I suppose I should start with the more serious one: Sally Forth has moved away from the usual Thanksgiving memes of disguised turkeys and suchlike to an arc in which Ted deals with his father ... or doesn't.
Dunno where it's going or whether it will ultimately change the dynamics of the strip, given that Ted's dysfunctional personality has become pretty central, but having one of the Internet's foremost wiseasses suddenly take his strip in a serious direction like this is worth noting in any case.
Or maybe not so suddenly: The previous arc was about Sally's best friend at work taking a job elsewhere, and it was fairly reflective as well.
A lesser milestone
Not sure how often any of the grownups have been depicted in Dog Eat Doug, though off-camera voices are frequent. Here are some toesies.
Not with a bang but a whimper?
Loved this Better Half and continue to be glad Randy Glasbergen will be maintaining his presence at GoComic, because he manages to put a little something into normal domestic comedy that lifts it above the mundane. In this case, not only can I relate to Stanley all too well, but that touch of gallows humor made me laff rather than simply nod.
It also made me think it would be cool if the final set of panels on November 30 ended with Stanley and Harriet going into a diner, ordering a huge platter of cheeseburgers and fries and putting "Don't Stop Believing" on the jukebox.
Retirement Gag #2
Edison Lee has been riffing on a non-traditional Thanksgiving program and the arc has been fun but today's episode also made me laff.
Having worked with hundreds of schools over the past quarter century or so, I'm well aware that burn-out and impending retirement, in fact, lead to a more rigid adherence to "how we've always done it" rather than this "oh what the hell" attitude, but what's the point of creating a fictional world if you can't populate it with such promising scenarios?
And I offer this flashback, a photo of me with one of the best principals I've known upon a morning when I read "Thidwick the Big Hearted Moose" to a roomful of second-graders prior to all the classes marching down to the cafeteria for a breakfast of green eggs and ham.
The kids were each wearing those same construction paper hats and ties, except one roomful of little angels who went for the breakfast unadorned, I suppose either because their teacher felt they had never done that before or because they had neglected to line up all their pencils the way she had told them to.
Every administrator has a list of those near-retirement teachers and is counting down the days until they go away, but -- tenure or not -- you really can't fire someone for being a burn-out unless you want to defend a lawsuit claiming you were just trying to keep them from getting their pension.
Meanwhile, a new, tax-rebellion based school board managed to make imaginative education so difficult in that district that the principal herself decided she'd rather take early retirement than carry out policies that were aligned with never letting the kids ever make construction paper hats.
Hm. I seem to have dampened the mood a bit. Sorry.
Teach Your Children Well
Guess who became a father between that first and second commentary?
Stay angry, my friend. And raise up some angry, funny little fellows to carry on the battle.
Some of the battles are small, some of the battles are huge, and sometimes seeds that were sown at random fall on some surprisingly important, totally unexpected, delightfully fertile ground.
Just ask Suzanne Collins, who certainly didn't plan this but ought to be proud.
The Curious Incident of the Screen in the Background
I can so relate to this xkcd. Not as a nerd or a geek (It's worth visiting the site for the mouseover gag) but simply as someone with ADD who can't help but focus on more than what was intended.
Mostly, it means that, if you're watching a live production of "Peter Pan," it's impossible not to ponder how the flying rig is set up -- and the better the job, the more distracting it becomes, because, while everyone notices an obvious, bad set of wires, if Peter and the gang seem to really fly, the technical questions really take over the experience for those with ADD.
Which is to say, the less you see the wires, the more they distract you from the play, which is probably the opposite of what the producers intended.
Sometimes, as in this case, it's "Wait! What was that?"
There's not much of a line between most people with ADD and people with Asperger's, but, if there is one, it's that, when a movie contains an odd, illogical element, the person with ADD will bring it up during the credits while the Aspie has to discuss it immediately.
Either way, the idea that someone else would shrug it off is unimaginable. Given the budgets that go into these things, the old saying "near enough is close enough" can hardly apply.
And when it's a total screw-up, the whole damn thing falls apart.
Case in point: "Dead Poet's Society."
I paid to see it in a theater, and I'm still pissed.
The boys are all going to sneak out of their palatial prep-school dorm in the middle of the night, but there is this cocker spaniel living there who will raise hell, so they bribe him with dog biscuits to let them pass.
Then they sit out in the woods with a fire having this deep, meaningful discussion, which is pretty central to the movie and certainly more central in the mind of the director than is the cocker spaniel, whom he evidently forgot about entirely, because he makes no provision for how the boys are going to get back into the dorm without said cocker spaniel raising hell.
Getting out was the easy part, obviously. Obviously.
Don't tell me to shut up and eat my popcorn.
It's not just a violation of the rule about "Chekhov's Gun," though it is that. The dog was unnecessary, but, having brought him into the picture, you are now responsible for him.
But, good lord, this gaffe even has its own stock phrase: "The Dog That Didn't Bark."
As Pliny the Elder would say, "Cmon, Man."
This is why I hate mysteries: They require you to pick out which one of all the parts that don't make any sense is the one that the director knows doesn't make any sense.
(I can do mouseovers, too!)