07:04:47 pm on
Wednesday 29 May 2024

More Qs than As
AJ Robinson

Years ago, I worked for a small engineering company in Englewood, Florida. There were roughly twenty-five of us; we got along well. There was a coffee pot set up on a little sideboard; above it, On the wall, was one of those dry-eraser boards; on it I would draw a calendar for each month; we’d outline the upcoming work.

We posted little comic strips.

We also posted little comics on the dry-eraser board. Someone would find a Herman comic, Garfield, Brooks (see above) or some other comic strip that they found funny and wanted to share it. Often my coworkers would alter the comic to fit our office.

I did it myself several times. One time, I found the daily strip from the series 9 Chickweed Lane particularly funny and appropriate to our company. In it, Dr Burber addresses her class by introducing herself and then adds that they can also call her “Mistress of All that is Evil!”

The students, quite naturally, are concerned by the title. One concludes that it means they won’t be graded on a curve. I took the strip, changed Dr Burber to Hilde, who was the accountant for our company, and the students to myself and two co-workers. The final lament became that we feared there would be no paychecks.

Everyone was amused. I tell this little tale as a means of illustrating what is or, at least, what once was acceptable when it comes to poking fun at a co-worker. Recently in Congress a representative, I won’t dignify him by listing his name, posted an altered clip of an anime television series showing him killing another member of Congress and attacking President Biden.

The Congressperson has since been censured by the House, which is right and proper. What is not right and most definitely not proper is the fact how many, if not most, Republicans defended his action. In fact, quite a few laughed it off as a joke, wondering if the House would next censure Wiley Coyote for chasing the Road Runner.

I see danger ahead.

Let’s think of this for a moment. This was not some newspaper comic that just needed a bit of White-Out and a pen to do a re-write on. Changing a piece of animation, even doing a half-assed job of it, takes time and effort.

This is what our congressmen and women are spending their time on? If not him, what? Did he order his staff to do it?

Let’s also remember the action: killing. Is this an appropriate subject for a so-called joke? How many representatives and senators have received hate mail, death threats and outright attacks in recent years? Should a member of Congress be adding to that maelstrom?

We see political cartoons every day in newspapers, magazines and online. I don’t seem to recall any of them advocating the killing of a politician. For that matter, I don’t think any have suggested the death of any person.

Now, sure, some will claim the actions of Congress, the president or some other political body will cause people to die, such as hunger, police violence, riots, abortions and so forth. I’ve even seen comic showing Trump attacking the Statue of Liberty or the symbol of Blind Justice, but not outright murder.

Recently, Republicans who made the grave crime of voting in favour of the infrastructure bill have received death threats. Actual death threats merely for being in favour of something that not only most Americans want, but something that the Great Orange kept promising he’d deliver on all during his presidency. What, because someone else got it through that’s a valid reason to kill any who display disloyalty to him?

Here is yet another area where the Republicans are silent; they should keep in mind what that silence means for the future. Understand that to not condemn threats of violence against your fellow members of Congress means you’re okay with similar threats being voiced against you? Is that so?

Oh, wait, what was I thinking? These are modern Republicans, which means hypocrisy is a given. Once they take over the House, a single word, the tiniest act, any event that so much as hints at dissent will elicit total outrage and psychological meltdown from the republicans. They will wrap themselves in the Bible and Constitution, label all such disagreements as outright treason and toss the offending party out of Congress.

There's danger ahead.

I definitely see danger ahead. I wonder. Does anyone else?

Combining the gimlet-eye of Philip Roth with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

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