“There’s nothing that cleanses your soulWayne Woodrow “Woody” Hayes
like getting the hell kicked out of you.”
Despite all my yammering about living within limits, I’m prone to blowing past my own — that’s my nature and always has been. This week’s purging and pitching and packing possessions served up a painful reminder of what can happen when I stray outside the lines.
It was 13 years ago that Deb and I undertook another household move. It came at a time when we couldn’t afford to hire professionals, and because our new (and temporary) digs were available and just five miles away I moved as much as I could in my TrailBlazer.
While Deb was at work and the boys were in school I carried boxes and crates, furniture and appliances, tools and treasures out of our two-story house and loaded it into the trusty little SUV. I filled every cubic bit of space, wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling, almost all of it alone. I drew on lessons learned years earlier while working for a moving company, recalling a bunch of smarter-not-harder tricks and employing leverage to my advantage. I loaded and unloaded that TrailBlazer 24 times, making two or three round-trips every day ’til the job was done.
Now, a couple of months shy of my 65th birthday, I’m doing basically the same thing. We’re shoving furniture around and hauling debris out to the dumpster in driveway — over and over and over again.
While I may not be the 19-year-old who used to sling a dozen aluminum canoes around the lakefront I managed — I fancied myself quite the stud and worked hard to back it up — these days I still have the strength to pitch forty- or fifty-pound trash bags four feet over my head. This week, however, I learned again that I don’t have the game I once had (even when I was 50).
Wednesday and Thursday totally kicked my ass, aggravating old nerve damage in my neck and lower back. Compounding that was hours of breathing dust (and probably mold spores) in musty corners of our basement. All that landed me in bed yesterday — wheezing and coughing and sleeping with ice packs on my head and neck — for 14 hours.
Yes, I checked my vitals (temp, pulse, SpO2) to confirm that it wasn’t a bug of some sort. I’m still out of commission today, though better.
There’s much to do. We’ll handle it. I’m left looking for a pace that gets work done within my limits.
I have a challenge for you — try to find a political cartoon that takes a position in favor of the Second Amendment. Look for a ‘toon that doesn’t caricature gun owners as mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, belly-scratching, illiterate hicks.
Go ahead. I’ll wait.
If you found anything it probably was drawn by the likes of Ramirez, McKee, Branco, McCoy, Varvel or Garrison. There’s not much.
Even if you expand your search to include virtually any pro-Liberty position it’s slim pickin’ out there. The vast majority of illustrators actually want to get paid for what they do, which often means that their work has to be syndicated (or otherwise get placed) in mainstream media committed to carrying water for anti-American progressives.
Cartoons, in my opinion, tend to be the best measure of political sentiment. They have the ability to distort and exaggerate with impunity, thus revealing what even the most candid of spoken-word and written-word pundits won’t (or legally can’t) say.
To invoke the now-trendy cliché, cartoons “say the quiet part out loud.” If you really want to know just how much the Left truly hates America and those of us who cherish individual Liberty, if you prefer your progressive vitriol served straight and ice-cold, ignore the words and look at the pictures.
What you’ll see is a puzzling portrayal of our country’s freedoms — things like illegal immigration, identity politics, entitlement programs and the guarantee of safety, all masquerading as Liberty.
Conservatives wanting children to die is de rigueur. (That’s odd, since Democrats are The Party of Infanticide.) During the WuFlu nonsense the Right has been presented as fat, ignorant opponents of masks and The Jab. Tattoos and Confederate flags? You betcha. Usually missing teeth, too. Often toting a gun. And always wearing a red hat — always.
The chorus of cartoonists hasn’t always sung in such unison. There was a time when, like all good practitioners of satire and humor, they were a refreshing sanctuary from The Echo Chamber. Many skewered both sides, often to the point of head-scratching contradiction.
The famed Herblock, whose work ran in papers nationwide for 60 years, is a great example of an unpredictable illustrator. Look at “Sportsmen! Kids! Maniacs!” (1963), penned a few days after the JFK assassination and appearing to blame guns for criminal violence. Compare that to his classic “Fire!” (1949) showing a man labeled “Hysteria” (representing McCarthyism) hauling a bucket of water up a ladder to douse the flame of Liberty.
The first is reactive, the second principled.
Even today, cartoonist Michael Ramirez usually takes The Right Side, but he wasn’t exactly pro-Trump and I’ve seen a couple of his illustrations characterizing Americans who decline The Jab as a death cult. He frames “gun control” and most issues of Liberty properly, at least.
The fact remains that the bulk of political cartoons are shameless leftist propaganda, misrepresenting fundamental American principles and displaying plain contempt for people like you and me. The illustrators who perpetuate The Progressive Lie won’t change their stripes, we know that, so we have to dig for right-thinking graphic commentary.
No, it’s not easy to find, but it’s there — look for it.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.