CSotD: Doleful Variants on a Theme

Michael Ramirez (Creators) is not the only cartoonist to ask this question, but I particularly like the snow-globe imagery, which echoes the quarantine concept.


It might have been presented as a Juxtaposition with Martyn Turner‘s piece, but they pose the overall question in very different terms, with Ramirez being metaphorical while Turner is direct.

The quick answer, according to Anthony Fauci, is that the omicron variant does not have to shut down family gatherings, or even require masks, so long as everyone is vaccinated.

To which I would add “and is honest about it.” You know your family. I don’t.

The other day, someone at the dog park asked why Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was not suspended for lying about his vaccination status while Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown was suspended for lying about his. There was a hint of differing treatment for superstars or perhaps racism, until a knowledgeable fan explained it: Brown lied to the NFL. Rodgers only lied to the public.

Priorities, people!

Question for you is, will your least favorite Thanksgiving Uncle lie at Christmas?

Though, if you’re vaccinated, your lying uncle will most likely only make you sick. He won’t kill you.

Might not harm you much at all: Aditi Kinkhabwala posted a short video of her post-game interview with TJ Watt, who was out of practice all week with covid but was not simply okay by game time but played a monster game. (He assured her that it was not his decision whether he should simply quit coming to practice.)


But you’ll have to make the call on whether you gather with relatives you don’t trust, and Steve Brodner points out that the liars and deniers are genuinely a risk, certainly to each other if not so much to sensible relatives who believe in science, facts and stuff like that.

Meanwhile, we’ve learned from Mark Meadows’ new book that Dear Leader had tested positive for the coronavirus during the 2020 campaign but hushed up the fact and proceeded to not only debate Biden but circulate with hundreds of supporters.

It’s important to note that Lord Geoffrey Amherst only proposed handing out smallpox-infected blankets to the Indians. There’s no indication that it ever happened or that it would have worked if it had. But the college named after that soldier of the King is still up and running, while the one named for our modern superspreader collapsed in disgrace.

Perhaps because one of them had the sense to target his enemies rather than his supporters, but, hey, why get hung up on such trifles?


Monte Wolverton (Cagle) manages to get a grim laugh out of this confluence of bogus science and dubious politics, anticipating the Supreme Court’s binding them together.

Justice Sotomayor asked Scott Stewart, the lawyer arguing on behalf of Mississippi, if the idea of pre-viable “life” were not, in fact, a religious rather than scientific question, and he ducked and dodged masterfully. Probably just as well: Her colleagues clearly don’t care, and I was surprised enough that the arguments wrapped up in half a day.

They certainly wouldn’t have if anyone had begun bringing in theologians to debate that aspect.

Then again, we could have brought theologians in for the Citizens United case as well, to discuss how the First Amendment either limits or allows the worship of money.

Which sort of debate raises our first

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Mike Luckovich – AMS)


(Clay Jones)

We know, of course, that the lives of post-born children don’t figure in Republican values, but perhaps we need a sort of playoff bracket to decide where Racial Equity and Learning to Think fall on the scale.

And here I worried that kid with the drum was going to wake up the baby.

The interesting part of all this is not that GOP voters are putting gun-worshippers, screwballs, bigots and morons into office, but that the party itself has become so power-crazed or so cowardly or so fond of funding-magnets and possibly all of the above that they decline to discipline anybody in their caucus, no matter how patently offensive or clearly nuts they may be.

It was not always like that, which brings us to

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Gary Varvel – Creators)


(Scott Stantis – Counterpoint)

I like both of these tributes to Bob Dole, neither of which — thank god — takes place at the Pearly Gates.

I often disagreed with his politics, but he was a leader in the days when good people could disagree, and, while I didn’t support his presidential bid, I hated Jay Leno for reducing it to jokes about old men.

(Yo, Jay: He outlived your career.)

So I like Varvel’s salute to a decent guy, because he was one, though perhaps some will read more into the idea that he’s riding that elephant off into the sunset.

Stantis, however, brings a more thoughtful charge home, which is that the Republican Party no longer has any place for, as he labels it, American heroes like Bob Dole.

I doubt anyone in the party will actually speak out against him, but Stantis is right that decency and honor get just that treatment, and Dole isn’t the only member of the Old Guard whose memory should bring a tear not because they are gone but because they have not been replaced, nor would their replacements be welcomed.

And this note: I’ve already seen tributes focusing on the heavenly restoration of his wounded arm. This is another debate we could assemble theologians for, since it’s central to religious objections to cremation, but, from the point of view of political cartooning, it raises a more fundamental matter:

Anybody who focuses on his arm truly missed one helluva great heart.


A Tracy Dick

While those of us in this sector of the art world contemplate the limits of tracing, Neil Gaiman had success in getting MOMA to give Tony Abruzzo credit for the art that Roy Lichtenstein simply copied.

He’s not the first to notice. As Hugh Brown put it:

Check out this long-established investigation into the “genius.”


Great Art deserves Great Music:

5 thoughts on “CSotD: Doleful Variants on a Theme

  1. Not a Jay Leno fan but implying that his career is somehow over is way off.
    Also, implying that he was the only one doing old man jokes over Dole’s 96 run is WAY off.

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