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CSotD: We’ve had a problem

Starting with a cheat: This is yesterday’s Brewster Rockit, but I’m featuring it today because it contains an important factor, which is defiant accuracy.

The pop-culture-overused-cliche-quote is “Houston, we have a problem,” but that’s not what he said, which matters for two reasons.

One is that no test pilot — and that’s what astronauts were in those days — would ever say “We have a problem” because his mind is already coming up with solutions, and because, while the effects of the problem may be ongoing, he’s focused on how it happened, which is key to solving it.

And, if it doesn’t get solved, he’s making sure it doesn’t happen again to the next crew.

The other reason it matters is that it is what he said rather than what people think he said, which gets us into truth and facts and stuff like that.

There is, among a certain group of people who fancy they are smart but perhaps know they really aren’t, an urge to come up with factoids to inflate their fragile self-worth.

 

As stated by Merriam Webster themselves, Norman Mailer invented the word specifically to mean #1, and so it’s only logical that it ended up also meaning #2.

A good example of what I’m talking about is the oh-so-intelligent notion that when JFK said …

Two thousand years ago, the proudest boast was civis romanus sum [“I am a Roman citizen”]. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is “Ich bin ein Berliner!”… All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words “Ich bin ein Berliner!”

… he had foolishly misspoken, because Germans refer to jelly doughnuts as “berliners.”

Which usage is only somewhat true, but, more to the point, is not how anyone would — and certainly not how anyone did — take Kennedy’s words.

Unless they were complete idiots, for instance, the type of idiots who think they’re smarter than anyone else, QED.

So good on Brewster Rockit for getting the quote right, and, given how silly the strip is on most days, it’s proof that to play the fool well, you cannot actually be a fool.

 

A theory which, as Nick Anderson suggests, we are putting to the test as we speak.

The point being that, while Brewster Rockit got the quote right, the vast majority of people believe, and will continue to believe, the phrase was “Houston, we have a problem.”

And the wiseasses among them will continue to believe that JFK declared himself a jelly doughnut.

And there are many, many people believing that the coronavirus is no worse than a bad cold and that they can gather at church in safety and that the restrictions being placed upon them are a liberal plot to undermine Dear Leader’s authority.

 

Which would lead to foolish behaviors that, as Gary Markstein suggests, could ultimately raise the composite IQ of the nation.

But, alas, that Darwinism only works if they stay in one place and don’t infect more intelligent, less gullible people.

We ought, out of common decency if not some sense of religious charity, to pity the drunkard who races down the wrong side of the Interstate, but, even without that shred of conscience, we have an affirmative obligation to safeguard the innocent people who are driving on the proper side of that highway.

We also, as a society that cares about the safety of the nation, have an obligation to make sure these gullible nitwits do not outnumber sensible, thinking people at the polls in November.

 

An issue Clay Jones addresses, involving the aforementioned would-be geniuses who understand the electoral process in the same way they understand JFK’s speech, and are determined to prove their superior intelligence by rejecting the results of the Democratic primaries.

To be honest, I’m not nearly as blown away by his cartoon as by the rant that accompanies it, but since this blog is not called “Furious Rant of the Day,” I’ll simply link to it and strongly recommend you go enjoy his righteous anger.

The hope, of course, is that the whining on this side of the aisle is coming from a handful of grasshoppers whose noise is only representative of the little, shriveled, meagre, hopping, though loud and troublesome insects of the hour.

 

Meanwhile, Steve Breen notes the president’s insistence on surrounding himself with a loyal staff, “loyal” meaning compliant and unlikely to confront him with troubling facts.

It’s hardly an empty accusation, as Trump not only continues to fire troublesome staffers and hire toadies, but has ramped up his war on the Lugenpresse.

He has begun assuring his followers that the standard leaks that are even more necessary during a paranoid, loyalty-obsessed administration are part of a plot against the nation.

 

More frightening, as his usually sycophantic network finds itself unable to continue to ignore plain facts, Dear Leader has shifted his own loyalty to a fringe-right shell network that is, appropriately, one letter away from Onan.

All of which could be very amusing if there weren’t beginning to be a plume of smoke coming from the Reichstag.

 

The president’s current attempt to close down the USPS would perhaps not seem as purposeful as Rex Jones suggests if it were not accompanied by attacks from the White House on the idea of voting by mail, in which he makes ludicrous, clearly false accusations on a par with his previous delusional visions from 2016 of busloads of illegal voters in New Hampshire and millions of the same in California.

Does he genuinely believe this idiocy?

Or is he purposefully attempting to delude the Deplorables?

What difference would it make, if the end result were to suppress a substantial percentage of the vote in November?

If you think the upcoming elections will be a landslide and a righteous denunciation of Trump and all his works and all his pomps, you have a naive estimation of the number of Deplorables out there.

 

You are not simply re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic, but on the S.S. St. Louis.

 

Community Comments

#1 Michael
April/14/2020
@ 10:14 pm

I can’t blame Trump for the Coronavirus but blame him for the lies he told and the late entry in finally doing something. Plus he appointed 2 guys to deal with this mess: VP Mike Pence and son in law Kushner. Two of the least competent individuals ever. Pence doesn’t even believe in health insurance. He believes in Jesus and if you get sick just pray to Jesus and hope you get better. Kushner is just a slumlord and not qualified to do anything.

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