Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 3/23/23
I think it’s worthwhile to occasionally reflect on how weird the newspaper comic Snuffy Smith is, as a cultural object. Starting out as an entirely different strip about city life in the 1920s, during the Great Depression it changed its setting and vibe entirely to cash in on the vogue for vaudeville-derived jokes about hillbillies and kept going with that for more than 80 years. This humor genre only imperfectly mapped onto the lives of the Appalachian rural poor at the time, and has stayed more or less locked in place as reality drifts further and further from it. That’s how you get oddities like today, in which a distant memory of deadly clashes over land and status that arose between kinship groups in the absence of a government with a monopoly on legitimate violence gets processed through decades worth of creative and cultural drift and comes out as “a new world record for stubborness [sic].”
Gil Thorp, 3/23/23
This is pretty much a worst case scenario for a one-day celebrity coaching cameo: the celebrity coach not only completely revamps your team’s overall gameplan, but does so in a way that requires that everyone be at peak physical condition in order to execute the new strategy. Then he leaves and makes it Coaches Thorp and Cami’s problem! At least the Mudlarks will have some time to really perfect their “Apache basketball” techniques before [aide whispers in ear] oh, right, I’ve neglected to tell all of you that in fact Milford has had an undefeated season thanks to its pre-Kareem strategy and now the only game left to play is the championship. This’ll go great!
Look, I’ve read Pluggers every day since 2006 and I feel pretty confident in saying that this isn’t even remotely true. Pluggers have a ton of problems, and most of them cannot be solved by a cup of coffee. A lot of them can’t be solved at all!