CSotD: Points of Personal Privilege

There’s a lot of political stuff I won’t be addressing today, because I’m tired of politics but also because there are several recent developments that will become cartoons over the next couple of days and I want to wait for them to mature.

My objection to Clay Jones’s latest cartoon is purely editorial. I agree with his politics but not his punctuation.

There’s no comma. It’s not direct address. It’s addressed to the inhabitants of the Emerald City, not to Dorothy Gale herself.

And it’s a slightly minor definition of “surrender.” Yesterday was the anniversary of Lee’s surrender to Grant, but this is the definition seen in “Surrender your passport.”

She wasn’t calling on Dorothy to give herself up, but, rather, for the Emerald City to hand her over.

And the Wicked Witch of Milledgeville is not calling upon Johnson to voluntarily step down but upon the House to obey her in ousting the Speaker.

So no comma.

Could be worse. Jones specifies throwing a bucket of water on her, but, despite that, someone in the comments wished for a house to fall on her.

East is East and West is West, dammit. You need to know which witch is which.

Anyway, that’s the kind of day it’s gonna be, except not so political.

Speed Bump (Creators) brought back a decidedly non-political memory, which had to do with my recovery either from my cancer surgery or when I went back in a few weeks later to surrender (heh) my gall bladder and have a perforated ulcer repaired. That was one helluva summer, BTW.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is a teaching hospital, and so you’re apt to find yourself an exhibit, which is a good thing because you get to hear the doctor explain your situation to a group of students from the Dr. Seuss School of Medicine. It tends to be more detailed and often more frank than what he’s telling you.

Of course, you have to be in a position to listen and, as it happens, I was pretty blissed out on pain killers the morning I awoke to find myself surrounded by a half dozen medical students in long white coats.

There are more young women than young men in med school these days, but in this department, they were all women …

… so it was like waking up in Castle Anthrax. Took me a minute to figure out what was going on

To redeem that sexist imagery, there’s this: A few days later, no longer zonked out, I got into an off-topic conversation with a young resident from India who told me that, if she married for love, it would be the first non-arranged marriage in her family.

Indian mothers set up wonderful matches for their kids, and she said her mother was concerned that she wouldn’t have a husband to support her.

“Mom, I’m going to be a doctor,” she responded. “I think I’ll be all right.”

As it happens, Jonesy also took me back to the summer of 2016, because when I was diagnosed and evaluated, my odds seemed extremely poor. I cautioned my family that, if worse came to worst, I didn’t want any crap in my obit about fighting bravely.

I planned to go out whining and complaining.

Maybe they could come up with something more like this 2013 Bizarro (KFS).

Going back to arranged marriages, maybe Lemont’s mother should do some looking around, because he clearly needs an assist.

But I like his long-distance relationship in Candorville (KFS) because I had a great long-distance relationship for about seven years, and I credit much of that to, as he suggests, a lack of minutia, which does kinda feel like nagging when it’s up close and constant.

Conversations had to matter then. In them thar days, we didn’t have email or texting, and you were charged by the minute for long-distance calls. Our phone bills were already massive and we weren’t about to pay extra for the privilege of nagging each other.

Grand Avenue (AMS) trots out an old wheeze that raises an important question about curriculum. I was a little taken aback when my sons’ history texts included the Vietnam War, because I still considered that Current Events, though by then it was 20 years in the rearview mirror.

But the problem isn’t what they put in, but, rather, that they refuse to take anything out to make room for it. The history texts get thicker and thicker, and kids can only learn so much.

So yes, we had less history to learn. Though what I’m seeing today makes me suspect that we weren’t paying attention in history class anyway.

This Tom Toro classic remains painfully relevant.

Juxtaposition of the Day

Arctic Circle — KFS

Edison Lee — KFS

One of the oddities reported in our local eclipse coverage was that there were excruciatingly long lines at the charging stations in town. Presumably city folks anxious to get back into the traffic jams on the Interstate.

Everybody I know with an electric car actually drives a hybrid, because we routinely drive long distances and there aren’t a lot of charging stations hereabouts, so you have the range from your driveway and back. I’ll probably never own an electric because I rent and the landlord pays the utilities, which don’t include sufficient amperage anyway.

Also I tried to time the purchase of my last car so it would indeed be my last car. It’s a Honda, so the odds are good. When my mother turned 80, she said “I got my last driver’s license today,” and added, “They last seven years; If I’m still around, I won’t be driving.”

She 99 now, but quit driving about a dozen years ago when her Pontiac failed inspection and she said to hell with it. She always has had excellent timing.

As for self-driving cars, I still have a stick shift. Having a self-driving car would be like ordering out every meal instead of cooking. I like cooking and I like driving.

I can’t afford a new car anyway.

I also can’t afford to live to be 99, but that’s a rant for another day.

Daddy’s Home (Creators) returns us to one more cinematic reference, which occurs to me on the rare occasions I have to put on a tux.

15 thoughts on “CSotD: Points of Personal Privilege

  1. “East is East and West is West, dammit. You need to know which witch is which.”
    Actually, rather infamously, in the Land of Oz east is west and west is east! When a map was first included in the books, Munchkin land and Winkie land were transposed, and later writers, notably Ruth Plumly Thompson, followed the map instead of the first book. Not that internal consistency had been a trademark of Baum’s own books…

    1. The Wicked Witch of the West — played by Margaret Hamilton in the movie — was killed by a bucket of water. Her sister, the Wicked Witch of the East — played by a pair of legs in the movie — was killed by a falling house. Compass points notwithstanding.

    2. Ah, but when a child is lying in bed holding the book up and looking at the map…
      The directions are correct.

      Yes. If you hang a copy of the map ON the ceiling East is east etc. Some Baum scholars suggest that he planned that reversal for a land of imagination and magic. Others, that it was a mistake. Nobody left to ask, anyway.

  2. The comma’s fine. MTG is demanding that Mike Johnson surrender, not that congress surrender Mike Johnson. I feel like this was a conscious decision and not a grammatical error.

      1. It hinges on whether the threat to file a motion to vacate is a tool she is using to manipulate Johnson, in which case the comma stands, or if she actually files the motion, which I don’t believe she has.

        Thanks for letting me argue about the placement of commas. It’s better than dealing with the sense of impending doom.

  3. The overriding fact is that marjorie failure greene and mike moses johnson are both responsible for congress getting NOTHING SUBSTANTIVE accomplished for months. If you or I were ever that petty and incompetent, we’d be fired.
    Mike, I’m so glad you survived your healthscare. You both entertain and inform. And, almost as importantly, you let us rant. Thanks

    1. I thought it was clever that “Surrender Dorothy” could be interpreted as meaning both.

  4. Thanks for resurrecting George Santayana, again. Some truths ARE timeless even though entirely ignored.

  5. WTH I was just thinking of the Castle Anthrax scene earlier today (don’t judge me, it was a rabbit-hole thought. “A SPANKING!”)

    You’re absolutely right about “Surrender Dorothy” being a message to the people, not to Dorothy herself.

    I don’t get the appeal of self-driving cars, or why anyone trusts them. Learning to drive is a right of passage, even if you hate driving.
    It strikes me as another example of “new tech for new tech’s sake” regardless if said tech is useful or any good at all.

    1. My theory is that, if you’re bad, you go to Hell, if you’re good, you go to Heaven, and, if you’re truly excellent, you go to Castle Anthrax.

  6. The WWotW intentionally used ambiguity…she would have been fine with Dorothy surrendering or the citizens of Emerald City (or the Emerald City, I guess) selling her out. Or Miss Gulch, as it were.

  7. Point of pedantic clarification: medical students wear short white coats. Residents wear long white coats. Attending physicians wear whatever they damn well please.

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