CSotD: A body beneath a crown

Here’s a cartoon from Mike Keefe and an explanation from me of today’s headline.

We had a pair of brilliant musical wits working as counselors at summer camp who collaborated on a hilarious play in which the King was a tyrannical nitwit, and I wish I could remember all the lyrics to his grand processional, which began

Here comes the King, a body beneath a crown
It’s said he cannot even tie his shoes 

It’s been on my mind lately, and I particularly like how Keefe depicts Dear Leader seated on the floor, rather than in a chair, absorbing his daily Fox briefing in childlike, uncritical wonder.

I imagine today’s cartoons were drawn before the rumors of John Kelly’s pending resignation/firing hit the airwaves, and before Trump lashed out at Rex Tillerson for not being as lapdoggedly loyal in the face of clear evidence as Pompeo.

This and other Fox in the Henhouse/Whitehouse cartoons have come in the wake of Dear Leader appointing as UN Ambassador not just a Fox spokesmodel, but one who famously linked our great relationship with Germany to D-Day.

Senator Blutarsky will vote to confirm, I’m sure.


Anybody who believed that cooler, experienced minds would hold back this feckless nitwit should recalibrate their expectations both of his willingness to fire anyone who opposes him and of the willingness of Congressional leaders to act as a sea anchor on his drifting leadership.

Still, he’s not a King and, however much you may decry the Federalist system, we elected him under our laws, and, as said here before, he is the symptom, not the disease.


I greatly admire Tom Toles‘ brilliant take, which he did some hours before yesterday’s revelation of smoking guns. Toles has been wise to this charlatan from the get-go, and this is more a celebration of the system than anything else.

A damn good one that puts new life in a tired metaphor. There’s a term for that — “making new” — which is used when an author describes a familiar scene in a way that makes you see it anew.

Ironically, or, perhaps fittingly, it’s a term used in Russian literary criticism.


I was somewhat surprised by Kirk Walters‘ takedown, given his more conservative standing.

When Trump responded to yesterday’s revelations, it suggested that he is genuinely delusional, but a more charitable reading raises the classic question “What did the President know and when did he know it?”

Ignorance of the law is no excuse, and, if he didn’t know that paying off troublesome concubines was a violation of campaign law, he sure as hell knew it was wrong.

But Walters refers to the well-established fact that Trump doesn’t understand how economics works, and that he is supremely resistant not only to catching up on what he should have known, but on even bothering with the daily briefings that much more qualified chief executives have relied upon.

And also that his staff has learned not to bring him bad news, but to shield him with Happy Talk reduced to bullet points and full of the word “Trump.”

It would be funny if he weren’t in charge. Even if there were some Machiavellian Dick Cheney pulling the strings, it would be better than this rudderless chaos.

Well, apparently William Barr, the new nominee for Attorney General, has a sense of what he’s walking into, based on this snippet from an oral history he gave the GHWB library in 2001.

Not that he turned down the job.


And as David Horsey suggests, world leaders know who they’re dealing with.

Why don’t we?


It’s not just that, in the words of Cartoon Xi, Trump wants to “keep screwing over American consumers,” but Kevin Siers’ cartoon strongly implies that a large number of American consumers want him to keep doing it.

We can hope that the election fraud in North Carolina will be thoroughly examined, the guilty jailed and the count restored to factual levels, but it’s likely that a loyal and significant crowd will steadfastly not believe the proof and won’t give a damn anyway.

As long as the liars continue to gin up fear of mythical “voter fraud,” the suckers will allow them to manipulate the system in any way they want.


While, up North, Stuart Carlson notes, we’ve got ousted Republicans proving that they can be sore losers on a scale that would make Jeff Davis blanch.

It’s got a lot to do with gerrymandering and other legal loopholes, and Paul Berge’s Wisconsin-based cartoon comes with a somewhat detailed explanation that can be applied to Michigan with few changes.

As Barr said 17 years ago, we’ve descended into the world of Jerry Springer — which is even more depressing if you know Jerry’s political background, as well as his ghastly mob-ginning TV show.

And then go depress yourself further with this story of a judge insisting on order in her courtroom.

Good for her, but she’s bailing water with a Dixie cup.

But don’t you dare suggest that the simpletons we should worry about are only the blue-collar people you dismiss as trailer-trash and hillbillies.


Today’s xkcd may come in response to a sudden flurry of “Things You Don’t Know About The Mercator Projection” postings on social media.

All of which I damn well did know.

Granted, on a Mercator projection, Greenland looks bigger than Australia, but that’s why our classrooms also had that one that looks like a sliced up orange peel and a funny round thing we called a “globe.”

We were even told about oblate spheroids.

Whether we learned it being an individual thing.

But if the shortcomings of the Mercator projection come as a big surprise, you weren’t paying attention, because they told us, often, and it doesn’t matter now whether you were sitting in the back shooting paper wads or sitting in the front passing notes about who should be on prom committee.

I’ve got friends who worked the mills, and friends with Phds and I can tell you that Smart and Stupid choose among them by lot and not by testing.


Tell us again, Ron:

4 thoughts on “CSotD: A body beneath a crown

  1. I like this one map I saw in China. It was Mercator or something like it, but the whole thing was moved over, and it broke the iconic version of the map that I had in my head.

    I tried to get a good photo of it, but the glare on the lamination was capricious and irregular. Or maybe I’m projecting.

  2. South-to-North is also kind of mindbender. Having the First World at the bottom forces you to remember that there’s really up or down in space.

    Having North America and Europe top and center is, indeed, a different kind of “projection” entirely.

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