The Tell-Tale Hue

 

Let’s all clap and feel good about our devotion to each other and our utterly correct view of the Stupid-American Community:

It’s perfect, isn’t it?

I saw this cartoon in my local paper, in black and white. Even without the damning red hue – Pantone #666 – the hat itself was sufficient to tell me everything I needed to know. Of course, the heretic would wear a hat like that. Tells you all you need to know about someone. Also, the working class should totally vote for us because we’re on your side.

I’ve known a few political cartoonists in my time, and almost without exception they were smarter, and more capable of nuance, than their drawings. And that’s fine. They’re polemicists; they work in broad strokes. They go for the quick hit, and probably most know that the arguments they make dissolve like cotton candy hit with a firehose, but they get the laugh and the jolt: mission accomplished.

The audience is different. The people who basked in their perfect and correct reaction to this image might explain that it’s true on so many levels — the Red-Hat Fat Man would be a denier of science, mulishly devoted to “freedom” to the extent that he would not take an air mask if the pilot — i.e., the ELITES — said he must, and also because he rejects vaccines and is fat, and therefore will get covid on a plane and end up in Intensive Care, he will require a ventilator, which is like the life-saving instrument of Science the flight attendant is demonstrating. Also, he is disrespecting her because she is a woman.

One could respond that the fellow might be having a larf, because technically, he’s right. Could be a joke: “Can’t make me wear that either. But that one, I will.” It’s not inconceivable. Now and then on a flight, the stew is right there a row ahead of me, going through the motions, and I like to give her my full attention, to show it’s not completely in vain. Sometimes we joke. Oh, the seat belt? That’s how it works? I wondered what that thing was! Some play along. Some don’t.

Imagine this running in a newspaper: It doesn’t work because the archetype is wrong. That’s the problem the right has these days, I guess. We can’t tell how we should feel about someone just by looking at the back of their head.

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  1. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    James Lileks: Some play alone.

    True, but I think you can in some circumstances get in trouble when doing it on an airplane. Best to be discrete.

    • #1
  2. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    James Lileks: Some play alone.

    True, but I think you can in some circumstances get in trouble when doing it on an airplane. Best to be discrete.

    Typo fixed.

    • #2
  3. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    James Lileks: Imagine this running in a newspaper: It doesn’t work because the archetype is wrong. That’s the problem the right has these days, I guess. We can’t tell how we should feel about someone just by looking at the back of their head. 

    Some claim to be able to do it by looking at a person’s tattoos or facial jewelry.   I’m not so sure I believe them. 

    • #3
  4. Internet's Hank Contributor
    Internet's Hank
    @HankRhody

    I recently travelled to California and back from Eau Claire, WI. Recent enough that the outbound flight was masked all the way and on the inbound flight not at all. 

    Of the two the return flight was much more pleasant.

    • #4
  5. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    How is the circulation of newspapers these days?

    • #5
  6. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Arahant (View Comment):

    How is the circulation of newspapers these days?

    Cut off at the neck, apparently.

     

    • #6
  7. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    James Lileks: Now and then on a flight the stew is right there a row ahead of me, going through the motions, and I like to give her my full attention, to show it’s not completely in vain.

    Thanks for not using flight attendant. 

    I too do that if she’s close to my row. For the same reason.

    • #7
  8. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    One, the O2 mask was always voluntary.  Lefties fail to understand this.  They can conceive of free will.  Everything is either prohibited or mandatory. 

    Two, that drawing of the plane makes it seem spacious.   In reality, most people would prefer to save money and have less space.

    • #8
  9. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Always hammer the message: Republicans are either evil or stupid. 

    • #9
  10. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker
    @JennaStocker

    I love @jameslileks piece but the whole situation really gets to me. Set aside that the left especially puts themselves outwardly as being the people of non-judgment, inclusivity, and acceptance yet when it comes to politics (and isn’t it everything now?) snap judgments based on outward appearance are the cerebral standard. But it’s this succession of badges that signals moral smugness superiority virtue correctness that is so unsettling. Masks are the latest thing, just as AIDS ribbons, “All Are Welcome Here” yard signs, or sporting a New Yorker tote have been. I remember working at the pet store during the mask mandate and I was quite friendly with a customer, a nice older lady and I’d help carry her dog food to her car. It was covered with bumper stickers that all conveyed a different iteration of “Trump is the Devil!” message. She wore two masks and gloves, always. I had to wear a mask. I always wondered if she’d be as friendly to me if she knew my politics. Well, one day an elderly man, a regular and also extremely nice who had a little Weiner dog named Shorty, came in wearing a MAGA hat. She nearly jumped out of her skin and genuinely thought he was going to give her COVID, is responsible for every virus death, and shouldn’t be allowed in public. I guess I got my answer. I wonder what the next badge is going to be, or will we just tattoo our bellies like Dr. Suess’ Sneetches? 

    • #10
  11. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) (View Comment):
    Two, that drawing of the plane makes it seem spacious.   In reality, most people would prefer to save money and have less space.

    I had that thought too! I wish flights had that much space! 

    • #11
  12. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    JennaStocker (View Comment):

    I love @ jameslileks piece but the whole situation really gets to me. Set aside that the left especially puts themselves outwardly as being the people of non-judgment, inclusivity, and acceptance yet when it comes to politics (and isn’t it everything now?) snap judgments based on outward appearance are the cerebral standard. But it’s this succession of badges that signals moral smugness superiority virtue correctness that is so unsettling. Masks are the latest thing, just as AIDS ribbons, “All Are Welcome Here” yard signs, or sporting a New Yorker tote have been. I remember working at the pet store during the mask mandate and I was quite friendly with a customer, a nice older lady and I’d help carry her dog food to her car. It was covered with bumper stickers that all conveyed a different iteration of “Trump is the Devil!” message. She wore two masks and gloves, always. I had to wear a mask. I always wondered if she’d be as friendly to me if she knew my politics. Well, one day an elderly man, a regular and also extremely nice who had a little Weiner dog named Shorty, came in wearing a MAGA hat. She nearly jumped out of her skin and genuinely thought he was going to give her COVID, is responsible for every virus death, and shouldn’t be allowed in public. I guess I got my answer. I wonder what the next badge is going to be, or will we just tattoo our bellies like Dr. Suess’ Sneetches?

    Cancel Culture is the dress rehearsal for mass killings. 

    • #12
  13. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Years ago the British Top Gear television show made fun of southern Americans by driving across the southern U.S. in cars painted with slogans designed to offend southern Americans – mostly slogans denouncing things southern Americans tend to like. In the show they were shown being attacked by “rednecks.” I assume in Top Gear fashion the attacks were fabricated, but the show people insist they were not. But the episode was used to support the idea that southern Americans are intolerant bigots.

    I immediately wondered why they didn’t try the opposite –  driving through Cambridge, Massachusetts in cars emblazoned with slogans criticizing the then-nascent woke ideology or supporting populist middle America topics. Were they too afraid the woke denizens of wealthy New England would actually attack them, consistent with the then-emerging idea that violence by the Left is acceptable? 

    • #13
  14. Quietpi Member
    Quietpi
    @Quietpi

    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) (View Comment):
    Two, that drawing of the plane makes it seem spacious.   In reality, most people would prefer to save money and have less space.

    Hah!  I can tell you aren’t 6’5″.  I have stories.  But they’re too painful to recall.

    • #14
  15. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    James Lileks: Now and then on a flight the stew is right there a row ahead of me, going through the motions, and I like to give her my full attention, to show it’s not completely in vain.

    Thanks for not using flight attendant.

    I too do that if she’s close to my row. For the same reason.

    I have a terrible time keeping up with whatever the current title is. Air hostess? No, that’s not right.

    • #15
  16. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member
    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw
    @MattBalzer

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    James Lileks: Imagine this running in a newspaper: It doesn’t work because the archetype is wrong. That’s the problem the right has these days, I guess. We can’t tell how we should feel about someone just by looking at the back of their head.

    Some claim to be able to do it by looking at a person’s tattoos or facial jewelry. I’m not so sure I believe them.

    If someone has a nose ring I usually think I would go for it straight off if I were to get in a fight with them, at least.

    • #16
  17. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    James Lileks: Imagine this running in a newspaper: It doesn’t work because the archetype is wrong. That’s the problem the right has these days, I guess. We can’t tell how we should feel about someone just by looking at the back of their head.

    Some claim to be able to do it by looking at a person’s tattoos or facial jewelry. I’m not so sure I believe them.

    If someone has a nose ring I usually think I would go for it straight off if I were to get in a fight with them, at least.

    I happened to see the Ultraviolet movie again just the other day, and this reminded me of how Violet used some idiots’ dreadlock braids to great advantage in a fight.

    • #17
  18. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    The Liberal version would be just too busy — an emotional support llama in the isle, an Indiana-Jones style hat with a “I Heart PBS” button attached, big hoop pierced earrings and a filthy rat-tail braid hanging down his back.  It’s too much.

    • #18
  19. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    JimGoneWild (View Comment):

    The Liberal version would be just too busy — an emotional support lama in the isle, a Indiana-Jones style hat with a “I Heart PBS” button attached, big hoop pierced earrings and a filthy rat-tail braid hanging down his back. It’s too much.

    Llamas!!!

     

    • #19
  20. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Pilots have a pretty good record of completing flights successfully…whereas government officials??

    • #20
  21. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Stereotyping is stupid, James.

    • #21
  22. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Pilots have a pretty good record of completing flights successfully…whereas government officials??

    They shoot for a takeoff/landing ratio of 1.0.

    • #22
  23. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    David Foster (View Comment):
    Pilots have a pretty good record of completing flights successfully…whereas government officials??

    In fairness, I should have said not ‘government officials’ generically, but the current crew of public-health officials and spokesmen.  Air traffic controllers are government officials, and they contribute plenty to aviation safety.

    • #23
  24. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    Panteone 666 looks like this:

    • #24
  25. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    “Can’t make us wear those masks either.”

    Said no one, ever.

    • #25
  26. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Stereotyping is stupid, James.

    Actually, it used to be a survival trait.

    • #26
  27. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    What I like about the cartoon is that it makes explicit whom the artist imagines the noncompliant Americans to be — and I agree with him or her.

    So what means the literal opposite of molon labe but captures the same sense of defiance? Because that’s what the guy is saying. “You want to make me wear a mask? Good luck. Come and try.”

    When I look at the cartoon that way, I actually find it kind of charming. I’m with the guy in the red hat on this one. He’s my people.

    • #27
  28. Ammo.com Member
    Ammo.com
    @ammodotcom

    Arahant (View Comment):

    How is the circulation of newspapers these days?

    100% among parrot owners. No app can do what they need.

    • #28
  29. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Years ago the British Top Gear television show made fun of southern Americans by driving across the southern U.S. in cars painted with slogans designed to offend southern Americans – mostly slogans denouncing things southern Americans tend to like. In the show they were shown being attacked by “rednecks.” I assume in Top Gear fashion the attacks were fabricated, but the show people insist they were not. But the episode was used to support the idea that southern Americans are intolerant bigots.

    I immediately wondered why they didn’t try the opposite – driving through Cambridge, Massachusetts in cars emblazoned with slogans criticizing the then-nascent woke ideology or supporting populist middle America topics. Were they too afraid the woke denizens of wealthy New England would actually attack them, consistent with the then-emerging idea that violence by the Left is acceptable?

    I’m wondering how fearful anybody would be of attack by anyone in Cambridge.  Boots may be less than filled with quake, generally.  Crossing the street in Cambridge is way more dangerous than sissy slaps to the shoulder.

    • #29
  30. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):

    Stereotyping is stupid, James.

    Actually, it used to be a survival trait.

    And still is.

    • #30
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