Zits made me laugh, but I quickly realized it's a bit out of date, since over-controlling mothers these days are not foiled by distance.
I'm not sure I accept the helicopter parent horror stories of college administrators -- that is, I believe they happen, but I suspect they aren't so frequent as to be typical.
Or, as the Irish say of the fairy folk, "I don't believe in them, but they're there."
Still, in the days before hyperconnectivity, when a kid left the nest he was basically gone. A particularly attentive child might phone home once a week, perhaps on Sunday when long distance rates were low, but the rest of the time, college kids were on their own and, yes, Mom needed to fret over something else.
Those days are gone and, even if they don't phone and Skype on a daily basis and text each other every time either of them has a meal or sneezes, there's always Facebook.
Which brings to mind, besides all the more global advice our Last Competent President handed out to young people the other day, he appended this gem, which I would most heartily endorse:
If we had pictures of everything I’ve done when I was in high school I probably wouldn't have been President of the United States, so I would advise all of you to be a little more circumspect about your selfies and what you take pictures of.
Boy, no kidding, and not only that, but kids are going to jail today for stuff we did all the time.
Adults once seemed to have tolerance for pranks and other dumbass doings, but maybe it was just that they didn't realize how much fun we were having and how important it was to shut that down.
Of course, they also didn't fingerprint us to keep us safe from imaginary kidnappers and search our lockers while we were in class learning about the Fourth Amendment.
Social media in a developing police state is a bad combination.
Pause for affect
Yes, I spelled that right. Loose Parts -- specifically the pause-and-emphasis in the parrot's podcast -- coincides with my frustration over a fairly new reporter at the public radio station I rely on who needs to stop trying to sound like a broadcaster.
I'm tempted to send her a note begging her to have someone tape her in conversation and compare the way she sounds in normal speech to the way she reads news, because she doesn't have a bad voice, but the programmed stops and random emphasis make her, if not impossible to listen to, at least impossible to take seriously.
Do they teach this in Mass Comm? Do professors tell aspiring broadcasters "On every fifth word, remember to raise your eyebrows, nod your head slightly and say that word as if it were all by itself and not part of a sentence"?
Because I have no idea what she even looks like, but I can tell when she's raising her eyebrows and nodding her head slightly.
Mind you, I've had the same problem with Garrison Keillor and Paul Harvey.
It's not like she invented Shatnerizing the news.
But she's in danger of perfecting it.
Now for some very weighty and intelligent humor:
Here we have Epicurus, Leibniz, Plato, Kant and Berkeley combining their metaphysical powers to summon forth ... well, no spoilers, but this episode of Existential Comics is called "Captain Metaphysics," so there's a clue for yez.
I often feel a little self-conscious about recommending this strip because I'm not sure how funny it is if you didn't major in something that made you consume people like Epicurus, Leibniz, Plato, Kant and Berkeley on a regular basis, much as a goose might be fed grain in order to produce foie gras.
But perhaps I can make my point by saying it would be a spoiler for me to go on too much about the fact that, while I liked Epicurus well enough, Kant and Berkeley left me cold and I only liked Plato for his dialogues and the political philosophy but groaned when he got into his theory of language and all that tedious stuff. (If we read Leibniz, it was while I was out of the room, which is entirely possible.)
I would also beg you to bring a fresh mind to this comic and forget that I just recently recounted writing a paper on Aristotle's De Anima sophomore year that concluded, in Greek, "Aristotle is full of bad waste" and only because the priest who provided the translation didn't know the classical Athenian Greek term for "shit."
Anyway, you don't have to have read any of these people to get a laugh at the end. I promise.
I never metaphysics I didn't like
Which pun, plus my feelings about Garrison Keillor and Paul Harvey, I use as an excuse to resurrect a pair of clippings that didn't make the cut yesterday.
Will Rogers wrote a regular column full of solid, sensible, down-to-earth cornpone and I could add Aristotle and foie gras to the reasons he comes to mind, since back home we used to refer to certain types is being "as full of shit as a Christmas goose."
So maybe he never met a man he didn't like, but golly then I reckon he hadn't actually met the feller who went and took a shot at FDR, because here's the contemporary-sounding rumination he sent out to papers in the wake of that. (His syndicate always included the name of the paper at the start, as if it were an exclusive. Can't get more authentical than that, podner.)
I don't know if that was a jinx or just a case of mathematical probability, but to save you looking it up, "a little over two years."
Happy ANZAC Day
ANZAC Day is an odd mashup of our solemn Memorial Day and joyous Fourth of July.
This is a song for the second half of the day. Or three-quarters.
Depending on whether the pub's allotment came in.