CSotD: Current Events and suchlike

Some topical humor from Frederic du Bus. Pardon my crude translation:

In a world ravaged by global warming, the survivors have taken refuge in a fortress

While the horrible Vlad, a serial killer, sows death

and tries to recover the iron throne of king Volod

Suddenly, the FBI agents intervene, on the back of fabulous dragons

and it is at this moment that Louis XIV appears, embodied by a black actress from a cult classic (she offers an untranslatable example of currently hip humor)

What is this s…?

It’s because of the screenwriter’s strike. We had to call upon artificial intelligence.

We’re screwed.

I like the idea of using AI screenwriters, if they’d apply it to on-going shows rather than one-off movies. Instead of gradually screwing a show up over three or four seasons, AI could make it incomprehensible and unwatchable within three or four episodes.

Speaking of screwing things up over time, Lee Judge (KFS) comments on the Supreme Court situation, and I wish he were wrong. My initial reaction was that it was whataboutism to include Sotomayor, since Thomas’s grift is clearly unethical, while Sotomayor simply accepted a major advance on a book. I don’t have a problem with the justices having a side hustle and I could see how a book by her would sell.

But I looked deeper into it and it seems she has failed to recuse herself on a couple of cases in which book publishers, including her own, were before the court.

Since I never liked or respected Clarence to begin with, this hurts more, and raises the important question asked by the Old Professor himself:

John Cole hits close to home with a cartoon about a problem several hundred miles away, but common to rural folks everywhere.

The little hospital in my Adirondack home town opened about the time I was born, though I wouldn’t arrive there until second grade. But many of my classmates were born about 50 miles away while our hospital was still under construction. Others were born at home, and not because it was stylish.

Both my little sisters were born in the local hospital, and that’s where I got my braces tightened and my teeth filled, but over the years, cost cutting threatened to shut it down.

They didn’t close it, but we lost a lot of the services, so that, no, you can’t get ob/gyn services and the dentist is long gone.

My mother loved the town, but had to leave at 80 because it was 30 miles to this doctor and 40 miles to that one, and even in good weather, that’s not easy. In winter, it can be impossible. (We average 140 inches of snow per year.)

But I’ve got good news: Our hospital just got a $16 million grant that will expand the emergency room and update a lot of infrastructure.

People will still have to travel for specialties, and I haven’t heard if the improvements will include adding back a maternity ward. But there’s only so much you can expect.

Meanwhile, however, rural hospitals, and the people they serve, are in deep, deep trouble across the nation. The idea of “universal health care” begins with universal access, and a lot of rural folks are losing what they had of that.

Patrick Chappatte celebrates a different sort of good news/bad news with the pending arrival of F-16s, and while Chappatte is joking, it’s good that Zelenskyy is neither exposing himself to unnecessary danger or hiding in a bunker. I guess you could call him “cautiously belligerent” and his ability to pop up with world leaders all over the globe must drive Putin crazy.

As for the F-16s, it’s good that Ukraine will have them, but we shouldn’t oversell their abilities. It sounds odd to call them old, but you can get old fast in their business, and they’ll have to be used with caution because they don’t have nearly the abilities of modern craft, including the Russian planes.

Brynn Tannehill, a Middie with naval aviation experience, has a detailed breakdown on the capabilities of these F-16s and both their potential impact on the war and their potential impact on making Ukraine that much more eligible for NATO membership.

They matter a great deal, but, she says, “I’m not opposed to moving F-16s to Ukraine. I think its a good thing overall. But, I think people need to be clear eyed in their assessment of the capabilities and limitations of the system. This is not a wunderwaffe.”

Clay Jones is not the only cartoonist to joke about Ron de Santis’s moves to remove education from Florida schools, but I got a real chuckle out of this before the metamessages began sinking in. His essay is particularly worth reading.

The fearmongers and hatemongers are convinced that LBGTQ+ folks are “grooming” and attempting to convert straight kids into pree-verts, which is ignorant, as in not being totally unaware of the facts and not afraid to open your mouth anyway.

But there is grooming on racial issues, and hate- and fearmongering are forms of grooming, whether it’s coming from the governor’s mansion or being distributed around the family dinner table.

While I certainly wouldn’t show it to kids, I think it’s important that adults see the 1915 classic, which is available on YouTube and a whole lot worse than most of us imagined.

When “Lost Cause” deplorables prattle on about their heritage, this is what they’re talking about, because Griffith faithfully — and positively — repeats the racist tropes that kept slavery alive for as long as it did and inspired Jim Crow laws and lynchings once slavery ended.

It is at the core of modern hatemongering, as well. We’re not as public in spreading racial hate as people were a century ago, but we’re approaching that level in how we address LGBTQ+ issues and people.

As long as we’re talking about such cheerful things, here’s an illustration done by Abu Zubaydah, a prisoner at Guantanamo, one of 40 such pictures documenting the torture inflicted on prisoners there.

The Guardian’s story about his experiences is not particularly pleasant reading, but torture is like racism: If you don’t look, you won’t see it and that means it probably isn’t there.

2 thoughts on “CSotD: Current Events and suchlike

  1. Only comment on the eloquent Jones essay is that it might suggest to some readers that everything was more or less hunky dory up to 1915, which of course is not true. Wilmington and all that.

  2. Since the idea the entire court is unanimous in their agreement that they don’t need a code of ethics I think that there should be more cookie jars in Judge’s cartoon.

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