CSotD: Different sorts of awards

I will confess I haven’t seen any of the movies up for Oscars tomorrow night, but I will declare Drew Sheneman’s piece to be Best Picture, not of the year but of the week, because comedies don’t get honored often enough and, after a few weeks of sorting through increasingly repetitive cartoons about drag queens and Tucker Carlson, it was indeed comic relief.

Runner-up goes to Jeff Stahler for this Moderately Confused (AMS) because it happens to touch on a personal revelation. One of those TV shows featured my tiny town (pop 631) in a half-hour segment in which a couple struggled to decide among several lakefront homes.

Seeing a promo for the show, I struggled to figure out how four or five homes on our little lake could be up for sale at the same time, so I dutifully tuned in and only recognized one of them. I was surprised that my science teacher’s dream home was available, but reasoned that, given he was a veteran teacher when I first encountered him in 1962, he might have been moving into an assisted living place or something.

And I figured out that another house was on another lake 17 miles away, and a third was on a river, not a lake.

Then the reviews from my high school friends began coming in on Facebook. Turns out the couple had bought a house before filming even began and were coached on their dialogue as they toured the alleged candidates, none of which were on the market, including my teacher’s.

I wish I’d been stunned and disillusioned, but I was only mildly surprised at the level of gall.

I read somewhere that there’s a consultant who coaches people on how to get on reality shows, which reminds me that the first Survivor was fun, but that, after that, the contestants were just doing their best to play Survivor contestants. Which you can, indeed, coach.

But there’s quite a mood-brightener going on in Britain, and Peter Brookes comments on a leading sports commentator, Gary Lineker, being suspended by the BBC from appearing on Match of the Day for having spoken his mind about the UK’s policy towards migrants.

The rest of the presenters stood up for him, declaring that they would not appear on the program either, and the players’ association announced that they would not give interviews after the match.


The colleagues supporting him include Alex Scott, former footballer and BBC presenter, who made a stir at the World Cup by wearing a rainbow armband in defiance of Qatar’s attempts to quash the gesture.

I suppose journalists should be neutral when it comes to immigration policy, but they don’t have to be neutral in defense of free speech. A pity Colin Kaepernick didn’t rouse this level of support.

Juxtaposition of the Day

Peter Brookes
Guy Venables

Both Brookes and Venables mocked the government’s attempt to stop small boats from landing, by summoning up the legend of King Canute, who tried unsuccessfully to turn back the tide. They suggest that PM Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Suella Braverman will fail, but Canute had set up the attempt to show that his power was limited and that only God could alter the tides.

Seems an appropriate take on the refugee crisis.

Matt Pritchett mocks the government’s attempts to round up anyone who employed that manner.

Juxtaposition of the Day, US version

Steve Brodner
Nick Anderson

A grimmer look on this side of the Atlantic, at the cruel fraud marketed under the bogus name of “parents’ rights,” in which a loud, intolerant group of fanatics are permitted to dictate to the majority.

We do, of course, have parents’ rights. The kids have to be educated, but parents have the right to educate them either in private schools or at home.

What they should not have is the right to impose hateful doctrines on public school students or to defund those schools in order to support private institutions.

It needn’t be an impenetrable wall: In New York, parochial schools get funding for non-religious textbooks, and here in New Hampshire, homeschoolers can play on school athletic teams.

But substantial support for private schools conflicts with established policy that we fund a basic education in schools run by voter-approved boards of education. In the same way, taxpayers fund a fire department, but they shouldn’t divert funding to station a truck outside someone’s private home.

And, as Brodner suggests, manipulating the education system is only a part of manipulating the overall government. It’s not fair and it’s not right: Polls demonstrate clearly that strong majorities oppose rightwing policies like restrictions on abortion and lax gun laws.

Brodner, by the way, has had a lot to say this week.

Jen Sorensen demonstrates the foolishness of declaring this uproar a “culture war,” as if we were arguing over which TV show to watch.

The answer, of course, is to speak up and stand up to the bullies. The polls show that decency and a live-and-let-live philosophy is greatly favored by a substantial majority of Americans.

What the polls don’t demonstrate is how people like Ron De Santis get into office in a functioning democracy. Perhaps they don’t.

And let’s hand out a special award for Astonishing Timing to Wumo (AMS), which dropped this strip just as Silicon Valley Bank, 16th largest in the nation, corkscrewed into the ground.

This certainly isn’t funny, at least not if you are heavily invested in crypto, or if you have more that $250,000 in an account with Silicon Valley.

Why would someone smart enough to amass more than $250,000 be dumb enough … but I digress …

There actually is something funny in this financial disaster. The people who didn’t exceed $250,000 will get their money back, if not Monday morning, sometime. Presumably the landlord and the power company will be understanding and let’s hope you still have some space on your credit card.

And that it wasn’t issued by Silicon Valley Bank.

Meanwhile …

CNBC has been airing a sequel to Jim Cramer’s hilarious 2008 analysis of Bear Stearns, this time using Silicon Valley Bank as his can’t-fail investment tip.

Mind you, not everyone gets the joke. Or maybe Twitter wasn’t a deep enough hole in which to pitch his entire fortune. (Cramer was also touting Tesla stock as a sure-to-recover lowball.)

Is it funny? I guess not, because Jon Stewart didn’t think it was funny the first time around, and I don’t know that anything has changed.

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