CSotD: Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?

A salute to Casey Stengel, who could pull a bird out of his hat, but, as manager of the 1962 Mets, was unable to pull many wins out of a team that finished their inaugural season with a 40-120 record, prompting him to ask a question that seems relevant today.

Dr. MacLeod turns the question inward, and, having plowed my way through mountains of the same cartoons in different clothing, this got a genuine laugh, albeit with an involuntary twitch.

The Handmaid cartoons can be defended on the basis that a lot of people watched the TV series (I’m sure far more than read the 1985 novel), so it’s a good way to convey your message to a large group.

But it doesn’t justify running essentially the same cartoon every day, and, to be honest, I haven’t seen a Handmaid cartoon that offered anything more than, “Look! It’s just like the Handmaid’s Tale!”

And I’ve ranted too often about coat hangers, which are good to wave at rallies but should not be used in cartoons as trivial shorthand, nor, certainly, shown as both bloody and intact, because that’s not how they work.

Perhaps you had to be there, but, as someone who was, I’d like to see them respected in cartoons as you would, for instance, lynchings.

Use them, yes, but cautiously, respectfully and with meaning.


As for the Statue of Liberty, I think MacLeod included it to make a three-part litany, which flows better, but, yes, the symbol can for-sure become meaningless due to overuse.

Kal Kallaugher also invoked three parts in this recent cartoon, adding to Liberty and Justice the ancient goddess Columbia, who served cartoonists as America’s personification before the Statue of Liberty graced NY harbor.

Columbia was an armed and fearsome protector, in contrast to Liberty, for whom Kal had to weaponize the torch because she’s an inspiration, not a warrior.

We need warriors at the moment. Maybe more cartoonists should dust off Columbia and put her back on the job.


Paul Fell echoes a plaint that has been all over social media, wishing young men who impregnate women were required to pay child support.

Now, a lot of young men went with their girlfriends to Planned Parenthood, but that’s past tense in a lot of states.

However, in a world of forced parenting, we still have paternity suits for less cooperative beaux.

And besides child support, you could sue for a portion of the cost of pregnancy. It simply requires getting more blood out of that turnip, since it’s not likely the other party to your pregnancy is any better funded than you are.

The larger hitch being that along with child support comes parental rights and — even without visitation and non-custodial decision-sharing — it guarantees 18 years of continued contact, if only to get the damn check each month.

Be careful what you wish for.

On the other hand, if we’re not going to give women the freedom to decide what happens to their bodies and their lives, fairness demands a little sharing of the burden, not simply financial but in thwarted educational opportunities and other chances for success before 40.

One more example of right-to-lifers caring more about blastospheres and cell clumps than about post-born people of any age.


Meanwhile, if you believe banning abortion will make it stop happening, why not strengthen your nonsensical fantasy with laws to forbid women from traveling to states where abortion is legal?

Ann Telnaes doesn’t have to exaggerate to point out the absurdity: She just has to show us what this idiotic proposal would look like.

Even if it came anywhere near passing the Laugh Test, it doesn’t pass the Constitutionality Test. (I thought y’all believed in “states’ rights”?)

Look: Back when New York had an 18 drinking age and surrounding states were set at 21, traffic to bars just over the border into NY was heavy, but, aside from enforcing drunk driving laws, nobody tried to prosecute returning 19-year-olds for legally drinking in another state.

It didn’t mean they favored youthful drinking.

It meant they weren’t imbeciles.


What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, and the recent SCOTUS decision on the praying coach is attracting a lot of wisecracks similar to this Clay Jones cartoon.

His essay is particularly good. I wish the coach had been invoking Satan, or, as others have suggested, saying Muslim prayers, because I’d have enjoying hearing how the current court would have ruled.

However, they’ve definitely opened things up for prayers of any kind to now be recited.

The real problem, though, is that their ruling is based on two major misconceptions and an actual lie.

The lie, as Sotomayor pointed out in her dissent, was that the prayer was private. It most certainly was not.

The misconceptions are (A) that a coach is off duty when the game ends and (B) that high school athletes are not subject to peer pressure or to trying to please their coaches.

As to the first, the coach is responsible for his athletes until they are back in street clothes and formally dismissed.

As to the second, give me a damn break.


The other Christian Nationalist decision is more complex, though Joel Pett summarizes the grand overview fairly well.

But the decision to require Maine to extend its tuition program to religious schools requires some digging, and while Breyer is right that the schools in question teach that God approves our form of government and that evolution is part of God’s “intelligent design,” the fact is that those schools are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

As noted in the majority decision, Maine doesn’t require that private schools duplicate what is taught in public schools, only that they be NEASC accredited. And NEASC standards are a puddle of flaccid, non-specific edubabble.

If that’s all it takes to qualify for the program, there’s your problem.


To end on both a positive and a pessimistic note, Jen Sorensen pushes back against the rising autocracy and voter apathy, though she wrote this before SCOTUS galvanized national fury. We can hope it lasts until November.

We can also hope that today’s bonus hearings are worth the special session.

Else what’s a heaven for?


2 thoughts on “CSotD: Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?

  1. Sorensen seems to be recalling Adlai Stevenson. When a woman told him he had the vote of every thinking operson, he said “But I need a majority.” (I’m paraphrasing.)

    In re: the Jones cartoon : isn’t Beelzebub one of the Biblical names for Satan ?

  2. Ms McNeil, yes; Beelzeboul (as it’s transliterated in the Greek New Testament I have handy) is identified as “the prince of demons” by the Pharisees, in Matthew 12, and similar passages in Mark and Luke.

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