CSotD: Potpourri

Start with an old man’s correction to a lot of Moon Landing cartoons.

It was not the Moon landing that made people aware of the need to preserve the Earth. It was Apollo 8, seven months earlier, from which this iconic photo of the Big Blue Marble was taken.

Seeing the Earth rise over the Moon’s horizon provided a shift in POV that was stunning, and the fact that it happened Christmas Eve and was accompanied by a reading from Genesis (which, as Jim Lovell said later, is at the foundation of more religions than just Christianity) added to the sense of awe, wonder and humility.

The Moon landing was Apollo 11 and had a different impact. It was more about the technology.

Does it matter? Yes. It’s history. History matters.


On with the Funnies

Bless the bartender in Mo, who never says much but, then again, never needs to.

I’ve only witnessed one of these racist outbursts and it happened at a check stand as I was leaving the store, but was over by the time I got from my end of the store to the pig’s end, so I didn’t get to say anything.

However, another fellow and I got to intervene when an angry man began yelling and swearing at a checkout clerk at the grocery store the other day.

He didn’t happen to use racist terms — just fury and F-bombs. We spoke up and he stormed out and she thanked us for intervening.

These uncontrolled outbursts are being stoked and encouraged, whether it’s racist or just incoherent pigsty fury. There is a growing sense that people not only have a right to be pissed off but to express it in any terms they want.

How much of it is barbarian politics and how much is barbarian television really doesn’t matter.

Either way, to stand by and do nothing is to condone it.

I suppose you should check the nutcase out for sidearms, but the odds of that are pretty small.

A realistic worst-case scenario is a poke in the snoot, and that’s no big deal, in the Grand Scheme of Things.

As Kid Sheleen explained it,

At first you don’t think you can stand to get hit, then you realize you can take it ’cause the blood don’t matter, and you know you’re gonna live. It’s a great gift I’m goin’ to give you – to know it don’t hurt to fight!


And speaking of check-out lines, Retail touches on an issue, and I’m with this customer: I don’t want to give them my email address but I also don’t want to generate four feet of paper or even four inches.

And “neither” is rarely an acceptable answer, which is stupid.

Our co-op has cash registers which only print out a receipt on request and I don’t know what it costs to add that to the software but I’ll bet it’s not as much as you’d waste on rolls of paper that nobody wants.

I have no use for a receipt. The transaction is recorded on my bank or credit card statement.

And, if I’m the hippest of your customers, you are in deep, deep trouble.


Literary Illusions

Adam@Home surprised me with an unintentional F. Scott Fitzgerald reference this morning. At least, I assume it was unintentional.

I wouldn’t have caught it myself except that, back when I was 20 years old and thought stringing together a bunch of catchy bon-mots was how you wrote a novel, I labored on such a manuscript under the working title, “Summer Has No Day,” which I took from this passage in “This Side of Paradise.”

Some years later a critic said to me, “Everyone went to college,” and that there was no need for me to record the experience. Not that others hadn’t done it, but they hadn’t done it well, either.

In the meantime, I also realized that Steven Wright could have been a better novelist than Fitzgerald except that he treats his witty observations as one-liners instead of as divine, sensitive wisdom.

Fitzgerald kept notebooks full of these pretentious snippets of divine, sensitive wisdom that he hoped one day to string into novels.

I do not believe that is how good writing works.

But, then, I’ve never been raked by a woman’s eyes.


Nor have I ever been pistol-whipped by a woman, and today’s Vintage Johnny Hazard raises an interesting question: While it is awfully good to have a feisty, beautiful woman watching your back, does it really do any good to pistol-whip a fellow wearing a turban?

Tune in tomorrow!


And now you know … the REST of the story!

Today’s Non Sequitur is even funnier if you know that Wiley Miller has just moved from the last home he was ever going to live in, presumably to the next in the string of last homes he’s ever going to live in.

Though moving is surely a lot easier when you’re not among those who have to deal with it.


Like the fellow in today’s Pardon My Planet, I’m currently enjoying the results of clean living.

I’ve already lived longer than my father did, but my Mom will be 95 in about six weeks and I don’t expect to get there.

Couldn’t afford it in the first place, but the main point is that she only began complaining about a decade ago and then more in the sense of observations than grumbling.

She really seems to find it more fascinating than unpleasant.

By contrast, I’ve already begun bitching and moaning, and, if I do hang around another quarter century, it will sure seem like more than that to my poor family.

But enough about me: Lee Judge is a pretty fair cartoonist but he’s also a good chronicler and I’ll allow his latest physical to speak for mine.

And even if you don’t read that, you absolutely must not miss this classic because he’s a lot more Hemingway than Fitzgerald and would rather climb in with the bull than sit back idly slinging it.


One thought on “CSotD: Potpourri

  1. I can relate to your mother’s approach to getting older. As long as what old age brings you is endurable, then there is no point in complaining. Once it gets to the point of unendurable, then here in Canada, we have the right to end it all. It’s always an alternative but never my first choice, eh? Your daily postings are a great way to start my day and frequently make me glad to live up here in ‘Uhmuricuh’s’ attic.
    Cheers, Bill

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