If you want a sense of how very old the actual imagined target readership of the newspaper comics is, consider today’s Shoe, which uses as the basis for its punchline the pop cultural touchstone of men belonging to fraternal orders with silly, overelaborate rituals and leadership titles. This is not even something that was really part of the Baby Boom generation’s experience; it’s something that Baby Boomers half-remember their parents arguing about, probably. It’s something that I, a 48-year-old man, mostly know about from watching decades-old reruns of The Flintstones as a child. And yet here it is, a joke in the newspaper and on God’s own internet that makes exactly zero sense if you aren’t familiar with these entirely moribund organizations. Definitely a sign of a healthy art form!
Gasoline Alley, 10/11/22
Not sure what I’m more surprised by: that Walt never considered that his proposed activities might be physically dangerous, or that the prospect of death finally coming for him still engenders anxiety, rather than a sense of profound relief.