CSotD: Truth or illusion – Who knows the difference?

We’ll start the day with a video, but no worries: We’ll have one at the end, too.

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” is a movie you only watch once, not because it’s not good enough to watch again but because it’s too painful to sit through a second viewing. Draw your own parallels to calendar years or presidential administrations, but it’s a fascinating trainwreck.

Truth or illusion: George asks who can tell the difference, Martha is certain he cannot. George does more talking, but I’m not sure he has the lead in Albee’s play, in which illusions become the truth or possibly vice-versa.


So Dear Leader finally sorta kinda unveiled his health plan, a few months later than promised and which– as Matt Davies (AMS) points out — is not an actual plan but the “America First Health Care Agenda” which apparently proposes to do away with the Affordable Care Act and maybe sometime if we all wish real hard, replace it with pretty much the same thing but different.

And of which Former Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney (pause to let that job title rattle around in your head) observed:

I’m not sure where they got the authority to do it, but, I’m sure the lawyers had vetted this and the president had the executive ability to do this, but, keep in mind, any executive order is going to be fairly limited. You need legislation to do big things. If we could have fixed health care with executive orders alone, we would have done that back in 2017.

Truth or illusion, Maria Bartiromo?

But if Dear Leader doesn’t know how laws are made, he apparently knows how they are unmade and plans to have Church Lady on the bench in time for a Nov 10 hearing in which the GOP hopes to overturn the ACA.

And perhaps for a hearing to overturn the results of the election if it doesn’t come out his way.

Also, he just remembered that he loves knee-grows and people from shithole countries, as we see in this

Juxtaposition of Diversity

(Joel Pett – Tribune)

(Lalo Alcaraz, AMS)

Pett’s cartoon is particularly challenging, because, of course, African Americans are intelligent people with a diversity of views who might, perhaps, agree with the current situation, even if they might simply claim to want what everyone wants: “Jobs, good schools, security and a shot at the American dream.”

However, I would suggest that they are monolithic enough that substantial black support of a white supremacist candidate seems unlikely, and Pett’s catalog of improbable goals reminded me of Earl Butz, whose mention of loose shoes and a few other priorities was even more amusing than Wilbur Mills’ frolics in the Tidal Basin, back when we could laugh at Republican nitwittery.

At least Butz knew he was a racist. The current GOP approach to African-American voters reminds me of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” a movie I hated, though I understood the concept that Sidney Poitiers’ character was “just like us, only darker” so there was no other reason for Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn to reject him as a son-in-law.

I feel confident in saying that the black community is monolithic in not appreciating being condescended and catered to or considered “just like us, only darker.”

Meanwhile, the Alcaraz cartoon is from last Sunday and so (by my own self-imposed rules) is too old for use, except that it so well illustrates the point.

When I lived in Colorado in the days of Corky Gonzalez and the Farm Workers and suchlike, the preferred word was “chicano,” but it was only a few years later that I got in a pool game with some construction workers in Indiana who informed me — politely and in a friendly manner — that they were Tejanos and that “chicano” simply meant “dude” and, while not offensive, was an insider term like “brother.”

Which is how I learned to cállate la boca and listen, whereupon I learned that a lot of Spanish-speaking people not of Latin American lineage therefore object to “Latino” and some who are Latin American object to the more generic “Hispanic” and that almost nobody says “Latinx” except the do-gooder gambachos who also say “Native American,” a phrase most Indians find patronizing and silly.

Anyway, Spanish-speakers aren’t monolithic, and attempts to pander in Florida will be particularly interesting.


And speaking of “Native Americans,” Marty Two Bulls (AMS) dropped a reminder that, in Indian Country, “the past is never dead. It’s not even past,” his Oglala forebears having been at the Battle of Greasy Grass, and the Lakota and Crow having not particularly liked each other well before that.

The idea that Indians are a monolith is persistent but ridiculous: No sensible person would say “I understand the Hungarians. My great-grandmother was from Ireland.”

Then again, as with African-Americans, as with Spanish-speaking Americans, you can create a bond by subjecting them to racist injustices, but it’s one you will find easier to uniformly apply than to selectively remove.

Which reminds me of a time I was editing some stories from a group of Ojibway (Canadian usage) who had moved to the States, where “Chippewa” is the traditional spelling.

I asked a Saginaw friend which I should use and he shrugged it off: “The only time anyone writes it down is when they’re taking something away from us.”


Finally, a criticism: Bill Day (Cagle) improperly conflates draft-dodging with resistance. There is no evidence that Donald Trump opposed the war, simply that he opposed serving in it, which was very different.

For those on record as against the war, using technicalities to evade the draft was not necessarily dishonorable, if it merely exploited borderline things like fasting before your physical to come in underweight. Conscientious Objector status was (A) hard to get and (B) felt like cooperation.

I had friends who chose jail, the most honest resistance, while going underground or fleeing the country seemed worse than facing it.

But cheating, lying and pulling strings, particularly without having spoken out before, was selfish and cowardly.

Hence Phil Ochs’ memorable ridicule:

8 thoughts on “CSotD: Truth or illusion – Who knows the difference?

  1. Mike,
    I wanted to show Trump refusing to leave peacefully with him not wanting to go to Vietnam. In his case he got a deferment for ‘bone spurs’. I too opposed the war. Most of my readers got my joke.
    I put him in 60’s attire to show the time period only.
    I’ve done so many cartoons that speak to injustice and oppose Trump. I’m sorry you misunderstood the meaning of the cartoon. I was being critical of Trump, not those who opposed the immorality of the war.

  2. I’d have rather seen him in frat-boy clothes, which would make the selfishness of his “resistance” more plain. In neither case are there any political implications — simply a spoiled, pampered baby who won’t give a penny to anyone else. (But no harm, no foul.)

  3. I tend to use “Native Americans” when I’m talking about American Indians. Why? Well, most of the Indians I work with have names like Patel, Chandrasekhar, and Rao. I’d probably change terms if I hung out with different groups.

  4. Conscientious.
    Looks like your spell-check needs an adjustment.
    Keep up the good work, Mike. 🙂

  5. Not pertinent to today’s topic, but I’m extremely disappointed that cartoonists, whom I consider the stormtroopers of the press, are apparently ignoring the brutal and unfair treatment of Julian Assange.

    His trial in England, the seat of common law, is a Stalinist farce, and Trump’s involvement, from the Ecuadorian Embassy eviction through to the offer of clemency for the DNC hacker has been completely ignored.

    I expect that freedom of the press means more than choosing to silently observe a real Star Chamber in action.

  6. “Well I’m only 16, got a ruptured spleen, and I always carry a purse “

    One of my all time favorite Phil Ochs tunes !

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