CSotD: Humor, richly larded with wise sayings

It’s not always easy or possible or productive to separate comics into either humor or politics, and Prickly City (AMS) has always been a political strip.

In this case, we see the Republican party gain nominal control of the house only to have the Freedom Caucus preparing to play the temper-tantrum gridlocking roles Democrats have faced in the Senate with Manchin and Sinema.

They’ve indeed declared an apocalypse, mostly based on Hunter Biden’s laptop, expected to trap their leadership into constant extremist, divisive games and undermine any chance of the party passing serious legislation.


The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee (KFS) began as a more political strip than it currently is, but here’s a commentary that fits with Prickly City, in that the incumbent has far less interest in policy than in being reelected.

I particularly like the way this is framed, because he seems to represent not the bombthrowers and crazies so much as those potentially wiser legislators who have sat back silently indulging the extremists.

As it happens, today is the anniversary of our first day under President Lyndon Johnson, who had risen under the tutelage of Senator Sam Rayburn’s doctrine that in order to get along, you have to go along.

It was more polite than another doctrine that arose during LBJ’s administration, “When you’ve got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.”

LBJ governed with a bit of both, but in the years since, we’ve seen the rise of Goldwater’s once-rejected doctrine, “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

The Kennedy assassination was 59 years ago and the median age in the United States is 38, and so the bulk of Americans never lived under his inaugural promises, which sparked enlistments in the Peace Corps and VISTA and inspired young people to go South and enroll disenfranchised voters.

Perhaps you had to be there. Today such goals are ridiculed as being “woke.”


Though, to be historically honest, we also grew up with the politics of Buz Sawyer (KFS), who is kicking off an adventure that is a reprise from just a year before JFK was elected, and so not so many years before we had a genuine, non-fictional confrontation with the Soviets off our coast.

Roy Crane offers great art and good storytelling, but he had no qualms about letting his politics write the scripts.

I always thought it curious, BTW, that my generation was raised on Robin Hood and Zorro’s heroic defiance of unjust governments, and then barred from Disneyland for looking like the sorts of people who might actually defy unjust governments.


Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Not only can we talk about something more pleasant, but, for once, we can do it with a cartoon by Roz Chast, who coined the phrase as the title of a wise and important book.

As opposed to any of these, but thank goodness for her, because, just as on the Internet nobody can tell you’re a dog, neither can they tell that you are not, in fact, the most fabulous cook or gardener or parent who ever bestrode the Earth, especially if your schtick is about 30 percent advice and 70 percent self-promotion.

To relate another wise saying, when I Google a recipe to find out how long, and at what temperature, to roast a chicken, I end up thinking of this one: “If you ask him what time it is, he tells you how to build a clock.”

My response being an old Irish saying: “Near enough is close enough.”



There was a time when I knew how long, and at what temperature, to roast a chicken without having to look it up, just as I used to know people’s phone numbers and how to get from Point A to Point B without GPS.

And please don’t tell me it’s because we know so much more today than we used to.

Non Sequitur (AMS) contends that we only learned what we had to know to get through finals, and flushed as much of that from our craniums as possible when the academic year ended.

Which brings us dangerously close to politics again, given the number of things we should have learned in 8th grade social studies about the Constitution and whatnot.

The flaw in Wiley’s joke being that we still don’t realize that we should have learned all those things and didn’t. As another old saying goes, ignorance is bliss.

Nobody seems to go by “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt,” leaving us, instead, with Robert Willensky’s quote:

We’ve all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.


Had enough wisdom for the day? Here’s an Existential Comics that reminds me of all the philosophy I endured in a major in which philosophy played a major part. There was ethical and political philosophy that I really enjoyed and then there was metaphysics and some other stuff that drifted into this realm.

F’rinstance, I understand not taking your view of reality as certain, but when the professor holds out a piece of chalk and asks, “If I release this, will it fall to the table?” my unspoken response was to offer to put money on it.


Though, like Macanudo (KFS), I enjoyed Nietzsche. As we said in the ’60s, we thought he was pietzsche.

And, in fact, we put a fair amount of effort into field-testing this particular theory.


Finally, Zits (KFS) touched off a college memory of a fellow I knew who was home for the summer. One morning his father woke him up because his own car wouldn’t start and he needed to borrow the lad’s clunker to get to work.

As he slipped behind the steering wheel, however, he found a note, from a rejected lover, recounting her last passionate encounter with his son in some anatomical detail and begging for a second chance.

Sonny Boy was supposed to be studying for the priesthood.

Dad was late for work that morning.

Ah well. Coulda been worse.


One thought on “CSotD: Humor, richly larded with wise sayings

  1. Thank you for a wonderful column. And have a wonderful Thanksgiving. No fair saying “Trump” during the family dinner.

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