See All Topics

Home / Section: Comic strips

CSotD: How smart is your room?

There’s such as thing as being “too smart for the room,” which generally signals a failure because the audience couldn’t keep up.

And then there’s Macanudo (KFS), which is frequently, joyously too smart for the room. It probably limits his reach, but he probably doesn’t care.

 

I didn’t recognize the name, but I got the joke anyway and then scurried around and found the piece in question, along with a bunch of similar work by the same chap, in an article that didn’t seem to quite know what to make of him — it said his portraits were “beguiling” — and which was blurbed on Google as “Guiseppi Archimbaldo: Who was he and why is he important?”

Well, as Fats Waller is said to have more or less possibly said of jazz, “If you gotta ask, you ain’t never gonna know.”

Or something. It’s explained here, which the writer concedes is kind of a silly thing to do.

There is a type of person who hates smart humor, who feels personally insulted by a joke that whooshed overhead, which could touch off an entire rant about how, back in the days of Shelly Berman and George Carlin and Steven Wright we used to gaze in non-admiring wonder at the French embrace of Jerry Lewis.

But that was then and this is now, so I will skip that rant today in favor of featuring cartoons that also made me say, “Wait, what?” for a variety of reasons.

 

Sometimes, it’s an innocent “Says who?” because I understand Jeff Stahler’s salute to the beauty of autumn, though he’s probably a week or two ahead of things.

But here in the center of leaf-peeping country, or, to be accurate, about seven miles east of the center, we talk about climate change a lot, specifically about if it is changing the foliage season and then about what it’s doing to syrup production and then off into white-footed mice and beech nuts and the resulting tick population.

The immediate point being that we’ve got a significant tourist industry based on Columbus Day being the last weekend of the year, and we’d like to keep it that way.

Plus we’ve got to figure out what to do with ourselves with that gap between the years when there’s no more maple syrup anymore but it hasn’t become warm enough to start producing coffee.

 

At least climate change is real, despite the deniers.

Meanwhile, Michael Ramirez (Counterpoint) is just one of many conservative cartoonists beating the drum over Biden’s “open borders” and I truly have no idea WTF they’re on about. Or how Texas ceased to exist, but that’s a quibble compared to the overall accusation.

One would think that more enforcement would indicate a greater effort, and this extensive set of graphs and charts with circles and arrows and a paragraph on each one would tend to back up that interpretation, but I guess that depends on the one doing the thinking, and assumes a willingness to look at those graphs and charts and suchlike.

I’ll grant you this: When the folks at the (northern) border would summon the press for a show-and-tell about their latest drug bust, it left the question in the air of how many mules were getting past them, and it’s reasonable, on the southern border, to ask if more apprehensions and expulsions signals more folks sneaking through.

The Pew Research folks attribute the dip in recent years to the pandemic, others credit locking up babies, but, either way, increased enforcement now is proof of increased enforcement now, not of “open borders.”

That’s aside from unfinished walls and who’s gonna pay for the wall and Biden getting Mexico to pledge $1.5 billion to improve border security.

 

Meanwhile, Phil Hands asks, if there are all these undocumented workers pouring across the border, where the hell are they?

We’re even short of legal workers. We’ve got stores closing one day a week for lack of workers and fast food places with lines out the back because they don’t have enough people flipping burgers inside, and help-wanted signs on every corner.

Yesterday, I went to a local orchard for cider and apples, and asked how the pickers were faring with a new hurricane threatening Jamaica. She said they don’t have as many pickers this year as in the past. Those are legal, registered, regulated ag workers, and they can’t even fill the numbers for them.

So I don’t know where these open borders are, but the good news is that the people flooding over them are totally invisible and have no impact on our economy whatsoever.

Or maybe somebody is spreading false rumors.

 

Tom the Dancing Bug boils down the art of raising a mob in simple terms: Make them feel that what is happening to their rulers is happening to them.

The first step is to skip the facts: If the government threatens to tax billionaires, say they’re threatening to raise everyone’s taxes. If they fund the IRS to hire people to answer phones and file papers, say they’re hiring 87,000 armed agents to kick in doors and rob middleclass workers.

Granted, it would be ridiculous to try to convince people that what is happening to Trump will happen to them, which is why it’s a funny cartoon.

The fact that they’re pulling it off in real life is why it’s not funny.

 

 

But fair is fair, and Pat Bagley lucklessly gets his turn today by virtue of being the latest progressive cartoonist to harp on the massive racist backlash over the Little Mermaid turning black.

Constant readers will know I bought into the first flush of this, with an argument that authors’ original visions should be respected, but I eventually surrendered to the idea that, once a work has been Disneyfied, artistic integrity is a dead issue.

But since that initial burst, a second question has arisen, which is not “Why do these racists object?” but, rather, is anybody talking about this beyond the people who are furious that it’s happening?

And, if not, is it really happening?

I’m calling bullshit, and wondering if one day we’ll find the original “racist response” was marketing hype.

Nah. Such things could never happen in the Magic Kingdom!

 

Community Comments

#1 michael dooley
September/25/2022
@ 11:25 am

yes, in Ramirezland Texas as we know it has ceased to exist. why? well, New Expanded California will need a place to send all those folks who’ll become illegals (remember the Alamo?). i hear the plan for that territory is to call it Newest Mexico.
p.s.: i loved your column today. and bonus points for your nod to Arlo.

#2 Bob Harris
September/26/2022
@ 7:09 am

Arcimboldo (no H in his name) is amazing. I first came across his work about 4 years ago.

#3 Ignatz
September/26/2022
@ 7:10 am

Macanudo is an absolute delight. One of the best things on the comics page.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.