CSotD: Unreliable narrators

One thing you learn early on in the opinionating business is that if you express yourself in anything longer than a single sentence, you’re likely to be surprised at what readers pick up on.

The other thing you should learn is that being clever almost never works.

It’s good that Jen Sorensen is, for all the minimalism of her style, a very talented caricaturist, because when I saw this spirited defense of yoga pants, I was able to to trace it back to this unsuccessfully clever but wildly successfully incoherent rant from David Brooks.

In the course of his outraged condemnation and mockery of self-satisfied, dogmatists on both left and right, if you scroll almost to the end, you’ll see he includes yoga pants among fads of the foolish.

I agree with Sorensen that doing yoga and wearing yoga pants while exercising are perfectly acceptable.


And I laughed at her second panel because I had recently been remembering the 1982 “Items From Our Catalog” spoof of LL Bean which included these “Jackass Slacks,” which, though it doesn’t specify it here, I associated with golfers, that being a venue where otherwise uptight button-down suburbanites let their freak flags fly.

I don’t know if David Brooks plays golf, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

What would surprise me would be if he wore his Jackass Slacks to the office. But you’ll see yoga pants there.

My take on yoga pants is that they are not “pants” but “tights” and are excellent sportswear for yoga or pilates or spinning or whathaveyou.

And that, as with all tights and pantyhose and suchlike, if you wear them on the street without a long-tailed shirt, people will be able to see, not your actual ass, but your ass in a different color.

Despite the fact that your eyes are not only up here but on the opposite side of your body.

Though if you think David Brooks was overwrought, check out this piece which comes up if that third panel reminds you to Google “Lululemon transparent.”


Anyway, I understood Sorensen’s beef with Brooks, though I assume women in yoga pants must also be catching hell from other people for the issue to have inspired an entire cartoon.

By contrast, I’m completely flummoxed by Ted Rall‘s discussion of the crowded Democratic field.

His analogy only holds if we’re going to have to choose one particular brand and flavor of soft drink that everyone will then have to drink for the next four years.

My choice would be Moxie, but I realize it’s too regional to win a national election.

I also realize that, in the end, we’d face a choice between Coke and Pepsi, and that’s an analogy I’m willing to defend, particularly since the result is based far more on brand loyalty, product placement and clever marketing than on the real but relatively subtle differences between them.

I mean, it’s almost like the Real Thing.

Ted just didn’t carry it out far enough.

But there’s nothing funny about our

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Matt Bors)

(Signe Wilkinson)

If you can’t take in actual, literal “orphans of the storm,” I think your morals have sunk to the bottom of the cess pool.

Here’s the issue, though: It was all a misunderstanding, and I blame the White House staff.

They allowed rescue operations to begin without having informed the President that, while the Bahamas were once a British colony, its residents are mostly knee-grows.

And so we end up with Dear Leader trying to outstrip Matt Bors for offensive, idiotic quotes:

“I don’t want to allow people that weren’t supposed to be in the Bahamas to come into the United States, including some very bad people and some very bad gang members and some very, very bad drug dealers.”

He’s gotten to the point where either he has given up on trying to find intelligent-sounding justifications for his policies or he’s no longer rational enough to fake it.

I seem to have been way too early with the wisecrack: “It’s not that you can’t make up this stuff; it’s that you don’t have to.”

But I’ll say it again anyway, because …


Nick Anderson may be right, but nobody is going to invoke the 25th Amendment. It just ain’t gonna happen.

And Anderson drew this before Trump had reached the point where John Bolton was too sane to keep around.

As did Tom Tomorrow, and perhaps if he’d held out another day or two, he wouldn’t have projected it as “a few months from now.”

Seems perfectly up-to-date from here.

Back at the height of the Cold War, when people spoke of “Useful Idiots,” they didn’t mean literal, diagnosed idiots. But, then again, what the hell difference does it make?

As long as he’s still breathing and his delusions don’t lead to him suddenly giving people affordable health care or some crazy shit like that, prop that gibbering lunatic up behind the desk and run him for another four years.

So last night, the Republicans squeaked out a waffer-theen victory in North Carolina, in a re-run of an election in which they had cheated and then still only squeaked out a waffer-theen victory despite Dear Leader having stormed through in 2016 and won the district by 12 points.

This morning, the headlines praise the Republicans and talk of looming disaster for the Democrats.

Yeah? How’s about we fight it out in the districts where Mr. Creosote won by 6 points or less and let the GOP keep their 12-pointers.


Lest We Forget

RJ Matson eschews both the weeping Statue of Liberty motif and pearl-clutching horror over inviting the Taliban to Sacred Camp David.

Rather, he reminds me of a bit of Kipling that made the rounds, 18 years ago:

When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.

 But you didn’t need to study literature if you just knew a little history.

Or art

4 thoughts on “CSotD: Unreliable narrators

  1. Odd side note to Afghanistan: A fellow named Sykes wrote “D’Ordel’s Pantechnicon,” a parody of trivial magazines around 1908, which remains quite funny and pertinent to this day. His treatment of “the serial detective” is my favorite aspect among many. He also wrote a parody of military strategy and tactics that I’ve never managed to physically locate.

    This same Sykes was one of the architects of the failed Afghanistan partition that haunts us to this day, and can be seen (under another name) in LAWRENCE OF ARABIA.

  2. Actually, the diplomatic figure portrayed by Claude Rains in the film “Lawrence of Arabia” is not based on Sir Mark Sykes. He’s based on Sir Ronald Storrs, with whom Lawrence worked in Cairo.

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