I don't know if today's Pooch Cafe would have cracked me up quite so much if I hadn't just seen the news that Quentin Tarantino is considering directing a Star Trek movie.
I loved "Pulp Fiction" because it was totally absurd and fun and often clever, particularly the Jules/Vincent conversations, but I haven't liked much of anything else Tarantino has done. It's something I didn't understand, because I really wanted to find some more things like Pulp Fiction but somehow the rest of his films were complex without being interesting.
Finally, "Django Unchained" came out and the flurry of criticism focused things for me, because it involved black people calling him out for thinking -- incorrectly -- that he'd earned the right to throw the N-word around.
Which in turn made me recognize what made the rest of his films clang instead of ring: He thinks he's been places he hasn't.
It's nothing new. My late mother-in-law, very much an Aunt Bee homemaker type, used to do a hilarious send-up of "Charlie's Angels" simply by pointing an imaginary gun with both hands and shouting "Freeze!" She was every bit as credible an undercover cop as any of those three, and her critique of the series was right on.
Point is, you could believe Cagney, even if you had to suspend disbelief a little to believe Lacey, but Farrah? Come on.
Anyway, I've told the story before of the cops-and-courts reporter I worked with who talked like Poncho in today's cartoon and was respected just as much by the cops.
Here's the trick to moving in uncertain waters: You have to know you're a tourist there and behave accordingly. At that point, you'll be welcomed.
So stop saying "perp."
And for god's sake don't be putting street-wise, tough-guy profanity in Captain Kirk's mouth when you've no more been on the streets than you've been on the bridge of the Enterprise.
By contrast, over at Judge Parker, Marciuliano and Manley have taken the dubious tough-guy James Bond subplot they inherited and made it totally surreal, or, perhaps, completely realistic, since having this insane international operative in his life has destroyed the Judge's marriage.
Answering the vital question, "What if 'The In-Laws' was real?"
And, continuing our theme of credibility, I have linked to the real movie (90% rating at Rotten Tomatoes) and not the completely unnecessary cheeseball remake (34% rating), point being that, if you're going to be ridiculous, there are rules to that, and, if you get it wrong, you screw up the entire thing.
F'rinstance, the murderous bodyguard can't just show up with pancakes. They have to be banana-nut pancakes.
I can't explain the rules. Either you get it or you don't.
And I see in the comments that Judge Parker still has its army of trolls, who haven't noticed that the strip has completely changed from the days when the hipster doofi at City Paper declared it trollworthy.
Because hipster trolls are as credible as critics as Farrah Fawcett Majors ever was as a tough cop.
Speaking of doofi
Andy Marlette's cartoon falls under the category of "You joke, but there are people who take this seriously."
That is, now that their president has formally endorsed a pedophile, social media trolls are trotting out JFK's sex life as proof that something something something.
Oddly enough, they seem to be arguing that he should never have been president, but, since he was, we should elect Roy Moore.
But we should kick out Conyers and Franken. And Anthony Weiner, who we did, but that also proves we should elect Roy Moore.
The goal posts are able to wander because they're unhinged.
I doubt many of these folks have actual memories of JFK, but they should at least understand the difference between voting for someone who later turns out to have been a skirt-chaser and voting for someone whom you know has a thing for 14-year-old girls.
And I use the playful term "skirt-chaser" because, even after he was dead and things surfaced, all we knew was that he had affairs with Marilyn Monroe and Judith Exner.
There may have been more despicable things in his closet, but it had zero impact on his political reputation because, when he was alive, we knew none of it.
We also didn't know that Ike had an affair with his driver during the war or that FDR was getting it on behind Eleanor's back, or about all sorts of times when our leaders slipped between the wrong sets of sheets.
Maybe we should have. Got a time machine?
What I do remember from those days is that, when Nelson Rockefeller got divorced and married his erstwhile mistress in 1963, it was assumed that his political future was dead.
He was subsequently re-elected governor of New York twice, ran for president several times and served as vice-president under Gerald Ford.
I think if we're going to throw out everyone who broke their wedding vows, we ought to include the divorced folks, too, plus those who think about it.
Jimmy Carter got in trouble, after all, for admitting that he sometimes thought about other women in a sexual way. Perhaps we should depose candidates about their thoughts.
Or perhaps we could have a serious discussion of sexual assault and sexual harassment and sexual cluelessness and try to differentiate that which is disqualifying and that which is simply pathetic and that which is totally irrelevant.
(I'm pretty sure I know which slot pedophilia falls into, even if our Head Pussy Grabber doesn't agree.)
I've really been enjoying Thimble Theater, and I think I've been reading it closely enough to state that today's June 26, 1931, strip contains Popeye's first mention of spinach.
Though I probably shouldn't read his comic.
I've heard that he likes to go swimmin' with bare-naked wimmin.