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CSotD: Monday Mop-up

DD Degg covered the basics of the uproar over the Australian’s anti-Biden cartoon, though things haven’t settled down yet.

The editor-in-chief has called upon on those who work at the paper to defend the piece on the basis of comradeship, because we’re all in this together and so forth, and News Corp Australia’s CEO then passed it on to everyone in the chain.

No word yet on when or how often they will be required to take loyalty oaths.

The defense for the cartoon is that it uses Biden’s own words though it uses Biden’s own words utterly and completely out of context.

What Biden said, in announcing his choice of Harris, was

This morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little Black and brown girls who so often feel overlooked and undervalued in our communities, but today, today just maybe they’re seeing themselves, for the first time, in a new way — as the stuff of presidents and vice presidents. 

And the cartoonist decided that he meant all Black and brown women are little girls. Or something.

His boss said he was denouncing “identity politics,” and I suppose he sees no need for we Americans to bolster the morale of our minority populations because Australia has such an impeccable record of dealing with its own minorities and immigrants.

Specifics aside, it’s an issue of artistry: Everyone in the communications business — writer, cartoonist, standup comedian, whatever — learns early on that, if one person misunderstands you, that’s on them. If several people misunderstand you, you probably weren’t clear.

But if a whole lot of people don’t get it, then you screwed up.

It happens. Good artists use it as a chance to improve.

Mediocre artists scream “Nobody understands my genius” and stomp out into the garden to eat worms.

 

On the topic of overly-loyal employers, let’s update my earlier comments on Newsweek’s bizarre editor’s note justifying John Eastman’s also bizarre anti-Harris column.

They have since added a different editor’s note in which they now come awfully close to admitting to a lapse in judgement.

And apologizing for all the llamas.

Which is an excellent moment to point out that Steve Brodner now has a permanent gig at the Nation called “The Greater Quiet,” of which the above is a sample.

Brodner has a sharp pen, but he also has a sharp mind, and I don’t think his editors will have to order us to like him because I suspect they understood what he does for a living before they decided to hire him.

A coy way of noting that he only pisses people off when he wants to.

That’s the mark of an artist.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Steve Sack)

 

(Michael Ramirez)

Most of us have had the experience of spending the first half of vacation recovering from the insane pace of having gotten everything at work squared away so we could go on vacation.

Which should make us envious of Congresscritters who, as Sack suggests, seem perfectly capable of downing tools and walking off regardless of what was on the docket.

Though, if you listen to Ramirez, it’s not simply that they didn’t do their jobs but that nobody held them accountable.

I’d note that, in both cases, this is different than the lazy Will Rogers cheap shots that people throw at Congress the same way they accuse weathermen of never getting it right and blah blah blah.

Sack is correct that a Congress with integrity would have looked at the situation and voted to stay in session, though Ramirez is also right that dawdling, blocking and infighting isn’t terribly productive either and that, if they get away with it, it’s our own damn fault.

Though it seems Nancy Pelosi has called at least some of the gang back to DC to discuss the USPS situation, which leads us to our

 

Other Juxtaposition of the Day

(John Cole)

(Ed Hall)

I ran some USPS cartoons the other day, but have since looked into the situation and am less certain we’re ever going to get a coherent answer.

Comparing various takes on how it all works reminds me way too much of when I used to play in bars and the bar owner would explain how little he made pouring beer, which explained why he couldn’t pay the band but which didn’t explain his Cadillac or his diamond pinkie ring.

This whole USPS crisis has brought forth a lot of experts offering the straight scoop, but when I want to see scooping I go to the dog park.

For instance, in contradiction to Cole and Hall’s take on things, we’re being told that Trump has no control over the Postmaster General, who is governed by a board and so forth and so on, only we’ve watched the GOP cater to Dear Leader’s fancies for the past three and a half years and if you want to give us an explainer, explain how this is any different?

Judge for yourself: Here’s a short explainer from NPR, and here’s a somewhat more in-depth explainer from the progressive People’s Policy Project and a considerably more in-depth explainer from Medium, which last explains, for instance, that they regularly take mailboxes out of service, often replacing them other newer mailboxes that are harder to rob.

Which policy has apparently been put on hold until after the election, so there’s that.

I don’t know who’s right and who’s wrong, but the people, the Congress and the media are now on the trail, so maybe we’ll find out.

My own preferred outcome is aligned with a story I’ve told before of when the Dubliners were playing in Western Australia and, at the end of the night, the publican said he couldn’t afford to pay them, so Luke Kelly hoisted him up against the wall and explained that it would be cheaper to pay the band than to rebuild the pub and that those were his choices.

Which combination of location and musical group should also remind us that, no matter how bad things look, they could be worse:

Community Comments

#1 KT Sullivan
August/17/2020
@ 8:39 am

Love your blog. I have shared it with friends. I am sure you spend quite a bit of time looking at cartoons from many sources. In a spare moment you might want to peak at an amateur on Facebook – the.daily.don. Rough but good.

#2 Mark Jackson
August/17/2020
@ 9:34 am

“No word yet on when or how often they will be required to take loyalty oaths.”

You’ll know they’re peaking when they start being mandatory on the cafeteria line.

#3 Mike Peterson
August/17/2020
@ 10:51 am

Good catch, Mark. I hate explaining literary references.

#4 phil von neupert
August/18/2020
@ 8:36 am

Two weeks ago, I ordered a small item from a company in Pennsylvania, delivered by USPS. According to the USPS tracking software, it spent an entire week bouncing between the distribution centers in Nashua, NH and Burlington, VT before arriving at my home in southern Vermont eleven days after I ordered it. On the same day, I ordered another small item from Texas. It arrived in four days. I don’t know exactly what this indicates, but I expect a VERY bumpy election!

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