There’s not a lot going on over on the editorial side. Statues of Liberty being knelt upon, but not much new insight.
But politics have leaked over onto the funny pages, so we’ll look there.
Will no one rid me of this troublesome website?
This Nick Anderson cartoon was taken down at the Red Bubble site at the request of the Committee to Re-elect der Fuehrer, though after protest from both Nick and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, there was an apology and it was restored.
Then last night the Counterpoint account at Twitter was briefly suspended, then restored but stripped of its 10,000 followers.
Nick was never told by Twitter of the suspension and it seems odd that it would be restored before anyone could question the move. Even stranger that the followers were deleted.
I’d like to believe Twitter screwed up, realized it, but had somehow damaged the thing. I’d hate to think a third party hacker was poking around inside.
Particularly since the same Dear Leader who has attacked Twitter recently re-tweeted “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.”
Words have meaning.
Even the words of a fool, if he’s a powerful fool.
The important point is that, while Voltaire indeed defended the right to say stupid, hostile, rotten things, he didn’t often let errors and deliberate lies go unchallenged.
Nor would he favor a system of phony “fairness” where each side is challenged an equal number of times despite the fact that one side is far more often in error.
To pay attention to Sam Malone and ignore Cliff Claven is not “prejudice.”
It is “experience.” It is “sound judgment.”
A robust system of back-and-forth is a bulwark of democracy and we should all defend it to the death.
Looks like we may have to.
While we’re playing around in the classics, a nit to pick with the Argyle Sweater, because Lemuel Gulliver used just this technique to extinguish a fire in the chambers of the Queen of Lilliput.
While everyone seemed grateful that the fire was out, Her Majesty was not amused and the affair led to Gulliver’s banishment, thanks to a bit of behind-the-scenes politicking by Herself.
Even back in 1726, no good deed went unpunished.
“Gulliver’s Travels” constantly shows up on kids’ reading lists, because the people who compile those lists have never read “Gulliver’s Travels.”
The kids would enjoy Swift’s scatalogical humor, but they’d never be able to parse his language, much less understand his political satire.
But, boy, they sure love dystopian novels, and this Benjamin Schwartz cartoon from the New Yorker made me chuckle and think, which is what a good cartoon does.
As kids contemplate their future, they do so with “Hunger Games” and a stack of similar dystopian novels in mind.
I had a young reader ask why so many kids in novels are orphans, and the answer is so that they are forced to make their own decisions as they work their way through the world.
Conversely, I think the love of dystopian novels reflects kids’ sense of not being in the least free to chart their own direction.
That’s not to say they don’t long for utopia and happy endings. I was talking literature with one of my young writers and she dismissed Hamlet as “too emo.”
Too bad Ophelia didn’t have her clarity.
While, out in the real world, dystopia is running around disguised as utopia, as seen in Candorville.
My neighbors next door will all be screwed as soon as the crisis is past. They’re Section 8 tenants and I suspect most of them are out of work. They can’t be evicted until the hammer drops but then — BOOM! — out on the street.
Not sure how Massacard is handling this, but Lemont is right to be suspicious of their kind offers.
As some emo prince in a dystopian kingdom once said, “one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.”
On a related note, Alex cracked me up because this is more reportage than joking. I’ve sat in on meetings where nobody quite put it this plainly, but it was on the table for all to see.
It also reminded me of an over-efficient publisher’s secretary who kept the staff pictures in the break room updated.
We’d be having a cup of coffee and she’d bustle in and take down someone’s mugshot before we’d known they were no longer amongst us.
She was really good for morale.
Virtual Juxtaposition of the Day
Jokes are funnier when the jokester understands the material, and both Jeff Stahler and Todd Clark clearly have and use Alexa.
Stahler is riffing on the lack of anchorage in our isolated lockdown world, but he’s captured Alexa’s “hmm” response perfectly.
As for Lola, there was a point where Alexa became annoyingly chatty, until I found a preference that would get her to just answer the damn question. However, lately, she’s been adding these little prompts, particularly if you ask for the weather on Friday.
But I like her. By comparison, I’ve got Google on my phone and so in my car, and her driving instructions are absolute garbage. I’d rather hear “Hmm … I’m not sure” than get 15 minutes of directions that lead back to where we started.
I mean, there’s a reason I’ve stayed single.
Finally, First Dog in the Moon celebrates the return of sports to TV, and I was particularly delighted with this panel.
Guaranteed, if you mention sports, some puffed-up fool will chime in boasting of his ignorance of the classical mens sana in corpore sano theory of a balanced, worthwhile life.
Just as, if you mention TV, he’ll boast of not owning one. And if you say something about cars, he doesn’t have one of those either.
And if you mention “Dylan,” he thinks you’re talking about “Dylan Thomas.”
Which you might have been, because you lead a thoughtful, balanced life.