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CSotD: Who Are You?

The ongoing flood of Musk/Twitter cartoons continues. Some of them are clever, some are not, but none has been any better than the ones that popped up three days ago, and the net effect seems to be no particular advancement of this issue and, by omission, less advancement of other issues.

I have some sympathy for cartoonists locked into a contractual schedule, because I’ve been there, too, and it’s painful to watch something develop when you won’t be able to comment on it for five more days. But, then again, that’s often the price of those steady jobs that are disappearing.

Freelancers may live on beans and rice, but they can drop a cartoon whenever they’d like.

Anyway, I like Banx’s piece, and would note that, not only is it ridiculous for the fellow to come into the room and stand in front of his wife’s chair for the announcement, but Banx, despite his minimalist style, has captured the self-satisfied smile on the man’s face.

This is about the only cartoon on the topic I’ve seen that — rather than bird images and Musk’s evil intentions — references that portion of the public whose normal response to a challenge has been explained thusly:

 

Banx does a nice job of depicting Brave Sir Robin in modern dress, and I’ve had a few back-and-forths with people who feel there’s no point in sticking around to (A) see what happens and (B) stand up to any bullying and lies that result, because, after all, they’re only one person among 396.5 million Twitter users worldwide.

To which my response is that there are about 206.6 million registered voters in the US, but we usually look down our noses at people who use that as an excuse not to bother voting.

I don’t think the numbers are so different that one argument doesn’t mirror the other.

Besides, I would point out, there would be no Whos in Whoville anymore if that last little kid hadn’t stood up and yelled.

Ana Navarro-Cardenas offers a more concrete argument — and she does it on Twitter, no less:

 

Meanwhile, despite the overwhelming fascination with Elon Musk, there are other things happening in the world, hence this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(John Cole)

 

(Matt Wuerker – Politico)

Cole points out that Biden is in a bind, what with his approval ratings nearly as low at Trump’s were at this point in his administration — as well as within the margin of error of the ratings of Carter, Ford and Reagan — and inflation continuing to rise.

Facts are facts and it’s all fair game, but he doesn’t offer much analysis beyond those bare facts.

By contrast, Wuerker makes an explicit point about how we have become dependent on other countries, and specifically China and Saudi Arabia, neither of whom share our declared commitment to democracy and individual liberty. We have a right to criticize Germany for having let itself become so dependent on Russian gas and oil, but we could certainly be in a better position ourselves.

Neither cartoonist prescribes a way out, but Wuerker is more detailed in his depiction of the problem his cartoon addresses, and his use of Uncle Sam lays things on all our shoulders rather than suggesting that some other president might be handling it better.

I would note that Biden has decreed that certain government-supported things like windmills be made here, and, in a perfect world, we might increase the shift from imported to domestic fuel.

But if you think people are howling over the price of eggs, imagine if we stopped importing our phones, our kitchen tools and our clothes from foreign sweat shops.

 

Which in a roundabout way brings us to Michael Ramirez (Creators)‘s attack on potential forgiveness of student loans.

That is, it’s also a system we’ve let get completely out of control, and it is neither Biden’s fault nor the fault of the kids who were pressured and persuaded to take out those loans. We can trace it back to a time when colleges expanded, in part because of student deferments during Vietnam, but mostly because of demand caused by a trend towards demanding a degree from new hires.

In Ramirez’s place, I’d have put that taxpayer in jeans and a flannel shirt, because fat cats in suits are the ones who won’t even interview anyone without a sheepskin and, preferably, an unpaid internship or two.

A bit of personal history: My oft-cited grandfather was plucked from the mines by the mine captain and the local school superintendent, who got him a scholarship at the University of Wisconsin, from which he rose. But I asked him once how his father, an immigrant who worked on the loading dock at the mines, felt about it all.

He told me his dad thought it was a waste of time, because he didn’t have any rich and influential friends to help the boy once he had graduated.

My great-grandfather lived long enough to see his son succeed anyway, but I take it as proof that wisdom can come without a sheepskin, because the old man was mostly right: A century later, for every son of a TV dinner magnate hosting his own cable show, there are thousands of college graduates without connections, flipping burgers and struggling to pay off their student loans.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to build a football stadium or if your bank made bad decisions and needs a bailout, the public wallet is open and you can take whatever you need.

 

And, as Nick Anderson (Counterpoint) points out, if you’d like to piss away a few billion dollars on a pointless bit of performative, empty political posturing, the taxpayers will absorb the cost of that, as well.

But you can’t expect us to pay to build a modern workforce, not because it wouldn’t be a good investment in the nation’s economy but because who the hell are you?

Again, it might perhaps help if a whole lot of small, individual voices spoke up together.

But then again, why waste your time?

Only 1,800 people retweeted that individual message, only 24,200 boosted it with a like.

One insignificant, pointless, useless, meaningless click at a time.

 

 

Community Comments

#1 Steve
April/28/2022
@ 6:31 am

Friday? Rushing my week, aren’t you? ;)

#2 Mike Peterson
April/28/2022
@ 6:43 am

Yeah, changed it. Life goes by fast enough as it is.

#3 Paul Antonissen
April/28/2022
@ 10:45 am

“Only 1,800 people retweeted that individual message, only 24,200 boosted it with a like.”

I was ready to like and retweet and share it, but you didn’t share the actual tweet, just an image of it.

#4 Mike Peterson
April/28/2022
@ 12:22 pm

If you go to Twitter, you’ll readily find @TheBloggess

https://twitter.com/TheBloggess

And she’s worth following anyway. Funny, talented, insightful lady!

#5 Andréa Denninger
April/28/2022
@ 3:08 pm

Thanks for the link to Jenny Lawson’s twitter (at this time, I only follow Ann Telnaes) – I’ve read, loved and gifted all her books. I highly recommend them all!

#6 George Walter
April/28/2022
@ 9:12 pm

Your commentary on oil & gas is missing something. The US, geographically, is energy independent. We produce more than we consume, in contrast to Germany.

The problem is not the amount of energy available, but who owns and controls it. US energy companies are free to send energy products overseas without consequence, it is they who hold the key to the chains

The Saudis and their OPEC partners do control the amount of oil flowing into world markets, but that is not a US-specific problem. US oil companies are responsible to their stockholders, not their country. We could use governmental action to change this situation, but it’s not the American way.

In a larger sense, the US has chained itself to capitalism. No one should act shocked. Shifting the blame to the Saudis for this specific manifestation is dis-engenuous.

#7 Mike Peterson
April/29/2022
@ 3:57 am

George, I’m not sure you are advocating anything that contradicts what I suggested: Shifting from a mix of imported and exported petroleum.

You’re right in that it’s a marketing choice, not a production choice, and I’m right in agreeing that we could make the shift in a world where we weren’t locked into international trade issues.

Which we are.

#8 Brett Mount
April/29/2022
@ 5:19 am

She’s up to ten times as many likes, and almost 23,000 retweets. I’m assuming that’s all due to your promotion here.

#9 Mike Peterson
April/29/2022
@ 7:09 am

I’m sure that’s it. We’ve finally got some sunshine here, and I’m taking credit for that, too.

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