Start with the fun stuff today, though I'm putting a lot of reverse English on Baby Blues, because I think the "battle of the sexes" thing, while a predictable laff line, is backwards here: The kids should be happily oblivious while the parents wonder what happened.
Or, really, the grandparents, because, back in 1972, when we were awaiting the birth of our first, I remember not caring if it were a boy or girl, except for a bit of foreboding that I'd have to fight a lot harder for a daughter than for a son.
I was right to worry, but the battle was well advanced by the time our son was old enough to get into rec league soccer and his teams were co-ed.
He assumed that was normal because, by then, it was. This picture isn't one of his teams; in fact, it's a a pic he took during one of his little brother's games, and you can see one little girl following the action upfield while, way in the back, is our 'keeper Megan in a blue sweatshirt, who was probably in goal because she'd scored enough points by then that it wasn't sporting to keep her on the front line.
Though putting Megan in goal wasn't fair to the other team, either.
Title IX and social progress in general strikes me on two fronts:
The first is that, when I see high school girls bopping down the road on the way to practice, with softball bats or lacrosse sticks or soccer balls, and ponytails stuck through the backs of their ball caps, I am intensely jealous of a generation in which that kind of casual, confident joy exists in such open abundance.
The other is that I have become a fan of the NCAA Softball Tournament, currently in progress, because women have not simply cloned the male experience but have brought their own consciousness to sports, and it makes their games much more fun to watch: The competitive intensity is still there, but it's well-tempered with a level of team-consciousness that exhibits itself most often in funny, light-hearted chants and rituals from the dugout, but also in things like a smile and a pat on the shoulder to the new pitcher from the one who was being shelled, as she walks off the field to cheers and high-fives.
The world is still far from perfect, there are plenty of battles still to be fought and won.
But I'm willing to chuckle at today's "Baby Blues" as a nostalgic reminder of the Olden Days, along with other comic strips that reference the Lone Ranger or Ed Sullivan or other things that leave readers under 40 scratching their heads.
Meanwhile, under the floorboards
Rex Morgan is de-cluttering in preparation for selling his house, and his daughter found a stash of comics tucked away in the attic by a former resident. I suspect we'll have some fun with this story arc.
Terry Beatty, after drawing the strip for some time, recently took over the writing duties from Woody Wilson, and, while he may have to research any medical issues that come up at Dr. Morgan's office, I suspect that finding vintage comic books in the Morgan house is right up his alley.
Speaking of collectors' items
The NCS convention in Memphis included a substantial amount of time cartooning for kids at St. Jude's (That's Barbara Dale) as well as an auction of original pieces as a fundraiser for the hospital.
It also yielded this banner, which I am told will also be auctioned, but with no details. I've put out a couple of inquiries and will let you know if the auction is still live and how to arrange to empty your pockets if it is.
Meanwhile, former NCS President Tom Richmond has a write-up of the weekend here.
It's also worth observing that, while you can't throw the brakes on a national convention at the last minute, the society did put out a statement about Tennessee's recent decision to legalize stupid bigotry, and made it clear that, had the legislation been passed earlier, they'd have found a different place to party.
All in all, a pretty positive weekend, as well as a chance to eat some ribs and have some fun.
Depressing Juxtaposition of the Day
I wouldn't want you to walk away from today's blog with too much of a smile on your face, so here are two solid views of what's going on in the political mudslide.
I appreciate the balanced cynicism in Tom Tomorrow's wrap-up. He skirts the "everyone does it" cop-out by not using the outpouring of poor judgment as an excuse but rather as an indictment. If you're paid to know things, there's little excuse for ignorance, and there's never an excuse for taking the money and not making an honest effort to go beyond "I'm not a political analyst, but I play one on TV."
Jones is more specific in targeting the amateur know-nothings, not simply with his cartoon, which is makes a nice riposte for the many knee-jerk outbursts on social media, but also with an essay that is well worth reading.
My favorite passage:
Did any of these conservatives claiming the president apologized actually listen to his speech? Maybe they did and their problem is comprehension. Maybe when they’re listening to a rational person it’s like when we have to listen to Sarah Palin and attempt to make sense out of it.
Clay is sarcastic, but he's also right: You have to either question their honesty, their intelligence or their sanity. Maybe all three, but tucking your head between your legs and hoping it all blows over is not only cowardly and unpatriotic, but an approach we've already seen tried.
The time to be polite about this has long since passed.