CSotD: Funny stuff that makes me grouchy

Sandra Bell-Lundy is a little coy about how successful Kim is as a writer, which makes this Between Friends (KFS) all the more fun. She’s successful enough to be able to stay home and write, and even to have deadlines, but she’s not working on the third novel in a multi-book contract.

Rather, this novel is a personal project, which makes her leap from philosophical truth to commercial fantasy that much more believable.

Having written two novels, and grown to recognize why they were unpublishable, I’m still glad I wrote them. It was good discipline simply to learn to apply the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair, and I learned a lot about continuity and logic that was useful later, plus it scratched the itch.

I am not spending my golden years thinking that “War and Peace” or at least “The Sun Also Rises” is rattling around in here somewhere, waiting to be written.

If you want to write a novel, you should. And if you want to see the Grand Canyon, you should do that, too.

But don’t buy a yacht in anticipation of a Netflix series. Even if your novel gets finished, it’s not likely to get published, and, even if it gets published, it’s not likely to make you any more money than if you’d put that effort into magazine articles about the best brownie recipes. Possibly less.

Still, while Langston Hughes was speaking of Harlem when he wrote about a dream deferred, the poem wouldn’t have become a classic if it didn’t have far wider applications.

Enough philosophy. Mr. Boffo, rather, brings out one of my “here he goes again” gripes, which is that the Lilliput section of Gulliver’s Travels is only the first of several voyages but it’s the only one that anybody seems to know about.

They think it’s for kids, but its satire is far too complex and subtle for children, as is its adult, archaic language.

It’s one of a bunch of great books that are, in Mark Twain’s definition of a classic, “something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.” But I ranted on that years ago.

I’ve since become so mellow that I won’t even point out that Gulliver was published half a century before Madison put quill to vellum.

As long as I’m in rant mode, this Rhymes With Orange (KFS) seems to make a point subtlely that I feel no need to be subtle about.

Cairns are intended as trail markers, and the National Park Service has serious reasons to discourage tourists from messing with the system:

Piling up rocks is better than spray-painting your name on them. But it’s still a way to say “Kilroy was here” in places where the prevailing sentiment is supposed to be “take only memories, leave only footprints.”

And I’m not that keen on the footprints.

Lola (AMS) makes a grim joke about something I’ve noted here before. Sometime in the last century, which is to say before I turned 50, I sat a booth at a Senior Center gathering, with bound copies of our paper from the 1940s. This was very popular with people who had lived through those years and who were more captivated by ads from old local stores than by the news of bygone days.

As I talked to them, I realized there were quite a few “old ladies” who were bright, curious and very attractive, and not so many guys.

“Man, the odds sure get good when you reach this age,” I said to myself.

Then corrected myself: “If.”

Dark humor, yes, but when/if you do get to this age, your senses of humor and of perspective become intertwined. At least mine have, because I laft at this.

And I always laugh at this.

Speaking of Old Folks

Jules Feiffer turned 96 on Friday. A lot of people remember his Village Voice cartoons, particularly the dancing ones but also the political ones, and I’ve written before of a wonderful presentation he did at Dartmouth several years ago, along with Jeff Danziger, Ed Koren and Edward Sorel, which was fabulous to be at and well worth a click today.

But he also cartooned occasionally for Playboy, and those who only knew Hugh Hefner as a burned-out old roué may not realize that, in his younger years, he was all for women’s rights, within the odd parameters that prevailed at the dawn of such things.

In those days, Feiffer contributed this haunting piece, which should have brought a few young men up short and perhaps assured a few others that they weren’t alone:

Speaking of great cartoonists, Liniers borrows a riff from the late B. Kliban for this self-effacing Taylor Swift gag in Macanudo (KFS).

I’m tired of people commenting on Taylor Swift, both the out-of-touch people who act as if she just appeared yesterday and, of course, the usual twerps who feel compelled to dis her because they think it distinctive to swim against the current.

Liniers has tossed a cream pie in the face of both types with this ridiculous scenario.

But there really was a time when top cartoonists were not only wealthy but genuine celebrities whose doings were covered in the newspapers.

Then came movies and radio and television and the Intertubes and it seems to have distracted people a bit, though Hogan’s Alley recently ran this clipping from Fortune on their Facebook page. It indicates that cartoonists were still doing rather well in the early ’30s.

Never mind what it converts to in 1999 dollars; I’d take it in the original 1933 amounts.

This being the penultimate day of football, we’ll take a little nostalgia trip with Tank McNamara (AMS).

I remember that game very well because I missed it.

I was flying home from my son’s graduation from boot camp at Naval Station Great Lakes, and was a Buffalo fan, so began at O’Hare with depressing news, then got interesting news at Dallas and even better news when we landed in Burlington.

As the old galoot notes, the Oilers moved to Tennessee, for which Houston fans have never forgiven them, so, whenever the Texans and Titans play, they post this explanation of the team’s new name:

(This Barbie didn’t get an Oscar nomination either)

6 thoughts on “CSotD: Funny stuff that makes me grouchy

  1. Mike wrote about ‘Senior Center gathering, with bound copies of our paper from the 1940s. This was very popular with people who had lived through those years ‘

    Hey, that’s nothin’, I lived through the 1960s and I even remember them. (which is more than i can say for some of my peers who only remember it through the haze of cheech & chong smoke)

    And, many in our org. have found that the ‘creative itch’ is something that doesn’t go away no matter how you ‘scratch’ it. My wife gets irritated whenever I ‘waste money’ registering our copyrighted creations.

    Thanks, again , Mike for including us, ‘the we people’.

  2. Sheesh, 16 hundred a week was a crazy amount of money for 1933

    And yes, I’d gladly that that money now, even without adjusting for inflation

  3. I remember Frank Reich pulling out that game for the Bills – amazing comeback. Though I was living at the time in the “melting pot” area of New England where most everyone was either a Giants or Patriots fan, my WNY roots still ran deep. Thanks for the video explaining the Titans’ name; I especially enjoyed the credits.

    1. Second time he mentioned Swift, but the two strips are on completely different topics. That one was just a fan letter; this one was about relative public perceptions of pop music and comics.

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