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CSotD: Sorting the bad from the meh

I’m going to start with an encouraging word from Mark Anderson at Andertoons, in these days of shutdowns and cutbacks and layoffs.

There’s something worse than getting fired.

Not getting fired.

I’ve popped around a fair amount and I’m very familiar with the job that is fun until your boss leaves or until the place is sold and everything positive is cut by the new owners.

I’ve walked away from several miserable “my way or the highway” situations and that scenic backroad has always been sweeter.

In fact, I’ve spent most of my professional life on the backroads, and, yes, lean freedom is better than fat slavery.

I guess that’s why I never made the Big Time. Read too much Aesop as a child.

Go thou and do likewise.


And while I’m handing out advice …

Between Friends has been digging a little deeper into Maeve’s disastrous love life, with an arc that began back here when her former fiance returned and then her ex dropped by the office as her friend Dave also showed up for lunch.

For those who haven’t been following the strip, Dave and Maeve are in the Friendship Zone, because he has also had his heart kicked around and so he makes a good pal.

Or maybe not.

Is he “mansplaining”? Is he trying to be her father? Is he trying to slide on out of the Friendship Zone? Would she be equally angry if one of her gal pals were laying it out like this?

Beats me. I just hope that, however it turns out, it doesn’t resolve her chronic inability to handle her love life.

That would be like letting Charlie Brown kick the football.

Meanwhile, over at Bug Martini, Adam Huber is watching the wrong demographic.

About 90% of my TV watching is either CNN, MSNBC or NFL Network, and the Doritos and FPS games are all on that third channel, while the other two are dominated by patent medicines, ambulance chasers and stubborn belly fat (an ingredient first discovered in jellybellyfish).

When cable and I were young, before Ted Turner invented cable-only services, there was a station in California that had all-night movies sponsored by Big Sur Waterbeds, which made sense because anyone up watching that stuff was primo for being sold a better night’s sleep.

Or going fishing on a moment’s notice, since Popeil’s Pocket Fisherman was also a big after-midnight factor.

But Popeil wasn’t buying that time — they were offering kickbacks for each Pocket Fisherman sold, which is why you sent the money to “Dept ###,” to show what station you’d seen it on.

These “PI’s,” or “per inquiry” messages were, like public service announcements, thrown into whatever empty space a station had and I’ll admit that I’d rather watch a Vegematic spot than have Sarah McLachlan guilt-tripping me with crusty-eyed distemper puppies.

Anyway, I don’t mind the big-button telephone commercials half so much as I object to the ones that try to talk people with structured settlements to cash out, given that the whole point of a “structured settlement” is to keep you from pissing it all away at once.

Daytime TV is a pretty good place to troll for suckers, with or without a Pocket Fisherman.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(David Horsey)

(Signe Wilkinson)

I’m really done with the college admissions thing, but it’s not going away and, as said before, I think it’s because rightwingers hate elite eggheads and leftwingers hate rich wipepo and this gives them both plenty to screech about.

However, as Horsey suggests, it just ain’t that hard to pick out the ones who bought their way in.

I had a friend who was a Donor Legacy and, when our freshman grades came out, neither of us qualified to choose on-campus housing for the next year.

So I rented a cheesy little room in town and he got a nice big single in a popular dorm, and, yes, I knew Daddy had pulled strings and, no, I didn’t care.

It was necessary that I cultivate my own karma.

As for who was denied a chance, the coach in Horsey’s cartoon is letting one of his water polo players be a goof-off, but he’s got a large enough squad that a recruit or two would have dropped off the team or just never quite hit the groove.

He’s got enough roster spots that — criminal and despicable as it is — he can sell one or two without impacting the team. As long as he doesn’t get caught.

And the full numbers make the scale even more laughable.

USC says that it has identified six students in the current admissions cycle who cheated and that they will be denied admission.

I don’t have numbers for this cycle, but, last year, Southern Cal had 64,352 applicants for 8,339 slots in the freshman class.

So hard-working minority students can rejoice, because this year there will only be 64,346 applicants for those 8,339 slots. And it will be 8,339 slots, and not just 8,333 because those six will not get one!

Usher in a new era of fairness!

In fact, I’ll bet that, next Spring Break, a poor-but-deserving student of color will be invited to go party in the Bahamas on the Board of Trustees’ chairman’s yacht.

Now, this doesn’t mean I think college admissions is, for the most part, a clean, well-run matter, just that I don’t find the current scandal either significant or shocking.

In fact, if you look at that Signe Wilkinson cartoon, you’ll note that it’s dated 1996, because she’s been going after this topic for a lot longer than the current shocked, shocked mob.

Here is a selection of her cartoons on the topic over the years.

And here’s why crying over a handful of stolen slots is as ridiculous as selling your structured settlement or buying a Pocket Fisherman.

And here’s an old, pre-Trumpian but still valid explanation of why nobody’s going to rise up and demand real change: They’re planning to use their own vast wealth to get their kids into Harvard.


Community Comments

#1 Sean Martin
@ 2:22 pm

The thing about the Horsey cartoon that I find more than a bit offputting is the coach. Oh look! It’s a blond white guy with a cheezy grin and one hand a little too close to one of his charges. It’s just too easy a trope, and it really is insulting to the thousands upon thousands of coaches who do have their kids’ best interests at heart.

Sorry, good intentions, but big time misfire.

#2 Mike Peterson
@ 3:41 pm

Suggest you do a Google Images search for “Jovan Vavic”

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