CSotD: Friday Funnies on a Thursday

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.

14 thoughts on “CSotD: Friday Funnies on a Thursday

  1. Just heard the new Rolling Stones song on my local rock station here in Jersey and I had to do a double-take. I didn’t know it was them at first, but I can hear a bit of late 70’s Stones in the song and when at the end the DJ’s announced it as their new single I smiled. It was darn good! Not a huge Stones fan but good for them still plugging away and doing some good stuff. Bravo!

    1. As Dr. Johnson said of the Giants Causeway, “Worth seeing, yes; but not worth going to see.”

  2. Neal Umphred is right. Sans Serif will get you into all kinds of misunderstanding. With a sans serif font AI, A1 and Al all could look the same. Do you mean Artificial Intelligence, steak sauce, or Al Gore? Also, as noted by expert typographers and publishers, serif is easier to read in long passages (which is why I’ll stop writing now)

    1. It doesn’t confuse me when I write it. On the other hand, while I have 381 fonts installed on my computer, I have yet to find a way to reliably install them on other people’s computers.

    2. I once had a college textbook printed entirely in Optima font. I frequently found myself reading the same page over and over with no recollection whatsoever of what I had just read.

    3. Very few websites use serif type. Most readers these days know that artificial intelligence is the topic when they see AI.

      I used to work for tech news website, and when artificial intelligence first started making news circa 2008 or so, we would use dots in the initialism (A.I.), contrary to the way we treated other initialisms, to avoid confusion. But after a while, we decided it wasn’t worth the trouble.

  3. Yes, we Spectrum customers lost Nat Geo Wild (and Lord knows how many others that aren’t family favorites) but we got all the regional sports channels and all the regional ABC Channels…can’t say watching Florida Southern and ABC Poughkeepsie thrills me much (or, if you are in those regions, you probably don’t care much about U of Akron or Delaware, OH.)
    “Show me the $$$$$”

  4. Rolling Stones, heck—I’m listening to a podcast about Iggy Pop and THERE’S a guy that I’m amazed is still living. And, if the clip I just saw of him at the Rock ‘N Roll hall of fame is any indication, he’s still somehow got the hips and spine of someone half his age.

    1. He’s outlived both David Bowie and Lou Reed, the other two parts of my Holy Trinity back in my glam rock days. I find something very comforting about that, especially because I still have (somewhat shaky) memories of trying to outdrink him backstage at the Agora in Cleveland, Raw Power tour.

  5. Bob Rawson says: Very few websites use serif type
    I reply: My organization has created and maintained about 100 websites since 1997. Most of them were technical in nature. They all preferred serif fonts for their legibility and reduced eye/brain strain. We use sans serif, but, only for contrast and emphasis. I hope I don’t sound like a snob, but all the most intellectual sites I frequent use mostly serif fonts. Including this one (in the default settings of the best browsers)
    Mike: installing fonts in windows is just a matter of copying them to the font folder (you can copy them from that folder on your computer onto a USB drive and then copy them to another windows computer. We use Linux and every Linux variant (‘distro’) comes with an abundance and great variety of fonts already built-in. But, since Appple products or Androiid phones are so expensive and locked-down, we have no idea (or desire to know) how to work with fonts on them.

    1. I know how to install them when I control both computers. What I said was “I have yet to find a way to reliably install them on other people’s computers.”

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