CSotD: They call it ‘Grouchy Monday’

Joy of Tech is pretty firmly on record as not respecting either Facebook or Twitter, but here they acknowledge not just the general scumminess but the addictive nature of unbridled social media.

I’m admittedly on the record as recognizing my own need for such places to both collect material for my writing and to promote the results.

I’m also willing to admit that some of my boycotts are simply stubborn and persnickety — I wonder if even the Oglala continue to refuse to buy Arizona Iced Tea, given the years and court battles and changes in ownership since the original corporate scumbuckets produced  “Crazy Horse” malt liquor.

And I mentioned yesterday that our local K-Mart and JCPenney are closing, which will force me to either drive 40 miles or so for that sort of shopping, go on-line to buy things or patronize our local Walmart.

I always knew there was something quixotic, if not downright silly, about shopping at K-Mart instead of Walmart, but we all make choices and silly, quixotic choices are better than drifting through a life unexamined.

But Facebook and Twitter are like Ma Bell in the Good Old Days, having wormed their technology into our lives to an extent that is hard to simply reverse without being even more quixotic and silly.

I take some comfort in that our grandkids have to be told about long distance phone calls and pay phones and other ancient practices of the days before Ma Bell’s grip was loosened and MCI’s competition helped dismantle the beast.

Which won’t happen under the current administration but good lord let’s make a list of things that won’t happen under the current administration. And then go vote.


Meanwhile, I think of Joy of Tech’s sniping as similar to the way Lily Tomlin mocked Ma Bell and helped grease the skids for its demise.

“We’re the phone company. We don’t care. We don’t have to.”

Perhaps someday Facebook and Twitter will have to start caring, but not if they’re accepted as part of the natural landscape in this best of all possible worlds.


Battling my own Canute

David Rowe recently depicted Trump as King Canute, and then yesterday I came across a CNN opinion piece that did the same, and both play upon a complete misunderstanding of the legend.

Canute ordered the tides to withdraw, not to vainly expect that he could, but to demonstrate to his groupies that, of course, he could not.

It was not a gesture of arrogance but one of humility.

Either way, it couldn’t work, and I wish Rowe had cited it as a lesson for Mitch McConnell and Trump’s other hangers-on and lickspittles, though, of course, the notion that Trump himself would even understand the lesson, much less administer it himself, is beyond laughable.

But it’s a delightful cartoon and so, while I won’t give Rowe kudos for it, I won’t slap him down, either. The fact is Trump can’t, and won’t, stop the wave that’s rising.

However, the fellow who wrote the CNN column begins by admitting his metaphor is mythical, which is not the same as admitting he got it bassackwards, only providing a link that does so.

I can’t help but suspect he’d written the whole column before someone in the editing chain said, “You know this isn’t how it went?”

At which point he added a disclaimer rather than tear it all up and start over again.

Just a guess.

Maybe he regularly writes columns based on metaphors that don’t support his premise.

And maybe he’d be more comfortable writing for the NYTimes editorial page, where, until recently, the editors didn’t bother to vet the material that appeared there. (Presumably the interim editor now will.)

Yes, I’m in a grouchy mood. Glad you noticed.


And I don’t just lash out at people with whom I disagree. I love Dog Eat Doug, but dammittal, Brian, Labrador retrievers are not working dogs, they’re in the sporting group.

The difference is that the sheep go out every day and working dogs have an intense energy level that can be harder to deal with than hunters, who — bless their laidback hearts — only rouse themselves when you do.


Which isn’t as egregious as today’s Argyle Sweater, another strip I very much like.

It doesn’t matter if the dog swings or not. If the pitcher pretends to throw the ball, it’s a balk and the dog gets to take first base.

Trust me. I spent much of my childhood discovering ways to get on base without hitting the ball.

Coaches kept telling me to choke up. Finally, when I was about 12, I ignored them and began gripping the bat down at the knob in order to get as much wood over the plate as possible, and started to hit a few singles and even some doubles.

Damn know-it-all coaches.

I’m still grouchy about that, too.


Thank god for this Juxtaposition of the Day




Imagine my delight this morning to find that two (2!) strips had gotten the “rotten apple” expression right.

If F-Minus is making a metaphorical comment, he’s suggesting that most apples are rotten and that it’s unfair to expect one or two good apples to make the necessary change.

I agree with the concept but I have a more optimistic view of police forces, in which most of the apples are good but — at least until now — have not been willing or able to speak up.

While over at Candorville, Darrin Bell one-ups my earlier discussion, in which I blamed “mold,” by citing the actual ripening agent that makes the rest of the apples go bad.

It’s almost as if he thinks things through and does a little research.

Is that permitted?


Indeed it is

Don’t bother pondering this New Yorker cover here.

Go here instead for an interactive version that tells you about each of the faces of the brutalized and murdered people in Kadir Nelson’s brilliant, well-researched portrait.

It’s enough to turn a grouchy morning right around.

Maybe the whole week? Let’s hope.


6 thoughts on “CSotD: They call it ‘Grouchy Monday’

  1. A lot has to happen to enable good cops to become the default, starting with “duty to intervene” laws and mandatory use of body cameras, but those are tools to prevent rather than tools of change.

    Note that the article says Buffalo police moved on while state police helped the old man. State Trooper applicants in New York are required to have 60 hours of relevant college courses, which, in my mind, would combine with enough freshman requirements, etc., to add up to a bachelors degree in most cases.

    My dealings with NYS Troopers have been generally positive and that level of basic requirement seems like a good starting point. Such officers would probably cost more, but you’d save money by not needing so much SWAT equipment and not facing as many lawsuits.

  2. Just a clarification on the balk rule, which I learned “OTJ” in my first year of organized ball over a half-century ago. (I didn’t feel too bad about never having heard of the rule though; it took the umps and coaches a while to figure it out too.) A balk advances runners already on base. There is no impact to the batter unless no one is on base. In that case, a “ball” is called. Therefore, the bases would need to be empty and the batter would need a count of 3 balls and “x” strikes in order to reach base on a balk, technically by a base-on-balls.

  3. I think a lot of people are confused about the meaning of bad apples because of The Osmonds’ 1970 hit song “One Bad Apple.” Their only experience with the term may have come from this song (or from people who had heard the song). It explicitly says that “One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch,” flipping the meaning through the power of pop culture to reach millions with a catchy tune.

    With that interpretation, whenever anyone uses the “bad apple” phrase, they see it supporting the idea that there’s not a widespread problem, and massive change isn’t needed. Others, using the original saying, use it to support the idea that the bad actors need to be rooted out, and that widespread change is needed. So both use the same phrase, but to opposite ends.

  4. Anyone who uses that pop culture flip has somehow never had to throw out an entire bag of fruit only hours after one started to go bad? Or maybe they just don’t have experience with apples and think they are the exception? Or maybe they think it’s about computers, since Apple has certainly produced some loosers but managed to become on of the world’s top companies anyway? I’m just confused when people take a turn of phrase over real world experience.

    On that note, flies love vinager, unless they are fruit flies in which case bad apples are the favorite. Maybe protesters should release fruit flies in police buildings…

Comments are closed.