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CSotD: A mixed bag

It’s appropriate for Tank McNamara (AMS) to lead off today, because sports coverage tends to drift between entertainment and politics, and the choice of whether to require vaccines for Broadway and sports is a bit of both.

Start by saying that I’m not convinced I could catch much from the seats I could afford, but the people next to me might also be unvaxxed and unmasked, taking their cue from the mayor’s lifting of the mandate for the folks on stage.

That’s how the social contract breaks down.

There has been an outbreak of coronavirus among people who went to that Gridiron Dinner last Saturday, which made someone wonder aloud if the upcoming White House Concubines Association Dinner on April 30 would also be a spreader event.

Which would make a pretty good book, similar to those political fantasies in which an obscure person becomes leader and rules with care and logic instead of the usual politics — The Prince and the Pauper or Dave or The Short Reign of Pippin IV, for instance.

In my novel, the entire White House press corps would come down with the virus and go into quarantine for two weeks, during which time their employers would have to call up and deploy actual journalists from around the country, who would ask questions not simply to harvest sound bites and brownie points but because the information mattered.

My lead character would be an obscure inkslinger from Wichita, far distant from the infection of Potomac Fever, but close to the people who actually grow and harvest wheat or assemble airplanes at the Beechcraft factory, and who therefore comes up with questions based on real knowledge and genuine public interest, forcing the DC politicians to address things as they never have before.

The trick, of course, is to outpace a reality in which CBS is under fire for hiring former Trump chief-of-staff Mick Mulvaney, and NBC is facing an internal revolt over hiring Jen Psaki for a show on MSNBC, which has just hired Symone Sanders as part of a shift from hard to soft news.

CNN says the NBC crew was “vexed,” a funny little word everyone else has picked up on because they look over each other shoulders like fifth graders taking a math test none of them studied for.

Charlie Sykes nailed the Mulvaney issue on his podcast the other day with a sweeping condemnation of the practice:

This whole tradition of hiring … political activists or actors, to be pundits, what is the point of that? If you want to find out what Republicans think, you interview them. You don’t necessarily have to put them on the payroll. You should put people on the payroll who know stuff and will tell the truth.

Sounds like he’s got my book half-written already.

 

Meanwhile — speaking of copying over someone’s shoulder — Tom the Dancing Bug eviscerates Florida’s Mandatory Ignorance Law with such a solid series of Peanuts parodies that it’s hard to tell if it’s an homage or a copy.

 

In real Peanuts, Charlie Brown once suggested that poor Linus would have to go to school twice as long because he’d have to unlearn all the things Lucy had taught him, and, if Ron DeSantis has his way, Florida’s children may find themselves genuinely in that predicament.

 

Speaking of Real Science Facts, this Duplex (AMS) brought a laugh because, at one point, I was told I needed more magnesium in my diet, and they gave me a list of foods to eat.

I was told I also needed to cut down on my potassium, and they gave me a list of foods to avoid.

You guessed it. Different color paper, same list.

 

Didn’t get much of a laugh from this Rhymes With Orange (KFS), however, though I certainly appreciated the idea of the second banner.

This feels like a political cartoon of sorts, because public proposals strike me as a pressure tactic, not a romantic gesture.

That might be because I had a friend whose ex-boyfriend-turned-stalker — among his other frightening actions — paid for a billboard proposing marriage, and I wonder how many of those public gestures signal that sort of urge to control.

So this is a good salute to assertive women, and I like it for that reason, but it sure does fall under the category of Funny/Not Funny.

Meanwhile, the girl in this video is my hero, with a tip of the hat to the sportscasters who seemed — like Hilary and Rina — to see behind the whole thing.

 

 

Speaking of assertive women, I also liked this Mother Goose & Grimm (KFS), because I had a girlfriend who, having picked up three hours here and six hours there over the course of 20 nomadic years as a military wife, found both her marriage crumbling and her credits lapsing.

Instead of sitting around moaning, she applied for and achieved an Ada Comstock Scholarship to Smith College and became a 40-something freshman, emerging four years later with a degree in political science.

It takes a little longer to become a doctor or lawyer, but the same logic applies: Someone says she wants to finally go to college, but will be x-years old in four years.

The answer is “How old will you be in four years if you don’t go?”

Sometimes you have to be assertive not just with others but with yourself.

 

Amelia may be my favorite assertive woman, and, in this Wallace the Brave (AMS), she demonstrates that “assertive” is not the same as “belligerent.” You can also be assertively kind.

Snug Harbor makes me think of a rural school I used to visit with between 15 and 20 kids in each grade. While there wasn’t any racial diversity, there were mountains of other kinds, and the bonds within those kids were genuine.

I remember thinking that, if the girl who was going to be going to Williams found her car stalled in the parking lot, her friend who was going to wind up working in his father’s garage would get her back on the road.

I don’t know where Spud is going to end up, but he may be that guy who surprises everyone at their 10th high school reunion.

Everybody except for Amelia.

 

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