CSotD: Comic Relief

I’ll admit to spending a fair amount of time going through my memories, which is okay because I’ve got a fair amount of them, both significant and very, very trivial.

This Bizarro (KFS) sparked one of the latter.

My freshman year phys ed instructor in college was one of those profs who sets himself as the universal standard — Professor Kingsfield in sweats. When we did our tennis rotation, he instructed us to get a can of balls and put our names on them with Magic Markers, which I did.

With Day-Glo Magic Markers, in psychedelic font, colored all over. Fortunately for his heart, it was spring semester by which time he had pretty much given up on being shocked and appalled.

I also made a hitchhiking sign saying “Chicago” in that font that summer, in order to go see Jefferson Airplane and Iron Butterfly at the Electric Theater. Someone pointed out that few drivers would be able to read it, but I preferred to address the ones who could.

I just dipped into the files to find out when that concert happened (July 24, 1968), and also found this, from May. It’s very much in keeping with the spirit of the times, and of that Bizarro.

Ah, good times!



Pardon My Planet (KFS) touches off a rant about icthyological numbskullery, specifically that The Arbiters of Oceanic Languages have decided we can no longer talk about “starfish” because those creatures are not actually fish but echinoderms, and therefore must hereafter be called “sea stars.”

To more accurately reflect the fact that they are echinoderms consisting of gigantic balls of superheated glowing gas.

These soulless strippers of imagery have apparently not yet noticed that seahorses, in fact, are not horses.

And that the Pacific Ocean is often storm-tossed.

As far as I’m concerned, if they are truly icthyologists, they should confine themselves to studying fish, and not mess around with other things that live in the ocean but are not fish and that are only called fish out of some misguided, romantic belief that nature is beautiful and inspiring.


Pardon My Planet, meanwhile, wages its own war on colorful jargon, but with a sense of humor.

Which makes this a different kettle of fish and echinoderms and other marine creatures.


I would also point out that, because astronomers have hearts and souls, the Moon is covered with oceans, none of which an icthyologist would approve of.

But Speed Bump (Creators) suggests that perhaps Mars once had the kind of oceans they would recognize, which is different than “approve of.”


The Academic Nitwit Watch continues, as Big Nate (AMS) discovers on the way to school that it’s his day for an oral report he thought was due a week later.

Lincoln Peirce leaves open the question of whether Nate would have put any greater effort into it had he known the schedule, but it made me think of an elementary school visit which I made to learn about technology in the classroom.

A fifth grade was unveiling their whiteboard presentations on the Roman Empire, some of which were quite good and, predictably, some of which were not quite good.

After each presentation, the kids were to ask the presenter three questions, and that was when I became truly impressed.

One little girl was very shy in narrating her piece, which was very, very technically fundamental, and I was afraid of how she would crumble under her classmates’ questions, but they were kind and gentle, lobbing her softball questions that she easily, though quietly, answered.

Then a kid got up whose presentation was a collection of bouncing letters and dramatic wipes and f-all about the actual Roman Empire, and my expectation was that he was a popular kid who would walk off scot-free.

Wrong. He’d have been better off having the teacher do the evaluation, because his classmates absolutely wiped the floor with his lazy ass, and it was merciful that they only got three questions with which to do it.

The kids are alright.

(And I just did the math and realized those kids are now in their early 20s.
Gotta love them Zoomers!)


Still on the topic of technology, Carpe Diem (KFS) offers a caveperson making a long-term prediction that, nevertheless, overshoots the present day.


It reminds me of this 1985 Mother Goose & Grimm (KFS) that was on our kitchen bulletin board back in the days when we — for some damn reason — had four dogs.

Spanking a dog with a newspaper was never the height of canine discipline, but it did have the benefit of plainly expressing disapproval without doing any actual harm.

But, however, much our attitudes towards positive vs. negative reinforcement have changed, you really can’t justify smacking your dog with a laptop or even a phone, and it seems silly to go to the grocery store and pick up one of those free shoppers just so you have a weapon handy.


Speaking of cavepeople, Stephen Collins (The Guardian) comes as close to politics as we’re going to get today with this truly wonderful anthropological study of how media began thousands of years ago and hasn’t changed a bit.

Unless someone says it has, in which case we should give their opinion equal space.


Finally — and, boy, do I mean “finally” — Radio Patrol wrapped up its latest storyline at KFS Vintage yesterday, and I thought that final panel seemed sudden and unforeshadowed.

Turns out they were wrapping up more than the storyline: December 16, 1950 was the last day for the strip, which may explain why, when the KFS folks couldn’t find a week’s worth of strips last week, I could only find one paper from which to snag them.

I’ll confess I was only reading it for the camp value and because I really get turned on by women with oddly domed foreheads, but apparently it was a very big deal at its height.

Comics Kingdom repeated this last episode this morning, but I’m among the fans hoping they’ll start it over again. It may be campy but it’s a lot of fun.

Now, for the icthyologists: Here’s how I learned the science.


5 thoughts on “CSotD: Comic Relief

  1. I’ve been following Collins since I first saw him in your column – thanks – but where did today’s come from? His piece on the Guardian website today is about the inner angst of Christmas trees.

  2. The news clip from 1968 was a hoot. An accurate description of the incident but obviously the editor allowed the reporter to express some personality in the story. Sad to say we probably won’t see such writing again.

  3. That was the Trib. They hated us.

    There was a crew of politicos who sat around the snack bar each morning doing the Trib’s very good crossword puzzle while we plotted the end of the war and voter registration and suchlike, but we made sure we grabbed an abandoned copy and didn’t throw any money their way.

    On accounta we hated them, too.

  4. SSSHHHhheeeaa … Too much man! Trip. That sharp mental blunt white guys in periodical popcorn set me flashin’. An’ Bozo ! Brother, you’re so dang cool.

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