think of Earl Musick, the subject of the name-check and of a not-bad caricature.

But it also made me think of people wearing hats on their bottoms which made me think of this Peter Arno classic. Arno was a dirty old man, but he was a very inventive, very funny dirty old man, and you can find a picture of him hard at work in this collection of photographs by Stanley Kubrick, so there’s yet another distraction from whatever you should be doing instead. (The article’s in Greek but the photos aren’t.)


There would be far fewer distractions if today’s Non Sequitur came to life, though, in fairness, shutting off the power grid would only catapult us back about to the 1880s or so.  That wouldn’t put us in hunter-gatherer mode but it would certainly simplify our lives, as Wiley suggests.

We eat, or we don’t eat. And, even if you do it by farming, you won’t have a lot of spare time in which to be distracted.


Which ties in neatly with xkcd, marveling at the fact that we’re past the halfway mark between flying at all and flying into space.

The connection being that my grandfather (1893-1978) spoke with wonder of having been born such that he could remember seeing his first automobile and then lived long enough to see people walk on the Moon.

Not sure there’s a better slice of time to have experienced and to have absorbed and it gave him a perspective that certainly served him well.

Which brings us to our

 Juxtaposition of the Day


(Grand Avenue)

In both strips, a grandparent is cited as having a solid relationship with a kid, and my grandfather, despite being far removed from the Sixties, was strongly supportive of my decision to drop out of college and get my act together.

Mostly because he believed acts should be together, but also because he believed in setting your own course rather than following along.

In fact, when I told him of my decision, he told me of a fellow he knew in the Army who had done everything expected of him and got all the way through law school, passed the bar and hung out his shingle before he realized he didn’t want to be a lawyer and so enlisted as a way to get out of it.

He also spoke of visiting a friend whose family ran the Poor Farm in Bessemer, Michigan, and determining never to be in that position.

As the grandma says in Grand Avenue, even a little a savings account isn’t a bad thing.

And the connection here being that I am just barely old enough to be Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s grandfather and it really pisses me off to see fatcats who grew up on silk pillows berate her for being a normal person with normal resources.

She represents a new generation and the shit she’s getting from these well-upholstered, contemptible jackasses represents the way they try to side-swipe all young, smart disruptors of the status quo and drive them off the road.


It is nowhere better demonstrated, as this Twitter thread chronicles, than in the asinine, self-important words of this steaming pile of CNBC bullshit.

I’m often annoyed with the whining of Millennials, but, first of all, running for and winning a Congressional seat is the exact opposite of “whining,” and, second, they’ve been saddled with obligatory college at an unsustainable cost.

When I was their age, the older folks only wanted to see us die in a rice paddy. This crew wants to skin their children, eat them and sell their bones for profit.

And everything in that article is a load of theoretical blue-sky crap from Cloud Cuckoo Land.

I know, because, I am ashamed to admit, I used to help peddle it.

As a business reporter, I worked with government officials, commercial developers and industry shills, always at a cautious, cynical, analytical distance, but I am embarrassed by the how often and how easily I was mislead by the self-assured advice of the flim-flam “experts” who knew just how to handle your personal finances.

Which, from my grandfatherly perspective, means that, since I still want to leave the world a better place than I found it,  I will happily hold Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s inexpensive-but-stylish coat while she kicks some fat pink asses.


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