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Holy smoking Vulcan: what a storm. The juice snapped off around 10:30 PM, surprising no one; this storm was big and cruel and it gave the general impression of wanting to kill everyone, so cutting off the power seemed quite natural. And then it will blow our house down and we die. The thunder was continuous, punctuated by sharp cracks that sounded like someone firing a .357 an inch from your ear;  the lightning was blinding, and the rain came down so hard it forced its way through minute openings around the  window. The house shook. Two great tree limbs crashed into the yard, but they didn’t take out anything – one limb, however, remains hanging on a power line in the neighbor’s yard, and if it separates from the house and comes down live it’ll drape right over the metal frame of the gazebo.

Where I am now. Well, what’s the worst that can happen? Super powers? The gazebo took it hard – the frame was twisted, and the roof ripped. The damage is all cleaned up now, but there are trees down in backyards and alleys and boulevards. The power of that storm was astonishing, and it made me wonder about old superstitious ancients who blamed it on the Anger of the Gods. No doubt there were free-thinkers who scoffed at the idea, but what would they blame the weather on? It is the motion of the earth as it rolls down the back of a giant turtle, nothing more.

Or perhaps they didn’t feel it necessary to come up with another explanation. I’ve been thinking about this today – it’s not so much what you believe sometimes as what you don’t believe. Either are sufficient to make some think you’re daft. Not just wrong, but crazy. There was a comment on today about my “nutty” beliefs and how I’d best be careful, or my employer will have to yank my chain. Because as you can clearly tell I’ve turned the site into a screaming loony bin, what with my craaaazy post about whether we should consider a hike in the Federal Gas Tax to fund bridge repair, and today’s lunatic invitation to debate the question of state aid to municipalities. I’m still trying to figure out which “nutty” belief is the nuttiest, though. My belief that man is descended from interstellar gekkos? Because I can back that one up, totally.

I shouldn’t be doing this. I have too much to do – two fargin’ book introductions due tomorrow morning, for example. I had a madcap devil-may-care evening, during which I walked the dog, picked up the tree detritus, ran to the grocery store to get stuff for Gnat’s cookout, after which it was right back to work for three hours. Now I’m doing this. I shouldn’t. Then again, I could watch a cartoon. Just one. Promise, only one. It’s from the Droopy collection. The outside of the box, interestingly enough, says it’s “intended for the Adult Collector,” which brings up images of the Comic Book Guy, and “May Not Be Suitable For Children.” Then you open it up:

Someone had fun designing this. Compared to the Popeye disks I mentioned the other day, it’s not as Important As An Artifact of Animation History, but it’s much more fun. I could watch Tex Avery and / or Droopy all day, but ten minutes of Popeye muttering while Olive Oyl whines indeterminate phonemes of distress is just about enough.

This made sense to them in 1949, too:

The Power Of Rove Extends Backwards Through Time! On the other hand, this never makes sense, at least in our world:

Nevertheless, the power of cartoons is so great that we not only accept the idea of dogs walking upright and working in concert, we blithely go along with the idea that they have access to dynamite, and that dynamite comes in this size, and that it’s detonated with a firecracker fuse.

UPDATE! According to the special features, Droopy helped America get through World War Two. Seriously. It was a challenging time for all Americans," says the documentary voice over. "The world was at war. What people needed more than anything else was a few hours where they could just get away from it all." At this point I'm hoping they're kidding, and the appearance of Droopy in the documentary will be a sucker-punch . . . let's continue. "They found it . . . at the movies. For a quarter, moviegoers could take a two-hour break from the problems of the world." This doesn't look good. This is shaping up to position Droopy as the great Morale Officer of the Struggle Against Fascism. Continue . . . "They escaped into action . . . adventure . . . romance . . . and always a cartoon." Then the documentary shows how Tex Avery made us laugh again in wartime . . . by showing clips from postwar cartoons.

I hesitate to ever watch a Flintstones compilation, lest the special features remind us how Barney helped America deal with the incremental buildup of forces in South Vietnam.

On the other hand, the documentary has color footage of Los Angeles in the 40s:

And the Warner Brothers lot: whoa!

And to state the obvious: the compilation contains hours of Droopy, plus Red.

And that's enough to justify twice the price. Off to! See you there.