CSotD: Friday Funnies come on a Friday this week!

In case you haven’t flown in two years or so, it hasn’t changed much, or, at least, there were no fistfights on my plane and nobody had to be subdued and duct-taped into their seat.

Nor, despite Mike Twohy’s New Yorker cartoon prediction, did anyone seem to get agitated about seatbacks. I reclined just enough to take the pressure off my spine, but the seat itself moved slightly forward and I don’t know how much I intruded on the person behind me, if at all.

I’ve long suspected that the complaints about seatbacks were coming from a part of the plane I can’t afford to ride in, since, back in the peasant section, they only go back about an inch and a half anyway.

I save my rage for the airports. Logan’s motto should be “No matter how far you’re flying, we’re gonna make you walk even farther.”

But that’s a rant for another day.


We’ll also save the Infrastructure conversation for a day when I’m doing politics, but I did have a conversation with my son about it, and one issue about public transportation comes up sideways in this Alex, because I suppose in a nation the size of the UK, you can have a reunion lunch rather than making a whole weekend of it.

You can drive about anywhere in a few hours there, which is also a major reason that you don’t have to.

As for retirement, it’s interesting to be in journalism, because, before the pandemic at least, it was about the only profession where — regardless of age — you could run into a former colleague and say, “So, are you still working?” and it wouldn’t be a rude question.

In fact, it often sparked an interesting story, though in our case, retirement is less a mark of having reached the summit so much as having reached the limit.

Which I think is even more worth bragging about. It’s kind of odd that the Great Resignation is being covered by the few reporters left who haven’t participated in it.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Adam@Home – AMS)


(Loose Parts – AMS)

Adam@Home has been celebrating the publication of his wife’s new book, and the hidden joke is that Rob Harrell has one just coming out himself, so we can assume he’s turning the barbs inward.

The connection between these two cartoons is probably just my own, but, as I’ve noted before, there’s a disturbing trend towards books that are more extruded than written, and the more aspiring authors and editors attend writers’ workshops and get MFAs, the worse it’s likely to become.

Books get praised for sounding like the books you’re supposed to praise, and I had a sudden flash of recognition the other day listening to NPR when they asked the author to read from her new book.

Every second sentence contained an evocative simile.

Constant Readers will know the scorn in which I hold the word “evocative,” but, dear lord, writers’ workshops and book clubs adore similes, mostly because, gosh, they’re so friggin’ evocative.

This list of bad similes has been going around the Intertubes for years, but I’m not sure they’re any less evocative than the ones currently filling the pages of extruded best sellers.


On the topic of storytelling, another New Yorker cartoon, this one by Lars Kenseth, brought to mind my efforts to adapt mythology and folk tales for classroom use.

In searching for folk tales from around the world, I wanted some wit and wisdom but found that, while Africa and Japan were endless fonts of both, a whole lot of cultures featured stories in which the solution was to kill the offender and not even in an ironic sense that might drive home a lesson.

And it wasn’t necessarily linked to levels of civilization: The Greeks built Western Civ, but a whole lot of their heroes became heroes simply by lopping off heads, and, as Kenseth suggests, the saga-style classics — Sigurd, Gilgamesh, Beowulf, whoever — were no more sophisticated in their problem-solving techniques.

Of course, those were only the best-sellers. We don’t know how many wonderfully insightful and sensitive sagas were never recited around the fire and so are forgotten today.

Murder and pillaging sell, and Homer was a master of the evocative simile.


Art also sells, and often for insane prices, but, as Stan, the cop in Pros & Cons (KFS) points out, there may be a reason for that.

And the best part is that, today, you don’t need a Monet in order to pull it off. You can simply doodle an image, proclaim it an NFT and sit back.

To observe without becoming part of the criminal enterprise, just Google “NFT money laundering” and you’ll have enough reading material for a week. Here’s one example, but there are pages and pages of them.


But now let’s end with a salute to good storytelling, as Buz Sawyer (KFS Vintage) wraps up one adventure and begins another, and includes the almost unheard of action in a comic strip of accounting for the kid.

Kids who are not the main characters in comics tend to appear and disappear seemingly at random. This is a bit of table-setting that shouldn’t deserve praise but is rare enough that it does.

Also, the story itself is likely to be worth reading, though Crane just wrapped up a short adventure that was high on his anti-commie agenda and a little low on action. But his artwork always justifies following the tale.



3 thoughts on “CSotD: Friday Funnies come on a Friday this week!

  1. Sorry your quest for kid-friendly sagas was less successful than you’d hoped, Mike, but (as they say) a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a metaphor?

  2. Was at his (JM’s, not JF’s) last USA concert before he went to Paris. Fallon is good; he does a great David Bowie, too. Is that an imitation Ray Manzarek on keyboard?

  3. “a man’s reach should exceed his grasp”

    Or, for those who think one should inhale more pot than tobacco products, “a man’s roach whould exceed his gasper”?

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