CSotD: One or More for the Ages

Mike Luckovich replaces the now-familiar firehose metaphor with something closer to everyone’s heart.

Though it’s only fair to note that Luckovich penned this humorous commentary a day or two before Trump’s delusional ravings began to cost lives.

At this stage, the challenge for responsible editorialists is not keeping up with the flow but dealing with two emerging factors: (A) There’s nothing humorous to be had in all this and (B) Reaching the Deplorables is impossible.

The biggest lie we’ve now being asked to accept is that Trump’s words are not linked either to the bomber or to the anti-Semite murderer.

If he truly believed his words had no impact, why would he spend so much time speaking at rallies?


As Brian Duffy charges, there are fingerprints all over those bombs, and, I would now add, on the gun in Pittsburgh.

I would also suggest that cartoonists who play the “incivility” card, the notion that both sides are doing it, are either dishonest or incompetent, that to suggest that there is a comparable level of hateful, blatantly dishonest rhetoric coming from leadership opposed to the White House is so clearly untrue that it is not simply whataboutism but collaboration.


I mentioned yesterday that Paul Berge’s blog is a good place to find old political cartoons and, as it happens, he’s just posted some pieces, with analysis, from the 1968 campaign.

This Mauldin doesn’t happen to be one of them, but George Wallace was a factor that year and I add this one because Wallace began as a legitimate Democratic contender before failing to win the nomination and launching his own third-party campaign.

As Berge notes, Wallace carried five states with his rightwing extremism, and he did so without the benefit of Fox News, unhinged talk radio, the Internet or other means of whipping up the Deplorables.

However, he also had to do it without the support of either major party, which is a change from the current situation.

Here’s something I found particularly interesting as I went back into the Googles to refresh my memory of those times and that demagogue: When Wallace ran again in 1972, his campaigning was cut short by Arthur Bremer, a mentally disturbed person who had no particular politics, but wanted to kill someone famous and was torn between Nixon and Wallace.

Wikipedia’s entry on Bremer notes:

Bremer’s diary was a primary inspiration for screenwriter Paul Schrader’s character Travis Bickle, played by Robert De Niro, in Taxi Driver (1976). Coincidentally enough, Taxi Driver would be one of the inspirations for John Hinckley, Jr. to shoot President Ronald Reagan.

I don’t think that qualifies as a “coincidence.”

I think, rather, that it’s yet another example of the fact that words and images have genuine impact and that, when you discuss “How did we get here?” you had better be prepared to cast a very wide net.


On a lighter note

Between Friends brings up the concept of how old you are, versus how old you think you are.

I’d rather be smeared with honey and staked to an anthill than to go through my 20s again. It was a good time — I had a good marriage, loved my kids and all that.

But 20s themselves are a time of no grasp on the world at all, and playing with the kids and coaching their soccer games was the most constructive thing I could have been doing at that stage. I was certainly more amusing than useful.

In my dreams, I seem to be in my 40s, a good decade in which I was physically still young but had a grip on life and was, overall, a more settled and worthwhile person. I’d love to have been able to put on the brakes in that decade, but, if I can’t spend my waking hours there, my sleeping hours will do.

I’m now beginning to accept gafferdom, a point where nothing much is expected of me except occasional bouts of wisdom or at least perspective.

The AARP thinks old people should be trekking in Nepal or still working a 40-hour week in the office, because they promote the notion that age is purely a matter of attitude, though their magazine is supported by ads aimed at people who are incontinent and cannot climb the stairs, much less the Himalayas.

Meanwhile, Joan Lundin is all over CNN, pitching “A Place For Mom,” which will find a place for you to park your surviving parent that looks like she and some unnamed fella are living it up at the Del Coronado, what with table service on linen and swimming pools and all.

I’m willing to be that fella.

“A Place for Mom” doesn’t charge you anything and I won’t either.


And then there’s this

Every week, our publication has a brain teaser, which we call the “Brain Teaser,” in which all the answers start with the same letter, based on some historic anniversary. For the October 23 issue, the intro read

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, widely believed to be the greatest soccer player and one of the greatest athletes of all time, was born in Brazil on this date in 1940, so our answers will begin with “P” for his nickname, “Pelé.”

Which raised the question, do kids know who Pelé was?

To which my answer was that they ought to, just as they ought to know who Babe Ruth was. Both are embedded in our pop culture.

And, anyway, that phrasing should make them curious enough to find out.

Which brings us to today’s Zits and I find it hard to believe there are many kids who don’t know “The Monster Mash,” mostly because the drek we grew up with seems to outlive the artistry.

This week, they’ll encounter the Monster Mash will they or nil they, and then on to the Chipmunk Song and Grandma Got Run Over etc.

If only from Muzak in stores, I’m sure Jeremy knows the Monster Mash.

He evidently knows about “passive aggression,” too, but we’ll deal with that next Mother’s Day.


Different Kind of Horrifying

5 thoughts on “CSotD: One or More for the Ages

  1. I appreciate your appropriate tribute to the end of the HENRY comic strip by staying silent about it. . . . Henry would approve, or, as he might put it, ” “.

  2. You’re right in noting that the Wikipedia’s use of “coincidentally…” (as well as 80-90% of any uses of “ironically…”) would have been more accurately “and in turn…”

    Thanks for the shout-out!

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