If I were doing politics today, I’d want to swap out the parents with Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty in this Wallace the Brave (AMS), because about the best you can say about current politics is that a 50% decency rate isn’t as bad as it could be.
I’m not much into awards, but Will Henry got one from the National Cartoonists Society for newspaper strip of the year and they chose wisely.
Of course, he stands on the shoulders of giants, but he’s adapted those characters who have gone before, and, while Dennis Mitchell and Calvin often seemed to be seeking trouble, Wallace blunders into it but more often exhibits sympathy and decency. He’s as thoughtful as Charlie Brown without being depressive, which may be why he’s so much more popular among his peers.
And if Sterling ever emerges into a major character, rather than an odd-fitting bit of side business, it will signal a jumping of the shark. He functions best as the random irritant that sparks production of the pearl.
Similarly, Jim Meddick is wise to keep young Sedgewick as a side character in Monty (AMS) rather than pushing him into a larger role. His periodic appearances spice things up but there’s only so much you can do with the character before he’d become tedious.
And BTW I particularly liked this one because, as a young lad who colored outside the lines in all sorts of ways, I took comfort in learning that Churchill had been a rotten student and got through by swapping his writing skills with a classmate in return for the math that baffled him.
Meanwhile, over in Frazz (AMS), Caulfield seems capable of nearly anything except maintaining focus, which also feels familiar. We didn’t have ADD or much of any learning disabilities when I was a kid. We just had good kids and bad kids and I was one of the bad ones, and particularly rotten since it seemed clear I was capable of doing the work if I would just apply myself.
It leaves me ambivalent about the various drugs and treatments for disabilities, since, consarn it, I made it through without any of that, an attitude that conveniently ignores all the kids who didn’t.
Anyway, like Caulfield, I frequently got in trouble for asking questions and issuing corrections during my teachers’ lectures. Which is why this passage from Catch-22 has always resonated with me:
Which, in turn, brings us to today’s Speed Bump (Creators).
The surface gag is funny enough, but the underlying matter is more complex, since it has been my experience that there is no connection between intelligence and confidence but rather that, as Yeats observed, “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”
However, we’re not going to discuss politics today.
No matter how much Shannon Wheeler may try to lure us into the topic.
However, we can discuss AI, which I continue to read as “AL” which in turn plants a most annoying earworm.
They had some sort of Grand Summit at Congress in which the titans of the Internet met and discussed AI, which is better, as noted here earlier, than letting the collection of ancient Luddites who make our laws puzzle it out on their own.
But this Alex strip reminded me that not everything new is new, and aside from a formula that was cranking out local sports reports 25 years ago, there were also plug-and-play formulas for other repetitive writing tasks.
Much to my chagrin and the cost of a fee, I once went to a financial consultant who collected all my papers, sorted them into nice folders, and presented me with a written analysis that read like one of those Mad Lib computer generated astrology pieces once advertised in the classified sections of underground papers.
The only thing I learned from reading it was that I apparently had a wife named “N/A” who appeared several times in the narrative.
I hope whoever is programming AI has at least taught it to leave stuff like that out entirely, both because it insults the client’s intelligence and also because it’s an obvious tell.
And now for something completely different: Baby Blues (AMS), which usually catalogs the squabbles of the children, took a break to hint at the upcoming squabbles between Darryl and Wanda, which are apt to play out in homes across America and some other places as well.
We’re already inundated with streaming services, but the only one I maintain is Amazon Prime and that only because it offers enough other incentives to more than pay for itself over the year. I can’t believe I’m the only retiree who hears about shows on Hulu and Paramount and such, but might as well be hearing about vacations in Bali for all that I’m able to join in.
Well, keep your fingers crossed, because Disney and Charter/Spectrum cable have just concluded a quarrel over fees and rights that cost Spectrum subscribers a pause in their ABC/DisneyPlus/ESPN coverage that is now being discussed as the opening salvo in a revolution over streaming.
The future of “linear television” has been up in the air for some time, and I don’t know how they plan to resolve their squabbles over the packaging of streaming services, as those services become “premium.”
But I know enough about cable packaging to know that garbage channels are free and channels people genuinely want are expensive, which is why you have never had true a la carte choices: All users underwrite the good stuff, and, if they start picking and choosing, the per-viewer cost of those desirable channels will go through the roof.
Example: The NFL Sunday Ticket is about $400 a (five-month) season. Which is fifteen bucks a month more than the total Darryl and Wanda are fretting over for their entire collection of streamers.
Multiply that out and despair.
If that’s not despair enough for yez, Grizelda offers this realistic view of the shattered remains of a once-great band. Granted, I bailed when they fired Brian, but I also seem to recall an interview with Mick Jagger back in the day where he said he didn’t want to still be singing “Satisfaction” when he was an old man.
Well, you can’t always get what you want to, so be a little cautious in determining what you think you need.