Fridays are supposed to be politics-free, non-contentious days here, and there’s nothing less contentious than a Bizarro that simply made me laff and, so far as I can tell, has no greater meaning than being silly.
I have indeed seen the mess that ensues when you fire off one of these things, and it’s not to be done capriciously. And I love the pictures on the wall and the choice of television programming.
Now watch: Tomorrow, when Wayno does his weekly wrap-up blog, he’ll explain that this cartoon has some deep significance that went right over my head.
Juxtaposition of the Day
Sucks to be you, pal.
I should probably note that, while Friday Funnies can be strips that ran anytime in the past week, these two really did run the same day (today) and, as my GoComics feed is configured, in this order.
I’d also point out that “crawling through the desert” — like “on a desert island” and “psychiatrist’s couch” and some others — is either a classic setting or a horrible cliche, depending.
Somewhat depending on how you create them, but also on how willing you are to just hang them out there. Henny Youngman and Rodney Dangerfield built entire careers out of corny, predictable jokes.
I’m sure the first time Youngman invited an audience to take his wife, there was a brief pause while they digested the gag and then it brought down the house, but later crowds laughed not at the joke itself but at the familiarity. They’d have probably demanded their money back if he hadn’t dropped it in at some point.
Dare to be stupid. Let Howard Borden be your hero.
This Adam@Home story arc began at the start of the week and has had me fascinated, in large part because I also work at home, but mostly because, speaking of that stupidity thingie, his last comment strongly suggests that he has no idea what he’s talking about.
A suggestion strongly borne out in the days that followed.
Sometimes you see things in cartoons that suggest that the cartoonist has no idea what he’s talking about, but that’s different.
You have to be clever to make dumb jokes work, and, going back to that crawling-through-the-desert trope, it’s not enough to recognize and repeat a concept.
There are all sorts of columnists who think they are Erma Bombeck or Dave Barry because they can imitate them, and there are cartoonists who plunk people down in deserts or on desert islands or on psychiatrists’ couches because they’ve seen it done.
Doesn’t work that way. Even a dose of seltzer down the pants requires a good set up.
Harry Bliss plunks the Swiss Family Rosenthal down on a desert island, and this is not only not a dumb joke but a particularly clever one verging on “too smart for the room,” because, while it’s humorous in itself, it’s even funnier if you’re familiar with the overwhelming, cloying Christianity of the original novel.
A religion-based joke about a religion-based book.
Which, BTW, I had read before I saw the Disney movie, which made it one of my earliest “WTF were they thinking?” movie theater moments.
If I’d been old enough to drive, I might have walked out when Moochie began flinging exploding coconuts at the Japanese pirates.
“Dare to be stupid” only goes so far.
Second Juxtaposition of the Day
Here’s some synchronicity between two of the smarter strips on the board, and Candorville helped set it up with a week-long rant against Aristotle because he endorsed a view of humanity that was fairly common 2500 years ago.
I never much liked reading Aristotle, whose writings I found far more ponderous than necessary, but he wasn’t ever held up as a personal model, and we discussed the status of women and slaves in Ancient Greece when we read Plato’s Republic, not in Aristotle’s drier ponderings.
Anyway, insisting on context is not an axiom, and if you’re going to judge people on a binary of how they felt about slavery, then any slave who wasn’t Spartacus or Harriet Tubman was a collaborator.
But Caulfield twists his question brilliantly, and he’s right that, in the context of our time, Hillary would have little interest in climbing Everest and might be an astronaut or living in an under-ocean habitat.
Meanwhile, if Lemont taps into my disdain for people who don’t read classics contextually, Caulfield cheerfully echoes my much stronger disdain for “adventure tourism,” which — excuse me for saying so, b’wana — tends to be condescending and insensitive.
And how’s this for context? I would like to suggest that people who wish to emulate Sir Edmund be required to climb Everest with the clothing and equipment he had.
But they’d likely decide it was an excellent idea and I’m wouldn’t want to further burden the Sherpas.
Wait — Y’all didn’t know this?
Maddie Dai‘s New Yorker cartoon hit me like a thunderbolt.
Have women never seen what happens when some guy puts the hood of his car up?
It’s like scattering popcorn in a city park, except, instead of pigeons, it’s other guys who come flocking to stick in their heads and, as the British saying goes, stick in their oars.
Did y’all think we only do this to women?
It may indeed be “mansplaining” but we do it to everybody.
Regardless of sex and regardless of whether we’ve got any idea what we’re talking about.
There are guys with their heads under the hood of that car saying, “You’re flooding the engine” despite the fact that flooding the engine went out with carburetors a quarter century ago.
Which, coincidentally, is about when I began writing about the problem of men dominating discussions in the classroom and the workplace.
Which is a different, serious, and related phenomenon.
But, hell, we hand out free advice to everybody. Really.
And, when we’ve had enough of that advice from others, we have a simple phrase you may wish to memorize for your own use.
(It doesn’t work as well as you’d expect.)