Timing is everything in comedy, and today’s Barney & Clyde (WPWG) was excellently timed, coming after the first wave of political ads hit yesterday’s NFL coverage.
New Hampshire has shown a relatively steady preference for Democrats, but rarely one-sided, and we’ve not only seen a number of nail-biters in past elections, but have a Republican governor and have been known to send GOP Senators like Kelly Ayotte to Washington. Ayotte is no liberal, but neither is she a flaming brownshirt, and it’s generally a rule that, when the GOP puts up a traditional conservative, there will be a dogfight in November.
This time around, however, Chip Bok (Creators) accuses Soros — apparently a group, not a person, which leaves open what group is intended — of supporting extremist Rebublicans, and I’m not sure who “Rebublicans” are, either.
But however it happened, gullible GOP voters nominated Don Bolduc, who is an election denier, believes Bill Gates implanted tracking devices in Covid vaccines, wants Confederate statues preserved (in NH???) and so forth and so on.
It hasn’t left them with much in the way of firm ground upon which to build a campaign, so we’re getting generic “I Hate Maggie Hassan” commercials that accuse her of voting along with fellow-Democrat Joe Biden 95% of the time, a pretty harsh criticism coming from a party whose members toe the party line 100% of the time.
Now suddenly I feel like Dunbar in Catch-22, who sought the most boring, unpleasant activities between missions because they made time pass more slowly and thus extended his doomed, wretched life.
The next six weeks are going to make me immortal.
The problem with Dunbar’s theory is that it requires you become totally apathetic, and when you’ve lived nearly three-quarters of a century under the belief that all people deserve respect and basic rights, it’s hard to sit by passively while, as Pat Bagley puts it, hatemongers, bigots and control freaks are teeing off on the less fortunate.
And others are not simply applauding, but joining in and attempting to out-do the previous power-hungry bigot.
Thing is, while I like Bagley’s cartoon, this isn’t about Trump anymore.
It’s about people trying to be Trump, trying to snatch a bit of the magic that put Trump in power in 2016 and that keeps his fan base sieg-heiling as they did in Ohio the other night.
Which seems as good a time as any to comment on today’s headline: I realize that “The Perfect Storm” was based on a Gloucester fishing boat, not one from Martha’s Vineyard.
But the term Der Sturmer isn’t based on fishing boats at all, and, fits wonderfully well with the outrageously dishonest, hate-inspired commentary inspired by the DeSantis/Abbott migrant kidnapping caper.
There was a time when such comparisons seemed like hyperbolic exaggeration, but reality has caught up with rhetoric and we’re about one lynch mob short of Kristallnacht. And trying desperately to believe there is no possible parallel between the failed Beer Hall Putsch and the failed January 6 Coup.
Unless you simply haven’t read enough history to know what happened next.
However you feel about all that, it’s absolutely clear that we’ve gotten to the point where debate no longer matters, that there is no possible meeting of minds, that brain-washed masses believe people who go from one part of Massachusetts to another part of Massachusetts have been “deported.”
Alternative Facts have gone from a laughable joke to a rock-solid basis for political policy, as seen in this
Juxtaposition of the Day
(Tom Stiglich — Creators)
These cartoons are not expressing “opinions.” A cartoon saying Abraham Lincoln should not have freed the slaves expresses an opinion. A cartoon saying he didn’t free the slaves is simply a lie.
In both these cases, the slight wisp of an opinion is the claim that the people of Martha’s Vineyard wanted the migrants to leave, which is similar to the opinion that they wanted them to have food, that they wanted them to have shelter and that they wanted them to feel welcome. Yes, they wanted them to have the best help possible.
Which meant welcoming them for a few days and then arranging for them to go to Joint Base Cape Cod, not in custody but simply so they could find better accommodations and people who could help straighten out their paperwork.
So where does a “mistake” become a “lie”?
Both cartoons assume a snotty, elite, all-white atmosphere on Martha’s Vineyard, and there’s no doubt that it has a significant element of that, just as the Hamptons are part of Long Island. But, then, not all Long Islanders are stereotypical Hamptonites.
It would take deep, intensive research to discover the truth.
For instance, I had to take my dog to the park and run into Nellie’s owner, who, as it happens, did some construction work on Martha’s Vineyard.
Nor was it cost-free: I ended up giving Nellie three doggy-cookies while we talked!
He explained how, after work, he’d head over to the VFW for a couple of beers and some Jamaican jerk chicken or pork from the kitchen of Deon Thomas, or sometimes to the Portuguese American Club, — base of the Holy Ghost Association — where Portuguese and Brazilian food is common and the world is equally brown, black, white and workingclass.
It should be noted, also, that the Vineyard has always retained better-than-average relations with its original Wampanoag community, which still remains there, and that it was a leading light in the rights of African-Americans, including sheltering runaways.
One of the oddities of this whole kidnapping-of-Venezuelans thing being that Martha’s Vineyard, and much of southeastern Massachusetts, has a substantial and influential Portuguese and Brazilian community, though the locals still had to bring in local students to bridge the language gap.
My remaining question being whether it’s easier for Venezuelans to understand native Portuguese or American high-school Spanish. (That’s a joke, hijo.)
But I have no question that a person who wants to know the truth can find the truth. It only cost me three doggy cookies.
Similarly, I have absolutely no question that people who don’t want to know the truth will never see it, even when it’s right on their noses.