CSotD: A few beers, a few laughs

I missed most of yesterday’s extravaganza while earning a living, but, based on what I heard on NPR while running errands and on CNN while fixing dinner, Bill Bramhall seems to pretty well sum it up.


And if I needed more commentary, Ann Telnaes has once more live-sketched the proceedings. You can see the rest of her collection here.

I like her work because she goes beyond a courtroom-artist approach and shows what happened instead of just what it looked like.

Obviously, you have to be on her side of the aisle to begin with, but I grew up in a world where the democracies were on one side and the tyrants and oligarchs were on the other.


It was a long time ago. Today, as Mike Smith notes, the superpatriots are gathering on the other side of the divide, waving their American flags and pledging their Russian loyalty.

Hey, not with a bang, but a whimper.

And a horse laugh, as Theo Moudakis points out, portraying that snippet of video in which, yes, our NATO allies are laughing at our vainglorious nitwit of a president.

Moudakis adds the element of where Dear Leader finds refuge from the mockery, but it’s not like he’s telling us something we didn’t know.

There’s some cold comfort in knowing that respected leaders of major democracies are also dumbfounded by what’s going on.

I’m halfway through “Warning” and, so far, Anonymous hasn’t told me anything I didn’t already know; it’s like having someone tell you the entire contents of “Fire and Fury” despite your keep saying, “Yes, I know, I read it.”

It’s sad to be in a position where the whole world is not only watching but laughing, but, then again, if they can laugh maybe there’s hope.

And maybe they’ll have our backs when it all hits the fan.

Speaking of which …

Kal Kallaugher assures us that we’re not delusional and it really is this bad. (I wouldn’t normally share all of such an extensive piece, but if you aren’t subscribed to Counterpoint, (A) you won’t see the whole thing and (B) you need to fix that. It’s not perfect but it is free.)



Speaking of subscribing to things, First Dog on the Moon is encouraging people to support the Guardian by giving subscriptions to their friends for Christmas, and he’s backing it up by offering a selection of gift cards you can print out, fold and sign.


He has a nice selection from which to choose.

I share this mostly because it’s inventive and funny, not because you have to subscribe to the Guardian, though I do.

But you do have to support somebody, and if a teetering-on-the-brink-of-poverty wretch like me can help support two newspapers, a local aggregator and my public radio station, you can squeeze out a few simoleans to keep the information coming.

And, yes, I am unfit for the presidency because I used an old-fashioned word to inject a bit of wit into things.

I would rather be culturally literate and somewhat witty than president, though there was a time when those goals were not mutually exclusive.

I suppose Lincoln and Reagan were wise to couch their wit in an aw-shucks folksy style that didn’t alienate the rubes.

Rubes. Another old-timey word. Damn.


Here, draw a picture of Joe Biden in this frame and then fill in your word balloon with three or four random terms from the list below, which I compiled for a story set in the days of Prohibition:

Then get in line with all the other cartoonists who have done the exact same thing. (Better bring a thermos of coffee — it’s getting to be a very, very long line.)


On the topic of professional jobs in the newspaper, and of wit, Tommy Carrol reveals his solution to poverty in our ongoing Christmas serial over at Hogan’s Alley.

I’m awfully happy that I read the strip before I read the title at top right, because I had already guffawed at the idea of journalism as the road out of poverty and am glad George Wunder intended the gag.

Witty fellow, that George Wunder. Good cartoonist. Unfit for the presidency.

Old joke, then I’ll let it go for now:

There are two words I don’t want you to ever use. One is “swell” and the other is “awful.”
Okay, Grandma. What are the words?


How about some more modern humor?

This Sheldon not only made me laff but made me feel good about my old man suspicions about trusting our benevolent overlords.

Various shopping sites keep asking me if I want to store my credit card information there so it will be handy the next time I want to buy something. My response includes an invitation to pull the other one.

Which reminds me that, back at the dawn of the Graphic Mozilla Whatever, there was a popular service that stored all your financial information and passwords online, and I wonder what in the hell we were thinking.

Slightly more recently, Adobe and some other companies decided we should rent their software on-line rather than own copies and there was a rush of freelancers who were not born yesterday and really wanted to find a Photoshop disk before the changeover.

One of the few advantages of a failing print industry being that most papers were too frugal to purchase updated versions of Photoshop or InDesign and so my nearly decade-old CS3 versions are still perfectly compatible with theirs.


Program Note

(Frank Reynolds)

I’m finally going in for a new hip tomorrow, though I haven’t yet been told when to show up, so it’s possible I’ll have another posting in the morning before I go.

But whether tomorrow or Saturday, CSotD will be going dark for a few days.

Not to worry: Hip replacements are just what old people do for fun because we no longer have wisdom teeth to be extracted.

Anyway, we didn’t need wisdom in the first place, but you’ve got to maintain your hipness.


24 thoughts on “CSotD: A few beers, a few laughs

  1. I hope your surgery goes well and your recovery also goes well. My husband says he wishes he’d had his done a lot earlier. No more limping, no pain. Good luck to you!

  2. I also wish you well with your surgery and hope for a speedy recovery. While you are an incredibly important part in all of our lives, take your time recovering before you come back.

  3. The length of my absence, I suspect, will depend on how doped up I am, and prospects don’t look good. They’ve already told me I can’t have the “Choose Your Own Adventure” button in the hospital, which was the only fun part of my previous surgeries.

    Ibuprofen and ice hardly make it all worth bothering with.

  4. Good luck with your surgery, Mike. You are already one of hipper people I know so this should leave you on the cutting edge.

  5. Good luck, Mike. I will miss you with my morning coffee every morning. Up here in ‘uhmuricuh’s’ attic it is nice to read someone with a good sense of proportions about the goings-on in D.C. Get well soon and come back as relevant as ever. Your long-time fan, Bill.

  6. Good news – hip replacement is pretty speedy, not like knee replacement. You’ll be out dancing the jitterbug again before you know it.
    You’re my daily source of humor, enlightenment, and fine art – I hope you’ll be back soon.

  7. After your surgery you’ll be able to say “Hey, that’s ‘OK, BIONIC boomer’ to you, kid!” 🙂 Best of luck on your surgery, Mike.

  8. Mike, I second what everyone else has already said much more eloquently than I ever could. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  9. On the one hand, not seeing a new entry today indicates that perhaps they are already in the process.

    On the other hand, Mike’s got such a history of regularly meeting his deadline, it’s almost shocking not to see one.

    Fxngxrs crxssxd for speediest recovery.

  10. Old hippy to new hippy? Was worried when I didn’t see the new installment – you are a regular guy. Get well soon.

  11. Back out. Expect to be home tomorrow (Saturday) noonish.

    Thanks for all the good wishes. See you Sunday morning!

  12. Congratulations on your successful surgery Mike. It’s amazing that you’ll be back home today. Somehow I’m not surprised that you’ll be back here on Sunday. As others have said, I depend on your rational analysis of the comics mixed with humor, experience and ethics. I’ve missed even a couple of days!

Comments are closed.