Yesterday I laid out a pretty good rant in anticipation of cartoons rather than reaction to them. As it turns out, the first to land was this Nick Anderson piece, which reflects a slapdown seen at least on my corner of Facebook and presumably his adjacent one.
It's particularly brilliant because of the convergence of the lunatic-fringe rants over the selfie in South Africa with Boehner's slap-down of the lunatic-fringe over their rejection of a budget deal they haven't even seen yet.
Having GOP leadership finally stand up to the screwballs in their ranks is a bit of a milestone on the road to 2014 and 16, though, before we start to celebrate a return to constructive engagement, we should remember how a handful of Republicans stood up to Rush Limbaugh in 2008 and how quickly he rallied the dittoheads in a successful push (Am I spelling that right?) to retain his influence.
Still, the Tea Party is losing its grip, and that's worth a joyous funeral.
The South African selfie has seen some rejection on social media as well, largely since, as I said yesterday, "it would have taken all of five seconds to learn that joy, laughter, singing and celebration are not only appropriate but expected in South Africa."
And, while I linked to a Mail & Guardian piece demanding more frivolity, friends in SA have since cited this article from the Maverick, which notes, with text, pics and a video, that the celebration in Cape Town was better than the main event, because it didn't have so many dignitaries there to be fussed over and protected.
But what began to drive conversations on Facebook was this revelation from the photographer who took the pic-of-the-pic that began the whole foolish conversation: Their actions were in keeping with the mood of the event, and, oh, btw, FLOTUS was simply caught at a bad moment and had, moments before, been laughing and joking along with her group and with the rest of the crowd in the stadium.
Which does nothing to persuade the people who are determined to find offense in a president whose presence in the White House offends them to begin with.
Yes, that's ironic, given the reconciliation being celebrated in a country that once shared our initials.
The word "racism" is tossed around too generically, but one particularly toxic element of the imperialist/colonialist legacy is the assumption that some countries are simply primitive and ignorant and that it is our mission to teach them how to be just like us: Wonderful.
"Racism" is too simplistic, "arrogance" doesn't really convey the condescending, contemptuous dismissal.
Whatever word describes it, there's something really inappropriate and self-deceiving about a nation that celebrates Martin Luther King's legacy as a great thing for black people holding itself above a nation that realizes that Nelson Mandela's legacy is a great thing for everyone.
Mike Lynch spotted this interview with SA cartoonist Zapiro, in which he talks about the decisions he made in drawing Madiba the way he did over the years. For both cartoonists and fans of cartooning, it's well worth the five minutes.
Juxtaposition of the Day
And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him. And, behold , there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?" And they held their peace . And he took him, and healed him, and let him go and answered them, saying, "Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?" -- Luke 14, 1-5
And it came to pass , that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. And the Pharisees said unto him, "Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?" And he said unto them, "Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him? How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?" And he said unto them, "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath." -- Mark 2:23-27