CSotD: 600 Years Later, Worth Another Try

Matt Wuerker, I’m quite sure unintentionally, provides a catalyst for today’s political rant.

I grew up on Hoppy and Cisco and other TV heroes who rode into town, confronted and defeated the bad guys, and then accepted the thanks of the grateful citizens and rode off into the sunset.

However, as I grew older, I realized that — “High Noon” not withstanding — there was an entire body of more interesting, better written, more satisfying Westerns, in which the hero empowers the local people to solve their own problems.

One of my favorites is “Destry Rides Again,” in which Destry refuses to be drawn into heroic gunplay despite his obvious talent with his six-guns. In the end, he and Frenchie get rid of the baddies by rallying the townspeople to stand up to them.

It’s not the exception: “Shane” also got the ranchers to stand up, while “The Magnificent Seven” is a shadow of Kurosawa’s classic “the Seven Samurai” in which the warriors teach the villagers to resist evil, rather than simply wiping out one source of it and leaving them vulnerable to the next.

One classic element in all these movies is the part where the villains sit and chortle over the hero’s unwillingness to be drawn into a one-on-one fight, little knowing what greater plan he contemplates.


My hero, as a child, was Wild Bill Hickock, who, with his sidekick, Jingles, would ride into town, defeat the baddies, and then ride off to the next adventure.

But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child.

Here’s an article from the Atlantic discussing the failure of the media to do likewise.



And, speaking of the townsfolk rising up against a villain, noted columnist  and social commentator David Brooks made an effort on Twitter to find out how many people have waited tables or had other jobs where they had to deal with entitled nitwits.

He was quite successful.

He even drew the attention of former waitress Ann Telnaes who happens to draw a cartoon about a current waitress.



I’m a good tipper, but not a big fan of the practice.

What I’m really not a big fan of is the sub-minimum tipped wage which is based on the elitist fiction — shared by the IRS — that tips will more than make up for it and, in some places, the secondary fiction that honest restaurant owners will bring their staffers up to the regular minimum wage if tips don’t.

Which assumes that the regular minimum wage is adequate in the first place.

“Service charges” are a way around the insecurity of tipping, though they’re really just a way for restaurants to list lower menu prices than customers end up paying, while a service charge removes the motivation for servers to be particularly attentive, since they’ll get the same “tip”‘ in the end whether they peel the grapes or just toss the food on the table.

But I particularly resent the new screens at counters which confirm your purchase and then bully you into leaving a tip for counterhelp.

I don’t tip at Walgreens and there’s no reason to tip at Starbucks. In a just world, it would be illegal to classify, and pay, counterhelp as tipped-employees.

For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. — 1 Timothy 5:18

Thou assholes.

And double for you, Brooksie. I went to see if you’d ever worked as a kid and what I found was sufficient to induce vomiting.

Not just an elitist. An elitist suck-up.

Hey, Mo? Mr. Brooks would like a cup of coffee for his pants.


Acquiring Cred

Pajama Diaries got an appreciative chuckle this morning because I like Rob anyway, but it reminded me of when then-wife and I were first married and she had subscriptions to Mademoiselle and Glamour.

She’d been a stringer for Mademoiselle in college, but Glamour was a little more geared towards young-adult working women. They were both good reading, however, and I picked up enough pre-feminist insights that, when she subscribed to a new magazine called “Ms,” it wasn’t much of a jolt.

I wished I’d started reading those things when I was still dating, but the only women’s magazine the girls at my college read was Cosmo.

Which wouldn’t have helped and perhaps explained why I ended up marrying someone from a different school.

Anyway, guys, do your homework.

Your wives will be 87% friendlier.


Juxtaposition of the Solution to Everything

(Strange Brew)

(Pros and Cons)

I have been to a few shrinks over the years and I don’t know that any of them had couches.

But, then, I’ve seen little tiny islands and none of them had single palm trees growing up from their centers. Palm trees come standard on cartoon islands.

If any real psychiatrists had couches, they were just, y’know, couches, not chaises longues.

Anyway, if you’re going to rearrange the furniture, do it with a sense of historical perspective: Tomorrow is the 600th Anniversary of the First Defenestration of Prague.

And for $150 an hour, I think you ought to be allowed to defenestrate the furniture, not just move it around the room.

In any case, I’m surprised there isn’t some kind of commemoration planned for the 600th anniversary.

I don’t mean a parade. I mean a recreation.

Never mind arguing over whether or not to impeach. Let’s just defenestrate the son of a bitch.

Though the White House is only two stories high, and the town hall in Prague was seven stories high, which is why the first defenestration was such a popular success that they tried it again 199 years later.

The second time around, however, everyone survived the fall, which took a lot of the impetus out of the gesture and there was no third defenestration of Prague.

Though it might have been because city councilors became 87% more friendly when they realized the citizenry was deciding whether to throw their asses out of a seventh story window.


4 thoughts on “CSotD: 600 Years Later, Worth Another Try

  1. Mike—I was kind of thinking all those things when I drew that. A more recent allegory to our current predicament is a western that came out thus a couple years ago- Godless- I think was a Netflix series with Jeff Daniels. It’s another one of these damn series that demand you invest 12 hours of your life time, but it is a good one, especially if you enjoy westerns….

  2. Certainly one where it took a whole village to defeat a villain, though I thought it should have been two or three hours longer — felt like they got 9 or 10 episodes shot and realized they were running out of time.

    High Noon, on the other hand, would have been a lot shorter if I’d been in the Gary Cooper role. I mean, geez, even the good folks in Blazing Saddles rallied to support the new … sheriff.

  3. I was only 10 when Jan Masaryk, Czechoslovakia’s Foreign Minister, was found dead below the window of his Prague office and, though my family wasn’t politically-minded, it has stayed in my memory. Officially it was claimed Masaryk had committed suicide. Legal decisions through the years were contradictory, ‘However, a Prague police report in 2004 concluded after forensic research that Masaryk had indeed been thrown out of the window to his death.’ This is often called the Third Defenestration of Prague.

  4. Yes, Masaryk’s death in mentioned in the linked story from Wikipedia, together with some other examples of people being hurled out of windows in Czechoslovakia. A catchy name but perhaps not a particularly admirable political strategy.

    I think only the Second Defenestration is taught in most (non-Czech) histories — not only did everyone survive but it touched off a major war (which not everyone survived by a long shot).

    I read a piece by a Tuscarora historian who suggested, in regard to the Beaver Wars, that before Europeans become too critical of the way native people here conducted warfare, they take a look at how Europeans were treating each other in roughly the same 17th century period.

    Point made.

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