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CSotD: Waiting for the Electioneer or someone like him

Let’s save a little bandwidth here with a roundup of 12 variations on the same cartoon. I’m breaking from format by not acknowledging and linking to each cartoonist, but I’m also breaking from format by not commenting beyond what the collection itself implies.

Which should balance out.


I will comment on Paul Fell‘s cartoon, because, like him, I’m appalled by the unseemly, irrational rush.

And once again I find myself in agreement with Jennifer Rubin, a factor which has surprised me less in the past four years, and is twice welcome now that Bill Kristol, one of the architects of the Bulwark, has gone full throttle on blame without acknowledging that he never met a war he didn’t like.

Nor one he wanted to actually serve in himself.

But it would be inconsistent, if not hypocritical, to agree with Rubin that we shouldn’t start whining “Are we there yet?” only to turn around and immediately begin commenting on the war and its aftermath.

There were certainly things we can all wish had gone otherwise, but let us allow it to shake down a little before we start loading the tumbrils.


Can’t we talk about something more pleasant?

Today’s Dark Side of the Horse (AMS) made me laugh for personal reasons and only because I have a dark sense of humor.

Back at the very end of June, I went to a campground and, as I was pulling into my slot, banged hell out of my bumper on a rock. As soon as I was home I called my insurance company, then went and got an estimate and an appointment at the body shop. Best they could do was Aug 19 and only because of a cancellation.

Last week, the body shop called because my insurance company hadn’t gotten back to them and they wanted to order parts, so I called the agency and they said they’d set things up.

But they didn’t, so the body shop had to cancel my appointment. I’m now slated for October 20.

Pretty funny, eh?

The rest of the joke is that the body shop called back to warn me that everything is on back order, and even October 20 may be wishful thinking.

Yeah, I laughed, too.

The real joke is, my car is ugly but driveable. I’d be better off if I’d have totaled it.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(The Buckets – AMS)


(Lars Kenseth — The New Yorker)

Another case of my appetite for dark humor coming through, but there is a bright side this time.

For the past several years, nearly the past two decades, I’ve grown to enjoy living alone and I’ve met several bright, attractive women who feel the same way.

Which is to say, if we were younger, we’d press things and screw everything up, but we’re not and so we don’t. It’s very pleasant.

Sometimes I feel a bit envious of couples my age, but not if they’re still putting each other through this.

I’d like to think the reason they’re still together after all these years is because they don’t do these kinds of things to each other, but I know that’s not universal.

I see couples in the grocery store all the time, quibbling over each item before they put it in the cart and those are definitely not the couples I envy.

If Jean-Paul Sartre could follow them around with a video camera, he wouldn’t have had to write “No Exit.”


Sticking to today’s “Things That May Amuse Only Me” theme, another New Yorker cartoon, this one by Victoria Roberts.

We’ve got a bumper crop of mushrooms going this year, thanks to a lot of rain in the past few weeks, which has delighted camera bugs, since some are quite colorful, and, of course, the mushroom gatherers, some of who need to exercise a bit more caution.

As of ten days ago, the poison control center was already closing in on its normal annual total of mushroom calls.

Perhaps I should point out that it’s the cartoon that I thought was funny.

As for the actual poisonings, I blame the mushrooms for not being more explicit.

And speaking of explicit …


Juxtaposition of the Day


(Nick Anderson – Counterpoint)


(Brevity – AMS)


(Arlo & Janis – AMS)

The Nick Anderson cartoon is actually the version that AMS released; the original at Counterpoint spelled out that word and my response was that he must not have wanted any newspapers to pick it up. I don’t know if he anticipated that in sending it to the syndicate or if it was editor feedback, but that’s how it came out there.

I would only criticize Brevity because the kid proffered a card, not a check. The pun itself is based on a vulgarity that I don’t think would see the light of day on a comics page, but with so many fart jokes, it’s getting hard to tell.

But it reminds me of a time when I had Leonard Cohen’s Chelsea Hotel on my set list at a coffee house, after which someone said I shouldn’t have performed it with a child present. My defense — aside from it being one helluva great song and 9:30 at night — was that if he recognized the sex act Cohen specifies, I hadn’t corrupted him, while, if he didn’t, I also hadn’t corrupted him.

Ditto with Brevity.

The best part of this juxtaposition is that the Arlo & Janis is the most salacious while also the most subtle. If you haven’t been following the arc, A&J went down to the coast to help out at Gene and Marylou’s diner, where Janis waited tables and became a favorite among customers.

And, as fans of the comic know, she’s always been Arlo’s favorite, a factor that Jimmy Johnson has a particular talent for expressing clearly to adults while avoiding corrupting the little ones.

The laff this time being that Gene didn’t intend to strike at the truth.


Finally, Andertoons (AMS) with a cartoon for my youngest, who is spending the new school year subbing as a sort of sabbatical after a decade in the same place. He’s not even a used-to-be. He’s still got the chops.

I couldn’t find the video I wanted, but here’s the transcript.


Community Comments

#1 Mark Jackson
@ 8:16 am

“I’d be better off if I’d have totaled it.”

Probably not – used car prices are way up, which mysteriously affects what the insurance company would pay much less than what you’d have to pay for a replacement.

#2 Kip Williams
@ 8:37 am

Remembering now how I made a great high-school friendship by calling out a line from that first Firesign album, getting the response, and finishing together. “He’s coming around, folks…!”

#3 Fred King
@ 9:07 am

“used car prices are way up”
They are indeed. When I was told that the new chiller and air conditioner for my car would cost over $2000, my first thought was that I could do without an a/c. Well, no, an electric car needs one to keep the battery cooled. A replacement car would be around $15,000. Suddenly $2000 wasn’t so much after all.

And thank you for the Victoria Roberts mushroom cartoon. Does anyone else think it’s kind of like a cheery Sam Gross cartoon?

#4 Mike Lester
@ 11:21 am

Three more things that are “funny”: on this site you can mock a conservative cartoonist, judge him not to be a “real cartoonist” and do it all w no repercussion, qualification or irony .

#5 Mike Peterson
@ 11:34 am

Point semi-made, Mike. But — aside from how many things it is — the “you” you allude to is nobody with control over the site, unless you think DD and I have nothing to do all day but monitor comments.

But I’ll delete the comment as mean-spirited, in part because we do keep that to a minimum, but mostly, this time, in order to stay in line with your devotion to “Cancel Culture.”

(You might have asked politely.)

#6 Nicholas Merritt
@ 11:50 am

Lester, you hardly gave anyone a chance to disagree – in fact I would dispute calling any of them not real cartoonists, if only because the bar for being a cartoonist is so low you pretty much pass it by calling yourself one and having your work published /somewhere/.

As for qualifications, well, let’s hear it: what are the necessary qualifications to call out someone for repeatedly and consistently publishing pure bull? Don’t evade the question like you usually do, let’s have an honest answer.

#7 Mike Lester
@ 12:46 pm

Jones comment was posted at 10-something. I didn’t ask to have it removed so “cancel culture” criticism is illogical. I just pointed out the hypocrisy and hubris of one cartoonist disqualifying another based on his definition. There’s your cancel culture winner. It’s free mkt capitalism. If you suck the market will tell you. Not the self anointed.

#8 Nicholas Merritt
@ 1:29 pm

That’s a non-answer, Lester. This blog hits such lofty numbers as (checks notes) single digit comments regularly, hitting double digits once or twice a week (with no disrespect meant to Mr. Peterson and the rest – it just is what it is). One uncalled for remark going unanswered for an hour is going to happen from time to time.

#9 Mike Peterson
@ 2:24 pm

Mike, the suggestion that you could be more polite is no longer a suggestion.

#10 Mike Lester
@ 2:52 pm

An impossible task given the requirements for me personally. I’ll give it my best MP but if you’re going to accuse me of being impolite and unprofessional you should have no problem pointing out an example.

#11 Kip Williams
@ 3:06 pm

Mike Lester, I appreciate that you are putting both names in your screen name now. I wasn’t going to say anything when you weren’t, but now that you are, I get to thank you.

#12 E.A. Blair
@ 4:08 pm

@Kip: I cannot count how many friends and acquaintances I have latched onto by sharing random Firesign lines. I recently acquired the Firesign book “Marching To Shibboleth”, which has the scripts to their first batch of albums.

@ 8:02 pm

MP Summation: No defender of the attacked cartoonist am in fact I often wince at our shared political affiliation but Ive seen LONESOME DOVE a few times and I don’t like rude behavior in a man or from one cartoonist towards another when he is no better in a time when he should be defending the art form. Or it’ll die. Thanks

#14 George Walter
@ 8:38 pm

According to this UMich prof, the jack-in-the-box needs many more arms.


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