CSotD: Dissension

Bruce MacKinnon may have posed more questions than he intended with this cartoon, which appropriately shames the Catholic Church for its role in the ghastly scandal of the residential schools.

It also brings up the fact that Canada’s cascading revelations seem to have begun with Newfoundland’s Mount Cashel Orphanage, whose pattern of sexual and physical abuse had nothing to do with the native community but was ignored and tolerated by the Christian Brothers who ran the place.

AFAIK, the next blow came with similar revelations in the church-run facilities in Quebec, in which young girls — the Duplessis Orphans — were both abused and essentially placed in slavery, often after being misdiagnosed as developmentally disabled.

That second scandal may have coincided with the start of the outcry from First Nations people about the abuse, and even deaths, of native children in the residential schools, many of which were under church rule. Certainly, the latter two came at roughly the same time.

And the unifying factor among the three is that cries of “We didn’t know” from the hierarchy are utter nonsense.

The laity may have thought it was just a few individual clerics scattered here and there, but there’s no possible way the higher ups could have not known: There were too many reports, too many complaints, too many victims at too many facilities over too long a time.

They knew. They did nothing.

Meanwhile, MacKinnon’s use of a dreamcatcher brings up the element of cultural appropriation, which ties the scandal of residential schools into the overall topic of disrespect for native people.

Dreamcatchers themselves are borderline, because they’re not religious items but simply a kind of folk object that began in the Ojibwe community and spread throughout First Nations and thence into the wider world.

Still, as this extensive breakdown on the topic explains, any cultural item deserves to be treated with respect, if not absolute reverence.


Which brings us to Marc Murphy‘s comment on the “Chop” with which Atlanta Braves fans celebrate their team.

I’m not a baseball fan and hadn’t been watching the World Series, but I had thought a bit about “the Chop.”

It occurred to me that, while the Cleveland Indians in baseball and Washington Redskins in football and any number of high school teams have abandoned their native mascots, it would be harder to stop the fans from indulging in an action that has become traditional for them.

Until I heard the topic discussed on the radio and learned that the stadium soundtrack is cueing the Chop.

That is, the Atlanta Braves organization is officially encouraging fans to make this racist, degrading gesture by playing the soundtrack associated with it.

This article is a bit Braves-friendly in coming up with reasons the club can’t halt the practice, but has some useful information, including the gobsmacking fact that Major League Baseball’s commissioner says Native Americans like it.

By which I assume he doesn’t mean enrolled tribal members but, rather, those proud Native Americans whose great-grandfather was reportedly one-sixteenth something-or-other.

As Murphy says, it’s past time.

And as long as I’m in a pissy mood, here’s a


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Dave Granlund)


(Joe Heller)

These cartoons raise the important question of WGASA, which is not a native African word for “railway.”

Granted, Joe Biden is the oldest president ever, but WGASA?

He broke the record held by Donald Trump, who is only four years his junior but whose loyalists have spread the notion that Biden is senile, to which one might respond “Person, woman, man, camera, TV, covefefe, hamberder.”

Neither of these cartoons declare Biden (or the Pope) senile, but to bring it up is to make a statement.

Barack Obama was our first African-American president, and there’s nothing wrong with pointing that out, either as a point of pride or with dismay that it took us so long.

But imagine a cartoon in which Obama was visiting Nelson Mandela and saying to him, “Hey! We’re both Black, but you’re darker than I am!”

If you wouldn’t draw that, don’t draw this.


Mike Lester (AMS) raises a more complicated issue, which is how to tax people whose wealth is not in salaries or profits but in “holdings.”

First of all, I would suggest that when a company offers a stock option at a discounted price, that discount should be considered income, since it represents an immediate profit.

But when an entrepreneur owns 52% of the company’s stock from the start, it’s problematic to consider a rise in value to be “income.”

OTOH, it’s surely something.

If nothing else, it’s how he can list himself as one of the world’s wealthiest people, which generates credit.

I also know that, in family law, if he is paid only $40,000 a year but gets a new car and a luxury apartment as part of the deal, those benefits are counted as “purported income” when things like child support and alimony are being calculated.

Similarly, I’d call it “purported income” if he goes flying into near-space, just the same as if the company awarded him a ski trip to Mount Blanc.

I see no reason such things shouldn’t be counted as income on April 15, and perhaps they are, which brings up a funny memory:

At the paper where I was a business reporter, our publisher’s husband was the only tax attorney in town. We had an informal rule that, when we had some generic accountancy question, we’d go to anybody but Roger, but that, if it really was a question about tax law, we’d ask Roger.

This whole thing would be a question for Roger, and probably not a 10-minute phone call. We’d probably have to buy him lunch.

But we could write it off.


In Honor of the Day

Francis Dahl was a legendary Boston cartoonist who upheld regional pride in many ways, such as declaring Manhattan clam chowder to be “vegetable soup with a clam dragged through it.”

One of his oft-repeated favorites was to dash down the rumor that witches had been burned at the stake in New England, his explanation making the term “cold comfort” particularly apt.

We regret the errors.

And we thank god it’s all over, eh?


3 thoughts on “CSotD: Dissension

  1. RE: Dave Granlund

    Did I miss the memo that cartoonists (whether editorial or ‘funny’) didn’t need to be grammatical? It’s ‘. . . older than I’ [‘am’ is implied, although actually stating it here would be a good idea].

    And of more relevance/importance, if I may add this:
    In Kamloops, B.C. – https://www.depressioncomix.com/posts/484/

  2. The tune don’t have to be clever
    And it don’t matter if you put a couple extra syllables into a line
    It sounds more ethnic if it ain’t good English
    And it don’t even gotta rhyme… excuse me: rhyne!

    –Tom Lehrer, The Folk Song Army

  3. I like how the legs are apart on Shame Catcher. In important distinction that lets us know that the Bishop’s position is NOT in imitatio Christi.

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