CSotD: Youth and couth and suchlike

First, this commercial, or anti-commercial, from Joy of Tech. I’m a Windows kind of guy, so I wouldn’t have known this, but Apple is getting into banking, and offering some impressive interest rates.

As this article suggests, their 4.15% rate is better than traditional banks are offering and may spark banks to raise their current rates to a more realistic and generous level. That would be good.

As the article also suggests, it allows Apple to monitor your personal finances, particularly since, in order to qualify for the accounts, you have to have their credit card and a compatible phone.

Depending on your preferred level of privacy, it could start to sound a little creepy.

I’d rather go down the street to my community bank and — while hoping they do step up the rate a bit — accept 3.5% from local folks than deal with a megabank, much less let my personal finances become entangled in the Apple network.

For those particularly concerned with such things, Megan Herbert reminds us of privacy lost and a world of complete personal autonomy.

I do miss that world, but more in nostalgia than as something I could switch to now, and isn’t it ironic that it was an apple that Adam and Eve ate that made it impossible for them to dwell in Eden?

My only real regret among those analog artifacts is written correspondence. I had a creative, articulate, imaginative friend from college who died in his (our) early fifties. We’d written back and forth for years, but my sheaf of wonderful letters from him ended when we switched to emailing each other on accounts long since updated, abandoned and lost.

The rest of that stuff? I’m not sorry to be working on a word processor, or having been able to telecommute a good job for 10 years, or being able to go wherever I want without taking vacation, since my laptop and smartphone comprise my office.

Would I live in a cabin in the woods off the grid? In my mind, sure. But in reality, it’s worth knowing that JD Salinger, much as he was noted for his obsessive privacy, used to come into town to check his mail and have a cup of coffee and chat with his neighbors, who knew him as Jerry.

To which I add that Harry Bliss, who lives in Jerry’s old place, mostly draws cartoons about a guy walking his dog in the woods, or, at best, people in quiet parks, but not often at cocktail parties or driving on busy streets.

Still, I don’t think he submits them by carrier pigeon.

Juxtaposition of the Day

Regular Readers will realize this pair tweaks one of my main rages, which is that, while we couldn’t wait to grow up and gain the privileges and freedom that came with it, there seems now to be a conspiracy to keep everyone in a state of perpetual adolescence.

I don’t recognize either the parental hostility or Jeremy’s indolence in Zits, and, specific to this particular example, my kids were eager to get not just summer jobs but jobs throughout the school year. I recall having a spat with my ex over summer visitation, since she lived in England and I felt the previously-agreed-upon month there would negate summer employment for our eldest.

I call it a “spat” because it was a self-resolving problem, and by the time little brother was that age, we all knew that kids came and went so regularly in those low-level jobs that you could always find a gig when you got back to the States.

Both boys wanted to work because (A) they wanted the money and (B) because all their friends were working and they’d have felt like spoiled jerks to sit at home. Also, they were growing up.

Which might raise the question of whether we’re supposed to like Jeremy, but, in my mind, it simply raises the question of who is paying for his auto insurance and why?

As for Danae, I’m not sure how old she is supposed to be, but, first of all, if I had had a talking horse, I’d have wanted to stay young forever, too, because, like Wendy, you get to a point where fairy dust and happy thoughts don’t work anymore.

My memories of second grade are that my plans for adulthood were to go to the NYS Ranger School, which was just seven miles away, and then be a forest ranger and live at home. By fourth grade, I’d abandoned the second part of that plan.

By junior high, I couldn’t wait to grow up, and I certainly didn’t have to prod my kids to do the same.

I doubt that Edison Lee (KFS)’s folks will have to prod him, either.

Frazz (AMS) addresses the other end of things, that part where “you drag your feet to slow the circles down.” And, as he says, you can’t slow down aging, but we have found ways to extend maturation.

Beer ads, for instance, now show young drinkers dancing and partying on the beach, whereas they once depicted adults having a quiet beer with friends, or mature people relaxing in deck chairs with a brew, often in a fluted beer glass comme il faut.

By the way, I don’t recall this 1963 ad touching off any boycotts for putting Budweiser in what was, for the times, diverse hands.

The whole world was a lot more mature back then.

Speaking of silly modern controversies, Dr. MacLeod takes a humorous swipe at a humorous development, which is that the rocketman is having a terrible, horrible, no good. very bad time with his blue checks, which he thought he could monetize to make up for the fact that his new toy is worth half what he paid for it.

Medical school students have already seen a cadaver dissected, but for everyone else, Alex Kirschner does a fantastic job at Slate of slicing, dicing and exposing the inner foolishness of the genius and his absurd situation.

Put down your coffee and cover your keyboard.

Finally today, Mannequin on the Moon (AMS) makes a sort of pun that serves mostly to touch off an earworm which I will joyfully share.

You’re welcome.

13 thoughts on “CSotD: Youth and couth and suchlike

  1. If you say that Budweiser ad was printed in any magazine besides Ebony and Jet, I’ll believe you; but I’d be surprised if it was included in copies of Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics and the like sold south of the Mason-Dixon line, east of the Hudson, or between the Dakotas and Arizona.

    1. I would assume so but also think the trans-friendly ad was likely confined to a similarly quiet space. I could be wrong about that, but wouldn’t have known about it if the bigots hadn’t made a big deal of it.

      1. The big, obvious elephant in the room on the difference here is that there was nothing even resembling social media in 1963.

      2. The “trans-friendly ad” was a post on Instagram by a popular on-line influencer who is a trans woman.
        Whether a particular on-line account (with 1.8 million followers) is a quiet space I leave to you to parse.

      3. “Quiet” in the sense of who was likely to see it. Though given the closeted population among macho men, I’d say quite a few of them saw it. Still, just as the Bud ad about black homeowners was likely not aimed at an overall audience, transphobic bigots aren’t the usual audience of a trans influencer, unless she was deliberately attempting to provoke them, at which point she’d likely seek some place beyond her normal outlets, right?

  2. “. . .there seems now to be a conspiracy to keep everyone in a state of perpetual adolescence.”

    That’s in order to keep them out of the job market, in competition with those who can’t/won’t retire.

    1. See the Zits cartoon. Help wanted signs are everywhere and unemployment is at an historic low. Voluntary retirement and quiet quitting during the pandemic decimated not just burger joints but professional offices.

  3. Even Superheroes are just a victim of the culture. When superhero comics were for kids, we’ll say before 1989, the characters had cool secret identities that were just as much part of the story. Police officer, fire-fighter, lawyer, reporter, nurse–you couldn’t wait to grow up to be a real-life Clark Kent or Diana Prince, superhero or not.
    But that’s how children’s fiction used to work. Even Sesame Street for the first thirty years focused just as much on the real-ish lives of the adults on the street as on kids, and the muppets were adults unless otherwise specified (e.g. Big Bird and Snuffy are six, Oscar is five, Elmo is three).

    1. I’ve said it before, but I don’t know why they couldn’t have left the old superheroes to foster a new generation of comic book fans. I went from Caspar to Spooky to Superman to Spiderman, just as I went from Mad to the Nat’l Lampoon. But they focused on trying to keep their current readers in their existing magazines instead of offering them different, more adult fare while growing a new crop of youngsters in Superman etc.

      Thus the perpetual adolescence factor in comics, but it’s not all that different than newspapers who focus on pleasing their elderly readers while failing to refresh their readership with younger folks.

    2. Because there’s so much poverty it’s not popular to say, but . . . wealth (relatively speaking)

      I think the main problem you’re touching on with Jeremy, etc , is that many/most kids nowadays are raised in a family that is able to buy what it wants/needs. These kids are not exposed to the necessity of postponing, extra work, saving, etc.

      1. I’ve had four granddaughters hit 16 in the past decade, none of them from families with less than adequate incomes. All of them wanted, sought and found jobs. As did their friends, so far as I could tell.

    3. What happened to superhero comic books is that the creators used to be adults who knew they were writing and drawing children’s fiction, and did so with varying amounts of caring and quality (some excellent). Early comic book creators weren’t comics fans; they would’ve much rather been working on newspaper strips or in advertising, where the pay was better. In the 70s and 80s, a new generation of comics creators came up who WERE comics fans, and they made they kinds of comics that they–20- and 30-year-olds–would want to read. This is when superhero books got dark, murdery and rapey. That generation aged, new generations came up behind, and nobody even pretends they’re creating children’s fiction anymore. It’s all done to entertain a rapidly shrinking audience of 30- to 60-year-olds. Meanwhile, the Marvel movies put out (generally) family-friendly versions of those characters but God help the kid who wants to buy a comic book that looks like the Captain America or Iron Man on screen, because they won’t find one. It’s a stupid, industry-wide suicide.

  4. It’s just a myth, but the Bible does not say that the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge was an apple. It just says fruit.

    Mark Twain reputedly said that he knew the fruit was not a watermelon, since the Bible said that Adam and Eve repented.

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