CSotD: Juxtapalooza!

Matt Davies

Clay Jones

By now you’ve heard that Time magazine has named Taylor Swift its Person of the Year, which I capitalize because they’ve managed to make it into a Big Freaking Deal despite a few damp squibs and obvious choices over the years.

You can tell that Matt Davies has daughters, because he doesn’t seem particularly shocked and acknowledges that she is a powerhouse. One of my young reporters went to a Taylor Swift concert about a decade ago and wrote a glowing report that didn’t make me wish I’d been there but made me smile because she had.

Taylor Swift comes across as a good person and an excellent role model, and, by the way, so does Travis Kelce, who has enough fame as an athlete to be able to adjust to having a famous GF, and whose community work made him the Chief’s nominee for Walter Payton Man of the Year.

She’s been around a good long time and the fact that the Old Farts are suddenly aware of her says a great deal about how little they know about kids, given that her original fan base is well out of college.

Clay Jones celebrates this bizarre lack of hipness by citing one of America’s premiere Old Farts. I haven’t heard that Tommy has said anything about Taylor Swift, but his recent attempt to dig in his heels and stop the world is certainly consistent with the response by other self-important gasbags who respond to her success with declarations of how little they care, as if anyone had asked them.

At least when funny funny funny comedians were making jokes about the Beatles and supermacho fathers were ordering their sons to keep their hair cropped short 60 years ago, the Beatles actually were new on the scene.

It’s kind of pathetic how popular she has been for so long without the parental units even noticing. All the brouhaha now is hardly, how you say, timely.

The Coach Turns Into a Pumpkin

Pat Bagley

J.D. Crowe

Speaking of Tommy, you have to assume he picked up a lot of popularity among the Forced Birth crowd for his stance in hamstringing our military to make a cruel, illogical point.

As has been mentioned multiple times, the people whose lives he was overturning had nothing to do with the decision to allow military members to travel for medical procedures, and, meanwhile, his destruction of the chain of command benefited our adversaries.

Bagley highlights his disloyalty to the nation, while Crowe focuses on his absurd failure to accomplish anything.

The sad part being that there is a strong contingent of people out there who enjoy seeing someone poke the system in the eye, with no regard for how it harms others or degrades our nation.

For instance …

Scoundrel Time

It is utterly gobsmacking for the Speaker of the House to, first of all, blatantly lie about why the Jan 6 Committee did not have more Republican representation, though it’s consistent with the GOP’s ongoing process of pretending the attempted coup was just a tour of the Capitol combined with innocent assault, theft, destruction of property and public defecation.

However, Johnson’s elevated this spin into not just denial of plain evidence but an official, concrete attempt to shelter felons from justice and to undermine the government’s authority. And all in the name of our glorious country.

Boswell quoted another Johnson in a way that applies to this one:

The loyalist MAGAt chorus may be cheering over this, but cartoonists have reacted.

Nick Anderson

Mike Luckovich

Anderson references the fact that Johnson has not only taken up the party line about the events of January 6 but was actively involved in attempting to challenge the vote in court. He wasn’t simply one of the many Republicans who decried the riot shortly before they embraced the rioters: He took a leadership role in filing an amicus brief to overturn the results of the election in four key states.

Luckovich, meanwhile, combines Johnson’s desire to protect traitors with the Freedom Caucus’s attempt to impeach the president despite having fallen flat on their faces in their attempts to discover any criminal acts with which to charge him.

It’s good that Mike Johnson wasn’t in power 78 years ago:

A Death in (All in) the Family

Bill Bramhall

Matt Davies

Norman Lear’s death is drawing sad postings from his many colleagues and collaborators, and, given the number of radio and TV shows for which he was responsible, it’s hardly surprising, though a less congenial person might instead have drawn silence upon checking out. I heard him speak at an educators’ convention back when he was a mere sprat of 70 and he was very pleasant and charming.

His genius lay in seizing upon the moment, which included importing and adapting the popular British comedies Til Death Do Us Part and Steptoe and Son, turning them into All in the Family and Sanford and Son, and then creating a number of successful spin-offs from those hits.

Constant Readers will know that I was not a fan of Archie Bunker, in part because I was 21 when it debuted and, even without streaming television, I was in the stage of life seen in Bramhall’s piece where that sort of thing was irrelevant.

So I didn’t watch much of his work until I had kids and the TV became more of a hearth in our family. Even then, the only Lear comedy to which I was really drawn was E/R, a brilliant but short-lived sitcom with Elliott Gould as a doctor in an emergency room.

I suppose the fact that it only lasted one season is a testament to the difference between my judgment and his.

But I strongly disagree with Davies’ take, because I remain convinced that a large portion of the audience for All in the Family felt about Archie then the way they do about Donald Trump today: They took him seriously but not literally, and enjoyed watching him mock the liberal establishment.

And Lear must not have minded, or he’d have sued the purveyors of “Archie Bunker For President” gear.

The question is, would that have stopped us from electing Archie’s doppelganger in 2016?

Tune in November 5 for our next exciting episode!

9 thoughts on “CSotD: Juxtapalooza!

  1. Being of the generation gobsmacked by the three Jeopardy contestants who couldn’t recognize Led Zeppelin from a photograph, I guess I am mystified by Time magazine’s POY choice this year.

    Until I try to come up with someone else for the cover.

  2. You’re absolutely correct about Archie Bunker, whose meanness and vitriol about all things liberal is certainly resounding these days and which I find to be anything but humorous today. All I see from ALL IN THE FAMILY when I see it today (I probably lasted three or four years into the original showings) is proof that the Republican Party has been very stupid for a very long time. Certainly back to at least the Nixon part of the Eisenhower administration. I don’t go back to before that, so I have no older first-hand memories, only what I’ve read in history books. (In ’70s sitcoms, I was far more an MTM Productions and M*A*S*H fan than anything on cheap-looking videotape like Lear’s shows (and while I too liked E/R, though I still wish they’d retained Marcia Strassman instead of Mary McDonnell, it really wasn’t a Lear series, per se, but one born from the same Columbia Pictures company that kicked him upstairs to advisor when he retired in the ’80s).

    And I’m 71, and have liked Taylor since I first heard “Teardrops on My Guitar” back in ’07. But I’d say this last year was the first year she earned the TIME accolade, even if it’s long since become pretty meaningless after many of their prior choices.

    1. Exactly. The problem with Lear’s sitcoms is they were too real to be actually funny.
      And it’s only gotten worse. They say laughter is the best medicine but some things you just can’t laugh at. Like racism, bigotry, and willful ignorance just to name a few.

  3. Heck, I’ve been Person of the Year several times, and folks here probably have, too, at least once: Boomers, American women, “You” (people posting online) [2006], among other catch-alls.

    Taylor Swift must have been online in 2006, so this is at least a second go-round for her

  4. I really like Nick Anderson’s blurring of a guilty face. At the risk of being risque, squeaker johson is acting like an anatomical eupemism ‘johnson’. Reminds me of a paraphrase of that old ‘Dragnet’ line, ‘the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

    Yes, Norman Lear did have a positive influence on our society: activism and some important satirical sitcoms and some silly ineffectual sitcoms.

    And, I agree with AJ, some of the topics were so serious and are still so pervasive that they are very difficult to laugh about.

    I see that another old person that I admire is getting a little bit of recognition: Noam Chomsky turns 95 today. He has worked to have a positive influence on our society, too.

  5. I think Bramhall’s cartoon works. The MAGAT is seated in the iconic Archie Bunker chair next to the iconic Archie Bunker side table holding up the iconic Archie Bunker beer. And reading an obituary of Norman Lear . . . what an epiphany he’s having!

  6. to Rich Furman: Yes, you’re absolutely right, that is the typical Archie Bunker setup. But, I doubt that real MAGATs will have an epiphany over that image or any other.

  7. The Time Man of the Year made me think of a high school incident, late 50s. One of my history teachers had framed pictures of some Time MotY on the walls, including Ike, Stalin, Kruschev, Mao (I think) and some others.

    Class was after lunch and one day he was pretty distracted and rambled on about non class stuff, including that he had been one of the Marines who landed at Guadalcanal.

    I found out later, he had been called into the office because some parents were Outraged that he had Pictures of Communists adorning his classroom. They wanted to know whether he was or ever had been…

Comments are closed.