CSotD: Friday Funnies — Time and Timing

Reply All brings up the concept of wasting time, and, naturally, the answer is to schedule it, making it a cousin of “Let’s do something spontaneous!”

My friend Charley’s entire life was spontaneous, and it was exhilarating to be around him, though part of his nature was that he wasn’t around for long. But he’d look up at Pikes Peak and wonder what was up there and somehow you’d find yourself at the top an hour later.

He was like an eight-year-old with a drivers license and a passport: When Corey Aquino was turning the Philippines upside down, Charley went and had a look and ended up at a cockfight in the middle of the night because … well, if there’d been a “because” it wouldn’t have been spontaneous.

Meanwhile, I worry not just about people who schedule every minute but who can’t be alone in the minutes in between, who have to be on their phones or plugged into music during those times when, as kids, we were teaching ourselves how to whistle through our fingers.

Or just thinking about stuff.

I guess our grandchildren will be okay in a world where nobody knows how to whistle through their fingers, but I worry about a world in which nobody knows how to think about stuff.


And then Non Sequitur brings up this thing, which is a vestige of a strange culture of which I was never a part.

For one thing, we never had the kind of income where we could buy a whole new houseful of matching furniture and drapes and rugs, nor were we the types to go into debt to go ahead and do it anyway.

We had whatever furniture we had, and we’d add a new sofa or a coffee table as we went along and I don’t recall quarreling over what it was all supposed to look like. It looked like us.

Meanwhile, pal, even Buffalo Wild Wings commercials are sneering at your “man cave.”


And as long as I’m feeling quarrelsome, this week’s Betty has explored whether “High Noon” is a great film or a boring, predictable one, and Betty started with carping about Grace Kelly.

I’ll grant her point about the age difference, which she could have complained about in nearly every film, especially those mid-life-crisis ones in which the age difference is the point. (Will the Me-Too era bring those to a halt?)

But I’d argue that, in this one, Kelly’s youth and girliness made the ending more of a surprise.

Unlike modern Westerns in which the women are tougher than the guys and you kind of wonder if anybody needs a hero.


But “High Noon” wasn’t the first to play with the concept, or even the first Gary Cooper movie to do so. Seven years before “High Noon,” Cooper starred in a minor gem called “Along Came Jones,” a comedy/action Western in which the helpless frail was Loretta Young, who was about as helpless as a scorpion.

That was the lynchpin of the comedy, and it’s not a better movie than “High Noon,” but it’s more fun to watch.

I’d like to think youngsters have seen at least the first movie if not the second, even though both were (gasp!) made in black-and-white.


And on the topic of age gaps and comic strips that appeal to the old folks, this Adam@Home is one of many comics lately to reference Bob Ross.

It brings up two separate Grumpy Old Man questions, the first of which is how much Bob Ross influenced anyone who wasn’t destined to grow up to be an artist. I mean, I knew he was on, but I didn’t stop at that channel.


The other issue is “What’s the matter with Jon Gnagy?” who was practically doing his show before there was television to do it on. As Wikipedia notes, he was the first performer on May 13, 1946, “the day the updated Channel 4 antenna … was completed atop the Empire State Building.”

The obvious answer is that the cartoonists referencing Bob Ross are too young to remember Jon Gnagy, but, hey, the guy sold 15 million “Learn to Draw” kits, and, if you can reference Annette Funicello and Buffalo Bob, surely someone out there remembers Gnagy.

Hell, I’ll bet little Bobby Ross had one of those kits.


Juxtaposition of the Half Century

(Barney and Clyde)

(Doonesbury, May 29, 1973)

Gene Weingarten doesn’t mind tossing out a reference that will be really obscure to the young folks.

This is one of the most famous Doonesburys, however, in large part because several papers declined to run it, which, at the time, was a relatively new concept — as was political commentary on the funny pages.

It became the title strip for a collection, so I suppose it’s not entirely obscure, but this is still inside baseball, if you’re looking to impress a generation that, as I’ve noted oftimes before, is convinced that anyone who took a student deferment during the war was a “draft dodger” and, perhaps more to the point, got chastised on Twitter yesterday for mourning the death of John Lewis instead of that other bald black guy.


And the strip Trudeau ran the next day was a cynical joke then but now could be a Final Jeopardy answer.

A good reminder that not everyone is totally engaged in the raging storm that is shaking our windows and rattling our walls.


Juxtaposition of Itself

(Candorville, Oct 14)

(Candorville, Oct 15)

Darrin Bell pulls off a playful pairing to which I can add no commentary except applause.

Well, except to point out that he seems reconciled to life in the on-line, rather than print, world, since it’s easier for someone to click back and compare the two than to dig out yesterday’s paper from the pile.

And I’ll applaud not just the hey-wait-what? aspect but the commentary on how our priorities and concerns change with time and age.


And now I’ll let Macanudo have the final word.

Note that I could have juxtaposed it with today’s opening strip.

Perhaps I did, and you didn’t notice.

8 thoughts on “CSotD: Friday Funnies — Time and Timing

  1. Some clickbait article showed up in my Facebook feed the other day about the transgender computer musician from the 1970s that “nobody has ever heard of.” (Wendy Carlos, of course.)

    What a drag it is getting old.

  2. “Switched-On Bach” was great, for a teen like me. Supposedly a fan of “classical” music, but that really meant the Russians and Roman tics in my mom’s LP collection. I was mostly ignorant about many earlier figures, including Bach except for a couple melodies played at Christmastime. So the W. Carlos wild treatment of the Brandenburg 3 was an eye-opener for me.

  3. I had a John Gnagy Learn To Draw kit. And I’m pretty sure I still have it…safely ensconced in the basement, in a box that I have not yet unpacked since we moved into this house…21 years ago. But someday…

  4. re ” the transgender computer musician from the 1970s that “nobody has ever heard of.” — to simplify, I’d argue that “nobody these days has ever heard of pretty much anyone from the 1970s.”

    I’m tempted to say that I haven’t either, since it’s “after my time,” but that would be a stretcher, as Huck Finn might call it.

  5. Oh, but, to be fair: I have heard of Jon Gnagy and used to watch him. Can’t recall if I ever had his kit or not, though.

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