Althouse | category: cartoons



an endless succession of beans and nuts.

"The brilliance of the Biden team was that it invested the media in this scandal at the outset by burying the laptop story as 'Russian disinformation' before the election."

"That was, of course, false, but it took two years for most major media outlets to admit that the laptop was authentic. But the media then ignored what was on that 'authentic laptop.' Hundreds of emails detailed potentially criminal conduct and raw influence peddling in foreign countries. When media outlets such as the New York Post confirmed the emails, the media then insisted that there was no corroboration of the influence peddling payments and no clear proof of criminal conduct.... Now that the House has released corroboration in actual money transfers linking many in the Biden family, the media is insisting that this is no scandal because there is no direct proof of payments to Joe Biden.... [T]he media’s demand of a direct payment to President Biden is laughably absurd. The payments were going to his family, but he was the object of the influence peddling. The House has shown millions of dollars going to at least nine Bidens like dividends from a family business. As a long-time critic of influence peddling among both Republicans and Democrats, I have never seen the equal of the Bidens...."

Turley illustrates his piece with this fabulous old cartoon:

Here's a discussion of that cartoon at the subreddit r/PropagandaPosters, where we see that it's a 1910 Puck Magazine cartoon by Louis M. Glackens. Here's a page full of work by Glackens (at Wikimedia).

"Each time Ed had another encounter with his 'pal, the surgeon'—whom he did not begrudge for having 'to maintain his skills'..."

"... he’d promise to quickly 'be back with fervor at the drawing board, conjuring up malevolent, wicked delights and pleasures for your eyes.' And sure enough, his shaggy Vermonters and Manhattanites, his farmers’-market devotees and NPR donors—by way of ​​Snuffleupagus by way of Daumier—whose pretensions and obsessions he affectionately lampooned, would soon be parading into my in-box. In his final months, he didn’t have the energy to draw as large, or with such obsessive, scratchy detail, as before, but he still couldn’t resist reworking one final cartoon—featuring the Grim Reaper, as a poet—before sending it off to me last week.... On a recent call with Ed, when I expressed awe at the fact that he was still sending in cartoons for me to review, he quoted Mark Twain: 'The secret source of Humor itself is not joy but sorrow.' Neither of us mentioned the second half of that line—'there is no humor in heaven.'"

Writes Emma Allen in The New Yorker's "Postscript" — "Edward Koren, the Cheery Philosopher of Cartoons/The artist, who was first published in The New Yorker in 1962, never stopped marvelling at the miracle of a cartoon’s creation."

“My trajectory was a comedy of manners,” Mr. Koren said in an interview for this obituary in 2018. “I was drawn to sociology and cultural anthropology. My work was a bit tame, I suppose. I avoided sex. It was political in a different sense. I examined the middle class, and everywhere I looked people were outraged. I did not want to manifest that in my work. I just gravitated toward animals.”

Elaborating on his anthropomorphic creatures, Mr. Koren said: “Animals are gentle and funny. There is a long tradition in English and French literature, going back to the 19th century, of using animals in humor. For me, it was a framework, a way of getting above the political fray and the passing controversies of the day.”

"For our £120, we got 45 minutes of brightly coloured splats [David] Hockney has done on his iPad..."

"... blasted around the four walls while the old ham belted out his... platitudes in quadraphonic stereo all around us ('I love life,' 'the world is beautiful when you look, but most people don’t'). There were all the old banalities about the 'quality of the light' in Los Angeles, lots of film of him 'being inspired' while driving round the California mountains in a convertible while listening to Wagner (even duller than your best mate’s hourly Instagram posts from holiday) and then endless minutes of his opera sets, complete with cringey faux-naif animations that reminded me of when it said 'cartoon' in the TV schedule in the late 1970s and you switched on hoping for Tom and Jerry but got some depressing shadow puppet thing from 1950s Czechoslovakia.... [W]e were laughing so much we had to leave, through a shop in the foyer where they had attempted to find interesting things he has said over the years to put on their brightly coloured 'quote totes' (£20 a pop, if you please) but clearly couldn’t find anything better than 'If you’re not playful, you’re not alive,' 'I’m greedy for an exciting life,' and, from the militant old smoker, 'Health is wealth'...."

Writes Giles Coren in "Don’t splash out on Hockney’s splats and platitudes" (London Times).

The ellipsis before "platitudes" in that first sentence originally contained the phrase "sub-Alan Bennett," which was a stumbling block for me. Either I think, he's somebody known for belting out platitudes and move on, or I look up "Alan Bennett" in Wikipedia, which is what I did, and that got me nowhere... other than into the dead end of gazing at that 1973 photo and wondering who he looked like a combination of Robert Redford and.

Such are the hazards of reading comic columns in the London Times, which I actually subscribe to. But I removed the stumbling block for you, then felt a little bad to have interfered with Coren's rhythm and even fretted that some reader of mine might find "sub-Alan Bennett" especially funny. Let me know in the comments if you did. That's the kind of insight I seek, though I wouldn't pay £120 to have projections of it washed over me for 45 minutes.

The world is beautiful when you look, but most people don’t... but the show assumes we need a roomful of giant colors streaming at us from all directions. Good luck getting better at taking notice of the subtle beauty of the world after that. Or maybe you'll emerge as one of the cognoscenti, aware of the beauty of the world that is the notion that you are not in the disdained category, "most people."

"Twitter and Tesla chief Elon Musk defended Scott Adams... in a series of tweets Sunday, blasting media organizations for dropping his comic strip..."

I'm reading "Musk defends 'Dilbert' creator, says media is 'racist against whites'/The Tesla and Twitter chief blasted media outlets for dropping Scott Adams’s comic strip after the cartoonist’s rant against Black people" by Will Oremus (WaPo).
Replying to tweets about the controversy, Musk said it is actually the media that is “racist against whites & Asians.”... 
In further tweets Sunday, Musk agreed with a tweet that said “Adams’ comments weren’t good” but there’s “an element of truth” to them, and suggested in a reply that media organizations promote a “false narrative” by giving more coverage to unarmed Black victims of police violence than they do to unarmed White victims of police violence.... 

Here's the Musk tweet, responding to someone who tweeted that the MSM had concluded that Adams is racist:

The media is racist

Musk then added:

For a *very* long time, US media was racist against non-white people, now they’re racist against whites & Asians. 

Same thing happened with elite colleges & high schools in America.

Maybe they can try not being racist.

And when someone tweeted...

Adams' comments weren't good. But there's an element of truth to's complicated. Mainly we've leaned into identity with predictable results, and power today is complicated. We were on the right path with colorblindness and need to return to it.

... Musk responded:


I used boldface to identify text that is not in the WaPo article. That is, the WaPo writer does not open up the question whether identity politics is a tragic mistake and colorblindness could be the right answer.

Worried about your gas stove but not ready to replace it? Here's an amazing workaround that I bet you never thought of.

From "Worried about your gas stove? This comic will show you other ways to cook" (WaPo):

Worried about your gas stove but not ready to replace it? Here's an amazing workaround that I bet you never thought of.

It's almost as though you don't even need a kitchen anymore. You can relive the carefree days of your youth, when you lived in a dorm... or a single-room-occupancy hotel.

I know, it's in the form of a comic, so you might want to say, they're just kidding. But it's in comic form to make it fun and easy to read. It's all serious suggestions for bypassing the demon appliance that you're not replacing. If they were joking, there would be some outlandish suggestions, something more Rube Goldberg than the butcher-block/hot plate arrangement. 

Here's a serious/not serious suggestion of mine: Switch to a raw-food diet and just don't cook at all. It would probably be good for your health, and it would save you an awful lot of time.

"During Tuesday’s testimony, [Megan Thee Stallion] described the rap game as a 'boy’s club' and said she knew she would be hated because she was 'telling on one y’all’s friend.'"

From "‘Going through torture’: Megan Thee Stallion testifies against Tory Lanez/Rapper takes stand in case against Canadian-born musician, emotionally recounting night when she was shot" (The Guardian).

The Texas-born rapper, whose real name is Megan Pete... described how the attack left her with constant pain in her feet and said the reliving the incident in the public eye had been “torture.”

“I don’t wanna be on this Earth,” Pete said at one point during a daylong testimony. “I wish he woulda shot and killed me if I knew I would go through this torture.”...

Tory Lanez, whose real name is Daystar Peterson, faces over 22 years in prison....

Pete told the courtroom she had asked to be let out of the car near the Hollywood Hills home she was staying in, but as she walked away, Pete said, she heard Peterson yell “dance, bitch,” and when she turned her head to face him he was hanging partly out of the car with a gun pointed at her. Then he began firing.

Terrible. I had never heard of anyone in real life acting out the cartoon cliché of shooting at someone's feet while telling them to dance. TV Tropes has an article, "Bullet Dancing," that describes the comic meme and ends with a warning that real life is not a cartoon:

This should be obvious but Do Not Try This at Home. Pointing a deadly weapon, much less firing it, at someone should be reserved for life threatening situations. Firing a weapon should only be to eliminate a deadly threat in which case you should be aiming at centre mass. Deliberately firing near someone to scare them will get you into very serious legal trouble in most jurisdictions, not to mention you could hit and kill them accidentally, or someone behind them, and if the surface you are firing at is something like concrete the bullet could ricochet extremely unpredictably - you might even hit yourself.

ADDED: Here's the classic Yosemite Sam version: 


Cartoons are full of violence that ends up not particularly hurting anyone.

"'There’s nothing more futile than trying to explain a cartoon to someone who doesn’t get it,' Mr. Lorenz said."

"He cited an illustration by Mr. Ziegler of a man standing at the counter of the Bureau of Missing Toast as he tearfully shows a clerk a photo of a well-done slice of bread. ‘It didn’t seem like the craziest thing we’d ever run, but I had people come up to me and say they did not get it — or like it,' Mr. Lorenz said. 'On the other hand, Jack got a half dozen pieces of toast in the mail.'"

From "Lee Lorenz, 90, Cartoonist and Gatekeeper at The New Yorker, Dies/Over 40 years at the magazine he drew hundreds of cartoons and covers and served as art and cartoon editor, recruiting new talent and deciding who got published" (NYT).

"The brilliance of the Biden team was that it invested the media in this scandal at the outset by burying the laptop story as 'Russian disinformation' before the election."This is well-animated, but should be viewed as what not to do.Worried about your gas stove but not ready to replace it? Here's an amazing workaround that I bet you never thought of."During Tuesday’s testimony, [Megan Thee Stallion] described the rap game as a 'boy’s club' and said she knew she would be hated because she was 'telling on one y’all’s friend.'"

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