Arlo plays the old gaffer yet again.
I was going to make a joke about how “Seven O’Clock Straight Up” means “without ice,” but, then again, we’re living in a world where people assume a martini is made with vodka.
And I grew up in a world in which not only is a martini, by definition, made with gin, but with an olive. If you put an onion in it, it becomes a Gibson.
A lemon twist is acceptable; waving the vermouth bottle over a glass of gin is pretentious.
Shake it, strain it, serve it straight up in a glass that allows you to hold the stem so the drink stays cold.
That’s a martini, straight up, and you don’t have to wait until seven o’clock, particularly if you get too hungry for dinner at eight.
As for clock hands pointing straight up, I don’t see analog clocks very often and it’s the point of the cartoon that some of us see them in our heads anyway, and some of us don’t.
Well, some of us understand maps and graphs and some of us don’t and an analog clock is simply another type of graph. If you tell me it’s 6:40, I picture a circle with 2/3rds filled in.
Otherwise, I guess it’s a math problem, like memorizing a series of street turns instead of picturing a map in your head.
As for kids not knowing how to tell time on an analog clock, I’ve visited a lot of schools and, whatever they’re doing about cursive writing, they’ve still got analog clocks on the walls and don’t tell me those kids don’t know when the bell is going to ring.
Even if they do grow up thinking martinis are made with vodka.
Okay, one more thing: Back in the late 60s, at a time when our respective dollars were out of synch, it became A Clever Thing for Canadians to smuggle gin by dumping it into a windshield wiper fluid jug along with some blue food coloring.
Being served a blue martini in Toronto would get some hip, knowing giggles.
At some point, an executive for Bombay gin must have seen this and recognized a marketing ploy.
Golly, do you think shaking blue-stained gin would bruise it?
Juxtaposition of the Week
Offered not just alphabetically but by date, a pair of cartoons on the permanent nature of bad decisions.
I’ve said enough times that, at 19, I contemplated a tattoo but realized I wouldn’t be the same person in 10 years. But Bizarro brings in a level of tackiness I hadn’t really contemplated.
That is, the ZigZag man would have been a bad choice, but at least it is a cool graphic.
But Wayno has the graphic chops to have made Teddy look good if he didn’t also have the intent of making it both a childish choice and a childish tat.
And, BTW, there are all sorts of perfectly competent tattoo artists who can still leave you with an excellently applied equivalent of those tacky big-eyed children paintings that were in everyone’s earth-toned, shag-carpetted living rooms a generation ago and are in attics if not thrift shops today.
Which brings us to Brevity, in which the kindest possible interpretation is that this man genuinely understands how much you can regret a foolish decision, though that’s obviously not the point of the gag.
There are a lot of cartoons at the moment about Roger Stone’s Nixon tattoo, but I had a flash of Barry Goldwater, who had a pair of lips tattooed on his butt as a gag, but who also had a small set of dots tattooed on the web between thumb and finger of one hand.
They signified his honorary membership in a native dance/religious group in Arizona and were a deep source of pride.
So when I saw a Latino co-worker with similar markings, I asked him if they were tribal indicators.
“No,” he said with some embarrassment, “just some cholo shit from when I was a kid.”
Speaking of which
I got a kick out of Marty Two-Bulls’ cartoon, which isn’t terribly subtle but packs a kick, particularly speaking of tribal dance/religious groups and being made an honorary member of one.
Mostly, it reminds me of going to the Taos Pueblo, which I thought was like a historic place but as it turned out is still where people live. We were greeted at the gate by some college students collecting admission money plus an extra charge for cameras.
I felt humiliated, though my understanding since is that the people there feel okay about collecting money from tourists.
Two Bulls also offers a more sweeping critique, which is that European religions can be just as seemingly arbitrary and superstitious, viewed from outside.
In both cases, they can be presenting a cultural history in symbolic terms that start with respect and then can get into analysis if you’d like.
A lot of oral histories turn out to be emperically true but, then again, requiring proof is a sign of disbelief, if not disrespect.
But mostly the same thing.
They recently discovered some bones in an underwater cave in Yucatan, and the report made me think that native fundamentalists will be pissed over archaeological probing into their origins.
Granted, Europeans have learned to live with beliefs and knowledge that don’t jibe, with religious origin stories that reflect culture, not paleontology.
Still, it’s easier to feel okay about it when nobody views your culture as “quaint” and “colorful.”
And it does bring to mind, on the 75th Anniversary of Iwo Jima, the line from “The Ballad of Ira Hayes,”
But he was just a Pima Indian
No water, no crops, no chance
At home nobody cared what Ira’d done
And when do the Indians dance?
Which seems like a pretty good place to stop, listen, respect and regret: