Some stuff to talk about if you end up in a cartoon graveyard this evening:
- Mother Jones and other sites have praised the Los Angeles Times for the "unusually clear and accurate headline" pictured at right ("GOP governors say they have a recipe for recovery/Reduce healthcare aid to the poor and give tax breaks to the wealthy"). It's been less commented-upon that the state of Maine serves as Exhibit A in the story about Tea Party principles being put into action. The "pugnaciousness" of Gov. Paul LePage is one reason, but it can't hurt that the state is blessed with a slogan — "The Way Life Should Be" — that started as a benign tourism marketing tool but can seem rather arrogant when a steamroller-type governor is standing beneath it, as in the LA Times photo. BTW, if Maine and New Hampshire ever merge, the new state slogan can be "Live the Way Life Should Be or Die."
- The American Library Association has released its Top Ten List of the Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2010. No. 1 was And Tango Makes Three, about two gay penguins raising a chick in the Central Park Zoo (not to be confused with the two gay penguins in Pawnee, Indiana, that got married on Parks and Recreation). The ALA lists the most common reasons for challenging the books, and "political viewpoint" is cited for only one book in the Top 10: Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickle and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, which makes the unpatriotic and unashamedly anti-Ayn-Randian argument that a lot of poor people have to take terrible jobs that don't give them much chance to get out of poverty.
- Paul Simon's album Graceland turns 25 this summer, and Nell Boeschenstein has a great essay about it at This Recording. ("We also recognize not just our parents in the words of those songs, but ourselves and our own impending midlives that loiter like shortening shadows on the horizon. ") It makes me want to find a cassette tape of the recording so I can listen to it the same way I did in college, when I was already acting as if I had hit midlife.