The Week’s Best Cartoons 3/6

I thought perhaps some of the political cartoonists would be standing in the unemployment line once the former guy left and peace was once again restored to the nation.  But, I couldn’t have been more wrong!  The Republicans are keeping the cartoonists just as busy as ever with their horrible attempts to stifle voters’ voices, disregard the pandemic, and more.  Thanks to TokyoSand, we can see the best of the lot all in one place!

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See All The ‘Toons!

NO, Dr. Seuss Isn’t ‘Cancel Culture’!!!

Let’s talk about this hullabaloo some people are calling ‘cancel culture’.  I wrote a post a while back about the so-called cancel culture, and to me it’s a meaningless, made-up phrase, but since it’s being bandied about like a ping pong ball this week, let’s examine a couple of things, starting with the folks who are up in arms over Dr. Seuss.

On Tuesday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, which oversees the 20th-century children’s author’s estate, announced that it had decided to discontinue publication and licensing of six books by Theodor Seuss Geisel, saying, “These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” Though four of the six books are basically unknown and make up a fraction of the author’s oeuvre, Fox News and other conservative voices, as if on autopilot, are treating the decision as another example of “cancel culture.”

Note that it was not I, nor any other person the republicans like to call snowflakes and bleeding heart liberals who decided to discontinue the books … it was the author’s representatives, the owners of the books!  And yet, I’ve seen story after story about how liberals are now canceling Dr. Seuss.  For the record, Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote and illustrated more than 60 books under the pen name Dr. Seuss.  More than 60!  That means, that even with 6 being taken out of publication, there are still at least 54 books to read to your children/grandchildren!

Now, about that hullaballoo.  Times change, societies evolve, things that were widely used 50-100 years ago become obsolete.  We evolve, we grow, we learn … well, some of us do anyway.  And as we learn and grow, some things will inevitably go by the wayside.  Terms and images that were once thought acceptable are no longer so, as we’ve learned that they are hurtful to others. This isn’t ‘cancel culture’ or anything like it, this is evolution, this is a society trying to be better than it once was.

You don’t still use grandma’s old wringer washing machine to do your laundry, do you?  Or drive your grandfather’s old Model-T?  The owners of the Dr. Seuss books evaluated and decided it was time to evolve, time to put racism and racist remarks in the past, to move forward in a more diverse, inclusive society.  Anybody who is up in arms over this obviously doesn’t understand how the world works.  And leave it to the likes of Fox News to play those ignorant people like fiddles, to pour fuel on a fire that didn’t even exist until Fox lit the match, and to find a way … any way … to blame those who are trying to put out the flames of bigotry in this nation.

I’ve heard those who call this ‘book banning’ and ‘censorship’ … it is neither.  No library, religious group, school or government made the decision to stop publishing these books … the books’ owners made the decision, as was their right to do.  Kevin McCarthy, Matt Gaetz, Marco Rubio and others in government have erroneously made such ignorant remarks such as …

“First, they outlaw Dr. Seuss and now they want to tell us what to say.” – House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy

“When history looks back at this time it will be held up as an example of a depraved sociopolitical purge driven by hysteria and lunacy.” – Senator Marco Rubio

“While we’re able to joke about the absurdity of these things, tonight, each and every day Americans have to decide whether or not to self-censor, to self-cancel, to maybe not fly their America First flag in full but rather half mast.  And I think that’s really the goal of the left, to cause us to be less expressive about our love for our country and our values.” – U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz

I’d like to think that with a pandemic that has swept across the nation for the past year giving us the highest death rate on the globe, voting rights on the chopping block, threats of violence by extremist racist groups, systemic racism in law enforcement, threats to our national security by domestic terrorists and more, our elected officials might have more serious things to spend their time on than being outraged because the owner of six books chooses to no longer publish them.  I really resent paying these peoples’ salaries these days!

And then there’s the Mr. Potato Head ‘scandal’, also being called ‘cancel culture’.  Hasbro, makers of the Potato Head, announced on Thursday that it would drop the “Mr.” from the brand’s name in a new playset to be released this fall, in order to be more inclusive and so all could feel “welcome in the Potato Head world.”  The new sets are designed without the Mr. and Mrs. designations that will let kids create their own type of potato families, including two moms or two dads.

Naturally … sigh … the homophobic bigots went ballistic.  The bottom line here is there’s no such thing as ‘cancel culture’, merely a natural evolution into what we hope will be a more inclusive, more compassionate world.  People who spend time ruminating over these non-issues have too much time on their hands and too little maturity to find other things to think about.

I Didn’t ‘Cancel’ Anybody’s ‘Culture’!

Why is it that people these days feel a need to create cutesy sayings that could be otherwise defined without completely re-writing the English language?  A week or so ago, I puzzled and pondered over being called ‘woke’, which made no sense at all either grammatically or in terms of syntax.  I am awake most often, and I awoke this morning, but … que es esto ‘woke’???  Okay, so I figured that one out with help from both Merriam-Webster, Google, and a few helpful readers.  Before that, there was ‘social distancing’, which is just a nice term for ‘stay away from people’.  More than a few times, I’ve been labelled a ‘snowflake’, which I always take as a compliment, for snowflakes are beautiful and unique, but I’m told it isn’t intended as a compliment.  How I long for the good ol’ days when people just called me “bitch” and I knew what they thought of me.

Today’s latest, and I’ve heard it bandied about a few times, but only today did it fly onto my radar, is “cancel culture”.  What the SAM HELL do these people even mean?  Okay, back to my ol’ friend Google, who tells me that ‘cancel culture’ “describes a form of boycott in which an individual (usually a celebrity) who has acted or spoken in a questionable or controversial manner is boycotted.”  So … why the hell didn’t they just say that???  Is this a generational trick to try to exclude us older folks from the conversation?

I go on record right now, today, at this very moment, as saying that if people must speak in these evasive terms, then I do not choose to take part in the conversation.  I could wipe the floor with those who think this is cute … remember, I came of age in the 1960s when “Lay it on me, man”, and “All show and no go”, and “Let it all hang out” were the buzz phrases of the day.

The first time I heard of ‘cancel culture’ was a few weeks ago when it was used by Ivanka Kushner, after she was uninvited to give the commencement address at Wichita State University in Kansas, in part because of her father’s unfeeling responses to the murder of George Floyd, and in part because they realized that Ivanka cannot relate to the average person just finishing college, walking into the world of uncertainty.  She was, after all, born with a silver spoon in her mouth and has never … not one day in her life … been deprived or denied anything she wanted.

Speaking of Ivanka …

On Tuesday, Ivanka apparently became the unofficial spokesperson for Goya products!  Now, you may or may not know that many of us, this writer included, are boycotting (cancel culturing???) Goya products after Goya’s CEO, Robert Unanue, praised Donald Trump, saying …

“We are all truly blessed … to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder. We have an incredible builder, and we pray. We pray for our leadership, our president.”

This after Trump said of Mexican immigrants to the U.S. …

“They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

You just keep on praying Mr. Unanue, because while I used to use Goya rice and beans in my cooking … I will never again purchase your products.

But, Ivanka and Donnie have both endorsed Goya in the past week …

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The United States Office of Government Ethics has this little rule called the Hatch Act that says, “Executive branch employees may not use their Government positions to suggest that the agency or any part of the executive branch endorses an organization (including a nonprofit organization), product, service, or person.”

Hmmmm … but the rules of ethics don’t really seem to apply to Trump & Co, do they?  Remember just a week or two after Trump’s inauguration, when his ‘senior advisor’, Kellyanne Conway, publicly promoted Ivanka’s line of apparel and other over-priced junk?  That, too, was in violation of the same ethics ruling, yet Kellyanne is still part of Trump’s entourage of clowns and has paid no price for her perfidy.  Neither I’m sure, will Ivanka.  Rules, in the world of Trump, are for us peons, made to be disregarded by those of wealth and power.

But back to ‘cancel culture’.  If I choose not to buy Goya products, or shop at Wal-Mart or Home Depot, or eat at Chick-Fil-A because the people who would profit from my purchases support an ideology that I find offensive, that is my choice.  I am making a consumer choice based on my own values.  My purchasing power is my voice. I am not canceling anybody’s culture, but rather am refusing to support those who are racist, homophobic, or abuse their employees.  Period.  No need for cutesy labeling.  It seems to me this is just another way to further divide the populace of this nation, as are the other labels that people have dreamed up for those who don’t agree with them, or don’t act the same or believe the same.

Meanwhile, both Donald and Ivanka are in violation of ethics rules and both should be officially censured, or better yet, fired!