CSotD: Yea Boo Sunday

Sage Stossel gets as political as I’m planning to be today, the Yea! factor here being that the minions are being exposed, the Boo! factor being that they exist at all.

And Boo! to the sinless purists who condemn people like Leibovich and Miller for having ever been in the mud, even though they stepped out when they saw the damage being done and began documenting it. There’s nothing wrong with knowing what you’re talking about, as long as you’ve stopped doing it.

I don’t have much to say about the movie, but I’m guessing Stossel is a Bulwarks fan, because Miller is a regular there and Leibovich just did a solid podcast with Charlie Sykes last week. Both books sound worthwhile, though I’m currently joyously bogged down in Dumas’s incredibly long D’Artagnan cycle, which makes War and Peace seem like a pamphlet.

And provides a segue to our first

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Adam@Home — AMS)

(The Buckets — AMS)

There’s a lot of “Be careful what you wish for” in both these strips, starting with the Yea! of companionship and the Boo! of never finding solitude when you need it. Or simply want it.

And going back to Dumas and Tolstoy, I continue to be either amused or annoyed — depending on my mood — by people who will lug a lengthy bodice-ripper to the beach under the guise of summer reading but feel thick books are otherwise impenetrable.

People complain about the variations of names in Russian literature, but I’m finding Dumas more confusing, because, set in 17th Century France, everyone seems to have several names which, unlike the Russian variety, are not in any way connected. The familiar names of the three musketeers, Aramis, Athos and Porthos, are only noms de guerre and they have completely other names, and Maria Theresa’s maids of honor have three names each and, while none of their personalities are interchangeable, their names appear to be.

Fortunately, like the less prolix Jane Austen, Dumas is wickedly witty and it’s a pleasure to be immersed in his world, even if you can’t quite tell who’s who.

Which makes him easier going than Victor Hugo.

Meanwhile, if you see someone reading — whether crap or classics — leave them alone.


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Pickles — AMS)

(Non Sequitur — AMS)

Another advantage of living alone is that Alexa rarely pipes up without being summoned. When I visit my son, she interjects fairly often and never with relevance, but I think it’s because there are four different voices there, which keeps her from learning one, and they talk to each other, adding to her possible confusion.

As for spying, it kind of goes the other way around here: Alexa never asks me if I want to buy a leash, but the dog knows that, when I ask Alexa for the weather, leashes are about to become involved.

The real spying happens on Facebook, where a snide comment I made about ambulance chasers on one commercial posting has unleashed a torrent of ads from shysters hoping I’m dying from the water at Camp LeJeune. I feel like Mickey in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, blocking each one only to be deluged with five more.

However, I do rely on Alexa for some intelligent conversation in the form of a Flash Briefing or some NPR programs.

I’ve had worse company.


Juxtaposition of Genius

(Mt. Pleasant — Tribune)

(Steve Breen — Creators)

A modified Boo! to McKee and Sligh for a good gag but the wrong scientist, because I’m not aware of very many actual experiments Newton conducted, beyond sticking needles in his eye to make lights appear.

Most of Newton’s astonishing breakthroughs were the result of isolated, intense observation and contemplation, and if he was not an aspie, he sure did a good imitation.

It was Galileo, rather, who (reportedly) dropped things of varying mass off the Leaning Tower to show that they fell at the same rate, as these two hapless characters are in danger of confirming.

But Yea! to Breen, because, while there are any number of ancient scientists — “natural philosophers” as they were known — who would gaze in rapture at the images from the Webb telescope, Galileo is indeed the right choice.

I will confess that I learned the term from the back cover of Doc Savage books, but Galileo was a man of protean genius.

Though Ben Franklin is awfully high on the list of people I fantasize about transporting to the current date and showing around.


Jeff Spicoli was not a man of protean genius, and apparently neither am I, because it took me too long to sort out all the rhymes for Holy Moly in today’s Argyle Sweater (AMS) and I have to confess — not to His Holy Moliness, only to you — that I haven’t gotten them all, particularly since that looks like penne and not pasta fagioli.

And here’s who else would find it funny.

Juxtaposition of the Day, Midlife Crisis Edition

(Big Nate — AMS)

(Pearls Before Swine — AMS)

I don’t know how many of us knew with any clarity in the third grade what we wanted to be when we grew up, but as best I recall, my plan involved going to the Ranger School and then living at home, which was geographically logical.

But by 12th grade, I was not planning to let the screen door hit me after graduation and I had also long since realized that a veterinary degree — a slightly later plan — involved way more math than I could handle.

I like the balance here, with both Nate’s unambitious dad and the high-achiever in Pearls having midlife crises. I think it’s normal to reach a  point in life where you ask yourself how the things you wanted to do, the things you should have done and the things you actually did, have coalesced. Or haven’t.

I’ll let someone else explain the distaff side of the question, but, guys? The answer is not a Miata and a shirt unbuttoned to display your chest hair.

Still, there are answers, and giving up should not be one of them.

Yea! for redemptive change. It’s never too late to get your act together.

Boo! to chest hair and sports cars. Third grade was a long time ago, pal.


8 thoughts on “CSotD: Yea Boo Sunday

  1. “Though Ben Franklin is awfully high on the list of people I fantasize about transporting to the current date and showing around.”

    My list: Alexander Graham Bell, Edison, Turing, Arthur Conan Doyle, Queen Victoria, Einstein, Frank Lloyd Wright, Abraham Lincoln, JFK.

    Can you tell I’ve thought of this often . . .

  2. This “spying” is mostly ””voluntarily” due to people ignoring the UA/TOS explained in the read me Agreements on most of the “free”apps (and some of the not so free) they install on their device which include running in the background, tracking and sharing of location information (which you can control/disable through location sharing and other settings on most devices)

    So they know when you’ve been to the mattress store, they know when you stopped at a car dealership, we’re just finding out that websites we visit share information with advertisers and thanks to the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) we now have the option to turn some of that off.

  3. Newton did some real experiments with light and optics, shining sunlight thru a prism and such, but none I know of with gravity. So you’re good.

    It wasn’t until I read Isaacson’s bio of Franklin that I understood what he was trying to do with the kite experiment. It was actually clever, not just a joyride. He was charging up a Leyden jar, a primitive capacitor that stores electric charge, to prove that lightning was in fact the same electricity he was able to generate by other means. Genius.

    I have long wanted to write a story in which time travelers transport Franklin to modern days and he arrives enraged because time travelers from different points in the future keep kidnapping him and he isn’t impressed by anything. “Oh, you guys don’t have antigravity yet? We’ll, just wait until AD3400, you’re gonna love it. Now piss off and send me home!”

  4. We’ll = well. Because I’m typing on a phone that thinks it knows better than I do.

  5. Andrea — In my mind, the sweet choice is someone who would be ancient enough to marvel over the technology but recent enough to have some idea of how it worked. Barring Leonardo, who was timeless.

    Lisa: I wondered if Lon Chaney would be able to talk to deaf people today and I’m still wondering, since looking up ASL hasn’t made it clear what was being taught at the Colorado school where his parents met. Same with AGB, complicated by his living in a couple of different countries.

    Neal: I’ve blocked a lot of the tracking capability, though I still want my phone to know where I am if I have a heart attack. And apparently the new 988 links you to aid according to your area code, not your digital location, which isn’t good if you still have your old phone number from three moves ago.

    And Brian, my first thought was that I’d read that book, and my second was that it would be awfully short. Something for Ruben Bolling to do as a variation of Percival Dunwoody, Idiot Time Traveler from 1909.

  6. Imagined scene from Brian Fies’s book: It’s July 2, 1776, and Franklin has just been returned from his umptieth trip to a future.

    Thomas Jefferson, in an aside to Dr. Rush: “Holy crap! That old man is Benny Franklin!”
    Rush: “Hard to believe we graduated high school together!”

  7. “I have long wanted to write a story in which time travelers transport Franklin to modern days and he arrives enraged because time travelers from different points in the future keep kidnapping him and he isn’t impressed by anything. “Oh, you guys don’t have antigravity yet? We’ll, just wait until AD3400, you’re gonna love it. Now piss off and send me home!””

    What a GREAT idea. Sounds like something Azimov would have written.

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