22 Comments

  1. I get the joke; I just don’t know who K.T. is (Kathleen Turner? Don’t know why that name is in my head, as I don’t even know who that is.)

  2. KT Oslin died last December. Country Singer with a sonmg that included the lyrics:
    “And we’ve sworn we’d never do that again.
    Oh, we burned our bras,
    And we burned our dinners
    And we burned our candles at both ends.”

  3. Thanks! Never heard of her, but then, I haven’t listened to radio in YEARS. “Burning candles at both ends”, tho, is in a Clint Black song I was listening to yesterday.

  4. Maybe a reference to K.T. Oslin, who died about a month ago? One of her biggest hits was “80s ladies” that has the line “Oh, we burned our bras, /And we burned our dinners / And we burned our candles at both ends.”

  5. I don’t know how I didn’t see Blinky’s comment before I made mine, but I didn’t. Sorry for the repeat.

  6. Danny yesterday :

    So why does the title say “Arlo day at the DeGroots’ ” when it pretty clearly is a night scene?

    Back at cha, does today’s comic and post clear it up any for you?

  7. Very few bras were actually burned back then. At many protest sites, starting fires was not legal or would have required a permit. Big trash cans were set up for people to throw their bras and other symbolic items into.

  8. The ‘burning a candle at both ends’ is from a poem called ‘First Fig’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay. It’s very short, but good:

    My candle burns at both ends;
    It will not last the night;
    But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends–
    It gives a lovely light!

    For an interpretation, just go to the all-knowing Internet:

    “Millay engages with themes of change, gender, and language in ‘First Fig’. Depending on how one reads this poem, there are various things that the candle can symbolize. It’s very likely though that this poem is concerned, at least in part, with Millay’s own sexuality and her love for both men and women. She uses the candle to speak on this facet of her life but also on her career and the change that comes with progress.

    Millay is also crafting a simple and easily digestible message with this poem to her “foes” and “friends”. She asks them to listen to her, and pay attention to the life and career she is living.”

    So, yea, it fits in with female empowerment.

  9. The Millay poem is a very nice example of the use of this idiom, in an inventive way . It goes further back and does not seem to have an identifiable creator.

    From https://grammarist.com/idiom/burn-the-candle-at-both-ends/

    To burn the candle at both ends means to exhaust oneself by working too much, going to bed late and getting up early. When one burns the candle at both ends, he is living at a frenetic pace. The term burn the candle at both ends is derived from the French phrase Brusler la chandelle par les deux bouts. Coined around the beginning of the seventeenth century, the early meaning of burn the candle at both ends was to be a spendthrift, to be wasteful. Candles were expensive, and burning both ends of a candle used it up much faster. Eventually the candle in question came to symbolize one’s life force, and burning the candle at both ends meant to use of one’s life force too quickly, to exhaust oneself by working too much

  10. Though I imagine from the context of the lyrics, K.T. was referencing the poem rather than living at a frantic pace, using up one’s life force too quickly, or being worried about the price of candles.

  11. On his personal / blogging / reprints site, Jimmy Johnson discusses:

    Speaking of Anne Murray and female singers 
    often confused with Anne Murray, Helen 
    Reddy died in 2020. This deserves
    mention here, because I recently 
    produced an A&J strip
    noting the passing of K.T. Oslin. 
    Both Ms. Reddy and Ms. Oslin
    died within months of one another, 
    and both probably are best known 
    for songs that became feminist 
    anthems, “I Am Woman” and 
    “80s Ladies” respectively. 
    We, especially we of a certain age, 
    mourn their passing. I am happy 
    to report Ms. Murray is alive 
    and, I hope, well.
    

  12. ” At many protest sites, starting fires was not legal ”

    Legality is not usually the point of civil disobedience.

  13. Putting the comment about legality to the side, Mark in Boston is correct that there was very little bra burning by feminists.

  14. A draft card can be burned while holding it in the hand, and the fire risk from burning your draft card is somewhere between a campfire and smoking a cigarette.

  15. Theoretically, you could do the same to a bra, but with all the elastic and other materials, I should think you’d get a very smelly smoldering effect.

  16. Then again – stuck in the house during a pandemic means that one does not need to wear a bra – yay! I have only worn mine twice since mid March – during summer when we went out of the house and it was too hot to wear a sweatshirt and/or jacket over my tee shirt and it would be obvious that I was not wearing one.

    I would rather wear my reproduction 18th century stays than a bra (though the shape it provide me is so different I don’t – except the time I used it as a back brace when my back hurt from some housework or other that I did.

  17. As soon as I hit post I remembered – I had cleaned out the spare bedroom aka teddies’ room closet and had to stand to the side of it to do so and the constant turning to reach in had hurt my back – wore my stays for a couple of days (with winter jacket over it when I went out) and then I was fine.

  18. “Putting the comment about legality to the side, Mark in Boston is correct that there was very little bra burning by feminists.”

    I know. But using the argument that it would have required a permit is not actually a valid refutation.

    The actual argument is that, like spitting on veterans, it’s a myth. It just didn’t happen.

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