Who gives a shit what one white kid thinks?
In a comment under Brian Cremins’s rumination on his relationship with Walt Kelly at Hooded Utilitarian, Jeet Heer says some fascinating things:
[…F]unny animals are the default way of talking about race without talking about race.
Jules Feiffer once made a passing remark to me that was interesting — that while Dogpatch in L’il Abner could be seen as a disguised Jewish village, a shtetl, an even stronger argument could be [made] for the swamp in Pogo (despite Kelly, of course, not being Jewish).
[A]s Kelly and other cartoonists became more sensitive to racial stereotypes, they stopped using black characters all together (or had black characters in funny animal form). There was a kind of ethnic cleansing of the comics in the 1940s (and comics have never returned to the strong sense of America as an ethnically diverse country that they had, in however problematic a form, in the early 20th century).
[…]The impact of Krazy Kat on Kelly is worth thinking about — in some ways Herriman was the pioneer and master of creating anthropomorphic imaginary homes (Coconino county — a real place of course, but reimagined by Herriman) to allegorize race.
And upon meeting rapists, murderers, thieves, and other horrors every damn morning, God exclaims, “Oh, how beautiful you are!”
Who wants to be loved like that?
[ … ] And what would happen if we followed such an example of senseless love?
I don’t think a human gets to see all of this before dying. But I want to see as much of it as I can. And here is the key thing—it thrills me to see it. I love seeing it. I love knowing. The knowing is its own reward. The ability to frame the question is it’s own gift—even if you can’t quite name the answer.
I don’t know if you spend much time on clothing forums, but on the classic men’s style side, things usually go like this: an argument erupts, a bunch of random strangers weigh in, some vociferous poster throws down a 1930s illustration from Apparel Arts or a photo of the Duke of Windsor, and everyone simmers down. Those images are basically what pass for reason and authority on such forums. If you had enough of them, you could be some kind of final arbiter for these people – like a Biblical judge, but hopefully in a judicial robe once worn by Edward VIII.
Here’s a Frank King strip from almost exactly 100 years ago, just for the conservation of it.
An American court-room claiming it can be color-blind is a drug addict claiming he can walk away after just one more hit.