On one hand, it's apparently more important to be up-to-date on Justin Bieber's troubles than to understand what the NSA's up to; the Trans Pacific Partnership appears likely to pass without opportunity for debate; the Keystone XL pipeline is about to get approved, after which it could easily do to the environment of middle America what the TPP is going to do to our economy; parts of the former Soviet Union are exploding; Iraq and Syria aren't doing too well, either; the Seahawks guy is a thug, but the New Jersey guy just trusted his staff too much; the Sochi Olympics are about to confirm not only my belief that we should probably get rid of the sports that require judges but also my growing suspicion that we should just get rid of the Olympics and let each sport have its championship; and Net Neutrality is in danger of disappearing.
On the other hand, no one's much concerned about Duck Dynasty anymore, and a cursory Google News search finds a whole lot more bar fights and domestic violence fueled by alcohol than by weed. So there's that.
Today's toons were selected out of what Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon decided it was in their best interest to let us find on line, 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.
p3 Picks of the week: Mike Luckovich, Jack Ohman, Pat Oliphant, Mike Lester, Steve Sack, Lisa Benson, Tom Toles, Rob Rogers, Clay Bennett, Signe Wilkinson, J.D. Crowe, Taylor Jones, Jeff Darcy, Matt Wuerker, Jen Sorenson, and Monte Wolverton.
p3 Best of Show: John Darkow.
p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Randy Bish.
p3 World Toon Review: Patrick Chappatte (Switzerland), Paresh Nath (India), Loujie (China), Olle Johansson (Sweden), and Bernard Bouton (France).
Ann Telnaes brings news of the great new passtime that's sweeping the nation: West Virginia Roulette!
Mark Fiore reflects: At least he still can give a good speech.
Taiwan's Next Media Animation has the harshest yet funniest take on La Beiber's troubles.
Tom Tomorrow presents: The Surprisingly Small World of Governor Chris Christie. (Bonus points for getting the classic film allusion without clicking here.)
Keith Knight has a strange, sort of market-based, sort of libertarian solution to a persistent problem.
Tom the Dancing Bug presents, among other things, the further adventures of Percival Dunwoody, Idiot Time Traveler fro 1909.
Red Meat's Ted Johnson emphasizes the importance of being an informed health-care consumer.
The Comic Strip Curmudgeon has nearly made "Hi and Lois" too depressing to read, even if they don't call their neighbor "Thirsty" Thurston anymore. Not that it's not all true and hanging right out there to be seen; it's just that getting it in one burst like a firehose is a little too . . . too.
And just to keep the depression quotient up there, Comic Strip of the Day looks at the ugly, stinking, bloody, and possibly intractable mess that is Syria.
Paths Crossed – Guaranteed Bad Luck: Directed by Tex Avery in 1949 (and with uncredited voice work by Avery as the dog and Dick Nelson as Blackie), "Bad Luck Blackie" trades in a superstition that's cost the lives a lot of cats who were otherwise minding their own business over the centuries, but this time around becomes a force for good. In signature Avery style, the violence escalates quickly into the surreal. (Did you see the horse gag coming?) "Bad Luck Blackie" placed at #15 on the list of the 50 Greatest Cartoons. According to Wikipedia, the barbecue gag was trimmed on Nickelodeon and Boomerang at the end to avoid showing the bulldog's head with what looks like a Chinese-style hat on it. Blackie's encounters with the dog are accompanied by a couple of bars of the tradition (hence, free!) song "Comin' Thro' the Rye" – except the one that uses Brahm's Hungarian Dance #5, and "Pop Goes the Weasel."
The Big, But Could Be Bigger, And We're Working On That, Oregon Toon Block:
Matt Bors says you can have his popcorn when you pry it from his cold, buttery hands.
Jesse Springer's still not feeling the love for Cover Oregon: