CSotD: Insights, Insults and Foolish Mistakes

Pros and Cons (KFS) relies on three main characters: Samuel, the incompetent attorney; Stan, the somewhat brutish but kind-hearted cop and Lyndon, the psychiatrist continuously flummoxed by the twisted egos of his patients.

Today, Lyndon has inadvertently led one of his regulars down the wrong garden path, hoping to shame him into taking control and, instead, offering him a escape route. And wouldn’t it be lovely if we couldn’t so readily identify with good intentions and inevitable, negative outcomes.

Stay tuned.

There are a lot of silly cartoons based on the attorney’s rule that you shouldn’t ask a question to which you don’t already know the answer, as well as those based on the parents’ rule, which is that you shouldn’t offer a choice unless you are willing to accept either answer.

But let’s start out with the notion, exploited here by Dave Whamond, that you should never offer the world a straight line, such as naming something “X.”

Whamond takes advantage of the fact that hundreds of thousands of people left Twitter to join Threads, which would contain very little humor if Elon hadn’t decided to tee up a joke at his own expense. Threads, after all, has a long way to go to replace other social media platforms, and, at this stage, “What’s she got that I haven’t got?” is a vague question without a definitive answer.

Unless you turn it into a silly gag, at which point you don’t need an answer. At this point, Threads is just somebody you met in a bar, and if it were Twitter who had walked in, the embarrassment would be real.

And so what might have been a gag at the expense of fickle users becomes a gag at the expense of a well-heeled, ill-advised entrepreneur who has make a delightfully foolish branding choice, adding to the ongoing saga of “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

Similarly, Ed Wexler get a laff out of a silly pun, which wouldn’t carry half as much weight if Ron De Santis hadn’t already made a series of ill-advised, inexplicable blunders.

Wexler is kind in not including the asinine white boots that overwhelmed what might have been a sympathetic visit to the site of a natural disaster, but he keeps him in that cheesy logo-vest which Ron insists on wearing everywhere.

A logo-vest, I might add, that might not look half as cheesy if he weren’t, meanwhile, branding his wife as a fashion plate.

Jackie Kennedy was always dressed to the nines, and JFK was happy to draw attention to the attention she drew, but he did it in his own quiet splendor.

(For those too young to know, JFK not only killed the fashion for men’s hats, but reduced the number of buttons on their jackets from three to two. He was, himself, a fashion leader, if less overt than his wife.)

Meanwhile, Ron looks like he only arrived at the same time as Casey by happenstance and is there to swap out the empty jug on the water cooler.

That’s before we get into his clumsy attempts at small talk with his supporters, such as greeting a kid with “What’s that? An Icee? Probably a lot of sugar,” and an odd attempt to sugar-shame him before moving on.

The joke being that people are quickly finding that they want Less Ron, not More Ron.

Juxtaposition of the Day

Bob Gorrell — Creators

Steve Kelley — Creators

Like Wexler, Bob Gorrell hurls an insult at the President, but this one, for instance is not well grounded because, as Steve Kelley’s TV reporter accurately points out, there is no evidence that any money ever changed hands, or, at least, it never flowed into Joe Biden’s hands.

This is an issue, as mentioned before, of not asking a question unless you know the answer or, at best, are willing to accept any answer.

Gorrell’s insult has, at least, the advantage of familiarity, of having been launched so often on right-wing media that people will believe it without proof. It’s like declaring that masks don’t prevent the spread of disease: The right answer is secondary to the accepted answer, so long as you aren’t hoping to make converts.

Kelley, by contrast, has his fictional anchor raise a specific question very much in debate, which he attempts to settle with a ham-handed, general slam at the Mainstream Media.

We all appreciate a joke about how the weatherman always gets it wrong, until he predicts a storm, at which point we rush to the store to empty the shelves of toilet paper and bottled water.

As the electoral calendar plays out over the next 16 months, we’ll see who believes what, but it’s important to keep track of the difference between winning the nomination and winning the general election. The question now is whether being the most popular Republican is the same as being the most popular candidate.

Kevin Siers suggests that the GOP needs to get that question nailed down before it goes any farther in raising questions that seem to be backfiring, and it’s important to observe that the questions he cites are those which have created a backlash among all but the True Believers.

Steve Greenberg, meanwhile, asks a more pertinent and interesting question, which is the extent to which you can insult Black Americans before your appeal to White supremacists becomes self-defeating.

As noted here yesterday, the Lost Cause approach has long argued that slaves were better off than white workers in Northern factories, because, with the slave trade ended, they were irreplaceable, while Irish and German immigrants continued to arrive daily.

It’s an instinctively appealing argument that doesn’t stand up to examination, but as long as you aren’t attempting to persuade historians, you’re likely to remain on semi-solid ground.

But it comes from an era when Black Americans were not permitted to vote, because they know better.

The lynchings and mass murders and overall repression may not be in the approved textbooks, but they’re in the family histories.

The critical question, Paolo Calleri (Cartoon Movement) asks, is not what questions will be permitted to be raised in textbooks but which questions will be permitted to be raised in the public square.

Apparently, nobody will be allowed to ask whether the question of open debate is to be asked.

Not in Florida

And nowhere else in the world, either.

4 thoughts on “CSotD: Insights, Insults and Foolish Mistakes

  1. Re Gorrell: When my best friend was transmogrifying from a politically apathetic person into a misogynistic, racist, liberal-hating, conspiracy-theorist—apparently brought on by the presence of a black man in the White House—he started sending me rightwing cartoons.

    Most were crudely nasty ones about Obama (everyone racist) and Hillary (everyone misogynist).

    I tried explaining to him that for a political cartoon to be effective (and funny), it had to be based on facts.

    Oy—what did I know?

    We have had more than a decade of rightwing cartoons, jokes, and memes based on dis/misinformation and delusional wish-fulfillment and it has proven extraordinarily “effective” and darn right comical among rightwingers.

    Oh, we have a lot of former best friends …

  2. I love Wexler’s caricatures of DesAntis. I’ve already determined to draw that way-too-wide open mouth whenever possible, especially since there’s not always space to include the wide boots. I just wish I could draw his habit of bobbling his head when he’s being sarcastic.

    If the writers’ strike is ever settled before DesAntis fizzles away, the late-night comedians are going to have a field day with all his whiny, dim-witted smart-ass tics.

  3. Since we talk about Florida’s whitewashing history let’s bring others out.

    Africans sold and still sell their people into slavery.

    Over 330,000 vast majority of white Irish immigrants fought and died for black freedom most were only given their citizenship after the war.

    Memorial Day was the day freed blacks use to go out to Union soldiers gave give thanks to them for their sacrifice. African women and children brought flowers to place on their graves. We have a community that forgot the people who paid the ultimate price for their freedom.

    Segregation begins with Democrat
    Jim Crow laws by Democrats
    Marijuana laws by Democrats

    In the 1860s I’m some parts of the South more free black men had slaves than most average white people.

    In the 1860 census for South Carolina, Mr William Ellison owned 68 slaves making him the largest slave owner in South Carolina! He was also black. There are several Africans who owned slaves. Even the current vice president’s Father brags about how his family-owned so many slaves that they renamed the town Browntown.

    US history books use to have the names of female and Black American heroes who fought and helped our country during the American Revolution and civil war.

    Yet an American president took all their names out of the history books the ones still used today.

    Let’s start teaching and applying laws and rules for our country using the Constitution I.E the 10th Amendment for social issues and any that the Government is not given direct power over. That’s just about everything the way it was written in 1775.

    Let’s teach and remember the Constitution is there to LIMIT the Government and not give the Government power but the people! The right and powers granted to Us The People of the United States! Not to the government of the United States.

    Teach the good the bad and the ugly

    Yet that’s not going to happen we are going to keep telling lies because it’s easier.

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