Comics world is full of New Year’s Resolution gags this week, but Between Friends (KFS) happens to fit my current status as a blogger locked out of his blog for the first time in several years. I’ve long since learned that there’s no point in my buying a stationary bike or joining a gym, but I am strongly fixated on writing.
In my early 30s, I started running each morning, and it can become a habit if you work it into your routine, or, it can until you damage a bursa sack and spend two weeks in a boot, then start up again and do it again. I took it as a message from God.
Susan clearly is not fixated on walking, but, rather, on doing what she thinks she probably should do. The worst she’ll do is invest in a pair of good shoes, and you can always use a pair of good shoes.
Meanwhile, I’m waiting for the blog to be updated and go live again because that’s what I do in the morning. Consistently.
On a semi-related topic, Betty (AMS) is not so easily dragged into what she should probably do and has been riffing on the disconnect between what magazines tell you and what life dishes out.
It doesn’t take a conspiracy of capitalists to dangle The Good Life in front of people as an inducement to make them want more, but the number of magazines promoting smart, economic life hacks is dwarfed by those promoting $2,000 dresses, big cars and vacations in the Greek Islands.
I recently re-read “Great Expectations” and liked Pip more than I remembered, because I found he really was painfully aware of his ingratitude, particularly to Joe, his stepdad, and that, while he could never turn things back, he was aware of how much happier he might have been had he stayed Joe’s apprentice at the forge instead of being fed dreams of marrying Estella and becoming a gentleman.
But, of course, having written a bittersweet ending, Dickens was persuaded to re-write it such that Pip and Estella ended up together, in love, forever. In $2,000 clothing.
Betty can see through this stuff, but that’s what makes the strip so compelling, and particularly because, unlike Roseanne Barr or the folks in “Married with Children,” she doesn’t use it as a springboard for bitter unpleasantness. She likes her life and shrugs off the wretched excess around her.
Sherman’s Lagoon (KFS), meanwhile, is more in the style of “The Life of Reilly” or “The Honeymooners,” in that Sherman has ridiculous, bloated dreams of success and Megan spends much of her energy in trying to pull him back down to Earth. Or Sea. Or whatever.
I’m barely old enough to remember Reilly, except that Peg was far more patient than Alice Kramden, but both men, like Sherman, were the archetypes of the Barroom Blowhard and fair game for mockery, mostly because they were never in a position to lose anything major anyway. As that final panel suggests, Sherman’s success was entirely in his head and the losses incurred would have been pissed away on some other foolish venture.
You like because, you love despite.
I dunno if that’s a good rule for life, but it’s a great proposition for comedy.
Juxtaposition of the Day
It’s really the difference between being an actual fan and simply glomming onto the next popular target for a saleable cartoon. I can remember knowing, even before I knew a whole lot about soccer, that Pele had once been a poor boy kicking coconuts on the beach in Brazil because he and his friends were too poor to afford real soccer balls.
Lombardi depicts him looking back on those days, and I rather suspect he always did, despite the fame and riches that later came along. Simply showing him as a great futbol hero misses the point and cheapens the moment.
Brazilian cartoonist Sujo Sujo offers this wordless discussion of what parents are afraid of versus what they ought to be afraid of, and it would be less brilliant if it didn’t contain a strong element of truth.
Obviously, it’s an exaggeration, but it’s a cartoon, after all, and I only wish it were more of an exaggeration. But, while all transphobic people may not also be nazis, I would suggest that the Venn diagram of the two would show a substantial degree of crossover.
After all, Rick McKee (Counterpoint) is willing to publish his opinion that the problem with the world’s economy is that people are no longer sufficiently racist, sexist, homophobic and downright unpleasant to each other.
In his world, human decency is the cause of poverty and inflation.
A little more hatred, and little more cruelty and we could all be wearing $2,000 suits!