Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday morning toons

It's a good week for political cartoonists: Airplanes falling apart, Hillary misspeaking, China wanting some good Olympics love, Wall Street wanting some good congressional bail-out love, and more. Daryl Cagle has the round-up.

p3 Picks of the Week: Mike Lane, Jeff Parker, Patrick Chapatte, and Jimmy Margulies.

Here's a p3 multiple-choice test: It's a bloated entity run by cynical bureaucrats who long ago lost touch with the people and values they claim to serve--is it (a) China, (b) the Olympics, or (c) all of the above? Pat Bagley, Mike Lester, R. J. Matson, David Horsey, and Thomas Boldt know the answer.

p3 Interfaith Moment: And because there are few enough cartoons where the Pope gets the punch line, and really none at all where the Dalai Lama does, here's a pair of special treats from Daryl Cagle and Steve Sack.

Ann Telnaes salutes that lone searcher after the truth, Holy Joe.

Several lifetimes ago, I taught the occasional college course in public speaking. Many students seemed to dread this course above all others, for reasons that the theorists variously called "stage fright," "reticence," "communication anxiety," and so on. We generally handled this problem by a form of what might be called "the talking cure:" We told them, "suck it up, kiddo." I knew that world was left far behind when, a few years ago, I saw my first TV ad for Paxil, a prescription drug approved for "Social Anxiety Disorder." Significantly, the side-effects for Paxil include:

nausea, drowsiness, insomnia, sweating, tremors, weakness/loss of strength, dizziness, dry mouth, sexual dysfunction, constipation, diarrhea, gas, nervousness, and decreased appetite [as well as ] more serious side effects such as agitation, hostility, panic, extreme hyperactivity, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors

You don't have to be a physician to get the irony here: That's pretty much the same list of symptoms, plus some extras, that my (unmedicated) students would complain of as the due-date for their speeches grew nearer. (I don't remember any of them mentioning suicidal thoughts or behaviors, but many, many of them cited to me the apocryphal research indicating that fear of public speaking rated higher than fear of death for most Americans.) Have we become a society that demands a prescription pill for anything that we used to just call "a rough spot?" Is life itself now considered a treatable condition? Opus doesn't think so. (Salon Premium)

p3 Bonus toon: Following a recent archaeological find in southern Oregon, Jesse Springer imagines the roadside historical marker to top all roadside historical markers(click to enlarge):

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