Monday, June 13, 2016

Monday evening Sunday toons: Chickens, meet roost

America is nearly bursting at the seams with those uncommonly angry minds that Richard Hofstadter wrote about over half a century ago.

When I commented to a friend a couple of days that I was tired of having every third post on my Facebook feed being a picture of Clinton, Sanders, or Trump, accompanied by some predictable, finger-pointing, pot-stirring prose, I simply meant I wished the Democratic convention would be over. It didn't occur to me that I would get my wish when one of the deadliest mass shootings in US history (certainly the deadliest in recent history, but the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890, with around 300 deaths, is still in first place, and isn't it fun to argue this like fantasy league stats?) would bump all that out of the news cycle.

I was running late with this post Sunday evening anyway, and finally decided to take advantage of coverage of last night's mass murder at the gay nightclub in Orlando to note that multiple FBI investigations for terrorist-related activities plus a record of homophobic utterances and wife-beating didn't stop the shooter from buying a particularly nasty type of gun legally or obtaining a concealed-carry permit. And that's if "advantage" is the word I'm looking for – it certainly is the word that the short-fingered vulgarian was looking for.

Of course, deadline cartooning about an emotional topic doesn't always bring out the best work, but it was worth it to wait until this evening, giving artists time to get beyond weeping Statues of Liberty and such.

And let me point out the obvious once again, we are way, way past the point where "thoughts and prayers" are going to get you into heaven after armed lunatics in our violent country act out again. (Props: Mike Luckovich, below.) Hell, it's not even safe to be minding your own business in a zoo cage anymore. (Props: Joel Pett, below.)

Oh, and here's a reminder on a related topic: Sen. David Perdue, currently in the news defending himself for offering a prayer for the death of President Obama, is the cousin of former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue, and holds the Senate seat previously held by Saxby Chambliss, who rose to national attention in the 2002 campaign (when national security was also all the rage, so to speak) by attacking the patriotism of incumbent Sen. Max Cleland, who had lost three limbs during his service in Vietnam, during a war that Chambliss sat out. Sen. Purdue is now resorting to "Don't you people know when I'm joking?" which is the third-to-last refuge of the scoundrel – "You took me out of context!" being second-to-last, and, well, I imagine you all know Number One. The point is that David Perdue is not misunderstood, and he's not a fluke or a one-off; he's a latest-generation product of Georgia Republican politics. (Props to Mark Streeter, below.)

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: Mike Luckovich.

p3 Legion of Merit: Mark Streeter.

Ann Telnaes recognizes the logical conclusion of the Orlando mass shooting.

And speaking of logical conclusions, Mark Fiore posted this before Trump added the Washington Post to the list of media outlets no longer credentialed for his campaign, but he anticipated a line of thought that's making the rounds today.

Tom Tomorrow dropped this eerily prescient cartoon a full six days before the Orlando shooting.

Keith Knight gets in the last word on the Cincinnati Zoo killing with the latest word on the GOP convention.

Reuben Bolling watches as Trump hedges his claims about fairness in America. (Heh. See what I did there?)

Red Meat's Bug-Eyed Earl comes out for truth in packaging.

The Comic Curmudgeon places Snuffy Smith, of all cartoons, in the running for a p3 Award for Best Adaptation from Another Medium.

Comic Strip of the Day looks at many more Orlando-themed cartoons, notes that "Extra!" was once something more than a brand of sugarless gum, and reminds us again why Bill Mauldin was little short of a cartooning god.

I'm simply furious! By request: "The Scarlet Pumpernickel," directed by Chuck Jones in 1950 from a story by Michael Maltese, comes near the beginning of Chuck Jones's transformation of Daffy Duck from woo-hooing madcap zany to a more complicated character, struggling to get the better of Bugs Bunny, or Porky Pig, or Marvin the Martian, or (sometimes, it seemed) just life. It's awfully sketchy with its history, as well as its literary descent: The Scarlet Pimpernel (it's a flower, not a bread) was written in 1905 by Baroness Emma Orczy, also known for her Golden Age mystery stories featuring The Old Man in the Corner and other characters. Other than the sword play, "Pumpernickel" has nothing to do with either the French Terror, the setting for Orczy's novel, or Alexander Dumas or the Three Musketeers, despite the gag on the cover page of Daffy's script. So there. Watch "The Scarlet Pumpernickel: at DailyMotion.

The Right-Sized Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman acknowledges Donald Trump's gradual adaptation to technology. Can't blame Trump, I suppose – the first time I ever saw a speaker with a teleprompter, I concluded it was absolutely the worst design and installation of bullet-proof shields I could imagine.

Documented Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen presents The Cleric and the Slo-Mo Exploding Citrus. Reminder: The cleric is the one on the left.

Matt Bors looks at America's hope for the future. First "building a better mousetrap" got replaced by "winning the lottery" as the American Dream. Now this.

Jesse Springer has his doubts about Oregon's priorities when it comes to testing in our schools.

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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