Last time I was at Yellowstone, I passed a jogger, then came over a hill and saw a herd of bison, so I slowed down until the jogger caught up so that he could keep my microbus between himself and the beasts, for which he — a park employee — thanked me.
Bison, like moose, are particularly dangerous because they are huge, short-sighted, defensive and not awfully intelligent. You might not expect city people to know that, but, then again, you might expect them to read the warnings posted.
You can’t save some people from their own lack of common sense: She got within 10 feet of the beast.
I hope they were both wearing masks.
Though, speaking of biffalo-buffalo-bisons, Adam Zyglis gives out some advice from the other end of caution, despite the City of Buffalo encouraging people to use the parks for recreation and recommending either wearing a mask or staying six feet apart.
I’ll suspend judgment because I don’t know how crowded the parks get in Buffalo. I might mask up if I had to walk my dog on the Esplanade in Boston, but I certainly don’t bother here in semi-rural New Hampshire, where we don’t come within six feet of each other even in healthy times.
Maybe that’s one of those Yankee things, but I’ve lived in five other states and none of them were particularly smoochy.
But better safe than sorry and if your parks are crowded, one of those disposable masks won’t hinder you a lot and will certainly protect you from the virus in an outdoor venue.
No mask will protect you from your own stupidity, of course, so don’t repeatedly come within 10 feet of a bison.
And if you have to be told that, there’s probably no point in telling you that.
Which brings us to this spectacularly apt cartoon by Ann Telnaes that sums up the way politics has overwhelmed science.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, whose state is one of those which has seen an explosion of cases, says Fauci “doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” which epitomizes the Trump Party’s position that, if you don’t say what I wanted to hear, you’re obviously wrong.
After all, Trump has starred in a reality TV show and Patrick has been a talk-show host, while Fauci is only the country’s leading expert on infectious diseases, so there you go.
It’s an extension of George Wallace’s attack on “pointy-heads who couldn’t ride a bicycle straight,” and on his appeal to the very worst in people, which, after all, enabled him to carry Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia in the 1968 presidential race.
That, and his open contempt for minorities, plus his ability to strut like a little bantam rooster, looking for a fight.
In the old movies, people only obeyed a bully because they feared him, and even if, as in “High Noon,” they let the hero face the bully alone, they were eager to be released from the bully’s control.
But in the past few decades, we’ve seen the rise of bullies like Dirty Harry Callaghan and anti-heroes like John Rambo who oppose intellectuals as much as — perhaps more than — they oppose violent criminals.
And, BTW, if you laughed at the racist, misogynistic jokes in “Animal House,” you’re not part of the solution.
Meanwhile, Max Boot comes to the party a bit late with this column, in which he compares our current situation, to the movie “Idiocracy,” making him only two or three years behind everyone else.
When it becomes obvious to national columnists, it’s time to worry.
Jen Sorensen explores the many ways in which militant ignorance and a contempt for science exhibits itself.
As she points out, it’s not always a Republican/Democrat party split, and there is a strong streak of apolitical, uninformed ignorance that includes fear of vaccinations and believes in nonsensical alternatives to sensible, proven treatment.
The good news being that Dear Leader, having — as RJ Matson points out — found himself abandoned by a large contingent of his crew, has moderated his position on masks.
Though he says he thinks the mask makes him look like the Lone Ranger, which, as Ed Hall suggests, shows his dogged insistence on preserving a reputation for stunning ignorance, either of pop culture or of how to wear the mask.
Thing is, we can be as stubbornly ignorant as we want to be, but when it starts to threaten other nations, they stop laughing and take action to protect themselves, as Ed Wexler points out.
Being barred from the EU is humiliating, but there is a bright side in that it’s the sort of ground-level consequence that just might wake up a few more people.
And from the Motherland, Alex points out that working in the office involves a lot of wasted time and suggests working at home is equally efficient.
Though there’s always an ulterior motive in the strip, which is what makes it so much fun.
The unfunny part, and the part that may further awaken some people, is that Florida State sent out an announcement that people working remotely must no longer care for their children at home during those working hours.
Then, according to the Lily, they clarified that they didn’t mean the nobility; only the peasants:
They specified that the policy only “applies to employees whose job duties require them to be on campus full-time during normal business hours,” and specifically excludes professors.
To which the obvious response is ” … and the horse you rode in on.”
While my favorite furious Aussie cartoonist, First Dog on the Moon, suggests an unspoken ” … and the kangaroo you hopped in on” for all those media types searching for the story they’ve already written:
Finally, I’d suggest that …
If it took Max Boot this long to catch up with “Idiocracy,” he’s got no chance of understanding today’s Reality Check.
Here y’go, Max. This’ll help: