CSotD: My Cousin Rudy

Editor’s Note:  I brought “My Cousin Vinny” into the conversation two weeks before Rudy did, and hardly in the same context:

Poor Fred Gwynne was a decent judge stuck between nitwits from both sides of the cultural divide, with (spoiler alert!) the outcome decided by a blue-collar city girl who knew an awful lot about things girls aren’t supposed to know anything about.

Kal Kallaugher (AMS) adds to my side of the comparison, and if you enjoyed Gwynne’s weary attempts to steer the trial back onto the rails, go have a look at the real-world judge’s decision on Rudy’s latest attempt to practice law, as excerpted and reported by Reuters reporter Brad Heath.

That footnote is one of the best parts, but it is all wonderful and, given that it’s not Hollywood fiction, funnier than those versions.

This is the greatest legal decision since 1970, when Judge James Pearson dismissed obscenity charges against an Ohio State student for a bumpersticker that read “Fuck Michigan,” ruling that it was absurd to think he advocated having sexual intercourse with the state of Michigan, and concluding

Which in turn brings to mind Michigan State Coach Duffy Daugherty’s story of receiving a letter addressed to “Duffy the Dope, East Lansing, Michigan.”

He said he wasn’t upset by the writer’s opinion so much as by the fact that the post office knew where to deliver it.

You will note that I have not used Rudy’s last name and that Kal didn’t even need to use his first.

You knew who we meant.


Still, there is a good deal more riding on this farcical series of legal challenges than the outcome of football games, and Michael de Adder (Ind), compares it to a cinematic horror story, not a comedy.

It’s an excellent comparison, because, while, in this case, we recognize the McGuffin nearly from the start, we’re still tempted to go through it all again to see how the trick was wound into the script as it unfolded.

But more inclined to simply rethink it than to actually sit through the whole thing a second time.


The other element in this Hollywood/Reality comparison is summed up in the essay with which Clay Jones (Ind) accompanies his cartoon.

One of the questions that has dogged this administration from the get-go has been the extent to which Dear Leader advances his nonsensical lies as sincere beliefs and how much he throws them out intentionally as red meat to his Deplorables.

I would suggest that the fact that he even allows Sidney Powell into the building, much less onto the platform representing him, is an indication that he genuinely does not understand how the world functions and that the ridiculous things he has been saying are absolutely sincere.

Well, wotthehell. He’ll soon be out of the White House if not out of the public eye.

But those who have aided and abetted him will still be in the government, and those who believed his lunatic ravings will still be voting, and marching, possibly with guns in their hands.

Granted, we’re all tired of it.

But this is no time to fall asleep.


Juxtaposition of the Coming Holiday

(Joe Heller – Ind )


(Steve Sack – Star Tribune)

There’s nothing new, really, in Joe Heller’s reminder to support food pantries, but we’ve got a lot more people relying upon them, and a Senate that just went home with no intentions of helping out, which does put more upon our shoulders this year.

Which is to say that, while my normal response to these annual reminders is to ask where the hell you were when people were hungry in the summer, this is a specific crisis that happens to be falling as temperatures do likewise, and being out of work and possibly out of your home as well is a particular burden this holiday season.

Steve Sack’s piece is a bit different and more middle class. I’ve been surprised by the number of people who are apparently not going to the grocery store, but then I’ve never quite figured out how people in those concrete canyons feed themselves in the first place.

But, while regular trips to the grocery store, or regular deliveries therefrom, keep those businesses running, Sack is right that getting a nice dinner from the local restaurant would shovel some cash in a needed direction.

“Nice dinner” being something you can adjust to your own income level. But it is a holiday, after all.

Come on — you can spring for an extra egg roll.


And Thanksgiving would not be complete without the annual Flogging of the Guilty White Folks, though we’ve ramped up the October festival in recent years.

Andy Marlette (Creators) is only one of a gathering number of cartoonists tying the Pilgrims into the pandemic, which is a change, since we normally take the occasion to decry our lousy attitude towards immigrants.


I used to feature this 1994 David Horsey cartoon when I lectured in schools, the best part being that the speaker is drawn as an unpleasant person while the woman next to him offers a dismissive sideglance to his rant and everyone else is having a nice time.

It is indeed true — sorry, Tommy boy —  that the Thanksgiving myth was created during our post-Civil War expansion to show our eagerness to welcome immigrant labor (though admittedly not from China).

So it’s perfectly fair game to mock how we’ve changed our tune on the topic.

The connection between the current pandemic and the tragedy of massive deaths from unfamiliar diseases, however, should stay within bounds.

To start with, it’s more tied into Columbus than to the celebration of harvest time.

There’s also little indication it was ever intentional, and, specific to Thanksgiving, the Great Dying of the Wampanoag happened before the Pilgrims even landed.

But here’s where these cartoons tie in with Heller’s piece: We decry mistreatment of natives and of immigrants each Thanksgiving but, as with food banks, our concern is purely seasonal.

Next year the pandemic will be gone.

Any bets on the future status of poverty, hunger and caring?


4 thoughts on “CSotD: My Cousin Rudy

  1. I work at a church in Kenosha’s uptown, located in the midst of the arson and violence earlier this year, and I’m happy to report that community support of the food pantry there has been one of the few encouraging stories in this otherwise miserable year. Perhaps there is hope for humanity yet.

  2. Kal Kallaugher’s cartoon immediately brought to mind the bellowing song stylings of AG John Ashcroft. Thanks for nothing.

  3. Hello Paul
    I too am in Kenosha, my office downtown , within a block or two of much of the violence, and agree that the food pantries here are well supported. Hats off as well to your church, Grace Lutheran, for the many things it does to help the less fortunate.
    Mark Johnson

  4. Regarding Horsey’s cartoon: Yep, the old story about “The First Thanksgiving”. Which it wasn’t. It was the second Thanksgiving, the first (well documented) having taken place in Dec 1619 at Berkeley Plantation in the Virginia Colony.

    Yes, this 17th century re-enactor and Virginia resident gets awful tired of that old inaccurate cartoon.

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