What happens to us after we die? Does our consciousness evaporate? Does our soul graduate to a different plane? Does our spirit live on in the hearts and minds of others? This last question is tricky. Sure, people will remember us after we die – children, grandchildren, lifelong friends – but what details will they remember? And how long will it take before they forget? If you think it’s hard maintaining a reputation in this world, try doing it from the afterlife. It would be impossible, which is just as well. Legacies should exist to benefit the living, not to benefit those who’ve passed (and moved on).
Archive for the ‘Candorville’ Category
Maybe I’m something of a Pollyanna, but I’ve had AT&T mobile phone service for two years now and I can’t bring myself to complain about it. The reception is pretty strong and dropped calls are extremely rare. I don’t spend much time on the phone, but when I am yakking away, it’s a pleasant enough experience. In fact, the headphones that came with my iPhone allow me to talk hands-free through a microphone, which is convenient when I’m washing dishes or cleaning the house. Before I signed up with the orange behemoth, I was a Verizon customer. Their service was good too, but I didn’t find it superior to AT&T’s in any meaningful way.
Like a lot of Americans, I first heard of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. when he was arrested last year outside his Cambridge, Mass. home. The incident, in which a white police sergeant handcuffed a black college professor, led to a base, counterproductive shouting match on race in America. Mr. Gates’ defenders cast him as the victim of a racist criminal justice system. His detractors countered that he was wrong to berate a hardworking police officer. So imagine my surprise when I read a New York Times article authored by Mr. Gates, in which he argues that African sellers were as complicit in the slave trade as their European and American buyers, and that this should inform any debate over reparations. The merits of his argument aside, Mr. Gates’ position seems at odds with his recent role as a conventional lightning rod. His article may be controversial, but it certainly isn’t expected.
Nothing against attorneys, but the next time I see the inside of a law office will be too soon. Our legal system is so complicated and bogged down with minutiae that any type of interaction with it makes me angry. Even the best of lawyers seem to subtly apologize for their craft as they lead their clients through mountains of hideous paperwork. But despite my negative feelings on bureaucracy, I would gladly sit through any legal consultation that included the following phrase: “As soon as the process server manages to deliver the summons, we’ll be made of win.” Indeed.
I don’t think the man in this strip should be so hard on himself. After all, making a decent tuna sandwich takes time. First you need to find a can opener. Then you need to open the can of tuna, drain the water or oil, and scoop the carefully packed fish into a mixing bowl. Finally, you’d be well served by adding mayonnaise, celery, and seasonings, mixing them all together until they evenly coat the tuna. Skip any of these steps and your sandwich will be sad, indeed. Under the worst of circumstances, it will be no better than the aged slop they serve at Subway.
The ongoing health care debate in Congress has been exhausting on many levels. But even though I have mixed feelings about the pending legislation, I’ve been aggravated by attempts to brand it “socialism.” This smells like a blatant scare tactic to me, given that private insurance companies already operate under principles that could be termed “socialist.” These companies pool money from large numbers of people and redistribute it based on need. Healthy people do not have their premiums refunded at the end of the year, yet they tell pollsters they are happy with their coverage. And no one cries “socialism” when their $50,000 hospital bill is covered by an insurance company they have only paid $10,000 in premiums to. I suppose it’s too late to have a constructive debate about health care, but maybe we can tamp down the insults when it comes to the next big policy discussion.
I find it remarkable that this strip refers to the victims of Hurricane Katrina as “American refugees,” especially after the controversy that erupted in late 2005 over use of the term. Many people felt the word “refugee” was disrespectful to those who had been displaced by the storm and it was quickly shelved by major media outlets in favor of the more neutral “evacuee.” My problem with that particular euphemism was that it did not truly capture the plight of people whose homes, livelihoods, and family members were swept away when the levees broke. The word “evacuee” was not up to the task of describing the situation in New Orleans and I’m glad to see it fade into the background, at least on the comics page.