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CSotD: Only a Soup Can of Politics

Many years ago, my parents came across a recipe in the local paper that was intended to call for adding a soupçon of lemon juice, which a local editor had corrected to “add a soup can of lemon juice.” They sent it in to the New Yorker, which used to run editorial gaffes as fillers.

It was never used, but “soup can” became a family term for a very small amount of something.

I feel Maddie Dai’s cartoon in the New Yorker is payback for their previous editors’ failure to use the submission, to which I will add that it’s good to see that city folks also have observed the way snazzy restaurants appear to take pride in serving soupçons as if it made the food more special.

Out here in the hinterlands, we tend towards soup cans, with the more popular restaurants building their appeal on the theory that a portion should slightly overlap the edges of the plate, but every once in awhile some fancy place opens briefly and charges three times as much for a quarter of the food.

Their success reminds me of the provincial would-be intellectuals of Dostoevsky’s “The Possessed,” who flock to hear a noted author mostly because he’s noted, though he is, in fact, a pompous buffoon.

Small portions can similarly be promoted as a sign of culinary excellence, despite the fact that the cost of the food itself is the least of the establishment’s expenses.

Editor’s Note: We were once taught that a “gourmet” was someone with an exquisite palate, while a “gourmand” was a glutton. This distinction has apparently disappeared and the words are now considered synonymous.

Hence the waffer-theen mints offered at the close of a meal.


And now, today’s soup can of politics, based on Mr. Boffo and inspired by the latest episode of that hilarious new comedy, ‘Mr. Musk Gets The Bird,” in which the main character is a pompous blowhard who wants to live out his dream of working in social media with roughly the same results as when Oliver Wendell Douglas decided he’d make a fabulous farmer.

The difference being that, in “Green Acres,” Mr. Douglas recognized that Eb and Sam Drucker and even Hank Kimball knew more than he did about the business of farming. In this version, Mr. Musk is a mash up of Oliver and Mr. Haney, both conman and pigeon.

In the latest episode, Mr. Musk makes a public comment about why Twitter is so slow, which one of his technicians corrects, at which point some Eddie Haskell clone sucks up to Mr. Musk with a prim lecture about correcting the boss in public, whereupon Mr. Musk fires the fellow who dared challenge his authority.

The joke being that we used to call such corrections “whistleblowing” and “Profiles in Courage,” but now they’re just a way of escaping the hellscape with a bang rather than a whimper.

I doubt it’ll look bad on his resume, if he’s applying anywhere a sensible person would want to work.

Although, as Banx notes, there’s hardly a hot job market in tech right now.

But are we not amused? Why, yes, we are, and in 3D!!!


Still on the tech beat, Dave Whamond strikes a painful chord with this Reality Check (AMS), because I’m currently trying to populate my new Mastodon and CounterSocial pages without being a dork about it.

There are some intelligent conversations out there. Yesterday, someone commented on Facebook that Dickens never seemed to give his characters a lot of dimension and it touched off a back-and-forth that was worthwhile.

Which is more than can be said for the pathetic fishing expeditions of “What’s your favorite movie?” and “Do you recognize a can opener?” which are simply pleas for responses, often by radio stations defrauding advertisers with the number of clicks they can amass.

Or like-farmers hoping to reel in a few more suckers.

Or, as here, simply people who mistake numbers for relationships.

The answer is, “Yes. It’s very sad. Also annoying.”

But not as sad as the people in this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Pros and Cons — KFS)

(Barney and Clyde — WPWG)

A lot of marital humor in comics seems like an outlet for a cartoonist who feels raked over, and it’s rarely funny or engaging, but both these strips hit truth in painfully amusing ways.

Having been through the divorce mill myself, I winced at Pros & Cons, because it is far, far too common for couples to seek a marriage counselor who will take one side and condemn the other, which is silly at those rates, because you can get that kind of advice free from your friends, mostly without asking them.

Still, couples shuttle from one set of couches to another, each looking for the one who will justify them and rejecting anyone who doesn’t and especially anyone perceived to be at all sympathetic to their S2BX.

Which is nothing compared to the perils parents and kids face in the aftermath, very well outlined in Barney & Clyde. You want to be sympathetic, but, then again, you want a peek behind the curtain and perhaps a soup can of justification.

A lot of kids are like Cynthia, wise enough to take repeated let-downs in stride, but there are a lot who aren’t. But there it is anyway.

My advice from nearly 40 years later? Stay classy. You may get some lumps, but just maintain, trusting that the kids will someday be old enough to figure things out.

With a little luck, so will you.


Juxtaposition of Something More Pleasant

Can’t end the day on such a somber note, so here’s Wallace the Brave (AMS), fulfilling my remark the other day that Spud may be unusual but he’s only a “fool” in the classic, not the intellectual, sense. Best laugh here is in the first panel, when Rose is thunderstruck, the poor, over-achieving “normal.”

Between the two of them, Mrs. MacIntosh has her hands full, but it’s a joyous challenge.


I think the entire town of Snug Harbor has their hands full with this crew running around. I hope they consider it joyous, because they’re not being offered a choice.

Any more than this Kenyan journalist, who does a masterful job of maintaining for as long as possible:


NOTE: You’ll still see my daily reminders and links on Twitter for now, but you can also find me here:


Community Comments

#1 Mike Corrado
@ 4:45 pm

For the video, thanks from my whole family!

#2 Mary McNeil
@ 5:18 pm

My impression from “Barney and Clyde” is that Cynthia is already smart enough to play both sides to her advantage.

#3 William Ramwell
@ 11:58 am

My experience from marriage counseling is they should say give it up. She was Scottish and abusive/rude by nature. I’m a sensitive soul. I walked out before there was a family murder. Sometimes things are irreconcilable.

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