Bizarro brings up one of those odd disconnects between (most) men and (most) women, which is the cut flowers vs. live plants issue.
I say "most" in order to forestall those who will insist they favor the other side of the matter, because I'm sure there are exceptions.
But -- unlike pressing issues of whether ketchup (or catsup, but let's not) belongs in the refrigerator or the cupboard, and whether the toilet paper should be hung over such that the loose piece faces the toilet or faces the wall -- this one does, IMHO, tend to break down on gender lines.
Men are apt to get all practical and want to give a living plant because it will last, while, to women, the romantic ideal is a fragile moment.
It's like love, then, isn't it?
Because, 90 percent of the time, even the damn plant fades and dies.
You just have to tend it that much longer before the inevitable, including that part at the end where you're hoping to nurse it back to health but everything you do either makes no difference at all or seems to accelerate the decay.
Men must be more romantic than women, since they think they'll be in that 10 percent whose plant survives. Those who prefer cut flowers are simply more cynical.
On the other hand, while cut flowers fade quickly, diamonds are forever.
I have no idea why industrial-grade diamonds are now alleged to be such great gifts, even though they aren't priced like industrial-grade diamonds, but I think the word "gullible" figures into it.
Fake news and on-line bullying
Just as I'm feeling discouraged by the nonsense being posted on-line, Moroccan cartoonist Mohamed Ajeg drops this gem on the topic of "Trial by Social Media."
Granted, there are no longer any such things as "facts," it's still depressing to see nonsense dressed up as truth, and I wish it were one-sided but it's not.
This piece, for instance, would be funny if it were some jokers' parody of bad reporting, but it's a for-real "news" report that declares the Dakota pipeline routing to be racist because it was originally set to go past Bismarck. Probably. Reportedly.
According to a single source who flat-out says she actually knows nothing about it firsthand.
From which we are invited by those who share it online to conclude that, when (if) a pipeline was diverted from a city of 67,000 and routed past a community of 8,000, the explanation is racism.
This bit of unsubstantiated gossip masquerading as journalism comes from PRI, which I thought was a reputable news service.
Well, strike them from the list.
And pointing out its shortcomings is ineffectual. Even if someone shares it as "Isn't this a load of nonsense?" half the people who see it will ignore the comments and share the story as truth.
That's how Facebook works: If someone posts that Abraham Lincoln is alive and living in Bali, the comments will be half "You're out of your mind" alternated with "Thanks! Sharing!"
In a post-factual society, people believe what they want to believe and explanations are ignored. We're well past "truthiness" at this stage.
And while we all get upset over the (recurring) story of the teen who was lied about and bullied on-line and committed suicide, what if a whole country responded to dishonest on-line material that way?
We tut-tut better when we don't recognize our own faces in the mirror.
Angry artists painting angry signs
Use their vision just to blind the blind
Poisoned players of a grizzly game
One is guilty and the other gets to point the blame
Pardon me if I refrain
-- Phil Ochs
Happy News from Happy Valley
Local cartoons often slip by, but this John Cole panel is a bright point in an otherwise discouraging world.
Remember Mike McQueary, the whistleblower in the Penn State sexual abuse scandal?
Well, a jury just awarded him $7.3 million in damages for the abuse and career damage that university administrators piled on him in the course of their cover-up, and the outraged judge, instead of cutting the jury's award as judges are wont to do, adding another $5 million to it.
When it comes to sexual abuse, I'm not a get-a-rope type, assuming the person admits fault, seeks help and tries to the extent possible to make restitution for something that really can't be made good.
But when it comes to those deliberate cover-ups by the people who are supposed to be in charge, I'm not so merciful. And I suspect Sandusky didn't admit guilt precisely because he knew the college had his back.
Here's the trailer to a good but scary documentary that is available on-line.
I don't think I want to watch it again, but I recommend it, as a sort of spiritual colonic.
And remember, I like sports. I'm furious because
I know it doesn't have to be like this.
On a considerably more cheerful note:
I'll confess that, listening to this "10 Minute Writer's Workshop" on New Hampshire Public Radio last night, I didn't know who Tom Gauld was, but then, as soon as I got home and Googled him, I recognized his work immediately and felt a little silly.
It's a fun interview, and she hits the right mix of keeping it accessible to non-comics-fanatics -- there's not a lot of discussion of what nibs he uses -- but maintaining a level of exploration of creative process that I think those who do obsess over techniques and technologies will also find of considerable interest.