CSotD: Sunday Funnies

Asked and answered, Prickly City (AMS). It’s not so much that he’s defied the law as it is that so many powerful people are willing to twist themselves into knots to justify his behavior, and, if Ex-Dear-Leader were held accountable, the last 30 years of rightwing rabble rousing have brought forth a decentralized army of armed lunatics prepared to react.

The disease is hardly confined to politics, nor is it simply a matter of slimeballs having slithered out from under their rocks. We’ve come to accept insane societal dysfunction as the New Normal.

At a volleyball game between Duke and BYU in Provo Friday night, somebody was shouting the N-word at a Duke player and threatening her to the point where a police officer stood by the Duke bench. Now everyone is up in arms and how could this happen and BYU has declared that the screamer was not a student and has been banned from all BYU sporting events.

But I remember games where some jackass got out of hand and the crowd shouted him down or demanded his removal, and, specifically, one college hockey game where a large gentleman stood behind the offensive jackass, hauled him out of his seat into the air, shouted at him to pipe down and then slammed him back into his seat to an ovation from the crowd.

Apparently none of those things happened in Provo and there’s your problem and it’s our problem, and Donald J. Trump is only a pustule, not the underlying infection.

We’ll get back to that another day. I need a funny pages break.

But don’t worry — I can still grouse.


A more encouraging development, as seen in this Arlo & Janis (AMS), came out of the pandemic, as working from home gave people a chance to reassess the whole thing. Between the Great Resignation and the more current Quiet Quitting, wage slaves have started to exert a little bit of leverage.

Some loosening had already started. I had a publisher at the start of the century who wore polo shirts, which gave the rest of us silent permission to ease up, though reporters still had to mirror the dress codes they encountered: Jackets and ties were de rigueur for Chamber of Commerce events or even showing up on the doorstep.

And not everyone quite got it. At one paper, they declared “Casual Fridays” but then had to explain that this didn’t mean dressing as if you were about to change the oil in your car.

As for Arlo’s vacillation over shaving, he could step in for Ari Melber any time, since Melber apparently can’t decide if he wants to grow a beard or not.

Which is secondary to the apparent fact that he can’t decide if he’s hosting a news show or American Bandstand.



Meanwhile, Ben (MWAM) echoes my problems with “shopping local,” and not just that I think it could use an “ly” on the end. It’s not clear exactly where in Canada Ben and his daughter’s family live, but apparently a big enough city that she can drive from pillar to post trying to find a very specific thing.

Not so lucky here in a small city, and I’ve had to go online for some awfully mundane items, or else drive 45 minutes to a larger city so I can buy what I want in person and send my money off to national headquarters some place else.

Even the “big box” stores here are more like “middle-sized cartons” with limited stock, while smaller locally-owned places tend more towards a boutique atmosphere with artisanal stock priced accordingly.

I’m not accepting the Grumpy Old Man label on this one, because we’ve allowed corporate chains to displace local mainstream merchants and the damage is more than sentimental.


Harvey Kurtzman was a prophet. The loss of the corner grocery store was a boon to automakers, but maybe not such a benefit for the rest of us after all.

I remember a visiting group of Soviet executives in the early 90s marveling over our shopping center, but recognizing that centralized shopping and large supermarkets were why Americans needed two cars per family and had lost the habit of walking anywhere.

Local stores with local owners who know their communities are no longer a staple of society but a delightful, rare anachronism.

Their loss is more than a matter of nostalgia.


Speaking of anachronisms, I can relate to this Mannequin on the Moon (AMS). I write one check a month for my rent, which is what the landlords prefer and they’re nice folks and they live in the same building, so I don’t even have to mail it.

I may write four or five other checks a year, reluctantly.

I also do most of my corresponding electronically, so that I have about as many postage stamps today as I had a year ago and will likely have the same number a year from now, unless I become one of those eccentric grandparents who sends presents in packages festooned with stamps. Which could happen.


Back in 1990, I wrote a Sunday package about modern office technology, which fits well with yesterday’s discussion of how quickly automobiles developed. In the article, I noted that typewriters had largely disappeared and quoted a local office supplier who said he still stocked white-out and carbon paper but didn’t sell a whole lot of either.

But our paper didn’t have a fax machine yet, and, as noted, “cellular” phones were still a gimmick.

Part of the Luddite life is our own damn fault. At a paper I edited in 2008, our clerk was getting the police log by fax, then keying it into our computers. I suggested she call the cops and ask if they could send her an electronic file instead, which they could and did.

You don’t ask, you don’t get.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(The Lockhorns — KFS)


(David Cohen)

The Lockhorns surprised me: The strip is generally more up-to-date on technology and such, and Cohen’s political wisecrack properly frames the concept of television seasons as nostalgia.

If you’re under 40, you probably don’t remember back when the three networks had a much-ballyhooed New Season each fall, but they sure did.

And didn’t nobody ever ballyhoo better than these guys:

2 thoughts on “CSotD: Sunday Funnies

  1. “As for Arlo’s vacillation over shaving, he could step in for Ari Melber any time, since Melber apparently can’t decide if he wants to grow a beard or not.”

    I’d wondered the same! He should grow it on vacation time so we don’t have to look at it; it’s VERY distracting.

  2. I wonder how much of the divisiveness of this country could be traced back to the loss of just three major networks (and one educational station), which everyone watched. Once networks & cable were added, and then 24/7 news on the internet, we as a society became scattered. And divided. I’m not a sociologist (nor have I played one on TV), but that would be an interesting study to conduct.

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