I was listening to a Friday news roundup on public radio yesterday and, when they got to the Jeff Sessions segment, one of them called it "the best item of the week" and they all started laughing.
Here we have a man born at the dawn of the Civil Rights Era in Selma, Alabama, which would become, in his teen years, famous for its resistance to that movement, and named for both the president of the Confederate States of America and one of its leading generals.
Accordingly, and building on his vague, foolish reference to a Pacific Island, Bagley places him, with his ahistoric Lost Cause banner, on just such a vague, isolated island with a similarly loyal WWII Japanese soldier.
Such holdouts, who either refused to surrender or genuinely did not know the war had ended, were discovered for decades after the war. (I'm speaking of the Japanese soldier. Holdouts from the Civil War are still plentiful.)
Then he adds the joke: That an isolated holdout from WWII would be better informed than Jefferson Beauregard Sessions.
It's particularly funny since rightwing trolls have picked up on the message Dear Leader uses to justify breaking his campaign promise to release his tax returns: "You lost. Get over it."
As has been noted by others, the judge in Hawaii who ruled against Trump's thinly disguised Muslim ban is not the only one to do so.
But he's the one from the least white, hence the least authentically Amurrikin, state in America. (And we don't even let #2 vote!)
It could well be that Sessions only meant to pick the place furthest from Washington, DC, but, having blundered into a toxic misunderstanding, an intelligent, well-intentioned man would have walked it back.
It's hard to argue with Bagley's inference that the man is marooned in another era.
While we're back there ...
Speaking to his point, I would add that not everyone who opposed Lincoln and defended slavery lived in the Deep South. I wrote a historical fiction serial set around the Elmira POW camp and, in researching it, found that anyone who escaped had little trouble finding meals and shelter while working their way back to the Confederacy.
As bogus as the whole "War Between the States" self-justifying view of history from Lost Cause partisans may be, the idea that the North stood foursquare against slavery is also off-kilter, and, while a strong majority did, it wasn't just the embryonic unionists of New York City who opposed abolition and the concommitant unleashing of cheap labor.
And we sure haven't become a whole lot more noble in the intervening years.
All of which is interesting, none of which is my point at the moment.
I couldn't read all the captions, even after blowing it up, so I looked for a larger, more hi-res version and the only one I found was no more hi-res and only slightly larger, but I realized that the problem was not so much the size but the lack of contrast.
So I performed a sacreligious act: I dragged it into Photoshop, turned it into grayscale and then corrected the b/w levels.
This brings up something that, as a surfer of old comix on the web, has been bothering me: Why do people post yellowed newsprint scans of old newspaper comic pages?
Surely Pulitzer and Hearst were printing on white newsprint, and the people who saw these cartoons when they first appeared were seeing them with backgrounds as crisply white as contemporaneous papermaking technology permitted. Wouldn't that be more historically authentic?
Which is related to the debate that came up when it was proposed to clean a few hundred years of smoke, dust and oxidation, plus a whole lot of attempted restorations, from Da Vinci's Last Supper: Do we display it as he first presented it, or as it is today?
But here's the difference: The Last Supper being restored was the fresco itself, not a photograph of it, and, whether souvenir sellers have made a dozen or a billion copies of the painting, the debate centered on the original artwork.
Running a postcard of the Last Supper through one of those cheesy Instagram filters to turn everyone violet is an abomination, but attempting to correct your photo to look more like the original is ethically fine.
Ditto with comics, with this exception: If you are attempting to sell your original 1925 comics page as ephemera, then re-touching your scan of it is clearly deceptive and dishonest.
The same rule applies in real estate.
For a house with a telephone pole in the front yard, the Photoshop ethics are simple: If you are selling that particular house, you can't clone out the pole.
But if it is your model home and you are simply showing what that floorplan looks like, take it out.
Similarly, are you showing the comic artwork itself or what the readers got?
Not to be mistaken for what you would see if you visited the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, complete with a little White-Out and some barely-visible-here blue non-repro pencil which is more visible there and particularly valuable for an artist who wants to see the specific brush/pen strokes and for whom that White-Out is instructive.
If you want to view original artwork, go there, perhaps May 1, though I can't guarantee this particular strip will be on display then.
But it's always worth the drive, on accounta