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CSotD: Graphic Stenography

There’s enough going on that the best way to start off is to have Tom Tomorrow bring us up to date on everything. Think of it as the five-minute NPR news break at the top of the hour before we get into Morning Edition or All Things Considered and start digging down on the details.

And let’s be honest: Mike Pence isn’t encouraging people to make little Trumps out of Popsicle sticks and yarn, and … well, that’s about it. The rest of it is less a matter of comic exaggeration than it is of what I guess you could call graphic stenography.

Let’s also be aware that Tom Tomorrow cartoonist Dan Perkins is the one who famously explained the challenge of Donald Trump by coining the fire hose metaphor, and that’s worth reading again two years later but here’s the kernel:

Is the gaudy, cognitively-impaired oligarch not a boon for weekly news satirists like Perkins? He sighs. “[It’s] like waking up and saying ‘I’d like a glass of water’ and then having someone spray you in the face with a fire hose. One of the biggest challenges of the Trump presidency has been coming up with something satirical that’s crazier than the things that are actually going on.”

So anyway.

 

So anyway, the good news, such as it is, is that somebody — I’m betting Ivanka, but who knows? — must have gotten to Dear Leader with a dose of sanity or decency or whatever, because last night he didn’t refer to the “Chinese virus,” despite, as Clay Jones records, having defended and justified it vehemently not long before.

I’m not sure he called it anything, which is how a petulant eight-year-old reacts to being told not to say “Chinese virus,” and I’ll also admit I didn’t listen to the whole two-hour rambling ego trip, which reminds me of the old Soviet leaders who would give equally extended speeches, except, as I remember, theirs were full of extensively detailed plans that told people more than they needed to know or wanted to hear, while Dear Leader simply keeps talking because he has no internal off-switch.

I remember meeting with some Soviet executives back in ’92, just before the USSR broke up, and they asked me if our paper published the speeches of Gorbachev. I had to explain that American newspapers, being private enterprises and not government functionaries, could only print as much news as their advertising supported, such that pages and pages of dense text by foreign leaders, or even our own, didn’t happen.

At least the major networks are catching up and not sticking around to broadcast everything that Comrade Trump has on his mind.

 

Still, that second panel in Tom Tomorrow is no exaggeration and here’s a sample of our Orwellian brothers and sisters at Fox News, telling us one thing one day and another thing the next, and it’s all very amusing in a comic but not so much when you realize the Deplorables are eating it up.

 

And as long as you’re sheltering in place, go ahead and stream this horror show, because good and decent people are having their brains damaged by the deliberate lies of talk radio and Fox News.

And they vote.

 

Is Trump, as Jeff Stahler suggests, deliberately lying to us?

It’s impossible to know, but he lies about such absurd, transparently refutable things — like the size of his inaugural crowd — that it is difficult to picture him as some Machiavellian genius concocting deliberate propaganda.

Rather, he comes across as a narcissist who likely bluffed and cheated his way through college as a survival skill because of his limited ability to process information. I’ve known bullies who picked on other kids to cover up their own shortcomings, and I’ve worked for people who similarly didn’t– most likely couldn’t — process what they were told.

If Donald Trump is the first of these toxic, over-achieving bluffers you’ve encountered, well, maybe that’s how he got elected in the first place: Not enough people recognized him.

It’s a commonplace that, backed into a corner, the bully breaks into tears, and most of those bullying bosses end up making some ghastly mistake they can’t blame on anyone else.

But bear in mind that, in the course of “Lord of the Flies,” Piggy is killed and Jack is only saved by the arrival of the grownups.

 

Our “grownups” declined to even examine the evidence in the impeachment trial, because, as Jeff Danziger points out, they also worship the Lord of the Flies  …

 

… as Kevin Siers notes in a more classical metaphor.

Are they all deliberate liars? Are they all determined to rob us blind? Or are they all simply victims of their own character flaws?

Which answer will restore my retirement fund?

Which answer will restore our democracy?

Or, to put it in the terms Yossarian would use, what the hell difference does it make? (There’s another thing you can do in your enforced solitude: Read Catch-22 again. Don’t expect to enjoy it.)

 

Juxtaposition of Wishful Thinking

(Mike Luckovich)

(Jimmy Margulies)

Margulies and Luckovich may suffer from a form of myopia caused by hanging around with intelligent friends.

We need some Mike Roykos and Jimmy Breslins who will go down into the sleazy bars and meet with the fellows who are there at three in the afternoon, the dads who have been brainwashed by talk radio and lying television networks, who were raised to respect the president and to wave the flag proudly and who genuinely, sincerely don’t realize that “Four legs good, two legs better” was once a different motto.

 

Because Rob Rogers is a little late with this cartoon: Between the time he drew it and last night’s media extravaganza, Dr. Fauci disappeared from the cast, and, in fact, he never was on the team.

In fact, there’s no such person as “Dr. Fauci“.

You were lied to by the mainstream media and the liberal press and George Soros and the Deep State.

But it’s okay.

Just relax and let’s make the water turn black.

 

Community Comments

#1 Bruce Skillin
March/24/2020
@ 7:29 am

I thought you were the Mike Royko/Jimmy Breslin of the digital age. Your CSOTD is like my little sanity check!! I read it before I go to bed each night shortly after you post it (I live in Korea) and feel better I am not the only sane person left alive. Of course, then I wake up and get caught up with news from the West, and feel distraught again until the nightly CSOTD is available.

Keep up the great work!

#2 Brent J. Nordquist
March/24/2020
@ 10:06 am

Luckovich’s would have been funnier and more pointed if Pence was not doing the facepalm. Because frankly, Mr. Sycophant is never, under any circumstances, going to do the facepalm, or anything resembling it.

#3 parnell nelson
March/24/2020
@ 3:30 pm

Thanks Mike. Nothing like a little Frank to brighten up the day. Especially from the first Mothers album I ever bought.

#4 Tim Today
March/25/2020
@ 9:23 am

Ha, the “Brainwashing of My Dad” trailer shows it to be the exact 180 degree opposite of the truth! Really? Hillary’s “vast right-wing conspiracy ” clip as the norm?
And Noam Chomsky as a credible source? Hilarious!
Conservative media is less than 5% of what the public sees or hears.
The other 95% is despicably slanted and dishonest does actual harm to people and consequently, our society.

#5 Charles Bosse
March/25/2020
@ 9:47 am

Relevant link to actual research:

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/03/researchers-are-tracking-another-epidemic-too-misinformation

#6 Mike Peterson
March/25/2020
@ 11:37 am

Not into deprogramming cult members, sorry. But thanks for reading.

#7 David Spitko
March/25/2020
@ 11:51 am

Tim Today … Wow … I officially declare you a Russian bot. No other explanation.

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