Comic Strip of the Day: Defining moments

I shouldn’t have promised CXC coverage for today, since, while I don’t believe in jinxes, my GPS apparently does, turning a five-hour final stretch into eight, which means I arrived late for the opening speeches and then found that the after-dealie was too loud and crowded for much conversation anyway.


However, this gives us a chance to look at some more Kavanaugh hearing cartoons, which process I’ll start with Kevin Necessary because of a turning point it suggests, certainly for me, but I think for others.

I’ve resented the “white men” slam because I’m a man and I’m white and I’ve done my best as have a number of other white men, and, sure, a lot of white men haven’t, but not all white men are villains and not all villains are white men.

Thing is, though, that black women and transgender Asians and disabled whoevers don’t have the societal standing to impose themselves as the default, and “privilege” is not something you get but something you have.

It’s wrong to attack white men as if they consciously chose their position, but it’s foolish to ignore the position they obviously, clearly have. As with bad breath, guess who is always the last to know?

If someone offers you a mint, take it.

Cartoonists should discuss the ethics of inclusion, children’s book authors should discuss the concept of cultural appropriation and we should all be more woke, and that is a multi-ethnic, diverse “we.”

But at the moment it’s like the joke of the son at the bedside of his dying father, repeatedly asking him if there’s anything he can do, until the old fellow manages to gasp out, “Take your foot off my air tube.”

And a very large part of the issue has to do with the company you keep: However innocent your intentions, you should be cautious of taking a position that aligns you with bullies, nazis and what — in the days when we weren’t keeping calendars but were having parties — we referred to as flaming, gaping assholes.

For cartoonists, this means that you need to be aware that, if you draw a cartoon making poor Brett the victim in all this, you do risk having someone mistake you for the aforementioned.

Though, of course, you’re not. (Want a mint?)


Though, if you are ever called before a Senate Committee, you can always explain that, in your crowd at that time, the term “flaming, gaping asshole” meant “witty and wonderful fellow,” and for more on that sort of defensive etymology, I refer you to this truly most excellent rant by Clay Jones, in which he says, among other things

He treated the Senators and public as though they’re stupid. When asked about writings on his calendar and yearbook, he gave definitions that were outright lies that only an idiot or a Republican could believe.

He explained that “boofing” was a reference for flatulence and not sex. He said the Renate Alumni wasn’t a club for guys who claimed they had “boofed” a girl named Renate, but a gang who held her in high respect. Being in the “Ralph club” wasn’t about vomiting from a lot of alcohol, but from a queasy stomach from spicy food. He explained that the “Devil’s Triangle” is not a sex reference with three people, as most people and the Urban Dictionary believes, but a drinking game with quarters. In fact, within minutes, someone from inside the capitol building changed the definition of “Devil’s Triangle” on Wikipedia, which can also explain Kavanaugh’s calendar from 1982.

For my part, a very short time into his testimony, I stopped caring if Kavanaugh had been at the house on that evening at all and began wondering if such a contemptible, bare-faced liar had any right to a seat on any court, much less our highest.

He didn’t just blame the Clintons for his woes. He blamed the staff of his high school yearbook for putting those rude things in there, though he never denied being part of the “100 Kegs Club.”

In fact, he liked beer then and he likes it now and don’t you like beer? Don’t you? I’m talkin’ to you, goddammit, Senator!

Might have been cited for contempt, but he wasn’t talking to Republicans.


Anyway, in the day’s other display of furious poop-flinging chimp behavior, Lindsey Graham explained that Brett Kavanaugh is not Bill Cosby, but, as Mike Luckovich points out, Kavanaugh does use the same defense against accusations of sexual assault as Cosby or Trump, as did, for that matter, OJ Simpson and Robert Blake in somewhat different attacks on women:

“No, I didn’t. They’re all lying. Every one of them.”


Finally — and I fear so — here’s something that has me totally confused. People — not just Mark Streeter but commentators and even Democratic politicians — are acting as if Flake’s little come-to-Jesus moment in the elevator was some major game change and that his call for an FBI investigation signals a major turnaround.

I’ve been watching the Jeff Flake Farewell Tour for several months now and I have heard some stirring words, and it sure was good to hear some more.

But, as a great philosopher once said, “I paid to see the high-divin’ act, and I’m a-gonna see the high divin’ act!”

If we all seem to keep ending up on the wrong end of this performance, maybe it’s because these Senators who are “retiring” are only retiring from the Senate.

True, they won’t have to face voters again, but that simply cuts down the number of people who have to like what happens when they quit talking and actually vote.

It’s still, as the phrase has gone, “a job interview.”

I should be more trusting, sure. Maybe he’s going to go build Houses for Humanity or tend some cattle.

Or he could be auditioning for a post-political lobbying gig with Planned Parenthood or Emily’s List.

Could be.

But one thing I was taught in Famous Gentlemen School is that a tease is just another lowlife cad.

Step up or step aside, pal.