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Comic Strip of the Day: With Three You Get Eye Roll

With all that’s been going on in the news, we could all use a good laugh, but that laugh the other day was not good.

There have been several cartoons depicting Trump as a clown or a stand-up comedian, some better than others, but I think Jeff Danziger catches the moment best by depicting a greatly diminished US President not just eliciting laughter, but mocking laughter, from the World.

Pinning the moment on Trump himself is short-sighted. In this cartoon, the World is not meant to be the planet itself, but its collective people. Nor is Trump simply that one clownish man, but rather a sign of the status into which our nation has sunk.

As we all know, it’s not funny when a pauper slips and falls, but it’s hilarious when the rich guy in the top hat takes a tumble.

Note the way Stanley Kramer has the justifiably pissed-off women of “It’s A Mad Mad Mad World” peel back in order for over-the-top comic-villain Ethel Merman hit the floor. The other two were trusting, hapless victims, and it’s right that they remain upright and uninjured at the end of the movie, and there would be nothing funny about them falling down.

And, if you’ve seen the movie, you know that, moments before, the injured men had been furiously berating Spencer Tracy, whom they blame both for the epic disaster at the end and for losing the money. And that the havoc they had just gone through had been a series of pratfalls in which each of them was ridiculously, painfully punished for his greed and foolishness.

Donald Trump isn’t the first head of state to say something foolish to the General Assembly, but there’s nothing funny in the leader of some impoverished Third World nation boasts of unattained progress.

No, they laughed because, as in MMMWorld, it was the culmination of a series of ridiculous scenes in the continuing pratfall of the rich guy in the top hat, and that top hat is usually drawn with red, white and blue stripes.

You can protest that you didn’t vote for him, but he’s still our president and he was there representing us.

Moreover, he didn’t seize power with tanks but gained it at the ballot box.

Perhaps narrowly, perhaps even with a bit of trickery, but the fact that he was even in the running is an accusation in itself, while the way his party has rallied around to support him is a greater sign that, yes, like it or not, he represents us all before a World that was just waiting for us to hit the banana peel.

Worst part being that he’ll never see the reaction by Danziger or any of the other cartoonists who have chortled over his pratfall.

And the worst part of that is that it’s not only because his staff will keep it away from him, relying, as they do, on a steady flow of Happy News to avoid his unhinged tirades.

It’s that he is, by nature, uncurious and, if left to his own devices, probably wouldn’t even see the tidbits cautiously handfed to him.

Nor is he alone.

In the print version of the Atlantic, there is an article discussing lack of involvement in local politics — including not just attending board meetings but being active engaged in social groups — and its contention is that Trump has tapped into the uninvolved, the uninformed, the disconnected, of whom he is the king.

He didn’t cause them to exist. These people, who think putting a flag sticker on your car makes you a patriot but who can’t name the three branches of government or the mayor of their own town, are a part of our society.

And therefore never send to know at whom the crowd laughs; They laugh at thee.

 

Meanwhile, back at the (Judicial B)ranch

Steve Breen depicts the apparent state of Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Court, and I sure wish I thought it would carry some weight in the actual procedure.

That is, he’s got the facts right, that our little altar boy is looking less and less the saint he and his supporters have painted him.

And his confession that, yeah, he drank in high school and that sometimes, he drank too much is like Butch Cassidy admitting that, yeah, he set off firecrackers on trains and sometimes he used too many.

And so Jack Ohman‘s take got a laugh from me, though the problem, as I’ve suggested a few times over the past few days, is that his confirmation will be decided by frat boys (nice pic in the background, BTW).

 

For which reason, Tim Eagan‘s piece got an even bigger laugh, though it’s only an absurd extension of their actual cunning plan …

 

… as outlined here by Tom Toles.

Which didn’t get a laugh, though I liked it. Rather, it brought up the question not so much of where you find such women — we’ve known them for a long time — but, rather, why there seems to be no term for women who actively join in against their common interest, nothing like “Quisling” or “Uncle Tom.”

There was, perhaps still is, in Quebec a term — “Yvettes” — which Parti Quebecois’s Lise Payette famously used to deride passive French Canadian housewives who voted along with the governing party, but it provoked more pushback than push-forward, and is considered a massive blunder.

There are conservative women who join with men in using “feminist” as an insult, but that’s the opposite.

Perhaps insulting other women does not show a feminist attitude.

 

 

 

In any case, this is the real issue, as pointed out by Matt Davies, and it’s not so much that all the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are, and always have been, men, but that they are selected by a party system which assumes that men are the default and that any girls who want to play have to play their game by their rules.

We’ll see.

We’ll see this week, and then we’ll see on Nov 6.

I wish I knew what we’ll see, but the future does not show itself to me.

 

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