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 Clive 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,, 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.)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday morning tunes: Glad rags

Sixty years ago today, Bill Haley and his band spent three hours in a Decca recording studio in New York City, most of which was spent trying to get one usable recording of "Thirteen Women (And Only One Man in Town)." In the last 40 minutes of the session, they managed to get two takes -- one largely unusable -- of a second tune. After substantial editing, the producers decided it might be good enough to be a B-side release.

Today, few people would recognize the very young Dick Clark who opens this video; fewer still probably know what a B-side is; and likely no one remembers "Thirteen Women" -- but that 40-minute squeaker produced an anthem.

Friday, April 11, 2014

"Kurt is up in Heaven now."

Kurt Vonnegut died seven years ago today. p3 is proud to honor his final request.
I am, incidentally, Honorary President of the American Humanist Association, having succeeded the late, great science fiction writer Isaac Asimov in that totally functionless capacity. We had a memorial service for Isaac a few years back, and I spoke and said at one point, "Isaac is up in heaven now." It was the funniest thing I could have said to an audience of humanists. I rolled them in the aisles. It was several minutes before order could be restored. And if I should ever die, God forbid, I hope you will say, "Kurt is up in Heaven now." That's my favorite joke.

Kurt Vonnegut,

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Quote of the day: Structural racism

A better question would be: Why do conservatives use racism as a political tool, and do they have an alternative?

Because it's not really important whether a given Republican operative—Richard Nixon or Lee Atwater—is a racist or not. What's important is the way they took to mobilizing around racism back in the 1960s, gradually absorbing the old white Democrats of the South and the frightened white proletariat of cities like Los Angeles and Cleveland and Detroit and Newark, or the suburbs to which they had fled, into an intrinsically racist institution, the new Republican party, which took what Corey Robin calls the aggrieved conservative "sense of loss" and focused it into a sense of having been robbed by, specifically, dark-skinned people who take taxpayers' money and throw it away on lobster and lottery tickets.
- Yastreblyansky at The Rectification of Names, on the difference between attempting to look into a political operative's soul and observing the big, obvious, structural properties of the national political party they serve.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The last night of a jockey

Mickey Rooney, never my absolute favorite actor, but an actor to be reckoned with nevertheless if only through sheer longevity (and his profound faith in the institution of marriage), died yesterday at age 93.

Submitted for your approval, one other bit of evidence he was a force to be reckoned with: Rod Serling wrote a one-man episode of The Twilight Zone specifically for him in 1963.  That was about a year after Rooney filed for bankruptcy after finally burning through the millions he earned as a "child star."

The unforgiving minute: Still waiting

As we all settle in to watch Jeb "The Smarter One" Bush begin his dance of the seven veils, this might be a good time to recall that, after packing an extraordinarily high number of gaffes and missteps into a comparatively short Wyoming Senatorial primary campaign last fall, Bush's fellow legacy Republican Liz "Spawn of Dick" Cheney pulled out of the race in early January, offering this explanation:
Citing health concerns in her family, Cheney said the issues arising prompted her to end her GOP primary challenge to Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.).

“Serious health issues have recently arisen in our family, and under the circumstances, I have decided to discontinue my campaign. My children and their futures were the motivation for our campaign and their health and well-being will always be my overriding priority,” Cheney said in the statement.
Three months and one day later, we're still waiting for any particulars on the needy-relative story to emerge. . . .