CSotD: A story too good to check

Patrick Blower isn’t the only one roped in by an international fraud.

The notion that kids were “identifying” as animals began with an intentional lie in this country some years ago and, when it resurfaced last summer, it was almost immediately slapped down as transphobic propaganda.

There were no kids who thought they were cats, there were no schools putting out litter boxes in bathrooms.

But why let facts get in the way of a great story?

The story spread to Canada, and to New Zealand, and to Ireland, all of which reportedly had kids identifying as cats, and none of which could come up with an actual example of this phenomenon.

And then to Britain, where a partial recording of an out-of-context classroom discussion rocketed the falsehood to such a pitch that the government stepped in to investigate. Which tells us less about what people know about transgender issues than it does about how little they know about 13-year-olds.

As Otto English reports — in a well-researched, well-documented fact check — the classroom discussion had involved kids insisting that you couldn’t possibly believe you were female if you had male genitalia and vice-versa, but, as is not uncommon in that age group, swept into more far-fetched examples of what you couldn’t possibly believe, which involved cats, at which point someone hit “record.”

As English wrote, “I listened to the audio multiple times. I should add that I have had experience in the classroom and this felt instinctively like ‘one of those moments’ that all teachers have at some point in their careers. A heated debate, a class of personalities, some difficult, perhaps deliberately trouble-making charges and a situation that had got out of hand.”

As he notes, you expect extreme behavior from little kids. You ought be be able to expect common sense journalism from adults in the media.

I’d make a snide comment about British tabloids, but Tucker Carlson also picked up on the story.

Still, as English put it, grown adults should be better than to sneer at and mock young children without bothering to check their sources.

Blower seems an innocent victim of this lie, and I’d note that his cartoon is simply silly and doesn’t promote discrimination or hate.

Still, cartoonists (and everyone else) should be aware that “I identify as” is the rallying cry of hatemongers and bigots.

To pass it on is to give them power.

On a semi-related topic, David Rowe is hardly the only cartoonist to comment on the disparity between coverage of the missing submersible and coverage of the capsizing of a refugee ship. In fact, I contrasted two such cartoons here a few days ago.

I will draw this distinction: When the submersible was potentially still viable, the ongoing coverage of the search had an advantage over coverage of the Greek tragedy, which was a completed event.

As Rowe drew this, there was still hope. But now the five in the submersible and the hundreds on the ship are all equal.

As previously noted, the central question remains, which is why we feature such obsessive coverage of five people while virtually ignoring hundreds?

I’ll be glad when we’ve finally interviewed all the “I told you so” experts who knew all about submersibles and maybe, instead, start interviewing people who understand all about refugees.

As for these two nitwits, Mike Luckovich depicts it well, and I have only two comments:

  1. To Kevin McCarthy, this is indeed your circus and these are indeed your monkeys.
  2. To Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, if you really go through with your planned cage match, can we get this pair on the undercard?

Am I the only one who remembers Celebrity Boxing, in which Horschack faced off against Screech in one match and Paula Jones met Tonya Harding in another?

Given how little the Freedom Caucus has managed to accomplish in legislation, they might at least provide a little entertainment.

As for Musk and Zuckerberg, I’m reminded of a time when Broncos Coach Dan Reeves was asked about an upcoming game between division rivals and he said he was hoping for a tie, with lots of injuries.

We call that “kidding on the square.”

New rule for environmental law, according to Gary Varvel (Creators). Don’t make rules about things you can change until you can also make rules about things you can’t change.

Everybody eventually dies. Laws against murder are pointless.

I’d love to be able to see the marvelous things that they see, but Clay Bennett (CTFP) ought to have left the price tag dangling on this one.

Have you seen what this vision costs? Have you seen who’s gonna end up paying for it?

I’m a little confused by this Ben Jennings cartoon, except that the British are raising interest rates to help stave off inflation* which would cause payments for new mortgages and adjustable mortgages to rise. Which might necessitate a rent increase.

Though even if Britain doesn’t have fixed-rate mortgages, I’ll bet they have leases, which would explain her lack of interest in his predicament.

*The UK has an inflation rate of 8.7%. That of the US is 4%. I blame Joe Biden.

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Matt Pritchett)

(Guy Venables)

It’s festival season in Britain and what better way to celebrate housing costs than by not having any?

I went to a three day rock concert in Iowa a year after Woodstock, and three days on the ground, even with a friend, was quite enough, thanks. I’m glad I didn’t miss the experience, but I’m glad it wasn’t four days.

I still daydream about buying a camper and taking off with the dog, but any camper I could afford would end up in the shop about as much as on the road and, besides, the romance of Travels With Charley evaporates when you find out he had his wife with him much of the time, stayed in motels and hotels and made up most of those remarkable encounters.

The new official story is that much of it is fictionalized, but it’s still true.

Yeah, well, Napoleon existed and Russia is a real place, but “War and Peace” is still a novel.

Anyway, I’ll find the rent money somehow. It’s cheaper than a motel room every night, and I’ve tried sleeping on the ground, thanks.

Though I wouldn’t mind being 19 again.

11 thoughts on “CSotD: A story too good to check

  1. I believe you’ve misattributed the right-wing Gary Varvel volcano cartoon to Michael Ramirez. Two excellent cartoonists who are, unfortunately, nearly always wrong.

    1. Damn! You’re right! Fixed but an apology to Ramirez who has done some fine work lately despite our generally being on opposite sides of the aisle.

  2. I think something as fantastical as a submersible with 5 people, (rich or not) possibly clinging to life on a thread deep in the Atlantic is the type of story one doesn’t hear too often. And given the times we live, we tend to gravitate to a story as this to pin hopes of an equally fantastical rescue. But alas….

  3. On the topic of people who identify as another species, we exist but fall into one of two types. Otherkin are those who identify as fictional species and therians identify as real ones. The thing is that neither group tends to be public about their identities except under specific circumstances. So most people are unaware of each groups’ existence offline. Also no one communicates like an animal except under specific circumstances and even then it is subconsciously done. And no one uses litter boxes, because squatting is uncomfortable.

    1. This is hardly germane to this discussion, which is about liars focusing ridicule and hate on transgender kids. Being transgender is not a fetish, or a choice, or a phase, any more than is being gay.

      1. I am well aware that being trans is not a fetish, choice or phase; neither is being therian. The reason I mentioned it was because the lies and hate is also affecting therians and even furries by hate by proxy.

  4. I did see a story where some schools put buckets of cat litter in the school, but they were for cases when students were locked down in their classrooms due to an active shooter situation. But using them as proof that students are identifying as cats is like using a classroom fire extinguisher to claim students are identifying as flames.

  5. Notwithstanding the fraud mentioned, the point I take way from Blower’s cartoon is that a child who identifies as a cheetah actually has all the traits a cheetah has — for all intents and purposes they ARE a cheetah. As such it seems more pro-trans than anti-trans.

    Not sure if that’s how he intended it. If he intended it to mean that a child identifying as a cheetah is still just a run-of-the-mill child, then that child ought to be no faster than the other kids in the race.

  6. I was doing a lot of backpacking in the decade after Woodstock, and continued camping – even at music fests – up to my 50s. I take it you had no sleeping pad? Very lightweight and packable. Lot of folks who car camped back in the 1950s actually used air mattresses. You went with the wrong friends.

    1. A decade after Woodstock I was married, had two kids, a mortgage, air mattresses, four dogs, a tent and sleeping bags.

      A year after Woodstock, I had a blanket roll and someone to roll in it with. Sometimes less is more.

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