CSotD: Alone (and yet alive)

J.D. Crowe extends the invitation and we should all accept it and gather together, separately.

I’m good with that. I’ve worked at home for the past decade and I don’t miss going into the office.

But even JD Salinger used to come into town once in awhile to check his mail and have a cup of coffee.

Today’s blog title is a reference to this solo from “The Mikado,” a rare instance in which Gilbert & Sullivan extended some sympathy to one of their comic stock characters, the unwanted woman.

Hearts do not break!
They sting and ache
For old love’s sake
But do not die
Though with each breath
They long for death
As witnesseth
The living I!


Nor, as this fellow in Alex testifies, is this intense desire to belong limited to romance, though I have to admit far more sympathy for Katisha than for this chap, partially because it is my nature to begin with, and largely because I was specifically warned off by my grandfather, who wrote, in a letter of advice to his descendants:

I recall an incident that occurred while I was winning the war in South Carolina in early 1918. A brother shavetail suggested one day that I become a Mason. In answer to my query of why, he said, “When you get out of this army you will undoubtedly go to work on some job where it will be necessary to call on important people, either to sell something or to get them to agree to some proposal, and when you can reach up to your lapel and expose a Masonic pin the man across the desk will be more likely to cooperate.”

“But,” I replied, “I intend to be the man on the other side of the desk.”

Which he became, making his advice on the subject that much more credible.

I’ve never been the man on the other side of the desk nor had any real desire to be him, but, on the other hand, I’ve managed to position myself not to require a lot of unearned favors, which was more the point.


Lisa Benson worries that having people work at home will put undue stress on the economy, but, from what I’ve seen, only those who can practically work from home are being told to.

The worst outcome I can see from that is more conference calls, and a need to sandwich work in around childcare and other necessary duties.

I mentioned the other day that we take breaks at work and should be able to take them at home, too, and then ran into a fellow at the park who normally works in Boston.

He’d told the folks back there that he was taking a half hour break, then leashed up his dog for a walk. Somehow the company has remained in business, as far as I know.

Not everyone can do that, of course, and my health-worker offspring are going into the office. I’ve also noticed a surge of on-line sympathy for grocery store checkers and other low-level-but-essential personnel, along with sympathy for non-essential people who have been either laid off or simply not given any hours.


Clay Jones notes that the necessary bailouts for workers don’t seem to be drawing the same cries of “Socialism!” that they garnered prior to the crisis, at which point they began to be offered to the people who had been criticizing them.

He also notes, in his essay, that $1,000 won’t cover a month’s rent for most recipients of this socialist largess.

Several state governments have passed laws forbidding evictions during the crisis, but I haven’t seen any that explain what happens when we return to business as usual and everybody is four months behind.


And while we’re on the topic, despite whatever Dear Leader imagines happened the other day, the Defense Production Act was signed by Harry Truman in 1950.

The law he invoked — not “signed” — provides the central government with the power to dictate production goals to manufacturing companies, which takes us from a “socialist” to a “communist” system.

That would simply be a gotcha game if we weren’t already staging a Red Scare to avoid helping people who need help.

Oh well. I’m pretty sure the Deplorables will accept the money and will not protest Big Government interfering with private enterprise.


Most conservative cartoonists — though not all — have recognized that the coronavirus issue is neither a fraud nor a hoax, and Michael Ramirez capitalizes on the gathering of jackasses in Florida to get in a semi-political jab at the entitled.

Someone on social media compared the interviews with spring break people with those late-night comedy bits where they go out on the street to find ignorant fools to interview.

They never show the unedited tape where plenty of people intelligently answer the questions, but, in the case of going down the beach to talk to spring breakers, you have the advantage of the imbeciles having self-selected on your behalf.

There are far more intelligent, socially responsible college students at home, and it would be unfair to suggest that the fools on the beach represent much of anything.

Except that they represent those who are not only failing to make a contribution to assist in quelling the pandemic but whose foolishness will help to keep it alive.

I’m quite sure that these are the same fools who never vote.

Maybe we should offer free beer on South Padre Island and then simply cut off the bridge and wait for the Pitcairn Island Effect to sort things out.


In the meantime …

Bob Moran offers good advice, and here are some pleasant distractions while we await the return of normalcy:

Sean Martin is gathering his short stories onto a single site to make them handier to read.


And Christopher Baldwin offers the choice of following Bruno or Little Dee or Spacetrawler from their first episodes forward.


While football fans are invited to join NFL GamePass for free and enjoy features and replays in place of live sports.


3 thoughts on “CSotD: Alone (and yet alive)

  1. They are also the same fools who won’t die of Covid-19 – they’ll just spread it to others who will.

  2. Dear Sir, thank you and almost all political cartoonists (there are a few who are standing by their MAGA guy) for providing humor during quarantine conditions. You’re the rays of sunshine in a pretty bleak world. If we lose the ability to see humor despite horror then more than a virus has gotten us. Thanks a bunch and please keep us chuckling and thinking about the chuckle heads around us!

  3. So, that’s what all those guys trying to get something from me were doing fiddling with their lapels!

    Just kidding. I was never on that side of the desk either, but I muddled through without being a Mason (although I bought some Mason shoes).

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