CSotD: Subjective Reality

If we’re going to talk about subjective reality, we might as well begin where the term was hatched, in the world of recreational drugs.

The term was a joke, not a theory, and Joe Heller addresses the objective reality, which is that less-than-recreational drugs have fully permeated our society such that having a small bag of coke fall out of somebody’s pocket could happen just about anywhere, or everywhere, and probably has.

But he also addresses the subjective reality, which is the Gasp! of horror from rightwingers who can’t believe that such a thing could happen in a heavily trafficked portion of the White House while the President and his family were 70 miles away at Camp David.

Note, by the way, that the President and his family would go from the residence to the West Wing on the colonnade, not through the lobby where the cocaine was discovered.

But you might as well explain it to Commander as try to persuade the polemicists. They have a subjective reality to sell and a story to advance.

Bob Gorrell (Creators) is not the only cartoonist taking advantage of Hunter Biden’s past slide into addiction and lost behavior, during which time he impregnated an exotic dancer. This hardly counts as a “love child,” but the Bidens have accepted the fact and acknowledged his responsibility to provide child support.

The conservatives’ subjective reality contrasts their insistence upon legislating that all pregnancies be brought to term and their refusal to then provide legislative support for the resulting children.

As it is, Hunter claims he had no memory of the encounter, but stepped up to put the woman on his payroll for the length of her pregnancy and has provided child support since, which seems like the right thing.

It reminds me of a lecture I gave one of my sons when I was 40 and he was 18, in which I told him that, had I been careless at his age, I’d just be making the last few support payments and preparing to shoulder my share of college bills for a kid I might well have had no contact with.

Assuming, of course, that the press hadn’t decided to make a federal case out of it to punish my father.

Al Goodwyn (Creators) makes a valid point, which is that, for the sake of the 2024 Elections, the actual state of the economy doesn’t matter if the public doesn’t know or acknowledge it. They vote based on their own reality, whether it is subjective or objective.

The White House is actively promoting the gains the national economy has made, though economists may want to argue over what is a result of presidential efforts and what occurred for other reasons, and may want to nit-pick various claims, as is usually the case.

But the recession that was predicted never happened, the US is doing better than most of the developed world in containing inflation and, in general, things are looking up. If the President inevitably takes the blame for a poor economy, it only seems right that he should get credit when things turn around.

But Goodwyn is correct: A constant drumbeat blaming Biden for a poor economy is effective regardless of what the numbers say.

Which brings us to this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Clay Bennett — CTFP)

(Ed Hall)

(Joel Pett)

Three cartoonists tackle the same issue with significant differences.

Bennett makes the valid point that people are foolish to donate to Trump’s election campaign, but he doesn’t say why, and the lack of context turns the cartoon into an insult rather than a warning. This could be his intention, but that would be unproductive to say the least and might inflame Trump fans to donate more, simply out of anger.

Hall is closer to the mark, making the point that people who are barely scraping by should not be expected to support the ambitions of a self-declared billionaire. I don’t know that any of them are actually eating dog food, but hyperbole is expected in political cartooning.

But Pett takes four panels in order to fully explain the point, which is that donations intended to finance another shot at the White House are being used, instead, for defending the ex-president in his legal battles, which, BTW, is only part of how these donations are being diverted.

Thus Pett makes both Bennett’s point that people are being played for suckers and Hall’s argument that Trump donors are making a sacrifice for someone who doesn’t need it.

All three make an honest point, but Pett makes it most clearly.

Clarity is crucial, particularly if you are hoping to convert people and not simply reinforce those with whom you already agree.

JD Crowe rates the privilege of criticizing his own Senator, Tommy Tuberville (R-Al), who has used a Senate measure which allows a single member to block certain measures. Tuberville is upset that military members are compensated for medical travel including for abortion, and so has halted promotions and appointments of senior officers.

This has gone on long enough to, as Crowe suggests, be a significant burden on the military generally, but it has now come to a head with the retirement of the commander of the Marines, with no possibility of confirming a replacement.

Tuberville lives in his own subjective reality, in which white nationalists in the service are praised as patriotic Americans, and in which a personal objection to a specific issue is worth damaging the entire command structure of the United States military.

Other members of Congress are beginning to demand that Tuberville halt his one man assault on the armed forces, but they all seem to have the letter D after their names, so their objections don’t matter.

Not many R’s are willing to challenge Tuberville’s subjective reality.

Finally, today, if Clay Bennett (CTFP) fell short in his critique of Trump donors, his minimalist conceptual style is perfectly suited for this quiet, telling vision of the book-banning, anti-government extremist group Moms For Liberty, which has embraced Adolf Hitler, at least to the point of quoting him on a regional brochure, then issuing an apology, and then cheering the group for issuing the quote.

In the words of the Wicked Witch of the West — who I quote but of whom I disapprove — What a world! What a world!

5 thoughts on “CSotD: Subjective Reality

  1. Very fun video for me for a couple of reasons. About 10 years ago we had a quiet dinner at a retirement community with Suzzy Bogguss , her mom and mine. Turns out our moms were dinner friends, delightful women.
    Secondly I’m playing this song at an upcoming musical event and love seeing how others are doing it

  2. Great song, of course. Looked up lyrics and noted copyright date of 1968. The video notes that it was recorded in 1964. Wonder if there’s a story there, or just a mistake.

    1. George: Graham Nash wrote in in 1968, first recorded by Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1969. I think the confusion is because the video opens with a shot of the Ryman Auditorium and labels it 1964, but I think that’s just when that particular film footage was shot, putting it in context of the site’s history. The actual performance says it was recorded in 1995.

  3. It’s not just Trump, political donations are a scam in general. I guarantee that 9-out-of-10 don’t actually need your money.

  4. That CSN song was chosen by my high school’s graduating class to sing just before receiving our diplomas (back in 1976)…good memories…

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