Politics has been leaking all over the funny pages lately, and today’s Non Sequitur (AMS) is a good example.
The anti-mask issue is completely political. Nobody seems to object when they are told they can’t smoke in a particular place, or, at least, they don’t threaten violence or make great speeches about freedom.
Acceptance of the link between smoking and cancer was not immediate, thanks in large part to the work of the Tobacco Institute, a phony research group set up by tobacco companies to crank out bogus studies and blatant lies.
It took several years to overcome their excellent work in public deception, but since then we’ve added talk radio and the Republican Party to the effort.
They’re more efficient.
As seen in this La Cucaracha (AMS), private industry is stepping up on behalf of public health, and let me point out that you don’t hear rightwingers crying their eyes out over “No shoes, no shirt, no service.”
I don’t think you get a lot of hookworm north of the Mason/Dixon line and I never did figure out what health risk was posed by people without shirts, so making people wear shoes and shirts seems like imposing a dress code rather than seeking to protect health.
However, I am old enough to remember when “No shoes, no shirt, no service” signs were paired with “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone,” which was mostly about longhaired hippie types by then, but had originated with negroes and such.
So the difference might be bigotry, or it might be tied into the conservative fetish with private property, but most stores will back up their employees for insisting that customers be masked and will call the police if the fascisti become belligerent.
Non-profit venues seem different. At election time, we set up an outdoor area where anti-maskers could vote, but were also told that, if they insisted on coming inside, we needed to put their right to vote indoors ahead of everyone else’s safety.
And I know of a hospital that has issued a directive not to insist on masks, because one person’s right to receive treatment is more important than everyone else’s right to avoid infection.
I like the solution of simply declaring boiled water an Americano, even without a shot of espresso.
Why should my delusion be any less credible than yours?
It functions as a cheerful acknowledgement of the two-so-far vaccines awaiting approval, but it also raises the risk of people who may believe that they can ease up on prevention, which is foolish because a lot more people are going to die by the time the vaccines are approved and available, six months or so from now.
This Mike Luckovich (AJC) piece serving as a reminder to inform the crybabies that Memorial Day will be Monday, May 31, and turkeys will be available then.
Meanwhile, the Republicans have so poisoned the well of common sense that a lot of people say they won’t take the vaccine when it is finally rolled out.
It’s a good example of capitalizing on existing paranoia: We’ve dealt with anti-vaxxers for a dozen years or more, who, because virtually every child has had vaccines, believe that the ones who show signs of autism are victims of medical malpractice.
I think it’s because they ate chicken nuggets. Back when small children lived on Spaghetti-Os, we didn’t have this problem.
Juxtaposition of the Day
In any case, as Bennett contends and Bagley confirms, the rightwing spin machine has done an excellent job of making Americans more ignorant and more vulnerable.
Which confounds our changing racial demographics in an odd way: As white supremacy is threatened by an increasingly non-white voting population, it seems counterintuitive to advance beliefs that will kill off your existing supporters.
Then again, these are people who, in private business, make decisions that are suicidal in the long term but will advance profits in the next quarter.
The difference being that Wall Streeters then sell out in that next quarter, while the Republicans are going to have to deal with the eventual impact of their policies. Though I suppose when you get to be 85 like Charlie Koch, you can shrug and admit that you screwed up and helped destroy the country.
It’s not like you’re going to be around to deal with the results, after all.
As for promoting the anti-mask delusion, I don’t suppose you can hold Republicans or rightwing talk show hosts legally responsible, since, while financially supporting the Tobacco Institute was enough to tie tobacco companies into the deliberate fraud, the anti-mask effort is mostly based on the Big Lie theory.
And, if pressed, they could prove that, while they publicly denounced Covid as basically harmless and a libtard myth, they were shoveling billions of dollars to pharmaceutical companies to find a vaccine against this non-existent health hazard.
I’m still unclear on why the Senate had Facebook and Twitter testifying yesterday, but never seem to haul Rupert Murdoch or any talk radio hosts up in front of a committee.
Okay, that didn’t help.
However, here’s some good news
Steve Sack (Mpls Star-Tribune) has been awarded the National Press Foundation’s Clifford K. & James T. Berryman Award for Editorial Cartoons, a prestigious award named for two Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonists, and Sack is one of those as well.
It’s encouraging to see good work acknowledged, particularly since there is always the chance a prestigious national award will help keep a cartoonist employed in these parlous times.
The above is from the portfolio for which he received the Berryman, and you can see more examples of his work there along with the announcement.
And while I was poking around, I came across the announcement of his 2012 Pulitzer, which also includes a portfolio of cartoons.
Though I use his work because it’s good, not because it wins plaques.