CSotD: Sundry Amusements

You may be aware that New Zealand has largely escaped the pandemic, due to (A) being an archipelago, and (B) having a competent head of state.

However, they’ve had a breach and as of this morning have 56 active cases among their 4.5 million people, prompting this Rod Emmerson cartoon.

Apparently, even in the far-off Antipodes, there are stupid people.

How stupid? Okay, that’s the part that bothers me, because Emmerson introduces his cartoon thusly:

There’s an alarming amount of US-style misinformation and conspiracy theories circulating NZ at the moment. Don’t fall for it.

Yes, dear friends, we’re known internationally for our foolishness, dishonesty and sheer gullibility.

I’m feeling Great Again already.


At least the Irish are holding out hope, or, at least, Martyn Turner is.

Which seems fair, if a reversal, given that the Irish were long on the receiving end of American charity — including, notably, from the Choctaw Nation.

From his pen to God’s ear, though we shouldn’t expect the patient to immediately leap up and dance around the room, which is yet another reason to be grateful that, if elected (if allowed to be elected and we’ll get to that in a minute), Biden will probably only serve one term, putting our poor Trumpty Dumpty nation back together again.

Whoever succeeds him will then get to either build on the ruins or go back to demolition.

At which point we pause for this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Marc Murphy)


(John Branch)


(Steve Breen)

I like Murphy’s homage to Woody Guthrie, but I fear Branch and Breen may be closer to the moment.

Note, by the way, that Guthrie wrote “This Land Is Your Land” as an antidote to the jingoistic blather of “God Bless America,” which we resolved by having schoolchildren merrily sing all but that depressing verse about people standing in welfare lines. (And the one about the no-trespassing sign that even Woody only wrote as a joke.)

There are approximately 3.6 kabillion cartoons on this topic, which is good because it’s a crisis that needs to be dealt with now, not after the election has been stolen.

Keep’em coming: We shouldn’t just pop off a few panels and then move on to the next distraction.

What I like about Branch and Breen’s takes is their depiction of the wanton vandalism at the heart of Trump’s efforts to avoid a massive mail-in vote. It’s not just that it’s happening, but that the intentions are genuinely evil.

Dear Leader throws up enough smoke and dust that, when he lets the mask slip from time to time, it needs to be pointed out, and this is one of those times.

And let’s stay on this side of the Atlantic long enough to simply gasp in appreciation at this David Hornsby cartoon from the New Yorker.

He’s really worked it all in, including Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, up there in the bow dumping ballots into the river and poor Dr. Fauci futilely bailing water.

Call it Guernica-lite: You can look upon it in horror, picking out each element and shuddering anew.

While comparing to Guernica may be artistically a stretch, there is at least the parallel that Guernica was painted in 1937 and this was drawn in 2020.

Both were years which people thought were the worst year they’d ever been through and let’s hope to God they’re right about 2020, because 1937 was only the first hill of that coaster ride.

Let’s lighten up and go back overseas.


Juxtaposition of For Further Reading

(Stephen Collins – Full cartoon here)


(First Dog on the Moon — Full cartoon here)

Stephen Collins offers a view of how cats are facing the pandemic that will please cat owners because for some reason they celebrate the more antisocial aspects of the animals, though I suppose the reason is that, if they didn’t find those things endearing, they wouldn’t shelter the things.

I like cats and had one to which I was quite attached, but they pose a conundrum, because, on the one hand, letting them out around here is simply a means of feeding the owls, foxes and fishercats, while keeping them inside brings up the issue of shitting in the house, and I know you can teach them to use the toilet but I suspect you might go through a few cats before you found the one both capable of learning and also willing to implement the technique consistently.

And then there’s the issue of songbirds, which the Oatmeal has handled beyond my poor qualities of exposition, but which does lead us to First Dog’s eloquent and impious discussion of the forty-spotted pardalote which I’d never heard of before, though, oddly enough, I had heard about the thing with cotton balls and insecticide in the Galapagos.

I love the fact that First Dog can snicker over the matter while being 100% supportive of the cause. There’s a certain Lenny Bruce-Abbie Hoffman element to his work that seems important at a time when there is, on the surface, so little to laugh about.

Go read them both in their entirety. You’ll be better off for it, or, at least, you’ll have been greatly amused.


And then there’s this Graeme Bandeira birthday salute to Princess Anne, which is odd in that it’s not a terribly flattering caricature but, then again, nobody has seen Anne, Princess Royal, KG, KT, GCVO, GCStJ, QSO, CD, since the last time she got a speeding ticket.

To which I would add that, if there were ever a place for the Oxford comma, that was it, and also that that’s one helluva lot of letters after the name of someone who never got any closer to Oxford than that aforementioned comma.

Back in the days of my Irish band, we swapped in “Princess Anne and Captain Phillips” for “Princess Margaret and Lord Snowden,” and “Captain Phillips changing diapers” for “young Tony taking snapshots,” in this song, because Tony and Maggie had divorced and by now so have Princess Anne and Capt. Phillips (not the Tom Hanks one, BTW) but the band broke up long ago since, so who the hell cares anyway?

Which was my original question.