Yes, I agree with Soup to Nutz and am continuing my experiment of putting the blog together before I look at Facebook.
So far, so good.
Though Jeff Stahler got me a little fired up, because the topic of phony "therapy dogs" came up at the park the other day.
I'm old enough to remember when people made jokes in an online forum -- a listserv, which makes me truly ancient -- about putting on sunglasses so they could bring their dog on an airplane and how angry and offended blind people were, since they had enough trouble getting their for-real Seeing Eye dogs admitted places. And they were right.
But then a kabillion websites sprung up offering bogus therapy-dog certificates and vests.
This is the opposite of the gluten-free nonsense, which may be anti-science foolishness but does benefit the small percentage of people who really do have celiac disease.
These placebo freaks and deliberate liars are indulging in nonsense that harms the people who are not faking it.
The law says that if someone wants to bring a dog into a place of business or onto a plane on the claim that it's a therapy animal, you're not allowed to ask them about their disability but you can ask them what their dog is trained to do. And simply "being there" is not a trained skill.
But most businesses are terrified of lawsuits and so instruct their employees to let anyone through on any claim, no matter how obviously farcical.
Though I suppose the only real point I've made is that I'm very old.
Idiots with fake therapy animals are, as Stahler suggests, part of the normal landscape today.
And I am old, and so I got a bigger laff out of today's Free Range than a younger person might have, because I immediately thought of both Robin Hood and Prisoner of Zenda, the latter being the bad 1952 remake with James Mason and Stewart Granger, not the real version of the movie, shot in 1937, with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Ronald Colman.
The "fencing on the circular staircase with shadows" scene featured in all those old films highlights (heh) one of my peeves about modern swashbucklers, which is that I understand castles were probably pretty dark, what with small windows and rush torches and tallow candles and all, but can we stipulate that?
I'd like to see what the hell is going on, and, if you're going to update the language, and -- in these inclusive times -- propose the ridiculous idea that a 95-pound woman could joust with a 240-pound man and stay in the saddle out of sheer bravery and strength of character, I think you can tinker with the lighting as well.
Not that the older movies get a free pass.
In the bad remake of Prisoner, I'm blaming James Mason for the clumsy speeding-up of the fencing scenes, given that Stewart Granger made Scaramouche in the same year, which not only included a legendary duel with Mel Ferrer that has disappeared from YouTube, but offered this fencing lesson, which has not.
And which did not require not-so-special-effects to make it work, though I am curious about what the hell building they were in where you could take underground fencing lessons, accidently run into the nobility and then the nobility's girlfriend and, finally, disappear into the wainscotting.
Still, the lighting and the swordplay were excellent.
And even that fun, wonderful Scaramouche was a remake of the 1924 film with one of Hollywood's best-ever swashbucklers, Ramon Navarro in the title role.
But James Mason buckling swashes?
Self-Juxtaposition and furthermore ...
Darrin Bell is a bit of a grammar usage nazi and I don't always agree with how he parses things in that department, but at least he thinks about words and their power.
Apparently, he stewed over Trump's bought-and-paid-for definition adjudicator, because he put out that first cartoon yesterday and then followed with the more narrowly cast version today.
He's certainly right about the difference between "profits" and "money," as I learned not just by covering business but also by playing in bars where the owner, with his diamond pinkie ring, his late-model Cadillac and his cottage at the beach, would explain how he actually lost money pouring beer, much less paying the band.
And don't hand me this "I'll say anything you pay me to" crap:
No one would have thought when the Constitution was written that paying your hotel bill was an emolument. Instead, it would have been thought of as a value-for-value exchange; not a gift, not a title, and not an emolument.
Beyond "profit or gain," look at Definition 2, "Advantage," not simply for its meaning but for its date of first use: 1756.
The final draft of the Constitution came out in 1787 (and was ratified in '89), which means that "emolument" had meant not simply pay or profit but also "advantage" for just over 30 years, plenty of time for the authors to be familiar with that usage and not long enough in the past to have been forgotten by them.
There's your Original Intent, shyster!
To be fair, his business dealings weren't the only thing Trump discussed at his pep rally, as Mike Peters noted. Raw, raw, raw -- that's the spirit we've got here, and a prom date who goes to Commie Martyrs High is still a date, after all.
In any case, Tom Toles suggests, when it comes to filling out Trump's prom court, even his former rivals want to be his friends now, whatever it takes.
And, after all, what's a little selling-out among friends, anyway?
Now here's your moment of financial trumpery