CSotD: Mostly humor

We’ll get to the funny pages in a minute, but here’s Ann Telnaes (WaPo)‘s take on Mitch McConnell’s latest.

McConnell stating that corporations should stay out of politics, and his immediate clarification that he didn’t mean they shouldn’t donate, drew several editorial cartoons in response.

Telnaes’ piece stands out because of its economy: She trusts her readers to know the story she’s referencing, so she doesn’t include any set-up, and she also doesn’t reach for any grand symbols.

The bag is huge, and “shut up” plus the hand across the mouth is an insulting, condescending gesture in real life and it’s equally insulting and condescending here, accented by the startled expression on the donor’s face.

With more elaboration, the issue would become distant, a quarrel between McConnell and the corporate world in which we are merely onlookers.

But the simple immediacy of this cartoon makes us identify at least to some extent with the corporate fellow who is being simultaneously exploited and insulted.

That in itself is a helluva trick, but I think MLB’s decision, which sparked this whole thing, was a sudden revelation that, if corporations are people, some of them act like it.

Telnaes built on that, and she didn’t need to convince or convert, but simply to reinforce what a lot of people are feeling.

Meanwhile, over on the funny pages …


I mentioned recently that Wallace the Brave (AMS) has introduced Rose and was integrating her into the cast.

This recent strip is a good example of how that’s going, with her pedantic exposition on the reality of sunset being thrown into absurdity by the fact that the cast has managed to get themselves stranded by the tide at nightfall.

Note that Wallace and Amelia are merely annoyed by the situation while Spud is scared, but it’s a tall rock and they’re in no immediate danger.

On the other hand, maybe Rose would like to explain the science behind the fact that, if their parents don’t come looking for them, they’re stuck until the Earth rotates such that the Sun appears to be rising.


But Will Henry hasn’t set up a hostility between Amelia and Rose, and in this earlier strip, we get an insight into Rose’s home life as well as the fact that she’s one of the gang and Amelia is ready and able to offer help, leaving Rose speechless at the rebellion.

It’s not that she didn’t know you could change a minus into a plus with the swish of a pen. She didn’t know you could that easily perpetrate a fraud on your parents, who have, consciously or not, manipulated her into obsessing over her grades.


And yet Amelia doesn’t offer much help to Spud, who she feels ought to be able to sort out his options. It’s not hostility but impatience.

Of course, Amelia is right. She’s just not being helpful at the moment. Wallace simply wants to get his pal through the next 60 minutes, not through his entire life.

As I’ve noted before, there is, in Amelia, a hint of an older Alice Otterloop, but I’m more fascinated by the fact that, while Wallace often takes on the detached observer role Petey fulfilled in Cul de Sac, Petey had his own level of dysfunction while Wallace is just as apt to be initiating the latest Bad Idea as commenting on it.

If you feel there is a continuum stretching from Peanuts through Cul de Sac to Wallace the Brave, you’re probably right. For all the innovation Peanuts brought to comics at the time, the characters were somewhat one-dimensional within their assigned roles.

Richard Thompson lifted the characters from being little adults to being more realistic kids, and now Will Henry is making them three-dimensional and distinguished enough from each other that the adult-commenting-on-kids aspect is more of a sideline than it was in the other two strips.


The Barn (Creators) offers a challenge, though it’s a bit of a cheat to have the sheep carrying a “Save the Trees” sign while questioning plastics.

The major issue in discussing paper lies in mistaking the sources of paper, which are largely a combination of recycling, tree farming and forest management. That last can dip into some old growth areas, but, on this continent, is more likely to be happening in swaths of continually harvested forests.

There are other sources of fiber for papermaking, and both kudzu and hemp have been proposed, with hemp more often championed I suspect because you can’t smoke kudzu and yes I know the THC level in the kind of hemp we’re talking about is lower but having lived where pre-ban marijuana has gone wild, trust me, it’ll still get you off.

In any case, here’s an interesting conversation on the topic that isn’t sponsored by hemp promoters.

The more problematic aspect in all this is that we’ve apparently been handed a load of malarkey about plastic recycling, a petro-promoted myth that began falling apart when Philippines President Duterte told the West to stop sending him our garbage in the guise of recyclables.

Now we’ve got non-sort recycling, which is also apparently a crock, or most of a crock, since, if the paper or cardboard gets wet, it’s ruined, and most of the plastic isn’t really recyclable after all and so that leaves glass and metal cans which aren’t nearly the percentage of our waste that they were a generation ago.

Back when we simply returned the glass bottles to be cleaned and refilled.


Might as well just leave it out for the bears, who are happy to recycle food waste, which now must be collected for composting in Vermont.

Adrian Raeside lives in Vancouver, where I think it’s always spring, but this The Other Coast (Creators) strip hit just as New Hampshire was telling us to take in our bird feeders lest we find Yogi in our backyards tearing them down, along with our fences.

Which some of my friends have had happen, and not just those who live outside of town.

I speak of four-legged Yogis, not the two-legged ones.

It can be confusing.


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