Earlier this year, I tried to set aside blogging in an effort to pursue other interests, but quickly discovered that I actually missed the discipline of writing every day. Fortunately, I found another, less time-intensive way to scratch the blogging itch: haiku. If you’re at all curious about the results, please check out my new blog at thatwasahaiku.com.
When I first started this blog, I imagined a decades-long project that would amass thousands of comic strips for casual fans (along with a bit of rambling from yours truly). I thought such an archive would be pretty impressive 50 years from now. Well, it turns out I’m not going to make it to the 50-year mark, since today’s entry will be my last. There will be no entry for June 1, 2058, because there will be no entry for June 1, 2011.
Why am I ending this blog? Let me count the ways:
- I’m repeating myself. After three years of reading (mostly) the same comics, and expounding on (mostly) the same themes, The Daily Funnies is starting to get stale. How many times can I write about my cat?
- Writing about other people’s work is not rewarding. I enjoy most of the comic strips I read, and I adore a handful of them, but using those strips as a springboard has not proven satisfying in the long-run.
- I’ve started writing a novel; a task that is time-consuming and deserves my full attention. Also, writing an original work of fiction has sapped my desire to write inherently less creative blog entries.
- I’ve started reading books, as opposed to newspapers. It’s become harder and harder for me to read two full comics sections a day, especially when my nose is buried in a paperback.
- I still love comics, but I now prefer reading them in book form. I’m also increasingly drawn to graphic novels and web comics, neither of which fit neatly within The Daily Funnies.
Put simply, I’ve developed other interests that supersede this blog. I enjoy writing on a daily basis, so I may start a more manageable blog in the future (haiku, anyone?) but for now, I’m calling it quits. Of course, the Daily Funnies archive will remain online as long as WordPress stays in business, so if you feel like checking out old entries, please do. And to everyone who read this site over the past three years, my sincere and heartfelt thanks.
The last time I heard Taps was at my grandfather’s funeral three years ago. As an Air Force veteran, he was afforded military rites, which were performed by two extremely young recruits on a freezing January morning. They folded an American flag, handed it to my mother, saluted and, of course, played Taps. It’s a simple melody that nearly everyone knows, but it still has the power to stir strong feelings in a listener. The lyrics in today’s Arlo & Janis only amplify that emotion. I defy anyone to hum Taps while reading those lyrics and not feel something for the servicemen and women who’ve lost their lives fighting America’s wars.
Earlier today, I met two puppies at a backyard barbecue. They were tiny labradors (one golden, one black) and they ran around excitedly while tugging at their harnesses. At one point, I was handed the harness for one of the dogs, and even though he was too small to drag me anywhere, he certainly gave it the old college try. Although he was adorable and energetic, I couldn’t help thinking about the rigors of owning a dog: the constant walking, feeding, playing, and coddling. Then I thought about my cat, who is self-sufficient to the point where he shows disdain for people. Isn’t there an animal that sits comfortably between needy and aloof? A hamster, maybe?
Cops, firefighters, teachers, even bureaucrats; they all belong to a class of people that’s taking serious heat these days: government employees. States and municipalities have run out of money, and many have blamed their misfortune on unionized workforces earning what they consider to be lavish salaries and benefits. My home state of Illinois, despite raising taxes earlier this year, is still in the red. I’m all for shared sacrifice, but as the son of a schoolteacher, I take issue with the notion that government workers are privileged. While some employees make six figures, the majority make less than their counterparts in the private sector. And many are losing their jobs as the recession drags on. Some privilege.
This Tuesday, the Chicago Bulls played a close game against the Miami Heat. They lost in overtime, but if they had won, they would have tied their Eastern Conference Finals series at two games apiece. Last night, the Bulls got off to a good start against the Heat, but still managed to lose by blowing a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter. With that untimely collapse, they were eliminated. Even though the Bulls dropped four out of five games to Miami, each of their losses proved to be excruciatingly close. Perhaps with another year or two of seasoning, they’ll be able to win those nail-biters, but for now, the oh-so-close losses sting something fierce.
Death and taxes? How about death, then taxes? As we debate taxing, spending, and the proper role of government, one author has proposed the politically impossible: charging people for Medicare after they’ve died. Although it’ll never happen, his suggestion comes close to my (admittedly idiosyncratic) views on taxes. I would support an estate tax of 100 percent if it resulted in the elimination of all other taxes. Americans would pay no income taxes, no sales taxes, no payroll taxes, no property taxes, and no investment taxes during their lifetimes. As a tradeoff, we wouldn’t be able to pass money along to our children. Seniors would have an incentive to put money into the economy, and we could mitigate (although not eliminate) the impact of inherited wealth. Why not?