CSotD: Ephemera Should Leave You

Greg Kearney explains the US Senate’s move to put the United States out of sync with most of the rest of the world by making Daylight Saving Time permanent.

As he notes, it simply shifts everything one hour forward which, as far as I can tell, accomplishes nothing except to make the concept of time even less meaningful.

I blame George Westinghouse, but, to be fair, I should also blame Elijah McCoy. In school, we learned that Westinghouse invented the air brake that allowed trains to carry more cars and go farther, but we didn’t learn that Elijah McCoy invented a way to lubricate them, which also increased their range.

We had to learn that on our own, whereupon we also learned that Elijah McCoy is the source of the phrase, “The Real McCoy,” which is bullshit, though what is really bullshit is memorizing the names of inventors instead of studying how inevitable technological changes shaped our society.

In this case, trains went far enough fast enough that it was no longer sufficient to say something would arrive “in a few days” or even “Wednesday,” or to say that noon was when the Sun was directly overhead.

We needed to establish exactly what time it was, and to behave accordingly.

More’s the pity.

As noted a few days ago, Daylight Saving Time started in the US in 1918 so that people would have something to complain about, but also to save fuel, since it theoretically kept people under the covers a little longer and let the Sun do more of the heating and lighting until bedtime.

There’s also some cockeyed notion that farmers could work longer if the Sun went down later, but I have never met a farmer who didn’t work until it was too dark to see what you were doing, often having begun the day when it still was.

I suspect Greg Kearney knows more farmers than he does senators, and, if he’s smart, he’ll keep it that way.


Still on the topic of ephemeral things that might amuse you, Arlo & Janis (AMS) has begun a story arc about how they met.

You can pick up Monday’s start here and click through to catch up, and I’d add a salute to Jimmy Johnson for maintaining a reasonable real world start date, given that the strip began in 1985 with them married.


Juxtaposition of the Daylight

(Adam Zyglis)


(David Cohen)

And while an hour either way doesn’t matter, Sunshine Week does, and Zyglis and Cohen both salute the importance of open information in a free society.

There was a time when Sunshine Week was a much bigger deal among political cartoonists, and I would suggest that it certainly should be a big deal now, what with various state legislatures trying to keep the press from seeing what they are up to and certain governmental figures simply lying their asses off.


Yes, including those who hide the facts until it’s time to cash in, at which point, as Clay Bennett (CTFP) points out, they pretend to be guilt-free, though Barr is having a little trouble coordinating his message.

In the book, he acknowledges a whole lot of bad things Trump did — none of which he did anything to stop, some of which he actively covered up — and then, in interviews flogging his book, he admits he’d vote for him again.

In any case, if you are in a position to teach kids — your own or whole classrooms — about the importance of open government, the New York State News Publishers Association has an extensive collection of links and information geared for just that.

Speaking of which …

Juxtaposition of the Darkness

(Matt Pritchett)


(Jesse Duquette)

I wondered here yesterday just what the Russian people were seeing, and I think the answer is a combination of these cartoons.

The young woman who courageously burst on screen has been fined 30,000 rubles, which would be a modest $279 as of the moment, except that I’m sure she doesn’t have the means of converting it to anything but whatever Russia currently pretends its money is worth.

I’m also reasonably sure that this isn’t the end of it, and that she still faces a stiff jail term, unless the authorities decide to adopt Matt Pritchett’s approach and decide it never happened.

Meanwhile, Jesse Duquette makes an accurate stab at what the Russian authorities would prefer to have their citizens see, and I salute him for not insulting our intelligence by putting a label on Tuckyo Rose.


And I will salute Matt Wuerker (Politico) for making his point without gloating over the current plight, though “stupid” is certainly a judgmental term.

But, as he points out, we’re not just stupid right now. We’ve been stupid for decades, and not simply about the impact of fossil fuels on the environment, which is scientifically true but a bit remote for a lot of people.

We’ve even been stupid simply by virtue of having seen prices repeatedly leap, as he notes, over a variety of global disruptions.

It’s like the old joke about the fellow who can’t repair his roof while it’s pouring rain, but then, when the sun comes back out, doesn’t have to repair it because it’s no longer leaking.


Juxtaposition of WGASA?

(Non Sequitur – AMS)


(Joe Heller)

A nice bit of fortuitous timing by Wiley Miller, who surely inked this strip before Tom Brady announced his unretirement, and a lovely synchronicity with Heller’s suggestion of how it happened, though being stuck at home with Gisele Bündchen is not every man’s vision of Hell.

For those who missed it, Brady first retired, then decided he wasn’t going to retire, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers welcomed him back. However, in the meantime, somebody successfully bid $518,628 for what was, at the moment, the football he tossed for his last touchdown.

Which probably serves the rich SOB right, but, as noted there, the auction house will likely let them off the hook.

Though that’s too bad for the person who caught the ball and sold it, but, then again, there aren’t a lot of paupers who buy $350 tickets to playoff games in the NFL.

Rich Eisen’s take is incredibly entertaining, if not definitive.


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