CSotD: Your mileage may vary (It should)

Today’s theme being comic strips you may not find funny, we’ll start out with a La Cucaracha (AMS) that explores areas I probably shouldn’t try to comment on.

Spanish-speaking people are not a single ethnic group, and are barely a single linguistic group, and yet they are treated as a single group. I don’t think Cubanos and Chicanos and Puerto Ricans and Hondurans are a coherent political bloc except possibly as socially conservative Roman Catholics and even that’s dubious.

But when you get to the word “dubious,” it’s a good time to shut up.

So I’ll let Lalo Alcaraz handle the issue of why people who fled a dictator in Cuba seem so resistant to welcoming other refugees from other dictators, though I guess he only means our own dictator.

Your mileage may vary. We don’t all laugh at the same things and we don’t all get the same jokes.

F’rinstance, I don’t get this Karl Stevens cartoon from the New Yorker, which may not be aimed at a male audience.

But swapping roles, making it Scarlett Johansson, doesn’t explain the gag.

So I’m going to assume it’s a play on some Brad Pitt role in a movie I haven’t seen.

(Pardon My Planet, 04/12/03)

It’s not like I’ve never laughed at the overall set-up, mind you. And to be honest, I probably don’t know a whole lot more about Albert Einstein than I do about Brad Pitt.

Your mileage may vary on that, too.

Dogs I understand, and I got a laugh out of today’s Bliss (Tribune) because nobody who knows anything about dogs recommends retractable leashes.

I refer to them as “dog-casting reels” because, up in town, they’re mostly used so that Fido can take a dump in the neighbor’s flower bed while his owner stands at a distance pretending not to notice.

Down at the park, they’re used as shown here, to tangle people up, which often includes slicing a hand but certainly involves tripping and just as certainly does not involve controlling the dog.

Hazardous and useless but they sell like hotcakes.

YMMV, but six-foot leads are the default for a reason, and if you temporarily need more — for instance, to give some freedom to a new adoptee still under training — get a tracking lead, which is nice and long but not engineered to harm anyone.

However, even an old hand like myself gets a comeuppance once in awhile, and today’s The Other Coast (Creators) echoes an event from yesterday.

Living alone, I don’t have to watch my words because I don’t talk to myself, though I remember back in my married-with-children days when we used the term “W” in place of the word “walk” in order to avoid setting off our four dogs.

No such problem now, but yesterday I just picked my pants up off the floor and the dog assumed it meant an adventure, which I think is a damn sad reflection on my life.

Particularly since she was right.

Monty (AMS) has been doing an arc about fireworks and the Fourth. As I said the other day, Suzi doesn’t care about fireworks or thunder, though she looks over to check with me when they start up.

Perkins has a point, however, and, while fireworks are legal in New Hampshire, whether or not you can blow them off is indeed regulated by town, and, as it happens, you need a permit here.

If I were still a working reporter, I might head down to the town clerk’s office and ask how many people have applied for fireworks permits as the holiday approaches.

We could all use a good laugh, I’m sure.

This F-Minus (AMS) reminds me that we managed to keep our firstborn on our side, dismissing sugar cereals as junk and referring to baloney and hot dogs as “pig noses.”

For about three years. Then we moved 70 miles south, from Denver to Colorado Springs, or, as it was known, “Grandma Land.” Game over.

As he learned what he’d been missing, we stopped going down certain aisles, though, as noted in the cartoon, it didn’t eliminate the opportunity for debates at the checkstand.

Which left me with great affection for parents I see having conversations with their toddlers about celery or peanut butter or whatever is being put in the cart, and some sympathy for those who I charitably assume have mistimed naps else why would they have such chaos unfolding around them.

But yesterday at the grocery store, a woman went past with a two-year-old in the cart seat placidly poking things on a tablet screen, and it occurred to me that this was simply an up-scale version of the people who fill a baby bottle with Coke to shut the little bugger up.

YMMV, but all those kids are going to end up in the same kindergarten class.

For a moment this past week, I thought Frazz (AMS) was going to win an Unfortunate Timing Award along with the Titan disaster. Fortunately, Dr. Spaetzle is only tackling the John Muir Trail virtually.

Between people getting lost or injured on the Appalachian Trail and tourists going up Mt. Washington in flip-flops and shorts only to encounter blizzards, New Hampshire’s search-and-rescue teams get a pretty good workout, and while the question “What the hell were you thinking?” is always present, it seems boorish to ask it of someone nursing a compound fracture.

Still, it does seem a lot of people take that “You Only Live Once” thing as a challenge when it might better serve them as a caution.

Careless hikers run up a tab for their rescues, but Barney & Clyde (Counterpoint) remind us of another unpaid debt.

My purpose here has always been to persuade readers that cartoons matter, that they have value, though some are excellent and others may need to up their game IMHO.

So I’m always pleased when someone comments that they discovered various cartoons and cartoonists here.

But let’s not forget that there are no cartoons without cartoonists, and that cartoonists need to pay rent and buy groceries like the rest of us. Subscriptions to GoComics and ComicsKingdom are absurdly affordable and when I say “it’s the least you can do,” it really, really is.

A true fan would also support a specific fundraiser or two, and here’s a list of those.

Barney’s question was “Who cares if cartoonists make money?”

Your mileage should not vary on the answer.

If you can’t afford a quarter, then you ought to give a dime.

11 thoughts on “CSotD: Your mileage may vary (It should)

  1. I don’t think there’s anything more to the Stevens than “Brad Pitt is so overwhelmingly sexy that no woman could imagine being blamed for jumping into bed if given the chance.”

    1. I agree it’s probably about Brad Pitt’s appeal in general. But if we try to pin it to specifics, it could be for his role in Thelma and Louise.

  2. Re: the Karl Stevens cartoon.
    From what I understand, some couples play a game that their SO is given the green light for a one-night stand if a specific movie star/model/celebrity was involved. It’s all in good fun, becuase when would a house frau in Peoria ever run across a celebrity, let alone catch their eye for a roll in the hay? That absurdity is the basis of Steven’s joke.

  3. One of our dogs assumes that if I reach for my sneakers to put them on, she should run for her leash — even if I’m just getting ready to go to the store. I’ll have to admit this scheme works a decent percent of the time.

  4. As usual, you convinced me to sign up in support of comics. Despite exclusively getting my comics from your daily blog, I now have yearly memberships to both GoComics and ComicsKings. Too bad it is not as easy to support your work.

    As for the Brad Pitt comic, my eight-year high school (and beyond) sweetheart and I had this discussion in the late Eighties. I granted the pass but was still jealous despite the apparent absurdity of my position–she became Prom Queen a few years after I graduated Class Clown.

    By the way, I cannot shake the feeling you are trying to make some of your usual audience feel better by feigning a lack of understanding, given how often I have only understood after reading your explanations.

    Finally, I have deleted a few replies before posting them about how much I appreciate your reach, including the artists themselves. I think it is priceless to read comments by artists that vary from thanking you to defending themselves from you. I encourage more artists to comment if they feel they are being misinterpreted because it helps reveal nuances that educate us all on the art form and the artists.

  5. And some Spanish-speaking people are actually Spanish Europeans. And some Hispanics are actually white…or not. And then you have the gringos, the northern European version of the Hispanics.

  6. FYI, I had no idea your are one of our NH neighbors! Good news, as I (usually) enjoy your column!

  7. We all seem to agree that the Brad Pitt cartoon is pretty much what I figured it was. I had just hoped for something a little less vulgar. And I do doubt it would have run if the genders had been reversed, not that anyone should expect forgiveness in such matters.

    Note that the Einstein cartoon was ridiculous on several levels. Absurdity provides a lot of leeway for what would otherwise be bad taste.

  8. My Mom was a 1st grade teacher. When she saw some bratty kid misbehaving in public, she’d just sigh and say, “there’s some poor teacher’s nightmare.”

  9. I do not remember how I discovered this site, but I am very grateful for my good fortune. The Daily Cartoonist is a daily pleasure. And yes, I am trying to support cartoonists as best I can in a city with no newspaper any more. I subscribe to both GoComics and ComicsKindom.
    Bill Plott

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