Some short takes to avoid the major issues for a bit, and we'll start with Dog Eat Doug because it did such a good job of puzzling me until the final panel.
And, as I've said before, one of the strengths of this feature is that Doug remains a baby and Sophie is the one endowed with speech and at least a tiny bit of sense.
And I don't know how long it's been since Brian Anderson had anyone as young as Doug in his household, but, yeah, that would happen.
I'm not sure how loud it would be, but, then, I don't have Sophie's heightened senses, so I'm willing to accept it.
Also a reminder that, at some point, I should get our home movies digitized, because there is a shot of our very shaggy top dog at his dinner bowl, and a little hand emerges from beneath him and grabs a few kibbles, then disappears.
For me, Dog Eat Doug is a documentary.
Okay, so is today's Buckets.
As Constant Readers know, I was in and out of the hospital throughout the Summer of 2016, and I'm fine now but I sure got a medical education then. I think I spent a few days in every department except OB/GYN and, since Dartmouth-Hitchcock is both a teaching hospital and a major regional medical center, I got a pretty good look at who's coming up in the profession.
I met a lot of young women, which included a large number of minorities and particularly a lot of young minority women from other countries.
Not that I noticed.
Fact is, I like young doctors, because they're up-to-date in a field that is changing rapidly and not just in terms of the gender-balance of its practitioners.
And I'm prejudiced enough to think that women are more apt to read the instruction manual, though I hope everyone does in medicine.
So I'm pretty hip.
Except that, when I had my gall bladder out and a perforated ulcer repaired, I was pretty doped up for a couple of days, and the internist team consisted of a male doctor and a half-dozen female interns or residents, and coming up out of the fog for rounds each day to find them clustered around my bed in long white lab coats did kind of feel like waking up in Castle Anthrax.
But I didn't notice.
'Cause I'm pretty hip, y'know.
And, besides, today's Retail is a pretty good leveler.
Even if the people who serve you don't look on you as a sort of necessary pestilence, no man is a hero to his valet.
And stripping away the sheen of heroism is what L'il Donnie does best.
Beyond the traditional attempts to capture the horror in the symbols and conceits of editorial panels, this approach of reducing things to a brief conversation provides both a good laugh and a sort of de-pantsing that feels to me more real than the bland-restatement favored by altie-cartoonists.
That is, in the "bland restatement" approach, they make statements that verge on insanely honest speeches, and that can work. But Norton creates scenarios in which the dialogue, though insane, feels and flows naturally, so that you get sucked into the scenario despite its obvious lunatic setting.
There's more of Jean-Paul Sartre or Edward Albee than Garry Trudeau in this approach, and especially in today's setting.
Juxtaposition of the Day
We're getting to the point where Theater of the Absurd has become our Standard Operating Procedure, and I suppose it's not surprising, given that it began with electing an all-but-fictional TV character.
I've seen parallels on social media with A Face In The Crowd, but the difference seems to me that, in the movie, Lonesome Rhodes was a clever conman hiding behind his aw-shucks veneer, and I'm no longer buying that take on Trump.
That is, Rhodes came to believe in his own over-inflated popularity, but he never fell for his own bullshit. Trump is convinced of both.
And so John Dowd has thrown himself on the grenade, and you can trace the spiralling demise of the Loyal Servant down from Gordon Liddy to Oliver North to this ridiculous parody of the other two.
His sacrifice -- of his personal honor, if not of his license -- seems pointless, since nobody believes him, and, meanwhile, he appears to have revealed that ol' Lonesome Trump's homespun tweets were scripted and posted by staff.
I guess we're now supposed to believe that an attorney wrote that self-incriminating tweet and passed it on to Trump's official Twitter Operator and that nobody showed it to the President and said, "What about this one?"
Granted, this is a chief executive for whom they have had to dumb down his briefings and add pictures, but, damn, even with Twitter expanded to 280 characters, you'd think it would still be within his attention span.
On the other hand, he wouldn't be the first prep-school bully who got through by having other people do his homework for him, and, while that's empty speculation, he is on record as saying that finding ways to avoid paying your taxes is "smart."
Truth or illusion, Donald? Truth or illusion?
I'm not leaving on that note. Here's a pic by Captain America illustrator Tom Hodges.
If I'm going to be forced to believe obvious fiction, this is the obvious fiction I prefer to believe.