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
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
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.)