The View from Middle Spunk Creek

COMICS, SERIOUSLY

Some of today’s best satire and social commentary appears in the newspaper comics. I read them every morning.

This past Sunday I found a cartoon strip by Stephan Pastis particularly poignant. Pastis draws/writes a strip named Pearls Before Swine, one of my favorites because of the author’s love of puns and his acute wordsmithing.

The strip’s main characters are a rat, a goat and a pig who interplay with various human characters including, on occasion, Pastis himself.

In Sunday’s strip Goat introduces his exercise buddy, Ed, a human, to Rat. Rat offers him a beer, but Ed replies that he doesn’t drink alcohol. Then Rat asks him to split a pizza, then chili fries. Ed declines, telling Rat how bad that food is for his health. “Goodness,” Ed says. “How can you eat stuff like that? You take years off your life.”

Rat responds: “Because life is an amusement park, and while you’ll stay there longer, all the rides will be closed.”

Rat captures the essence of the end-of-life question: longevity vs. quality.

Surgeon-professor-writer Atul Gawande did the same in his best-selling book, Being Mortal. Gawande points out that medical and nutritional science have enabled us to stay alive longer, but with that longevity comes quality of life issues and the specter of having our ability to make life choices taken away from us as we age.

The issue has become a national debate.

My novel, Cloud Warriors, is another, small voice in that discussion. It addresses the issue not on the level of individual end-of-life choices but on a society-wide stage. That the discussion is packaged in a fictional thriller does not make it any less relevant, and it does, I think, make it, like the Pearls Before Swine strip, infinitely more enjoyable to contemplate.

 

Cloud Warriors will be available to the public in both softcover and eBook on February 22, 2019. You can preorder on Amazon or at John Hunt Publishing or through this website. If you’d like a pre-release copy for review purposes, please go to the CONTACT tab of this web site. Cost is $15.00 plus $3.50 for shipping.

For a recent review click on the Cloud Warriors tab in the tool bar, scroll down and click on “read reviews”.

NEXT WEEK: Learn about the historical underpinnings of Cloud Warriors.

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Cloud Warriors will be available to the public in both softcover and eBook on February 22, 2019. You can pre-order on Amazon or at John Hunt Publishing or through this website.

For a recent reviews click on the Cloud Warriors tab in the tool bar, scroll down and click on “read reviews”. If you’d like a pre-release copy for review purposes, please go to the CONTACT tab of this web site.

Check back weekly for Rob’s musings from Middle Spunk Creek.

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