CSotD: Monday Mix

Wilbur gets as political today as I want to, given that I’m recovering from that lost hour of sleep and also am bracing myself for a flood of Katie Britt panels that are sure to hit over the next 24 hours.

In the meantime, I appreciate someone who can combine a cartooning cliche with a political cliche, and even moreso given that most desert island cartoons involve a rescue that fails or something washing up on the island that can’t possibly help.

In keeping with this, and in keeping with the situations in which tax cuts are most often recommended, the “of course” is a wonderful intensifier.

It’s a cliche that can’t possibly help.

Which brings us to Alex, where the ability to wrestle nonsense into submission is being celebrated as a useful job skill. Which it certainly would be if anyone ever bothered to use it, though I’ve seen plenty of evidence to suggest that nobody does, at least for middle management.

Upper could be different, but I’m not sure I agree that the top people are listed on LinkedIn, at least in this country. I suspect that headhunters looking to fill top spots are relying much more on networking and on approaching people they have some reason to suspect may be discontented or at least underpaid.

The interesting thing about self-serving poppycock is that people who believe in it need to find each other and are generally happy when they do. Which means that when HR departments believe in this stuff, and are given the power to sort through the resumes and decide who gets interviewed, it becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It’s like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but not as sticky.

Laurence Peter made a career out of laughing at these true believers, as has the team at Alex.

Not to be confused with Lawrence Peter Berra, who also seemed to see through a lot of bafflegab and self-serving poppycock.

In any case, executives make a lot of speeches about the importance of thinking outside the box, but when it comes to hiring, they seek people whose resumes carefully define the boxes which they can be relied upon to fit into, and to stay in.

Middle school is, of course, where we all learn how to get in our boxes and stay there, and in Big Nate (AMS), it looks like the mean girls are about to school Daphne in what is expected of her.

There are so many ways this could turn that I’m genuinely in suspense, not so much fearing for Nate and Daphne as I am interested to see where Lincoln Peirce takes this. The strip is full of exaggerations and silly situations, but Peirce has a teaching background and Big Nate has an atmosphere of authenticity in which the kids act like kids, even in the depths of comic exaggeration.

This could go in any of a number of ways, but I’m hoping Daphne doesn’t buckle.

Edison Lee (KFS) is also kicking off what promises to be an interesting story arc.

My mother did some substituting, but it was after we’d all graduated. I don’t know if that was some restraint she put on herself or just that subbing became attractive once she was empty-nested, but apparently the kids liked her and she got along well.

But I think I’d have been uncomfortable with her subbing in my classes, maybe not so much in elementary school but certainly in junior high and high school, because my class was clever and, while we would perform fabulously for teachers we liked, we were devilishly tough on teachers we didn’t.

I think my pals would have cut my mother some slack, but I’m awfully glad that theory was never put to a test.

We’ll see how Edison gets through the week.

I’m not sure the lead time for La Cucaracha (AMS), but fortunately the war on brown people continues, so there was little chance anything would make this strip inoperable by the time it ran.

The brawl outside a migrant shelter provided plenty of ammunition for the anti-immigrant crowd, though they managed to slander an uninvolved person and questions were raised about who started the ruckus.

Which doesn’t let the assault suspects off the hook, but ought to raise questions about police tactics and reporting methods.

A larger issue is that, as seen in the GOP response to the SOTU speech, we’re willing to pull up a story that happened 20 years ago in another country to suggest that migrants are a greater hazard than thugs who were born here.

Including some who run for office.

Juxtaposition of the Day

Ella Baron

Patrick Chappatte


I tend to agree with Jacob Marley that “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

I noted the other day that, while Catholics are still expected to fast during Lent, I’m not sure how many of them do, but that Muslims seem to observe Ramadan in substantial numbers, even in modern, westernized places. As Leo observes, the example can be powerful.

A major difference, however, is that Lent is penitential while Ramadan is contemplative. The distinctions blend on several levels, but the most obvious difference is that the breaking of the daily Ramadan fast is joyous, with many places in which a meal is laid out for the entire community, but a pleasant end to the day in any case.

Gabby may be on an actual hunger strike, but, if so, it’s a choice she has made. The Muslims in Chappatte’s cartoon are, rather, contemplating how to fast in a place with no food, since the bombardment of their community takes away the voluntary nature of the act.

And Baron cites the holy season as a beacon of light in a dark, dark landscape. It’s a reminder that political situations come and go, but that doesn’t — or at least shouldn’t — change a viewpoint that reaches beyond the immediate.

The nice thing about Ramadan and Lent is that you can observe them while continuing to work to enact necessary changes, perhaps with more consciousness but with no less energy.

5 thoughts on “CSotD: Monday Mix

  1. Speaking of LinkedIn, my library is in the process of hiring an additional librarian. LinkedIn sent me e-mail suggesting I might be interested in applying. The head librarian, also on LinkedIn, did not receive a similar suggestion.

    LinkedIn also suggested that I apply for a job as a fry cook in Mesa, Arizona. That’s about 2300 miles west of here. I don’t think I’ll apply.

    1. LinkedIn also doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of the word “retired.” I’m a retired physician who spend more than 15 years prior to quitting in medical education/communications after being in clinical medicine for 20+ years. I still get med comm companies reaching out to me for jobs even though my profile CLEARLY states I’m retired and not interested. And some of the stuff that LinkedIn suggests as being “hot jobs” for the retired is frankly amusing, although I never got offered a fry cook position.

      1. I don’t mean to contrary, but if you are retired, why are you on linked in? I am only on it because a friend wore my inbox out with requests. I have a whoping 125 or so links and I do know them all personally, like met them face to face.

  2. Those “mean girls” have probably suffered from some of Big Nate’s obnoxious attitude to those he sees as his inferiors. Which seems to be most of his schoolmates.

  3. About fasting during Ramadan… Muslims don’t actually FAST during the period.
    What they do, is to get up before sunrise, then pig out with an extremely hearty breakfast, and not eat lunch. Then after sundown, they have a huge feast to compensate for the lack of the midday meal. Having been to Muslim countries during Ramadan (a movable feast, the Muslim calendar is only 355 days long), I know this for a fact.

    I remember someone famous going on a six-hour hunger strike to end this unpleasantness. That wasn’t a hunger strike.

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