Saturday, March 27, 2010

In praise of the lowly Nash Metro

Manly men will surely be attracted to the Buick in my friend Mike Berry's Wichita Eagle story today, but being a squirrelly, apparently girlie-guy myself, I most love the Nash Metropolitan in the article. Those Metros were the perfect cartoon cars. To me they remain underpriced in the old car market. There's something about their look that just seems to be the primal essence of car to me in a simplified-cartoony sort of way. But they ain't macho, that's for damn sure. Call me girlie-man.

Real or spoof?

I first saw this clip on Crooks and Liars where almost all of the comments indicated that everyone believes she is serious. I don't know. I have a hard time believing that. Watching it as if it's a SNL skit really works for me. Is she doing some Andy Kaufmanesque bit? I detect a slightly over-the-top "performance" going on. Is it just me?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Today's Eagle toon

Back when I was cartooning daily for the Eagle it was a bit easier to coordinate cartoons with editorials. Sometimes the subject I'm addressing has not been a huge news story and it helps to know that subject is being explained elsewhere on the page, for readers who may have missed the original story.

Unfortuately for me, the Eagle ran an editorial a couple of days ago about the Kansas Legislature's Republican Speaker of the House, Mike O'Neal, and his ethics problems. So perhaps you didn't know what this cartoon was about. Here's a link to Eagle editorial writer Rhonda Holman's piece about it.

Last week's KMUW commentary

Well, I can't talk about profound subjects every time, can I?

So I talked about White Castles.

Here's my 2 cents:

What’s wrong with this picture: Here I am living in Wichita, Kansas, and I have to buy frozen White Castle cheeseburgers at the grocery. That’s right. Frozen. They come 6 to a box. Shipped in from God-knows-where. To Wichita.

Wichita is the home of White Castles. They were invented by Walter Anderson and Billy Ingram right here in 1921. They swept throughout the Midwest in the next decades. They continue to thrive all over the place. But are there any in Wichita? No, there are not.

Don’t get me wrong. I love our homegrown crumbly Nuways as much as anybody. I eat there regularly. But sometimes you just need a little square 4-bite slyder. And the tragedy is that you can’t get one in the city that gave them birth, for crying out loud.

Pizza Hut was invented here. We have Pizza Huts. Taco Tico was invented here. We have Taco Ticos. So where are the White Castles?

Ok. I know there are bigger and more pressing issues than this to be dealt with locally. We have brand new multimillion dollar Kellogg intersections that don’t work. We have a city water department that doesn’t seem to work. We have thousands of victims of layoffs that have no work. So here’s this one thing, this one humble little hamburger that seems to work like a charm. And we can’t get them in Wichita.

Where’s the grassroots movement to correct this problem? I’d settle for just an Astroturf movement like the Tea Party. Somebody needs to be holding rallies demanding our right to White Castles. It’s time for the Slyder Party to arise. A city without White Castles is on the road to socialism and fascism. We have turned our backs on the founding fathers of White Castle, right here in the cradle of the slyder.

Tea Party unmasked

They shouted "nigger" at congressman and civil rights hero John Lewis, spat on congressman Emanuel Cleaver and yelled "faggot" at congressman Barney Frank.


In the year 2010.

That's how far some in the Tea Party have come. This short floor speach by Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan is a well-expressed response. I have always believed, and see no evidence to the contrary, that much of the Tea Party's hatred for the President is about race and nothing but race. Yesterday reinforced that belief.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Trees for Life stuff

I do work for the wonderful organization Trees for Life and thought I'd post a few random drawings from a recent project.

Oliphant on Kansas back in 1999

Came across this beautiful Oliphant toon about our state school board back when the apesh*t hit the fan in 1999.

His drawings are each a lesson for those of us who love that artform. I particularly like the contrast between the baby apes and the adult.

Finally! The heart of the matter

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Something to not think about from Eckhart Tolle

The stream of thinking has enormous momentum that can easily drag you along with it. Every thought pretends it matters so much. It wants to draw your attention completely. Here is a new spiritual practice: don’t take your thoughts too seriously.”

Sumner County takes a ride

We Kansans are just so darned bamboozled by gambling. We can't decide exactly what our relationship with it is. We're cautiously for it. We're a little afraid of it. We enjoy it. We think we might go to hell if we do it. We need the economic development. We fear its addictiveness. We want to keep it at arms' length. We squabble over the revenue. We dither and dabble and deliberate and desire.

For six years Sumner County has wrangled with the issue. Meanwhile, the Indians are leap-frogging right over the wranglers and threatening to beat 'em to the draw up in Park City.

Friday, March 5, 2010

1300 random acts of kindness

Saw this on Neatorama.

The mayor of Elk River, Minnesota, challenged its residents to perform 1,000 acts of kindness. They responded.

At Christmas time, Klinzing saw a YouTube video about a restaurant in Philadelphia where people kept paying for other diners’ meals. “I got the sense that if we did a similar thing through the entire city, something would change. It would be kind of a climate change. That basically is what happened.”

… even doing little things, like putting a nice note on a student’s locker, can have an effect. “People pay it forward. It makes your day and you are happy because you have such a positive effect on someone. And once you’ve done that, you want to do it more.”

The acts of kindness are posted online. The mayor has challenged other cities to match this accomplishment.

Same old same old

Here's the audio to my KMUW commentary today.

Here's the copy:

I don’t know about you but I’m seeing signs of spring everywhere these days! The tiniest hint of green on my lawn; birdsong in the mornings; two whole weeks without snow and that surest indicator of Spring in Kansas – State legislators giving more tax breaks to businesses while our schools agonize over deep budget cuts.

You see, our legislators argue that they may be creating new jobs for our state by giving businesses these tax breaks. You know, to sort of offset the jobs lost due to school budget cuts.

I’ve never understood why almost anything in the state budget can be justified as economic development except school budgets. Don’t schools employ teachers and janitors and librarians and coaches and lunchroom ladies and principals and secretaries and nurses and counselors and a bunch of other type folks? Don’t all those employees spend money in our community and pay taxes like the rest of us? Isn’t cutting those jobs a drain on the Kansas economy? What am I missing here?

Back some 35 years ago when I was a wet-behind-the-ears editorial cartoonist, I quickly learned from the deeper thinking editorial writers that it was almost never a good idea to ascribe motives to those one was criticizing. You could find yourself out on the proverbial limb that way. The limb could splinter and you could fall on your butt.
But now that I’m an old curmudgeonly semi-retired cartoonist with a calloused butt, I’m going to break that rule. I think that some of our legislators are deaf to the cries of school advocates because they secretly abhor the whole concept of public education and don’t have the guts to say it out loud.

It’s nice hearing the robin's song in the mornings as winter wanes these days. But there are some icy hearts in Topeka that are far from thawing out.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Shedding season

Bela Fleck is doing great things for the humble banjo. With his trip to Africa to explore the banjo's ancestry and the resulting documentary which his brother Sascha produced, and with his continued concert tours in which he shares the stage with African musicians, Fleck is helping the banjo shed its unfortunate image. Everyone knows of the banjo's close association with racism, thanks to the minstrel show days of yore. How refreshing to those of us who love this instrument, to see it returned to its roots in the African music tradition and see it celebrate its origins.Thanks to Bela and a few African-American pickers like Taj Mahal, Otis Taylor and The Carolina Chocolate Drops, the banjo is shedding its skin.

Tom Terrific

I loved these cartoons which aired on Captain Kangaroo when I was little.

Tom had it all: A cool treehouse, a dog, the ability to change into anything he wished and a theme song with accordion accompaniment...well, 3 out of 4 ain't bad.

Coming soon to Kansas

Mike Luckovich has this cartoon today in the Atlanta Constitution.

This is where Kansas public education is heading if our anti-schools legislature has its way. It's what my KMUW commentary is about which airs on FM89.1 at 7:19 AM and 9:19 AM this Friday.

It's only 90 seconds long, so blink your ears and you'll miss it.

Just this

I like Vernon Howard.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Another great cartoon car

This from the comic strip "Mutts." I love it.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I'll have what he's having!

Saw this on Boing Boing and just had to share it here. Finally. A song I think I could remember the lyrics to.