CSotD: Just Shoot Me

Matt Davies (AMS) decries the difficulty of getting on the list for vaccination, and it’s an even better metaphor if you know that claw machines are programmed to drop things. Sometimes the claw is set to grip well, sometimes it’s set to be loose, so skill is secondary to when you drop in your quarters.

I would assume part of that intentional setting involves calculating the odds that, on the turns the claw is set to grip, the operator will be six years old and won’t get close to anything anyway.

I don’t know how the scheduling app for Long Island works, but I scheduled my vaccination on the CDC’s site and it seemed to be set to confuse anyone who wasn’t fairly computer savvy.

Given who was eligible for the vaccine, it was like working the opposite demographic end of the claw machine’s strategy: The likely operators wouldn’t stand a chance.


I’m not sure of all the frustrations currently involved in Australia’s efforts, but I’d recommend you click here and read First Dog’s full explanation, because it will likely make you feel better about whatever’s going on where you live.

Meanwhile, here in the Granite State, our governor heard the complaints about the CDC site, abandoned it and ordered a statewide site set up instead, but I don’t know how well that one works, because I had already persisted and gotten my first appointment, upon which they handed me a card for my second.

Which I got, but you’ve only got my word for it, because the only thing they gave me was a Band-Aid, which brings us to this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Bob Gorrell – Creators)


(A.F. Branco – Creators)

I guess you could say opinions vary on the benefits of being able, and occasionally required, to use an app on your Smart Phone to prove you’ve been vaccinated .

It’s either a sign of a Nazi government, or it’s the Mark of the Beast.

For about four years, seeing Nazis everywhere became way too realistic, but I think now we’re back to Godwin’s Law where it simply means there’s no point in further conversation.

And I hadn’t seen anyone identify barcodes as Satanic in about 40 years, though admittedly I’ve made an active effort to avoid such people. Still, I would think that the paranoid belief that the covid vaccine includes an RFID chip would cover that aspect of things.

In any case, I find it amusing that the people screaming loudest about requirements to prove you’ve been vaccinated are the same ones pushing for more restrictive Voter ID.

Particularly since I can give you 500,000 reasons to get vaccinated and they can’t provide 50 reasons to fret over voter fraud.

Meanwhile, Sage Stossell  simply celebrates the relief of becoming safe from the disease, though her metaphor includes an unintended caution: If your dog tangles with a fox or some other potentially rabid beastie, the vet is going to strongly recommend some kind of booster.

Similarly, being vaccinated is very good, but you still have to be cautious.

My only objection to a Vaccine Passport is that, while it seems like an excellent way to identify people who seem safe for admission to nightclubs, movie theaters, sports venues and suchlike, apps appear pretty easy to fake, as this poor sap discovered.

It’s not that he trusted an app on the Apple store, though their response of “SX2BU” certainly seems inadequate. I suspect they’ve made an actionable assurance of security.

But his real mistake was sinking his entire life’s savings into Bitcoins, which could collapse tomorrow without any help from scammers or Apple.

It’s important to diversify! He should have only had a third of his savings in Bitcoins, with another third in baseball cards and the final third in Beanie Babies, with perhaps some mint, carefully packaged comic books and a few NFTs as a hedge against a collapse in those other segments of the economy.

While, speaking of paranoid delusions, here’s a

Juxtaposition of Why Thugs Beat Up Old Asian Ladies

(Lisa Benson – WPWG)


(Chip Bok – Creators)

The World Health Organization is about to release the results of its investigation of how the coronavirus began, and early reports are that they traced it, not to an evil plot by evil Chinese people, but to game farms involved in China’s bushmeat markets.

Which, BTW, were an alternative to poaching of wild animals, including endangered species like pangolins.

But Benson and Bok are determined to portray it as a Yellow Peril plot, so Benson dismisses the findings as a cover for mad Chinese scientists, while Bok declares that it is not racist to believe and advance illogical, racist explanations.

Xiao Zhen Xie, the 75-year-old woman who gained attention for fighting off a violent, anti-Asian bigot on the sidewalk in San Francisco, has announced plans to donate the $1 million in donations that poured in for her to a fund to help fight anti-Asian bigotry.

Perhaps she could set up an early retirement program for some of our super spreaders. After all, Typhoid Mary spent the last 23 years of her life in a cottage on an isolated island in the East River.

I understand Little St. James Island in the US Virgin Islands might be available, and it’s lovely.


Can’t we talk about something more pleasant?

There have been all sorts of comments about teaching in the pandemic from people who haven’t the slightest.

I’ve not only got teachers in my family but I’ve visited hundreds of classrooms, and so I’m not only delighted that NPR is running cartoons, but I’m particularly delighted with this one: The inside skinny from a for-real teacher, illustrated by LA Johnson, and that link to her reveals an archive of similar stories, which NPR should be promoting more.

I recall talking to a group of teachers after class about the need for a new act every day, tying it into the “they only work half a year” nonsense.

“Nobody asks how many days a year Frank Sinatra works,” I said.

To which one of them responded, “And we don’t get to do it with a glass of scotch in our hands.”


5 thoughts on “CSotD: Just Shoot Me

  1. I don’t think believing that China created or otherwise intentionally released the virus is inherently racist, though most would likely agree that it’s a red flag for racist beliefs. The main problem with the statement in his cartoon is specifically referring to it as “the China Virus”, a label that is not medically precise and includes the nation of origin as if that provides meaningful information about a virus that has already run rampant across every other nation.

    Likewise, the main issue with his cartoon is that literally nobody is throwing out claims of racism in response to someone just saying they think China did it on purpose – he’s (almost certainly intentionally) tossing out context to give his argument legs.

  2. “Given who was eligible for the vaccine, it was like working the opposite demographic end of the claw machine’s strategy: The likely operators wouldn’t stand a chance.”

    Ali Solomon did a /New Yorker/ panel on just this point last month: https://www.newyorker.com/cartoons/daily-cartoon/wednesday-february-24th-claw-vaccine

    I can claim to be web-savvy (put up my personal pages in 1994) and navigating the NY state site was still tricky, mostly because it was very busy (sometimes crashing mid-task) and sometimes said a site had no appointments available when in fact there were a few. They use the CDC card and put a sticker (with vaccine lot number) on it after each shot.

  3. And teachers also can face some pretty hostile audiences, day in and day out, depending on who’s in the class that day.

  4. On occasion, I will look up a cartoonist to see what the real life human who does the work actually looks like. I confess, I tend to look up political cartoonists in what I suppose is simply morbid curiosity.

    And morbid curiosity brought me to look up Lisa Benson only to find, as far as I can tell, there are no easily accessible pictures of Ms. Benson available on line. Does political cartoonist Lisa Benson actually exist? Is Lisa Benson just Gary Varvel in disguise? An inquiring mind is kind of curious.

  5. Women cartoonists get enough creepy and misogynistic abuse, regardless of their political stances or artistic talent, that it is not remarkable for them to attempt to preserve some personal privacy. I’m a little more surprised at those who step out and engage on a personal level rather than letting their work speak for itself and for them.

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