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Flying far and away

By Tom Toles

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'Tis the season

It's a beautiful November day, and the crisp fall air and cobalt blue skies whet the appetite for shepherd's pie and fresh apple cider and blah blah blah. I was just talking to someone who loves fall and the chill and the shortening days and the bundling up and the clammy damp and sodden masses of slimy brown leaves and the miserable bleak collapse of nature and all hopes and... and perhaps I am coloring her version of the season with my own here.

I am not a fan of fall, though I am afraid there is a rather straightforward explanation for that. I am a sufferer of SAD, or Seasonal Abhorrence Disorder, in which the brain reacts to the shortening days by telling you that you are hopeless, so give it up. It's just like my commenters here! And now we have Daylight Standard Time back, so the sun sets right after my second cup of morning coffee. Fun! I was reading Tacitus (I knew I'd get to tell that to SOMEBODY), and he was writing about how the Germans would dig a hole in the ground and all go down in it to spend the winter! More fun! I have some German ancestors, and I think my DNA may have been scrambled by activities such as spending months lying underground in a pile of Germans.

Anyway, I cope, as we all must. The standard treatments are TAKE YOUR VITAMIN D, and LIGHT THERAPY. The light that I read Tacitus by in the evenings looks from the street like there is a UFO in the room. Attention commenters: That would be an Undocumented Flying Obama, holding me in a tractor beam so I cannot protest his plot to enslave America. --Tom Toles

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By Tom Toles  | November 9, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign Policy, Obama White House  
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Comments

I have a good friend who always says at this time of year, "We're going off 'Man's Time' now and back to 'God's Time' and vice versa.
Just like God wrote in the exact words of the King James Bible, too......

Richard

Posted by: rpipes | November 11, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Anyway, I cope, as we all must. The standard treatments are TAKE YOUR VITAMIN D, and LIGHT THERAPY.
From Tom Toles Tales

My reply...
Living in a rain forest has its dark side too. We have so many trees on our property that it is difficult to find a sunny spot to plant flowers that require sunshine. I planted a dwarf cherry tree several years ago and it is at least sixty feet tall now. My son calls it the squirrel feeder. I have even had racoons up the tree swinging from branch to branch and picking off cherries in mid-air.
On a more serious note...
I think at the present the lack of sunshine is not near the threat that the lack of the light of intelligence.
What ever the cause, the effect is the deteriorization of civilization as we once knew it.
Like my three year old daughter said when she threw up the first time, "I told you it was serious!"

Posted by: OckamsRazor | November 10, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

you philosophical pundits?? make me chuckle :-)

Posted by: bertzel | November 9, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

"The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt."
Marcus Tullius Cicero, 143-106 BC

My own favorite is Marcus Aurelius' "Meditations".

Posted by: fbrewer1 | November 9, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt."
Marcus Tullius Cicero, 143-106 BC

My own favorite is Marcus Aurelius' "Meditations".

Posted by: fbrewer1 | November 9, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

love the sketch, but the way. I'll jump on the conservative bandwagon & sign on to the idea of eliminating the dairy marketing & other orgs. Lets get gov out of the business of selling food products. Kill the subsidies too. We have enough corn & high fructonse corn syrup already.

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 9, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"I am a sufferer of SAD, or Seasonal Abhorrence Disorder, in which the brain reacts to the shortening days by telling you that you are hopeless, so give it up."

Are you sure you're not thinking of electoral dysfunction? in which case there may be a pill for that.

Or maybe I'm the one getting confused.

Posted by: bsimon1 | November 9, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I like the change of seasons. Tho I’m sure a lot of us have a bit of sad when it comes to the shortening of days. I have found too that how one chooses to spend their ‘dark time’ also has an effect on one’s state of mind. Is amazing what one can do to the ambience of one’s den to make it cozy against the dark and cold outside world….
That said…right now it is in the mid 60’s, sun is shining , wind is calm. Been a very mild Autumn thus far…am hoping for snow in the near future although I don’t care much for the cold I do love the snow and how it blankets and quiets the outdoors. Next month the days will start getting longer so is really a short timeframe for the sad people. I find the Holidays put more of a damper on my frame of mind than the length of sunlight and cold weather…that’s just me tho. Guess the Holidays are good for the economy, sigh.
As for Tacitus…we all may be living in caves soon enough if Obama isn’t successful in trying to bridge the world in peace… Wow, I’ve got some major low flying aircraft overhead …Think it might be Obama…gotta go…

Posted by: bertzel | November 9, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

~~The best history of the Roman Empire was written by a little known centurion, Biggus Dickus.
posted by: jhnnywalkr~~~

I find it hard to believe he was a little known centurion with a name like that. |

Posted by: bertzel | November 9, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

The best history of the Roman Empire was written by a little known centurion, Biggus Dickus.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | November 9, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

In what language were you reading Tacitus?

Posted by: Geezer4 | November 9, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

It's a SAD state of affairs when our BRIGHT, satirical cartoonist falls even deeper into a DARK haze of cynicism due to the oncoming bleak winter, made worse by the DIMMING of our political landscape due to the elevation of one in the US House who appears somewhat overexposed to the ULTRAVIOLET. Please Tom, step back into the LIGHT!

Personally, I prefer the writings of Comicus, ancient Roman stand-up philosopher, to pull me out of the winter doldrums (Mel Brooks fans will know what I mean).

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | November 9, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Full Spectrum Lighting - it's gotten much better in the last few years - and can make a difference with that SAD stuff - but not much with that OTHER sad stuff...

Posted by: thanksforfish | November 9, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

RE FergusonFoont's comment: I have been reading Evan's 3 volume history of the 3rd reich and also find myself dismayed at the at the similarities to our current political situation.

Texas Jon

Posted by: texasjon | November 9, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

~~~Alas, I have read them all. I thirst for more.

I may be the only human being, living or dead, who has read the unabridged Penguin Classics 3-volume version of Gibbon's "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" entirely while sitting on the john.

The light's so good there.

Posted by: FergusonFoont~~~

Laughing Out Loud. Now I have to go to the bathroom before I "whet" myself !!

Posted by: bertzel | November 9, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I hear you about the S.A.D.- something I deal with meself. I splurged and bought the swirly lightbulbs labeled "Daylight" in the 75 and 100 watt intensities.
Gives a nice, bright, clean, and FULL-SPECTRUM illumination...very different from the incandescent bulbs.
I do feel better since I started using this type of bulb...
Anecdotal, but what the hey, it works, right?

Posted by: shadodantz | November 9, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

It is pleasing to hear that someone also enjoys reading the contemporary Roman historians. Careful, Tommy. It can get addicting, particularly when one notices the alarming similarities between the behavior of the Patricians during the late Roman Republic and the behavior of today's Republicans.

One interesting aspect is what the Patricians' rapacious behavior and overreaching eventually caused in reaction to it -- the dictatorship of Julius Caesar and the subsequent imposition of the Empire and its permanent tyranny, which was imposed with populist support to check the excesses of the senatorial and equestrian classes.

It is unfortunate that so little of the contemporary histories have survived. The works of Fabius Pictor are completely lost and are only known from references contained in the works of others. Livy and Tacitus only survive as fragments, although they are fairly large fragments. Suetonius survives, as do some of the less extensive works of Josephus, Dio Cassius, and some others, but so much has been lost, some when the Great Library at Alexandria burned, some at the hands of the repressive Catholic Church, and others by the random ravages of time.

Alas, I have read them all. I thirst for more.

I may be the only human being, living or dead, who has read the unabridged Penguin Classics 3-volume version of Gibbon's "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" entirely while sitting on the john.

The light's so good there.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | November 9, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Ditch the east coast. Telecommute and enjoy the warmth of a Palm Springs winter.
Posted by: GeneTouchet
---------------
Just as the lack of daylight causes many to suffer depression, too much sunlight (like California, Texas, Central America, Middle East, etc.) seems to cause zany, and sometimes irrational, and occasionally violent, behavior.
Stick with the UFO lights and achieve balance.

Posted by: pjohn2 | November 9, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse


Toles...how far would the pejorative phrase "a bunch of Germans" get if you replaced German with Muslim?

Posted by: quiensabe | November 9, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Ditch the east coast. Telecommute and enjoy the warmth of a Palm Springs winter.

Posted by: GeneTouchet | November 9, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

My best months are May and June when the sun shines. So I do know what Mr. Toles means. But light therapy does help as do the right snacks. But not too many.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | November 9, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

You are a terrific cartoonist and I love your little essays. I think the ratio of folks who generally agree with you at least match the number who don't. Keep whacking away at climate change...you have brought it forward into my mind. Like Limbaugh and Beck, you know that repetition has power. They are idiots though, and you are not. Take heart!

Posted by: pdurand | November 9, 2010 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Toles you're the only Democrat still circling the wagons or plane in this case.

Posted by: jornolibist | November 9, 2010 5:22 AM | Report abuse

Maybe a nice tribute to the Veterans this week would help you feel better.

Posted by: billybeer6 | November 8, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

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