CSotD: Preparing for Re-Entry

F-Minus (AMS) hit me solidly this morning because I’d just been through my morning check-in on social media, which included a whole lot of people declaring their defiant intent to something-something-something in the New Year, mostly involving not takin’ nothin’ from nobody.

I’d rather they pledged to lose weight, which isn’t going to happen either, but at least doesn’t seem so antagonistic.

I was surprised to see all these bold, empty declarations, which I would have expected 24 hours ago but am attributing to people mistaking the concept of taking “a hair of the dog” the next day for swallowing the entire beast.


The cartoon, plus all that bravado, reminded me of this scene from Jules et Jim, in which Therese is holding the bucket for a rebel who runs out of whitewash and winds up painting “Mort aux Autre” instead of “Mort aux Autres,” and then tries to beat a fleeing Therese, blaming her because “People will say that anarchists can’t spell!”


Therese’s saving grace is that she doesn’t take life all that seriously, so that finding shelter with Jules and Jim is simply a romp and not the prelude to a betrayal as the boys pursue, instead, the mercurial, beautiful Catherine.

The current generation seems to hate this movie, but I think romance demands foolish excess.

Though the romps were fun.

I’ve run into a Therese or three or four since, and, to my relief, they’ve laughed and asked “What on earth were we thinking of?”

Good to know we really were on the same page.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Real Live Adventures – AMS)


(Brewster Rockit – AMS)

Whether the current crop of dour, cautious youngsters will ever understand abandoning common sense for hopeless romance, they do understand telephones, and this Real Life Adventures should leave them scratching their heads over why a kid would call his mother on his father’s phone.

Shoulda drawn a cord, since I get the impression that people who live in packs still maintain landlines, since sometimes you just want to reach whoever is home and ask them to take dinner out of the freezer.

Meanwhile, Brewster Rockit proposes the notion that space aliens are young, which, if true, means that, no, we’ll never be able to contact them.

And don’t bother leaving a message, because they don’t check those, either.


Another generational thing comes up in today’s Barney & Clyde (WPWG): I’m not sure if the cartooning firm of Weingarten, Weingarten & Clark is out of touch or if I’ve just blundered into a series of odd situations, but the last time I had an exit interview on leaving a job was in 1999, and I’ve had three jobs plus a part-time gig since then.

I did submit an unsolicited farewell to an employer in 2006 because I would have stayed if things had been slightly different, but it was an empty gesture: The boss answered to Corporate, and no matter what she thought of the points I raised, she had no power to put them into practice.

If she’d tried, she’d have been right out the door behind me.

Which is to say that I think the strip has nailed the reception exit-interview comments would get.

Better for morale that they not bother to ask.


Younger generations have a different understanding of how government works, though as Michael Ramirez (Creators) should have known, it’s been quite a while since well-raised children made cruel remarks about mental retardation.

The greater problem here seems to be that the kids weren’t taught to check the context of things they question, because AOC never challenged Manchin’s right to vote however he wanted.

Rather, she questioned the Senate’s lack of demographic representation, its elitist rules, and the Senators’ refusal to actually vote rather than speechify about what they might maybe do.

If you listen to what she said, you’ll realize she’s talking about the Senate as what she calls “private school” and Scarborough calls the “House of Lords:” An elitist body which doesn’t represent the average person or follow democratic rules.

She’d rather see individual matters put to a vote so that constituents can hear their Senators’ reasons for actually voting as they do. I agree: I’d love to see the provisions of BBB brought to the floor one by one.

My guess is that they wouldn’t all pass, but we’d at least get to find out where everyone stands.

As for small-d-democracy, we just mentioned Mark Hanna the other day and the fact is that the Senate was set up as a “House of Lords,” with the original model being that state legislatures would select their senators, two from each of 13 states: 26 Senators, 65 Representatives.

The Founders couldn’t foresee that this tail-on-the-kite they’d crafted would, once the country had swelled to 50 states, become an anchor instead.

As someone from the state that is 41 out of 50 in population, I’m glad to have two Senators among 100, because we only get two out of 435 Representatives in the House and, without Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, our voices would be totally lost instead of just mostly lost.

However, I recognize that this is not how democracies should function, which is perhaps why ours currently doesn’t seem to.

Though the other thing that makes democracies fail is partisans taking remarks totally out of context, whether out of sincere ignorance or intentional malice.

God gave us Googles — and consciences — for a reason.


Can’t we talk about something more pleasant?


To end on a positive note, it has been several decades since I have had to do a “First Baby of the Year” story, for which I am grateful.

Not that we ran from hospital to hospital waiting for someone to pop out. We got the information in the morning and then went over to interview Mom and Dad, and I’ll grant you, they were not only willing to speak but were already joyous.

“First Baby of the Year” is one of those mandatory annuals that readers love and reporters hate.

Except that it gives me an excuse to run this classic:


9 thoughts on “CSotD: Preparing for Re-Entry

  1. Re: Jules et Jim — For about forty years, I used to adore this film above all others. Then, unexpectedly, when watching it again, I suddenly couldn’t stand it. Why? I was totally annoyed by the character of Catherine. Not charmed or impressed any more! She now seems meaninglessly capricious, totally selfish and uncaring, and to be someone that no one in their right mind would want to be with. I think I simply grew to be older and wiser. I am, by definition, not part of the dour and humourless new generation that you are averse to. I was once, briefly, involved with an uncaring woman much like Catherine, and it was hell. Maybe that taught me the lesson. Anyway, too bad, because I really did love that movie, once. It is visually charming, too.

  2. You think that’s soul-crushing, try reading “The Sun Also Rises” now that you’re a grownup. Not only is Brett Ashley not nearly as charming as she seemed when we were all 19, but that whole crew is simply unbearable.

    At least I can still watch Jules and Jim with a sense of nostalgia.

  3. Rereading books i enjoyed while younger is a mixed bag. I cringe at Tom Swift, Roy Rockwell bores me. Tintin, while fun, Is shallow, but Asterix, Giles, and Pogo still delight. Classic Sci-fi designed to make the reader think, such as Heinlein juveniles, age very well.

  4. Ah, but listening to what AOC actually SAYS would defeat the whole purpose of – uh- defeating her, wouldn’t it ?

  5. It seems decidedly too charitable to think that the reasons our country’s founding planners, slaveholder classist misogynists that many of them were, made the convoluted system that kept even “representation” limited to racial majority land owning men because they just didn’t know what the future would hold. I understand that the system was still progressive for the time in many ways, but we have to move past the idea that these were mistakes and embrace better systems not just as operation fixes but as the major overhauls our nation still needs in order to actually represent the people who live here.

  6. The AOC cartoon is spot-on. The Founders knew exactly what they were doing when they set up a system that stops the party representing barely over half of the country from bankrupting the economy for everyone. It’s not elitist to protect the rural working class from losing their mining job–or being forced to pay for the fantasies (and student loans) of well-off middle class. So democracy is working very well, despite the efforts of authoritarians like AOC. By the way, anarchists running out of paint for their own slogans and then blaming someone else is funny and a pretty representation of how radicals operate.

  7. I partially agree with Mr. Merritt. I wonder if Mr. Wexford understands what is going on at all. If he truly feels democracy, small d, is working in this country then he doesn’t know the meaning of the word nor how it is supposed to work. The 51 Senators against the BBB only
    truly represent the very SMALL minority of the population that has over 85% of the wealth. That does not sound as true democracy is working.

  8. Yes, exit interviews are still “a thing” — as the younger generation would say (and which I think is a pretty clever turn of phrase). Not sure if the messages get through, but I’m pretty sure our HR department listens.

    How is Michael Ramirez still working? I’m all for listening to alternative points of view, but he’s so consistently one-dimensional and tone deaf it’s mind-boggling.

    And I didn’t even need to watch the video. Just seeing the still of Robin Williams from the SNL sketch brought back memories that made me laugh.

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