The Secret For Comedy Is….

…wait for it…

…wait for it…

…wait for it…

…wait for it…

Timing:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has decided to postpone its session on nuclear attack preparedness next week. Much attention had been drawn to the timing of the agency’s session, which was publicized just days after President Trump touted the size of his nuclear button compared with North Korea’s.

That’s via Sheila Kaplan in yesterday’s New York Times.

Scheduled for January 16, the session was to be on “Public Health Response to a Nuclear Detonation”

It was intended, as the Times reported the week before:

for doctors, government officials, emergency responders and others whom, if they survived, would be responsible for overseeing the emergency response to a nuclear attack.

And, certainly, such a meeting was well within the CDC’s purview:

“While a nuclear detonation is unlikely,” the C.D.C. wrote on its website,which included a picture of a mushroom cloud, “it would have devastating results and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps. Despite the fear surrounding such an event, planning and preparation can lessen deaths and illness.”

The agenda for the disaster session included “Preparing for the Unthinkable,” “Road Map to Radiation Preparedness” and “Using Data and Decision Aids to Drive Response Efforts.”

In the event, the agency swapped out this session for one on the flu.  CDC staffers made a decent argument for the swap:

“To date, this influenza season is notable for the sheer volume of flu that most of the United States is seeing at the same time, which can stress health systems,” the agency said. “The vast majority of this activity has been caused by influenza A H3N2, associated with severe illness in young children and people 65 years and older.”

But it’s hard to shake the sense, as Kaplan hints in her story on the switch, that der Hair Führer’s fee-fees may have been involved:

The C.D.C.’s announcement that it was holding a nuclear preparation workshop drew widespread media coverage and embarrassed the public health agency. It also gave ammunition to administration critics who believe that the president is bringing the country closer to a nuclear Armageddon.

And now, Hawaii!

Timing.

And with, over to y’all. Open thread, I guess, though here’s a question to get things going:  How’s it all going to end. Fire? Or ice? (Preferably w. several fingers of good bourbon poured over it.)

Image: Jan Fyt, Mushroomsbefore 1650.

141 replies
  1. 1
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    A fucking three year old trapped in a 71 year old body has the launch codes.

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    japa21 says:

    Prefer the latter, but with a nice scotch.

    ReplyReply
  3. 3
    Baud says:

    Vogons

    ReplyReply
  4. 4
    Adam L Silverman says:

    But will there be cake?

    ReplyReply
  5. 5
    JPL says:

    I don’t like bourbon, so wine will have to do.
    I’d rather the CDC figure out why the vaccine didn’t protect against the flu.

    ReplyReply
  6. 6
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    And now, Hawaii!

    Fine, thanks! You?

    ReplyReply
  7. 7
    Baud says:

    @JPL: Very poetic.

    ReplyReply
  8. 8
    Baud says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Take my wife….please!

    ReplyReply
  9. 9
    Kay says:

    “To date, this influenza season is notable for the sheer volume of flu that most of the United States is seeing at the same time, which can stress health systems,” the agency said. “The vast majority of this activity has been caused by influenza A H3N2, associated with severe illness in young children and people 65 years and older.”

    The flu is bad though, according to my son in law and daughter. They’re very calm people and they’re quite concerned. I guess it’s both “early” and “serious”, in terms of their experience. My daughter’s mad we don’t have universal sick days. She’s spotting flu symptoms on her bus ride among fellow passengers. It makes her feel “overwhelmed”, like bailing with a teaspoon.

    It IS sort of crazy we don’t have a better system where people can stay home and not spread illness without getting fired or missing a rent payment. WTF? It’s nuts.

    ReplyReply
  10. 10
    NotMax says:

    How’s it all going to end. Fire? Or ice?

    Neither. Smart money is on Stupid.

    ReplyReply
  11. 11
    Raoul says:

    We really are having a bad flu season, from what I’ve been hearing. And this year’s flu shot is a 90% miss. They are never spot-on, but unfortunately, this one is less of a match that most.

    ReplyReply
  12. 12
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JPL: They already know. The flu that has hit hard is a variant that is normally rare. So it wasn’t part of what the vaccine was targeted to protect against.

    ReplyReply
  13. 13
    Amir Khalid says:

    From where I am, it seems like this week America decided to drop in on Ms Helena Handbasket.

    ReplyReply
  14. 14
    oldgold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Matching bridal hat.

    ReplyReply
  15. 15
    lollipopguild says:

    @Baud: I just flew in from Cleveland and boy are my arms tired!

    ReplyReply
  16. 16
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @oldgold: The accessories tie the whole thing together.

    ReplyReply
  17. 17
    NotMax says:

    Slept through the hoo-ha here.

    Friends’ weekly radio show about computers and tech is on live right now, and after the current commercial break they are going to talk about what happened and about FEMA. If anyone wants to listen, streams here and through any number of other radio streaming sites.

    ReplyReply
  18. 18
    sibusisodan says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Why is the lady in the middle wearing part of the cake?

    ReplyReply
  19. 19
    Raoul says:

    @Adam L Silverman: And will there be fabulous hats?

    Or, um, as sibusisodan asks, frosted hair?

    ReplyReply
  20. 20
  21. 21

    @Kay: And you have folk who do have sick day benefits who come in anyway cause they can tough it out and they’re indispensable(and disease vectors).

    ReplyReply
  22. 22
    geg6 says:

    So many students and staff have the flu, it’s crazy. Nobody is shaking hands and I am thankful to have my desk between me and students. I had to yell at one who was in my building when I had just heard that her flu had turned to pneumonia! Like, girl, what are you doing out of bed? Get back there in your dorm, for chrissakes!

    ReplyReply
  23. 23
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sibusisodan: @Raoul: Mushroom cloud hats and mushroom cloud hair dos were all the rage in the early 50s before the Cold War and Mutual Assured Destruction really sank in. I think I did a post about it back in the innocent days back in 2015 or 2016.
    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/9f/3f/14/9f3f1468c5f38241e2b2aba78e186d6c.jpg

    There was also a Miss Atom Bomb thing that Las Vegas did for a while when the were trying to market for tourism based on the nuclear tests out in the desert.
    https://www.popsci.com/blog-network/vintage-space/atomic-pin-girls

    ReplyReply
  24. 24
    dmsilev says:

    after President Trump touted the size of his nuclear button compared with North Korea’s.

    I still can’t believe, not really, that we have a President who did this.

    Also, too, can someone get one of those Staples Easy Buttons, write “NUKE” on it, and put it on his desk? It could be the best solution for us surviving the next few years.

    ReplyReply
  25. 25
    Another Scott says:

    @Kay: Well said. Relatedly, one of our own, Carol, is seeking help.

    The January Fund.

    She posted it, very quietly, yesterday. Nobody should go through heart surgery, use up their sick leave and actually go over, and then have to pay the overage back on retiring to the point that they have zero income. That’s insane. And infuriating. :-(

    I contributed, but I’m not on FB and the like. Can you folks give her more visibility?

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  26. 26
    frosty says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Or people with one bucket of leave time so they get less vacation if they call in sick. Stupidest change I’ve run across.

    ReplyReply
  27. 27
    eclare says:

    @Amir Khalid: Hahaha….

    ReplyReply
  28. 28
    p.a. says:

    Is the line: comedians say funny things, comics say things funny, or vice-versa?

    ReplyReply
  29. 29

    @dmsilev: Then he’ll probably wonder why they keep on getting office supply deliveries.

    ReplyReply
  30. 30
    opiejeanne says:

    @frosty: They’re doing that now? My husband almost never used his sick leave so it rolled over every year, which was a good thing when he needed 7 weeks off after his appendectomy. His colleagues offered to donate some of their time if he needed it, not knowing that he had so much. This was during one of his stints in public employment in SoCal, and he’s retired now so God knows what they’re doing in private employment these days.

    ReplyReply
  31. 31
    Another Scott says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: It is a good piece, except for the 3rd paragraph. (It was not a “catastrophic error”.)

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    (“Everyone involved there knows that there’s always the chance for mistakes.”)

    ReplyReply
  32. 32

    @frosty:
    @opiejeanne: Back when I was working for Satan and a productive member of society(h/t to Baud), we got a bucket of Personal Business and Sick time and it was use it or lose it, vacation time was separate and could be banked(I’d do that when we going to Korea).

    ReplyReply
  33. 33
    Mary G says:

    When I get stressed about this, I think of the likelihood of Twitler’s being able to remember a long, complicated password.

    ReplyReply
  34. 34
    raven says:

    @frosty: I have over 6 months of sick leave and I can apply that to my retirement.

    ReplyReply
  35. 35
    MomSense says:

    I guess we can add Chris Matthews to the list.

    Bill Cosby rape jokes are soooooo funny

    ReplyReply
  36. 36
    raven says:

    @MomSense: That’s been up here a great deal in that last day.

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Mary G: The passwords are on a laminated card he carries with him, called the biscuit.

    ReplyReply
  38. 38
    Baud says:

    @Kay:

    It IS sort of crazy we don’t have a better system where people can stay home and not spread illness without getting fired or missing a rent payment. WTF? It’s nuts.

    The GOP should have passed a bigger corporate tax cut.

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    NotMax says:

    Mom just called, all bent out of shape with worry about what happened because whatever channel on TV she had on was being all sensationalist. Told her 2 things:

    1) I slept through it.

    2) Look on the bright side. A bunch of people probably had really good pre-Armageddon sex for 30 minutes.

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I came to this whole thing a bit late. Was in movie theatre watching, as is my elitist cultural wont, a documentary on the history of the Metropolitan Opera with my phone disabled, when everything started going tits-up. Did not know a thing until I saw a panicky Messenger comment from a normally pretty rational friend. Neither CNN nor MSNBC car audio was much use.

    MSNBC interviewed one guy — a tourist, I guess — who got the “this is NOT a drill” alert on his phone. He and his wife texted their four college-age kids (“millennials, who famously never answer their phones”) saying, basically, “love you, here’s where to find the Will,” and prepared to die in his wife’s arms in 15-20 minutes (“If we have to go, I’m glad we get to be together. In Hawaii.”)

    I have a dicey heart and do not need this kind of excitement, even if the final line is “false alarm.”

    ReplyReply
  41. 41
    Kay says:

    @geg6:

    Get back there in your dorm, for chrissakes!

    Ugh. Dorms. Must be like a daycare. Just zipping thru there.

    ReplyReply
  42. 42

    @Baud:

    The GOP should have passed a bigger corporate tax cut.

    Cause they fix everything.

    ReplyReply
  43. 43
    jl says:

    I don’t know what the fuss is about, Hawaii is just a weird little island in the Pacific. Not sure what a missile attack against them has to do with us.
    And, being half Irish, I guess Trump would put me in charge of brewery and distillery inspections. Sounds good. I don’t drink that much, but I probably need to get more in touch with the ways of my people.

    ReplyReply
  44. 44
    Baud says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    saying, basically, “love you, here’s where to find the Will,” and prepared to die in his wife’s arms in 15-20 minutes (“If we have to go, I’m glad we get to be together. In Hawaii.”)

    That’s certainly better than “I have to tell you, I slept with your sister.” You know someone did that!

    ReplyReply
  45. 45
    oldgold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I would have preferred a Bikini wedding theme.

    ReplyReply
  46. 46
    MomSense says:

    @raven:

    I’ve been hit or miss lately – mostly miss.

    How are you feeling?

    ReplyReply
  47. 47
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Haven’t you heard about all the corporations that are passing their tax cuts along to the people?

    ReplyReply
  48. 48
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The flu that has hit hard is a variant that is normally rare. So it wasn’t part of what the vaccine was targeted to protect against.

    Republicans can’t get anything right. How hard is to to coordinate with CIA over which flu strains they are releasing this year? Sheesh.

    ReplyReply
  49. 49
    raven says:

    @MomSense: I’m ok, the cough is still here but better. I understand it can hang on for quite some time. thx

    ReplyReply
  50. 50
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Baud:

    Bada

    .

    .

    wait for it

    .

    .

    Bing!

    ReplyReply
  51. 51
    MomSense says:

    @Kay:

    I used to go to four schools every day (with my art cart!) so I got everything -probably aided in the spread, too.

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
    Baud says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Say Good Night, Subaru.

    ReplyReply
  53. 53
    Kay says:

    @Baud:

    So much time and money on the flu treatment and nothing for prevention of infection. They use this awful term- “floppy babies”. Really flu-sick babies are not angry and yelling and clenched in a ball, like you want to see. They’re quiet and floppy- passive.

    ReplyReply
  54. 54

    @raven: Some here have had the cough for a few months, mine pretty much dissipated after about 2 weeks.

    ReplyReply
  55. 55
    raven says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Yea, if I could get past the chewbacca wheezing I’d be cool.

    ReplyReply
  56. 56
    Baud says:

    @Kay: When I’m president, Americans will have paid flu season off. Then the Norwegians will come.

    ReplyReply
  57. 57
    MomSense says:

    @raven:

    I had the bad cold and even that dragged on. Rest is your friend.

    ReplyReply
  58. 58

    @Baud: I thought that was “Say Good Night, Gracey”. The hospital the kid works at have streets named after George and Gracey.

    ReplyReply
  59. 59
    eclare says:

    @Baud: Can I also get a taco truck on my corner?

    ReplyReply
  60. 60
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @raven:

    Wow, the state of Georgia is more advanced than the Government of Canada! When I retired I had about 9 weeks of sick leave accrued, and had to forfeit it all

    ReplyReply
  61. 61
    raven says:

    @MomSense: I’m sit-in on my ass watching the Falcons!

    ReplyReply
  62. 62
    NotMax says:

    @Baud

    Gravlax for everyone!

    ReplyReply
  63. 63
    Baud says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: It is. I modified it.

    @eclare: Sure. That’s how will administer the flu vaccines.

    ReplyReply
  64. 64
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @oldgold: I’ll let my friends in the Admiralty know.

    ReplyReply
  65. 65

    @raven: I worked with a young woman that folk in her high school would call Chewey, that was because her last name though, Chu(Korean-American).

    ReplyReply
  66. 66
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steve in the ATL: You’ve said to much! Proceed to the frozen pizza aisle at the closest Publix and activate your ex-fil plan. Your contact will meet you there.

    ReplyReply
  67. 67

    @Baud: Just wanted a seg into the streets at the hospital the kid works at. Carry on.

    ReplyReply
  68. 68
    NotMax says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA

    Gracie. Just for the record.

    ReplyReply
  69. 69
    Baud says:

    @raven: A Saints-Falcons Championship Game would be nuts.

    ReplyReply
  70. 70
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    My DH had a boat load of sick time and personal time that he never took that the State of NC basically converted into “served time” to calculate his retirement and then once over that threshold into dollars to pay him on retirement.

    As for Hawaii heads are going to be rolling surely? Like everyone else said, I am really glad that Trump was on the golf course and nowhere near the nuclear button at the time.

    ReplyReply
  71. 71

    @NotMax: You are correct, I sit corrected.

    ReplyReply
  72. 72

    @Litlebritdifrnt: He’s always near the football.

    ReplyReply
  73. 73
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    I getting some lawn chairs and Ray Bans and me and the wife are going to get up on the roof. CLUB GROUND ZERO, baby! Whoo-hoo!

    ReplyReply
  74. 74
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: That’s “Baud-a”.

    ReplyReply
  75. 75
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Amir Khalid: I’m a bit slow today but I finally figured out your joke. Sigh.

    ReplyReply
  76. 76
    Another Scott says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: There’s a live press conference in Hawaii about the mistakes, right now. The BBC has it on the TV machine (it’s probably on the web too).

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  77. 77

    @MomSense:
    As much as I would love this to destroy Matthews’ career, without an actual assault, something potentially criminal, I doubt he’ll face any repercussions. Certainly a ‘they are who we thought they were’ moment.

    ReplyReply
  78. 78
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    Apparently they did not have two-step authorization.

    Oy.

    ReplyReply
  79. 79
    MomSense says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    It’s just so infuriating.

    ReplyReply
  80. 80
    frosty says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The whole idea of A-Bomb pinup girls are just too weird. Also, this: “Beginning in 1952, atomic tests were broadcast on TV to reassure the public.”

    Reassure?? WTF?

    ReplyReply
  81. 81
    The Moar You Know says:

    You guys know how the Republicans solve this, right?

    Get rid of the alerts. You watch. This is what they’ll do.

    ReplyReply
  82. 82
    Another Scott says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: And it seems like they had a procedure to cancel an alert, but no quick procedure to send out a SMS message that a previous message was in error.

    This was actually a blessing in disguise, because it illustrates ways that they need to improve their systems (and those lessons can be applied to lots of other alert systems around the country).

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  83. 83

    @The Moar You Know: No, more tax cuts and privatize the alerts.

    ReplyReply
  84. 84
    frosty says:

    @opiejeanne: My first engineering job came with 2 weeks sick and 2 weeks vacation. I had a County job and worked up to 2 weeks sick and 5 weeks vacation. Moved to consulting and went in where everyone topped out: 4 weeks combined sick and vacation. 25 years of working and I ended up back where I started.

    ReplyReply
  85. 85
    debbie says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    The answer is to make everything merit based. Trump would be the first to be kicked to the curb.

    ReplyReply
  86. 86
    frosty says:

    @raven: When I left the County job they paid me all the vacation and 1/3 of the unused sick leave balance. A nice chunk of change.

    ReplyReply
  87. 87
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @frosty: This is what we call an early indicator that our allies and partners appeared to over look when they could have held an early intervention.

    ReplyReply
  88. 88
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @jl:

    Hawaii is just a weird little island in the Pacific.

    And if Hawaii was hit, Trump’s base would go wild with joy since that is where President Kenya Obama was born.

    ReplyReply
  89. 89
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    It’s past peak in Australia, which might mean it’ll end earlier than usual here.

    ReplyReply
  90. 90
  91. 91

    @jl:

    Hawaii is just a weird little island in the Pacific

    Hawaii is the Big Island.

    ReplyReply
  92. 92
    eclare says:

    Since OT, Penzey’s is offering a free mini soul box. You can pick it up in a store free, if you order there is a 3.95 shipping fee. Lot of cooks here, just wanted to share.

    ReplyReply
  93. 93
    trollhattan says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    More better, they will privatize them.

    ReplyReply
  94. 94
    NotMax says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA

    And she could dance.

    ReplyReply
  95. 95
    J R in WV says:

    @Another Scott:

    I hit Carol up just now, pretty sad so far. People, check it out, she’s screwed by her heart attack and her employer. Scott, thanks so much for pointing it out. Unfortunately, this IS my social media, right here.

    ReplyReply
  96. 96

    @trollhattan: You forget the tax cuts.

    ReplyReply
  97. 97
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @opiejeanne: My union runs a “ sick leave bank” to which teachers can donate one or more days annually so thst when one runs into just this situation, they can apply for help from the already existing pool. Of course the operative word here is union. Will donste as soon as last deposit appears on my bank account., which with the holiday weekent is probably Tiesday.

    ReplyReply
  98. 98
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    There was a turtle by the name of Bert, and Bert the Turtle was very alert. When danger threatened him he never got hurt. He knew just what to do…

    He’d duck and cover, duck and cover.

    Can’t get it out of my head.

    ReplyReply
  99. 99
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @debbie: where do you live?

    ReplyReply
  100. 100
    Kay says:

    I’m curious how the bribe process works for decadent rich people like Donald Trump. He needs to pay off this friend of his or she will go on Good Morning America and tell all. They reach an agreement that it’s 130k, he tries not to pay (because of course he does) but he DOES pay. So, how? With a personal check? With big wads of cash? With a Trump Crime Family LLC check? What line does that go under? Services rendered,,,how? Does she claim it as income?

    Maybe they have a separate entity to launder the bribe transfers. We’ve never seen any Trump Family records so we’ll never know, I guess.

    ReplyReply
  101. 101
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Baud:

    Oh, that Henny Youngman!

    ReplyReply
  102. 102
    trollhattan says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:
    Wait, was Bert a turtle or a duck? I am SO confused.

    ReplyReply
  103. 103
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    They already know. The flu that has hit hard is a variant that is normally rare. So it wasn’t part of what the vaccine was targeted to protect against.

    What you said. This year’s vaccine is about 30% effective. Last year it was about the same as well.

    Also, there has to be some lead time in formulating and producing the vaccine. If it turns out later that a different strain appears to be This Year’s Model, it is extremely difficult to reformulate and distribute a new vaccine.

    The hope is that “good enough” will provide a significant amount of protection.

    ReplyReply
  104. 104
    Gravenstone says:

    @The Moar You Know: Yup. Can’t have a false alarm if there isn’t an alarm in the first place.

    ReplyReply
  105. 105

    @Kay: It was speculated in the thread on this last night that he probably uses his foundation. She’d probably claim it the same way she did her escorting business.

    ReplyReply
  106. 106
    trollhattan says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:
    “These entrepreneurial early warnings will pay for themselves.”

    ReplyReply
  107. 107
    debbie says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Ohio. No immunity here.

    ReplyReply
  108. 108

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:
    Yeah, I mean, Jesus, money laundering of all kinds is Trump’s SPECIALTY. I’m sure he can hide and even embezzle from other people a hush money payment, no problem. He’s just cheap enough to try and skate on it.

    ReplyReply
  109. 109
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Kay: trump, or random Russian billionaire, pays law firm. Law firm converts money from rubles to dollars, deposits dollars into firm’s trust account. Law firm cuts check to porn star.

    ReplyReply
  110. 110
    trollhattan says:

    @Brachiator:
    IIUC the process for picking this year’s vaccine is already underway so yes, educated guessing is a big component. Then, some strains like this year’s mutate more readily than others. Definitely an imperfect system, but better than nuttin’.

    ReplyReply
  111. 111
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @MomSense: Oh, Jesus. The Art Cart. Nothing says to kids that this is not a subject of any importance like not even making proper facilities available. In my sistrict a lot of teachers are “on the cart”. Pisses me off.

    ReplyReply
  112. 112
    Kay says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    The foundation has records, right? Maybe that one WaPo reporter is looking into it, the guy who made the phone calls on the “donations”. I will never accept the special treatment this family got on disclosure. It is blatantly unfair.

    ReplyReply
  113. 113
    germy says:

    The Mysteries of Humor
    By Jack Handey

    Why is it boring when your friend Don tells you about his wife leaving him but you laugh when you find out that she left him for another man named Don?

    Why is a funny cowboy dance hysterical but a funny sailor dance confusing?

    When you see someone sinking in quicksand, is it funnier if you know the person?

    Did the Vikings have jokes, and, if so, were they surprisingly gentle?

    Is pointing and laughing something we do naturally, or do we have to learn it? Likewise, can someone without a sense of humor be taught to have one, or must it be beaten into him?

    For there to be comedy, must there also be tragedy? For the comedy of someone heckling an actor, must there also be the tragedy of the person being escorted from the theatre?

    If your friend is struck by lightning and he seems to be all right, but his hair is smoking, is it O.K. to laugh?

    Why does Marta still laugh when I put on my T-shirt backward, even though I’ve done it hundreds of times?

    Are some things never funny, like a man accidentally chopping off his finger with a hatchet, and wrapping up the finger and taking it to the hospital, then discovering that it isn’t his finger but one of the Vienna sausages he was having for lunch, and then eating the sausage?

    Is there humor on other planets, and is it so advanced that it makes our fart jokes look crude and primitive?

    Why is a man slipping on a banana peel funny, but not as funny as a man choking on a banana peel?

    If a man finds a message in a bottle, is it funnier if instead of a message it contains a tiny little banana peel?

    Can something be true and funny at the same time, like “Your head looks like a melon”?

    Shouldn’t a person who tells a joke in a bar and gets no laughs be entitled to a free beer?

    If a tree falls in the forest, on top of an old man with a walking stick, does he make a sound?

    What is funnier: a dad trying to get his kid’s kite up in the air but getting it caught in a tree, or the dad trying to get the kite down with a rake and accidentally tearing it to pieces?

    Is there a story that would best illustrate what humor is, and, if so, what would that story be?

    Do insects have a sense of humor, and does it involve stinging you?

    Will there ever come a time when we won’t need laughter, when we’ll be sitting on soft pillows, wearing our shimmering metallic robes, drinking our soothing space tea, and perhaps one of us will reach for a piece of cheese housed in an ancient device known as a mousetrap, and the mousetrap will snap on the person’s finger, and he’ll let out a yowl of pain, and the rest of us won’t spit the tea out of our mouths but will just stare blankly?

    Will that time ever come? Let us hope so.

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  114. 114
    Kay says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Thanks. Sounds easy enough! I know I can’t just show up with 130 thousand dollars and be passing it out to random bribees. I’ll just pass it thru a crooked lawyer, like Our President.

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  116. 116
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Gelfling 545: district

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  117. 117

    @germy:
    I have thought about the nature of comedy a lot, the sensation of humor and why it happens. Someone said humor is anxiety relief, but that doesn’t line up at all to my observations.

    My theory is that humor is the pleasant sensation of two unrelated concepts connecting mentally. At its most primitive level, saying ‘butt’ is funny to a toddler because there’s an awareness you’re not supposed to, so saying it connects a concept that’s not supposed to be talked about with open conversation. A pun connects two unrelated words. A joke that takes awhile to get is often more funny because it’s a distant connection, so the sensation when the concepts connect is intense. By the flipside of that, explaining a joke doesn’t work because you’re spreading the sensation out until it’s unnoticeable. A silly hat is a hat that is jarringly different from what people normally wear, so there’s a constant sense of these unrelated things being forced together. And so on.

    I think people often laugh from happiness, but that’s a different emotion than humor, it just expresses similarly. That’s where cruel humor usually comes into play. It’s not really comedy, it’s just enjoying being mean.

    Another speculation: Horror is the *un*pleasant sensation of two unrelated concepts connecting mentally.

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  118. 118
    J R in WV says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I don’t recall the actual numbers, but I got credit for several weeks of sick leave, some vacation, Navy service, a little less than 4 years, the Vietnam war was over for us and downsizing was happening. Then I worked for a couple of years back in the mid-70s for “Educational Broadcasting” as a Video production worker.

    Then as a software guy, a couple of years for the state Tax Dept, nearly 20 years with my last job, in which I became management, anyway, it all added up. But I got to count everything but work in the private sector.

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  119. 119
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kay: It has now been reported that he’s also paid off Jessica Drake. After the inauguration. She has signed an NDA and her publicist indicates that she is not permitted, by the terms of the agreement, to even say the President’s name.

    The Daily Beast was informed late Friday that porn star Jessica Drake is not allowed to discuss President Donald J. Trump on account of a non-disclosure agreement she signed barring her from any such talk. NDAs are often deployed as part of settlements to silence accusers.

    “Jessica’s NDA blankets any and every mention of Trump, so she’s legally unable to comment,” her publicist informed The Daily Beast. “Jessica signed a non-disclosure agreement after her allegations of misconduct, and she can’t do as much as peep his name publicly.”

    The White House has not yet responded to requests for comment.

    The Daily Beast also reached out to Drake’s attorney Allred for comment, but had not received a response as of the time of publication.

    More at the link.

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    @germy: Sounds like some “Deep Thoughts”.

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  121. 121
    germy says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    That’s where cruel humor usually comes into play. It’s not really comedy, it’s just enjoying being mean.

    I agree.

    Also, interesting theory about Horror.

    I think Humor is often a recognition of a universal thing. A comedian will point out some habit or trait that I thought was unique to me.

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  122. 122
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: It is as much art as science.

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  123. 123
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: has anyone tried bleeding flu victims? That should work.

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  124. 124
    Adria McDowell says:

    My kid is in kindergarten, and a notorious hugger (trying to break her of that), and I’m honestly surprised that she hasn’t gotten the flu. She did have a cough for weeks this past fall. I thought it would never go away.

    @Kay: I’m most confused about how she was in negotiations with (IIRC) Good Morning America to discuss her affair right before the election last year, but supposedly denies that anything ever happened now. Uh huh. *side eye*

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    germy says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: He’s a funny man.

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  126. 126
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kay: I think he’s suggesting you run it through Steve. That way he can charge for the billable hours.

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  127. 127
    Brachiator says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    My theory is that humor is the pleasant sensation of two unrelated concepts connecting mentally.

    Freud actually wrote a good work about this, The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious.

    Although it is a good read, it’s not very funny.

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  128. 128
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I like my flu victims cooked to a proper and safe internal temperature.//

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  129. 129
    satby says:

    @Another Scott: thanks for letting us know about that!

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    lamh36 says:

    Late in thread, but if ya’ll remember I work in a hospital Microb lab and this flu season is kicking our behinds. we doing at least 25 tests a day, almost 200 tests last month alone, about a 20% + (mostly A but also B)that’s not counting the number of lab workers, who are required to be vaccinated, coming down w/it

    as a lab worker in a hospital, we are pretty much required to get the flu shot, so the majority of us have, but if not then you are required to wear a mask at all times. A number of folks who have had the shot, have gotten the flu anyway, but a milder version than the full flu.

    https://twitter.com/psddluva4evah/status/952326438392422400

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  131. 131
    Another Scott says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: I like that explanation a lot. Thanks.

    Someone recently pointed us to Emo Phillips – Once I was in San Francisco… (4:15)

    :-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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  132. 132
    JMG says:

    I got my flu shot at my physical in November. My wife got one today and the guy at the pharmacy said it was the next to last dose of the vaccine they had in stock, with no more to come.

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  133. 133
    J R in WV says:

    @raven:

    Gotta say, I spent time in Philly, my oldest best friend was from Philly, still see them, going to Baja with them in March, so glad to wee the Iggles win.

    Hawks had some tough calls from the officials.

    Will we ever know what’s a catch without asking NY?

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  134. 134
    Mandarama says:

    @Another Scott: Thank you so much for reposting this! I missed it completely in the original thread.

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  135. 135
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    Thank you all. It’s a bit complicated, but here it is. I was advanced sick leave, but when the consolidation came, that was over. In any event, I had to use accrual to pay back the balance. I did so until I decided to retire, leaving me with a balance. It wasn’t just my heart issues-it was also asthma and other issues that led to this problem. It wasn’t a problem before 2010. I always used to have at least one day I could use, and sick leave too. But when things got hairy work-wise (I was a seasonal and worked only 4 months one year). I fell into a deficit..

    Retiring-I will have a pension, and there’s Social in 10 months, and a lump sum somewhere, but until this is taken out of those funds, it’s getting complicated for me.

    I will be able to withdraw from the TSP in about a month or so. It’s just this month and maybe the next I have to deal with.

    Some would say that I should have waited. But after the first week’s brutal cold, and a sinus infection on top of this, I’m glad I went this time.

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  136. 136
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    Bus rider in -10 degree weather that first week probably would have killed me. I’m not as young as I used to be. I used to be off during those weeks.

    Back to Tweety. I’m watching for signs that he may be asked to take a graceful out-retirement with a nice sum to go away. If enough HRC supporters make a fuss, we could make it so.

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  137. 137
    fuckwit says:

    @Brachiator: It’s the dopamine hit of the unexpected.

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  138. 138
    No One You Know says:

    @CarolDuhart2: And I’m glad you’re back. (Hug, with all appropriate flu preventions in place…)

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  139. 139
    Sab says:

    @CarolDuhart2: After all, there are actually a lot of us.

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  140. 140
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    I never doubted the accounts of witch-burning. But the over-the-top HIllary hate makes me glad she was born in this era. And it leaves me baffled as to the cause. It is out of proportion to anything she has done and could have done. And a lot of what she has done was under Obama and with the understanding of Clinton. So why not blame them at least?

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  141. 141
    Tehanu says:

    @Raoul:

    And this year’s flu shot is a 90% miss. They are never spot-on, but unfortunately, this one is less of a match that most.

    @Brachiator:

    The hope is that “good enough” will provide a significant amount of protection.

    @lamh36:

    A number of folks who have had the shot, have gotten the flu anyway, but a milder version than the full flu.

    I have the flu shot religiously, every year, in September or October. This year I did as usual, then got a virus just before Christmas and was pretty sick for 4 or 5 days, but it never quite devolved down into total flu. So I think yes, the shot is what kept it from being full-fledged, thank goodness. It was bad enough, but the last time I actually had the flu, I wasn’t in danger of dying; I just wanted to die. So 30 or even 10% is way better than nothing.

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