CSotD: What’s a 3-Day Weekend Without Homework?

Arlo resurrects an artifact of the 60s that, yes, I once owned, and Janis is fully justified in her frustration, because what the thing does is to cut down the size of the target by about two-thirds.

Wadding up a piece of paper required getting it small enough to pass through the hoop, which meant a small wad and a nothing-but-net shot. I don’t know how it will do when Arlo starts flinging onion and pepper fragments towards it.

OTOH, he can’t say he wasn’t warned.

And now, here’s a segue worthy of Marlin “King of Clumsy Segues” Perkins:

I had the basket up in my room, where I used to discard paper while I was doing my homework. And, speaking of homework, you’ll have some today, mostly in the form of clicking and reading.

But let’s stick with Marlin Perkins for a moment:


Kenyan cartoonist Victor Ndula mocks news reports of the first official sighting of a black leopard in a century, and I love the Great White Hunter outfit combined with the selfie phone and emojis.

I also love the overall concept, because some years ago, I was coming back from a small lake about five miles into the woods, bouncing along a dirt track, when I had to brake for an animal that was certainly a panther. It wasn’t way up on a ridge, but, rather, sashaying across the road 20 feet from the car, and, no, it wasn’t a fisher cat or a bobcat or a moose.

Back in town, I mentioned it to someone who said, “Oh, yeah, my brother ran into it up there, too.”

It’s not hard to find an Adirondacker who has had some sort of panther/cougar/puma encounter, never violent but often unmistakable.

However, Eastern Panthers are extinct.

Or at least they will be until some city expert manages to get a photo.


So here’s your first reading assignment, and you know there’s always more than one because teachers’ never coordinate such things.

I’ve mentioned before that, while I’d rather be staked to an ant hill than attend a modern dance performance, I enjoy classical ballet, and today’s Pardon My Planet reminds me that one reason was a bit of a media flare-up over Edward Villella in the early 70s.

(seen here with a famous White House dancer)

Villella was the subject of a major profile in Sports Illustrated and ran fitness-and-movement summer camps for football players and other athletes, including Army’s team.

He’s still around, and this 2009 interview suggests that we’ve changed more than he has, especially in one area:

You were held up as a paragon of heterosexuality. The word “virile” was used a lot.
[Laughs.] Much has been made of my athletic background and that I had this kind of athletic attack.

But thanks in part to you, there was a real change in the perception of male dancers.
I hope so. The problem, of course, is historic. Once you say you’re a dancer, you’re stigmatized. I was asked two or three times to go on Johnny Carson and I refused. They said, “Why don’t you want to do it? You’ll do some dancing, and Johnny will make fun.” I just didn’t want to participate in someone making fun of my art form, and to make reference to my heterosexuality versus the majority of gay dancers.


And there’s also some talk about stereotypes over at Paul Berge’s blog, where he presents a collection of WWI era cartoons about black soldiers and about Germany’s loss of its African colonies after the war.

Not that the Allies freed the colonies, mind you. They won them as prizes.

Paul does a nice job of contextualizing these things, and it reminded me of a neo-nazi who used to send me poison pen letters whenever I ran anything in my educational features about what he called “mud people.”

I finally managed to shut him up — or perhaps give him a coronary, machs nix — with this recruiting poster and this fascinating first-person account of an African-American doughboy.

The experience of black soldiers in France, as I note there, had a couple of results, one of which was a flurry of lynchings when they came home, which I suspect had to do with their experience of being treated with dignity and forgetting how to shuffle.

This, in turn, helped spark a “never again” attitude and the “Double V” movement that demanded victory first in WWII and then in the Civil Rights Movement.

And it was a major starting point for Jazz-Age Paris becoming a magnet for black American ex-pats like Bricktop and Josephine Baker.

That introduction to Andrew Johnson’s memoir of his army days mentions Darrin Bell’s poster, which ran as a cartoon the Sunday before the inauguration of Barack Obama. Here it is, and it’s still a damn fine piece of work.

Extra Credit Reading

This commentary on the state, and future, of political cartooning by New Zealand cartoonist Rod Emmersson, has been bouncing around social media, but mostly in cartooning quarters, so you may well have seen it, but, if not, you should dig in for some thoughtful, if depressing, reading.

And here’s another depressing bit of supplementary text, from Heidi MacDonald at Comics Beat, concerning some problems at Patreon.

I wish I had a deeper understanding of how it all works, because I realize having a very busy website includes much more expense than having a little niche on the Internet. I’m just not sure what choices that may force.

I also realize that I’ve had bad experiences with Wall Street, both in the miningtown I grew up in and the newspaper industry I worked in, and so perhaps I react irrationally to the term “venture capitalist.”

The venture capitalists who bought into Patreon may be the finest philanthropists to ever tread the Earth, but naturally they still want to be paid back.

I don’t know why a smaller, cartoon-focused support program couldn’t also work, but this is the one we’ve got.

Feel free to comment.

4 thoughts on “CSotD: What’s a 3-Day Weekend Without Homework?

  1. The whole Patrepn thing amazes and amuses me. How can something so bulletproof as an income stream be in need of 107 million in investor funds? What are they doing with that money, opening a hotel???

    If I had a company that made 67 mil by essentially doing nothing but just sheer existing, I’d be thrilled. But I guess greed does strange things to people. Maybe instead of venture capitalists, the owner of this site should start his own Patreon?

  2. The first cat we owned used to sojourn on the Formica desktop on the side by the trash can. One day I tossed a ball of paper at the can, and she batted it aside. “Oh, thanks,” I said, and bent to pick it up and started to take it over there. Then I reconsidered.

    I moved the can out a couple of feet and tried again, and this time she batted it within about a foot. I adjusted it once more, and tossed it from the same place as before: Bulls-eye!

    From then on, we could work it 100% of the time. When we had guests, I’d move the trash can and start crumpling a ball of paper, and Gretel would eagerly assume the position for our party trick.

    Sadly, none of our subsequent cats showed any aptitude or even inclination to bat paper balls.

  3. I called one of my cousins yesterday and asked how she’s doing, and she says better. She saw where MS patients are now being given ballet lessons and doing better. She was already doing ballet, but says she has doubled down on it and is reaping the benefits.

    More ballet for the team! And send out for some more knitting yarn. The dug-out guys say they’re running low.

  4. In a related development over the weekend – Jefferson Beauregard Davis was alleged to have made racist remarks. Save your Confederate money, boys…

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