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CSotD: Friday Follies

This is one of those days where it doesn’t much matter where we start, but Alex got both a laugh and a nod, and that’s the overall goal.

The headhunter goes on for half the strip about the importance of modern thinking and how it impacts old duffers like Clive, but, in the end, well, she’s no fool.

Will the bubble burst, leaving believers in cryptocurrency and NFTs holding the bag? It’s hard to tell. After all, collectors of baseball cards and Beanie Babies still swap the things around, and, as long as there are enough people to play the game, the game will work.

But even if crypto expands into the wider world, good old-fashioned currency is likely to survive, and if the governments of the world all agree to switch to Beanie Babies at some point, they’ll need to let people convert their cash into the new format.

As for the speculative profits to be made, we’ve already got people mewling and puking over 6.2% inflation. I hope they’re not the same folks rejoicing over the extraordinary leaps in purported value in the cryptosphere.

 

Rico Schacherl offers a snicker that is coincidentally related to a conversation I had yesterday with a former colleague/still friend over life in the newspaper world.

Shifting call centers has been mostly a practice of the larger papers, partially because of volume and partially because they are completely out of touch with their (remaining) readers.

There’s a bit of xenophobia involved when people hear an accent on the other end of the line, but I’ve noticed that you get what you pay for, and that companies can invest in overseas call centers where operators speak far more coherent English than you find at the cheap places.

Even then, however, there is both a psychological and practical advantage in reported a missed delivery to someone who knows the territory. But, as with much these days, there is a financial advantage in saying to hell with the customer and simply pocketing the savings.

In real money. None of that cryptocrap.

 

Rico goes for the doubleheader today with a Madam & Eve from the heart of the place that discovered the omicron variant but denies being its source.

I’ve seen a few cartoons saying we need to find out if vaccines work on this stuff, but it’s already evident that they do and so the question is how well, not whether. So far, the people testing positive for omicron seem to fall into two camps: The vaccinated, who have mild symptoms, and those who are hospitalized, who are unvaccinated.

This won’t stop the hatemongers, denialists and nitwits from attacking Anthony Fauci and refusing to take precautions, of course, but the cartoons on that side of the argument are simply pursuing a political agenda, not attempting to address the health issue.

Meanwhile, Madam & Eve demonstrates — as they have in the past — that you can still have fun with serious topics.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Speed Bump – AMS)

 

(Wallace the Brave – AMS)

This pair combines to illustrate one of my favorite parenting tips, or one of my pet peeves, depending on which way you approach it.

We have way too many Mowgli children, abandoned in the jungle to be raised by wolves. Specific to this Speed Bump, I’m trying to remember what our rule was for use of Walkmen in the car — this was before portable video — but we expected the kids to be part of the family on trips less than two or three hours..

We also paid some attention to what they watched and what they listened to.

Wallace’s mom more specifically demonstrates what it really takes to foster curiosity, and that is to be curious yourself. It’s not that she has never heard of the water cycle, but she’s never heard it from Wallace, and she wants to.

There have been TV commercials for amusement parks that work to persuade kids that going to museums is boring, but a good vacation can include both museums and rollercoasters, and pity the kid whose parents reject one or the other.

And don’t get me started on all the cartoons in which children are dragged out into the scary boring forest on a camping trip. My kids not only learned to pitch a tent at a young age, but they continue to do so with their own kids today.

As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.

 

On a related note, Ed Hall salutes Josephine Baker on the occasion of her being disinterred and reburied among French heroes in the Pantheon.

Related because I don’t remember when I learned about her combination of entertainment, heroism and charity, but this is one of those specific things that kids don’t need to learn in school as long as they are made curious enough to learn about it later.

On the other hand, what they absolutely should be taught is about the movement of which Baker was a part, of Black Americans finding acceptance and a measure of equality in France, starting with Black GIs in World War I and extending then to people like Josephine Baker and Bricktop, and how that eye-opening experience sparked the Civil Rights Movement a generation later.

 

(Note, BTW, that the work of another Black ex-pat, Ollie Harrington, is currently on display at the Billy Ireland.)

 

On another related note, Candorville (WPWG) invites speculation on a possible history of two nations, the industrial North and the agrarian South, and the simple guess is no Civil War and a longer period before Emancipation.

A lot of early Presidents were Southerners, but Adams pere et fils were abolitionists, though it’s only fair to note that there was slavery in the North and, while the trade in humans was outlawed in 1804, it was more than 40 years before all those already in northern bondage were freed.

Meanwhile, as president of the South, Jefferson couldn’t have afforded the Louisiana Purchase, so lord knows where Tennessean Andy Jackson would have sent all those Indians, assuming — his country having remained neutral in the War of 1812 — he had become famous enough to have a voice in the matter.

Speculation is fun, but I don’t think “What if?” is as important as “What now?”

 

Community Comments

#1 ANDREA DENNINGER
December/3/2021
@ 8:53 am

Thank you for the John Hartford; saw him in Upper Wisconsin years ago. Died too early.

Am currently reading the book, 100 Things We’ve Lost to the Internet, by Pamela Paul, and one of the things she mentioned was looking out the window as you travel . . . I remember traveling cross-country in a backward-facing seat in a station wagon, always seeing where we’d been, never where we were going. But at least I was seeing the country, not a screen.

Good book – highly recommend it.

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