CSotD: Hold the Paranoia

Good thinking, Willie. I’m gonna throttle back a little myself. It’s not that there’s no news to analyze, but much of it is News of the Stupid, and I don’t have the energy.

Critical analysis isn’t like declassifying top-secret documents:  You have to do more than just think about it.


For instance, while I am inspired to give Leigh Rubin a “Good Timing Award” for today’s Rubes (Creators), that’s the worst caricature of Tish James I’ve ever seen.

Pretty good Trump, though.


And Deflocked (AMS) has a lead-time-delayed story arc about student loans which made me re-ponder the uproar over forgiving $10K in loans, because Mamet’s cunning plan assumes an annual tuition of $2,500 for four years, or that they all drop out after Freshman Year.

If I’d written Biden’s plan, I’d have made some tucks and trims, but, as the White House itself admitted, the plan didn’t address the rising costs of college, and, while the $10k forgiveness plus the chance of also getting off the hook on Pell Grants will really help a lot of struggling people, it won’t do much to help them afford $250,000 starter homes.

Back in the late 80s, my then-girlfriend went to Smith at 40 to finally get the degree she’d always wanted. Smith has an extremely generous program for non-traditional students, but, even then, she and her cohorts struggled to make up the cost of books and meals and so forth.

Except for Ann.

Ann’s first career had been as a nurse, so when she was tapped out, she’d wander down to Cooley-Dickinson, put in a few shifts as a per-diem, then come home with a full wallet and jump back into the books.

I mention this because my son, who has been a nurse for about a quarter of a century, is finishing up his bachelors. I asked him why and he said that, today, he wouldn’t be able to get an interview for a new nursing position, because HR doesn’t care about his years of experience and sneers at his two-year degree. They insist on a BSN before they’ll even talk to you.

Not that anyone in HR has the vaguest idea what the job actually entails. They’re only there to check off boxes.

Which reminds me of when his mother was leaving her job as Public Information Officer at a college and saw the resumes coming in for her position. She’d been hired as a j-school graduate with newspaper and tech writing experience, but, by the late 80s, people were majoring in College Public Relations.

She was great at her job, but her boss agreed: A generalist diploma would have locked her out of the running, and, if not, possibly exposed the school to legal action by one of the “better qualified” applicants.

You go to college to become qualified, not to learn anything.


Meanwhile, today’s Non Sequitur matches yesterday’s experience, since I dropped by a shoe store and found a hand-written sign on notebook paper Scotch-taped to the door saying “Closed on Wednesdays.”

Since it wasn’t the Viking Shoe Store, I have to assume they were not at Odin’s Day Services but simply couldn’t get enough warm bodies into the building to be open seven days a week, which is doubly pathetic given how little clerks in shoe stores do these days, despite cartoons depicting them endlessly helping customers try on shoes.

So I went to the Kohl’s next door to look at shirts and it appears either they stock shelves there with a pitchfork or they can’t hire enough people to straighten things up every few hours.

And the convenience store by the dog park closes at 3 pm every day for lack of staff, which isn’t how I define “convenience.”

When I was in my 20s, the boss’s motto was “Or we’ll find someone who will.”

This reminds me more of what the black troops doing guard duty at the POW camp in Elmira used to tell their Confederate prisoners: “Bottom rail’s on top now!”


Can’t we talk about something more frivolous?

Not to pick on Dave Coverly, because, in today’s Speedbump (Creators), he’s just exploiting a very well-established bogus assumption, but it does give me a bit of a twitch when turtles are depicted as existing separate from their shells.

Not that it matters in the grand sense. They can’t talk, either, so a strict literalist would reject a whole lot of cartoons featuring turtles or just about any animals beyond parrots and mynah birds.

Still, as someone who spent most of his childhood playing in the woods and who turned to (classic) Mark Trail first in the Sunday funnies, it rankles because it’s one of those things where you can’t be sure whether the cartoonist is in on the gag.


But to balance my sniping over turtle shells, Dan Thompson gets extra credit for this Brevity, because it’s “half-staff” on land and “half-mast” only on shipboard.


And Dave Blazek gets a round of personal applause for this silly Loose Parts because, when I was eviscerated six years ago, they took out my bladder and then snipped a length of intestine which was re-purposed to flow things into a bag on my hip.

Which left me not with an ascending colon or a descending colon but, of course, a semi-colon.


And speaking of medical matters, Tom Heinjtes ran this 1955 Frank Beck piece on his Hogan’s Alley twitter page, bringing back memories of my own truly wretched timing, since that was when my sister had her tonsils out and was inundated with gifts and ice cream.

There’s only three years between us, but by the time I was seven, they’d pretty much abandoned tonsillectomies and I got nothing.

Except my damn tonsils, which I had been eager to swap.

So now I blame them for my sleep apnea.


Your Guilt Is Absolved!

We’ll end on a cheerful note, which is that, while Susan may be laying on the guilt trip in this Candorville (WPWG) story arc, most such invitations are sprayed as if from a firehose and the inviter has no idea if you said yes or no.

Though if it comes from your “She’s not my girlfriend girlfriend,” you should probably play along rather than risk damaging your non-relationship relationship.


5 thoughts on “CSotD: Hold the Paranoia

  1. Ah, the joys of college degrees to check off HR boxes. Graduated from Gannon College (now, University, of course) in Erie, PA with a BA in Psychology, and an M. Ed. in Guidance and Counseling. Which, quite frankly, were completely useless other than keeping me out of Vietnam, and in a lot of weed, acid, and women.

    Except that, when I was trying to make my way in something resembling my field (county social service programs, and in administration, not counseling – I was a horrible counselor), it was readily apparent that without those two pieces of paper, I’d have never gotten a first interview elsewhere.

    Despite by true talents turning out to be running the personnel department, and doing budgetary work. Of which the only psychology necessary was in dealing with the County Commissioners. Which worked fine for ten years until the courthouse changed political parties.

  2. “You go to college to become qualified, not to learn anything.”

    I’d say rather “You go to college to buy a piece of paper that says you’re qualified.”

  3. Elayne Boosler isn’t just one of the all-time greats of stand up comedy, she’s an all-time great of animal rescue.


    Every penny of donations to her charity goes to animal rescue. I highly recommend donating to Tails of Joy. We do it by using smile.amazon.com, where a portion of every purchase goes to the charity of your choice.

  4. Ben, since he’s telling the story himself, I’m gonna assume he’ll emerge okay. I’m also gonna assume that, about 15 years from now, he’ll be astonished to learn that Wallace actually believed what he thought was clearly an amusing tall tale.

    Been there, done that. Wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Comments are closed.