Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Quote of the day: Therefore, Exceptional

[W]hat we are seeing, over and over again, is what happens when you combine the inebriate effect of American Exceptionalism in the philosophy of the law. Race does not exist as an issue in our country anymore because we have overcome it, because we are America and, therefore, Exceptional. Our elections are clean and honest, no matter how much money is sluicing through them, because we are America and, therefore, Exceptional. And if the people of a state wish to vote through a policy that deliberately harms racial minorities, they cannot be acting out of racial bigotry, because we are America, and race does not exist as an issue in our country any more because we are Execptional. And if the success of this policy at the polls is guaranteed because of the money that powers its passage, then the money cannot have been a factor because our elections are clean and honest because we are America and, therefore, Exceptional.
- Charlie Pierce, leading a tour of the various amusement rides at the theme park inside Justice Anthony Kennedy's head.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Double quote of the day: Now I know why Scotty died young

These two pieces turned up in my reading list this morning. I believe what both of these people have to say.

Perhaps that means I have what  that F. Scott Fitzgerald  would consider a first-rate intelligence, so I suppose I should feel sort of good about that. But to believe both of these things at 9 in the morning . . . now I guess I can understand why Fitzgerald was hammered by noon most days.

Self-government must be an educational enterprise, with lessons learned over and over again, and that is what Elizabeth Warren is about these days. She is still teaching. She teaches because she has learned, and she has learned because she teaches. The great teachers are the ones who remain students at heart, who keep learning from their students, and from the world around them, and from their own drive to know even more about even more things, and who then are able to transmit that knowledge—and more important, the drive to know more—to their students.

Charlie Pierce

And then:
No doubt, the Internet and cable television have allowed various political and corporate interests to spread disinformation on a scale that was not possible before, but to have it believed requires a badly educated population unaccustomed to verifying things they are being told. Where else on earth would a president who rescued big banks from bankruptcy with taxpayers’ money and allowed the rest of us to lose $12 trillion in investment, retirement, and home values be called a socialist?

Charles Simic

The quotes only capture the direction of the two pieces; you should read them both – they're going to the p3 Reading list, just in case. But you should also consider whether you'll need a big dose of your self-medication of choice at your elbow when you're through.

Just sayin'.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday morning toons: Pulitzers, Eisners, and bwastin' the Easter Rabbit!

First, congratulations to p3 regular Kevin Siers at the Charlotte Observer, who received the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning.

Second, congratulations and good luck to the 2014 nominees for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Award.

Today's toons were selected from cartoons hidden all over the White House lawn, out of a basketful of the week's offerings at McClatchy DC, Cartoon Movement, Go Comics, Politico's Cartoon Gallery, Daryl Cagle's Political Cartoons, About.com, and other fine sources of toony goodness.

p3 Best of Show: Clay Bennett.

p3 Legion of Extreme Merit: Pat Bagley.

p3 Certificate of Harmonic Toon Convergence (tie): John Darow, David Fitzsimmons, and Mike Keefe.

p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Brian McFadden.

p3 World Toon Review: McDonald (Honduras), Martin Sutovec (Slovakia), Pedro X. Molina (Nicaragua), Petar Pismestrovic (Austria).

Ann Telnaes looks at some solid-gold Easter eggs.

Mark Fiore reviews the works of the former Thane of Crawford TX. Actually, I'm not a good enough judge to say much about Dubya's paintings other than he's probably a lot better at making them look like their subjects than I would be. But I confess I'm not very surprised that he has better luck with the right side of his brain than he's had with the left side.

Taiwan's Next Media Animation gives a tour of the next world with an atmosphere and liquid water – that we can trash beyond recognition if we can figure out how to get there. And remember to bring your SPF 45,000 sun-block.

If all computer-based animation looked like this, movie audiences might not be looking forward with such trepidation to "How to Train Your Dragon 2."

Tom Tomorrow looks with horror at the latest inexplicable disappearance without so much as a beep.

Keith Knight considers the freeness of a free ride.

Tom the Dancing Bug presents Chagrin Falls, which actually is a real place. And the attitudes of concern for our fellow creatures is real, too.

The Comic Strip Curmudgeon calls it "jarring," "realistic and grim," and "completely bonkers" – so you know it's gotta be Funky Winkerbean.

Comic Strip of the Day is all about the juxtapositions. (Interestingly, I looked for a long time at the Schot cartoon at the end of the post, but decided at the last moment not to include it in the World Toon Review – so, problem solved!)

Here's the Easter Rabbit – hooray! Bugs Bunny fills in for the Easter Bunny in "Easter Yeggs," directed by Robert McKimson in 1947. Uncredited voice work by Portland's own Mel Blanc (Bugs, and pretty much everyone else except Elmer) and Arthur Q. Bryan (Elmer Fudd). I have no idea what the "Dick Tracy" joke is doing there. "Easter Yeggs" is no longer available on YouTube and such, although you can buy it at Amazon if that's your thing. If you just want to watch it, you'll have to go to a Romanian site, so:

The Big, And Getting Bigger Since We Welcomed Back The Departed, Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman has the inside story.

Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen reveals the tyranny of the grey men.

Matt Bors makes you wish.

Jesse Springer sees lemonade, so to speak, where others see lemons. He's putting the "P" back in Portland, over one of the most embarassing stories to get tied to the Rose City's ass like a tin can in quite some time.

Test your toon captioning mojo at The New Yorker's weekly caption-the-cartoon contest. (Rules here.)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday morning tunes: I'm sorry now I ever went away (Part 1)

I owe this one to my old college chum Ray, who turned me on to Herbie Mann a good long while ago. The song was composed by Ben Tucker, who's playing the upright bass.

Try keeping your feet still during this. I dare you.

Next week, we'll get into the lyrics. A lot of you probably know what that means.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A quantum of umbrage: If they look our way, everybody say "moo!" and act casual

It's otherwise not a story with much good about it, but I find it darkly amusing that armed supporters of welfare cowboy Cliven Bundy (lost brother, perhaps, to Ted and Al) showed up in his defense wearing camouflage.

These are crazy, dangerous people, but here's the image that keeps coming to mind:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Quote of the day: Give Liberty, Or Give Me 2%!

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the milk of cows.
- That's Tbogg's magnificent title for his post on the Nevada deadbeat cattle rancher who considers it his god-given right to graze his cattle on federal land without paying, and the armed-militia looking-for-any-excuse types who parachuted in to his defense.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday morning toons: Why get your news from Twitter when you can get it from haiku?

So Dubya now paints.
Iraq, Afghanistan – gone.
Master of tromp l'oeil.

Pay them less? No good.
Control their bodies? Uh-uh.
What do women want?

Sigh. Year after year
It's the same right-wing death list.
The Ryan budget.

His Letterman gig –
After a ten-year Report,
How will he shift gears?

Today's toons were chosen by a process too difficult and painstaking to describe here, from the week's offerings at McClatchy DC, Cartoon Movement, Go Comics, Politico's Cartoon Gallery, Daryl Cagle's Political Cartoons, About.com, and other fine sources of toony goodness.

p3 Best of Show: Tony Auth.

p3 Legion of Merit: Stuart Carlson.

p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Randy Jones.

p3 World Toon Review: Patrick Chappatte (Switzerland), Petar Pismestrovic (Austria), and Halit Kurtulmus Aytoslu (Turkey).

Ann Telnaes brings us the Utah Surprise.

Mark Fiore presents a true-life nature documentary, and it's rutting season. Ee-yew.

Taiwan's Next Media Animation lets their imagination soar on the news that Colbert will be replacing Letterman in 2015.

Interesting, if morbid, tidbit: The Archie comic characters were created in 1941 in part to cash in on the popularity of the Andy Hardy movies staring Mickey Rooney. So it's somewhat ironic that last week, which saw the death of Rooney at 93, also brought the announcement that young Master Andrews himself will also shortly run down the curtain and join the bleedin' choir invisible. Like the death of any long-running comic book star, of course, it's not likely to be a permanent thing. The specifics of the story line are being kept under wraps, but I like to imagine the cover will show the tattered remains of his Riverdale High School letter-sweater on a makeshift flag pole amid the rubble. (Too obscure?)

Keith Knight thinks Google's missing a bet.

Tom the Dancing Bug imagines a world where everything you know is filtered through sources whose attention span is shorter, and sardonic wit is lamer, than they can possibly imagine.

Red Meat's Ted Johnson's son considers the future. Or not.

The Comic Strip Curmudgeon finds consolation where he can: The gloom may be unrelenting, but is not without texture.

Comic Strip of the Day is all about the transitions today: Sebelius is out, Colbert is in.

Pimento U., Oh sweet P.U. – Thy fragrant odor scents the air: "The Dover Boys" is a gem – nipped in at #49 of the 50 greatest cartoons of all time – directed by Chuck Jones in 1942. Uncredited: Portland's own Mel Blanc and Bea Benederet (who would later voice Barney and Betty Rubble), Tedd Pierce (voice work and story), and John McLeish (narrator). The toon is a parody of the then-still-popular "Rover Boys" adventure stories for boys – Hardy Boys without the mysteries, if you will. Also uncredited: Musical director Carl Stalling, a personal god around here at p3. Main titles theme is the Cornell University alma mater, "In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree" accompanies the free-ranging hide 'n' seek game, the runabout theme is "Come Away with Me Lucille (In My Merry Oldsmobile)," the Boy Scout and subsequent rescue theme is, of course, "The William Tell Overture," and the whiskered beach bather's theme is "While Strolling Through the Park One Day." "The Dover Boys" was a very early use by Jones of the limited animation techniques that would become an inevitable, if not always pleasing, part of the industry beginning about a decade later. I love the Dover Boys' commitment to the Delsarte school of acting, but I also wonder who first came up with the innumerate idea that counting to 1500 by fives would make hide 'n' seek more interesting than counting to 300 by ones. My friends and I did it as kids, too. No one knew why, and objections appealing to the distributive property of multiplication over addition went nowhere.

The Big, And Getting Bigger Since We Welcomed Back The Departed, Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman presents Still Life With Fruitcake.

Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen explores the limits of satire.

Matt Bors explores presidential primary reform.

Jesse Springer: Still not loving the whole Cover Oregon thing.

Test your toon captioning mojo at The New Yorker's weekly caption-the-cartoon contest. (Rules here.)