Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday morning toons: A (mostly) Trump-free post

China sending the global stock market into a tizzy? Yeah, we got that.

Ten years after Katrina and the state of New Orleans? Yup, got that, too.

The totally over-hyped product of the arbiters of conventional centrist wisdom that is the theoretical Biden presidential campaign? Yeah, that too.

The made-for-YouTube shooting of the Virginia local morning news team? Not so much. Condolences to their families, their co-workers, and their community, but the coverage seems a little tinged and this is part of the reason why.

Today's toons were selected 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: Joel Pett.

p3 Legion of Merit: Rob Rogers.

p3 Croix de Guerre: Clay Bennett.

p3 Certificate of Harmonic Toon Convergence: RJ Matson and Bob Gorrell.

Ann Telnaes recaps the events in New Orleans ten years ago this week. Good to be reminded what a dreadful piece of work the Bush matriarch is, by the way.

Mark Fiore worries that Smokey's job has gotten more complicated. And more important.

Tom Tomorrow documents the stages of The Proven Thing.

Keith Knight runs with it.

Reuben Bolling explores the concept of sort-of-omnipotence. (One more reason to respect the legacy of Jimmy Carter.)

Red Meat's Ted Johnson gives us the deal in a nutshell.

Comic Strip of the Day zeros in, with a short opening paragraph, on the reason there's no reason to include Trump toons this week. Then he goes on to more evolved things.

Sorry I had to pwug you, Mr. Duck, but I'm a sportsman. A gweat, gweat sportsman! "To Duck or Not to Duck" (1943) is one of the early instances when director Chuck Jones got his hands on Daffy Duck. Ten years later, Jones (with writer Michael Maltese) had transformed Daffy from the zany who always got the best of hunters (usually Elmer Fudd) to the hilarious but hapless second-banana who never managed to get the best of Bugs Bunny, most memorably in the Hunting Trilogy. and Duck Amuck. Portland's own Mel Blanc voiced Daffy, the referee, and Larrimore; Arthur Q. Bryan did his uncredited bit as Elmer.

The Modest, Yet Not Without Ambitions, Even At This Late Date, Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman is never to high to dive for a pun.

Extremely Possibly Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen gives us Smokey's second appearance this week.

Matt Bors celebrates the joys of summer. Void where prohibited.

Test your toon captioning superpowers 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 29, 2015

Saturday evening tunes: Disturbing

It's disturbing to realize how much of American history I originally learned – sort of – but not really – and later had to unlearn  – from the works of Johnny Horton.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The unforgiving minute: There are those who see education as a pie fight

– and believe the winner is the one who makes it all the way to graduation without getting any custard on their jacket.
The 2006 graphic novel, an autobiographical work about Bechdel coming to terms with her homosexuality as her funeral-director father remains closeted, was selected as a summer reading book for the Duke Class of 2019. But some students declined to read it because of its sexual themes and use of nudity.

"I feel as if I would have to compromise my personal Christian moral beliefs to read it," incoming freshman Brian Grasso wrote on Facebook, according to the Duke Chronicle.

Minute's up.

A four-year-old took it from him in the toilet, but I made him give it back

So this happened in South Carolina:
A 4-year-old boy walked into a bathroom stall and found a loaded handgun after a church service in Holly Ridge on Sunday, Holly Ridge Police Chief John Maiorano said.

The man, Claude Lee Haynes III, 70, received a ticket for child endangerment.
And somehow it reminded me of this, which happened in San Francisco:
They went to Gutman's door and Spade knocked.

Gutman opened the door. A glad smile lighted his fat face. He held out a hand and said: "Ah, come in, sir! Thank you for coming. Come in."

Spade shook the hand and entered. The boy went in behind him. The fat man shut the door. Spade took the boy's pistols from his pockets and held them out to Gutman. "Here. You shouldn't let him run around with these. He'll get himself hurt."

The fat man laughed merrily and took the pistols. "Well, well," he said, "what's this?" He looked from Spade to the boy.

Spade said: "A crippled newsie took them away from him, but I made him give them back."

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday morning toons: Remember where you were when they announced Jimmy Carter's Nobel Peace Prize?

I do.

Bill Clinton/Ashley Madison adultery jokes are so 1992. Grow up.

And we get it that Trump is the Republican id run wild. What else have you got?

And that Amazon is a dreadful place to work for. 

Jared the Subway Mascot prison rape jokes are not even remotely funny. Get a life, guys.

And Trump is the only candidate the Village Media cares about, unless it's a Democrat who's sliding in the polls (you know who!).

Meanwhile, Jimmy Carter is facing death by metastatic cancer with more grace and dignity than . . . no good contemporary example at the presidential level comes to mind. So let's focus, people.

Today's toons were selected by a complete crapshoot 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: Jeff Danziger.

p3 Legion of Merit: Jeff Stahler.

p3 Fashion-Forward Award: Joe Heller.

p3 World Toon Review: blah

Ann Telnaes presents . . . oh dear.

Mark Fiore reminds us that things first went wrong in 1872.

Tom Tomorrow explains why it is that some guys just don't get it. And they formed a political party.

Keith Knight celebrates a legend five decades in the making.

Reuben Bolling isn't kind enough to to the heirs of the literary and commercial estate of Lee Harper. Not by a long shot.

Red Meat's Bug-Eyed Earl makes an honest mistake.

The Comic Strip Curmudgeon finds a New Testament joke in a panel I didn't get then and only somewhat get now. It must be all the extra time he spends with strips like The Wizard of Id that I don't.

Comic Strip of the Day weighs infairly, I think – on Ted Rall's current state of affairs.

Oh, Mister Warner – I'm back! The sleeping pill gag ("Take Dese and Dose") got "The Big Snooze" taken out of syndication, although the wolf cry "How Oo – o – o – ld is she?" skated right on past the censors. Draw your own conclusions and consider yourself warned. Directed in 1946 by Robert Clampett (uncredited, surprisingly, although it was his last short for WB and he finished it after his contract ended, so that may have something to do with it), from a story by Warren Foster (also uncredited), with voice work by Portland's own Mel Blanc (Bugs and the wolf) and Arthur Q. Bryan (uncredited, as Elmer). The hollow-log gag is probably the best-executed example of the genre. Watch "The Big Snooze" at DailyMotion.

The Reasonably Proportioned Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman has that image you can't stop seeing.

Quite Possibly Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen explains why your produce can be used as a candle.

Matt Bors confuses poor political tactics for impoliteness.

I spent yesterday afternoon looking at the smoked-up air and smelling the scent of forest fires about seventy miles away. So maybe Jesse Springer is right: Yellow-orange really is the new black.

Test your toon captioning superpowers 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 22, 2015

Saturday really late afternoon tunes: I know that she's no pheasant!

Fifty years ago today, the Beatles performed two shows at Portland's Memorial Coliseum. Ticket prices were $4, $5 and $6, and parts of the upper level was free. Between shows, Carl Wilson and Mike Love of the Beach Boys popped in to chat with the Lads.

This isn't their PDX performance, but it was the first song on their playlist that night.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Bulwer-Lytton, you deserved better

While looking for something else, I stumbled upon the fact that the winner of the unfortunately-named Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest awards for 2015 have been announced.

You can read about it if you want to.

I've already expressed my opinion on this mean (in every sense) tradition:
For years, the winners of the "official" Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest have usually written a long, long, self-consciously tedious sentence, with a sudden reversal in the last five words as if the writer simply popped a blood vessel at the wrong moment. They telegraph the joke like a bad prizefighter.
According to Wikipedia:
Writer's Digest described this sentence as "the literary posterchild for bad story starters."[3] On the other hand, the American Book Review ranked it as #22 on its "Best first lines from novels list."[4]

In 2008, the great-great-great-grandson of Bulwer-Lytton, Henry Lytton-Cobbold, participated in a debate in the town of Lytton, British Columbia with Scott Rice, the founder of the International Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. Rice accused Bulwer-Lytton of penning "27 novels whose perfervid turgidity I intend to expose, denude, and generally make visible." Lytton-Cobbold defended his ancestor, noting that he had coined many other phrases widely used today such as "the pen is mightier than the sword", "the great unwashed" and "the almighty dollar", and said it was "rather unfair that Professor Rice decided to name the competition after him for entirely the wrong reasons."[5]
I get it. It's a joke. It's a joke that, like Snoopy's foray into fiction some eleven years or so before Rice started the BLFC in 1982, wears thin pretty quickly once you get tired of drinking in how deliciously low-brow it all is. Think about it: An animated beagle now best-known for having his image on greeting cards and an insurance company blimp got to the punchline a decade earlier. So it's a joke -- just a fairly lame joke.

Still, as someone else once said, people who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Quote of the day: Divided

But once again the war is thrust upon us.

And this nation can no longer survive half-Fox and half-free.
- Driftglass, going beyond the symptoms of the plague that has been unleashed upon our politics, all the way to naming the causes.