We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I envy Thurber's clarity, simplicity, and directness of writing, whether he is doing humor or regular reporting. Liked him better than EB White, with whom Thurber collaborated in writing the spoof on self-help books, Is Sex Necessary?, in 1929.
If you have never read Thurber, you are missing a real delight. Start with The Thurber Carnival. I could not find any of his toons on line, but I didn't spend much time searching.
Here's a good summary of the history of the radio soaps. Thurber's piece on the topic is a masterpiece of straightforward New Yorker-style reportage; the kind that can make any random topic fascinating because it is so well-written.
Thurber's soap summary is what I cite to describe today's news channels
"In many soap operas, a permanent question is either implied or actually posed every day by the serial narrators. These questions are usually expressed in terms of doubt, indecision, or inner struggle. Which is more important, a woman's heart or a mother's duty? Could a woman be happy with a man fifteen years older than herself? Should a mother tell her daughter that the father of the rich man she loves ruined the fortunes of the daughter's father? Should a mother tell her son that his father, long believed dead, is alive, well, and a criminal? Can a good, clean Iowa girl find happiness as the wife of New York's most famous matinee idol? Can a beautiful young stepmother, can a widow with two children, can a restless woman married to a preoccupied doctor, can a mountain girl in love with a millionaire, can a woman married to a hopeless cripple, can a girl who married an amnesia case - can they find soap-opera happiness and the good, soap-opera way of life? No, they can't - not, at least, in your time and mine. The characters in Soapland and their unsolvable preplexities will be marking time on the air long after you and I are gone, for we must grow old and die, whereas the people of Soapland have a magic immunity to age, like Peter Pan and the Katzenjammer Kids. When you and I are in Heaven with the angels, the troubled people of Ivorytown, Rinsoville, Anacinburg, and Crisco Corners, forever young or forever middle-aged, will still be up to their ears in inner struggle, soul searching, and everlasting frustration."
James Thurber ``II - Ivorytown, Rinsoville, Anacinburg, and Crisco Corners'' Soapland in The Beast in Me and Other Animals p.222
The news biz is aimed at soap opera women, which is a large (40% of women) enough audience to sustain the advertisers, and they come every day, news or no news, so long as there is a predictable soap narrative line.
It's that audience or nothing, for the business model.
Thank you for the nudge -- I hadn't read any Thurber for quite some time (way too long).
And by the way, Thurber's cartoons are definitely available online; googling
will return a boatload of hits, the first being Google images, over 30,000 of them (yes, of course there are duplicates).