Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"Evaluating Cartoons"

Okay, so here’s me, simulating an “upbeat personality.” 

As mentioned yesterday, we were stuck in the Delta “Departure Lounge” awaiting our flight to San Diego and then after two hours of waiting they announced that the San Diego-bound plane was broken and there was no available replacement so they were going to bus us to San Diego instead, at which point we took a taxi back home and drove to San Diego ourselves, the horrendous freeway traffic turning a normally two-or-so-hour drive into a six-and-a-half hour nightmare – that’s not the “upbeat” part, which you could probably infer because there was nothing to be upbeat about, and by the way, I defy you to paint an encouraging “Smiley Face” on that debacle.  

Here’s the perceived “Ray of Sunshine”, coming right up.

Confined seemingly endlessly to that Delta “Departure Lounge” from which there would be ultimately no departure,

I came up with three blog post ideas!

How’s that for making the proverbial “lemonade”?

Yessir, (and madam), I am a truly lucky man, our agonizing delay a fortuitous “Blessing in Disguise.”


I posted the first of those three “Departure Lounge” ideas yesterday, concerning – analogically – trying to look a word up in the dictionary when you are unable to spell the word – but with “Search Engines”.  Today, it’s “Idea Number Two”, which I discovered perusing the most recent New Yorker or three… as I had plenty of time on my hands.  In the course of my perusal, I came across a number of New Yorker cartoons, two of which I liked, one I weakly appreciated, and one that felt like a cartoon I should have enjoyed but which instead left me unexpectedly annoyed.

My varying responses to those four offerings set me to plumbing the depths of cartooniarial comedy. 

As I have most likely mentioned before, I have little enthusiasm for examining why something is funny.  It’s like, “Why does chocolate taste good?”  I say, “Who cares?  Just eat the chocolate.”  Or, in this context, laugh and move on.

Okay, one mercifully brief pedantic paragraph.

An enjoyable cartoon involves juxtaposing recognizable elements, the resulting imaginative overlay eliciting a humorous reaction.  Though, based on my “Sampling of One”, not always an equally humorous reaction.

Exhibit “A”.

That made me laugh – an executioner emptying a “Tip Jar.”  The recognizable elements:  Service and remuneration.  The imaginative overlay:  The particular “service” is beheading, the remuneration, understandably, though imaginably not to the executioner, ungenerous.  I enjoyed it because the cartoonist thought of a job where serious tipping was recognizably unlikely.  (Although historically, I recall executioners receiving a couple of shillings for an impending “clean chop.”  But that’s history and this is cartoons.)     

Exhibit “B”.

That one, I found humorous, though ranking lower on the “Ha-ha” continuum.  I appreciated the “depths” to which they had descended in search of their misplaced vehicle – but the situation was demonstrably less unique than a gratuity-stiffed executioner.  We once lost our car in the Dodger Stadium parking lot; it was not that hilarious.  Plus, there is the tedious cliché of the man being an idiot.

"Exhibit C"

A Jewish family, wearing gorilla suits – not really my favorite.  True, the “situational transposition” is original.  But the underlying concept feels overly-familiarly 1950’s.

And finally,

“Exhibit “D”.

I don’t know why this one annoyed me.  Usually, it’s like, “What kind of mind thought that up?”  But with this it was, “Why did they bother?”  It occurred to me that the cartoonist may be trying too hard.  “What an usual idea”?  Yes and no.  Bottom Line:  It’s a cartoon about gravity.

So there you have it.  Hey, you know what just occurred to me?  Yes, I wanted to write about my unequal reaction to several cartoons.  But subliminally, I think, I wanted to show off my ability to photograph those cartoons, e-mail them to myself, drag them onto my desktop, and successfully embed them onto my blog. 

Four pictures on one post – I am genuinely delighted!  And that’s after discovering a positive “up-side” to our recent airport disappointment.

Who says I can’t be upbeat more than one time a year?


JED said...

That last one looks more like The Far Side and not The New Yorker.

On a completely unrelated note, Drew Pomeranz had a really good game last night. He got the win and had six strikeouts and gave up only 1 run. Not bad for a guy with no 't' in his name.

Loosehead said...

You can look forward to the standard "copyright violation" letter, even though it arguably made more people read the New Yorker.