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CSotD: Caught in the Rain of Folly

A second day of foolishness, a second day of inventing headlines that satirize classic book titles.

Jimmy Margulies (KFS) leads off with a comparison of nitwits. As noted yesterday, not knowing squat about Canada didn’t stop Yanks from not only commenting on the convoy but actively supporting it, and now we’ve got Republican Senators coming to the defense of people who violently disrupt airline flights.

They oppose a no-fly list that would let airlines share information on passengers who have put planes in danger.

As long as their violent outbursts were over mask requirements, mind you. The eight — Wyoming’s Cynthia Lummis, Utah’s Mike Lee, Oklahoma’s James Lankford, Florida’s Marco Rubio, North Dakota’s Kevin Cramer, Texas’ Ted Cruz, North Dakota’s John Hoeven, and Florida’s Rick Scott — are still against flying airplanes into tall buildings.

But if a plane happens to corkscrew into the ground because somebody was beating hell out of the flight crew over masks, well, that’s freedom!

Walt Handelsman (AMS) salutes the settlement in the Sandy Hook school shootings case, in which Remington Arms agreed to pay $73 million to families of victims.

This Washington Post coverage makes for fascinating reading because they did a good job of laying out the case, but the main reason I’m linking to it (w/o a paywall) is that they also offered a correction for a bit of folly that rocketed around the media when the settlement was first made public.

It was a settlement, not a judgment, and Remington was not — despite all the headlines — found liable, nor, as the correction points out, did they voluntarily accept it.

This may sound like a small point, but it’s about accurate reporting. We’ve got enough news outlets deliberately misreporting the facts that we don’t need people doing it by accident.

Which brings us to this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Lisa Benson – WPWG)

 

(Bob Gorrell – Creators)

Apparently, those bogus stories about fictional crack pipes were so popular that they inspired a sequel, and so word went out to gin up some new fake outrage over the Durham Report, which does not say that Hillary Clinton spied on the Trump Campaign and which is only a report anyway, not a definitive finding.

It’s pretty complex, but CNN Politics and CNN Business have each got good summaries, and, in this morning’s Reliable Sources newsletter, Brian Stelter anticipates Gorrell, suggesting that Fox and others leapt to release their partisan take so that, while other outlets were taking the time to actually read and understand it, they could make the claim of a “coverup.”

Whether it’s an issue of honesty or incompetence really doesn’t matter, particularly when the Big Lie is only part of a pattern of little lies, and when many people only read the news from one side of the aisle.

And, BTW, I chose two cartoons from a substantial number touting the same dubious interpretation of the report.

Remember those “When EF Hutton talks, people listen” ads?

Carlson and Hannity seem to have the same persuasive power, given how many other stories cartoonists might have commented upon.

And speaking of betrayals of trust:

 

Clay Jones comments on a disturbing story: A priest in Phoenix said “We baptize you” instead of “I baptize you” in thousands of baptisms, and so the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has declared all those baptisms invalid.

It’s really hard to be a cartoonist when the people you are trying to ridicule are already ridiculous, particularly since what is farcical in a cartoon can be tragic in real life. Jones explains his fury at his website, and, as another recovering Catholic, I share it.

The point isn’t whether there is or is not a God, or whether there is or is not a Hell, but, rather, how many ways the Church can find to break faith with the people who trust it.

I wouldn’t mind so much if some backwards local bishop had made the call, but for it to come officially from Rome is unacceptable.

In Matthew 12, Jesus himself faced down heartless religious bureaucrats who accused his disciples of breaking the Sabbath for stripping grain from stalks and eating it as they walked through a field, and who questioned his right to heal a cripple, saying that, too, would be breaking the Sabbath.

As another of my fellow recovering Catholics, Nathan Monk, pointed out, the Church teaches that anybody can baptize a dying person and have it count if both parties are sincere, to which I would add that it’s been 1500 years since the Church did away with the Donatist heresy, which wrongly held that sacraments performed by a sinful priest were invalid.

I seem to remember that there is someone who outranks even the Pope, and I’ll give him the final word on this legalistic, bureaucratic betrayal of innocent trust:

Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you are like to whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear to men beautiful, but within are full of dead men’s bones, and of all filthiness.

 

Might as well ban Shakespeare, too

(Marty Two Bulls – AMS)

(They Can Talk)

I really like both these cartoonists, but if I’m going to carp about accuracy, fair is fair, and I’d favor cutting funding for schools in which students are permitted to graduate without learning that “wherefore” doesn’t mean “where,” and that Juliet was asking why Romeo has to bear the name of her family’s sworn enemies.

It’s only going to become worse, now, in states where teachers are no longer allowed to discuss who is sexually attracted to whom. Trying to teach “Romeo and Juliet” without talking about forbidden love is as good as removing it from the syllabus entirely.

I like to close with a related song, and the only song I can think of that repeats “wherefore” is from HMS Pinafore, which also features forbidden love, between a captain’s daughter and a common sailor, though, in this portion of the play, the First Lord of the Admiralty believes himself to be the object of her desire.

This Aussie production company, Essgee, is known for trifling with the script, which is good, because I have of late, though wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth.

 

Community Comments

#1 Mark Jackson
February/17/2022
@ 8:54 am

You came within a Hair of too many Shakespeare quotes, there at the end.

#2 Rich Furman
February/17/2022
@ 9:38 am

I just want to note that those self-same Pharisees would go on to establish a concept in Jewish law called “b’diavid” or “after the fact.” The principle is that there may be rules for doing things validly, but, if it is discovered “after the fact” that those rules were not quite followed, we don’t retroactively invalidate the ritual. And yes, avoiding turning people who acted in good faith into mamzers (bastards) and adulterers is a key reason for the principle.

So yes, to the Catholic Church in general and to the Office of the Doctrine of the Faith née in particular, I would say “turn to the Pharisees, and learn mercy from them.”

#3 Kathleen Donnelly
February/17/2022
@ 1:43 pm

It’s a G&S tradition to add local or topical references to performances, making them even more enjoyable.

#4 Paul Berge
February/17/2022
@ 3:20 pm

@ Kathleen: I remember a performance of the Mikado back during the Carter administration. During “I’ve Got a Little List,” the Lord High Executioner, came to the lyric about “statesmen of a compromising kind, such as Thing-a-ma-bob, What’s His Name, and also [switching suddenly to an impersonation of the President] Y’all-Know-Who”

#5 Mike Peterson
February/17/2022
@ 4:42 pm

Agreed. I played Koko in the Mikado for our senior play, and even in a tiny miningtown out in the woods, we found plenty of ways to spice things up.

My favorite bit of traditional business in the Mikado comes when Koko sings, “Take her, she’s yours!” and one of the noblemen in the chorus steps forward, to which he says, “Not you, silly” and then repeats his line. It’s a small, quick piece, and it’s not in the script, but it’s in every production and gets a laugh every time.

I also think that, in Pirates, when Frederick sings, “I do not think I ought to listen to you. Yet, mercy should alloy our stern resentment, And so I will be merciful – say on!” it’s important that Ruth and the Pirate King should point pistols to his head. Not in the script, but definitely in the mood.

Having her get drunk and sing “the tar who plows the daughter” put this one over the edge even for G&S, but obviously the audience loved it and so did I. I suspect that even G&S aficianados approach this particular production company expecting such things.

G&S’s plays were topical at the time, so it only makes sense to keep them so. And, when you have someone playing the Monarch of the Seas or Major General Stanley who is a gifted clown, for god’s sake, so much the better: Set him free!

#6 Kip Williams
February/17/2022
@ 6:33 pm

It was my privilege to write updated verses to the “more humane Mikado” number when Christopher Newport University did it in 2000 (and I was in the chorus).

(Audio link here): https://kipwblog.blogspot.com/2007/06/in-2000-i-decided-that-theatre-program.html

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