Saturday, October 6, 2018

May You Live In Interesting Times (5)

If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my grandchildren (who exist) and my great-grandchildren (who aren't here yet) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.

[Blogaramians: Blogarama renders the links in my columns useless. Please click on View Original to solve this problem and access lotsa columns.]

Irregularly Appearing Imaginary Guest Stars
Marie-Louise -- My beautiful muse  
Iggy -- My designated Sticky
Dana -- My designated gentlereader

"This process has inflicted real damage to Judge Kavanaugh and Ms. Ford—enough to make any intelligent citizen wonder if it would ever be worth entering public service." -Allen C. Guelzo 

[Fear not, the quote above has nothing to do with the letter below. It's my way of finding closure and avoiding PTSD.]

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies,

The way things are going at the moment yinz may be living in the Formerly United States of America by the time you read this. The devolution of the left and the right into tribalism continues apace. The center continues to shrink and the Fringies are running amok.

The purple press continues its descent into partisanship fueled by the profits derived from sensationalism and moral preening.

I've given up on reading one of my formerly favorite comic strips, Non Sequitur.

"A wry sense of humor is a sarcastic one." So sayeth They also declare that "Wry humor and wry wit both describe a sense of humor that is a little twisted from the norm." Exactly.

I've been a fan of Non Sequitur for literally decades. Its creator, Wily Miller, is a talented, imaginative, creative writer, and, he draws better than nine out of ten comic strip artists.

[So, what's your problem, dude? I love that strip, Poppa! Hmmm, we are perhaps, a beet xhelous?]

Dana, Iggy, and Marie-Louise are in the house, or at least in my consciousness. My problem is that I've become acutely aware that Mr. Miller doesn't like the Donald, bankers, the Donald, big business, the Donald, corporate officers, and Trump supporters. Also, men in general, and people that don't share his eating habits, specifically.

I used the word acutely because Mr. Miller goes after the type of people mentioned in the previous paragraph a bit too often for my taste. Even that might not be a deal breaker but for the self-righteous tone with which he colors his favorite targets.

I would expect, no, hope that he would occasionally take aim at everyone mentioned above as well as anyone else that he thinks worthy of satirization. I don't even care about fat jokes, the last politically correct cheap shot -- as long as they're funny -- and I say this as a calorically challenged H. sapien.

[In my defense, mine is a tank-like structure with a pedestal for a neck. The Gummit says I should weigh 185 pounds. Anyone that knows me well knows that at 185 I would look like I was just liberated from a concentration camp.]

Non Sequitur gag, 3/8/16. A fat man in a hospital gown is standing on a scale in a doctors office. The doctor says to the patient, "The body mass index chart says you're obese, but the meat and dairy industries chart says you're a great American."

It's not the patient, or even the patient's DNA that's at fault. It's the evil meat and dairy industries fault for forcing people to buy their products.

[Oh please! What's the big deal?]

It's not, Dana, not as a stand-alone example at least. But variations of it on a regular basis are tedious. Perhaps it's just me but I much prefer that editorial cartoons run on the editorial page.

A comic strip with an obvious, frequently emphasized political agenda is as annoying as athletes who get paid millions of dollars to play a game -- and actors who get paid millions to play pretend -- who feel compelled to prove their social justice bona fides via actions requiring minimal effort and minimal risk.

Spectator sports and other forms of entertainment, not just religion, can serve as mostly harmless opiates for those of the masses who have not turned to actual opiates.

Unfortunately, some folks prefer to smoke, snort or inject Socialism and/or some other utopian analgesic.

Ironically, the later tend to condemn the former.

[I still don't see why...]

Non Sequitur gag, 9/18/18. Two angels are on duty at the entrance to Heaven (St. Peter and an assistant?). There's a plump working stiff in overalls standing in front of a large sign and holding a pen. The sign says Entrance Exam, Nazis Are: (Check One), Bad __ Good __. The man is thoughtfully stroking his chin.

St. Peter is saying "Remember when this was the easiest test in the universe?"

[Oh, I see your point.]

See you in the funny pages!

The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same
Although I recently celebrated my 39th birthday for the 27th time I'm relatively computer literate for a junior geezer. When cell phones became ubiquitous my late wife and I didn't hesitate to give up our landline and switched to a very simple, easy to use phone. Somehow, we got by with one phone and 300 minutes a month.

I now own a smartphone, but I held out far longer than I should've and I'm climbing a learning curve encumbered by fingers and a brain that aren't as limber as they once were.

This got me to thinking about the fact that once upon a time, long before even I was born, that there was a time when people had to learn how to use a new-fangled invention called the telephone.

I went a-googling and found a video, "Training film for users of the new dial telephone" -- on YouTube. How cool is that? Poppa loves you.

Have an OK day.
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©2018 Mark Mehlmauer    

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