(If you're looking for intelligent commentary on a topic of importance,
please scroll down to yesterday's posting. We're frivolous today.)
Juxtaposition of the Day:
I liked "Between Friends" today because I really like women who let their gray take over, though I do understand doing touch-ups in the years before it has finished the process, I guess.
But I like gray, not only because it can be aesthetically very attractive but also because it suggests a kind of reality base that is even more appealing than the look itself.
However, I did wonder what on earth commentary I would dare attach to it.
By the time you get to the stage where your female counterparts can sport the full-gray look, you should have learned that not all women are decking themselves out for your approval and also that men and women have a fundamentally different take on what constitutes "vanity" versus what falls under "maintaining a positive self-image."
Men and women also differ on what falls under the category of "none of your damn business."
Anyway, problem solved: Sammy's got it covered.
Don't look in the kitchen
I love Sophie. Dog Eat Doug does a masterful job of switching from dog-and-kid fantasy play into this more realistic mode and avoiding being either foolishly surrealistic in the one or cloyingly sweet in the other.
And I'm not so old that I don't remember hearing the crash from the next room as the highchair clean-up crew inadvertently gave itself away.
Meanwhile, in the Afterlife ...
Sherman and Hawthorne have discovered a trapdoor in the ocean's floor that leads to Hell and are getting a tour.
As so often is the case with this strip, it's the delivery that sells the gag. The timing is spot-on, and only Hawthorne can properly deliver that punchline.
What particularly made me laff was remembering a play I co-wrote for the annual Associates' Night of the Colorado Springs Home Builders Association, back when I was writing for a real estate magazine.
The play was set in the Old West and involved a dimwitted Texas developer who, in the third act, inadvertantly touches off the steam-driven nail gun he is being shown, the nail flying across a crowded bar room and hitting Hawaiian-shirt-wearing, golf-club-carrying Colonel Cowboy Bob US Cavalry Retired, whereupon Tex's son Billy Bob cries, "Aw, Pa! You done went and shot my marketing director!"
To which the sheriff -- played by the current HBA president -- says, "Ain't no law against that."
Not breakthrough comedy, no, but, in a roomful of builders, it got the biggest roar of the night.
My own laugh came at the cast party, hearing from someone who had been sitting in the audience with a couple of highly unamused marketing directors.
Ah well. Can't please'em all, then, can ya?
Speaking of being in both marketing and Hell
There are worse things, young padwan, than being paid to design a brochure for a foot fungus ointment. Start with not being paid to design anything, for instance.
Given that Ben is a Quebecois cartoon, and that Nathan speaks of doing three years rather than getting a four-year BFA, I'm going to assume he attended a CEGEP and has few if any loans to pay off. So the pragmatic pity fades a bit.
But I'm also assuming (doing the math and considering the apparent ages of his kids) that he is in his mid-30s, and so, no, it wasn't all leading up to that. He's barely headed into the back stretch.
At that age, I had just begun the move from thinking I had to be JD Salinger in order to be successful as a writer to realizing I really enjoyed journalism.
I was also starting to realize how much I had learned in the process of banging out freelance features for the local paper and ad copy for whoever would pay for it.
If you can create an attractive brochure on an unattractive topic in such a way that the graphics are appealing and the information is clear to the consumer, I promise you, you will benefit from the experience when you work on something you care about.
Even if you never make a sou from it.
And you will have increased the likelihood of some level of commercial success simply from having learned clarity and purpose, and from having gotten over yourself, that last being the real barrier to getting your act together in the arts.
The real, and immediate, dilemma is, can you wrap up a day of doing art in the service of someone else's needs, eat dinner, put the kids to bed and then go back and do more art in your own vision?
Or would you be better off flipping burgers 9-to-5 and keeping your brain unused and your imagination well-rested?
We'll see if this was a one-off or the start of an arc, but I'm hoping for the latter.
Speaking of francophone artists ...
Go ahead. Hit "reload" and watch Boulet do it all again.
Might as well be a video of the Flying Wallendas, right?
(If it's any consolation, I suspect this is kind of sped up.)