CSotD: Friday the 13th come on a Thursday!

Asked and answered. Thanks, Frazz (AMS).

One thing I learned by interviewing politicians and celebrities is that luck and talent aren’t enough. I met a few who were so openly ambitious that they were off-putting, but the majority just had this thing. As one actor told me, “A lot of people want it, but not many people have to have it. You have to have to have it.”

Ambition is part of it, but she was speaking more of focus that makes other things less important, as well as a realism that separates dreams from goals.

A lot of people want to stand on the shoulders of giants, but not many of them are scramblers by nature.

Prickly City (AMS) takes considerable liberties with American history, but mostly in oversimplifying a complex issue in which neither of the main camps seem to get it right.

The easy answer is that the Founders didn’t anticipate universal suffrage.

The cynical take is that they only permitted free white men to vote, sometimes with “landowner” part of that elitist limit. But there’s nothing in the Constitution stating that, and where those limits were imposed, it was by individual states.

In the early years of our history, women and minorities were able to vote in several places, and the purpose of amendments guaranteeing votes for women and minorities was to forbid states to limit the franchise. The Constitution only limited voting once, by omission, when it guaranteed the vote to Black men without including women.

You can’t blame the Founders for what happened nearly a century after their time.

The opposing take is that the Founders encouraged voting, particularly Jefferson, whose quote about newspapers without government stressed that people should be able to read the news and make up their own minds about issues. But, again, the move to universal education on a national level came after the Founders were gone.

Given that context, Winslow’s comment makes sense: Jefferson and his cohorts may have overestimated the likelihood that people would scramble up onto the shoulders of giants.

As Rabbits Against Magic suggests, however, the problem is not just uneducated or genuinely stupid people, but dishonesty by intelligent but amoral people who mask their dishonesty in false logic.

This is another asked-and-answered situation, the difference being that Frazz gave Caulfield an honest answer and here the answer involves stretching the requisite logic.

But that answer does fit, in the sense of presenting a consistency that fools will mistake for wisdom, while what is pragmatically true is that a fool’s vote counts the same as a smart person’s.

Still on the topic of people you shouldn’t listen to, the mean girls have landed on Daphne in Big Nate (AMS). This feels a lot like “If I don’t have a boyfriend, neither should you,” but perhaps meddling doesn’t require a logical basis.

I’d feel bad about saying that, but I read Carolyn Hax and Amy Dickinson regularly, and, while my advice to about 2/3s of their letter writers would either be “Get over yourself” or “Mind your own business,” I’m gratified by how often that’s their recommendation, too.

Men don’t talk to each other enough, women talk to each other too much and yet somehow the twain still meet.

Basque artist Asier Sans offers this view of the AI revolution (h/t to Cartoonists Rights), and I have nothing to add except that a clever cartoonist can make something wonderful out of something commonplace, and I’m surprised, and delighted, to get this much pleasure out of yet another cartoon about people staring at their phones.

The obsessed faces and the blue glow on their otherwise gray lives is quiet brilliance, and, while the point could be made with the reading robot alone, the addition of the robot child is an absolute inspiration.

This Speed Bump (Creators) is only partially about staring at your phone. It’s mostly about being in the moment, but expands the concept, and including the coffee is a good way to do that.

As far as the joke-joke goes, if he’d going to hire a dogwalker, he could stay home, the laugh being that he wants to be responsible but doesn’t get the point of being out there in the first place.

Add the fact that Coverly could have had him hire a kid, but instead has a young relatively attractive woman, and yet the schmuck is still focused on his phone and what I’m sure is some complex $8 coffee variation.

Here’s the message: You walk the dog to grok the dog. And here are six other ways to bond with your dog, which is the point of having a dog.

If you’re only walking the dog so it won’t crap on the floor, the obvious solution is to not have a dog.

I’ve had a cat and I liked it very much, but I’m not out of sympathy with Arctic Circle (KFS), which had a story arc this week about the level of damage cats do to wildlife.

There’s no logical reason that, where dogs have to be leashed and licensed, cats are permitted to run free, killing songbirds and planting toxoplasmosis in children’s sandboxes.

Cats are good pets. I like cats.

They belong indoors or on leashes.

Jen Sorensen picks out another regrettable aspect of modern life, which is our ability to make something awful out of something that should be good.

Adding some noise might not be bad, if we ever prove that pedestrians get hit more often by cars that sound like space ships than by cars that sound like cars, but that doesn’t mean glasspack mufflers and booming basses. I’m thinking more of those little whistler doohickeys people used to put on their hoods to frighten deer out of the road.

Which I doubt worked, but if we’re going to add stupid things to our cars, quietly stupid would be my recommendation.

Beyond that, states should begin taxing cars and trucks by weight. The rationale could include wear-and-tear on roads as well as the cost of higher-impact guardrails.

Because I’m not sure we could come up with a formula for taxing by level of obnoxiousness.

Speaking of obnoxious, I’m passing along this Brevity (AMS) because I don’t intend to be the only person walking around with this earworm:

18 thoughts on “CSotD: Friday the 13th come on a Thursday!

  1. Sporks were stupid back when they were first introduced, and they remain stupid now. The only redeeming quality that a spork ever had was an excellent gag in Pixar’s “WALL-E”.

    1. Back in the very early days of the WWW there was a fundy “Christian” website that denounced sporks as part of the “Homosexual Agenda.” They combined forks and spoons which was the same as merging male and female. I could never tell if they were serious or if it was a satire site…..

      1. Ah, no, the character in Toy Story 4 was indeed built from a spork, but he was called “Forky”. He was convinced that he was a piece of trash, and he was absolutely right about that. The best part about the Wall-E gag was that it gets a good laugh without giving superfluous screen time to an incredibly bad invention.

  2. FWIW, the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 both provided for public education by requiring that sections of surveyed land be set aside for establishing schools. The money quote from 1787 stated, “Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

    You’re right, though, that this was not really nationwide. Resistance to public schools for educating the general public has always been strong in the South. It wasn’t just racial; it was often also class-based, as education “ruined” workers, both black and white.

  3. Why not give us a panel from Pogo about the horror of Friday the thirteenth falling on some other day? Yesterday, in this recent case.

  4. I love Petula Clark.

    My brother gave me a cat who lived till she was seventeen and whom I loved to an absurd level. She never went outside, in fact if you took her outside she’d instantly leap back in the house. While she lived with my brother’s family she had been snoozing in the window of a second floor bedroom, and while quite fit, her weight was sufficient to push through the screen when she shifted her weight, plummeting to the ground. She was uninjured, but never went outside again unless she was in a carrier and had no choice. (She’d also been declawed before my brother rescued her, so she’d have been no match for mice, much less birds.) She also greeted me every day when I came home from work with a distinctly pronounced “Hello” which she only said on that particular time of the day.

    I had deer whistles mounted on my car till one day I hit a yearling crossing my street while I was travelling about 20 mph. The deer did a 360 in the air, landed in a yard, and scampered off, apparently uninjured. He broke off both deer whistles. I think cars should play Beatles songs to alert pedestrians. I know that would make me look up for sure, though I doubt deer would be so affected. (Maybe Petula Clark would be more to their taste.)

  5. When I approached pedestrians while riding my bicycle, I used to shout out, “Bicycle” as a warning. On one electric bike, brake squeal from a light squeeze on the brake lever announced my presence. I also had a rubber horn shaped like a sumo wrestler. Colliding with a pedestrian or another bicycle can be life-changing.

  6. Gay sporks and Spatula Clark! The utensilpocalypse is upon us! And, there is always that meme (created and posted by a cat, I’m sure) that says, ‘cats rule and dogs drool’ Our cat was an ‘indoors only’ cat. I’m still convinced that no matter now many attacks there are on nature by feral cats, humans still commit WAAAY more.

  7. “Can a frozen embryo marry a corporation?” Good question.

    The whole ‘electric cars aren’t manly’ thing goes waaaaay back. Only now electric cars are actually becoming more commonplace, and thus measures must be taken to counteract their unmanliness.
    Or you could just grow a pair and live with it.

    My neighbor recently adopted a stray cat. I say “adopted” in a rather loose sense because while he does feed her and made her a little shelter, she still lives outside and is free to wander around. She is very good at killing chipmunks.
    I love cats, I have always loved cats, but if you’re going to own a pet of any sort you need to take proper responsibility for it and not just let it do whatever it wants. Be it cat, dog, or iguana.

    1. The “elite” have always loved electric vehicles.
      Golf/country club members especially.

  8. Thanks for reposting the cartoon by Asier Sans – beautiful work and I hadn’t come across this cartoonist, despite having lived in the Basque Country for a couple of years.

    And I used to have a cat, but wasn’t aware of just how much damage they do until I lived in New Zealand (where I have a dog who is kept on the property or under control).

  9. Well, it’s not like Caulfield has shown any tendency to do any climbing either.

    Speaking if god advice : Big Nate could stand to get over himself too.

    Lots of people would pay a cat to kill chipmunks, BTW.

    1. Disagree. Caulfield reminds me of a saying among college presidents: “Be nice to your honor student and he’ll say something nice about you at commencement. Be nice to your C-student and he’ll build you a dormitory.”

  10. Something I learned very quickly after getting my first EV is that, if someone is walking in front of you thru the shopping center parking lot and will not move out of the way, it not because they’re some kind of self-centered idiot. It’s because they actually don’t realize you’re behind them, because the car is so silent.

    I think GM caught on to this, because my wife’s three-year-newer version of the same car (Chevrolet Bolt) has what I call a “flying saucer” sound to it. We’re not held up by unobservant pedestrians nearly as often when using her car.

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