Do The Right Thing

1. Mike Huckabee has written a book called Do The Right Thing? That’s not Do The Right Thing. This is Do The Right Thing:

(Note: yes, that’s Samuel Jackson telling everybody to chill at the end of the clip.)

2. There’ll be a yearlong Poe Festival in Baltimore. I have a feeling Caryn and I (plus some kids) will be checking it out.

3. Here’s a really interesting piece on Charles M. Schulz’s use of punctuation in Peanuts strips.

4. While we’re talking comics, let’s not forget Al Capp.

5. Or this guy.

6. Eric Rosenfeld of Wet Asphalt is launching a multi-post blog series to develop the idea that the legendary science-fiction novel Dune by Frank Herbert really sucks. Sounds like the kind of crazy idea I usually come up with.

7. presents Deb Olin Unferth and Diane Vadino at the Mercantile Library on November 12 in New York City.

8. Stubborn but lovable New York rabble-rouser Mickey Z. is performing at Bluestockings on the Lower East Side on November 15.

9. Ian McEwan on Barack Obama and Climate Change.

10. Andrew Leonard’s wonderful piece on John Leonard begins like this:

Feeling like a guilty grave robber ransacking a pharaoh’s tomb, I cleaned out my father’s sock drawer on Sunday.

It ends with the father, son and a nurse happily watching Colin Powell endorse Barack Obama in a hospital room.

18 Responses

  1. Thanks for the link to the
    Thanks for the link to the Charles Schulz article. Also thanks for the Al Capp link at the Animation Archive. There it mentions how Capp treated his assistants well and even gave them public credit. This lead to a myth that capp didn’t do any of his work. In passing it states that in fact all comic strip writers use their assistants with the exception of Charles Schulz who did all of it himself.

    Schulz was an artist and I think he did the ellipses based on what felt right.

    The Animation Archive is a fantastic site. A great repository of a huge amount of archival material relating to cartooning and animation.

    It’s great you linked there as it gives me a chance to recommend it to everyone here. I can go through it for hours.

  2. Thanks for the plug,
    Thanks for the plug, Levi…and I’ll not “stubbornly” insist on detailing the frightening resume of Colin Powell and why an endorsement from him is cause for serious re-evaluation of the endorsee. Perhaps another time.

    For now, I’ll just wonder if he has a half-brother named Semi-Colin.

  3. Well, Mickey, we all watched
    Well, Mickey, we all watched the news in 2003, we all know why Colin Powell’s reputation was shot to hell. He suffered plenty for his bad judgment, but many Americans still respect his opinion. I’m not necessarily among them, but I thought he did a great thing in helping Obama win over some dubious conservative voters.

  4. Oh, I wasn’t talking about
    Oh, I wasn’t talking about 2003, Levi. That was just the artificially sweetened icing on his career cake. His resume dates back to the My Lai cover-up through Iran-Contra and much more.

    If he endorsed me for anything, I’d immediately question my entire existence.

  5. I’d agree with Mickey. A
    I’d agree with Mickey. A career military person is nothing better than a professional killer.

  6. Wow, listed after Schulz and
    Wow, listed after Schulz and Capp. What an honor!
    Thanks, really.
    By the way, I think that Ken Parille, who wrote about the punctuation in Peanuts, has way too much time on his hands.
    (That guy) Dad

  7. Sometimes I wonder when
    Sometimes I wonder when American “progressives” like Mickey Z. will start looking to the future instead of obsessing about the past.

    Fortunately their gift of finding fault everywhere (and with everyone and everything), coupled with a determination to hold petty grudges and demand unreasonable accountability, puts them slightly below Dennis Kucinich in the hierarchy of people taken seriously in politics.

  8. Yeah, I guess I really hurt
    Yeah, I guess I really hurt my chances of being taken “seriously” as a “progressive” when I “obsess” on “petty” things like war crimes.

    Step right up for another glass of the Obama Kool Aid, Cal…guaranteed to keep you looking to the future. (Blinders available for those with peripheral vision.)

    P.S. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

  9. Hey guys, that was last
    Hey guys, that was last week’s LitKicks argument. This week we’re just kicking back.

    Ahh, but I’ll throw in a couple of thoughts myself. Cal, what’s wrong with Dennis Kucinich? I take him seriously!

    And, Mickey, one thing about your position that rubs many people the wrong way, I think, is your attitude that anybody who disagrees with you must be a dupe, wearing blinders, etc. I wish you could express your opinion without constantly suggesting that those who don’t agree with you must lack factual knowledge or deep understanding of global politics. As I think we established in last week’s discussion, it’s possible for a person to be smart and knowledgeable and still believe that Barack Obama’s victory means something. I assure you that I’m not wearing blinders, even though I don’t come to the same conclusions you come to.

  10. That’s an unfair
    That’s an unfair characterization of my approach. I do the hard work of challenging assumptions and learning the facts and then I share those facts. In the case of Obama, to be blunt, 99% of those I talk with have consciously decided to ignore the facts and make no secret of it. They’d prefer to just have faith.

    I’m ready to hear counter-evidence but mostly all I hear is “yes we can” followed by accusations aimed at me. I presented a veritable catalog of damning evidence against Obama here last week and except for your three points (which I did not agree with and Obama has already said he’d have to “re-think” raising taxes on the wealthy), no one replied with a single fact.

    I’ll back off, Levi. I realize this is not a political site. But rest assured, I’m not “kicking back.” And I hope all those Obama voters who swore they’d be working hard to push him to the Left once he’s elected aren’t kicking back either. The stakes are way too high.

  11. Well, Mickey, I’m trying to
    Well, Mickey, I’m trying to be fair — and helpful. You know I respect your principles, even though I disagree with your conclusions. But do you respect those who you disagree with? Nobody likes to be told that they have blinders on, and I don’t think it ever helps an argument to mock your opponents as ill-informed. Whether you mean it that way or not, I do think it comes across that way. That’s all I’m saying.

  12. I’ll admit my comment was
    I’ll admit my comment was mocking but re-read the thread. I offered my input on Powell (and even a silly joke) and one commenter agreed with me. Along comes Cal with a personal attack but no factual rebuttal. So, I reply and get called on it? I feel like the NBA player who gets the technical for responding to an elbow with a shove.

    P.S. When someone tells me to ignore the past and look only to the future, I think: blinders. And when someone responds to facts with personal attacks, yes, I think: ill-informed. Don’t you?

  13. Keep up the diligent
    Keep up the diligent approach, Mickey. You are blunt, no doubt, but you have have put in the research effort, which more than most can say, and you are trying to stay grounded in political reality. By the way, a lot of us are right with you on America’s obsession with “war heroes”, and ironically, “war hero” candidates have lost the last several presidential elections. Not sure what that means, but there ya go.

    You take a hard-line approach to Obama’s rhetoric of change, which is appropriate, but I think you really push it at times. For example, I noticed you criticized him for being “anti-gay-marriage”, but left off the fact that he supports civil unions for gay couples, which would grant the same rights as marriage as I understand it. But then, maybe the problem is that he wants to leave it to the states. Perhaps he isn’t aggressive enough on some of these issues?

    Anyway, I thank you for opening our eyes to the realities of the corporate two-party machine, but all things considered, I still think Obama was the best choice on the ballot to have any chance at positive progress, or at least reversing some of the awful abuses of executive power that have occurred recently. The GOP side of the machine needed to step down for a while.

  14. I totally agree with mnaz.
    I totally agree with mnaz. Always happy to have another iconoclast around here. My particular brand of progressive politics is different from Mickey’s — I think I’m more pragmatic and am happy to work within the American political system for change, at least for now — but I do know that we need a wide spectrum of beliefs, and most of all we need people with conviction. And I think we all have conviction.

    Yeah, Mickey is right about the foul call. I think it was a carry-over from last week’s game.

    And finally, Mickey, because I don’t shut up either, I agree with mnaz that you seem a little too satisfied with your quick responses, as if you think you settle a point just by bringing up a semi-related fact. Last week I brought up one very major difference between Obama and McCain — it was generally understood that, given an opening in the Supreme Court, McCain would appoint a Supreme Court justice who’d be the deciding vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade, and Obama would not. This is an extremely specific and substantial point. Mickey, you responded by quoting some interview where Obama said he would have no litmus test for Supreme Court appointments. This is a trivial response, and absolutely nobody is seriously concerned that Obama would bring in another ideological appointee like John Roberts or Samuel Alito. This is one of many examples of a substantial difference between Obama and McCain, but you have never yet acknowledged that any points like this have validity.

    (Hmm, didn’t I say we were just kicking back this week? Sorry.)

  15. Thanks, guys. Much
    Thanks, guys. Much appreciated.

    Levi, besides the litmus test comment, I did specifically respond to the issue of what kind of judges Obama might support with this: “he has supported some of the worst Bush appointees to the federal bench, including Thomas Griffith (D.C. Cir.), Susan Blake Neilson (6th Cir.), Milan Smith (9th Cir.), Sandra Segal Ikuta (9th Cir.), and Kent Jordan (3rd Cir.).”

    And, mnaz, here is Obama, re: gay marriage:
    “He wouldn’t have his picture taken with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom when visiting San Francisco for a fundraiser in his honor because Obama was scared voters might think he supports gay marriage (Newsom acknowledged this to Reuters on January 26, 2007 and former Mayor Willie Brown admitted to the San Francisco Chronicle on February 5, 2008 that Obama told him he wanted to avoid Newsom for that reason.)”

  16. Weren’t we talking about
    Weren’t we talking about Schulz last time I was here?

    Too bad I don’t live in Baltimore anymore. I would have loved to go to that Poe festival. But his grave, though.. stuck out there by Shock Trauma! lol

  17. Schulz? Don’t get me started
    Schulz? Don’t get me started on Linus’ shady alliance with homophobic groups and Lucy’s overt support for fascists. They’re worse than Obama ever was and anyone who doesn’t know this is a dupe.

    Just kidding…

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Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!