Thursday was Daughter’s last day of high school, and it didn’t seem as if it happened. It just seems like it was the last day of school before the long summer break. She’s delighted and a bit unnerved. All of that is over. She’ll never go back to that building again without being an outsider who used to be an insider. I’ll never look at the clock and think it’s time for her to be home again. It’s the subject of the Monday column, so I’ll leave it at that and hope I remember to link.
She brought back some stuff from Art Class. This one caught my eye. I’m sure she would say it was just an idea, and not a personal statement; she thinks of things that are different than what she feels, and paints them because she likes the idea. But it’s still a nice little picture of the ambiguous emotions of youth, or life - you know there’s beauty around, but you reach for the thing that’s of no use to you now, the thing you should have grasped before.
What I gathered from Twitter was that it was the right-side’s fault because they elected the vulgar Trump, whereupon it was pointed out that the left side of the Entertainment-Industrial Complex said some bad things about the opposition before that, whereupon someone mentioned Dick Cheney hissing an Effer to someone on the Senate floor, and so on back into history until we get to Cain and Abel, the latter cursing the former - and Cain was probably a proto-Zionist, it’s the right’s fault, at least until we uncover scrolls that suggest Abel was in favor of single-payer.
Well, no. It goes back to George Carlin. You can find antecedents galore, of course, but Carlin had that famous routine that summed up the new thinking: the seven words you couldn’t say. But they’re just words! Isn’t that ridiculous? (See also Bruce, Lenny.) Just aspirations shaped by a muscle in your mouth, and they have such power they can’t be used?
Isn’t that ridiculous? Carlin wasn’t the first to try to say the naughty words, but he gave humor to his generation’s belief that authenticity counts in speech, and can be defined by its lack of shackles and adherence to old courtesies. What mattered was truth, man, and the truth didn’t set you free, it made you angry, and the angrier you were the more people were obliged to listen and nod along. Anger gave you authenticity, and swearing was a signifier of anger.
All the old boosh-wah pieties had to go, since they were pantaloons on the parlor piano legs, stupid signs of faint-hearted muddle-minds who used politeness to smother truth, and who used “decency” as a lace-covered billy club to beat back progress. Progress would be a comic shouting the F word in front of a projected montage of societal ills; oppression was shutting down the show. Progress required kicking away the chocks so the plane could take off.
It’s odd how the Boomers got the world they wanted and discovered that it didn’t turn out to be paradise. It’s amusing how they think Trump mainstreamed vulgarity, and how tossing out standards simply because they were standards didn’t lead to new ideals of conduct that rewarded better behavior.
Note: I’m referring to what people do in the public sphere, for which there are two simple caveats: 1. Everyone slips up at some time. 2. The slip-ups are often revelatory of the person’s true character, and always revelatory of the character of their defenders.
Now, Friday Detritus. Here's something that explains how a book can amkean impression when you're a certain age.
I saw this tweet, and wondered if the author was making the same reference.
I don't think so. It's so obscure. And while I don't say that to show I remember really obscure things, the fact is I remember really obscure things. There was a phrase that leaped out, because for decades in my own head I have used the cliche to stand for boilerplate newspaper BS.
It's from the New Yorker Book of Cartoons, which I read and memorized when I was, what, 13, 14? The feature consisted of anodyne, safe, inoffensive political cartoons that could be used on any day, unmoored from events.
And there it was in a tweet.
Stopped off at Cufbuh, or CUB Foods, as it's known, but CUB means Consumers United for Bargains, so I call it Cufbuh. Aren't I just a special little pill.
Someone put a hell of a lot of thought into this potato chip display:
If you're wondering whether you have to get up on a ladder to get to the Old Dutch, no. If you're wondering whether the attention draws your eyes to a spectacular display where you find the boxes attractively stacked, well . . .
It is the most pathetic grocery store chain in the area.
Then again, Old Dutch has some explaining to do.
Mumps Lawson, in a strip that requires extra-big space because that's the only way it resizes.
Because there's no such town as Dolbergh! No, that's not it. Solution here, if you must.
More science-fiction cues drawn from the library. Most of these weren't intended just for sci-fi shows; it was the tone of the era.
Number one is a good example of reuse; OTR fans will recognize it right away. The second is generic "well, show's over" music.
The third made everyone sit right up and say oh, crap. Or worse.
Join us, won't you?
Rather put the kibosh on enjoying all those tales of the future, I'll bet.
Instead of the swank old sounds of Goodwill albums, this year we're going to share bad 1960s pop music. The second- and third-tier tunes.
Let's go on a groovy trip with the Grapefruit! (American Bandstand engineer pushes up the sliders on the pre-recorded applause)
Did the same guy sing 37% of the songs in 1968?
Hearts with spots of warm for cheese of pink for parents for good wheat wholeness
DON'T SLIP UP
Friday! The weekend awaits. Mood is good. Let's rock.