See All Topics

Home / Section: Comic strips

CSotD: C’est le weekend (et l’anniversaire de mon chiot)

No politics today. It’s my dog’s birthday and I promised her I wouldn’t get all het up.

So we’ll start with this Frazz (AMS) which Constant Readers will realize I like because he actually gets the meter right.

But I also like it because it takes something absolutely silly and turns it smart, which is a hallmark of the strip, and because each summer Mrs. Olson goes from being a classroom harridan to being a nice old lady who gardens.

In the early days of the strip, she was somewhat one-dimensional, by which I mean that she was one-dimensional. But she’s mellowed considerably over the years, and, while she’s still not a very good teacher, she is increasingly portrayed as someone who is a good person, perhaps in a little over her head, but sometimes even capable of getting the best of Caulfield, the brilliant little boy who prides himself on being the smartest person in the room.

And I’m cutting Jef Mallett some slack for riffing on “the magical fruit” version of the poem rather than the canonical “good for your heart,” because it works out better within that opening couplet.

I’ve always thought it a bit odd that people who would recite a poem about flatulence would feel compelled to bowdlerize it so they could say “toot” instead of “fart.”

However, we should be concerned about bees, and good for him for putting the matter in a form we can understand.

 

If I were doing politics today — which I am not — I would then include this Rod Emmerson piece to extend the topic. New Zealand is having some confrontations between farmers and environmentalists and respecters of Maori culture and I don’t understand it all, but I gather the farmers are being stubborn and not particularly progressive.

However, I have a “No Farms No Food” sticker on my own car, from the American Farmland Trust, which places farms into conservation easements unless and until they can be passed along to someone who will farm them rather than turn them into housing developments or whatnot.

They would probably support the addition to the sticker on that car, and I’d like to think most American farmers would, as well, since they’re seeing the impact of climate change, whether or not it’s apparent to farmers on the kiwi side of the globe.

 

For that matter, if I were doing politics — which I promised I wouldn’t — I’d also include this Peter Brookes cartoon, which riffs on the terrifying scenes in Germany but adds the World among the items being swept away.

Then again, this shouldn’t be an issue of politics, except to the extent that we make it one, and to the extent that we allow industry to set our priorities, as well as the extent to which we’re inclined to play “I’m all right, Jack,” and ignore things that are not directly happening to us.

When vested interests play upon selfish tribalism, things that ought to come under the category of Universal Human Concern become, instead, political chess pieces with average people as the expendable pawns who carry on, blindly and loyally, in vain hope of reaching that final rank and becoming a queen.

 

It’s not just the environment: Our response to the pandemic ought not to be political but has clearly been appropriated by partisan interests. If I were doing politics today — which, again, I am not — I’d include this Christopher Weyant piece.

 

Or possibly this Clay Bennett (CTFP) cartoon, and I’d have lumped them in as a Juxtaposition of the Day, and I’d note of them both that the real problem is that, while nearly every person now hospitalized with Covid is unvaccinated, not every unvaccinated person will die of the disease or even be hospitalized or, in fact, even catch it.

Which doesn’t explain why the Republicans and their media allies are so determined to keep the pandemic going, but, whatever their perverse motivation, it’s as if the liquor companies decided that they could sell more booze if they put more effort into celebrating the freedom and joy of drunk driving.

Obviously, if everyone who had three drinks and got behind the wheel were killed, it would be easier to sell the concept of sober driving, and, if every knothead who refused the vaccine ended up on a ventilator, there’d be a lot less debate on that topic, too.

Unfortunately (for the purposes of the argument) not everybody who drinks and drives winds up dead, but, like the anti-vaxxers, they not only risk their own lives but the lives of the people around them.

 

 

While Seagram’s isn’t running ads promoting drunk driving, Fox News is determinately pushing the idea that patriotic people don’t get vaccinated, and Bruce Plante cuts them no slack for their lying. Plainly, this is not his dog’s birthday.

There is speculation that senior staff and commentators at Fox are, themselves, vaccinated. Documentation would confirm their hypocrisy, but I’m not sure it would change many minds. Someone commented on Facebook that we need to stop using the expression “avoid it like the plague” because people have shown they won’t.

Back in 1968, when Consumer Reports uncovered the deliberate, deceptive lies of the Tobacco Institute, it shocked the consciences of America and began the demise of smoking, which, while not gone, is greatly reduced. It also brought about restrictions on advertising of tobacco products, because putting people at risk of death seemed to the government a bad thing.

Times change, and we have become numb to blatant, toxic dishonesty, as long as the lies are being propagated by our side and the damage is happening somewhere else to someone else.

 

As Pat Byrnes (Cagle) suggests, we’ve reached the point where political operatives are no longer concerned with issues except to the extent that they can be exploited for partisan gain.

The point being that Republicans chain up their dogs in the yard and never scoop the poop, while progressives carry biodegradable bags in the watch pockets of their jeans and let their dogs sleep on the bed. And hand out lots and lots of treats.

(I hope that gets me off the hook.)

 

Community Comments

#1 Fred King
July/17/2021
@ 7:10 am

Happy Birthday! I hope you give her a new ball and wish her many happy returns. Good thing you didn’t get political today–we need to get more dog treats and I might forget if I got all het up.

#2 Solon Manney
July/17/2021
@ 5:14 pm

Bonne anniversaries! Tu est sans doute le plus bon des chiens!

#3 Peter Salmon
July/19/2021
@ 9:28 am

Re the Emmerson cartoon, the issue is not as you describe.
The protest is about many things

#4 Kip Williams
July/19/2021
@ 3:04 pm

I had a nap on the guest bed a day or so ago, and was joined by Murray the canine, who promptly went to sleep. A dog across the street barked, and without opening his eyes, Murray quietly wuff-wuffed back.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.