Molarity Classic: 344-350

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Author: Michael Molinelli '82

Five hours of television per day may seem like wasted time to some. But how better to master, and to fear, the concept of polygenesis?

344. This Observer front page had an article reporting on Dan Quayle’s campus appearance for his Senate campaign. The future vice president would unseat Birch Bayh in November. The page also had a picture of the funeral mass and procession for Father Bill Toohey, CSC, the popular director of campus ministry.

345. This last cartoon before the October break. The back page featured the paper’s nine sportswriters and their football predictions. Leading the pack with a percentage of .750 were Kelly Sullivan ’82, Brian Beglane ’81 and Gary Grassey ’82.

346. It took me years before I stopped bringing home work thinking I would achieve anything during the October break.

347. An inside-page article by editor Pam Degnan reviewed predictions that print news would be obsolete in seven years (it was 1980) as they expected cable service would be the conduit bringing news to homes. The mechanism and timing were off but these were the days before the Internet and most cities had two newspapers, often with a morning and evening edition.

348. After this cartoon appeared a friend accused me of stealing the joke from Gilligan’s Island. I did not do so knowingly but since I saw each episode multiple times, the joke must have been in my head. This is a fear of mine, that I might accidently copy a joke even though I am pretty good at remembering when and where I first hear them and give attribution when feasible. There is also the problem of polygenesis, where a joke is obvious enough that many people think of it simultaneously. Since media platforms have expanded greatly polygenesis remains a problem where a joke I wrote and drew last week is stale by the publication date.

349 and 350. These cartoons never appeared in The Observer as far as I can tell. Timing was bad as this date turned out to be Halloween, so I bumped the next cartoon for a Halloween and moved on to other subjects.


See the first five classic strips. Check back monthly for more classic Molarity strips. Molarity Redux, the updated, continuing adventures of Jim Mole and friends, also is posted monthly. For those new strips, check out the cartoon archives.


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