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CSotD: Friday Funnies

I understand there’s an ingredient in jellyfish that improves your memory, which is why I can look at this Reality Check and remember that we recently had a whole discussion of plastic bags that look like big fish.

Well, they look like jellyfish, too, and this made me giggle.

I suppose at some point grandfathers will hold grandkids on their laps while they go through old collections of comics, and the grandfathers will have to explain plastic bags to the youngsters, the way we have to explain payphones today.


Assuming families are still speaking to each other. I read this Daddy’s Home and it sparked something I don’t get.

Well, two somethings, if you include that I don’t get why Creators Syndicate doesn’t properly color its comics anymore. This thing of splashing a color wash over the panel seems like a way of satisfying the letter of the law with the least possible effort: “You say we’re contracted to deliver colored strips? Here. It’s colored. Shut up.”

But the more immediate, content-based “I don’t get it” is the parental thing of whether you get in the car and take the forgotten homework, gym sneakers, lunch or whatever to school, or refuse and let the kid learn a lesson.

It starts with whether you pick them up when they cry, which always seemed to me a no-brainer: You don’t race into the room at the first whimper, but of course you respond. The counter argument being that kids become independent if nobody responds to their emotional needs, which I guess is true.

Anyway, I could see not bringing a lunch, maybe after having done it once or twice. But homework?

Imagine a spouse calling, saying “Honey, I’ve got a meeting in an hour and I left the presentation on my desk last night!”

“Well, darling, if you never get promoted, or if you lose your job, you’ll know better next time!”


The opposite of passive-aggressive parenting is total overinvolvement, and Sherman has been dealing with the shame of being banned from his son’s Little League games. The arc, which is ongoing, starts here and is worth following.

I’ll confess to having been a yeller as a soccer coach, until the league made us all take a Coaching Effectiveness Class, which included first aid training, and things like not using take-a-lap as punishment because it identifies exercise as bad, but particularly emphasized that, if the kids didn’t learn it at practice, they won’t learn it by having you scream at them during the game.

After the first session, I went to our next practice and asked the kids if they found my shouting to help motivate them to play better or if they wanted me to shut up. They didn’t even have to glance at each other before they all answered.

That was the leading edge of a general movement, and I’ve been impressed with sideline demeanor, not just of coaches but of parents, in the current world.

It’s made me laugh even harder at Sherman’s dilemma this past week or so.

Sharks are such primitive creatures.


Meanwhile, in the world our children will inherit if there’s anything left, Non Sequitur notes the growing entropy as corporate beancounters slash away at whatever’s left.

It’s particularly well-timed in the newspaper industry, not just for how things have gone for the past two or three decades but because it appears that Alden Global Capital — the hedge fund that has played Grim Reaper with little attempt to pretend at journalism — is taking over the tattered remains of Tribune.

There’s enough gallows humor in Wiley’s cartoon, but there was more, unintentionally, in a thread on Twitter the other day, pondering how to resuscitate local journalism, the humor there being that the learned ponderers were assuming that newspapers belong in large corporate chains.

The way to save local journalism is to make it local.

If you can’t tell the difference between a burger and fries at the local diner and a Quarter Pounder Value Meal at McDonald’s, well, I guess we can’t have this conversation, but the solution isn’t learning how to tinker with McDonald’s.

It’s learning how to set up your own diner.


This Bliss is a rebuke to my inability to get motivated to learn how my damn phone works, because I feel the sky in this cartoon should be dark.

I finally gave in and got a smartphone, which remains a kind of pointless tool for someone who spends most of his day in front of a computer, and I haven’t done much with it I couldn’t do with the computer because, well, because I’m usually in front of the computer.

Which means I’m only just finally figuring out how to get the damn thing to stop chirping at me when I have useless messages like the auto dealer wishing me happy birthday.

Its seems that last night I got a wake-up chirp at midnight, warning me that either an aged relative had slipped from this mortal coil, or one of my kids had wrecked the car or that Amazon would give me three months of Kindle Unlimited for free.

Guess which, but a phone chirping in the middle of the night sets off the same adrenalin for all three.

So, yeah, the solution is the Do Not Disturb feature which you then have to adjust because you want it to disturb you for some things but not for others, and the reason I have resisted the damn smartphone for so long is that it seems programmed to pester the living crap out of you.

You must adjust it so it doesn’t.

But my old flip phone already didn’t.

Consarn it.


Which made me particularly like Joy of Tech‘s Thanksgiving cartoon because it makes me feel old to object to all this, and so I’m glad to see people who don’t seem old at all, and whose very lives revolve around new technologies, declare that there are some goddam limits.

Community Comments

#1 Ruth Anne in Winter Park
@ 8:23 am

But when your tablet decides it’s no longer going to connect to the internet the day before you leave home, it’s handy to be able to read things like CSotD on your phone – even if it is tiny.

#2 Paul Berge
@ 10:15 am

Walking into the classroom and handing the paper to the teacher should be punishment enough for the kid.

#3 Phillip Maish
@ 11:22 am

Here’s hoping the grandparents won’t have to explain fish to the grandkids

#4 Denny Lien
@ 4:27 pm

Well, after decades of proudly resisting, I have to admit that Ive been vaguely beginning to *consider* maybe getting a flip phone one of these days, even though it feels like surrendering. But I suppose it wouldn’t be too much of a defeat after all this time to be willing to join the common experience of . . . of . . .

(Wait, you mean there are even *nastier* phone-like things out there these days that everybody has moved over to? O.K., forget it; camel’s nose in the tent and all that.)

Also, get off my lawn.

#5 Kip Williams
@ 9:17 pm

Huh. I just checked, and my picture-taking, game-playing, music-carrying, library of books and art ALSO has a phone! That would account for the odd noises it makes sometimes.

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