CSotD: The Most Dangerous Word

I’ll break the suspense: It’s “we.”

It goes back to that thing about how most Indian tribes got their names from neighbors, while, in their own language, they basically called themselves “the people.”

Which worked then, but, in a diverse community, a phrase like, “We, the people,” is more apt to mislead than to instruct.

Anyway, let’s check out some cartoons:

As Mo notes, the other shoes are beginning to drop and it’s something of a torrent. I think this is the first time we’ve seen anything like the beginnings of a smile on Bartender’s face.

For those who have never pondered the expression, it comes from just falling asleep and having your upstairs neighbor preparing for bed, such that there is a loud clunk of his taking off and dropping his first shoe on his floor/your ceiling.

Then you wait to try to go back to sleep, knowing that, as soon as you drift off, that other shoe will drop and jolt you back awake.

Well, here’s a summary of all those shoes. And we’re awake now.

Depending on your definition of “we.”


Juxtaposition of the Day

(John Cole)

(Ann Telnaes)

I really like how John Cole depicts Trump completely hemmed in by the facts and yet tweeting away defiantly. For the “we” who expect the rule of law to prevail over partisanship, it’s a perfect graphic representation of Trump’s growing desperation.

Meanwhile, Ann Telnaes, though her Bartender may be anticipating a welcome denouement in Mo, offers a more analytical view of Dear Leader’s defiant resistance.

I like the metaphor, because I’ve written about those old-style newsboys and they didn’t sing and dance like in the Disney musical. They were street hustlers and scrappers and however much you might want to clean them up and turn them into successful citizens, they were strongly infused with a whole different sense of “we,” and their own view of “success.”

The “we” who follow Trump will accept his version of the news, no matter what is printed on the paper itself.


Clay Jones plays on Dear Leader’s penchant for hiring TV personalities, and the cartoon stands on its own, since the idea of hiring the “My Pillow” guy is ludicrous on the surface, but, then, so too is putting a Fox spokesmodel in the UN Ambassadorship.

But Jones, in his essay, goes through some of Trump’s apparently nonsensical hires, including a fascinating breakdown of the My Pillow guy.

Superficially, it may seem like a semi-literate, unqualified nitwit who hires other semi-literate, unqualified nitwits, but, if you think so, you’re missing the con.

It’s a hustle that works because the “we” upon whom Dear Leader relies will trust him and follow him, whether he is selling them over-priced crappy pillows or leading them into pointless war with Iran.

And “We” the upright can sneer or laugh or pity or whatever, but his is a whole other “We” made up of hustlers and of the hustled, and they are not insignificant.

Whether it’s a state lottery selling impossible odds to mooks, or a guy dealing three-card monte and cheating them outright, everybody — the hustlers and the hustled — agree that it ought to be possible to get rich without effort.

Do the suckers know they’re being hustled? Well, they sit watching TV shows about space aliens and cryptozoological wonders and insane conspiracy theories and then they buy My Pillow or sign up to lose that stubborn belly fat and they also believe their lottery ticket is going to make them impossibly rich.

And that Dear Leader is right: It’s all a conspiracy against “Us,” put forth by “Them.”


Abrupt Shift In Direction, Not Topic

Ted Rall takes a break from nihilistic anarchy to ponder kale and I have to say I’m on board with this one.

The first disciple I encountered approached me with glassy-eyed missionary zeal, telling me how much kale he was eating and how it was transforming his life.

And then I started seeing the bumperstickers, “Eat More Kale.”

It was like “Invasion of the Kale Eaters,” and people began extolling the wonders of kale to a point where I was afraid to fall asleep lest I wake up believing in the stuff myself.


Granted, kale has some good nutrients, compared to other greens, which puts it above crème brûlée, tiramisu and Cosmos, all of which we’d never heard of but suddenly agreed we absolutely couldn’t live without.

And then it was pomegranates and acai and it’s not that any of this stuff is gonna kill you, but the messianic fervor is more than a bit over the top.

“We, the Upright” can sneer at the people who watch those space alien TV shows, but the Venn diagram shows a crossover of “We’s” who take Dr. Oz seriously, and if you can prove he’s any more credible than Pillow Man, go for it.

I like pomegranate juice and acai and I like kale in a chopped salad, but I just don’t feel any closer to the Lord when I consume them.

Or any further from meeting Him, which I guess is supposed to be the point.

But I do feel like I’m being hustled, because the Pork Producers Council did the same thing with bacon and I know that shit ain’t good for you.


Meanwhile, as the Argyle Sweater notes, nobody likes fruit cake, which is a seasonal meme that we all accept.

Except that I like fruit cake, and not that half-way wimpy yellow Hostessy stuff, but the real deal, the dark, rummy, aged fruitcake full of candied fruit you can’t identify.

However, “We” have determined that fruit cake is bad, like Comic Sans or Crocs or cargo pants or any number of things that “We” declare no longer acceptable.

Just as some other “We’s” have determined the Trump is a good man being cheated by “them.”

My side surges with the strength of the “hive mind.”

Your side is mislead by “groupthink.”

When the last shoes drop, We will see where We stand.


Meanwhile, let me get you another drink:

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