Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday morning toons: Cheney undead!

Sporting the needlessly transplanted heart that he never uses anyway (talk about government waste, fraud, and abuse!), the Evil Old Bastard is back this week, seizing the opportunity provided by renewed fighting in norther Iraq that's about to suck the US in – yet again – to combat in that benighted land. It's not an opportunity to vindicate himself, of course, since he never considered the 2003 Iraq invasion a mistake, and certainly not a criminal act that he and his cohort lied this country into. No, it's more like a chance for him to scold America – and particularly its current president – for not following his advice all along by settling in for permanent war, eternal occupation, and limitless revenue streams for military suppliers.

(I figure there's plenty of time in the coming weeks to cover the culture of violence in the NFL. That story's not going anywhere. Same with new Apple products. They're evergreens, I'm afraid.)

Today's toons were selected from politically-driven intelligence reports stovepiped directly to the White House out of the week's offerings at McClatchy DC, Cartoon Movement, Go Comics, Politico's Cartoon Gallery, Daryl Cagle's Political Cartoons,, and other fine sources of toony goodness.

p3 Best of Show: Jeff Danziger.

p3 Legion of Merit: Signe Wilkinson.

p3 World Toon Review: Paresh Nath (India), Peter Schrank (UK), Gianfranco Uber (Italy), and Terry Mosher (Canada).

Ann Telnaes presents The Return of the Evil Old Bastard.

Mark Fiore welcomes something new that no one seemed to need. Can you guess what it is?

Tom Tomorrow watches the crew of the USS Enterprise seek out new life, and new civilizations.

Keith Knight brings good news from the NFL Cult of Violence.

Red Meat's Ted Johnson knows what he likes.

The Comic Strip Curmudgeon has convinced me that Dennis the Menace is a lot more menacing than I fully understood.

Comic Strip of the Day reviews a pattern of dismal failures. (Turns out that Mike Luckovich, who's one of my favorites as a rule, not only has milked this pattern to death, as it were, he's even collected them as a slide show at his AJC site. A print of one of his earlier examples (slide #14) actually made its modest way into the estate of my brother-in-law who was a big Dale Earnhardt fan. I always liked it – I thought the rendering of Ol' Number 3's deadpan was pretty funny – but then I hadn't seen the rest of them at that point.)

Weekly animation: As long as we're reviewing the history of confused theology surrounding the whole Pearly Gates thing, let's take a look at "Heavenly Puss," directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera for MGM in 1949. It has a couple of surprisingly dark moments (not counting Tom's near-death, I suppose) for a Hanna-Barbera piece: Tom's uneasy look back at his own lifeless body, and those kittens. But on the upside, the afterlife apparently has urban mass transit. Uncredited voice work by Daws Butler as the conductor, and Billy Bletcher as the devil-dog.

For reasons we've gone into before, you can watch "Heavenly Puss" at Seek Cartoon.

The Big, And Getting Bigger Since We Bent the Rules and Welcomed Back The Departed, Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman provides a brief nature tour.

Possibly Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen has some suggestions for Tim Cook.

Matt Bors wonders why women aren't more grateful. Really.

Jesse Springer has a story problem – remember those?

Test your toon captioning kung fu at The New Yorker's weekly caption-the-cartoon contest. (Rules here.) And you can browse The New Yorker's cartoon gallery here.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saturday afternoon tunes: She knows just what to do

According to This Day in Music, on September 14, 1955:
Little Richard entered a New Orleans recording studio to begin two days of recording. Things were not going well and during a break, Richard and his producer; Bumps Blackwell went to the Dew Drop Inn for lunch. Richard started playing the piano in the bar like crazy, singing a loud and lewd version of ‘Tutti Frutti.’ With only fifteen minutes left in the session, Richard recorded the song and coined the phrase, ‘a-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-lop-bam-boom.’

Friday, September 12, 2014

In which two two celebrities of dubious achievement go for their Heisenberg moment

Two people, emotionally, morally, and intellectually unequipped for the gangsta life they've found themselves tossed into, but knowing they liked it just the same:

Exhibit 1:
George Zimmerman threatened to kill a driver during a road rage incident in Lake Mary and later showed up at the man's workplace, according to police.

The road rage incident happened Tuesday, Lake Mary police told Local 6, but the other driver declined to press charges, so Zimmerman was not arrested.

Police said the man, whose name was not released, called police after a truck pulled up next to him and the driver yelled, "Why are you pointing a finger at me?"

The man pulled into the Circle K at 4410 W. Lake Mary Blvd. to call 911, according to police, who added that driver followed him into the parking lot but took off before police arrived.

Police spokeswoman Bianca Gillett said the man recognized the truck driver as Zimmerman. The man said Zimmerman, who was carrying a gun, asked, "Do you know who I am?" before saying, "I'll (f***ing) kill you."
Exhibit 2:
The report of Sarah Palin's involvement in the second confrontation was based on a single anonymous source who spoke to Coyne. The source said the former Alaska governor was "nearly crawling on top of people" during the second melee in an attempt to get into the mix, all while screaming and shouting profanities.

Thompson told "Good Morning America" the ex-governor was yelling "Do you know who I am?" during the commotion, but he stopped short of saying she became physically involved in the fight.

(Emphasis added.)

Okay, kids, huddle up. This is how it's done: 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

At the academy, they said I was mad!

The conventional wisdom about Karl Rove – back when he was Bush's Brain, and paid for it with the presidential nickname "Turdblossom" – was that he was a genius. (Of course, back in 1994 they said that about Gingrich, too.)

Almost ten years ago, in one of the very first posts here at p3, I put my foot down on that. Rove was smart in his own way, sure – even Junior was, in his own way – but Rove's unique gift wasn't his ability to think up ideas no one had ever thought before. It was his ability to look at ideas that others had also considered, but rejected because the collateral damage was too great compared to any short range political gain – and then go ahead anyway because he didn't care.

Charlie Pierce helpfully collects the same sort of he's-a-genius stories – even from Mother Jones! – about Texas madman Ted Cruz, and concludes:

Over the last two days, the Tailgunner has put his off-the-charts intellect to interesting use. First, he argued that repealing the Citizens United ruling would enable the federal government to take Saturday Night Live off the air and declare political satire to be illegal, which is just nutty. Then he went before an audience of Christians of Middle East origins and got booed off the stage.

I shudder to think what he might have done had he not been so off-the-charts brilliant.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Saturday morning tunes: I got one foot on the platform

And what song hit #1 on the US charts fifty years ago yesterday?

Thank you for asking.

The story is that Eric Burden and the band took fifteen minutes to record this in the studio. Time will spent.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday morning toons: Predictions

I predicted that Obama's beige suit would be a frequently-hit target this week, but while there were a handful of attempts, most came off as bland as the POTUS's suit (and its predecessors, going back through four all of the last five administrations). I also predicted, with some anread, that the horrifying incident of the 9-year-old girl with the Uzi would get a lot more play. Perhaps cooler heads prevailed.

I also predicted that there would be more Labor Day cartoons out there, but perhaps artists are taking the holiday weekend off. As has been discussed here before, Labor Day (along with Memorial Day and Fourth of July) is not necessarily a holiday that inspires editorial cartoonists to their most creative moments anyway, so. . . .

Perhaps the only theme I successfully predicted was the Burger-King-moving-to-Canada story, which did better for itself in quantity than quality.

One good thing I would not have predicted: The shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri, police has not gone away. In fact, it's split into two stories, both of which deserve attention: The death of Brown, and the nationwide militarization of local police and their consequent alienation from the citizens they're supposed to protect and serve.

Today's toons were selected by a complex system involving average presidential vacation days as a function of the total number of bullets in the clip of a Uzi, expressed as the natural logarithm of the week's offerings at McClatchy DC, Cartoon Movement, Go Comics, Politico's Cartoon Gallery, Daryl Cagle's Political Cartoons,, and other fine sources of toony goodness.

p3 Best of Show: Lalo Alcaraz.

p3 Legion of Merit: Jeff Danziger.

p3 Same Premise/Opposite Conclusions Award: Signe Wilkinson and Rick McKee.

p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Darrin Bell.

p3 World Toon Review: Payam Boromand (Iran) and Tomas (Italy).

Ann Telnaes creates an image that's at once cute and chilling. By the way, there is an easily locatable video clip of the child and her "instructor" on YouTube, although mercifully it stops just moments before things go from idiotic to horrific. But it seems to me that the video could only have come from one of two places: Somebody – The folks at Bullets and Burgers where this happened? The parents who thought this was a good idea and will now have to endow a trust fund to pay for their daughter's psychotherapy for the rest of her life? -- thought it was a good idea to record this special moment so it could be shared with Facebook friends later. We are a sick sad country.

Tom Tomorrow draws five lessons from Ferguson.

Keith Knight keeps not getting what he hopes and prays for, so he figures he might as well run with it.

Tom the Dancing Bug enlists God-Man (the superhero with omnipotent powers) to demonstrate the concept of proportionate response in law enforcement.

Red Meat's Johnny Lemonhead may need to move up to the next level of health care insurance coverage.

The Comic Strip Curmudgeon uncovers an ancient and nameless horror. In Beetle Bailey.

Comic Strip of the Day tees off with a reference to one of my favorite moments from the Golden Age of Television, moves from there to the Matt Wuerker and Lalo Alcaraz toons I also took a liking to, from there to Pat Buchanan's cojones (an image that I fear may be burned into my retina for a few days), and then hits cruising altitude over a problem that I was surprised to see get so much media play this week (although I'm flying coach later this week and inadvertently egged the story along in my small way – but my ace in the hole is that even if I get miraculously upgraded to first class and arrive at my destination on time, I've already placed myself into the hands of the domestic airline industry with the assumption that my day will be ruined so why worry).

Ain't you the one? "Swing Shift Cinderella" was directed in 1945 by Tex Avery, and it includes most of his signature bits: Extreme-driven animation, plentiful sight gags and visual puns, and the recurring character of of the red-headed bombshell with Katharine Hepburn's trademark Mid-Atlantic accent. (Hint: The MGM/Avery animated short before this was "Red Hot Riding Hood," and the next in the series was "Little Red Riding Hood.") Uncredited talent: Sarah Berner (Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, and Fairy Godmother), Frank Graham (Wolf), and Imogene Lynn (Goldilocks' singing voice). Musical director Scott Bradley lifted from "Frankie and Johnny," "You're in the Army Now," and "Clang Clang Clang Went the Trolly," and probably wrote the stage number "Oh, Wolfie!" World War II in-jokes abound: Gas rationing stickers, women working as night-shift welders at defense plants, and more.

YouTube doesn't have a copy of SSC, so you're invited to watch it here at DailyMotion.

The Big, And Getting Bigger Since We Began Cheating Shamelessly By Welcoming Back The Departed, Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman has an Obama/golf panel that rises above what's been the run of things for the last month. Not too sympathetic, but not disdainful either.

Possibly Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen has a nice if-only this week.

Matt Bors takes note of the most ill-timed movie release since Foul Play in 1978.

Jesse Springer looks at the latest unpromising turn of the Cover Oregon debacle. And now weapons are being drawn.

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

Saturday, August 30, 2014