I had pulled out today's Baby Blues, because it coincides with Hasbros' announcement that they are dropping the boot, the thimble and the wheelbarrow tokens from Monopoly and adding a rubber ducky, a T Rex and a penguin, and I was simply going to laugh at the idea that this would somehow bring young people flocking joyfully to a game that involves sitting still for a very long time, thinking and doing math, mostly all by hand.
Which is to say, they managed to betray their base with a move that will do nothing to build new users.
I hadn't planned to overthink it to this extent, though that's a brilliant piece of pondering.
But I might well have noted that the first "computer game" I bought -- on a floppy -- was Monopoly, back when all it did was move the pieces and track the money and the real estate for you, which took all the tedium out of the game.
The only problem at that stage was that we hadn't figured out networking, so you had all to gather around one monitor and keyboard and take turns.
Then they "improved" it by adding special effects in which the car, for instance, revved its engine and drove to the the next square, the horse whinneyed and galloped to move and so forth.
This reproduced the experience of playing with the most annoying goddam person in the world, the one at whom everyone finally yells, "Just move your freaking piece, ferchrissake."
And I might have pointed out that people do still play board games and card games and, if you're missing the market, it's not the fault of a boot or a wheelbarrow or a thimble.
But never mind.
Deflocked dropped this gag into today's comics page and completely distracted me.
I just cut back my cable to minimal and added Playstation Vue to take the place of an expensive tier I wasn't using, so I've started watching CNN and MSNBC, which meant last night I watched Bernie Sanders in a town hall meeting in coal country, where 75% of the people voted for Trump and are now realizing what that meant.
Granted, the folks who are thrilled with how things are going probably wouldn't turn out to see Bernie, but the people who were there were downhome and practical people, and, if they didn't speculate about how Trump would likely strip away OSHA MSHA and other protections to help the coal bosses make more profits, they were very much aware that we're a few short weeks away from a deadline to preserve black lung benefits and pension guarantees and that it's Republican legislators who are refusing to move things forward.
I grew up in mining country and I know those people and that economy and I feel awful for them, but, on the other hand, we've been here before and maybe this is what it takes to overcome the "unions are bad" storyline so many have swallowed.
And for those who still believe it, I'm reminded of when Nellie Bly went out to Illinois to cover the Pullman Strike, prepared to excoriate the ungrateful workers who didn't appreciate the model town Pullman had set up for their benefit, only to find out that, while their pay had been cut, their rents had not and that they would be fired if they moved out of company housing to find places they could afford to live.
And that "I owe my soul to the company store" was more than a line in a song, back then.
The stunning part in the Town Hall -- the part that has less to do with coal than it does with all of us, and that Deflocked brought to mind -- comes at about the 26 minute mark of that video, when they begin to talk about opioids.
There I could juxtapose Deflocked with this Gary Markstein cartoon, because, when Chris Hayes asked how many people had lost people to opioids, a strong majority raised their hands.
Hayes spoke with an attorney who is involved in a lawsuit on behalf of Kermit, WV, which is summed up in this lede, from an article in the Charleston Gazette-Mail:
This town of 392 people in Southern West Virginia is suing out-of-state drug distributors that shipped nearly 9 million highly addictive pain pills to a single pharmacy there in just two years.
You can't blame Trump for that, but you can blame a heartless, unregulated, unsupervised profits-above-people system, and we certainly can't look to him as the cure.
And, as both the moderator and Bernie noted, this isn't specifically a West Virginia problem, and it certainly isn't a problem that will be solved by cutting Medicaid and knocking people off health care.
Moreover, as the physician on that panel points out, whatever individual coverage people may or may not have, losing funding for treatment programs and facilities will throw the onus back on states that can't afford to set up and sustain those programs without help from the feds.
Which was, after all, the goal of Reaganomics, too: Put responsibility on local governments, such that the feds can look thrifty, the One Percent can pocket the difference, and someone else has to take the blame.
I blame the boot, the wheelbarrow and the thimble, myself. Monopoly is going to be much more fun now: Look, it's a funny rubber ducky!
Now here's your moment of deja vu: