CSotD: Comics Relief

A door panel blew out on a Boeing jet the other day. Perhaps you heard.

Matt Pritchett came up with a funny cartoon about it. Many other people also drew cartoons about it.

The most interesting part of the whole thing, as far as I was concerned, was how much of a non-event it turned into. Someone had an interview with a scared passenger who said she was in a middle seat and the people on each side of her helped calm her down, and I wonder if that turned out to be the ratio of terrified versus non-terrified people.

Apparently, the flight attendants did a good job of keeping everybody focused and sensible, and I’d say that, unless another door panel blows out tomorrow, that’s probably the thing passengers need to worry about least. The airlines will be watching for it.

Also, as a cancer survivor, I’m pleased that so many procedures are considered necessary-but-routine, though, yeah, Lloyd Austin should have told someone so that, when it turned into a major health crisis, his people knew more or less what was going on.

He screwed up and might have to resign, but I’m not sure it was worth all the ink that’s been spilled over it.

There have been some things worth commenting on, but this Edison Lee (KFS) sums up a lot of it. I’m hoping that political cartoonists come up with some worthy commentary on the bizarre happenings in the House Screwball Committee hearings yesterday and that we get a ruling soon on His Majesty’s quest for invulnerability, but, while we wait, here’s some nonsensical gibberish, so grab a donut and sit back.

I was glad to see Gary McCoy address this issue in the Flying McCoys (AMS). I think it’s good that people are getting under their cars like in the olden days, though it’s harder to actually get under cars today given how close to the ground they make them.

But in past years, a lot of towns enacted sound ordinances, and glasspack mufflers kind of disappeared.

They do somewhat enhance performance of a car, but unless you’re racing, it seems mostly a “Look at me!” addition, in case your bass speakers aren’t loud enough.

If I were King of the World, we’d bring back noise ordinances, but we’d also require people to take a reaction-time test for license renewal, which would handle a more dangerous issue at the other end of the demographic scale.

In the meantime, if you are going to soup up a Datsun, at least try to make it look manly. Paint some flames on your wheel wells, or maybe a woodpecker with a cigar. Make an effort!

And if I’m surprised to be in agreement with Gary McCoy, I’m equally shocked to differ from Jeremy Banx, because I don’t find Gen Zs annoying at all.

It may be a generational thing; back in the day, we found a surprising amount of solidarity between the freaks and their Depression-era grandparents, mostly based on the idea that nobody cares about you except you.

Not that X’s and Millennials don’t feel the weight of the world, but the Z’s appear to be strategizing instead of complaining, by which I mean a lot of them are skipping college and they’re also registering to vote.

At least the ones I know are. When they aren’t souping up Datsuns.

Speaking of the Generation Gap, I’m not sure if this Lola (AMS) is accurate or not, because, when I took algebra, calculators were expensive and not very sophisticated or useful, except for adding and subtracting. But by the time my kids were in high school, scientific calculators were on the list of things we were supposed to buy them at the start of the year.

Then again, I never heard of pre-algebra. Sounds like arithmetic to me. A little help from the audience?

Like a lot of grown-ups, Betty (AMS) goes back and forth between really enjoying technology and being completely puzzled and frustrated by it. She’s in Old Folks mode with this one, and I agree with her.

When the Internet first burst upon the scene, it seemed to promise connections around the world, but what happened was not a widening of experience but a narrowing. And Junior is right to tie in TV with that factor.

The standard speech I gave to Rotary, Lions and other social groups in the 90s pointed out the variety of acts on the Ed Sullivan Show besides the Beatles, the point being that the whole family watched because there was one television set and three or four channels.

With the expansion of both Internet and TV, and the proliferation of cheap ways to access them, people have the opportunity to explore new worlds, but they don’t. The kids are up in their rooms listening to their own music, chatting with their own friends, cocooning in their own world.

The result is that they know more about another 15-year-old a thousand miles away than they do about the 30-year-old who lives across the street.

Even sitting in a classroom adds some real-life experience.

Now here’s that missing Radio Patrol strip that Vintage Comics Kingdom couldn’t come up with today.

I follow Radio Patrol mostly for its camp value, not for its art or, certainly, for its writing. I do not for a moment believe that police officers in 1942 brought kids along on missions and had them firing rifles at the bad guys, but Pinky and his friends are regular collaborators in Sergeant Pat’s crimefighting adventures.

It’s hardly unique: Leo Gorcy and the Dead End Kids were fighting crime in the movies at roughly the same time, Tom Sawyer played detective long before any of them, and I grew up in the 50s with Rusty and Rin Tin Tin joining Lt. Rip Masters in all sorts of Western adventures.

However, Sgt Pat is a lot more willing to let the kids participate. Most of those other stories included the adults telling the kids to stay out of it and the kids sneaking out to get in the middle of things.

Today, it seems, young people seem more consistently depicted in a state of eternal adolescence.

If you don’t see it, look at how AI interprets and adapts the culture it’s been shown.

20 thoughts on “CSotD: Comics Relief

  1. About that TV watching and unity – we all watched what the Old Man wanted to watch. Old comedians and lame, made for TV jokes. Dad jokes. There was no democracy at home! Talking horses and feckless Nazis. Hungarian princesses and Hooterville goons.

    Three networks that dumbed it down, added a laugh track so you’d know what was funny, and stole the season’s winning formula from the other network. And news that was filtered through Sarnoff.

    1. Yeah, as bad as today’s programming can be, I don’t really et why some people are so nostalgic for 50s/60s era television. Most of those shows are pretty terrible.

      Does ANYone unironically enjoy “Gilligan’s Island”? Anyone at all? Those TV Land type executives seem to think so…

    2. PreAlgebra is fractions, decimals, percents, and proportions, plus the idea of x representing a number. Yes, that makes it advanced arithmetic. And if you don’t figure it out in middle school you are doomed to repeat it in college BEFORE you can take college level math. I teach it at the University level.

  2. When I was in high school (20+ years ago), if I recall correctly, you either took algebra then calculus, trig, etc. (the smart kid track), or you took pre-algebra, then algebra, and that was usually the end of it. A lot has changed now that I have a kid in school (but not yet of an age for such advanced maths), so that may not be the case today.

  3. Those passengers were fortunate that the blowout was a non-event. Had it occurred when the plane was at cruising altitude (rather than partway through climb) the pressure differential (and hence velocity of the escaping air) would have been far higher and much more destructive. Even at that altitude if there had been passengers seated in that row – or persons with infants in their laps seated anywhere nearby – there would have been fatalities. Given the discovery of poorly-secured door plugs on other aircraft of the type the larger worry is not that *this* will happen again but what is amiss with Boeing’s assembly and maintenance safety protocols.

  4. 1. Is it possible that Banx is referring to Jodie Forster’s recent comments?
    2. Datsun? How many 38+ year-old cars are still on the road? Gen Z might be souping up Nissans.

      1. So what is “pre-algebra”? How is it different than Farmer Brown has five bushels of apples?

  5. As someone who’s rapidly approaching Middle Age, I’m glad Gen Z exists so Millennials no longer get constantly blamed for everything.

    The problem with the internet is that algorithms exist. If you look up one thing, the internet seems to think that all you ever need to see is more of that thing, and nothing but. If you actually want to broaden your horizons you have to go out of your way to do so. Just lazily clicking on whatever gets thrown your way ain’t gonna do it.

    Also, despite rapidly approaching Middle Age, I too am very much trapped in a state of permanent adolescence, but at least that’s not entirely my fault either.

  6. Let’s see…pre-algebra. That would’ve been eighth grade…nine years ago…I think it’s just algebra made easy. I’m not sure there was such a difference between what I did then or in ninth. Same with pre-calc and calculus.
    (I think that’s what the kids call a flex.)

      1. Which leads to my original question: How would a calculator help? The point, presumably, is not to find out how much Farmer Brown got for his bushels of apples but to demonstrate that you know how to find the answer, right? I would think “show your work” would be central to the course.

  7. Arithmetic deals with numbers and operations on numbers (e.g. addition and subtraction).

    Pre-algebra deals with properties of numbers and order of operations which are more abstract concepts that arithmetic. Properties of numbers include the distributive, associative and communitive properties.

    Giving due credit, and apologies for all the nasty things I’ve said about her, to Mrs. Steppick, I still remember those darn things fifty years later.

  8. Speaking of television:
    Mike wrote: ‘but we’d also require people to take a reaction-time test’
    I reply: please find the video of WKRP with Dr. Johhny Fever and his on-air drinking and reaction time test. That series was a masterpiece.

    Speaking passionately, as one involved in the beneficial part of it, there are two major elements to the internet. And, anyone willing to use duckduckgo and a little critical thinking can easily discern which sites are part of which element. There is the corporate money-driven, commercial, dishonest, destructive, spyware-driven element. And, there is the safe, beneficial, accurately informative and often entertaining part, which is smaller these days, but, in which we participate and support.
    Of course, as your video points out, soon every endeavor by creative people will be turned to excrement by thieving, abusive very ‘Artificial Intelligence’.

  9. Also, regarding Boeing and other critical industries. I was involved with aircraft design and production. The company I worked for was so focused on the responsibility of safe aircraft it had a motto “Zero Defects”. Back then, Boeing was run by engineering types, focused on quality products. Today, it is run by crapitallist corporate types who are only focused on reduced cost and increased profit.
    Thanks Mike for both the lighter and heavier discussions. I’ll climb off my soapbox, now, and get back to work

    1. Well over a half-century ago, the company my dad worked at had a “Zero Defects” motto. They also had “PRIDE” – Personal Reward In Doing Excellence. I think I still have an ashtray (remember those?) from a company picnic with both terms on it.

  10. And as far as “Millennials complain; Gen Z strategizes” is concerned, you have to look at how both generation were brought up.

    Millennials were promised the world, and were given a sack of garbage instead. We were promised an easier life, and were given housing crises and massive debt instead. On top of that, the Powers That Be said it was all our own fault. So you can’t blame us for being a little testy.

    Gen Z on the other hand, grew up knowing that all they’d be getting is a sack of garbage, so they weren’t blindsided by it. They were able to cope and plan accordingly, so as result they are a but less complain-y and bit more proactive.
    Still, I can’t forgive the whole TikTok thing.

    1. That fits with my comment about how freaks and (some) Depression people bonded. They were starving, we were getting sent to Vietnam, but we were both left on our own to solve things. So skip a generation or two and here come the Z’s, who are also largely on their own and know it. I get along wonderfully with my grands!

  11. I like Gilligan, along with Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Munsters, Get Smart, Cheers, (original) Frasier, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, Seinfeld.

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