CSotD: Saturday Morning Cartoons

Edison Lee (KFS) has returned to a theme that I have missed. Some years ago, they introduced Katie, a girl as smart as Edison and capable of putting him in his place when necessary and occasionally when not. She was not only a positive role model for little girls, but took the edge off him so he wasn’t just a stereotypical brainiac.

Now Myron has joined the strip. He doesn’t speak, or, at least, hasn’t yet, but he seems an intellectual match for both Katie and Edison, and I’m hoping the strip will spend more time with the three of them.

As for colorful packaging, it can mask a lot of mediocre research, while good research can get ignored if it’s not well formatted.

I had a prof in college who would either compliment you or argue with you in the margins throughout a paper. I loved writing for her.

Grade school and high school were diffo. By 12th grade, I was totally cynical about the vagaries of grading. Our AmHist teacher wanted us to fill out workbooks, but he never collected them. He’d tell us to open them on our desks and he’d walk up and down the aisles making sure the pages all contained writing.

If he’d ever paused to see what I was filling my pages with, I would likely have flunked the course and spent the rest of the semester in what they call “structured study hall.”

He never did.

Juxtaposition of Himself

David Ostow posted the first cartoon two weeks ago, and just followed up with the second. Dunno if he has issues with LFLs or was just following up on a popular cartoon.

The first got quite a bit of attention. Several people pointed out that you have to return the books you get from the Big Free Library, but several others were happy to see his support for Big Free Libraries, and with funding cuts happening, that’s not surprising.

I was going to point out that municipal taxes pay for the Big Free Library, so it’s not really free, but then realized that our city has two Little Free Libraries which doesn’t equal things out but kills the overall quibble.

We used to have a set of bookshelves at the recycling center which included an array of classics, bodice-rippers, kids’ books and college textbooks. It was fun to look them over and see what a particular load might say about whoever left it, because there’d be a sudden burst of cookbooks, religious books or texts on a specific subject area.

Alas, the recycling center bookshelf disappeared during the pandemic. Spreading knowledge, good. Spreading covid, bad.

La Cucaracha (AMS) also pings a memory. As I’ve mentioned before, when I was a biz writer, I used to meet the director of the chamber of commerce every few weeks for a mutual off-the-record debriefing. We’d meet at the mall food court because if we were seen in a restaurant, our intentions would be questioned. The food court suggested a chance encounter rather than an intelligence exchange.

We had both, by happenstance, come to town from Colorado, so our standing joke was “You feel like Mexican?” “No, let’s go to Taco Bell.” (We rarely did.)

Another memory from my consumer reporting days, and Bliss (Tribune) is right. It’s a good moral decision to save energy, but expensive upgrades cancel any savings.

That “proper, updated” part is the killer, because you might recoup the cost of cheap blow-in, assuming (A) your house had virtually nothing in the walls, and (B) you stay put for at least a decade.

And replacing your windows will save the Earth but might not save you money, unless your old ones were at the point where you couldn’t keep candles lit indoors.

But who knows? When I reported on this in 2007, the Department of Energy said new windows would never pay for themselves. Now they say they will. Or might. Or maybe you should just fix your old ones.

Or not.


Meanwhile, xkcd has me all in a panic.

A decade ago, I wrote a children’s newspaper serial (illustrated by Dylan Meconis) about a young voyageur, and, as was the practice, his trip from Montreal to the Athabasca included a change of vessels at Grand Portage, a refitting station on Anishinaabe land at the pointy tip of Minnesota.

A few years later, I got to visit the place with my son and was blown away by both the recreation of the voyageurs’ station and by the chance to meet Anishinaabe people and learn about their culture. I highly recommend it.

But you’d better go soon, before the whole state gets scrunched into Brainerd.

Is this a political cartoon? Or is Paul Noth just drawing a funny picture of a random person who might be required to say such a thing, somewhere in a neighborhood with palm trees?

I’m pretty sure there’s a hint of politics in this Monty (AMS), as little Sedgewick, our favorite nepobaby, learns the important lesson of believing only what you want to believe, regardless of facts and numbers and such errant nonsense.

Political or not, I laughed at both cartoons.

An important factor in politics is “plausible deniability,” and it’s also a factor in cartooning, as seen in this BC (Creators), where they’ve slipped one past the goalie.

I’m sure she means he hurries to take out the trash as soon as she asks. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

Pickles (AMS) takes a light-hearted look at doggy genealogy. Then again, who do dogs think we are? At the dog park, we speak of this dog’s “Dad” and that dog’s “Mom,” but I don’t know that the dogs think in those terms.

Then again, I don’t have an alternative theory. They know we’re the Food Givers, and that, when we enter a dark room, it lights up. But they are eager to please us not just out of greed or awestruck fear but because that’s how the deal has shaken out over the millennia we’re been together.

That affectionate loyalty, whatever it looks like from their perspective, is the lynchpin of the partnership.

If they shared our gene pool, I doubt it would have worked at all. I mean, look at the messes we make of our own partnerships.

8 thoughts on “CSotD: Saturday Morning Cartoons

  1. In 7th grade algebra, I was totally stuck on our worksheet (so, a typical day), and the teacher told me to “get those fingers flying”. So, I drew fingers with wings all over the worksheet. The teacher thought it was pretty funny.

    The first time at least.

  2. I remember when the first Ostow cartoon made the rounds (I think it would have been better if the big library had just said “Big Free Library” and let the reader put it together), so was happy to see the follow up. A recent twist of the LFLs around here is poor people stealing all the books and selling them to used book stores for what must be pennies. One is tempted to say that if they need it that much let them have it, but then we wouldn’t have nice things like LFLs anymore.

    Re: what dogs think of us, I always figured they saw us as the sometimes odd, slow, clumsy but loveable members of the pack, but a recent meme-thing changed my perspective. The memer (?) said that, to a dog, humans must be like Tolkien elves. We’re not immortal but our lifespan is multiples of theirs; a dog could be living with the same humans who cared for its great-grandparents. We are lifelong companions and protectors. We have inexplicable skills, such as conjuring food, water, and delicious treats at will. A dog who finds itself sheltered in the magical realm of the elves is a lucky dog indeed.

    I liked that.

  3. Thoughts on a few things.

    I would laugh about Minnesota shrinking except here in Iowa our soil keeps leaving for the Gulf.

    In the Paul Noth cartoon, the speakers hair makes clear who it’s intended to be.

    Finally, dogs think of the owners as the alpha male and female of their pack.Simple as that.

    P.S. Is Taco Bell really as bad as comedians make it out to be? I don’t know. Never ate there.

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