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CSotD: Random Notes and Revelations

Some days are political, some days are comical. Today is a mix, but we’ll start with the shock of Michael Ramirez (Creators) pointing out that Marjorie Taylor Greene is an embarrassment to the Republican Party.

Constant Readers will know I often disagree with Ramirez, but he doesn’t simply illustrate talk radio nonsense and this is an honest take. Greene’s latest foolishness is some truly hateful infighting with fellow Republican Nancy Mace, and it has apparently pushed Ramirez to the “At long last, have you no sense of decency?” point.

It doesn’t have to be all that lonely for thoughtful conservatives these days. Maybe the Greenes and Boeberts and Gosars and Gohmerts will finally shame some people into joining the gang over at the Bulwark.

 

On the other hand, when it comes to the coup, I’m keeping the champagne bottles corked a little longer. Clay Jones dropped this one several days ago, and I haven’t seen much to make me doubt the prediction.

It’s not that I expect witnesses to out-and-out perjure themselves in front of the committee, but I’d be shocked if we didn’t hear a lot of Fifth Amendments being taken and, even if various witnesses are given immunity to testify, we may find out that they have very faulty memories and can’t recall a thing.

The big news is that Mark Meadows is cooperating with the committee, according to the headlines, but if you read the actual article, well, I’ll keep that champagne cold, but I’m not opening it yet.

 

To be fair, the headline on that NPR report only says Meadows will appear, not that he’ll have much to say. By contrast, the headline on this Washington Post article yesterday made me think I might have to add an update to yesterday’s discussion.

But I read the article and discovered that the story itself didn’t accuse Biden of lying or covering up and that, in fact, the actual reporting confirmed what I had written and what Jen Psaki had said.

Which I guess wasn’t exciting enough for the copy desk, who felt the need to add a touch of click-bait deceit.

A lot of people don’t realize that the reporters don’t write the headlines for their own articles. My kids know it because they remember me hurling the newspaper across the kitchen in the morning when I saw how one of my pieces had been packaged.

I finally began going down to the paper on Saturday morning, because the Sunday biz section, where my major stories landed, was printed early and this gave me a chance to unleash my fury in an empty mail room rather than in front of the family.

That will soon no longer be an option for reporters at the Baltimore Sun, since the hedge fund vultures at Alden Global Capital are shutting down the press room, outsourcing their printing and laying off 100 backshop workers.

Granted, major papers like the Denver Post and the Boston Globe have gone from doorstops to pamphlets over the last decade, and I suppose the Sun isn’t as fat as it once was. When you gut the newsroom to save money, it doesn’t leave you with a whole lot to print anyway.

Perhaps the future is in online independents like the Denver Sun and the New Hampshire Bulletin, but regional in-depth coverage won’t tell people when the construction on Main Street will be finished or whether they’ve caught Ruby yet.

Which is why people buy the local paper.

And still do, where the vultures haven’t taken over. I just sold a serial to a weekly independent with a circulation of 775, and those big boys would love to inspire the loyalty I’m sure that little paper does.

 

Can’t we talk about something more pleasant?

Major revelation over on the funny pages, where Zits (KFS) readers discover — against all evidence of the past 24 years — that Jeremy Duncan is an honors student maintaining a plus-A average.

Or that his high school still grades on a 6.0 scale, I suppose.

 

And I was reminded of an even more stunning revelation over at Arlo and Janis (AMS), where Gene and his family are visiting the old homestead.

I also had a desk in my bedroom, and on a visit about a decade after college, I went through the drawers preparatory to loading it up and taking it out to our own place.

Discovered an ounce of Panama Red tucked in there, which must have been good stuff or I wouldn’t have forgotten to take it back to college way back when.

FWIW, the essential oils tend to dissipate over 10 years. It was, at that point, basically a Baggie full of dust and straw.

But I appreciated the fact that the vice squad apparently hadn’t swept the place.

 

I also got a jolt of collegiate nostalgia from The Other Coast (AMS), with memories of my last year in school, when Then-Wife and I would take the dogs up to the Indiana Dunes so they could run along the beach and roll on the alewives.

And occasionally eat them, which added an element of suspense to the ride home.

 

Crabgrass (AMC) takes me even further back, remembering a girl in my fourth grade class who became a center of gossip when we realized she still believed, and we had a similar reaction. Since we all liked her, we remained silent on the topic.

But fast-forward about seven years to Confirmation, when we discovered that she had missed the part of the Mass where the priest swaps the chalice which he’s been holding up for the ciborium that contains all the hosts for Communion.

She thought he was going down the altar rail with an empty chalice, alakazaming wafers out of thin air.

I guess I should have said “hocus-pocusing” them, but, in any case, the rest of us had reached an age where we were running out of reasons to believe and starting to look for loopholes in doctrine.

Again, we liked her enough — my GF and I doubled with her and her BF to prom — that we weren’t going to rain on her parade, though the monsignor really had no choice but to set the kid straight.

I’ll admit that, once I got over being stunned, I kind of envied her faith.

 

Go read this:

Coming in late on this tip, but the current (well, 1952) Johnny Hazard (KFS Vintage) is turning into a real rip-snorter. This strip is from the start of the story on November 3, but you can start there and catch up.

It looks like it’s gonna be worth it.

 

Community Comments

#1 Brian Fies
December/1/2021
@ 10:11 am

And now from the “Kids These Days Dept.,” I learned from my kids’ stretch in high school that GPAs higher than 4.0 are achieved via Advanced Placement classes, many of which count toward college credits. All your best valedictorians are up in the 4.5-range these days. We’ve seen Jeremy studying for AP before, though I agree there’s a disconnect between how bright Scott & Borgman want him to be and how lazy and stupid he’s portrayed most of the time. I chalk it up to “book smart” versus “life smart,” knowing first-hand that even the brightest kids can be astonishingly naive and dumb sometimes.

Your chalice story reminded me that half a century ago I thought exactly as your friend did: that the priest was reenacting the loaves and fishes miracle for the congregation every week! How else did he fit all those wafers in that tiny, previously empty cup?! Proud to say that I figured out the sleight of hand long before your friend did.

I think a newspaper without a press room is missing its heart. It’s good to be reminded that your abstract words get turned into a concrete, semi-permanent thing that gets on a truck and goes out into the world. Otherwise you’re just tippy-tapping on a computer like . . . well, like this.

#2 Neal Skrenes
December/1/2021
@ 10:29 am

Theme song recalls Patrick McGoohan was one of my favorite actors in the 60s. followed both _Danger Man/Secret Agent_ and _The Prisoner\.

#3 Tara Gallagher
December/1/2021
@ 12:59 pm

Finally reminded to compliment you–the local paper is running your Nellie Bly serial, and it’s quite well done! Good pacing, and historical context and info folded in well.

Speaking of reminding–your anecdote brought to mind my college days on the shores of Lake Michigan, where tender spring days under the blossoming trees were poignantly redolent of rotting alewife

#4 Mike Peterson
December/1/2021
@ 1:28 pm

I really enjoyed writing that serial. Bly’s biographer, Brooke Kroeger, not only let me make free use of her work but then read each chapter to verify things, and Christopher Baldwin did great, great work in researching for the illustrations. Brooke and I did some middle school workshops together in Lewiston, Maine that were great fun.

Glad you’re enjoying it.

As for Lake Michigan, I like ale and I like wives, but the combination just doesn’t work well.

#5 Rich Furman
December/1/2021
@ 1:41 pm

It’s Arlo & Janis. Probably less a matter of “Swept by the Vice Squad” than “the kid’s gone! Let’s get into his stash!” Alas, when Walt and Connie’s turn come, they’re going to come up empty handed. It’ll be Pizza Boxes all the way down.

#6 Bill Holbrook
December/1/2021
@ 1:57 pm

I like how Jimmy Johnson has a pennant saying “API”… Auburn’s. name prior to 1960.

#7 Sherwood Harrington
December/1/2021
@ 9:59 pm

Any vice squad that would have found your stash would have had your mom on it, right? If so, I get the impression that it would have been left there without comment, anyway, its lack of importance having been accurately assayed.

#8 ANDREA DENNINGER
December/2/2021
@ 7:15 am

I didn’t see this as a drug-related issue, but more as a ‘certain type of magazine’ issue.

#9 Mark Jackson
December/2/2021
@ 10:11 am

I’m sure Jimmy appreciated the plausible deniability.

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