Zits (KFS) is starting a story arc that could mark a shift in the comic, with Jeremy and presumably his friends beginning the college search. The strip has a glacial pace, but that’s better than no pace at all, and, over the years, we’ve seen the kids get drivers licenses and cars and even a new car, though my old VW camper is the only car I’ve had that I miss and so I wish Jeremy had held onto his.
Which leads naturally into the idea that we live vicariously through our children, and not just in their choice of cars. Which in turn leads into the fact that I don’t much like Jeremy’s mom, who seems like a Dream Killer. I hope I never gave my kids an eye roll.
What I did give them was a college guidebook — I forget which one — which was placed in the bathroom so they could peruse it at their leisure.
There was something ironic in that, since their mother had been public information director at a good liberal arts college that was highly ranked until they realized how bogus the whole system is and quit cooperating. It was one of the things we agreed on, but this was one of those books that gave you the real skinny and not just the glossy viewbook hyperbole.
But that was 35 years ago, and I’ve had conversations with each of them in the past two weeks about their own kids and how college, which was once inevitable, is far more optional these days. It’s no longer a question of where you’re going but if you’re going.
And at those prices, you’d damn well better be motivated. I joked yesterday about not letting college interfere with my education, but, looking back, I feel like the kid who said of a disastrous picnic, “I’m so glad I’m home I’m glad I went.”
I wish I’d taken a gap year, but, in my day, gap years involved Southeast Asia. No such excuse anymore, and, so far, Pierce appears to have the best perspective on the whole thing. We shall see.
Whatever a kid decides to do, it should, as seen in Reply All (WPWG), put them in the zone and not just leave them spacing out.
There are all sorts of ways to get there: Carlos Santana is clearly in the zone when he plays his guitar, but I know guys who are in the zone while working on a car and the surgeon who eliminated my cancer had me apart on the table for 12 hours. I asked him how he did that, and he shrugged it off. He was in the zone.
I spend four or five hours a day there, doing this, and, before I retired, it was more like eight to 10 hours.
They say if you find a way to do something you like for a living, you’ll never work a day in your life, but it’s deeper than that. It’s like being stoned all the time.
If your job doesn’t do that for you, find one that does. It’s out there.
Speaking of the days before I retired, Rico Schacherl recreates one of the Great Moments in my working life. In my position as a media education person, I served on a business/education partnership committee sponsored by the local chamber, made up of business leaders, school administrators, me and someone from the local PBS station.
We’d meet about once a month and talk about how important it all was, but we spent more time planning the next meeting than planning anything for the schools, and finally the manager of the Georgia-Pacific mill said, “I’m not coming to any more meetings about having meetings.”
It was the only practical remark that ever came out of the group.
(I was also on the boards of the United Way, Literacy Volunteers and a local history museum, each of which had paid staff to make sure something was being accomplished. It takes more than good intentions and endless meetings.)
Dave Ostow offers this cheerful downer, which would have fit in well with Sunday’s discussion of lying to kids about Santa and freaking them out with Elf on the Shelf. If you are a believer, you shouldn’t pile the Santa mythology too high, because it raises other questions you won’t want to answer.
There’s also this: With all the current talk about separation of church and state, it’s important to note that most of the Founders, like most Enlightenment thinkers, were Deists, which is a single step from agnosticism. Agnostics don’t think you can know how it all works, while Deists accept a Prime Mover but not an omniscient deity who messes with the world once it has been set in motion.
Fundamentalists are absolutely sure there is an active god, while Atheists are absolutely sure there isn’t. Two sides of the same coin, and both feel a calling to preach their subjective beliefs to people who didn’t ask.
Juxtaposition of And Another Thing …
When the Internet first emerged, I found it wonderful that, for instance, left-handed flute players could find each other, whether they were in America or Australia or Brazil. It didn’t take long to realize that it also meant conspiratorial screwballs and annoying nitwits like Leroy Lockhorn could also find each other.
I also agree with Mike Smith that Elon has made Xitter too toxic and am in the process of leaving there. I’m finding that Bluesky is a fairly good replacement for what Twitter once was.
Threads, however — possibly because of its Instagram roots — seems more like a replacement for Facebook, the problem being that we don’t need to replace Facebook. However annoying its food pics and vacuous inspirational memes can be, it lets friends and family stay in touch and we finally shamed teenage girls out of doing endless duck lips.
Your mileage on any social platforms may indeed vary.
Juxtaposition of the Day
Jeremy Banx seems to have captured the experience of seeing Napoleon, while today’s Peanuts rerun replicates Ridley Scott’s grasp of history.
Leaving me nothing to add except this highly entertaining review by a French viewer, and a song that should have been in its soundtrack: