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Shipping uranium to Turkey is no 'deal'

By Tom Toles

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Outside baseball

If they DID change baseball's rules, it would be a better game, but I still wouldn't watch it. I don't watch sports on TV. Some of the commenters on yesterday's post compared my proposed version of baseball to the way they play or have played the game. And that's the answer. Sports are to be played, not watched. Certainly not on TV. Sports can be fun. A LOT of fun. Watching somebody else have fun on television is not having fun. It is outsourcing your life.

Isn't sports the best thing on TV? HIGH DEF! Maybe. I don't watch the other stuff on TV either. When is a good time to watch? As the Bob Mankoff New Yorker cartoon put it about meetings: "No, Thursday's out. How about never? Is never good for you?" Never watching TV is good for me. Okay, ALMOST never. I used to be an addict. Now I'm a recovering addict. But when I turned off the TV, I found out I had a LOT of time and a lot of incentive to do other things. You might too!

But don't I need to watch the current crop of political analysts discuss politics as if it WERE baseball in order to do my job as a cartoonist? Survey says: NO. I've essentially missed a whole decade's worth, and I seem to have survived. It's possible that spending too much time on the computer falls into the same category. That's why I keep these posts short.

--Tom Toles
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By Tom Toles  | May 19, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign Policy, International, Iran  
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Comments

"I have great respect for Mr. Rose et al yet one doesn't need to watch what my father referred to as "the idiot box" to understand current realpolitik."

True. But if one reads "The Economist," "Post" and a few scientific publications (I recommend "New Scientist") it is not that hard to stay up to date.

But it does help to know enough basic science to know the difference between different structures and plans. As they used to say "I may not be very bright, but i know the difference between chicken salad and chicken stuff."


Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 19, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Sports issues aside, I love your commentary, it adds another side

And to the commentator who suggested you need to know about purity percentages of uranium; Looks like you've succeeded at your job so far relying on ink on paper -or perhaps radio?

Your cartoons successfully encapsulate and communicate the many facets of current political situations. I have great repsect for Mr. Rose et al yet one doesn't need to watch what my father referred to as "the idiot box" to understand current realpolotik.

Posted by: johncschwartz | May 19, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

On TV.

The other day, as I was paying homage to Ra, Aeolus and Arkenstone, I opened my eyes only to see my dog lying several feet away from me looking me straight in the eye, just “staring” at me. All at once several suspicious thoughts started to infiltrate my peaceful state of mind, even Hamburger Train managed to make an appearance. Finally after what seemed a lifetime, though most likely no more than a minute or two, Fraiser popped into my head. I smiled and closed my eyes. Life was good.

Posted by: bertzel | May 19, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Tom,

Overall I agree, but here's a different perspective on sports. Many activities, including music & drama, are fun on one's own, but can still be enjoyed as a spectator. I'm a good jazz musician, but still get a thrill from watching the best groups perform. My wife and I could get a script for My Fair Lady and have fun acting it out, but would still get value from watching a professional theatre put on the show.

To me, watching sports is a way to watch the best in the world do something I'm interested in. I played hockey, and learned something about the game every time I watched an NHL game. It didn't lessen my enjoyment of my adult league games to go learn from the pros.

Now, if you're not interested in the activity, whether it's music, drama, sports, etc. then sure, it's going to be a waste of time to watch someone else do it. But that's a different argument. I would get little value from going to a heavy metal concert because I don't care for heavy metal. But I get why people who do care go to the concerts even if they have a sweet jam band meeting in their garage.

Posted by: literatehobo | May 19, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Sure, stay away from television. I have a growing list of people on television ("talking heads") that I will not watch. They include Beck, Olbermann and O'Reilly.

But do watch Charlie Rose and PBS. You got to learn something about science and physics and even the difference between 4% uranium and 94% uranium if you are to make any sense in your cartoons.

I nearly always like your intent, but the specifics of Metro construction and the physics of weapons does need some work.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 19, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

You are the man Tom! In the spirit of your post, I am going to turn off my computer and go transcribe a Herbie Hancock solo. Then probably get some other things done. Keep drawing stuff

Posted by: jazzis779 | May 19, 2010 12:06 AM | Report abuse

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