CSotD: Small things that amuse my small mind

I’m going to start with something substantive before moving on to trivia today. I don’t entirely disagree with Mike Lester (AMS), but, then again, I don’t entirely agree with him, either.

The more argumentative point is that, from my side of things, we are paying for the Pigs in Space Race, based on the way the plutocrats avoid paying taxes.

I doubt Lester and I will ever agree on this point, but I go along with the idea that higher taxes on the superwealthy motivates them to reduce their tax burden by reinvesting both in their companies and in their workforce.

Studies show that trickledown has never worked to improve the lives of middleclass and lesser groups, and so lower taxes on the superwealthy costs the rest of us.

But I don’t expect universal agreement on anything in that realm: As the joke goes, if you laid 100 economists end to end, they wouldn’t reach a conclusion.

However, there is a more direct way in which our tax dollars are spent on behalf of the oligarchs: Amazon’s high turnover rate and low pay are part of their corporate planning, which brings in the welfare factor.

This is not unique to Amazon but it is certainly a consequence of a minimum wage which is not a living wage. Taxpayers end up subsidizing the cost of workers at Amazon and other companies.

So, yes, we paid for that ride, in my humble opinion, if not Lester’s.

The issue of subsidizing Olympic sports probably brings us closer together, at least about any funding that specifically supports participation in the Olympics. I’d have linked this well-documented Olympic-sized rant from the Guardian earlier if I’d seen it earlier, but it’s worth reading now.

Note that, aside from the Olympics, I don’t object to supporting amateur and semi-amateur sports along with ballet, theater, orchestras and art museums. Entertainment is part of the social structure, and the social structure is worth public investment.


And I’m fully in agreement with Stephen Collins that perhaps Olympic sports have gone a bit beyond their original vision. Don’t miss the rest of this cartoon.

Which is silly enough to lead us on to lighter topics:


Thank you, thank you, Frazz (AMS) for voicing my opinion of podcasts, using two characters to sum up my twin problems.

I’m ADD, so, like the kid, I can’t stay focused for the length of most podcasts. I can’t do audiobooks, either. Mental drift happens when I’m reading, as well, but, in a book, it’s easier to go back to where your brain checked out.

I also have no patience for listening to people giggle and make inside jokes and go galumphing off in irrelevant directions. Podcasts don’t have to be scripted, but podcasters need to be disciplined, and most podcasts need to be edited, wisely if not heavily.

Or, at least, they need to be if they want me to listen to them.

We’ll stick with Frazz for this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Daddy’s Home – AMS)


(Frazz – AMS)

I still object to being on an electronic leash, comparing my cell phone to the engraving on the tag on the collar of a puppy Alexander Pope presented to the Prince of Wales, “I am His Majesty’s dog at Kew. Pray tell me, Sir, whose dog are you?”

However, retirement has eased that, while, for all the conversations at the park interrupted by calls people have to take, we have many more that gain focus because someone was able to nail down a fact the way this girl brings Caulfield back from his off-target ramble.

It’s not infallible. The other day, I remarked that a particularly odd little dog looked like Bertie the Bunyip, only to find nobody there knew who I was talking about. But I Googled up a picture and they agreed he did, though they still had no idea who Bertie was.

I checked him out further when I got home and discovered that, not only do you have to be 70 to remember him (as several of us were) but you had to be a 70-year-old veteran of Philadelphia-area local TV (as only I was, and then only when visiting my grandparents).

Which demonstrates the difference between looking something up and doing actual research. Nobody would have wanted to hear me go on about Sally Starr, Gene London, Pixanne, Chief Halftown and the rest.


I’d be a little surprised if many readers took the time to Google “coprolite” when they read today’s Argyle Sweater (AMS), and Scott Hilburn may be guilty of being too smart for the room.

I knew what it was because, when I was an editor in Maine, one of our local jewelers collected the stuff, and he had one the size of a cow flop, which meant it had probably been a dinosaur flop.

The term is related to “coprophagia,” which, back at the park, is a trait in some people’s dogs that they cite as a reason for enforcing the scoop law, though I have argued that it is a reason we probably don’t have to. But, then, my dog isn’t coprophagous.

(Yes, relax. I scoop.)

Quick takes

Obviously, the girl in this Loose Parts (WPWG) is not a James Bond fan, or she’d ask him to switch places.


Today’s Big Nate (AMS) reminds me of when kids came to the door peddling their various fundraisers. I’d simply answer, “I have a son who plays hockey,” and they’d say, “Oh, sorry. How much do you need?”

Which is a joke, but one time he went out fundraising himself, and a snowstorm came up. He got back an hour later, drenched and covered in heaps of wet, heavy snow and I asked him why he hadn’t come home when it started.

“They all felt sorry for me,” he smiled, and pulled a damp wad of bills out of his pocket.

Nate would be so proud!


Finally, the Lockhorns (KFS) create a gag less wonderful for the momentary laugh as for the fact that it’s going to stick in my brain and come up every time the phrase does.


Now, live from Tokyo:

9 thoughts on “CSotD: Small things that amuse my small mind

  1. With the Billionaire Space Race, it can be argued that they ARE investing in their companies.
    Not in the core specialization of their companies, obviously, but they’re building their own launch systems, etc.

  2. Thanks for the call outs to all the amazing Philadelphia based children’s shows. Having grown up just outside of Phila, I watched them all.

    My favorite, far and away, was Gene London. For those who did not get to watch his show, the program consisted of London inviting children into a general store he worked at to sit around him and listen to stories that he illustrated by drawing pictures.
    He was beloved for the same reason Mr. Rodgers was beloved … he never talked down to the children.

    He was gay and everyone at the station knew that and did not care. But when a new Program Director came to town, the show ended by a thousand cuts. He had shows 7 days a week and 2 on Sundays. When the show was cancelled – there was only 1 show on Sundays – and not for lack of viewers or advertisers. In Phila area, it has always been believed this happened because the Program Director was opposed to a gay man being that close to children. He then became a successful costume designer and amassed a 60,000-piece collection of Hollywood costumes. He just recently pass away at 88.

    Very fond memories …

  3. Thanks, David. I’ll try to be alert to videos of Gene London. Sounds like a treasure, and I’m glad he was able to go on to a rewarding second career after that nasty business from the Program Director.

  4. Thanks, David! I’d like to link the video on my Twitter, and if it’s okay with you, could I use the information you provided above? (I could credit you, leave you out of it, or just be vague about it, as you wish.) Anyway, I enjoyed the link a good deal.

  5. As a 70-something Philly TV watcher, how could you leave out Willy the Worm?! (“Roll’em, Newton!)

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