CSotD: Monday Merriment

There being no nearby Ren Faire, I had missed the uproar over elephant rides until I saw Sunday’s Brevity (AMS). Up until then, my main issue with Renaissance Festivals was that turkey legs were an anachronism and poxy drabs an annoyance.

But it didn’t occur to me that elephant rides were cruel, since working elephants in Asia often have affectionate relations with their mahouts.

I’d even written an explainer for kids about how elephants trained for logging did great work in the wake of the 2004 tsunami, except that the damage they were clearing included metal and cut their feet so they had to be taken off the job.

However, I knew circus elephants were a very different situation, so when I started researching, I realized that, yes, carting retired circus animals around for two weeks here and two weeks there was not a good thing.

But the laugh I got was not from Dan Thornton’s pun, but rather from this hysterically paranoid editorial on the topic, which asserts that protecting elephants is a far-left attempt to destroy America.

The Gazette appears to have slipped farther off the right edge of their flat world than they were when I lived there.

Artificial Juxtaposition of the Day

Edison Lee — KFS

Betty — AMS

Edison Lee began an arc last week on the proposition that the strip was now going to be produced by AI. I wasn’t blown away then, but as they get into the alleged product today, it’s picking up considerable speed and looks well worth following.

Meanwhile, I’m assuming today’s Betty is the start of an arc on the topic. Betty is an interesting strip, because she combines a blue-collar sensibility with a good degree of computer literacy and overall hipness. I know a lot of people like that IRL, but you don’t often see them reflected in the media.

I sometimes need a reminder that hanging out with cartoonists and other artists skews my attitude towards artificial intelligence. My hackles rise when I see other friends posting artificial artwork on-line and I have to remember that not everyone sees it as a threat, though I still can’t understand why anybody sees it as creative.

Yesterday, I heard a sponsor announcement on NPR in which the supporter delightedly said they use AI. It sounded to me like a food commercial boasting “Now with ground glass!”

Maybe that’s just me. But I plan to enjoy both Betty and Edison Lee this week.

Continuing the theme of cartoonists who get it, our boy Jeremy has found a summer job in Zits (KFS), with a flair that confirms what I’ve said about hiring when unemployment is under 4%. It also confirms what I said recently about how Jeremy’s friends see him as a loveable goof but his parents seem hostile to the lad.

Today’s episode confirms both the conditional love Jeremy has been raised with and D’ijon’s status as the most mature and responsible member of his social group.

D’ijon was introduced as Pierce’s GF, though that aspect isn’t front-and-center very often, and I think she’s more valuable on a day-to-day basis as someone who likes Jeremy but, unlike his GF Sarah, can be a little more removed from his flakiness.

I hope Jeremy doesn’t flame out on this job, because, while I expect it to be foreground for the next week or so, it could also be a very amusing thread to weave throughout the summer.

The Flying McCoys (AMS) get a laugh with this one, though, as has been discussed here before, it’s getting hard to lose a minimum-wage job these days, given how short-handed most employers are.

But as also mentioned, first jobs often suck. I was once setting up a day-long workshop for teens on getting your first job and, while standing near the classified department, mentioned one of the employers I planned to ask to present. One of the young women looked up and said, “Why would you ask him?”

Turned out the steak house, an ideal place to work when my son was in school three years earlier, had new management and was now a hell-hole. So I asked her who I should ask and she suggested the local Little Caesar’s.

Not only did he give a great presentation, but he catered the event for free.

Trust the kids.

David Ostow takes me back to the early days of business email. These days, I’m more apt to forget to hit “reply all” than to hit it by accident, and then you have to re-send with an apology for cutting someone out who needed to be in.

But back in the days of listservs, “reply all” was the default screw-up, and I remember two times when dignified, professional women accidentally sent incredibly vulgar jokes to an entire working group by mistake and had to grovel, and a corporate VP who unintentionally posted something intended for his evangelical prayer group to the circulation management of our newspaper chain.

Not sure which was more embarrassing, but the difference between being a corporate VP and being a faceless underling is that they’re always looking for reasons to fire potential competition and they barely notice the peasants.

He survived having preached to his fellow brass, but if he’d sent one of those jokes, he’d have been awarded a cardboard box.

I’ve no idea how many riverboats actually operated as floating casinos, but “riverboat gambler” is a familiar phrase and so is “pirate” and, as this Bizarro (KFS) suggests, there may not be a huge distance between the two.

Not to suggest that casino games are dishonest, but the overall concept is rapacious, preying, as it does, on compulsion. Dram shop laws make it illegal for bartenders to continue to serve intoxicated clients, but there’s nothing beyond some tut-tut public service announcements protecting compulsive gamblers from pissing away the rent.

Can’t put all the blame on casinos, now that we’ve opened the door to sitting at home and emptying your family bank account with on-line sports gambling, but the overall impact of legalized gambling with its namby-pamby warnings is similar to automobile ads that show cars whipping around, with a disclaimer saying it’s a professional driver on a closed course.

Anyway, I suppose the entertainment on a pirate casino would be outstanding.

2 thoughts on “CSotD: Monday Merriment

  1. I was trying to remember, but got tangled with Luann’s brother at Weinie World. In any case, my boys had jobs throughout junior and senior year, not because I pressured them but because it was normal for their group and they wanted the extra money. Given that Jeremy’s friends have drivers licenses and are thinking about applying to college, they should be working not because I say so but because it’s normal within their demographic.

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