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CSotD: Too soon old, too late smart

Easy warm-up to start: Today’s Zits happens to come the day after 1A had a program about alternative school calendars, and also as I’m realizing my kid-reporters in Colorado will be out of school in about three weeks, a granddaughter will be graduating in four and some kids I work with in New York won’t be out until mid-June.

The difference in New York has always been there; I remember as a kid knowing that we got out three weeks after everyone else and taking scant comfort in knowing they’d go back sooner.

But as more districts switch to four-day weeks and year-round calendars, cartoonists will no longer be able to count on “year end” or “back to school” cartoons being at all timely.

On one hand, that means you can do them anytime, since students will always be either about to wrap up a course or get off a two-week break.

 

But, when a standard break is two weeks and a long one is three, back to school gags will never have the punch of this classic Deflocked from 2011.

School gags will be more like workplace gags, and cartoonists who continue to do “end of a long summer” or “end of a long school year” gags will be outed as old duffers.

Not yet, but soon.

 

Meanwhile, back in the swamp

The fun part of yesterday came when Dear Leader awarded Tiger Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Peter Brookes picks up on the frivolity of the award, though, if you look at the full roster of recipients, there have always been plenty of head scratchers.

You’d think, if a President wanted to meet a favorite celebrity, he could just invite them to dinner, though when Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to the White House, it was to pick his brain, not just to shake his hand.

This one was more complex, because apparently Trump and Woods have some business deals going on, but what got me chuckling as I half-listened to the TV and worked on dinner — aside from a mental image of Melania chasing Donald down the White House driveway with an 9-iron — was that it was the first time I’d heard Dear Leader go on at length on a topic he knew something about.

His speeches are usually 85% balloon juice, but this time he went into loving detail — tracing various amazing golf shots Tiger had made. Many golf shots. Unbelievable! You’ve never seen such golf shots!

It was like listening to an eight-year-old tell you more than you wanted to know about a game he’d played at recess.

It also makes you wish he knew as much about international trade and hurricane relief as he knows about golf, since he has once more stated that China, not US consumers, pays the tariffs on imported goods, and somehow confused the amount of damage Puerto Rico suffered ($91 billion) with the aid sent there ($11 billion).

But ask him how Tiger did on the back nine sometime and you’ll get a detailed description of every shot.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Matt Davies)

(Bill Bramhall)

Mitch McConnell’s insistence on putting aside the lies and abuses of power and examples of obstruction in the Mueller Report got different treatment from Davies and Bramhall, and it strikes me as a juxtaposition in which the reader should feel free to choose one or the other.

I like the absurdity of Bramhall’s take, because, from a rational point of view, McConnell can’t possibly tuck all that stuff away, and it makes me laugh to watch him try.

On the other hand, he’s done it before, and so Davies offers a more chilling and perhaps more prophetic depiction of what’s going on.

You can laugh at it or you can be horrified by it, but, at this stage, you’re a damn fool if you’re shocked by it.

Which brings us to our second

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Dave Granlund)

 

(Darrin Bell)

When in doubt, blow some shit up.

Granlund cites a 1997 movie that makes his commentary kind of an inside joke, because it was mostly seen by people who already grasped the concept — a case of comforting the afflicted but not one of changing anyone’s viewpoint.

 

And the “war” in that movie wasn’t real. It was a more innocent time, when sexual assault was a scandal and when nobody would start a real war as a distraction.

By contrast, Bell invokes some genuine “blowing shit up” distractions more in line with the idea of shooting someone on Fifth Avenue and being not just forgiven but justified.

The frustration is that, while the all-too-real invasion of Iraq involved significant lying and distortions, we’re in a position now where nobody even bothers coming up with a fig leaf of permission, and, unless Congress stands up and demands to have its Constitutional power respected, this baby is apt to be off and running without any oversight at all.

So yesterday the news broke that Trump’s financial empire is largely delusional, that his much-vaunted ability to make deals is a sham and that he built a reputation on bullshit and hot air.

And everybody who wanted to know that already knew it and those who don’t want to know it won’t believe it. Still, between looming obstruction charges and the revelations of his financial incapacity, it just might start to feel like it’s time for a distraction.

Anybody who has been paying attention has seen Trump’s collection of chickenhawks circling Tehran, and again, if they pull the cord, those who view it with horror will have their fears confirmed and those who think it’s a great idea will continue to feel that way.

It would be good if Congress would stand up, step up and get out in front of this.

A century ago, Wilfred Owen rewrote the story from Genesis to fit the facts rather than the dream, so — come on, people — let’s not act so surprised.

 

Community Comments

#1 Kip Williams
May/8/2019
@ 9:16 am

Mark Twain was outraged when Washington accepted TR’s invitation. He felt that it dragged him down to Teddy’s level, although Washington was still the better man. “Booker T. Washington, a man worth a hundred Roosevelts, a man whose shoe-latchets Mr. Roosevelt is not worthy to untie.” (July 14, 1908)

His comments are around page 30 in my copy of Mark Twain in Eruption, as part of a chapter on Theodore Roosevelt. I gather he didn’t like the man.

#2 WVFran
May/8/2019
@ 10:06 am

I had not heard/read the Parable before. Powerful.

I then came across this reflection, relating it to climate change in a way you might like: http://www.williamashworth.net/blog

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