that girl, that ball, that quality

I was walking through the early morning, getting my exercise and listening to the most recent episode of Amicus, my first sampling the podcast of the great journalist Dahlia Lithwick, This episode (and it looks like a few episodes in a row before) was focused on the various ways in which Trump is trying to challenge election results (and while a month is not a long time ago, boy, the events of the last couple days sure does make it seem dated!) And in the course of this, I heard Lithwick say “I worry a lot about the Lucy football quality” of certain matters.

The Lucy football quality.

Not even just “pulling the football away”, the whole matter can be summed up as “the Lucy football quality” (somebody should grab that up quickly as a band name) and be understood.

And I’ve said it before and will doubtlessly say again, I dearly want a book that is focused completely and solely on the football gag as a political metaphor. Not just an article, not just a chapter, a whole book. I want its history, to know the first time it was invoked in a speech, in coverage, in a political cartoon. I want commentary by politicians, journalists, and cartoonists on why it works, or how its been abused. And I want as many examples as possible of its use, particularly in editorial cartoons (and there are hundreds to be had.)

And perhaps I’m the only one. But if I can just find another 11,780 people who will buy it, I bet we could get it made.

Welcome to 2021

  On Christmas, my kids gave me this daily-updatable Peanuts calendar figure – Charlie Brown with a book, how appropriate for me. And this morning I was tempt to set it to DECEMBER 32, just to make it look like the troublesome year that we just went through was going …

The reason for the season

Happy Beethoven’s Birthday! My gift to you on this festive day: this blatantly unlicensed ad from a 1970 issue of The Voice, a Catholic weekly serving the Miami area.

online Peanuts event

The folks at the publisher Library of America, who put out the essay collection The Peanuts Papers about a year back, wanted me to let you now about an online event they’re throwing. Next Wednesday, at 6 PM Eastern time, 3 PM California time, and right on the hour wherever …