CSotD: Grumblings

A lot of editorial cartoonists appear to have taken the four-day weekend, leaving me mostly to indulge a peeve or two, and Constant Readers probably saw this one coming when they saw Joe Biden with an ice cream cone.

It’s good that I generally agree with Phil Hands on things, because it leaves me free to slap him upside the head without it appearing to be a political disagreement.

Or, as Sal Tessio would say, it’s only business.

Putting a Diet Coke in Trump’s tiny hands is fair play: He has expressed sensitivity about the size of his hands and he reportedly drinks a prodigious amount of Diet Coke.

But I looked into the Biden/Ice Cream thing and found documentation that 42 of our 46 presidents have liked ice cream, and the other four —  James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, William Henry Harrison and James Garfield — may have also consumed it but didn’t leave an easily Googled record of having done so, though it seems likely that Monroe, as vice-president, (see comments) ate dinner regularly with his boss, whose wife, Dolly, is famous for her ice cream.

And it was easy to find photos of the last dozen presidents eating ice cream, which makes it silly and lazy to show Biden in flagrant delicioso.

Or to put it another way, ice cream cones have a point, but this empty accusation does not.

And as long as I’m in kvetching mode, this WaPo headline is incredibly stupid and inaccurate.

Headline writers are the bane of reporters, because the nincompoops will compose a hed without reading more than the opening paragraph or two of a story, so that, if you have any sort of switch or elaboration deeper in the piece, they’ll miss it and the hed won’t accurately reflect the story.

Also, there are certain words they like to use, making them less like journalists and more like compilers of crossword puzzles.

I’ve given up on “tragic,” because I realize nobody is required to read Aristotle’s Poetics in J-school and learn the difference between “sad” and “tragic,” but the latest overused word is “beloved,” which I don’t think anyone used before Toni Morrison brought it to their attention.

Now anything anybody likes at all is “beloved,” and, while it’s not necessarily misused the way “tragic” is, it’s certainly being cheapened.

I don’t think anyone refers to tofurky as “beloved” but it damn well isn’t an “icon,” either. I’ve had it, it tastes okay, but it’s like non-alcoholic wine: There’s some element lacking, so, if you’re missing turkey, this stuff isn’t really gonna scratch the itch.

And, second, if you object to the real thing, just find something else. There are some fabulous vegan or vegetarian dishes. Make one of them your Thanksgiving tradition.

Or eat tofurky. Just don’t call it an “icon” because it isn’t. I guess it might be “beloved,” but only on your table, not universally.

And it ought to be spelled “tofurkey.”


Going to the Dogs, thank goodness

November 21

November 25

It might just be a momentary thing, but the Dogs of C-Kennel (Creators) took on some real-world topics this past week, and good for them. It’s insider artist/creator stuff, unlike Arctic Circle (KFS) which regularly deals with environmental issues, Non Sequitur (AMS), which comments on societal matters, or Doonesbury (AMS) which is distinctly political.

We need comic strips that draw children to the art form, but that’s why we have Garfield. There’s also a call for having fun with grown-up topics and keeping adults entertained. Maybe it’s a trend: Rabbits Against Magic (AMS) comments on reality often enough that Jonathan Lemon showed up at this year’s AAEC convention and fit in nicely with the political cartoonists.

There’s a chance this sort of approach could help elevate conversation on things that matter, but, even if it doesn’t, it sure beats doing infinite variations on the same half-dozen tired gags, which is what happens to a lot of strips after they’ve been around awhile.

And speaking of editorial cartoons, Michael Ramirez (Creators) ping-pongs between topics on which we vehemently disagree and those on which we’re at least close to being on the same page.

This one made me think about ping-pong, because I recall the days of Ping-Pong Diplomacy, in which Richard Nixon pierced the Bamboo Curtain to establish diplomatic and trading relations with that place we used to call “Red China.”

For those who missed it, a 1971 visit to China by some American table tennis players didn’t offer a lot of insight, except that Chinese players hold the paddle like a fountain pen, but it eventually led to more extensive and in-depth visits by politicians and business people, giving us our first peek at the country in more than 20 years.

Which in turn led to a whole lot of American companies shipping manufacturing jobs over there, which didn’t help our own factory workers, but wasn’t much of a security issue as long as it was a matter of underwear and plastic forks. But once it began to be more technical things, what Ramirez illustrates above was inevitable.

The Biden administration has taken some steps to try to bring the problem under some level of control, but it’s up to Apple and other tech companies to limit what they’re making over there, which in turn makes it an issue of pro-business legislators in this country, who seem happy to criticize China but in no particular hurry to put any actual brakes on the overall problem.

Juxtaposition of the Day

Cathy Wilcox

Martyn Turner

There’s some very limited comfort in knowing that hostility towards immigrants is far from confined to the United States, much as our nativist America First bigots bray about the topic.

But Cathy Wilcox has long criticized Australia’s treatment of refugees, which includes off-shore islands that are nothing more than concentration camps, and she’s right on target in accusing government officials like Peter Dutton — who opposes visas for Palestinian refugees — of being insecure cowards.

Meanwhile, in Ireland, Martyn Turner criticizes rightwing thugs who also fear and hate immigrants, and have rioted in a grotesque lack of awareness of how Irish immigrants have fared for centuries as laborers in other countries, notably Britain.

His cartoon yobo repeats what every overseas Irish worker has known for years.

8 thoughts on “CSotD: Grumblings

    1. Yeah, but that’s normal behavior for a spoiled 5-year-old brat…. Oh, wait…I see the problem.

  1. The ice cream thing is a minor offense (see what I did there?).

    What is far more egregious is the false equivalency suggested in the cartoon, which all too many cartoonists do lately, especially when it comes to hitting on the mess in Congress since the midterm election. There is only ONE of the two pictured here who constantly acts like a petulant child. And it’s not the one with the ice cream cone.

  2. Monroe (author of the first White House tell-all book) was never Vice President. He was, however Secretary of State and Secretary of War simultaneously.

    Former President George Washington was so incensed by the tome, that he forgot his winter coat one cold December day in 1799, caught pneumonia, and died.

    1. Right you are — but as Sec’ys of State and War during the War of 1812, I’m pretty sure he likely had some of Dolly’s favorite dessert, though that link says she had to repurchase her ice cream making equipment after the well-regulated militia let British regulars burn her house.

  3. Aside from the cheap (lazy) ice cream gag, my gripe with Hands is not knowing what aviator sunglasses look like. 😉

  4. For a time, there was a story about legislation designating a bell that would commemorate the opening of China. That legislation was to be sponsored by some well known politicians at the time.

    It would be the Hong, Song, Fong Ping-pong Ding-dong Bell bill.

Comments are closed.