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.
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
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.