Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sunday morning toons: Oliver Wendell Holmes' bastard child

Professional anti-Arab islamophobe and attention whore Pam Geller must be sleeping with a smile on her face these evenings. As a First Amendment pretty-near-absolutist, I nevertheless accept a number of limitations on the right of free speech: place and time, clear and present danger (again, a trigger on the First Amendment, not the Second), slander, libel, perjury, false advertising. I'm no lawyer, but it seems to me that a case could be made that Geller's sponsoring of a "Draw Muhammed" contest in Texas (where they're already competing in the bialthalon of crazy – check out Chris Britt, below) was within spitting distance of falsely shouting "fire!" in a crowded theater. The outcome – two yahoos show up and get shot – may not have been 100% predictable, but I suspect it was Geller's fantasy come true. Now she's in the catbird seat: a martyr for free speech without having to risk her own skin. All honors to Robert Ariail, below (the only element missing was "here – hold my beer").

Oh yeah: And there are people who will be shocked – shocked! – at the revelation that Tom Brady certainly lied and probably cheated, but those are the people who imagine that the staggering amounts of money on the table in pro (and NCAA) sports could never lead to corruption. (Sort of like what Anthony Kennedy thinks about money and politics.) Check out Steve Benson, below.

Today's toons were selected by compelling the week's offerings at McClatchy DC, Cartoon Movement, Go Comics, Politico's Cartoon Gallery, Daryl Cagle's Political Cartoons, The Nib,, and other fine sources of toony goodness, to run a mile-and-a-quarter track at Churchill Downs.

p3 Best of Show: Stuart Carlson.

p3 Legion of Merit: Dave Fitzsimmons.

p3 Getting the Irony Award: Tom Toles.

p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium: Rebecca Hendin.

And Nick Anderson very nearly replicates the same gag about Texas, and yet it involves two different topics. Is there such a thing as a Self-Reflexive Certificate of Harmonic Toon Convergence? Or is it simply that Texas politics these days always comes down to some kind of prophylactic headgear with a reservoir tip?

p3 World Toon Review: Van Dam (Netherlands), Bas van der Schot (Netherlands), Obi (Mexico), and Patrick Chappatte (Switzerland),

Ann Telnaes explains a term that may be new to some well-meaning people. As one of my grade school teachers told me, use it three times today and it's yours for life.

Mark Fiore notices the interchangeability of free speech heroes and free speech martyrs.

Tom Tomorrow counts the lessons from Baltimore.

Tom the Dancing Bug recounts the noble history of certain kinds of sports.

Red Meat's Ted Johnson offers Johnny Lemonhead a deal.

The Comic Strip Curmudgeon had the same reaction I did: Yes, parody is a protected form of speech, but here's an IP lawsuit waiting to happen.

Comic Strip of the Day pursues the theme: Things we'll have trouble explaining to later generations. And he starts with a classic from my youth.

Get away from me, boys, you bother me! The running Bing Crosby gag – that he was famous for owning race horses that were neverwozzers – made me choose "Hollywood Steps Out," directed in 1941 by Tex Avery of the p3 pantheon of gods, for the week between the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. ("Get away from me, boy, you bother me!" was a W. C. Fields catch line from several years earlier.) It's fun – or no fun at all, depending on your taste – because it's really locked into who's hot from that year. Even the opening music as we watch the searchlights over Hollywood – a conga, which had its top-of-the-pops moment around that year – pins it to a moment in time sealed like a mosquito in amber. You can track the celebrity cameos here. (Many, like James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, and George Raft, were from the Warner Bros stable of contract players – though not all by any means.) All these years later, and I still don't get the running joke about Greta Garbo's feet. Watch "Hollywood Steps Out" at eBaum's World.

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

I tried to post the color version of this toon by Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman from his page at the Sacramento Bee a few days ago, and all my Facebook app would do is put the correct link with a photo of linguini and clams. Go figure. So here it is, telling the truth in glorious monochrome.

Possibly Ex-Oregonian (or perhaps that's just what she wants us to think!) Jen Sorensen looks at the political acumen of Texans and finds it's paranoid turtles, all the way down.

I'm not certain which side of the Fast Track debate Jesse Springer is coming down on here.

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.

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