CSotD: Cancellation Blues

Apparently he doesn’t, Loretta.

Netiquette has seemingly vanished since the Good Old Days when people knew that all-caps was SHOUTING and stupid and the sign of a troll, and when we all knew better than to feed the trolls.

And there were only a half dozen emoticons and none of them looked like little cartoons.

Now the little bastards have turned TLDNR into TL/DR which is the same number of keystrokes but is less literate, turning it from a critical suggestion that the writer be less prolix to a self-own about being too lazy to bother.


The worst part of all this is that not only have the trolls won the battle, but they’ve won the war and have poured over from the Internet into real life.

Their legendary resistance to either logic or correction has blossomed into an utter disregard for truth.

My determination to offer cartoon criticism without snark has been confronted by those determined to disprove Lewis Carroll’s narrator:

Juxtaposition of Thrice-said Things

(Mike Lester — AMS)

(Steve Kelley — Creators)


(Chip Bok — Creators)

They said it three times and it’s still not true, and saying it a thousand more times won’t change that.


The snarky part would be to suggest that, having rejected the Bellman’s declaration, these people are, instead, taking up the White Queen’s advice to believe six impossible things before breakfast.

So it’s a good thing I’m not snarky, but I am distressed to see clear, outright falsehoods, no matter how publicly disproven, paraded as facts.


It’s a game anybody can play, though the non-snarky response to this list of “banned books” in Florida is to wonder who made it up in the first place, and, as always, whether they are deliberately lying or simply too sloppy to check their sources?

Either way, it’s not factual, and, as this slapdown from the Associated Press notes, not only is there no statewide list of banned books in Florida but “To Kill a Mockingbird” is recommended in the eighth grade syllabus.

(Not sure how you teach that book without discussing racism, mind you.)

Some schools give visitors a name tag embedded with invisible ink that, after a few hours, emerges to stamp “Expired” across the tag.

We need something like that for memes, though I do see that Facebook is adding a “clarification” to the banned books posting, which is nice, but it would also be nice if they were adding it to statements about middle class tax audits.

Meanwhile I’m all in favor of the free press, but I’m also in favor of the idea that words have meaning, and that, for instance, putting some books behind the counter instead of out on the shelves at a school library is not a “ban,” nor is it a “ban” to decide against using a book in class.

Though, boy, we sure could have a lively discussion about how schools make decisions about what, and how, teachers should be teaching.


Mike Lynch has a collection of old Back-To-School cartoons on his blog, and Hank Ketchum could sell this humorous1946 gag panel as a political cartoon today.

Granted, if the board had learned of any hijinks back then, she might well have found herself without a job. I lost a Latin teacher because she was pregnant (and married, btw). I don’t know if she would have continued to teach until delivery, but it being 1963, I don’t think she was being offered the option.


As Clay Jones points out, the normal interplay between teachers, parents, administrators and lawmakers has reached toxic levels.

It’s nothing knew. In fact, when I was in high school, I wrote a Gilbert & Sullivan parody, “The Monarch of the School,” lampooning a principal who sang

When parent comes with gleam in eye
‘Cause junior’s grades are not so high
I always try to stifle traces of discord
And so do the teachers and the members of the board!

The difference being that, half a century ago, we had a handful of parents who mewled and puked and demanded special treatment for their little darlings, but they were considered loud-mouths and nuisances.

Today — like the beer-sodden blowhards once confined to a corner of the barroom — whining parents have been weaponized into a political force and, the more they come out from under their rocks, the more they seem to grow in numbers.


John Darkow cites the major reasons given for the current teacher shortage, but I’d quibble over it a bit, because #1 and #3 are the result of #2.


As Michigan State Senator Mallory McMorrow notes, money follows respect. Simply raising their pay wouldn’t solve the problems because the low pay is part of the overall lack of respect, and I’d suggest that a fair amount of the violence is, as well.

And, as Clay Jones notes in his column, the fact that Florida is facing the shortage by hiring inexperienced, untrained warm bodies is a sign of their overall lack of respect for teaching, and, in my experience, that is what is fueling the resignations.

Solve that problem and the pay issue will become part of the transformation.


Canceling the Cones

A number of years ago, and that number may be 30, I went to a Ben & Jerry’s stockholder convention at which stockholders — despite their Birkenstocks and Tilley hats — refused to ratify a poison-pill motion to protect the company from a corporate takeover.

When the inevitable corporate takeover happened, however, Ben and Jerry made sure to include a provision allowing them to maintain the company’s original social awareness policies, to ensure that Ben & Jerry’s would never become just one more soul-less corporate cog.

For instance, they wouldn’t sell their ice cream on the occupied West Bank. You want Ben & Jerry’s in Israel, you have to drive over to the undisputed part of the country.

However, a federal judge has ruled that — at least for the moment — cute little provisions in contracts don’t actually apply, and that Unilever can sell their (possession being 9/10s of the law) ice cream wherever they want to.

Not everyone is buying it — the ice cream or the pro-settlements outrage.

I guess we’ll see.

Still, if I were in Ben and Jerry’s place, I think I’d rather be canceled outright than just blown off.


5 thoughts on “CSotD: Cancellation Blues

  1. It amused me to think that Hank Ketcham might have considered using that teacher when he started drawing Dennis the Menace. (There were some other good ones in the link you provided – thanks.) As for Latin teachers, my Freshman teacher was well beyond child-bearing years; in fact, we used to joke that she was the wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus. She was a great teacher though, and retired after that year. My last 3 years (and the final 3 that Latin was taught in my high school), one of the English teachers was pressed into service.

  2. Some of us hit CAPS LOCk with our fat fingers and don’t notice right away and are too lazy to retype everything. So – “don’t attribute to malice what stupidity explains.”

  3. For what it’s worth, a quick search of Google’s Usenet holdings suggests that TL:DR both predates TLDNR and has been far more popular. I would expect results for the slash form are similar.

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