CSotD: Reality checks on different levels

Kevin Necessary gets top honors for his marking of the collapse of Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin, both as a local cartoonist — the game was in Cincinnati against the Bengals — and for not having used a tear, which would not only be an unnecessary cliche but somewhat premature, given that Hamlin is still alive, albeit in critical condition.

Use of the mascots is a good way to involve not just the teams but their fans, while the pose — backs to our view — is one of concern and solidarity. It’s a lot to load into one graphic.

As for the event itself, it was not unprecedented, though not many current commentators were around in 1971 when Detroit Lions wide receiver Chuck Hughes collapsed and died on the field in a game against the Bears.

Two differences are that Hughes fell with only a minute left in the game, and while not everyone wanted to finish, it was not as problematic to conclude things.

Hamlin’s collapse in the opening minutes of the game posed a more challenging decision, both because of how much was left in the contest and because of how long he was attended to, which gave time for more consideration of what to do next. (Continuing the game was, as it turns out, never a serious consideration, but had to be discussed.)

And the second difference is that treatment: Hughes never had a chance, and having the team doctor pound on his chest and attempt mouth-to-mouth resuscitation was seen as inadequate, even at the time, though it was very close to state of the art.

This Chicago surgeon may have been ahead of what was practical at the time, and conceded the difficulties of providing advanced medical care on the sidelines, but we do it today, whether we really could have done it 51 years ago.

California had just signed its EMT program into law the previous year, and Jack Webb’s show about the innovation, Emergency!, would not go on the air until the following fall, not only sparking development of EMT and Emergency programs around the country but inspiring a generation of first responders and trauma specialists.

It’s a different world, and Damar Hamlin owes a debt, both to Chuck Hughes and to Jack Webb for the ways in which professional sports, and emergency medicine, have changed in that half century.

And not just for the pro athletes. There are automatic defibrilators next to the fire extinguishers in malls, in stores, in school hallways.

But we’ve still got high school and rec league programs in which medical emergencies on the field must be handled by a coach with an hour’s worth of first aid training.

We’ve made baby steps, since Chuck Hughes died.

But those other players are also somebody’s baby.

Meanwhile, on another playground …

Age also becomes something of a factor in judging RJ Matson‘s depiction of Kevin McCarthy’s dilemma. Is this the ghastly scene from the shelling of Odessa in Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin, or a reference to the lesser spin-off of that scene in The Untouchables, in which Ness has to choose between capturing the bad guys or saving the baby?

I’m going for Eisenstein, because his film depicts the overall brutality and chaos, rather than posing anyone as a hero, and the situation in the GOP caucus is not going to be solved by a single, brave soul stepping forward.

I suppose it’s pushing the analogy too far to point out that Al Capone was brought down not by G-Men but by accountants, but, then, I’m not aware of any cartoonists having leapt to the defense of ol’ Scarface back then by declaring the evidence against him to be non-existent.

Lisa Benson (Counterpoint), however, has — one assumes — perused the extensive battery of financial documents, and, I’m also sure, taken into account the legal and ethical issues already adjudicated in New York State, before declaring that there is nothing questionable in Dear Ex-Leader’s tax returns.

Just kidding. Unsubstantiated denial worked for OJ and it remains a far better defense than attempting to explain the evidence. Simply deny that the evidence exists.

Or adopt Scott Stantis (Counterpoint)‘s approach and find some other evidence to put forth instead.

The problem here is that there doesn’t actually appear to be a whole lot of smoke, but just a lot of bragging and porn and plans that never happened.

The nepotism part is unfortunate, certainly, but, then again, nobody gave him $2 billion, nor did Hunter make any money staging the inaugural ball for his father.

But we’re going to look into that laptop, because, as Tim Campbell (Counterpoint) suggests, that’s what matters. Well, to some of us, anyway.

We should start by examining the search warrant by which it was seized and examined. After all, if having a judge sign a warrant to look for purloined national secrets at a former president’s household is something to protest over, and someone taking work home on a personal computer triggers weeks of Congressional investigation, surely having somebody poking around someone else’s laptop without any kind of legal backup would be similarly important.

Matt Davies suggests that perhaps there’s no need for a confrontation after all, because the snake is determined to swallow itself without outside assistance.

I’m enjoying the schadenfreude as the Crazy Coalition not only tears up any plans the party may have had in mind but has begun tearing up each other.

Maybe not as much as Ted Lieu, mind you, but I am enjoying it.

Parts of it, in fact, are downright inspirational, as seen in this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Michael Ramirez — Creators)

(Marc Murphy)

Two treatments of the same concept, but it’s less of a surprise coming from Murphy. Ramirez is a classic conservative, not afraid to issue the occasional cheap shot across liberal bows, but generally in line with a coherent political vision, as in this case.

Murphy’s less detailed rendition suggests more fundamental destruction, and it’s not unreasonable to hope that the current chaos portends a breaking up of the solid bloc of no-votes. One attribute of a cult is a charismatic leader, and it’s not unusual, once that leader has shuffled off the coil, for things to degenerate to the point of non-existence.

But I’m not sure the GOP was locked that tightly into Mar A Lago, and the internal fight, though entertaining, seems more like a squabble than a putsch.

Ramirez offers a shocked elephant face on his disaster, and there remains a chance of recovery. They’ve come back from worse embarrassments.

Besides, nobody’s old enough to remember Doonesburys from back in 1994.

5 thoughts on “CSotD: Reality checks on different levels

  1. Well, we’ll see. The Freedom Caucus has been around for years, and has become more powerful with the recent accretion of fanatics and crazies; not sure whether loss of Trump-worship, even if it were to happen, would take the hydrogen, er wind, out of their sails.

  2. I’m waiting until six(?) Republicans get pissed off enough at this situation and, with no prior announcement, vote for the Democrat. Giving him the Speakership.

    Yeah, I know, the odds are incredibly slim, but damn . . . . .

    1. They could also just vote “present”, which, in effect changes the total vote number, and the number needed to win the election.

Comments are closed.