This week will remove all the snow - except for the coal-dusted piles of snirt, which live on through the cold stored up in their own innards. It will take a while to be rid of them. They might even outlast Twitter.

No, that's not so; Twitter isn't going away, but odd things are happening. (The Federalist has a round-up, if you're not up to speed and are interested in online culture.) Shadowbanning and outright bans on people deemed unwelcome by the Trust and Safety Council - something named by dreary tin-eared little commissars - will mean that people will either self-deport or just stifle themselves, lest they be banished. I should note:

One is always obliged to note that it's a private company and can do what it wants. You'd think that would go without saying, but that idea has been circumscribed for reasons good and ill. Always nice to see people who want to make private companies do what they want suddenly discover these principles, though. Welcome!

When discussing people who've been deverified or outright banned - Milo, or Robert Stacy McCain - you seem to be obliged to state the exact percentage of remarks with which you agree or disagree, as if that has anything to do with the issue. It doesn't. It's about ethics in banning! Sorry. But it is, in a way; it's about transparency in moderating, lest people think the company is easing out doubleplus ungood thought as a business strategy, and to make it a "safe" space for people who conflate the scrum of debate with an intentional kick in the shins.

I requested an archive of all of my tweets today, so if I do get banned or muted - something I doubt will happen, to be honest - you can pore through all of them to see what I said that angered the Trust and Safety Council.

Wonder if this qualifies.

What I find so . . . bitterly delicious is that during times when the culture seems to be against them, some people insist on the need for Dangerous Speech, and name their efforts things like, oh, Dangerous Speech to feel edgy and rebellious. But the moment they start to get the upper hand in certain institutions, well, Dangerous Speech becomes a project to set up rules for acceptable utterances.



I was barely old enough, but it connected. I know I watched "Star Trek" when it was first on, because I saved a second-season TV Guide about the show. And then it ended, as these things did. My connection with the show goes back to the reruns, after school. I watched them all twice, at least. Then I got a paper route and had to leave halfway through the eps. One week I checked the TV Guide for the eps that would show next week, and was stunned: the show was gone. It was gone. On the last Friday I left as Kirk and Spock were walking down the hallway, red alerts blaring. It was done and I wouldn't ever see it again.

Thought about that when I watched the end of "Gravity Falls" with Daughter last weekend. It's a show that takes place over one summer. It was three years ago - four? - we started watching it. She told me I had to see this, and when your daughter wants to share something, you pay attention. I loved it - Twin Peaks for kids is the easy description, because it was Weird and Off-kilter, and maybe because it had a Red Room with a jagged black-and-red patterned floor in one scene, just like Twin Peaks. I tweeted out the reference, and got a tweet back from Alex Hirsch, who invented and guided the show. Daughter. Was. So. IMPRESSED and it was so cool.

Three? Four years ago? Can't be. Anyway, we watched the show as the years (no, months) went on, and it developed a clever arc that made the program so much more than two kids summering in a town where odd events occurred. Things started to accumulate. I never got into the online madness that consumed many fans, picking through freeze-frames and deciphering the codes and speculating about what it all MEANT. Now and then Daughter would say "do you want to watch 'Gravity Falls'?" and any dad would be an idiot to say no.

Although sometimes I did, because I was working on something, but that had to be rare. Cat's in the cradle and all that.

So she came home from a meeting where all the kids had got together and watched a movie and had a discussion about the Important Issues, and as soon as she started to relate the deets I pushed back a bit, and this led to some heat, and we argued for half an hour.

"Do you want to watch 'Gravity Falls'?" she asked. Of course, yes, but we have to start at the first ep of the trilogy that ended it. So we did. And it was horrifying. It's a cartoon, it's funny, but it's full of nightmarish imagery. Reminded me of the shows that gave me the creeps when I was a kid; there were two episodes of Jonny Quest that unnerved me (invisible creature, spider robot) but I was younger than she was now. But not as young as she was when she first started watching.

"We have to watch the second one," I said. "We'll watch the last one tomorrow."

So we watched the middle ep of the ending trilogy, and it was tonally different, but still unnerving. When it was done I said:

"We have to finish it."

She said of course we did. Whoa: hour-long ep. It's 12:30. Well. Start, then. When it was over - and of course I can't spoil it, except to say that it's A) a textbook lesson in wrapping up a show and rewarding the fans who trusted you to explain what all this stuff meant, why all this stuff mattered, and B) Exhibit #1 in the defense of animation as an art form that can elicit emotional responses unlike any other art form. We watched through the credits, because all of the stuff going on in the credits mattered, and because this was it. The story was done. The story was finished.

We got a little leaky, frankly. Hugged it out.

It's done. It was finished. Right? Nothing is really finished in pop culture today, but this was over.

Those anime series she loved rolled on and on. The "Warriors" books about questing cats came out over and over. Pokemon were endlessly regenerated in games and cartoons. But here was something that ended.

I can't imagine ever having a moment like that with my dad, but that's no knock on him. Dads of that era didn't watch Jonny Quest, and frankly the shows we kids liked didn't connect with anyone who wasn't a happy-candy kid. These days the shows have the ability to light up the brain of an imaginative kid and kindle old smoldering coal-seam fires in the elder class, if they give it a chance.

It's a good lesson, really. Things end. You'll forget the details. But you'll remember what it meant.

PS In a year I expect there might be some talk about a Gravity Falls movie to revisit the story. There was talk about a Star Trek movie after the show ended, too. We all know what happened to that. It never ended. It refuses to end. Makes me wonder if I remember that one day it ended . . . because it really didn't.

This week's above-the-fold feature takes us back to . . .


In the back room, some loose papers taken from a kid's notebook.

He or she was pretty good.


Bringing up Father, by George McManus.

The humor centers on an immigrant Irishman named Jiggs, a former hod carrier who came into wealth in the United States by winning a million dollars in a sweepstakes. Now nouveau-riche, he still longs to revert to his former working class habits and lifestyle. His constant attempts to sneak out with his old gang of boisterous, rough-edged pals, eat corned beef and cabbage (known regionally as "Jiggs dinner") and hang out at the local tavern were often thwarted by his formidable, social-climbing (and rolling-pin wielding) harridan of a wife, Maggie.

This one you'll know, or you won't.

From the look of the pages, the kid did everything in the Funnies, and did a pretty good job.



Still in the mid 30s, since this is 30s month for some reason. If you didn't know what this was, and had ruled out some sort of ceremony where kidnapped girls are given matching pieces of fabric to symbolize their absorbtion into the coven, what detail would be the most important?

Right: the part that keeps you from falling out of bed and getting a concussion.

Here's where the gals are bound:

Not sure they could promise EXTRA YEARS TO YOUR LIFE nowadays.

It's not an ad for a specific restaurant, but something you have no control over. It's not as if you could call the railroad and request a Pullman over another sleeping car, right?

The safe way, because it doesn't fall out of the sky - not that you could afford it. Safer than cars, because half the people on the road are loaded after 10 PM.


Oh, get over yourself, buttercup.


I don't think she's worried about keeping him. She's thinking of all the girls who will be jealous of her. She doesn't even like Mr. Moody Necksniffer that much anyway, but he was a sensation when he first showed up, and for a while it seemed as if he'd be interested in Gertrude, but she put an end to that.

It's an ad for a product that kept your clothes from smelling like acrid, baked on perspiration.

This week in Sundered Marriage Theater:

Mom tells daughter that she smells, because she didn't stick with Lifebuoy. Other soaps will let you down. Don't switch around, or waves of pit-stink will waft out the front window and your husband will smell you as he's coming up the walk.


Mom, are you turning into a man? I'm just curious.

Tests on the skins of hundreds of women. Some of them still attached.

The TAPacan was Keglined - a term that made sense to contemporary beer lovers.

"Drink Pabst and the world drinks with you." I think that's demonstrably false. As for Old Tankard, well well well:

Pabst is contracting with Verona-based Wisconsin Brewing Co. to make Old Tankard Ale, which will be sold in Wisconsin and other Midwestern states, the companies announced Wednesday.

Old Tankard Ale will be sold on draft in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Michigan initially, before rolling out to additional states in the future.

Pabst, founded in Milwaukee in 1844, originally launched Old Tankard Ale in the 1930s after Prohibition was repealed.

Instant tradition, in other words.

Swim, cry, or sweat - and you'll be betwitching while you do it:

You hope they'll look at your eyes, so they don't notice your left arm.



Well, what do we have today? The usual; tumblr at noon, workblog around 12:30, sci-fi covers below, and really, that should be enough.

I mean, cheap at twice the price, right?



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