CSotD: Welcome to My World

I wasn’t going to do politics today, but Michael Ramirez (Creators) inspires me to share a little of my process.

I get up around 3:45 each morning, let the dog out, make coffee and scroll through Reliable Sources on the days it’s available, then my Facebook and Twitter pages. If people there are going on about some news story, I’ll hit Google News before starting to leaf through the cartoons.

There was one such distraction this morning, because two cartoonists had this “God Save the Queen” thing, so I had to go back to Google News and find out what that was all about.

Roughly nothing. Biden was finishing a speech and confessed that he didn’t have time to go shake hands with people in the crowd as he normally does, and called out “God save the Queen, man” jokingly to one of them.

I don’t know who he said it to or why and I’ll bet none of the bloviators bloviating about it know, either. But why should that stop anyone not just from speculating but from using it as an attack?

If you can’t say something nice about someone, say anything.

Mike Lester (AMS)‘s cartoon didn’t send me to the Googles, because I’d already seen it covered at some length on Reliable Sources and then on Twitter.

It seems Joe Rogan had Robert Kennedy Jr on his podcast, where RFK Jr proceeded to explain his theories about covid and vaccines and conspiracies and the voices. Okay, he may not have mentioned the voices.

But Rogan has enough of an audience that he can advance any sort of screwball theory and it will suddenly be taken up by a significant, loud and sometimes abusive number of numbskulls.

But, while it didn’t send me to the Googles, it did send me back to this F Minus (AMS), which I laughed at last week because I thought it would be a most excellent rumor to start.

I just didn’t expect it to become relevant, but that’s what I get for overestimating the sanity of the mob.

Anyway, that’s how I began my morning. Now here are the sort of things I’d been planning to offer before I was interrupted.

Well, wait: One more semipolitical cartoon that I didn’t have to look up. Joy of Tech notes the chaos over at Reddit, where they’ve decided to collect money from people and people have decided no they won’t and so John Oliver is all over the place.

I don’t know how much abuse and foolish policies Facebook actually gets away with. Jokes about “Facebook Jail” and fake postings about putting your finger here to eliminate ads indicate a certain amount of discontent, and I say that as someone who had a well-established account taken down because Facebook decided I wasn’t 14 though I’d been running the page for longer than that.

But FB does indeed seem to fly under the radar compared to Twitter and Reddit, perhaps because it is neither being run by a cryptofascist jughead nor trying to shake down users for stuff that once was free.

Just a guess.

Meanwhile, Alex Masterley lured me in to that fourth panel and then made me say, “Wait, he’s right.”

I don’t know how it is in the banking business, but in media you have to maintain a healthy flow of information from a variety of sources. I used to advise public relations people — speaking of three-dimensional contact — that you want to be present enough that they know who you are but don’t drop in so often that they duck under their desks when they see you coming.

Nobody got that message when it comes to email and the last thing you want to do is respond and encourage them. Email is a very valuable business tool, but these guys are right: AI could fix that.

And double that for texting.

Meanwhile, a truth from the other end of the traffic counter: Reply All (WPWG) expounds on Mark 6, perhaps unintentionally.

But yes: However many readers I may have here, very few people I see on a daily basis have any idea of what I do and very few of those who do, bother to read this stuff.

At which point I take some comfort knowing it has happened to better people:

Not a lot of preachers pound the pulpit over Mark 6, not because of Jesus being shrugged off in his hometown but because James, Joses, Judas, Simon and the girls mess with their anti-sex theories about Mary and Joseph.

Though it would make a good hymn: “Here’s the story, of a lovely virgin, who was bringing up a very special boy …”

Theology, or Christology, or Marianism aside, Pickles (AMS) raises a related issue, because, given the condition of life and medicine and such 2023 years ago (plus or minus 7 years), I think Mary and Joseph did pretty well to have so many kids running around the carpentry shop.

Point is, a major misunderstanding of life span is that it’s an average, not a limit. It’s true that an adult might come down with something fatal, but the real reason life spans were so short is plain to anyone who walks through an old cemetery and reads the stones.

Little kids died. A lot. And, no, their parents weren’t used to it and didn’t shrug it off.

People lived to be 80 or 90 with some frequency back then. It’s just that more of the others began to live long enough to start raising the average, thanks in large part to vaccinations.

Still, sometimes, even in the old days, the magic worked.

Then again, sometimes, it didn’t, for a variety of reasons.

Which is a good time to bring up another misconception, courtesy of this Free Range (Creators) and Little Big Man, which if you haven’t seen it you should and I intend to read it as well.

“Hunter/Gatherer” isn’t one person. Some people were hunters, some people were gatherers, and it generally divided along gender lines, though Little Big Man makes the point that sometimes people who were born male behaved more like females and that was okay in Cheyenne society, while there was a famous woman among the Crow who was a highly respected warrior and had several wives.

Civilized people accept that sort of thing.

Anyway, here’s the earworm from today’s headline. Wish his life had been longer.

8 thoughts on “CSotD: Welcome to My World

  1. There’s a good Arlo & Janis when he says that he doesn’t want to do it (his life) over; he wants to do it again!

  2. To paraphrase Tom Lehrer, when Beethoven was my age, he’d been dead for six years.

  3. I can’t figure out what is going on with Ramirez’s Biden caricature—that *is* supposed to be Biden, right?

  4. The Church(es) long ago made those siblings of Jesus, his half-siblings from Joseph’s apparent first wife.
    There are problems with this, some of which are straightened out and some swept up the rug. The easier one being where were they when their father was in Egypt? And of course, what about the twins? etc.

  5. Lester’s cartoon confuses me, because if I read it at face value, he really seems to think there’s such a think as a state-directed mind-control vaccine. But no sane human being would believe such a thing exists (else Kim Jong Un and Vlad Putin would be passing it out like candy), and whatever his politics I never took Lester for insane, so I looked for a second deeper meaning. Is he making fun of anti-vaxxers who’d believe such nonsense? That doesn’t sound like Lester, either. Besides, isn’t vaccine fear-mongering SO 2021? Why’s he bringing it up now? I genuinely don’t get it or him.

    Related: my favorite recent news story concerns the rising hulaballoo in antivax circles because they were convinced that everyone who got the vaccine would be dropping dead by now. They’re angry that bodies aren’t piled in the streets. Sorry to disappoint.

    F Minus reminds me of my favorite advice about countering conspiracy-theory types: out-crazy them. For example, if faced with someone who denies the Moon landings, you ask them wide-eyed, “You believe in the Moon?!” and laugh at them. Never tried it but I want to.

    You lost me at “Mark 6” until getting to the Bible two grafs later. I thought you meant version number, like a Lincoln Continental Mark 5, or Iron Man’s Mark 42 armor. I actually read back, looking for Marks 1 through 5. At least I’m more Biblically literate than the three recent Jeopardy players who blanked on the world “hallowed” before “be thy name.” I would’ve gotten that one.

    The average life expectancy thing is a minor rankle for me, as well. The maximum human life span has been pretty much the same for the past 20,000 years or more. It’s just the proportions that shifted. Why? Civilization. Hygiene. Medicine. And, hey Mr. Lester, vaccines! Yeah, vaccination was a big one. People used to beg for vaccines; being able to prevent polio with a drop on a sugar cube was a freaking modern miracle. We’re so spoiled. Our short-sighted stupidity is gonna get a bunch of us killed someday–oh wait, it just did.

    1. It’s possible Lester heard of the “state-directed mind-control vaccine” story and decided to use it as a convenient attack vector without believing in it. At least at first. . . .

      As to the moon, based on his question to Abraham Pais Einstein apparently suspected that some quantum physicists believed the moon wasn’t there when nobody was looking.

  6. So glad you mentioned Little Big Man. Its portrays the Cheyenne as the most civilized of all the movie’s characters, an accurate portrayal that is worth recounting over and over.

  7. I’m pretty sure that the Lester cartoon is meant figuratively, although I’m not sure why he draws the guy who ‘dares to question’ with such a bland, accepting expression. You’d think he’d be questioning the vaccine as well as anything else Lester doesn’t buy, but maybe he’s already had one shot and this is just a booster.

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