CSotD: Live Free or Die

A leftover from yesterday, this Pajama Diaries has been rattling around in my consciousness for a couple of reasons.

One is that, as Terri Libenson brings the comic to a close — there’s only two weeks left — I’m going to really miss it but I suspect that she, like Jill, is doing a little housecleaning, mentally and physically.

And, by the way, I’m going to miss the strip but I’m glad she’s shutting it down rather than dribbling it out for the money or handing it over to someone who simply can’t possibly share her vision.

Comic strips and TV shows should have expiration dates, though I recognize I’m in a minority on that.

People loved M*A*S*H even after Hotlips stopped being an irritant and became a member of the team, and they enjoyed picking up the catchword of the week once Seinfeld stopped being more than a source for that.

For my part, I admire Blackadder and wish all cartoonists and TV writers were charged with that challenge: You write a finite number of episodes, then it ends, but if you can come up with another concept, you’re welcome to give it a shot.

The other thing is that I’m with Jess: Those calendars are an archive, and my mother, bless her heart, agreed.

We had a stack of old Peanuts calendars in the basement and when it was time to clean them out, my mother bought a bunch of those hardbound birthday books — one for each of us kids — and transcribed not just the births and deaths and weddings of the past few generations, but little things like when I played Koko in “The Mikado” (April 14, 1967) and when they held the dog sled races in our hometown (February 3, 1963).

Hang on to them, Jess.


I’ve also been chuckling over Sunday’s Retail, but, while Pajama Diaries gave me warm fuzzies, this one gives me a chill.

Corporate would set circulation goals for us based not on what we could achieve but on what they needed to cover their asses, which included not just their seven-figure bonuses but the increasing leveraged debt in their blind acquisition of more newspapers.

The final insult came when they sent out a Corporate VP and a board member to analyze our circulation department and then give us a set of recommendations that had clearly been drawn up before they got on the plane.

Within six months of that dumb show, I had found another job, and, within six months of my leaving, my boss was handed the cardboard box for failure to achieve goals no intelligent person would have set.

At which point — are you listening, Marla? — we were both much happier than we had been in years.

“Live free or die, boys. Death is not the worst of evils.” — John Stark


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Christopher Weyant)


(Peter Schrank)

There have been many cartoons featuring the statue of Lincoln, since the Republicans held some kind of poll in which Trump was declared a better president.

It’s a comparison so nonsensical as to invite mockery rather than refutation.

However, like the Access Hollywood tape, like the mockery of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, like the insults to Christine Blasey Ford and, more recently, John Dingell, it bounces off.

And we’ve already come to grips with the fact that his so-called Christian followers routinely ignore the teachings of Christ, but it was stunning to hear him compared to Jesus on the floor of Congress while few challenged that blasphemy.

Nor was there a public cry of outrage when Mike Huckabee suggested that Trump could have a third term as president.

If you think “Cult of Personality” is simply a song by Living Colour, you’re missing the clues to where we’re headed.

I’m beginning to suspect that it would be easier to make Lincoln’s statue walk and talk than to get the mass of American people to rise up and do the same.


It’s the same the whole world over

(Matt Bors)


(First Dog on the Moon)

We might be in a better position to resist if we didn’t see the same blind cruelty and short-sighted, self-serving policies spreading in other countries.

Matt Bors mocks those who see a lesson and a warning in the recent UK elections, in which an extreme candidate appears to have either driven voters to stay home or to vote for Boris Johnson despite not wanting Brexit.

But First Dog in the Moon (go read the rest) cites the Teenies as the worst decade in Australian history, and, while his specifics are anchored in their particular failures, his furious despair could well be brought to these shores.

It seems to me a good time to be furious without being foolish, and that the four actual years of Bland Biden which pragmatic analysis suggests is possible would be better than four nonexistent years of an idealistic candidate who, the same analysis suggests, has no more chance of being elected than George McGovern or William Jennings Bryan.

I suppose we’ll see, but I’d rather see the youth movement coalesce around something that could happen than around something that won’t.



Marty Two-Bulls reminds us that we don’t need to get caught up in the vulgarity and exploitation of the season, but can remain apart and take comfort in the beauty offered.

The battle will wait a few days while we reinforce our spirits.