CSotD: Random Reactions

Ben Jennings starts us off because I simply like the way he offers a visual depiction of how inflation feels to consumers. That’s more than sufficient, given that the point of cartooning is to put concepts into graphic form.

But I also like that he’s not trying to hang it around the neck of Boris Johnson, a rare example of sticking to the point. There are all sorts of things to blame Boris Johnson for, but inflation, like rising gas prices, is a global phenomenon.

It is sufficient to comment — brilliantly — on its impact.


Here’s a second example of brilliant simplicity, though Kevin Siers is certainly pointing specific blame.

But he’s taken the horrifying, appalling story of Shaye Moss and universalized it as an assault upon America and upon all Americans. It’s more a literary process than a specific cartooning technique, to take an individual story and make it universal, but it certainly works in cartooning as well.

There are several ways he could have telegraphed his point — by having Shaye Moss testify with Liberty sitting next to her, or by depicting Liberty with Shae Moss’s face. Or, of course, with labels.

But simplicity is a worthy form of eloquence, and, while not everyone watched the hearings, and, despite the attention that clips of Moss’s testimony received in news coverage afterwards, not everyone saw them, either.

However, those people who steadfastly cling to ignorance also won’t see the cartoon, so why cater to them?

Someone posted a thing on social media yesterday about how happy he was, now that he’d stopped paying attention. My reply was that he shouldn’t worry, because, when it’s all over, General Eisenhower will order him to tour the camps and see what he missed.

Which leads us to our first

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Steve Breen)


(Kevin Siers)

Siers gets a second chunk of praise for describing that willful, self-centered ignorance, but, in this case, Breen tops him in the simplicity category.

I’m not sure, however, which I prefer. Moss’s testimony was so gripping and horrifying that it’s fair to say “shame on you” to anyone who missed it, and, certainly, to anyone who was not moved by it.

The connection between gas usage and climate change, while certainly clear, is less immediate. As noted here the other day, it’s sensible and appropriate to look to a day when we’re all driving electric cars, but we can’t all just swap out this morning. People need to get to work in whatever vehicle they’ve got and not everyone lives within bicycling distance of their jobs.

Breen is right that every gallon burned adds to the problem, but I think Siers makes an important contribution by reminding people that they need to care about more than their own situation, whatever they are able to do with it at this moment.

And speaking of bicycles, here’s our second

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Gary Varvel – Creators)

(RJ Matson)

I’m not praising either of these cartoons, because Biden slipping off his bike should have been a non-story.

Varvel uses the incident as an excuse for an attack that is not only partisan but ungrounded, given that it was Trump who claimed friendship with North Korea and whose relations with Putin were so warm and supportive. It’s mean-spirited with no discernible point.

Matson is not alone in spinning the moment to note that inflation is a problem threatening Biden’s re-election efforts, though, again, inflation isn’t simply happening in the United States.

However, my main objection to the topic is that it’s based on a dishonestly edited video that was cut off at the point when Biden caught his toe in a toeclip and, naturally, drew the bike and himself to the ground.

The most popular video ends there, but you can see in this more complete version that he got back up and immediately starting chatting with people in the crowd, then held a brief press gaggle, obviously unhurt and unfazed by a common hazard for all bike riders.

Even those not 79 years old.

I’m seven years younger and already at a stage in life where, if I stumble, people hurry to help me back up, too, and it’s nice that they care but I’m not dead yet, goddammit.

For the record, I agree with whoever said that Biden is not too old to be president but that he’s too old to be president again.

However, I’d also note that he’s only three years older than Donald Trump. And that he rides a bicycle and jogs regularly.

How ’bout a bike race between the two? While each drinks a glass of water?

Speaking of cheap shots, here’s our third

Juxtaposition of the Day

(John Cole)

(Ed Hall)

Cole makes the serious point that evidence is mounting, link by link, towards the criminal nature of Trump’s attempted coup, while Hall uses the handcuffs motif to make a cheap joke about Trump’s small hands.

I like Cole’s point, but I laughed at Hall’s joke, and there’s an excuse for that. Trump’s small hands is a perhaps non-existent convention among cartoonists that Trump himself brought about.

Obama’s ears stick out, Bobby Kennedy had massive hair and a toothy smile and LBJ looked like an unmade bed. Every public figure has something upon which cartoonists fixate for their caricatures.

However, it’s not clear that Trump has small hands. What is clear is that he has a gigantic ego, so that, when Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter described him in Spy magazine as a “short-fingered vulgarian” in 1988, the Donald became apoplectic.

I’ve often referred to the summer camp I went to as “Camp Lord O’ The Flies” and given that Trump was sent off to a military boarding school by his parents, he ought to have known better than to respond to the wisecrack.

This, dear friends, is what we call a “self-own.”


Finally, Darrin Bell (KFS) demonstrates the gadfly approach, and you don’t have to believe that nothing is happening at DOJ to appreciate his holding Garland’s feet to the fire.

It would be nice if someone plopped this down on Garland’s desk. We don’t need premature action, but we do need to know something’s happening.

Justice delayed is Justice denied. November 8 is 138 days away.


3 thoughts on “CSotD: Random Reactions

  1. Just a guess, and something I’d put money on, but I’d bet Kim Jong Un can’t ride a bike.

  2. Trump’s hands are pretty small, but not tiny. 15th percentile among men, according to this Washington Post story.


    He is very sensitive about it. Once when defending the size of his hands, he said, “My hands are normal. Slightly large, actually. In fact, I buy a slightly smaller than large-size glove, okay?”

    He could not even admit that he wears medium-sized gloves.

  3. Unfortunately, the ones who most need to see the hearings — Fox “News” viewers — won’t see any of it.

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