Fowl Language is a fun panel in which Brian Gordon illustrates the small contradictions and occasional frustrations of caring parenthood. I add "caring" because he doesn't spend a lot of time bitching and moaning about those darned kids but holds up the mirror as well, not to blame but to ponder.
And if you've never been here, well, you have been. You just didn't notice, which makes it worse, because at least a prattling child has the excuse of inexperience and infantile self-centeredness for talking past, rather than "to," others.
As for how to break through to that child and be heard, it is a puzzlement. They don't want to hear what you have to offer, unless you find a fresh wrapping that makes the message of interest.
This does not confine itself to the parent/child relationship.
The older you get, the less gentle and amusing an inability to gauge the interests and responses of others becomes and the more it begins to indicate, not inexperience but genuine, perhaps even clinical, lack of empathy for others.
Leroy and Loretta leaving a party is one of the set pieces of the Lockhorns: An angry host stands in the doorway, Leroy's clothes are messed up and he may be sporting a fresh shiner.
Certain couples try to cut off those unhappy exits with a pre-set signal -- most often a hand on the knee under the table -- that ranges from a gentle "You're doing it again" to a more robust, "Honey, it's time to shut up now."
But, of course, the most blatant violators are as insensitive to a hand on the knee as they are to the smoldering reactions of their audience.
Someone should have touched Bill O'Reilly on the knee the other day, when he confidently trotted out that centuries-old justification for the peculiar institution of slavery, that slaves were better off than northern factory workers.
It might have gone better, had he simply denied that slaves were used in building the White House. That is so blatantly, objectively, provably wrong that it can be countered.
The issue of how they were treated is both more subjective and more nuanced: Yes, slaves who were skilled artisans were often well treated.
But they still tried to escape to freedom. And those who stayed did so in order to earn money to purchase their freedom, and that of their family members.
So, yes, Bill, they were well fed and sheltered.
But you're an idiot for thinking that made a significant difference, and an even bigger idiot for saying something so insensitive and foolish in public.
History is complicated and sloppy and the more you understand it, the more you should recognize the need to at best choose your words carefully and, failing that, to shut up, the perverse pleasure of the TV show being that people in it do neither.
"Drunk History" is based on a simple concept: Real historians get roaring drunk and then struggle to explain moments of history, their semi-coherent narratives acted out on the screen by purposely ill-matched, poorly costumed celebrities.
Like "Monty Python," or the early years of the Harvard Lampoon and Saturday Night Live, the show gets quite a bit of its punch from riffing on things you need to be somewhat educated to appreciate. But, as with them, it gets quite a bit of its audience from the simple spectacle of supposedly wise people falling over in pools of vomit.
It is funny to hear a drunken version of some complex insight which you recognize but never heard rolling and stumbling off the tongue with such simple, sodden, uncertain certainty.
But a little goes a long way, and, if you didn't know the history in the first place, the attraction is simply that of neighborhood bullies laughing and throwing rocks at a pathetic drunkard in the gutter.
Which would make a decent person ask what's so funny about that?
To which the answer is blah-blah-blah. You're just being a snob and it's funny and, anyway, we're being ironic.
Which brings us back to the prattling five-year-old and the pedantic old-timer, and the futility of their trying to have a conversation.
David Horsey's coverage of the DNC has come on so quickly and with such fluidity that his observations pile up faster than they can be analyzed.
By the time you're ready to offer some thoughts on one of them, there's already another one posted.
But, while it's hard to keep up, there has been an obvious trend in his postings, which is that his sympathy for the hardcore Bernie-or-Busters faded quickly over the few days of the convention, this particular cartoon being from somewhat early on, when it was easy to identify with their lost sense of optimism.
Before the transformation from understandable disappointment into insistent, nonsensical declarations that both candidates are the same and that, in any case, it is wrong to choose the lesser of two evils.
Which prideful posturing prompted someone to pose the meme on Facebook, "Imagine being so white that voting for a third party just to 'prove a point' is a risk you can afford to take."
Before the old, irrelevant people pointed out that the next president will certainly appoint two Supreme Court Justices, perhaps as many as four, but all that was heard was "blah blah blah."
History is full of those who died awaiting a perfect solution, comforting themselves in the meantime with the knowledge that it could never happen here, and with the less admirable knowledge that, even if it did happen, it wouldn't happen to them.
Despite the pessimistic droning of old men and women, prattling endlessly on about whatever old people prattle on about, long after anybody has wanted to hear it.