Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday evening toons: Cleveland – A performance in five parts, with intermission

The GOP nominating convention had five parts:

Part I-A: Statement of (Anti-)Thesis: A parade of D-Listers, scraped up at the last minute because Ted Nugent and Tim Tebow wouldn't make themselves available, launched an evening's worth of attacks on Hillary Clinton, while offering nothing in the way of positive policy ideas.

Part I-B: Diversion: The Melania Speech and the utterly inevitable tsunami of plagiarism jokes that followed. I have to say I felt a little sorry for the current Mrs. Trump – not a lot, but a little. True, she certainly knew what she was getting into when she signed on to be arm candy for a rich American jerk, but I imagine that even her iron-clad pre-nup didn't have a clause covering the reading a speech in her second language at a national political convention in a context where if there was one blunder she'd be gutted like a fish inside of half an hour on Twitter.

Part II-A: The Soprano Aria: Donald Trump Jr. stuns the crowd with his a capella rendition of "Tomorrow Belongs to Me."

Part II-B: The Trial: The Governor, advances charges that Hillary Clinton had trafficked with Lucifer, engaged in witchcraft, and committed marvelous and supernatural murder, and promises a hangin' if she'll not confess.

Part III: Betrayal from Within: Cruz Agonistes, in which our hero laments:
Why was my breeding ordered and prescribed
As of a person separate to God,
Designed for great exploits, if I must die
Betrayed, captived, and both my eyes put out,
Made of my enemies the scorn and gaze,
To grind in brazen fetters under task
With this heaven-gifted strength?

Part IV – I'm Ready for My Close-Up, Ms. Riefenstahl: With a lot of hand-waving and podium-pounding and lower-lip-protruding, Trump delivers a long, excedingly dark acceptance speech which, as Molly Ivins, of the p3 pantheon of gods, remarked in another context, probably sounded better in the original German.

Part V – Epilog: In which white supremacist and former Klan Grand Wizard David Duke announces that the nomination of Trump is an omen appearing strongly to favor his campaign for the United States Senate, and Hillary Clinton steers away from Trump-ish drama by selecting the most un-Elizabeth Warren-y figure imaginable for her running mate. Outraged fans of Senators Warren and Sanders contemplate whether this is indeed the final straw, apparently failing to appreciate that if Tim Kaine is indeed their worst fears realized, there's hardly a better place to keep him out of mischief than the Vice Presidency.

If you executed one of a zillion variations on the Melania-blithely-stealing-a-famous-quote theme, you almost certainly didn't make the cut this week. On the other hand, if you noticed that anything else was happening this week other than the Republican convention, you most likely got a second look.

Today's toons were selected following a shut-out of all other contenders by the Rules Committee 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: Matt Davies.

p3 Legion of Merit: Chan Lowe.

p3 Catching the Problem Everyone Else Missed Award: Joel Pett.

p3 "When They Outlaw Behavioral Therapists . . . " Certificate: Darrin Bell (although in defense of the otherwise-indefensible officer who fired the shot, and who shouldn't be allowed to have a toy truck, let alone a loaded gun, he did shoot the unarmed man in the leg, rather than in the belly; so, you know, there's that).

p3 "Perspective: Use It Or Lose It" Award: Steve Kelley.

Ann Telnaes captures the fiery oratory of Cruz on Night 3.

Tom Tomorrow demonstrates why there is no Donald Trump Drinking Game: Everyone would be dead of alcohol poisoning by late afternoon.

Keith Knight explains that frozen moment when everyone sees what's on the end of every fork – and it's you.

Reuben Bolling invites you to participate in Donald Trump's Augmented Reality.

Carol Lay examines post-hairstyle-change remorse. Hey, we've all been there.

Red Meat's Ted Johnson knows that any tactical response depends on advance planning.

The Comic Curmudgeon notes that the usually-adorbs Mutts took a dark turn this week.

Comic Strip of the Day not only explains why the donut wasn't powdered but produced a line I'm going to be duty-bound to repeat at some point: "a foggy smear of unplumbable probabilities where reality has no meaning."

Humans are suckers for dogs – all you gotta do is give them the "soulful eyes" routine! "Little Orphan Airedale," directed in 1947 by Chuck Jones from a story by Tedd Pierce (both uncredited, along with voice work by Portland's Own Mel Blanc and musical direction by Carl Stalling of the p3 pantheon of gods), is the very first appearance of Charlie Dog (like Smokey, he doesn't have a middle name). The essence of Charlie's character is his search for a master (usually, but not always, Porky Pig) and a comfortable home – a search he's no less optimistic about simply because he's so obnoxious that no one wants him. (The original version of the story was "Porky's Pooch," directed in 1941 by Bob Clampett and written by Warren Foster. We may check that out next week.) Charlie got a total of five appearances in Warner Bros short films. Watch "Little Orphan Airedale" on DailyMotion (warning: autoplay).

The Mighty Oregon Toon Block:

Ex-Oregonian Jack Ohman looks on the bright side, to the extent that there is one, of Trump's apocalyptic acceptance speech.

Documented Ex-Oregonian Jen Sorensen traces the backlash from that guy living over his parents' garage all the way up to the man who will soon get a national security briefing from the CIA – generated an non-convention event this week.

Matt Bors zeros in on an important distinction.

Jesse Springer returns to a topic that was the blackberry seed in his wisdom tooth for quite awhile back in the day: The unsuccessful relationship between Oregon's health care exchange and Oracle the IT company that created its unsuccessful online registration management system. You'd think, with a name like Oracle, somebody would have seen this coming.

Test your mastery of the toon-captioning Force 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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