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I remember those early VCR days. I had a friend with a Betamax (when that was the dominant format. He'd use it to "time shift" Saturday Night Live, since, well being young, who wanted to stay home on a Saturday night to watch TV?

Brian Fies

A corollary to your "Super Crip" commentary (I share your weariness with the condescending head-patting): a breakthrough of mine was realizing around my late teens that just being somehow challenged didn't automatically make one a praiseworthy saint. I've known very nasty people in wheelchairs and obnoxious jerks with missing limbs. Since that epiphany I've always tried to just take people as they come without putting too much weight on the package they come in (tho some is unavoidable).

Love the Facebook cartoon. It also confronts the whole value of virtual life. It's an interesting issue: the fact that you and I have only "met" online makes you no less real a friend. On the other hand, I know people who really seem to care how many Likes or Pins or Retweets their content receives to no purpose that I can see except achieving the meaningless number itself. So you got 50 Likes; so what? Would 100 be twice as good? Why? How does that affect your life? Why should it?

Because I'm old.

Mary in Ohio

Years ago, a friend of mine who ultimately died of breast cancer became discouraged because of comments from other "friends" that she obviously wasn't keeping a positive enough attitude. This was in the days before Facebook.

Brian Fies

Mary, same with my mother as she died of cancer. Good attitude, positive visualization, etc. can help, but turn to guilt and blame when you still get sick anyway--obviously because, like Linus in the pumpkin patch, you weren't sincere enough. We had to cut out some well-meaning idiots who implied that people who get sick somehow attract it and deserve it because their souls aren't properly fine-tuned.


The Zuleta cartoon reminded me of an early Peanuts strip. Violet and Patty (the original one) passed Snoopy shivering in the cold. They told him, "Be of good cheer, Snoopy." "Yes, be of good cheer." And they walked on while Snoopy thought, "?"

Mike Peterson

Hearing you guys, I'm glad I only had to deal with the angels of doom who flock around pregnant women, letting them know all the things that can go wrong. At least they are overtly despicable and can be yelled at. What you describe, Brian and Mary, is no less contemptible but bizarrely and dysfunctionally "well-intentioned," which makes one hesitant to give them both barrels. Well, we know where the paved road leads and I hope soon, but, as you seem to suggest, avoidance is really the only cure.

As for Violet and Real Patty, I hadn't thought of that one for a long time but certainly remember it. Even as a youngster, I caught pointlessness of their good wishes.

And oddly enough, by the time I got a VCR in the early 80s, my interest in SNL was already becoming marginal, but I did shift it. I just looked up the 1982 cast and, while it was not a high point, it included Tim Kazurinsky, which inspires me to admit that, in case you ever wondered who it was, I am the person who found his wordplay bits funny.

And an "I'm so old joke" from that season -- "I'm so old I remember when Joe Piscopo was funny."

Of course, Eddie Murphy generally made it worth watching, but he sure overplayed his hand regularly, which was a poor match with the "beat the horse until it is well and truly dead" philosophy SNL has always had.

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