CSotD: State of the Disunion


Timing is everything, and while this Kevin Siers cartoon references something happening in his hometown of Charlotte, it comes as the apartment house next door to me is on the verge of being converted to an independent living home for special needs people.

Which is a worthy cause and they’ll be good neighbors, but they’re displacing a half-dozen Section 8 families, and yesterday I spoke with the mother of six kids who has been my neighbor for two years.

She doesn’t know where they’ll go in November when they get kicked out, and says it’s hard to find Section 8 housing for a family their size, but she and her husband both work and simply don’t make enough money to get by without help.

They’ll be okay. We’re a small city and we take care of our own. But it strikes me as ironic that the people who are most adamantly opposed to family planning are also the ones most adamantly opposed to a liveable minimum wage.

Though I have reason for hope for change, as seen in this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Prickly City)

(Matt Wuerker)


(Pat Bagley)

Yes, it is a dilemma.

It reminds me of Stephen Dedalus’s ongoing conflict, in both “Portrait” and “Ulysses,” that he doesn’t believe in God and the Catholic Church, but is afraid that, if he rejects them, he’ll go to Hell.

It sounds ludicrous to an outsider, but I was raised Catholic and it is absolutely understandable to me.

Thank god I wasn’t raised Republican.

But also thank god the GOP appears to be overplaying its hand, and we may see more cult members gain some clarity and make the leap.

(Tactical Note: Continually portraying them as fat, stupid vulgarians does more to drive them back into the flock than it does to cut them out. Sympathy for victims is a more practical approach.)

Speaking of which, let’s have another

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Steve Sack)


(Lisa Benson)

I’m hoping the farmers are getting the message that Dear Leader has betrayed them, in part because he’s simply a liar but mostly because he has no idea what he’s doing and doesn’t understand international trade.

Even if people of good will rise up and kick this nincompoop out of office in 2020, it’s not simple to re-establish major international markets. There’s a sort of Chernobyl factor to what he’s done to our farmers, a ghastly short-term mistake with genuinely long-term consequences.

There are other, similar cartoons floating around and they are precisely what I mean by showing sympathy for the victims of this idiotic, destructive regime, and when a conservative like Lisa Benson chimes in, it extends the reach of the message significantly.

I wish we would see a similar approach taken towards illustrating the lies that prompted coal miners to trust Dear Leader.

Don’t mock them as troglodytes but embrace them as fellow citizens who have fallen on hard times.


Juxtaposition of Himself



Ed Hall has been on a hot streak lately, and his fury and disgust over Dear Leader’s egocentric approach to the shootings has spurred him to a point where I can’t keep up.

If you’re going to be self-syndicated, you’d better be prolific, and it’s not hard these days to sort out the cartoonists who are scrambling to make a living from those who post a cartoon about saggy pants every other Wednesday, rain, shine or atomic war.

Ed’s one of the scramblers.

This latest horror — the discovery that the President had that orphaned baby brought back to the hospital so that he and Melania could cheerfully hold it up for the cameras — ought to shock every conscience.

It won’t, nor will Dear Leader’s utter lack of empathy and clinically narcissistic concept that it’s all about him, but it’s worth dwelling on them anyway.

We only need 51% of the Electoral College.


Road Trip!

Those wise enough to know that “Upstate New York” only stretches from White Plains to Kingston also know that New York’s Southern Tier is a beautiful area of rolling hills, combining rivers, fields and forest.

The second week of September is too early to catch the autumn leaves, but it would be a good time to catch some artistry in the three-hour drive from Elmira to Jamestown.

The Chemung Historical Society has a display of the work of local artist Zim Zimmerman, who drew for Puck Magazine in its turn-of-the-20th Century heyday. (h/t to Mike Lynch)

The historical society isn’t huge, so this won’t be rooms and rooms of work, but Christopher Baldwin and I did some research there for a story a few years ago, and the people are wonderfully friendly and helpful.

Also, you can pop out to the Woodlawn Cemetery and visit the graves of Mark Twain and Hal Roach, and see the Confederate cemetery where escaped slave and Underground Railroad conductor John Jones (also buried at Woodlawn) carefully made sure each dead POW was buried with dignity and with proper identification.

It is, in itself, a monument to charity and grace.

You can do that anytime, but Art Spiegelman will be speaking in nearby Corning on September 10, so that’s a possible timing for the trip.  (h/t to Tom Spurgeon)

And, while you’re in the area, it’s worth a two-hour drive down to Jamestown to enjoy the National Comedy Center, where you’ll find a very large collection of ephemera, interactive humor and thoughtful analysis of the form. (The Lucy/Desi Museum is also in town and is a quick, strange trip worth taking.)

Good, inexpensive housing, as well as a cheap fill-up for your car, is available part way between at the Senecas’ casino on the Rez in Salamanca.

Inexpensive, that is, if you stay at the hotel but avoid the casino.


And if you have seen Spiegelman enough times that Corning is not a crucial part of this, you’d still find Elmira and Jamestown worthwhile stops on the road to the AAEC/CXC extravaganza in Columbus later that month.

At which point the leaves probably will be turning.


Timing is everything award

Mother Goose & Grimm meet CNN