CSotD: PGA aims for a different kind of green

Dave Whamond leads off our coverage of cartoons about the purchase of the PGA by the Saudi government’s LIV as part of an extensive sportswashing effort to hide the affronts to human decency listed on those half-masted flags.

I’ll add that the bonesaw in the golf bag is the only one you’ll see here today, but they’re plentiful in cartoons elsewhere. In fact, as soon as the news of the merger hit social media, I cobbled together and posted a bonesaw-golf-club meme, which I think made me first only because Photoshop is faster than real art.

It was a demonstration of that rule in editorial cartooning: If you think of it right away, you won’t be the only one. In this case, it’s impactful, and carries the benefit of being immediately understood, but I’m not prepared to offer one particular example as standing out in the crowd.

What I like about Whamond’s piece is, first of all, the foolish, greedy PGA golfer, and the grim, smiling face of the LIV Saudi. There’s no need for an editorial cartoon to be funny, and this one isn’t, but Whamond’s background as a gag cartoonist adds a kind of foolishness to the exchange that adds to the moral emptiness at its heart.

I also appreciate that he lists the offenses in a way that not only makes them plain but ties them to the sportswashing effort.

Rob Rogers is more direct in the sportswashing accusation, and, while I think it would be more powerful without the dialogue, I like the way the Saudi sponsors sit back and let the PGA do the work. It adds a “stooge” element to the transaction.

Mind you, LIV has been staffed by greedy stooges all along. You can’t pretend not to know who you’re dealing with, and, if you didn’t, the murder of Khashoggi should open your eyes. Mohammed Bin Salman’s leadership of the government has led to a significant uptick in beheadings not just of criminals — some for minor offenses — but of dissenters as well.

It’s bad enough to have to plug our governmental noses and deal with him over global petroleum issues, which is not unlike our bargaining with Lucky Luciano and his crew to provide intelligence and avoid waterfront strikes during World War II.

Sometimes you have to get down in the mire and wrestle the pig.

But you don’t have to marry it and joyfully leap into its bed. There’s a substantial difference between dealing with mobsters and murderers out of a greater necessity and doing it out of personal greed, and Bill Bramhall illustrates the happy, foolish subservience it takes to become a wealthy caddy for a toxic killer.

And while Bramhall and Whamond make their points by filling the Saudi’s bags with swords, Michael Ramirez (Creators) is more direct in listing the tools that the PGA is bringing to this game: Not just hypocrisy and selling out of values, but the trading of their souls to the devil.

While David Rowe combines Ramirez’s accusations with the clear evidence of murder that pride and hypocrisy allow the PGA caddy to pretend he cannot see. It’s almost unfair that he names Greg Norman, who sold his soul to MBS when the LIV tour began rather than waiting until the rest of the PGA golfers added themselves to the bundle.

Plus this: Those familiar with Rowe’s work will recognize the shadowy figure in the background, and those who follow golf will connect it to the fact that Donald Trump has already hosted LIV tournaments on his courses and likely stands to benefit further from the merger.

The Saudi fund paying for all this is the same one that gave Jared Kushner that $2 billion parting gift when the Trump organization left the White House.

Speaking of unrepentent killers, Steve Bell offers this portrait of a dead-eyed Vladimir Putin as a soulless little mermaid, overlooking the floods of Ukraine. It’s particularly good in light of the absurd refusal of some media to state that the bursting of the enormous Kakhovka Dam was the work of Russia and not possibly Ukraine.

Anne Applebaum, as good a source on these things as you’re likely to find, passes along this article from a Ukrainian human rights organization, explaining that not only did the dam burst from an internal explosion, ruling out an attack and making it clearly the work of the Russian occupiers, but that smaller dams have been more clearly targeted.

The effort, beyond the terror factor (and Russians are reportedly hindering rescue efforts) is to make the ground muddy and thus obstruct the coming Ukrainian advance.

But wait: There’s more! On her Twitter account, Applebaum also shares this charming snippet from Russian television:

(By the way, Twitter still works. You just have to know who to follow and who to block.)

Pedro X. Molina comments on the smoke that is turning much of the East Coast dim, the irony being that the quality of his work has just landed him an international prize that means he gets to fly out of this muck to the clear blue skies of Oslo to pick it up.

For those who have to stick around and put up with it, or who fear they might, here’s an interactive map on which you can enter a ZIP Code to see where any particular community stands within the plume of smoke from Canada’s wildfires.

Molina is correct that those unconvinced by increasing hurricanes and more frequent tornados and melting polar ice are equally unconvinced by increasing and more deadly wildfires.

It’s called being blinded by unscience, but the really idiotic thing is that there are people on guess-which-network who are upset by advice to wear masks to filter out the particles because, y’know, masks are part of the Grand Conspiracy.

There has long been a joke that, if Biden — it used to be Obama — told everyone to breathe, rightwingers would be asphyxiating themselves out of stubborn resistance.

Many a truth is spoken in jest, y’know?

We began with Whamond and we’ll end with Whamond.

Well, not quite. We’ll end with Spud, coincidentally dressed for the occasion, since all of Rhode Island, and hence Wallace the Brave (AMS)‘s hometown of Snug Harbor, is in the orange on that map.

5 thoughts on “CSotD: PGA aims for a different kind of green

  1. I just rechecked it, because Mike Pence mentioned it yesterday: the Jared Kushner Saudi graft was $2 billion, not $2 million. Appalling, isn’t it?

  2. “The Saudi fund paying for all this is the same one that gave Jared Kushner that $2 million parting gift when the Trump organization left the White House.”

    2 Billion actually

    1. Two major insurance companies are no longer writing new home insurance policies in California. Seems that they are “believers.”

      It’s only a matter of time until the skeptics are personally impacted and will then demand action, or compensation.

  3. I’m not a Ramirez fan, but damn, he nailed it on that cartoon. A+. Bramhall gets an A as well, especially for the caddy’s expression.

    Here in the DC-burbs in northern VA the air quality rating is purple, which I’ve not seen before. When explaining the environmental movement of the 70s to my students, I’d show them photos of smog. I really didn’t count on having a real-life example to demonstrate it.

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