Sunday, May 10, 2009

Nutts To Mutts!

© Stan Spire 2009

Plattsburgh’s leading (news)paper, The Daily Fishwrap, is still publishing the braindead comic strip Mutts. Check out my cartoon series, Nutts, featuring my characters Leftie and Rightie. Compare my effort to Mutts. The answer is obvious: my cartoon should be in the paper instead of Mutts. Why? Because it’s funnier (which ain’t saying much for it).

If the display is too small, then click on each one for a larger view.

And if your mother is a saint, just tell her it’s about two talking walnuts.

The Bright Side

© Stan Spire 2009

It’s one of those stupid memories – a trivial incident – that for some reason never fades away even after many years pass.

One sunny day I’m with some co-workers during lunchtime. We’re walking from a restaurant when I start to cross the street to the other side shaded by buildings. One co-worker objects, makes everyone to follow him.

He looks at me and says: “I want to stay on the sunny side of the street.” There was an extra meaning in his words. He didn’t like certain aspects of my personality that came through from working at the same shithole job.

I never dwelt on the negative. But I never ignored it either.

The other day an item in the newspaper triggered that stupid memory. The critical co-worker’s name was in the public record section. He was around the same age as me according to the obit.

That says a lot for walking on the sunny side of the street all the time.

Don’t forget to use sunblock lotion, pal.

Career Minded

© Stan Spire 2009

“You’re almost thirty years old and you don’t have a career yet?”

It was easy for the woman to pass judgment on me for circumstances beyond my control. She had a career; her husband had a career; what was wrong with me?

Time passes. Irony raises its ugly head.

Her husband is busted, ends up going off to prison.

Apparently he had a second career.

Career criminal.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ass Kicking Excellence

© Stan Spire 2009

“Excellence. We pride ourselves on our standards of excellence. But we don’t maintain excellence: we increase excellence to higher standards. We have excellent excellence.”

When I hear some official spokesman go on about his institution’s “excellence,” I know it ain’t to be found, especially within the New York State college system.

No matter where you go, the biggest or the tiniest, each college brags of its excellence. Every program, every degree, every employee, every student oozes excellence.

The local college, Plattsburgh University, always has some flak going on about PU’s so-called excellence. If that’s the case, then why does PU have a hard time getting its teaching program accredited?

And if PU four-year degrees are so great, why is it so hard for too many students to find decent jobs? After all, an excellent degree means that a graduate is recession-proof, he can be hired at any time.

There’s a journalism program at PU that is flooding the world with more graduates in a shrinking job market. Newspapers are cutting back, even folding. Well, it can be argued, at least these graduates have been trained in proper communication, how to relate on a professional level to others. Such a skill is important in any job.

Take a look at the last issue of the PU student newspaper, Cardinal Pointless (May 1, 2009). There’s an article entitled “Near-campus profs not bothered by PSUC students” (available online here). It about professors who don’t live in the student slum area in the center city; they don’t put up with the problems there, noise, destruction, theft, piss in your flowerpot, whatever.

A PU journalism professor is quoted. He used to live in New York City and from that experience he has learned how not to “radiate fear.” So Plattsburgh college students don’t bother him.

And to make a fine point – using such elegant journalistic language – he states:

“I can handle myself, if someone wants to come up and pick a fight I can kick them in the ass.”