CSotD: Changing Times

Let’s dismiss the politics first, so we can talk about the Sunday Funnies instead.

Rob Rogers charges that a lot of “It’s over, let’s move on” messages are coming from the Russian troll factories, and you’d have to be pretty foolish to disagree. We know they’re already working on the 2020 elections.

But there are plenty of similar messages coming from this side of the globe, though, while the Mueller Report itself has not been released, even the preliminary, inadequate four-page Barr summary confirms Russian meddling:

I really have to scratch my head over the number of cartoonists who have proclaimed the opposite, agreeing with Trump that it was a hoax.

Four pages. Less than 1,700 words. I understand that Joe Six Pack may be relying on “Fox and Friends” and Rush Limbaugh for his facts, but when you are paid to comment on the news, I think you have an ethical, if not a patriotic, obligation to be informed.

Which brings us back to the “knave or fool” question.

The issue of collaboration is a bit different, and I respect that — according to Barr — Mueller found no evidence of collusion, but I’d like to read exactly what he did find, because it appears somebody is defining “collusion” as active equal-partner conspiracy, rather than allowing it to happen and perhaps encouraging the effort.

Which is to say, I’d like to read what happened in that Trump Tower meeting and some analysis of Trump asking for a Wikileaks hack of the DNC.

It reminds me of a conversation I had with a kid — a high school junior, IIRC — who, along with a pal, was charged with burglary, but explained to me in all sincerity, “I didn’t steal the bike. I just held the door open so he could push it out.”

Later, sentenced to six months in the county jail, he asked the jailer when the bus would come each morning to take him to school.

In his case, a fool, not a knave.

I’m not as willing to concede that the “Let’s move on” people possess that level of innocent naivete.

But if they won’t — or can’t — read four pages, I doubt releasing 400, with or without appendices, is going to make a difference in our national conversation.

So let’s turn to the funnies:


Pajama Diaries coincides with my life, as it often does, in that I took Eldest Remaining Granddaughter, a high school senior, on a road trip out to a sugarhouse yesterday to pick up some fresh syrup.

She wants to go to college, eventually, but she frankly discusses the financial impracticality of going right away, perhaps because her older sister has already been through the process and is taking things a few credit hours at a time.

I find it encouraging that they are strategizing rather than swallowing the notion that all roads lead through a four year college.

And I think leading gap-year experiences in Tibet sounds like a pretty cool idea, except that you might make so much money that you’d never end up getting that sheepskin.

When I dropped out to write, my grandfather applauded my plan to go back after a year and graduate, because, he said, one more year of school would take up less time than I would waste over the rest of my life explaining why I had never finished my degree, to people who probably didn’t care anyway.

Good advice in 1970, but I don’t think the current generation will face that issue.


Juxtaposition of the Day #1



(Daddy’s Home)

When I switched to HD a few years ago, it was great for sports and movies, but I became uncomfortably aware of how much pancake makeup all the news people wear, and that the women are apparently required to also wear false eyelashes.

The prospect of seeing them in even greater detail reminds me of when Gulliver visited Brobdingnag, where the scale of the giants made even ones who should be cute and desirable seem repulsive:

As for “Daddy’s Home,” I know we had “trouble slides” when I worked in television some 40 years ago, but I’m not sure the last time I’ve seen one. I think they’ve got the technology down now to the point where they are either up and running or blown off the air completely.

Of course, they’ve also improved telephone technology to the point where you can no longer call the control room and let them know they’re off the air or broadcasting the wrong feed.

And receiving no complaints is much the same as not screwing up, in their business and everywhere else.


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Dogs of C Kennel)


(F Minus)

I seem to have curated my friends’ list well enough that I haven’t seen anybody tossing cheese slices at their babies, and I never believed the Tide Pods thing was real, but I certainly saw plenty of people pour ice water over their heads.

Which makes Will’s plan cringingly brilliant, assuming he believes that any home is better than living in the shelter.

Still, the urge to adopt a dog needs to be balanced with still wanting the dog when the novelty has worn off, and I find it disquieting that they push this so hard year round and only recognize the problem of impulse-adoptions at Christmas.

As for F-Minus, I don’t know if the intention was to make us laugh or to make us despair of humanity, but he accomplished both in my case.

Here’s the answer to all those tests:

And if you curated your list enough to eliminate the people who put all their friends’ personal information at risk with this idiocy, you’d end up pretty much quitting Facebook.

Yeah, I know. I said that like it was a bad thing.


Speaking of Facebook

Facebook’s newly announced effort to eliminate white supremacist posts didn’t take long to hit a snag, as Clay Bennett had this cartoon automatically taken down.

Gee, Facebook, you suppose the trick is to actually look at things and think, instead of just applying a magical algorithm??

2 thoughts on “CSotD: Changing Times

  1. FB doesnt have near enough staff to stop and look. They have, what, two billion users? And let’s say just half those are active enough to post a picture every other day: in any given week, that’s three and a half billion images. Who’s got enough staff to curate all those and make sure nothing fails?

    And I say that as someone who’s had more than his share of run ins with the FB Purity Police. I am amazed that their bots cant tell the difference between a digital cartoon (which is supposed to be within the rules) and a photograh. I’m even more surprised when they come back and tell me that because they’ve erroniously benched me three times, my last thirty-day ban was not even given a chance for an appeal — go figure that one out.

    But all of this has arrived because FB has just gotten so big and so out of control that it can no longer do much of anything without its bots. And artists like myself — and Clay — just have to get a little sneakier in getting around them.

  2. Remember when TV sets were measured straight across, instead of diagonally to make them look bigger? I’m surprised they never went to advertising the perimeter.

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