CSotD: Monday Funny Papers Potpourri

Sherman’s Lagoon (AMS) is apparently at the start of a story arc that is a departure for the strip, which usually dredges up — in the metaphorical sense — obscure marine life for these odd encounters.

As an editor, I might have quibbled with “mythical” in that second panel, since either he’s here or he’s not, but, given that the strip has already got Kahuna well embedded, I’d let myself be talked out of it.

In any case, Filmore’s warning is well-taken, because the physical world is divided between Zeus and Poseidon and they don’t appear to like each other a whole lot.

The entire universe is divided among the three brothers, with Zeus owning the land, Poseidon the sea and Hades the underworld.

But Zeus and Hades seem more to have ignored each other than engaged in any jealous rivalry, the controversy over Persephone having played out more like an out-of-court settlement than the sort of sturm-und-drang surrounding Odysseus, who was a favorite of Athena but had insulted Poseidon.

Zeus could have settled that latter problem, but Hera touched his leg under the table, their secret signal that he should STFU.

Anyway, Poseidon is, in the words of Homer or Ovid or somebody — a mean motorscooter and a bad go-getter.

So, yeah, Hawthorne: Best keep the Zeus-fandom to yourself.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(In the Bleachers — AMS)



I have sometimes been tempted to make a collection of cartoons in which a character is oblivious to a monster just behind him. I drew such a cartoon when I was about 12, featuring an unseen T-Rex and an oblivious fellow telling his recently-swallowed companion not to mumble.

I think I’ve seen a variation on that gag three times every week throughout the intervening 50 years and I’m sure it wasn’t new when I drew it.

However, there is no gag so decrepit and overworked that it can’t be freshened and made new, and Jonesy makes the joke respectable and (grimly) funny as a reference to unexploded ordinances in the vicinity of a popular British beach.

Though it’s a tie between Jonesy’s intentional humor and the lovely understatement of the military spokesperson in that article, who explained

These beauty spots are shared land, where families, tourists and locals spend time. But it’s also where our armed forces practise live-fire training, so it can go from tranquil to treacherous by the hour, 24 hours a day. It’s key that we work together to share these spaces with respect and consideration.

So say we all.


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Rob Murray)


(Brevity — AMS)

Anyone who had “Wind in the Willows” on their Bingo card just got an unexpected payout.

Rob Murray’s homage to E.H. Shepherd is understandable, given the current drought in the UK, the number of other references to empty rivers and the public revulsion over the long-time practice of letting sewers run into them which has escalated now that the rain isn’t watering it down.

Citing Ratty and Mole’s idyllic punting on the river is an excellent way to observe both the current meteorological crisis and the overdue need to clean things up.

By contrast, I’ve no idea what inspired Dan Thompson to mash up Disney’s version of Mr. Toad along with Leonardo’s familiar diagram.

I hope it doesn’t mean he’s heard that the Mouse Sausage Factory is going to take another whack at Kenneth Grahame’s gentle classic.

They didn’t do too much damage the first time around, though they utterly changed the tone and re-targeted the major characters, but that was nothing compared to how they later turned Sherwood Forest into Mayberry RFD, made Edward Bear into a whimsical Yank and injected into Mary Poppins an empty-headed nincompoop who would rather help women gain the vote than stay home like a good girl and be a proper mother to her children.

Not that I don’t enjoy me a good Disney adaptation now and then.


Juxtaposition of the Day #3

(Moderately Confused — AMS)

(Andertoons — AMS)

I’m not sure how much to fret over cursive. I spent a few months living with my son and his three daughters a few years back and I know they were doing homework with pencils on paper, though I don’t remember if it was in block letters or cursive. And I will admit that I’m as apt to use one as the other and mostly neither.

Granted, an unfamiliarity with cursive may, as Stahler suggests, make it seem an ancient script, which could make all those boxes of letters from your grandparents nearly unintelligible to your children when they’re passed down, but kids are having some exposure, even if they aren’t laboriously tracing out letters and being graded on the quality of their penmanship.

As for more significant applications, my brother had to learn some Catalan to complete his research on a doctorate in Spanish Medieval History and any serious researcher in the future can surely study enough of the Palmer Method to decode primary documents.

So I like Mark Anderson’s dismissive gag. I remember writing individual words vertically down the page instead of copying out the assigned punishment sentence verbatim and I get a particular kick out of the teacher’s skeptical eyebrow.


And, on an unfunny note raised by Joy of Tech, our kids have larger issues on their plates these days.

In case you hadn’t heard, Facebook turned over a 17-year-old’s private messages to Nebraska authorities so they could prosecute her and her mother for illegally terminating a pregnancy.

And this popped up on Twitter the other day:

Not that this is entirely new. Some 20 years ago, I went to high-school orientation with a GF and her barely-teen daughter, where the counselors told the kids that they could come talk to them about any problem they had, knowing that their privacy would be absolutely respected.

Unless they said they were pregnant, in which case the counselor was obligated to inform the principal.

So this lack of trust isn’t new. It’s just vastly ramped up. Vastly.

Back then, if kids couldn’t trust their school counselors and were afraid of their parents, they could at least go to Planned Parenthood without their phones reporting their movements. 

Welcome to the new America, indeed.


6 thoughts on “CSotD: Monday Funny Papers Potpourri

  1. So we’ve gone from boating about in mess to…this. Maybe some wheels would help?

    BTW, a Tor browser adds an extra layer of security to internet searching. Not that I’m suggesting people use it to look up anything dangerous like the constitution or stuff like that.

  2. I believe the change in Mary Poppins was due to the fact that, in middle-class England in the Edwardian Age (where the movie is inexplicably set, even though the books were from the thirties) parents actually had little to do with raising children, who were in the care of the governess. So Mrs. Banks had household duties, and hired Mary Poppins, but did little ‘mothering’ in a way that would be familiar to American audiences. You can get an idea of this life from AA Milne’s poem books, When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six

  3. Shlomo, I have no problem with Travers depiction of Mrs Banks, who, as you note, was a typical uppermiddleclass woman who left the details of parenting to a nanny. Hey, no nannies, no lost boys, no Peter Pan! It’s a common thread in the era!

    It was Disney who linked the suffrage movement to her neglect, an unnecessary message unless you’re grooming little girls to stay in their proper places. Desantis & crew should be championing the Mouse, not opposing him.

  4. Other than signing my name, I don’t think I’ve written in cursive for nearly 50 years. One thing I found interesting in the Wikipedia link to the Palmer method, is that in the picture, there are 27 Capital letters (2 “E”) but only 26 lower case.

  5. My cursive was so sloppy that I early on became a block head. Even my signature is not cursive – it’s scribble.

  6. I too was unhappy with the Disney version of Edward Bear. Then I read a biography of Milne. He was tasked with adapting “The Wind in the Willows” for the stage, and had to make many changes, which caused an uproar. so I figured he would at least understand what was done to Pooh,, even though he might not love it.

    A standard evaluation tool for demenia is to give the patient a paper with a circle on it and ask them to number in a clock face and then draw hands to depict a given time. Soon that test will go the way of reasing cursive.

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