La vie et la mort

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I hope this cartoon from 2002 will not appear glib, but I’m certain I’ve never drawn anything appropriate to the events in Paris. Humorists are hard pressed when widely felt tragedy occurs, when neither business as usual nor silence is comfortable. I have spent time in France, including two months as a guest of the House of Authors at the International Institute of the Comic Strip in Angoulême. Those titles, by the way, are my crude English translations, to save us all some extra trouble. I have never met anyone from Charlie Hebdo, but I have met many French cartoonists, and they were all very gracious. I am thinking of my friends there, many of whom I am sure do have direct connections to the victims. It is hard to imagine the shock and the grief being experienced by the large and vibrant community of French cartooning. My association with them is tenuous, to be sure, but I personally am saddened with them. And I do admit trying not to think about it too much.

70 responses to “La vie et la mort

  1. Beautiful music.

    This long preceded Roberta Flack’s version which is in itself stunning. Ewen McColl wrote it as a folk song but in my opinion it is most beautiful love song ever written, Peter Nero’s hit from it was best instrumental and everyone else who has sung it simply follows Roberta Flack.

    Every love has a “song” or should. This was “our song”.

    Did I mention I long, long ago was a PBS college “disc jockey” when we turned the records by hand, started them on a turn table by hand, did our own scripts spontaneously. And could play only classical and easy listening music. Never stopped loving music.

    Love, Jackie

  2. OK, I may never learn to link a song to here! I am coming to Alabama and have Mark teach me how!

    That was Peter Nero and “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”, Mark or Ghost! You might put Roberta Flack’s vocal on another link so it skips moderation!

    Love, Jackie (who isn’t even going to try Roberta)

  3. Better report today, Jackie. You’re smart; you’ll be fine as long as you keep your focus. Easier said than done right now, I know. But it will get better, at least somewhat. Trust me.

    Qui, Jean ma cher; another version of that is “If you want me to respect your beliefs, get better beliefs.”

  4. I have a friend whose signature line is “You can only claim the moral ground upon which you stand.”

    He retired from Air Force Academy where he taught theology to Air Force’s chaplains. A wonderful man I respect and adore.

    Love, Jackie

  5. I do some part-time news reporting for my small town newspaper that publishes 3 days a week. Lately I have seriously honked some people off writing about the local city council and I get a little concerned every once in a while, but while political cartoons bite some times I can not even imagine a cartoonist being targeted because of their work. SMH.

  6. Speaking as one who has had an entire ROTC unit protest my early views of Viet Nam (very conservative) saying we had no business over there and an entire fraternity march past my dorm with their cannons in tow and burn me in effigy, I have a faint knowledge of what it feels like to tick people off with views, satirical and otherwise.

    Events of today, whether home grown as in St. Louis area riots, the Boston bombings, the Murrah Building bombing, the Twin Towers, the shooting of cartoonists. This is just not within my brain’s grasp. As my younger daughter is fond of saying, “They drank the Koolaid.”

    By the way, I dreamed about the KA fraternity last night for some really strange reason. Really strange. All in blazers with crested pockets. Not full uniform. I will hasten to say I support the good things fraternal organizations stand for but reserve the right to ridicule some of the absurd.

    Love, Jackie

  7. If you are not looking back – posted this one page back


    You have 10X the birds we did. And the birds don’t come back to full production after ammonia
    poisoning –


    Wait awhile before coming to the Mayo – I think they have more snow than we do.
    Honey works pretty good also – used to have to rub it on our cats gums if she got
    low sugar. (She was diabetic – so we did the whole insulin thing)

    A little breeze and over or under 0* depending on what side of the house.

    Population studies were done with lab animals – after a certain density they started turning
    on each other – is the earth population density reaching that point?
    Just wondering?

  8. *******PERSONAL NEWS FLASH ******

    I’ve just been called by my local transplant center to come in for blood tests (cross-match)

    This is the first time I have been called by the local center. In the past 6 years, I have had 8 other calls for a possible kidney. Those were all in Dallas/Ft Worth and required 3+ hours drive there, about 5 hours waiting for results, and then a very long 3+ hour drive home when I wasn’t able to take the kidney.

    Please pray, if you are so inclined, that this kidney might finally be the match and that I will be allowed to proceed. I don’t have to wait at the hospital since it is local, but may not get any results until later tonight.

  9. Old Bear, I have to tell you what I bought myself for Christmas and for my mom of course.
    BeeKeeping For Dummies, also how to build your own hives and a really good book on beekeeping, with intent of putting hives out by creek near the gardens. We always had honey in the comb in the old days on our “plantation” and mom talked about it so much.

    I thought the honey bees and honey would serve multiple purposes.

    Oh, and keeping chickens too. I was going to build or buy a small hen house for a few chickens to entertain my mother with collecting eggs. May still do that one, helper had chickens and knows how to care for them.

    Love, Jackie

  10. David, may you get your kidney, and God bless you and the donor. I cannot donate because of my diseases or I’d offer you one of mine. Neither could Mike because of cancer but we would have.

    Love, Jackie

  11. David: Blessings, and prayers.

    “If a little cartoon can threaten your belief system, get a new belief system.”

    Among the would-be theologs [that includes me] that I run into, it seems that the most vigorously defended views are often the least believable, sometimes the most trivial*, and, I suspect, the shakiest in the minds of those proclaiming said views. *E.g., does Elohim, who apparently created a self-operating universe about 13+ BYA, now populated by billions of galaxies and perhaps thousands of life-supporting planets, really care about what meat I eat, and whether I attend services weekly. What’s a week on a life-supporting planet that rotates on its axis every 6.4 of Earth’s hours?

    Perhaps jihadists are different. The 9/11 mob must have really believed a slew of virgins awaited them in paradise, as perhaps did the murderers in Paris. One also wonders at a faith that obsesses about deflowering virgins. Maybe that’s because, at 85, I wouldn’t know what to do with one. Teach her some genetics and population dynamics, maybe.

    “Population studies were done with lab animals–after a certain density they started turning
    on each other–is the earth population density reaching that point?” There is also the question whether intelligently and peacefully or not, has it reached the point where there are so many of us that we cannot sustain our numbers in the long run, say the next million years or so? IMO, given the finiteness of Earth’s resources, we’ve long passed that point. [I’ve probably suggested this before.] I’m guessing that, at a considerably lower standard of living than most of us in The Village now enjoy, Earth can indefinitely support a human population of about a billion, roughly 1/8 of the current population. Good luck!

    Peace, emb

  12. David in Austin, wishing so very much that the transplant will happen! The whole Village will be thinking of you today.

    With love from Charlotte

  13. I second Steve’s thought. “ORGAN DONOR” has been stamped on the back of my DL for as long as my state has allowed that. And despite what some may think, I actually am doing all I can to keep them healthy enough for someone else to use when I don’t them any longer. 🙂

  14. Good luck David! Hope you can get it done, this time and get off the dialysis. I am also listed with my DL as a potential donor and have been for years. As O+ my organs should work for somebody out there.

  15. Thanx for that quote, Trapper Jean; I’ve added it to my list of signature quotes for Usenet. Best of luck, David, and I hope to be reading RSN that your new kidney is doing it’s job.

    Last, I do hope that all of the 9/11 crew got their virgins: nuns with shotguns.

  16. emb

    I heard 3 billion but there is no going back with current thinking.
    in the 50’s there was a movement for Zero Population Growth have not heard of them
    for a long while.

    Dave blessings upon you and the donor.


  17. Count me as another potential donor, someday. Keeping our pieces and parts in good shape for future recipients is a good idea but there are parts that can be used even if the “big names” (heart, kidneys, etc.) are not suitable. My dad had cancer and major cardio-vascular issues but his corneas were still usable. Skin can be used for burns or other wound care.

  18. That is good to know, Ruth Anne. I asked just as Mike was dying and still on life support if any of his organs and tissue could be used and they told me no, that they would not be accepted because of the kind of cancer Mike had which had spread throughout his body. It made me sad to not donate any part of him, as we had talked about it and he had said the same thing the nurse told me, so I am sure he also asked.

    Love, Jackie

  19. Still no news on the possible kidney. In a way, that is good news. They haven’t determined that I CAN’T take the kidney. That may mean that I passed the “virtual crossmatch”, which is a computer simulation of the mixing of blood antigens. The transplant coordinator told me earlier today that I am the first candidate, or top of the list, for this kidney. If I pass the actual cross match then the kidney is mine.

  20. David, as my Kiwi friend often says, I am crossing all twenty fingers and toes for you. I pray you get your kidney. When we lost Erma Bombeck I cried my heart out because she never got hers.
    I would have given her one as well, I loved her so much.

    We NEED more donors to make more organs available to those in need!

    By the way, my gardener/yard lady has taken over as my housekeeper too and she is unbelievably neat freak like I used to be and how I love to live. This is going to be great I think having her as a companion for me. She cooked dinner for me and made me eat with her, put leftovers in fridge for me. Turns out she is not bad as a cook either.

    Have spent most of day sorting and reorganizing clothes, putting stuff to give away. This is apparently burning calories? Because me eating a chicken breast, carrots and fresh mashed potatoes for dinner, did not stop my blood sugars from crashing like a plummeting rock, even worse tonight than last night. I promptly drank a full glass of OJ and they are slowly going up.

    Keep praying for David, please.

    Love, Jackie

  21. Just received call from transplant coordinator. Lab test back. Some of the antibodies are high but surgeon says not high enough at this point to rule me out. So that is good for us. Must wait on donor blood to do final cross match. The delay now is the family and doctors of the donor have decided to wait until tomorrow. Patient’s heart is still beating but brain is damaged so patient not able to survive without life support. I am not able to bring myself to hope for another’s death. Please pray for the patient’s family. We will wait to see what comes tomorrow.

  22. This is why when we knew Mike could not survive off life support I wanted so badly to donate his organs. I realize that we could not but you want so badly to have the loss of those who you love mean some good comes to those who wait.

    Love, Jackie

  23. The eye doctor now tells me that I am beginning to get cataracts so I probably don’t have anything useable left. Also I suspect that once you’ve had cancer they probably rule you out.

  24. Well I am sitting here waiting to check blood sugars one more time while listening to ZZ Top and John Fogerty play in Tulsa together, an event I had no idea had occurred but pretty amazing.
    Earlier I was listening to Vince Gill on sax and a host of famous musicians playing with Duane Eddy to a totally awesome jam session, twanging away.

    My tastes in music go wildly in all directions.

    Love, Jackie

  25. I wouldn’t be able to drive if it wasn’t for my cornea transplant, getting the second scheduled. Wife died this morning, hardest part was never got to really say a final goodbye, All wee hours of Tuesday she was flashing her little bedside flashlight at the TV cabinet freaking about the millions of baby spiders coming down from the ceiling, then saw snakes around the door, enough Atavin and Morphine made it go away, she was mostly out of it, there were some agitated loud times, I was able to adjust her a little, but her breathing was mostly quiet and steady. we all realize now how she forced herself through the holidays

  26. Oh John, I wish I were there in Katy near by, I’d come hug you and we could cry together.

    This is so hard, but keep moving one foot at a time. Not very good advice but surround yourself with love which comes from strange places sometimes, like a comic strip blog.

    Stay with us, the Village is a warm place to reside.

    Love, Jackie

  27. My condolences also, John.

    My mother, after they attempted to remove her brain tumor (it wasn’t the simple glioma the MRI indicated), also had visual hallucinations. Most of them terrified her, but the flying fish that lived behind the painting on the wall entertained her for hours. My mother-in-law had a gentler, more peaceful experience during her decline.

  28. I’m terribly sorry for your loss, John. I’ve never had a spouse to lose, but I can only imagine that it is like losing a part of yourself. Hold onto the good memories; that does help.

  29. John, I’m sorry for your loss. It’s good that the two of you knew in advance this was coming, though. You both had time to prepare as best you could and enjoy what you could together in the meantime. Peace and comfort to you and your family.

  30. Good morning Villagers….

    John, so sorry for your loss of your wife, keep the memories, good and bad, close to your heart…you and yours are in my prayers………………………………………………..Amen

    David, I pray also it is a match……………………Amen

    Jackie, you are still in my thoughts and prayers……….Amen

    The Village is good.

    love to all


  31. John, I really cannot add anything different from what has already been said. You are loved… and that love will sustain you. Hugs and prayers…

  32. Good morning all. Gray and overcast here, cold. No sun. I think we all need a little sunshine to help us through. Mine will arrive probably with my “help” who are living sunshine. Isn’t that strange, three women who by all that seems logical to today’s world should be down, depressed and giving up?

    That is what “survivors” seem to do, to keep going on and not be defeated by the world. It isn’t an easy job, God knows, but someone has to do it.

    And yes, I subscribe to the belief that we must help others along our way and accept the same when offered.

    On a pleasant note, I have the most huge blue jays out in my yard, big as pigeons and not “normal” sized. I have never seen jays this large, even in the mountains out in west.

    Wake up and look out windows of office to a yard of birds. We need to refill feeders I am certain.

    Love, Jackie

  33. John,

    Thoughts and prayers. Wife’s acute leukemia did not lead to hallucinations as far as we could tell. One thing was quite clear: She was distressed at leaving me alone.

    My guess is that both are now watching over us. No proof; faith is not about things you can prove.

    Peace, emb

  34. Providing my own audio sunshine listening to Peter Nero play variation on Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess”, just unbelievable it is so good. How was he lost to us as the great talent he is? The present generation doesn’t know he exists, probably the technically best jazz and classical pianist we ever produced? And yes, I have heard and seen a lot of pianists.

    Brings back good memories, both of “Porgy” and Nero. The best performance I remember was sitting on a cruise ship in Honolulu while he played in a tiny cabaret setting, I think there were only 50 or so of us dining, and I could have thrown a green pea and hit him in the eye! In other words, sitting at my desk this gray morning is like that night. He is playing in my lap.

    “Porgy and Bess” by the Houston Grand Opera was the first historic performance of Gershwin’s music as he wrote and arranged his “opera”, sung by great voices. I was there for opening night in a front row box and I will never forget that experience. You can relive if not repeat events and they are happy memories. Never, no matter how poor I may have been at times did I ever regret them or wish I “had just kept the money”.

    Some things are priceless.

    Love Jackie

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