CSotD: A mostly funny Friday

Some years ago — never mind how long precisely — having burned out on the politics of the day, and finding nothing in particular amusing me anymore, I thought I would flail about a little and devote Fridays to the funny parts of the comics.

I know that’s the wrong movie, but we don’t apologize in this business. We just explain, and it’s been awhile since I kept to my rule of not doing politics on Friday, but today I’m not in a political mood.

And yet Jonesy made me laugh and this cartoon certainly has a soupçon of politics about it, though not enough to make it exactly a political cartoon.

Soupçon was always pronounced “soup can” in my family, because my parents had come across a recipe in the Lebanon Daily News that called for “a soup can of lemon juice” in something, which proves that having a fully-staffed copy desk doesn’t solve every problem.

Anyway, this will be a Funnies Friday with a soup can of politics.

But we’ll start with an explanation that is not an apology, because yesterday I featured this Paul Berge cartoon in discussing Tuesday’s primary here in a different Lebanon, and this morning on his blog, I see that it was from 1988.

To which I would add that it’s a damn shame when a political cartoon is still so apt so many years later that someone can pop it up on the Intertubes and have it mistaken for new.

Less a case of “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” than of “Though you grind a fool like grain with mortar and a pestle, yet his folly will not depart from him.”

While on a similar note, Tom the Dancing Bug‘s riff on the Davos Fat Cat Seminar made me smile, with a funny take on a political topic.

But it also reminded me of …

… this David Horsey cartoon, whose date I can’t make out but which is obviously from W’s time in office.

As they say in the Lebanon where I was born rather than the one where I live now, “We grow too soon old and too late smart.” And perhaps not the latter at all.

Juxtaposition of the Somewhat Political

Benjamin Slyngstad

Marc Murphy

Sexual politics often fall somewhere between political politics and dark gallows humor, and here are two related takes on the fact that the two women most obviously involved in a movie about sexual politics were left out of the Oscar nominations.

You can choose whichever you prefer, but I’m more inclined towards Murphy’s dismissive response than Slyngstad’s burning anger.

I don’t think much of awards, but I consider Oscars particularly pointless.

My favorite example is 1996, when Braveheart walked away with nearly everything, beating out Apollo XIII, Babe, Il Postino and Sense and Sensibility, a tribute to what happens when you employ 10 billion extras, including many who have voting rights in the Academy.

Braveheart made an absolute dog’s breakfast of history, with a fellow in Roman era blue makeup and a tartan that wouldn’t exist for three more centuries, in love with a woman who would have been three years old, and here’s a lovely rant about a wretched film.

My own rant at the time was that they went for filth-as-authenticity. Gibson looked like a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader who’d been given a loaded cigar, and I wondered why he didn’t take the razor he used to remain clean-shaven and cut through some of the tangles in his big hair.

My conclusion was that Babe would have won Best Picture if they hadn’t washed the pig.

But let’s ease back from overtly political comics with this combination of humor and wisdom from Alex. Not only is he bang-on about stocktrading, but he’s right about AI being a sign of the consensus.

That applies not simply to stocktrading, where the point is to stay ahead of the mob, but applies as well to art and everything else in which “consensus” and “mediocrity” are roughly equivalent, like “average” and “median.”

And after a long day of watching Law and Order reruns, what you need is Brewster Rockit (AMS)‘s take on good-cop-bad-cop. Although on Law and Order, that’s often what they mean by bad cop.

I’m waiting for the episode where the case falls apart because it turns out that Lenny Briscoe and Abbie Carmichael vacationed together on a Royal Caribbean Cruise using his credit card.

Tony Carrillo hits a tender spot with this F-Minus (AMS). It was easier to help your kids with homework when they learned arithmetic and the curriculum focused on memorizing multiplication tables and plowing through rows of mind-numbing addition and subtraction problems.

My kids were lucky and had a math teacher in high school who focused on how it all worked instead of just making them memorize and regurgitate proofs. If they got the right answer through the wrong means, he’d compliment them but then explain how that approach would fall apart when they hit the next level, and show them — and explain — a way that wouldn’t.

Having forgotten what little I’d been badly taught, I had no idea what they were doing. If they’d opened their math book and doves had flown out, it wouldn’t have surprised me in the least.

Okay, this is a meme, not a cartoon, but Wendy Liebman is the genius who said that men living alone are like bears with furniture and she’s on target with this one, too.

I’ve still got half a roll of stamps from before I retired and I use maybe five in a busy year. Meanwhile, there are people selling Forever Stamps at a discount on the Internet, which I understand is a scam.

But it’s one I’ll never fall for!

Bliss (Tribune) on dog-dressing. My dog has four coats for bad weather, three of which she can wriggle out of in under 90 seconds. The fourth only goes on in single digit weather, because people ask why she isn’t wearing one.

She and I know, but it’s not worth arguing over with them.

So long, sweet lady

I often feature Phil Ochs songs, and here’s Melanie Safka doing one in a cover he particularly liked. It seems fitting now that they’re both gone.

17 thoughts on “CSotD: A mostly funny Friday

  1. Barbie wasn’t nominated for Best Picture because most members of the entire Academy (not just the live action members) voted for the nominated pictures.
    All other categories are only nominated by members of the category, which is why so many Best Picture nominees do not often have their directors nominated. It’s not a perfect system but it’s a lot fairer than it used to be when studios bought votes and employees voted only for pictures from their home studios.
    Disney’s WISH and ONCE UPON A STUDIO were not nominated for awards in the Best Animated Feature and Short categories. People who worked on those films, voted for films from other studios, including several independent productions. This is the first time that Disney has not had an animated film nominated in this category.
    I have been a member of the Academy since 1996.

  2. Just spitballin’ here, but maybe Barbie didn’t get nominations because it didn’t deserve them.

    1. Apparently it deserved nominations for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and bests in Adapted Screenplay, Costume Design and Production Design. Or at least it got them.

      1. Sorry. Poorly worded and not thought through post. I was referring to the “snubs” allegations. I shouldn’t comment on things like this that I don’t follow or really care about.

    1. Yeah, I guess that’s why she was invited to perform at Woodstock, named female vocalist of the year, sold millions of albums and had several hit singles plus a substantial fan base.

      This is the second nasty thing you’ve posted here for no reason. Lighten up, okay?

      1. Hey, I’m sorry. When she passed, I remembered her from back in the day from her couple of hits. So I was expecting that this would be something that I would like and then was disappointed to hear how poorly her voice sounded, especially when she held on to notes. I like music and am always looking for something I haven’t heard as there is a lot of good music that has been buried over the years. It is always cool when you find something that was just sitting there, ignored by a couple of generations, that should have received more attention. This, unfortunaley, wasn’t one of them and I’m sure there could have been a better example used.

      2. Vibrato is a recognized element in vocal music, but it’s admittedly not for everyone.

        “You must never say that this painting’s good or that bad, never! Good and bad are not terms to be used by you; but say, I like this, and I dislike that, and you’ll be within your right. And now come and have a whiskey for you’re sure to like that.” — James McNeill Whistler

  3. Mike wrote: Soupçon was always pronounced “soup can” in my family
    I reply: that is just hyperbowl! (groan, aren’t we allowed to make fun of rtwingnuts?)

    Mike wrote: what you need is Brewster Rockit (AMS)‘s take on good-cop-bad-cop.
    I suggest: back up a number of days and see the whole series about the space squids, it’s fun.

    Not Really Off Topic –
    Mike, the story below emphasizes what you warn us about:

    Posted on January 26, 2024 by tengrain

    In late-stage capitalism when everything is expected to grow exponentially or not be worth the hassle, the business of journalism has hit a wall with the media owners. It’s not a secret that venture capitalists have been buying up newspapers, gutting them and selling the off the parts (especially the real estate) before junking them and taking a write-off on their taxes.

    We have a great need for journalists and journalism, so this Axios ‘Smart Brevity’ story about the Death of the Media is alarming:

    Nearly a dozen mainstream media companies are gutting staff and scrambling to rescue their struggling businesses.

    Why it matters: The media business is shrinking at the national, state and local levels — a scary, stark new reality for thousands of journalists.

    The big picture: Media cuts were so severe last year that most industry observers weren’t expecting such intense cutbacks in 2024. But an ongoing bloodbath is decimating news outlets nationwide.

    It’s also fueling a new round of conflict between unions and management as tensions run high.

    And then it goes into a long list of titles and the draconian cuts that they are making, but very little analysis of why it is happening. And yes, Eiron, the Goddess of Irony, is giggling that online bullet-point journalism concern Axios is reporting this.

    Anyway, I’m under the impression that most titles are profitable, but not profitable enough for their rapacious investors and Wall Street who want double-digit growth year-over-year. You want a cause? I’m going to put my wager there.

    1. My father walked away from the steel industry when vulture capitalism first took hold in the early 70s. The new owners wanted only the rich, not the medium grade, ore in our local mine, which made them greater profits to pay off the loans they’d taken to acquire the company, but which shaved 30 years — a whole generation of workers — off the life of the mine and thus the town.

      At the time, we didn’t realize this Wall Street cancer would metastasize and spread throughout the entire economy. Or that I’d find it when I became a newspaper man.

  4. I’ll be the one to apologize, then. I hadn’t meant to pass off as new a cartoon old enough to run for president its own fool self (yet less than half the age of the present nominees presumptive).

  5. Re: LAW & ORDER: I’ve wondered, for the past several years, how Dick Wolf maintains his conservative bonafides when he’s producing three series promoting the deep state’s F.B.I. He must have to assure his pals, “well, these are the fictional bureau we’re selling, not documentaries” even while his writers continue to steal real-life cases for plots, substituting their own guilty parties in pesky cases where guilt has yet to be determined. (I wonder if jurors in those cases are asked by attorneys if they’ve seen the Wolf version.)

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