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CSotD: Random observations

Michael de Adder picks up on the news that Canada’s athlete of the year and the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year are both women.

Tennis player Bianca Andreescu was the unanimous pick for Canada’s Lou Marsh Trophy, while women’s soccer hero Megan Rapinoe was chosen by SI for her courage as well as her athletic prowess.

And de Adder is right in saluting the impact this moment has on little girls, particularly since he shows that little girl as already part of the process, taking a break in her run rather than being inspired to start.

Andreescu and Rapinoe are part of her world, not a reason to step into uncharted waters.

I’m at a stage in life where I looked upon young women not with lust but with nostalgia, not thinking about them so much as remembering similar young women from my younger days.

But what I cannot dig up from memory is the confident youngsters bopping down the sidewalk, pony tail protruding from the back of the cap, T-shirt or jersey proclaiming them not fans of a team but members.

Sure, girls played sports in our day, but almost covertly: The door to the girls’ gym had no window because we shouldn’t watch them playing the modified, ladylike games they were taught.

Now, Rapinoe is not only out in a matter-of-fact way that declares sexual orientation a non-issue, but as a defiant leader in the fight for equal pay.

And I suspect it’s a lot more of an issue for folks my age than it is for her contemporaries, or for the younger women looking up to her.

Which is the best part: The new normal for little girls is a wide-open world, not free of obstacles but open to conquest.

Nobody has to make an effort to point out these latest role models. Nobody has to say “Did you know?” because of course they know.

They’re front page news, not because they’re women but because they’re terrific. Anybody can be terrific. Yes, you could.

In fact, for those who don’t like athletics and prefer their girls to be girly, it’s also been noted that Miss Teen America, Miss America and Miss Universe are black. We didn’t see that one coming, but it arrived fairly quietly because why not?

And a former Miss Israel is making her second “Wonder Woman” movie, a role she qualified for in part by having been a combat instructor in the army.

They’re all part of a landscape we could only dream of a generation ago.

 

Meanwhile, at the endless front

Other facets of the landscape for our young people are not so uplifting, and Matt Bors points out the distressing normalcy of a nation continuously at war.

The Washington Post has uncovered papers showing how we were deceived not only about our goals going in but about our progress ever since.

 

And, as Bob Gorrell points out, the most distressing part is that those of us old enough to remember can remember the Pentagon Papers and how we were similarly bullshat into Vietnam and then fed comforting lies, the “Five O’Clock Follies” as reporters on the ground called them.

Problem solved: Reporters who go into Afghanistan today are, for the most part, “embedded” which sounds like they have a better chance of being where the action is, but which, in practice, means that they are made part of the team and are not able to see past their briefings and carefully guided tours.

It’s a matter of safety, of course.

Please don’t ask whose.

 

It’s no better on the Home Front, where the only exaggeration in this Signe Wilkinson commentary is the notion of competing newspapers, definitely a holdover from the good old days.

But the point is no exaggeration: Truth is becoming highly dependent on where you get your news, and it’s not simply a case of the prejudices and political leanings of your sources.

We now have a system where, if a particular investigation doesn’t yield the answer wanted, they’ll simply declare that it does, or commission one that will

We’ve shot past the point where citing Orwell is hyperbole, and what he exaggerated to sound a warning is no longer terribly far off the mark.

 

Lee Judge notes the clownish nature of things, but there is a bit of good news, in that a judge has ruled that Trump can’t simply divert funds into his pet project, which, by the way, remains a fantasy.

 

There’s also some modified rapture in that Democrats and Republicans have agreed on a new free trade agreement for North America, which eliminated a number of absurd, unworkable Trump proposals but did update and repair some shortcomings in the original NAFTA pact.

As Jimmy Margulies says, this doesn’t mean hugs and kisses all around, but it is good to see that, even in the midst of crisis, there can be a little cooperation. (For those under 50, we used to see this sort of thing all the time. Honest. We did!)

 

Holiday Shopping Note

Dennis has covered the ending of “Pajama Diaries” elsewhere, but I want to chime in to say that, like many in the cartooning world, I receive the news with mixed emotions.

I agree 100% with Hilary (Rhymes with Orange) Price’s reaction on every point. Pajama Diaries is going to be very hard to replace.

But because I have a particular ear to the ground when it comes to middle school kids — they write book reviews for me — I knew that Terri’s success as a book writer/illustrator had gone beyond what other cartoonists were experiencing.

I got more than a hint when I spotted her name on the cover of someone else’s book …

 

Not in a list of blurbs on the back.

By itself, on the front.

Holy cow!

BTW, I highly recommend her books for any middleschoolers on your holiday list, and shop early so you can read them yourself first. Seriously.

I’ll miss the strip but look forward to more books.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer gal.

 

 

Community Comments

#1 Kip Williams
December/11/2019
@ 11:03 am

Nixon-era Jules Feiffer cartoon. A young kid watches JFK on TV:
“The South Vietnamese have made great progress. They are now bearing the brunt of the battle, and we can now see the day…”

The kid is older. LBJ is on the same TV:
“…when no more Americans will be involved there at all. And that is why I say to you tonight…”

The kid wears a uniform. Nixon is on that TV:
“…Let us end the war. But let us end it in such a way that the younger brothers and sons of the brave men who have fought…”

A flag-draped coffin is in front of the TV, and we can’t see who is speaking.
“…will not have to fight again in some other Vietnam at some time in the future.”

#2 Mary McNeil
December/11/2019
@ 3:40 pm

Time has named Greta Thunberg as its Person of the Year.

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