Tank McNamara (AMS) sets the stage with a straightforward explanation of how we allow ourselves to be exploited.
In 1980, Jimmy Carter pulled the United States out of the Moscow Olympics to protest the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan, and the US was joined by 64 other countries. It was a major embarrassment for the Soviets, who launched a much smaller retaliatory Eastern Bloc boycott of the LA Olympics four years later.
The Olympics have been used as a political football several times, with the 1980 boycott, and Hitler’s 1936 celebratory games the two most prominent examples.
But the games were at least nominally an amateur event, destined and expected to lose money, until LA, when they broke the steel grip of Avery Brundage but exchanged racism and elitism for, as Tank puts it, Sportswashing.
The Olympics, and the World Cup, still lose money in a grand sense, but they make huge amounts of money for people who know how to get a finger in the pie, which brings us to that bit of social wisdom that says there has never been a war between two countries that each have McDonalds.
It wouldn’t be good for business.
Once national economies become entangled, that’s the motivation for putting lipstick on the pig, however the beast may otherwise look and smell.
Right now, the cause celebre is the disappearance and then partial reappearance of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, who charged a coach with sexual assault and then dropped out of sight and then, after global outcry, popped back up to assure us all that she’s fine.
If you believe that, Xi has some islands in the South China Sea to sell you. It’s like the wife who explains to the cops that she’s fine, that nothing happened and that she got that shiner by walking into a door.
There have been several clever cartoons on the topic, but I like Aiden Cooney’s take because it’s not at all clever and why should it be? It’s just a little girl and a giant dragon and that dragon could shoot someone in the middle of Tiananmen Square and not lose a single vote.
In fact, it has. Several times.
What are you gonna do about it?
And don’t say “Boycott the 2022 Beijing Olympics” because we’ve already sold the broadcast rights and a boatload of ads.
Anyway, there’s no reason to worry about her.
See? The President of the International Olympic Committee had a nice video visit with her and she smiled and assured him that she’s just dandy. As the Olympic Committee reported:
I don’t know what you people were so worried about. On with the Games!
Meanwhile, Kal Kallaugher notes that the gamesplaying is no longer confined to sports, and that Putin is applying that thing about shooting people on Fifth Avenue to even greater goals.
A little nibble of Crimea, a sample of Eastern Ukraine and so what are you gonna do about it if he just goes ahead and gobbles down the whole thing?
Perhaps a speech at the United Nations! That would show him!
Juxtaposition of the Beam in Our Own Eye
The last time we launched an Antifa campaign, we still had Jim Crow laws and all sorts of flaws, but we didn’t make it an excuse for letting Germany and Japan take over the world.
Still, the Biblical command “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye,” is reasonable, and, if we’re going to criticize other nations, we should also consider our own degenerating situation.
As Weyant and Murphy suggest, we’re in the midst of an internal attack on our nation’s principles, of which gerrymandering is only one, though critical, piece.
We’re not only reluctant to threaten sales at the McDonald’s in Moscow but we even seem unwilling to pay the price for standing up to those who challenge our values here at home.
Brendan Loper may be commenting on the way Mitch McConnell shut down Obama’s attempt to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, or the way he ramrodded one through at the end of Trump’s administration or the way in which Manchin and Sinema tie up legislation by refusing to renounce the filibuster.
Or maybe he’s just making a joke.
But I’m willing to classify this as a political cartoon, and his use of the word “again” tells the story.
One of my favorite movies is Destry Rides Again, in which Jimmy Stewart plays the son of a lawman noted for his fast gun, only Destry refuses to carry one, and is mocked by the local bad guys for it.
Until, in the course of confiscating guns in accordance with a town ban, he looks the bad guy’s piece over, then swiftly blasts six wooden knobs off a distant sign, at which point the villains realize his pacifism is a choice, not a weakness.
Restraint is a fine thing, in the hands of a skilled gunslinger.
But the citizens of Bottleneck had been hoping the new sheriff would gun down the villains his first day in town and, when it didn’t happen, they lost faith in Destry.
David Horsey continues my simile in this cartoon, and Biden is being pulled down not simply by his opponents but by people who wanted to hear gunfire.
And, of course, by those who aren’t paying attention, but they’re a constant. They’ll follow a fad, which simply makes the challenge one of public relations, not meaningful action.
At the risk of spoiling the movie, Tom Destry has less to do with restoring law and order in Bottleneck than does Frenchie (Marlene Dietrich), who rallies the women of the town to take a stand rather than see innocent people killed.
It’s been a long time since those pussy hats came out and I wonder if they’re still around?
Meanwhile, over in Francis (AMS), Brother Leo salutes the season, with a reminder of how dark it can become when good people remain silent.