See All Topics

Home / Section: Comic strips

CSotD: Odds and Ends

My first impression of this Steve Breen (Creators) piece was that he obviously hadn’t read up on the particular level of sanctions which Biden apparently proposed, should Putin (further) invade Ukraine.

As noted here (and in the general news coverage), it’s not just the type of sanctions against individual oligarchs that Obama invoked in Putin’s initial invasions, but much deeper cuts that would isolate Russia as a nation from much of the world economy.

In addition, Biden has apparently obtained cooperation from Germany that would stop Russia’s projected energy pipeline, which is planned as a major income source for the country.

I don’t mind someone disagreeing with me, but I expect them to do their homework, and what Putin faces is a great deal more than Nerf rockets. It particularly surprised me coming from Breen, who is not one of the conservative coterie who simply illustrate talk-radio blather.

But then something else struck me, which he certainly didn’t intend: Let’s assume that, indeed, the only impact of the proposed sanctions would be on things like Putin’s mistress’s swanky apartments and the other personal-level wretched excess of the Russian oligarchs.

If cutting the profits of plutocrats is meaningless Nerf rockets, if it has no real impact on them, how come conservatives are so opposed to taxing our own holders of vast fortunes?

Wouldn’t reducing their total wealth for the greater good have the same insignificant effect on them?

Why not pop a couple of those harmless Nerf rockets off at Elon Musk, who built an empire with the help of the government subsidies he now condemns?

 

To cite another case of international sanctions that were previously discussed here, I got a kick out of Graeme MacKay’s response to Canada and the US’s decision to place a diplomatic boycott on China’s Winter Olympics.

It would be nice to see some prominent Olympic athletes decline to participate, and maybe we’ll see some sort of Tommie Smith/John Carlos gesture on the awards platforms, but there are no gymnasts or wrestlers in Winter Olympics and who else gives a damn about sexual assault on athletes?

The cartoon is funny. The half-assed response is not.

 

Also in the category of things I’ve complained about and am glad to get some back-up over, Steve Sack points out that, for all the fooferall about Biden’s approval ratings, he’s still doing better than Dear Leader at this stage of his administration.

Which would simply be spin if it were all coming from Fox and talk radio and from Putin lap dogs like Newsmax and Tucker Carlson, but the straight press is also promoting the notion that Biden has failed, without putting his low ratings in any sort of meaningful perspective.

It seems to stem from a misguided idea that neutrality means criticizing both sides equally.

Again, I don’t expect everyone to agree with me or to give out free rides, but I do expect them to do their damn homework, and, in the case of news reporters, I don’t expect spin.

It reminds me of the old Soviet joke in which Gorbachev challenges Reagan to a foot race but loses, whereupon the Soviet press reports “Our glorious leader won the silver medal, while the American finished next to last.”

 

I didn’t have space for this yesterday, but Jonathan Lemon won the “Timing Is Everything” award for featuring Tony the Tiger in Rabbits Against Magic (AMS) just as Kellogg’s was taking a hit from the National Labor Relations Board for locking out its striking workers.

Public response to that news so far, plus the news of a Starbucks forming a local union, plus Amazon workers getting a second bite at the apple, suggests that maybe there’s a second wave to be covered in the Great Resignation.

That would be GRRREAT!

Death in the family

DD Degg did a nice job of covering the death of Bad Reporter creator Don Asmussen, but I’d like to add that he appeared in CSotD just three weeks into the blog’s existence, on February 24, 2010, at which time I wrote:

Don Asmussen sets himself a tough task with Bad Reporter: To do three funny bits in one shot, often with a theme running through them. As with the Daily Show, you have to know something about what’s going on, plus have a reasonable stock of cultural literacy, to get this feature. I like that in a comic.

I’d stand by those words. It was both smart and funny, and the requirement to feature three on-target gags at once was an admirable challenge. Most cartoonists do well to hit the mark with a single effort.

I’m sorry he’s gone.

 

Also sorry Mike Nesmith has checked out, and I got a smile out of Dave Whamond (Cagle)‘s tribute, though I wish people knew more about him than his role in the TV show and pop group.

Then again, that is how he was known, after all, and, while he kicked back against it a bit, he’s hardly the only good singer/songwriter who wasn’t known for the best things he did.

And, by the way, the Monkees were a better band than they got credit for.

For instance, contrary to popular belief, they could, and did, play their own instruments, at least after a quick-launch while they got used to each other and their material. Most bands develop through clubs and one-nighters before they record anything; This one had to hit the ground running.

Besides, if you could see behind the labels, you’d find a lot of musically respected bands actually recorded with studio musicians rather than laying down the instrumental tracks themselves.

And if their TV show was filled largely with pop stuff from Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, they also recorded music not just by Nesmith but by Carole King, John Stewart and Neil Diamond, while Nesmith’s work was also covered by a variety of well-respected musicians.

F’rinstance, I first heard this on the Stone Poneys’ third album, but then the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band picked it up and made it their own, with the result being that, while I never owned a Monkees album, I had two copies of this:

 

Community Comments

#1 Robb McAllister
December/11/2021
@ 8:22 am

Re: Mike Nesmith…I, too, am saddened by the Monkees-only tributes. I said to a bunch of friends “his death makes me wish MTV would show ‘Repo Man,’ ” and no one got it.

#2 David Spitko
December/11/2021
@ 8:34 am

Mike – did you mean the National Labor Relations Board?

#3 Mike Peterson
December/11/2021
@ 9:03 am

David — yeah, I don’t do abbreviations so good. Thx

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.