CSotD: 4 legs in the morning, 2 at noon, 3 at night

Ted Rall (Counterpoint) asks a reasonable question, but one for which there is a reasonable answer: You must crawl before you can walk.

A major reason there are only two major political parties in the US is that everyone swings for the fences and nobody wants to score on singles. At the risk of using (gasp!) a sports analogy, young batters often have to be coached not to try to hit home runs every time they swing the bat, but to focus on getting on base.

Which by the way came up in this only-vaguely-relevant

Juxtaposition of the Day

Wallace the Brave — AMS

Real Life Adventures — AMS

Amelia is being more pragmatic than sporting, but her instinct is understandable: You aim to limit the damage. An intentional walk would be more polite and smarter in the sense that, if you start pegging their best hitters, they’ll start pegging yours.

Also, I think few youth leagues have a designated hitter, so pitchers might want to keep things mellow lest they get pegged themselves.

And an important consideration before you get into things is to understand the rules better than the dad in Real Life Adventures: An overthrow to first base is likely to result in all runners advancing two bases, which could score a run or two but it wouldn’t clear the bases.

Point being that, getting back to Ted Rall’s cartoon, the goal of a third party is to “get runners on base,” not to strike out trying to hit home runs. Learn the rules and play smart.

Bernie Sanders began his climb as mayor of Burlington, whence he advanced to the US House and then to the Senate and a credible, if unsuccessful, run for the presidency.

Go thou and do likewise. Stop wasting time, money and volunteers’ energy on quixotic White House runs and, instead, focus on school boards, town councils and state legislatures.

And, if you hate sports analogies, think of it as planting fruit trees.

And if you don’t like using Bernie as an example, take a look at how rightwingers are taking control at the local and state level, and growing their efforts from there.

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

Nick Anderson

John Branch — KFS

Two Texas cartoonists mark the anniversary of the Uvalde murders, and the utter lack of response from the Texas legislature since.

Anderson’s sarcasm is more biting, suggesting the well-worn “thoughts and prayers” response in which the government appeals to God in place of making any meaningful moves itself.

Branch, by contrast, works in a bit of a joke about waiting periods, but the thrust of his cartoon is in the varying responses of the family: Sorrow, fury and fear. He also spreads the blame: While Anderson blames the Republican-dominated government, Branch puts a state flag on that door in order to lay it on the entire state government. It’s a distinction worth making.

Meanwhile, Ted Littleford calls to mind those heart-warming videos where a dog joyfully greets a veteran returning from deployment after two years. Only there won’t ever be such a reunion for these loyal pooches, who have already waited a year to hear the familiar step on the porch.

Death and overkill

When Tina Turner died the other day, someone asked me how many “Simply the Best” Pearly Gates cartoons I was expecting. I will confess to having hit that specific number fairly closely, but having way, way underestimated the total that didn’t cite that particular lyric.

I could do a whole posting of nothing but Tina Turner cartoons, but am singling out Mike Luckovich’s because I praise him so often that I don’t feel unfair in pointing out one that falls flat.

Turner was an energetic, talented entertainer, but, as the song says, “if there’s a rock n’ roll heaven, well you know they’ve got a hell of a band.

Turner placed a respectable #55 on Rolling Stones’ list of the Top 200 Singers of All Time, by which, of course, they mean our time.

But even leaving out Jenny Lind and Enrico Caruso and suchlike, she’ll be sharing the microphone with Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Billie Holiday, Patsy Cline, Nina Simone, Mahalia Jackson. Bessie Smith, Dusty Springfield, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald and Miriam Makeba, all of whom both outranked and predeceased her on the listing.

So why the flood of Tina Turner cartoons?

My cynical side says cartoonists anticipated a lot of editors wanting them, and times are tough. Extra sales don’t hurt.

However, my more Pollyannaish side points out that a lot of cartoonists are a few decades younger than I am, and Turner’s career hit right in the sweet spot that Ruben Bolling wrote about in 2007:

I’ll confess to cutting a lot of slack for bands from the intersection of the California Sound and the British Invasion because they were on the jukeboxes and Top 40 radio stations back when I was 12 or 13.

I know some of it was crap while some of it really was good, but I also know that my affection for nearly all of it is purely emotional. For those a decade or so younger, Tina Turner falls in the category of having real talent but also provoking strong emotional connections.

Plus that wig is just a blast to draw!

I didn’t mean that wig, but, it does emphasize my point. How old were you in 1985?

This doesn’t, however, put all these Pearly Gate cartoons above criticism, and my main critique of them is that she was 83 years old and apparently in poor health.

This isn’t like the sudden, shocking deaths of Buddy Holly or Patsy Cline, to which I’d add that anyone who has been drawing “Old Joe Biden” cartoons needs to put their pens up rather than act shocked that Tina checked out at 83.

You never know. (That’s what makes it interesting.)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in a substack I linked before, writes of life in the red zone.

I know the feeling. I’m just three years younger than Kareem, and so I also live in the red zone.

There’s no point in fretting. Like Kareem, I’ve beaten cancer but unlike him, I haven’t had heart surgery. He’s done a lot to keep the body tuned and recently found he also has a-fib.

If he can take it, so can I.

Thing is, if I’m feeling lousy at 83, I’ll be willing to check out, and, if I’m feeling good, I’ll run for another term as president instead.

You never know. (That’s what makes it matter.)

17 thoughts on “CSotD: 4 legs in the morning, 2 at noon, 3 at night

  1. Regarding Rall, he misses the point that there is a two decade or so process that generally gets you to candidates. Voters seem to wait to get involved until the candidates are selected and the only thing to do is vote or don’t vote. Then the day after the election you get the fourth panel.

    American government, from water district to POTUS, is based on citizens being involved. It’s really not that hard to be known to state legislators with just a little effort, and it’s really easy to get known to local school and town elected officials. Getting involved with them early, picking out the good ones and pushing them to be better, and also forgiving some of the compromises they have to make because that’s part of being an elected official, and you can get better candidates in the future.

    But sitting on your hands for two years (House), four years (POTUS), or six years (Senate) and you get the candidates that are handed to you. Be involved at just a few events a year (rallies, town meetings, fundraisers) and during campaigns (just a few hours of office volunteering gives you access to high ranking staff) and you have impact. Get a dozen like-minded people doing it, and you have influence.

    1. Ironically if people had done this exact thing in 2016, we’d have a majority liberal supreme court, Roe v Wade still the law of the land, and a functioning postal service. Things changed a lot with Trump in office.

  2. Given the realities here in TX, blaming the entire state government is, effectively, placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of the Republican party.

  3. I have a State Senator that has declared he won’t entertain any bills addressing the gun situation that happened in my state with the Covenant shooting. Different shooting, different state, same result.

    1. He’s not blaming the entire state government, he’s blaming the entire state.

  4. At 74, I also believe I am in the “Red Zone”. I hate looking at the news every day to see who in my age group died. It’s a real bummer.

  5. Mike said: Stop wasting time, money and volunteers’ energy on quixotic White House runs and, instead, focus on school boards, town councils and state legislatures.
    I must agree and act on that even though it is an admission that BIG CORRUPT CRAPITALLIST MONEY manipulating the drooling ones runs our country.

    That was a really fun hit by The Righteous Brothers. Enjoyment of music often is driven by emotion. Though I find a lot of carefully composed/performed music to be intellectually satisfying.

    Kareem’s observation of ‘the red zone’ is important. I think, regardless of age, we are all living in some kind of dangerous red zone today.

  6. Now the page is completely unreadable. The ads don’t go away and make reading difficult if not impossible. The constant closing of the offers to subscribe are bad enough I have to close at least two to read CSotd. I read everyday and am a subscriber. I have the page book maked. I hate having to click close the subscription offers. The ads are worse

  7. The ads are making the page unreadable. They cover content. The cover the cartoons you are trying to show us. Clicking to close is likely to take you to the ad. This is awful. I’m going to miss reading this page; I really enjoyed it and I have subscribed to Comics Kingdom and Go Comics in support of the artists I have discovered here. I hope this post isn’t full of typos, but since I can’t even see what I’m typing, I’m not holding my bearth.

    1. Just starting today there is an ad panel on the left hand side obscuring content – it can’t be closed or deleted. I could deal with the rest of the pop-ups but this makes reading very difficult. ..What gives ???

  8. As I mentioned in another post, we recognize that the sudden appearance of ads may be surprising given the near 18 years of very few ads. We understand! I am working with our ad platform company to remove the left side tower that is covering content. It might take a few days for things to settle down. Your patience is appreciated.

    1. Since discovering this site during Trump’s first go, I have enjoyed reading Mike Peterson’s daily posts. I read the content exclusively on a laptop, so I appear to have more options for cleaning up the disparate monetization overlays. From my perspective, this is simply another inevitable road marker on the path that began when the entire site was reworked (has it been a year?). My current pre-read decluttering routine: 1) Find Mike’s posts. A) Go to the editorial-cartooning page. B) Click on Mike’s name, sorry D. D. 2) Determine where I left off and start catching up. A) Click on one of Mike’s editorial-cartooning posts. B) Zoom in and pan left until the right ad is no longer visible. C) Pan all the way to the right and close the oversized back-to-top popup that otherwise covers the bottom of the reading area. D) Click the close portion of the bottom ad. E) Enjoy!

      If I were Mike or had anything to do with this site’s well-being, I, too, would try to monetize. As one of Mike’s loyal readers, I think I would be willing to pay for an ad-free subscription. However, I am also very capable of circumventing advertisements. Thus, here we are in 2023, dealing with the same conundrum that became apparent in the late ’90s. How do we get compensated for providing our services without obscuring access to our services?

      Good luck.

  9. I just hit my Beatles Birthday last March (I’m 64) so not quite to the Red Zone, but damn, the obits and my iPod playlist are getting difficult to tell apart.

    1. When I was 12 the Osmonds were a thing. I hated them passionately, then one guy on a late night station played Roxy Music. It blew my mind, if you get the reference.

  10. I first heard the “gradual change” argument in the Reagan era. I thought it was a bad argument then, and the results 40 years later are as bad as you would expect if one party just gave up on scoring anything other than token victories. And now the game might soon be over, and yet this failing strategy never changes.

    Never trying for a big score is a classic mistake for rookie players in games like Go. You never lose a battle, and yet you end up losing the war completely because the other player takes all the big points while you are messing around with minutia.

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