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CSotD: Friday Funnies get hystorical

Sherman’s Lagoon is in a story arc about visiting retirement homes, which included this “No Kidding” strip. I’m always amused by the phishing ads that want to manage money for old folks, or get them to sign over their houses or insurance policies or whatever.

But I think the retirement homes are playing an interesting numbers game. Much as I hate the foolish notion that Baby Boomers have a lot of cultural and social values in common, it is the simple truth that a whole lot of people were born in those years, and they’re now hitting retirement age.

Which would be a boon for retirement homes except that one thing the Boomers do share is that we haven’t, as a group, saved up the way our Depression-raised parents did.

Still, I suspect the rising number of people makes up for the smaller percent with two dimes to rub together and that the retirement homes will be fine.

What happens to the rest of us is a little less certain, and I wish the privatizers would keep their grubby paws off Social Security but I guess we’ll see.

I’m not too worried. I can live on Social Security and still afford anything I want, but, then again, I’ve spent the last half century or so practicing stoicism.

When a Stoic says he can afford anything he wants, it’s less about his bank account than his philosophy. Just step out of my sunshine and I’m fine.

(Oh, whatEVER.)

Anyway, this may not be the most hilarious mood in which to contemplate the Friday Funnies, but we do have this

Juxtaposition of the Week

Off the Mark


I’m going to assume that Leigh Rubin didn’t intend a second pun about snakes eating things before they are cool, but I admire it in any case.

And then I think we can sneak Bizarro in …

… because, while it doesn’t go for the pun, it at least has fun with people who come up with reasons for eating what they eat. I think primordial soup should definitely appear on the Paleolithic Diet.

If nothing else, it’s full of probiotics.

Which puts me in danger of being a Cynic, since a Stoic would not impute motives to people over what they eat, and Epictetus actually did address this issue:

Thus, at an entertainment, don’t talk how persons ought to eat, but eat as you ought. For remember that in this manner Socrates also universally avoided all ostentation. … For sheep don’t throw up the grass to show the shepherds how much they have eaten; but, inwardly digesting their food, they outwardly produce wool and milk.

And speaking of ostentatious displays …

Real Life Adventures has the nerve to question the sincerity of all the happy people in commercials.

A couple of years ago, I noticed that the people — mostly young women — in advertising had begun to smile with their mouths wide open. It seemed unnatural.

But now people not only do open-mouthed smiles in commercials but become so delighted that they leap up and fling their groceries into the air.

I wouldn’t necessarily wish that their actual lives were dreary, but I do hope they have more self-control than that, once the cameras stop.


And now for something completely different:

When I used that Thimble Theater clipping the other day, I couldn’t make out whether it was from 1933 or 1935, so I went and had a look, and then, once I’d found it, began poking around in the newspapers of December 3, 1935.

I was particularly amused by Tim Tyler’s Luck because it sure didn’t seem like he had much, but I also couldn’t help thinking that he seemed a lot like Ensign Kenny, the hapless crew member of the R.U. Sirius in Brewster Rockit.

It’s interesting to read those old strips and try to figure out which ones were aimed at adults and which were strictly for the Ovaltine crowd.


I also came across this sports-page feature about Babe Didrikson. These used to be a regular feature of sports pages in the days before television made personality profiles a regular thing.


Steve McGarry still does Biographic, a Sunday feature that’s more Hollywood than sports oriented, but those sports features were once a daily item that entertained adults while keeping young eyes focused on the page a little longer.


There were also some pretty good movies playing in town — in this case, Muncie, Indiana. Will Rogers had died in August, and I find it interesting that the film was released November 28 but that Muncie already had a print to show on December 3, though you’ll note they weren’t going to have it long: After the last show Thursday night, those reels would go on a night train (or possibly a bus) to their next stop and heaven help you if they didn’t get there on time for the afternoon matinee.

Interesting that Popeye’s cartoon gets billing. Respect.

And there were other films in town:

Note, by the way, that you could catch Bill Robinson in both the Shirley Temple and the Will Rogers movies. He was a hard worker.

And “Flaming Passion” doesn’t show up on IMDB, but the Code was very recent, so who knows?

However, the morals of America were in good hands, because Dorothy Dix was one of the most popular columnists in the country.

Not to be confused with Dorothea Dix, who intervened in genuine problems, Dorothy not only wrote the answers but wrote the questions to the extend that, according to Wikipedia, her name became a slang expression in Australia for politicians who made self-serving speeches about issues nobody had raised.

And the day’s paper brought forth a hair-raising example:

And you thought Dear Abby and Ann Landers were snippy busybodies!



Community Comments

#1 Sean Martin
@ 10:12 am

“Flaming Passion” was just a repackaging of an older film from 1923:

#2 Mike Peterson
@ 1:04 pm

Ah — so definitely pre-Code and not only is the Quotes page a hoot, but it was apparently featured in “American Grindhouse.” What greater praise could there be?

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