You Might as Well Laugh

I love this cartoon. It hangs in my office. I make my living, by and large, writing stuff: briefs, motions, memos, emails that get things done. (And then I come home and write a blog. Glutton for punishment.) And, Kali knows, I’ve gone searching for this vendor more times than I care to admit. (She’s worse than that Bitch Goddess, heroin, she is, that Goddess who will open it up and give you something to write. And if you write for a living, you know what I’m saying.)

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Another one that I very much like, of course, is this one:

Scheduling stuff is a large part of a lawyer’s life and there are often advantages to be gained in either pushing a schedule forward or getting some delay. And, then, sadly, there are just some people with whom you’d rather not deal, ever, if possible. So “How about never?” is near and dear to my heart.

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I spend a lot of my work life in an area known as administrative law, a field that deals with statutes and regulations. And I like this cartoon because it’s true. We can bemoan all the regulations and agency decisions, all of the judicial deference to agency expertise, all of the angels dancing on the heads of what is and isn’t “arbitrary and capricious” (I’m still looking for an agency decision that is one, but not the other. But a few weeks ago, G/Son and I were discussing fairies and I said, “Well, sometimes fairies are capricious.” G/Son said, “Nonna, what’s ‘capricious,'” and I said, “Well, it’s a lot like arbitrary.” And then I bent over, gasped, and laughed until I cried. It’s not as if it’s easy being my G/Son. It helps that he’s the son of two lawyers, as well. Or, maybe that makes it worse.), as much as we like. But it’s either this, or it’s despots, all the way down. (The most important social commentary in this cartoon is the dog, beaten-down, but clutching his bone beside the throne.)

For all the same reasons, I really like this one, as well:

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But maybe my favorite, favorite, favorite New Yorker cartoon, ever, is this one:

Not just because this is how some magic works (or how some novice magical workers think that magic works). Not just because it’s how some people structure their lives (Goddess knows, it’s how I used to structure mine, especially my romantic life). Not just because, sadly, I know too many lawyers who, unconsciously, work that part of the equation into their legal arguments. No. I really love this cartoon because sometimes the guy who wrote that on the blackboard is right. Sometimes, we work out all the numbers and details and concepts and then, then, then, sometimes a miracle occurs.

What cracks you up and, at the same time, tells important truths?

All cartoons found here.

3 responses to “You Might as Well Laugh

  1. “What cracks you up and, at the same time, tells important truths?”

    Among other things, just about any of Offenbach’s operettas. They’re witty, fun, and surprisingly sophisticated musically. Some academic musicians look down their noses at them, but they were good enough for Debussy.

    Which brings up the truths: they’re a good corrective whenever one begins to take too solemn an attitude towards life (or towards oneself). Some of the Paris critics were outraged at Offenbach’s musical satires directed at the Imperial court (still funny, by the way). Napoleon III, who got the joke, commanded a performance of Orphée aux enfers and, in due course, awarded Offenbach French citizenship and the Légion d’Honneur.

  2. Pingback: cartoon blackboard - BACKGROUNDS – BACKGROUNDS

  3. your favourite cartoon (a miracle occurs) is also my favourite one ! and I am very glad to have found (by chance) someone who shares my view (by chance I am a sort of regulatory lawyer as well). I posted this joke in my fb wall and no one put a single I like or comment. I felt so misunderstood and alone (sigh)….. well, not that much, but I started to think whether there was maybe, something, because I found it really really really great and soooo funny (and I was wondering how was that no one was reacting to it). and now I found your post by change and makes me happy (silly thing you might think but it made my day !)

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