CSotD: Even Kansas isn’t in Kansas anymore

Greg Kearney, cartooning for the Atchison (Kansas) Globe, offers a bit of nostalgia and regret for the days when world events happened “out there.”

A whole lot has changed, much of it in the past half century but much of that has been a sudden acceleration of a developing trend.

One of the things I used to tell kids during my presentation on editorial cartoons was that Thomas Nast’s obituary cartoon for James Garfield capped weeks of watching the president die, making Columbia’s grief that much more wrenching.

But I also pointed out that, in 1881, the federal government was more conceptually distant, and Washington was literally so, such that, when the president actually died, there might have been bells rung in town and a notice on the blackboard outside the newspaper office, but, until then, his condition was noted in the newspaper and read in the evening after a long day of farming.

Much as we read today that Tom Hanks and his wife are in Australia, having tested positive for the virus and so are under treatment and lockdown, to which we say, “What a shame!” and “Hope they get better!” and go on with our lives.

One thing that made the Spanish Influenza of 1918 so deadly was the number of young men who had all been gathered for the Great War and then sent back to their various communities, where nobody had a lot of antibodies built up because they hadn’t needed them.

A half century later, thanks to television, we all experienced Kennedy’s death in real time, but for those of us out in the boonies, we still had to drive an hour to buy Beatles records and I remember Walt being lucky because his girlfriend was a talented seamstress who made him paisley shirts. Yes, with white collars and cuffs.

You’d have had to drive several hours to buy one off the rack.

As Kearney says, those days are over, and part of it means selling soybeans to China (when tariff wars allow) and now part of it means you’re as likely to be on lockdown in Atchison as in New Rochelle, it being more luck of the draw than it would have been in the Olden Days.

Marshall McLuhan predicted the Global Village in 1962 and now here we are, spreading metaphorical viruses on the Internet and literal ones at the grocery store.

I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Rod Emmerson)


(David Rowe)

I don’t know how both of these cartoons happen to emerge from the Antipodes, but apparently there is a connection between bear markets and toilet paper, with the difference being that, while they hoard it in New Zealand, they at least use some of it in Australia.

(BTW, I think in the Southern Hemisphere you are supposed to put it in the holder the other way around. It’s called the Coronet Effect.)


And back in the Mother Country, Alex and the gang are finding that it is an ill wind indeed that blows no good, the joke being that a steadier market might not have been so vulnerable.

Incidentally, I’ve just received a review copy of “The Best of Alex 2019” and will share a few bits as soon as I’ve had a chance to read it myself.

A benefit of self-quarantine is plenty of time for reading.


Meanwhile, the wise wife in this Adam Zyglis cartoon and my own similar advice notwithstanding, I’ll confess that I did it — I looked.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I don’t have a 401k anymore, I have an IRA because I’m old enough to draw money from it. That puts me in the category of people who kinda sorta oughta peek and see what’s happening, but the answer remains “Leave it alone and let it get better.”

I didn’t have to look because I don’t think I’m going to need to touch it, assuming I keep the belt tight and am able to squirrel away enough from my paychecks to pay the Man on April 15.

For those of us who do need to draw from our retirement accounts, having it down some 15% since the start of the year means that whatever dollar amount you take out now is that much larger a percent of the total, making it that much harder to build back to where you were.

For you youngsters out there who are under 65 or so, don’t look. It will only depress you.

Convert your next paycheck to toilet paper. And buy a shotgun so you can protect your stash when the mobs begin to gather.

But stay the hell away from your 401k.


Juxtaposition of the Day, Part Two

(Bill Bramhall)

(Mike Luckovich)

The dual disconnect in this pair of cartoons is the same disconnect among the Sanders supporters themselves: Assuming that vocal support translates into action.

That is, while Bramhall’s POV has some validity in that it doesn’t take much dedication to adopt a fad, Luckovich is blaming the wrong people. The ones who did all the heavy lifting certainly went to the polls.

They just didn’t bring along much of a crowd, which is what happens when you trust Twitter and Facebook to reflect public opinion.

Nobody wants to hear about “lessons learned,” but this is one of those moments, and I’m sympathetic.

Learn from it, but don’t let it make you cynical.

Churchill explained it:

Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.

But ignore the part about good sense.

“Good sense” will get you a picket fence and a station wagon and an ulcer and a life of regret over all the things you had the “good sense” not to try.

In fact, skip that whole second part. It’s way too easy to mistake “ego” for “honor.”

Don’t listen to Winston Churchill. Listen to Mimi and Richard:



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