CSotD: Contrary Wise

“I know what you’re thinking about,” said Tweedledum: “but it isn’t so, nohow.”
“Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be; and
if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”

Andertoons explains the logic under which we’re currently operating, no matter how Tweedledee defines the term, if he did.

After all, alternative facts stop becoming lies when they persuade a majority and no longer constitute an alternative.

Don’t they?

Tweedledee and Tweedledum spend more time arguing with Alice and with each other than helping her find answers to the things she needs to know, and so they’re a lovely metaphor for a number of political commentators, including cartoonists, who became so used to contradicting and sniping at the last president that they seem to currently be carrying on by sheer kinetic energy and impetus.

So — for instance — as Biden seeks alternatives to military conflict in Ukraine and promises that, while he will arm the Ukrainians, he has no intention of a US military intervention, even cartoonists who aren’t rooting for Russia draw him in a tank and criticize him for promoting another war.

It’s exhausting.


But at least it’s not all partisan, this effort to get everyone to believe six impossible things before breakfast.

As Pat Byrnes points out, we’re being asked to believe all sorts of impossible things, though I’m not sure his metaphor works, given that those beans turned out to be worth a whole lot more than the cow, and I’m a long way from having that kind of faith in cryptobeaniebabybaseballcardNFTs.

Though it’s true that, if we all believe in them, they’ll become real.

As real as the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, until someone crosses the streams, at which point we all have to wipe off the sticky debris.

Or something. Classical allusions, classical illusions, whatever.


In any case, things become less painful if you stay on the sunny side, so I’m going to experiment by understanding Dana Summers (Tribune)’s cartoon contrary to my normal response, to see if it helps:

And, yes, I agree! Biden is right to say we should create a country where a person’s color doesn’t matter! Absolutely!

It’s shameful that we’ve gone through so many years — and 115 Supreme Court Justices — based almost entirely on the idea that color, and gender, matter a whole lot.

After all, women are 51% of the population, but have only made up a little over four percent of those 115 justices.

African-Americans are 12% of the population but less that two percent of justices, so far.

Those obvious disparities are not an issue of luck and probability. They’re clearly the result of some heavy thumbs on the scales of justice.

You can argue with those precise numbers: After all, several of those white male justices were appointed before we had any lawyers who were African-American (1844) or women (1869), but the reasons for that are simply further, undebatable evidence that, as Summers’ cartoon makes clear, we have a lot of work to do to make Biden’s dream of a fair society come true.

Now, I realize there are those who believe it is wrong to make correctives to our historic injustices, that it favors the people we’ve been stomping on for nearly two and a half centuries.

But we’re not talking about history anyway. We’re talking about right now.

As the cartoon says, we need to build equity, even if a different category of deserving people have to be the unchosen for once.

Chin up, there, fellas. Your team had a helluva winning streak!


I also agree, in that same contrarian way, with this Michael de Adder cartoon, which references the news that a bridge collapsed in Pittsburgh just before Biden arrived to talk about the Infrastructure Package he piloted through Congress recently.

As Philip Bump notes in this detailed analysis, Pittsburgh is the “City of Bridges” and repair of those bridges has long been put off.

So I agree with de Adder: That unplanned example must have been a grim reminder to Biden and his aides of that legislative triumph in which both House and Senate came together for the good of the nation, a slap in the face to decades of buck-passing and neglect.

For all their sniping about covid and inflation, and the way they’ve harped on approval ratings, it’s only fair to note that the Infrastructure Package was a major, hard-won victory, and to remind readers that this legislation will benefit their own communities!


Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

Okay, I realize I only believed two impossible things before breakfast, but it was exhausting, so let’s slow down with this Robert Leighton cartoon, which is only a little bit political and then only to me.

Keep reading: There is an explanation, and it has to do with that convoy of 18-wheelers in Canada, driven by antifax drivers, who are proud Canadians waving the Flag of the Confederacy.

Perhaps they are dyslexic and think it is the Flag of Confederation.

They’re protesting a need to be vaxxed to cross the border, which brings in the covid-based border closings, which reminds me of how easy it used to be just pop up to Montreal when I lived in Plattsburgh.

And get a parking ticket because of signs like this except that they’re in French and 24-hour time notation.

After I’d picked up a couple of these, I found myself up there for some reason on a weekday rather than my usual Saturday or Sunday, and I thought I’d make a clean breast of things.

I asked a fellow on Rue Ste. Catherine where I’d have to go to pay my parking tickets?

“Why?” he asked, with a shrug, in an accent that made clear his ability to not see a thing in either language.


Another Peek into Looking Glass Land

Speaker Boehner is retired and Glenn Beck is out hawking his 21st book, which shows how you can tell whose conscience is bigger than his ego and contrariwise.

But not a whole lot else has changed on their side of the aisle in the decade since I put together this parody of Tweedledee and Tweedledum’s poem, which I offer in place of our regular Golden Oldie.


3 thoughts on “CSotD: Contrary Wise

  1. “. . . driven by antifax drivers . . .”

    I don’t know if this was a typo, or intentional, but I thought it brilliant!

  2. Believing six impossible things before breakfast is one thing, but my position is that Tinkerbell must die. The idea that if you believe in something really hard, you can make it become real is way more toxic. If you believe really hard in Tinkerbell, what do you get for your troubles? A murderous sociopath who attempts to kill one of the members of a family? Why would you even want that? Yet the idea that one is a bad person if one does not believe hard enough in Tinkerbell to effect her resurrection is a central lesson in Peter Pan.

    Why am I going down this road? Because we CAN make a world where we all act as if 4+4=7. We can live in that world and conduct business in that world, and engineer bridges and airplanes in that world.

    But Nature bats last, and unbalanced accounts, fallen bridges, and crashing airplanes will come to disabuse us of the notion that 4+4=7. Will we be disabused? Or will we just blame everyone who thinks that 4+4=8 and kill them for not believing hard enough?

    I think we saw the answer on January 6th, and in the ensuing year as people were punished for not believing in Trump’s lies.

    I don’t believe that 4+4=7, because it is demonstrably false.
    I don’t believe that 4+4=8 either, because I KNOW it does and my belief about it is irrelevant.

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