Pat Oliphant by Pat Oliphant

Pat Oliphant

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  1. formally known as doc white

    formally known as doc white said, almost 5 years ago

    I hade leap year. One more day of all the BULL SHIP.

  2. sonny1

    sonny1 said, almost 5 years ago

    It gets so deep, the BS that is, that you lose sight of the one who is slinging it faults. Which of course is the whole point.

  3. emptc12

    emptc12 said, almost 5 years ago

    Richard S. Russell:

    Mark Twain said so much about the absurdities of life and people got their chuckles at the time, but I’d really like to know how much was changed as a result. What does humor do except make things temporarily bearable?

    Sometime scientists should try to develop a laugh bomb and hurl those at our enemies. Maybe editorial cartoons would be considered as hand grenades.

    Here’s another subtle aphorism from Mark Twain, in “Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar”:

    “Let me make the superstitions of a nation and I care not who makes its laws or its songs either.”

    I wonder if in today’s cartoon, the word “retroactive” would be have been more suitable.Don’t know if it’s original or not, but a friend of mine told me once his teenage son blurted out in exasperation, “I didn’t ask to be born!” To which my friend replied, “Well, if you had I would have said No!”

  4. Rockngolfer

    Rockngolfer said, almost 5 years ago

  5. Donald Williams

    Donald Williams said, almost 5 years ago


    “I wonder if in today’s cartoon, the word “retroactive” would be have been more suitable.” According to this link, they are synonyms:

  6. dtroutma

    dtroutma GoComics PRO Member said, almost 5 years ago

    Retroactive contraception seems to be a sound principle for many. But if “God” didn’t have a sense of humor, and irony, she wouldn’t have invented politics.

  7. emptc12

    emptc12 said, almost 5 years ago

    Donald Williams: Technically you have a point. I’m no expert. Hope I don’t come across as a Know-it-all.

    Words can have different flavors to different people. In sentence recipes I’ve tasted over the years the two words are subtly different. “Retroactive” means an active change to me; “retrospective” means a review or looking-back to me — a noun. We’ve read the words in different contexts, apparently.

    I find more and more that meanings of many words have shifted over my lifetime. It seemed to me that the word retroactive would have more of a kick. I enjoyed William Safire’s columns in regard to changing word usages, and wouldn’t be surprised if he wrote about these very words.

    If you use the phrase “making my toilet” in this era, some young person, not aware of the usage long ago might think you’re building a commode. I was once jarred in reading a story from the early Twentieth Century (might have been Fitzgerald) in which a female character said matter-of-factly that her dance partners made love to her four times on the dance floor. I thought, where are the chaperones?!

    Repeat: I’m no expert. Just having a say.

  8. spyderred

    spyderred said, almost 5 years ago

    For myself, I’d invite Don Williams, dtroutma and emptc12 to comment more often. Such erudition is a pleasant change from mindless ranting.

  9. Godfreydaniel

    Godfreydaniel said, almost 5 years ago

    Personally, I think “retrospective” was a typo and Oliphant actually did mean “retroactive”. And as for humor not being a weapon, and only making things “temporarily bearable” : the great French playwright Moliere said (and I’m only para-phrasing) that people can bear lectures but they can’t endured being laughed at. (Which would change their behavior, is implied.) And this whole thing of not being born reminds me of the old Benny Hill routine (which must be the old Ancient Roman routine…….): First Man: “I wish I’d never been born!” Second Man: “You didn’t want to stay where you WERE, did you???”

  10. walruscarver2000

    walruscarver2000 said, almost 5 years ago

    God help us! We’re doomed!!

  11. Godfreydaniel

    Godfreydaniel said, almost 5 years ago

    I’m distressed that my fellow Oliphant fanatics aren’t also reading Moliere (and Benny Hill……….)

  12. dfowensby

    dfowensby said, almost 5 years ago

    to which i believe several pundits have noted: “The citizens of the United States will elect the President they deserve.”

  13. Donald Williams

    Donald Williams said, almost 5 years ago


    I will confess that I thought the usage of “retrospective” was an error; but I researched it before I made it an issue. When I learned that it was synonymous with “retroactive,” I chose not to comment. However, I chose to comment in response to yours in order to call attention to the fact that Oliphant is not ignorant of the words he chooses. Note: “Retrospective” as used in this cartoon is not a noun; it is an adjective and modifies the noun “treatments” (as does the adjective “contraception” which is normally a noun).]

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