Commentary 30 Aug 2008 07:44 am


Congratulations to Peggy Stern and John Canemaker. Their film, Chuck Jones: Memories of Childhood, will participate in the Telluride Film Festival. The half hour short film, which combines an interview with the legendary animator including newly created animated segments, will be shown on Turner Classic Movie in March 2009. (Perhaps it’ll be nominated for the Oscar as Best Doc short, and I’ll see it projected in January.)

John will also participate in the Ottawa Animation Festival at the end of Sept. He’ll interview Richard Williams on stage and will then bring that show to NY’s Museum of Modern Art.


- The world of animation took a back seat for me this past week. This week was about the Presidency. The Democratic convention started off a bit slow and felt a bit off-kilter to me, but started building once Hillary spoke. When Bill Clinton and Joe Biden spoke, I was over the top. Even so, I was not prepared for the bigness of Thursday’s events. I felt like one of Reverend Moon’s groupies, ready to follow anywhere.

Obama is someone who can speak articulately and intelligently, someone who knows how to pronounce the word “nuclear” and isn’t afraid to roll off daring plans to promote the necessary kindness we owe each other, and he’s built his entire platform around that.

How unlike the current admiinistration is this. They exploit the disadvantaged to their own gains. Everything about their work has been to fatten their own pockets – both the real and the intangible. Why did we have to spend the last years listening to stories of people being tortured by this administration? Why did we have to learn of the invasive attacks on our rights – most noticeably the right of privacy? Why does anyone have to consider whether this is OK or not?

And then the week ends with John “sell-your-soul” McCain selecting an unquestionably unqualified person to be his vice presidential choice. She has governed so few in her past and is now, potentially, the selection to control America’s place in the world. What was he thinking? How irresponsible. He’d only met her once and spoken with her twice prior to selecting her. The Evangelical Christians are happy, but McCain has proven himself to be an insubstantial fool to the rest of thinking America. The Press calls that daring. After, 8 years of embarrassment with GWBush in office, can you imagine that it could possibly get worse!?!


“The times are too serious the stakes are too high for the same partisan playbook.” Yet, this is all McCain et al can offer. Obama acts like a politician, too. But he seems to be concerned about the common good. There’s no doubt about McCain’s motives. It’s pathetic.

Thank god, Bill Maher returned to HBO as of last night. I needed to laugh off Friday’s Republican positive-mood killer.

14 Responses to “realtime”

  1. on 30 Aug 2008 at 9:58 am 1.Tim Rauch said …

    Can’t wait to see the Chuck Jones film, he was the first animation artist I went head over heels for, devouring both of his biographies several times over when I was a kid… which I still kinda am.

    As for the politics: McCain’s choice reminds me of all the Harriet Myers and Monica Goodlings (not for their chromosome set) of Dubya’s 8 years. If he wins and quickly dies of melanoma, we’ll have 4 years of governance by a right wing, small town mayor. Oof. Definitely gonna need some Maher, Stewart and Colbert to get through that.

  2. on 30 Aug 2008 at 2:14 pm 2.Tom Sito said …

    Dwight Eisenhower once said” America’s greatest weapon abroad is our good name” (Michael Bechloss, LBJ:Reaching for Glory). We really need a fundamental change in Washington, If Barack wins he is facing a challenge not unlike the one that faced FDR. The consequences are no less than we can see America fall from the first rank of nations in this lifetime.
    I think the younger generation, the voters under 35 who don’t get polled because they don’t use landlines, and who weren’t born when we argued about Vietnam, are the key. If they turn out in the kind of numbers they did during the primaries, it will be a landslide.
    The forces of reaction will not go quietly. They dominate the media, and if they can make a C-student loser partyboy look like a patriot, and try to convince sulky Evangelicals that a hard swearing old adulterer is the better Christian, who knows what they have planned for October.
    We are living History.
    p.s. The Daily Show has a great video spoof of Obama based on Lion King. Check it out.

  3. on 30 Aug 2008 at 2:42 pm 3.Michael said …

    Tom, To be honest, I didn’t like The Lion King bit – maybe it was the execution; I think I’d seen it before in an editorial cartoon.
    I do agree with you about the cel phones. In the past, those who came out to vote in the primaries came out in the final vote. I’m hoping.
    Obama would certainly have to channel FDR to clean things up. He’d also need a Dem congress.

  4. on 30 Aug 2008 at 2:54 pm 4.Tom Sito said …

    Mike, If the outcome doesn’t come out the way we hope, and the Polar icecaps keep melting, you’d better move your studio to higher ground. Maybe the Catskills. Put a sign out: Cartoons, Animatics, Bait & Tackle. Fresh Ice.

  5. on 30 Aug 2008 at 10:30 pm 5.Pete Emslie said …

    I missed the first two nights of the Democratic Convention but happily made a point of staying home for the Wednesday night speeches by Bill Clinton and Joe Biden, both of which were very good, especially Clinton’s. But Obama’s magnificent speech on Thursday night just blew me away. If he had a teleprompter there, it sure wasn’t noticeable, as it seemed he never took so much as a glance to read a script as he delivered such a powerful and eloquent speech. I refuse to believe the detractors who seem to think Obama is all style and no substance. He talked about real issues this time, and I like what his plans are once he’s elected. Hey, I’m excited and I’m just a Canadian! :)

    In contrast, just watching John McCain a couple of mornings ago introduce his running mate, Sarah Palin, live on CNN was somewhat painful to see. I don’t dislike McCain, but he couldn’t even deliver his introduction to Ms. Palin without constantly looking down at his notes in front of him. How’s he going to compete with Obama next week when he has to give his big speech? He just seems uncomfortable to me. As for Ms. Palin, was it my imagination or did I actually hear her say the word “nukular”? It’s starting all over again…

  6. on 30 Aug 2008 at 11:31 pm 6.Thad said …

    Yep, he should channel FDR alright. Instead of slapping the Japanese in happy camps, it’ll be Muslims.

    Maybe I’m just too gloomy, but I have the feeling Obama’s going to be a joke. Either that, or he’ll be assassinated by some racist.

  7. on 31 Aug 2008 at 2:35 am 7.Tom Sito said …

    Yeah, I’m afraid of assassination too. JFK was criticized in his time of being all too much flash and no substance, and he did all right.

    But we all see how the stress of being President chewed up healthy people like Clinton and Carter. Reaqan tried to look healthy like riding horses and chopping wood, but McCain looks like he can barely stand up, and he’s not even president yet! I think the job might kill him, then we’d have the Hockey-Mom to figure out the Russia- Georgia Debacle.

    Oh well, lots more opportunities for us cartoonists!

  8. on 31 Aug 2008 at 3:03 am 8.DanO said …

    “Everything about their work has been to fatten their own pockets”

    Thats a bold bold statement and, I’m sorry to say, not grounded in reality.

    Many people will not recognize that over 30 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan are now free of the tyranny they suffered under before the US deposed the authoritarian regimes there. This is because the means didn’t justify the ends for them. There is violence(a small amount comparatively)
    that still simmers there. For some that negates ALL progress in those regions which were ignored by the world for decades. Thats okay with me. History has yet to judge the actions worth.

    In the sordid bickerng over those issues somehow and in some way people who want our nation to act in the most noble ay have compeltely forgotten about the cuyrreecnt administrations efforts in Africa – a nation ravaged by poverty, destroyed by IDS and suffereing every day. The current administration has done more for the people of Africa (in every way) than any administration before it and every other nation on the planet ever. They have spearheaded 100% debt relief for those nations. They have worked deals for AIDS drugs to be available for the populations. They have gone above and beyond.

    At this point I must sound like Bush cheerleader. At this point no matter what I say many of you (who are so swayed by inflamed sentiments that you haven’t even noticed our nations efforts in Africa) will write me off as a parrot no matter what I say.
    So I won’t say anything, I’ll just quote someone whom you KNOW is not a fan of President Bush and the current administration, Bob Geldof:

    “The Bush regime has been divisive — but not in Africa. I read it has been incompetent — but not in Africa. It has created bitterness — but not here in Africa. Here, his administration has saved millions of lives.”

    read more here:

    So saying that “everything” this administration has done has been to fatten their own pockets is utterly mendacious in light of the facts around the issue of Africa. Its there that our nation has been sterling in its charity, its focus and its will to accomplish that which everyone though was impossible. There is still a lot of work to be done for sure, but thankfully Africa is looking to be the next continent to watch in the global market. China and other asian nations will no longer fill the role that they used to. A lot of commerce will be moved to Africa. I think animation will be one of them…

  9. on 31 Aug 2008 at 8:28 am 9.Michael said …

    I agree that the Bush regime DID do enormously good work in Africa in consort with Bill Clinton’s mission to resolve the AIDS situation there. That’s one. There’s nothing positive I can say about what they did in Iraq. Nothing.
    They both made enormous amounts of money there. They will continue to make money there long after they’re out of office.

  10. on 31 Aug 2008 at 4:08 pm 10.DanO said …

    In the middle east, we were the bad guy. This is true. But even the most glancing overview of the entire world history of the middle east shows that absolutely zero has ever been accomplished there by a good guy. Those many storied cultures have unfortunately – and without exception – always respected power and force. Its terrible. Some say its backwards, but those have always been the terms of getting things done there. So enter the paradox. Be the bad guy to do some good.
    You might not agree with that and view it with righteous indignation, but to sloppily quote professor Princeton Clifford Geertz:

    “I think the administrations of middle eastern nations would much rather have us tell them what to do then ask them.”

    Thats not an indication of them being subservient, but the prevailing philosophy of power in the region.

  11. on 31 Aug 2008 at 9:44 pm 11.Michael said …

    DanO, your notion of “good guys and bad guys” is wholly ridiculous. You’ve seen too many westerns, or maybe if you’re younger too many Spielberg fantasies. We are all the good guys until we invade each other’s territories and try to impose our notions of “good” on others.

  12. on 01 Sep 2008 at 2:44 am 12.DanO said …

    I would counter that you’ve got a bad case of “moral ambiguity”, but I don’t want to bicker. If you don’t like dictators being deposed that fine. I just don’t want to hear ANY pissing an moaning about the brutality the people under them must endure. You can’t have it both ways.Ever I’m left to assume that the humongous exception to an “invading each other’s territories” screed is that it doesn’t apply to WWII. Thats.. convenient.

  13. on 02 Sep 2008 at 2:56 am 13.Tom Sito said …

    DanO, the point about “invading each other’s territories not counting for WWII” needs to send you back to the history books, my friend. After WWII, one of the major points the United States pushed for and demanded in setting up the United Nations Charter in 1945 was a ban on unilateral war. It has been a fundamental policy of the United States ever since to never invade a sovereign nation unilaterally. That was, until President Bush Jr decided to ignore it, along with any other of our laws and treaties he deemed unimportant.
    We are living in historic times. A recent poll of 400 of the world’s top historians, 88%of them agree that George W. Bush’s presidency has been the worst in American History. If he did anything good in Africa, it was probably his part of the bargain for Colin Powell’s continued loyalty.

  14. on 24 Dec 2009 at 11:40 am 14.Jonathon Colona said …

    This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!

Subscribe to the comments through RSS Feed

Leave a Reply

eXTReMe Tracker
click for free hit counter

hit counter