CSotD: Have yourself a merry little Monday

Indeed it is, They Can Talk. The bears got up a little early this year and started getting into the bird feeders, which is their equivalent of socializing.

We always get warned to take down our bird feeders this time of year, which I gather is because we don’t want to encourage the bears to socialize in our driveways and back yards. Sounds like a classic case of “It’s not you, it’s us.”

Bears, however, seem to have a limited sense of proportions and propriety. You invite them over for a little bird seed and the next thing you know, they’ve knocked over your garbage cans and are up on the porch giving your dog a heart attack.

At which point, you have to have The Talk, which could be worse, since the bear is rarely married to anyone in your family, but it’s still uncomfortable, particularly since they don’t seem to pick up on clues.

You have to be direct, and that’s never pleasant.

Blackies aren’t all that dangerous, but they’re powerful and of limited intelligence. Which is to say that, if you had to choose between running into a bear or running into a moose, pick the bear. Moose are powerful and of limited intelligence, too, but they’re also near-sighted and belligerent.

Which is to say that, if a bear messes you up, she meant to. If a moose messes you up, it was just a moose being a moose.

Not sure that’s an important distinction once it’s happened.

Bears make a conscious choice to socialize, at least to the point of checking out the bird feeders. Harry Bliss (Tribune) points out that living in the country becomes irrelevant if you don’t make a conscious choice not to socialize.

This is a good excuse to point out that, while Harry Bliss purchased the most antisocial house in America — JD Salinger’s former hideaway — he makes the apartment and studio available once a year so an artist with a plan can shack up in the woods for a month and still have access to the facilities of the Center for Cartoon Studies, which is 20 minutes away in the bustling metropolis of White River Junction.

It comes with an honorarium of $3,000, which I think means you make more creating your project than you’ll ever make by publishing it. OTOH, if you unplug your phone and look out the window, you’ll find that October is a fine time to be in Cornish, NH.

In fact, when I first moved here nearly 20 years ago, I was driving down the highway there and saw a spectacular sky. I said, “This is like a Maxfield Parrish painting!” and just about then went past a sign that told me I was on the Maxfield Parrish Highway.

Juxtaposition of the Day

Mr. Boffo

Monte Wolverton

The move to ban TikTok, or at least to get it to cut ties with Beijing, is beginning to inspire cartoonists, most of whom seem to be in the demographic of either not quite getting it or getting it all too well.

I agree with Mr. Boffo that there’s a lot of nasty, even sadistic, garbage up there, though the granddaughter who spent the most time on TikTok was exploring odd facts, which meant that you’d be having dinner and she’d suddenly drop some completely bizarre fact about otters or the Moon or something.

It was not only harmless but made her interesting company.

OTOH, that other stuff is up there and it reminds me of when I clamped down on violent, nihilistic movies and TV shows for my boys. And then sent them off to school to join all the kids whose parents had no idea what they were watching.

Gotta admit, I identified a lot with the grandfather in Boondocks.

But I also identify a lot with Hilary Price, and, back in 2006, got into an active on-line discussion over this 2000 Rhymes with Orange (KFS) and the privacy concerns Monte Wolverton raises.

I was against loyalty cards then, but I’ve come around since, which either means that I began to understand it all better or that I sold out. But I no longer care if someone knows how many bananas I buy.

More to the point, however, is that, if I use my card at Price Chopper, that data will be accessible in Schenectady, while, if I enter my number at Hannaford, they might be able to analyze my banana-buying patterns in the Netherlands.

TikTok data resurfaces in Beijing, it contains a lot more info than how many bananas you bought, and if you don’t recognize a difference, well, you’ll enjoy this globally interconnected world.

Still on the topic of selling out, Lola (AMS) brings up another case of the choices we make.

I smoked from 1962 to 1984, but that’s also from 12 to 34, and given the prevalence of smoking when I began, I’m not agonizing over it.

I don’t know if you’ll be able to read this, but it shows that, in 1997, more than a third of high school seniors had smoked a cigarette in the past month, and that, by 2023, it was down to 2.9 percent. I can live with that, though it strikes me as idiotic. But a less than 3 percent idiocy rate isn’t so bad.

I don’t have a bacon chart, but I went decades without eating that combination of salt, fat and nitrites, and then suddenly the bacon fad hit. We’re at the point now where you have to request “no bacon” in a whole lot of things we hadn’t thought to put it in 40 years ago.

It’s a major achievement for the National Marketing Council For Stuff That Will Kill You, though I don’t think it makes up for their having blown the tobacco thingie.

First Dog on the Moon points out that living forever may not be a particularly attractive goal, given that there’s no place to live and that the planet may not remain liveable anyway.

I particularly like his conclusion, which reminds me of the uplifting story of Theodoric of York.

Why don’t we try voting for people who will look out for the economic interests of people who cannot look out for their own economic interests?


13 thoughts on “CSotD: Have yourself a merry little Monday

  1. Two thoughts —

    (1) The decrease in self-reported cigarette use by teens might only mean teens have switched to vaping, and don’t consider a vape pen a cigarette.

    (2) When I sign up for a loyalty card I use a fake name, address and phone number. So while they can collect info on my shopping preferences, they can’t tie that to my identity.

    1. This is true. I ran into a smoker I hadn’t seen in a long time. He told me he quit smoking, congratulated himself, and pulled out a vape a few minutes later. He really believes he quit smoking. He only quit cigarettes.
      I’ve seen other people state they’re non-smokers who vape.

      1. So what else is new? Forty years ago I worked for a county MH/MR/D&A program, heavily on the D&A side – back then primarily alcoholics. The first thing I learned on the job is that virtually every one of my clients was a pack-a-day-minimum smoker, who firmly believe their addiction was under control since it didn’t come out of a bottle anymore.

  2. lol moment for me…I remember back in the early 90’s agonizing over whether my two kids (10 and 8) should be allowed to watch “Up In Smoke”. I sat them down to discuss the matter, and they told me that their cousin had already shown it to them. Since I hadn’t noticed any noticeable deterioration in their character, I figured out something that I already knew…that my influence on their development had already been concluded…for Better or Worse.

  3. Mike writes: ‘TikTok data resurfaces in Beijing, it contains a lot more info than how many bananas you bought.’

    I reply: I, too, am not worried about banana purchase surveillance and the coupons we get from using our real name and p.o. box address save us a lot of money. I DO avoid social media and many other means of surveillance to reduce the likelihood of being a victim of related crime.

    Mike and First Dog mention: ‘Why don’t we try voting for people who will look out for the economic interests of people who cannot look out for their own economic interests?’

    I (maybe cynically) reply: because too many people are so selfish and ignorant they believe all the propaganda of the corrupt powers that be and thus don’t want, or know how to, or even care about, voting with any concern for the populace.

  4. Also, seems to me those that vape and think they are avoiding the dangers of smoking are the sheople that fall for the ‘propaganda of the corrupt powers that be’. (yes, that’s a watered down euphemism for the greedy and abusive billionaires and corporations)

  5. The more I look back on my childhood, the more I’m amazed at the sorts of TV shows and movies I was allowed to watch.

    Granted, I was a sensitive kid and had a built-in revulsion to excessive gore and the like, but even then there was plenty of stuff that had “adult” themes even if it wasn’t explicit.

    I feel that as long as something doesn’t actively promote hateful and bigoted worldviews, then it’s okay for kids. Unfortunately, the internet and social media are drowning in such views and the Powers That Be don’t seem inclined to step in. Some even go so far as to encourage it (glares at Elon Musk).

  6. Will be curious to see how all the wingnuts currently screaming about China and Tik-Tok suddenly switch direction once GOP megadonor Jeff Yass (a majority shareholder in Tik-Tok AND the biggest shareholder in the shell company aiming to buy Fake Twitter — sorry, “Truth Social”) bails out Trump with a manufactured sweetheart deal.

    At least it will be entertaining to watch the whiplash when republicans aboutface so hard their heads spin around like Linda Blair.

  7. First, thanks for rthe pointer to . I looked through a bunch of them, liked what I saw, and have added it to my morning AppleScript.

    Second, when vaping was new, I thought it might be a good way to use cannabis, since I can’t take the smoke. Alas, it still involves the irritating smoke.

  8. I tried pot a few times when I was 17. They had to teach me how to do it. They said it was like smoking a cigarette. So they had to explain how to inhale. To this day I still haven’t. My folks smoked, but I never paid attention to HOW they did it. Growing up in and out of hospitals for asthma due to my parents’ smoking made me realize at an early age how stupid the habit was. Watching them cough every morning did little to make smoking seem “fun”. My mom started at 13. She quit at age 49 after coughing up blood. I was ecstatic since I had had my first child and was concerned about her being around the baby. (We were stationed in Germany, so I didn’t need to do anything right away.) At almost 54 years old I still have trouble being around smokers. With bacon it ONLY affects them. Unless the fat person sits on you your health isn’t compromised by their dietary choice.

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