CSotD: Kerb Your Enthusiasm

A local cartoon, certainly, but one that will amuse people far from Glasgow. Steven Camley notes that police there are beginning to enforce a new national law against parking on sidewalks or at curb cuts as well as double parking.

Or, as he has Lovely Rita explain things in the best possible way, you can park there as long as you’re willing to pay for the privilege, which at the current exchange rate comes to $126.31.

Camley might be suggesting that perhaps these new revenues could assist with the upkeep, though I suspect he’s questioning priorities instead. But I guess we’d have to see the streets of Edinburgh to judge the national law, since they’ve also begun enforcement there.

Anyway, from this distance, the move seems like it should be filed under “It’s About Time.”

An even better “It’s About Time” law is being considered at the other end of the planet, where First Dog on the Moon explains Australia’s proposal to require employers to sod off during non-working hours.

As a reporter, I wanted an immediate alert when something went sideways, but, then, I never counted my hours anyway, because news happens when news happens and I didn’t want to hand off the baton based on the clock. If I ended up working late, I just came in later the next morning.

The more important point is that I got maybe one call at home every two or three years. And when I sat in the Big Chair, I don’t recall ever calling a subordinate at home, except maybe apologetically, for a two-minute clarification of something, and rarely for that.

YMMV. I had a publisher who announced at a department head meeting that reporters would have to file more stories but should not claim overtime. As editor, I edited that down before presenting it to my staff.

I edited it down to nothing.

Matt Golding sums up in one panel what First Dog covered in four, and I’m not sure the Victrola horn is where he really wants his boss to stick a cork.

Alex, as is his wont, covers the matter of Work From Home from a white-collar perspective, pointing out the potential for abuse, and I would suggest that abuse at that level is a large reason for all the kerfuffle.

Not saying it doesn’t happen in the trenches, but it always has and there’s no particular connection to working at home. I knew reporters who went out to uncover dirty laundry all too literally, spending a missing hour at the laundromat. But the golf courses weren’t standing vacant in the middle of the day, either.

The real laff came when a new reporter was assigned to review a book and put in for overtime based on how long it took to read. It would have been jaw-dropping nerve from anyone else, but she honestly didn’t know you were supposed to donate that time or something, and the fact is, from a labor law perspective, she was right.

They paid her, but she didn’t get anymore reading assignments.

This post seems to me like one of those things you wish had happened, and perhaps it did. After all, young workers don’t expect to hold a job for more than three to five years these days, and former employers have been intimidated by their legal departments out of telling anyone why they let you go.

And speaking of youth, Frazz (AMS) provides the philosophical laugh of the day. Dr. Spaetzle is generous in suggesting four years of youthful omniscience; I’d have stuck with the number eight. But I suppose he’d get discouraged and leave education if he were that cynical about things.

Ah well, never mind: Existential Comics furnishes the actual philosophical laugh of the day:

Incidentally, I just finished Emily Wilson’s reasonably new (2018) translation of the Odyssey and it is extraordinary. It’s likely the third or fourth translation I’ve read over the decades, but it brought a raft of new insights and pleasures to the story. I strongly recommend it, and plan to read her even newer translation of the Iliad as well.

But next on my list is a nice long visit with the Rostov family and their friend Pierre. I have read War and Peace six or eight times, in a relatively old translation and a relatively brand-new translation, but am now — on the recommendation of a friend who speaks Russian and deals with translations professionally — going to try Constance Garnett’s 1905 version.

People get intimidated by Tolstoy’s masterpiece, but if you think of it not as a Big Scary Russian Classic but as a long, lovely beach book, it’s a comfy story to wrap yourself in. I used to read it whenever I moved, because it surrounded me with friends until I’d met some in my new place.

There’s a new word in the funny pages

Wallace the Brave — AMS

Bill Bramhall

Yet another barrier has fallen. Will Henry reflects how real kids talk, while Bill Bramhall makes a pun, but so far as I can tell, the heavens have not fallen.

Amelia poses a more credible threat to civilization. Her plan reminds me of when I was in junior high and would get off the bus in the afternoon and shag a snowball at it as it pulled away. Until the warmish day when windows were open: My snowball went in and tagged Margie LaPlante upside the head.

I apologized profusely to her the next day and she laughed it off as an accident. I suppose today I’d have been booked for assault and expelled from school. No kidding: A couple of years ago, some seniors put a rooster in the school at night as a prank and they called the State Police.

But we’re much more inclusive these days, so Lalo Alcaraz (AMS) provides what I think is also a new word for mainstream newspapers. You have to dig in to research translations of the Odyssey or War and Peace for yourself, but here’s everything you need to know about this word.

I never got much of a translation of the following classic from my bilingual friends, perhaps because trash talk is both idiomatic and regional, but I found this, so now you can sing along in either language!

4 thoughts on “CSotD: Kerb Your Enthusiasm

  1. Mike, while this is tangential, I think you, and many others, would appreciate it:
    I enjoy existential comics because it provokes deeper conceptual contemplation on our mundane everyday lives.
    I posit: If I got paid for every hour I invested in the jobs I worked, I’d be as wealthy as the CEO’s who abuse and underpay their employees.

  2. WtB – I really feel for Rose in this one. She just bore witness to the battle of the imaginary friends, including such horrors as clam and avocado sandwiches, and the only place she can turn to for normalcy is sociopathic Amelia.

  3. Another nice reminder as to why I’m unemployed.

    Maybe one day I’ll get a job, once employers start treating their workers with dignity and respect.
    So… never.

    The days of “hold the same job for 50 years, then retire with a pat on the back and a gold watch” are long gone…

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