Cartoons, cartoons, cartoons.... John Crowther's Cartoon Odyssey

I think of it as The Fool's Journey. I've been asked who the "fool" is. It's me, but in the classical sense of the court jester. Only the fool was allowed to tell the king of his follies. All cartoons are available as prints or originals, framed or unframed, through my website or e-mail. For mugs, t-shirts, and other products visit my gift shop at* (be sure to include the *).

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Home Is Where the Art Is

I'm greatly cheered this morning by the fact that Scott Brown, the Massachusetts porn star (just kidding around, folks) that won Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, is Barack Obama's tenth cousin. Maybe the world isn't such a bad place after all.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Speak the Speech, I Pray You

Danny Kaye once noted that there is a clear difference in Russia drama between comedy and tragedy. In both, everybody dies; but in a comedy they die happy.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Service With a Goofy Grin

I happened to catch a few minutes of Wheel of Fortune last night. It's been on for decades, literally, but host Pat Sajak and letter-turner Vanna White both remain unrighteously slender and youthful. It's a time warp, and I have to admit there was something comforting about it. With everything else in our culture careening past faster than we can process it, it's lovely to know some things stay the same, like toothpicks and bird feeders.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Workplace Fun

Anthropologists now believe that the Neanderthals were more advanced than previously believed. Here again, I've long been convinced that the European Neanderthal's were never wiped out by the northward migration of African homo sapiens. Of course they interbred. And of course their genes are still with us. They are us, more than folks like to think.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Let Us Play

Scientists are now saying there's a good chance that life on earth didn't start with one single source, but rather sprang from multiple chemical reactions at different times in different places, which would mean there are organisms in existence totally unrelated to each other genetically. No surprise to me. I've believed this for years, especially if you think, as I do, that "life" is not a one-time chance occurrence that only happened here on earth and nowhere else in the universe. What I don't get is why people think there's a conflict between belief in God and acceptance of science. God to me is responsible for all the astonishing miracles that science tries with stumbling success to comprehend, not simply the easy stuff like turning Adam's rib into Eve. That's a mere magic trick compared to the Big Stuff.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Wild Blue Hither

I'm guessing that most of America is reeling with delight about the fact that authorities here have lifted the ban on the import of haggis. That's the Scottish treat made of a sheep's heart, lungs and other goodies mixed with oatmeal, stuffed in the sheep's guts and steamed. As someone aptly said, "most Scottish cooking is based on dares."

Monday, January 25, 2010

It Begins at Homely

I was happy yesterday to hear a radio program on NPR discussing something that has bothered me since the beginning of the Haiti disaster, the influx of media crews to that beleaguered slice of island. Reporters, television news personalities, camera crews, all of them eating, needing shelter, taking up living space, not to mention runway room at the airport. For what? So people can be informed? No way. It's a battle for a slice of the audience pie, bait to get folks to watch commercials. Imagine, NBC has a crew of 75 down there. And don't get me started on the venal creatures known as Haitian politicians, stealing relief money as fast as it arrives just as they've been stealing the billions in foreign aid we've been sending them since forever.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Where Is Thy Sting-a-Ling-a-Ling?

The story is told of Voltaire. When he was asked to comment on the death of a famous man of whom he had frequently been critical, he said, "He was a man of character, of whom nothing but good should now be said - provided he's actually dead."

Saturday, January 23, 2010

In the Swim

President John F. Kennedy was fond of telling the story about the Revolutionary activist who said, "There go my people. I must find out where they're headed so I can lead them."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Vote As If It Matters, Ha Ha

"Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few." George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, 1903. Spoken one hundred and seven years ahead of time.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

All In Fun

"It took real courage for you to take down that armed robber at the bank," the alcoholic was told at the ceremony honoring him for his heroism. "Not really," he slurred, "I didn't realize I was loaded."


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Food For Thought

I once heard that fish is good brain food. The problem, though, is you have to eat really smart fish.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Wild Blue Yonder

New security measures and more sophisticated equipment have given new meaning to the phrase "cleared for take off" when it comes to commercial aviation. "No fly zone" can mean all sorts of things now, not to mention "lift your flaps."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tonight, Tonight, Won't Be Just Any Night

I would take Jack Paar back any day of the week, or for that matter, Steve Allen, who started the whole thing. Why is it, I wonder, that with every yammer show the host sits to the right, the sidekick and guests to the left, and it's always the same stupid desk? I'm guessing some genius psychologist came up with that and the suits don't have the guts to think out of the box.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Today being the anniversary of Benjamin Franklin's birth in 1706, it's worth recalling that he said, "a word to the wise is enough and many words won't fill a bushel."

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Old Too Soon, Smart Too Late

Old age is no bar to men chasing women; they just have trouble remembering why.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Stupid Pet Tricks

I had the most extraordinary experience today. I was at a big box store buying a piece of electronics. I was torn between two versions of an item, and the salesman was doing a hard sell to convince me to buy the less expensive one because he thought it would be a better deal. "You can tell," he said to me, "I'm not working on commission."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Snow Job

The deeds of men as told by history
Are like a curtain drawn before the truth,
And yet we still attempt to understand
The past from bits and scraps, the meager facts
Whose meaning lies a distance far beyond
Our grasp. You'd do as well to suck on bones
And nothing more, and claim you'd had a meal.
Copyright 2010 John Crowther

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mad Bomber

This may be a bit of a stretch, but I truly believe evidence of the imminent collapse of civilization can be found in the supermarket. The major trend in marketing nowadays is illusive packaging that suckers the public into believing it is getting more for less, when actually it is getting less for more. Paradoxically, you can do better online, even though you don't see and touch what you're paying for until FedEx delivers it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Midnight Oy Vey

"Why is it that we rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the person involved." Mark Twain, The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson, 1894.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ride a Cock Horse

Yes, yes, I know, it's a lacrosse reference. I debated with myself whether it needed explanation and decided that you're a smart bunch and don't need it. Whether you think it's funny or not is another matter.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Over the Edge

Excuse me if I qvell (wonderfully expressive old Jewish word) today. The winter league lacrosse season started yesterday in West Los Angeles, and my team of 5th and 6th graders won our game 11-7. It's not the fact of winning that has this old coach bloated with pride, but the way they did it, hustling without ever letting up, staying disciplined and focused (an amazing accomplishment for 10 and 11-year olds), doing exactly what was asked of them, and playing "like the big boys!" Go Midshipmen!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Down the Rabbit Hole

The anniversary of Elvis's birthday was yesterday. He would have been 75. Today is the 97th anniversary of the birth of Richard M. Nixon. If that doesn't encompass a spectrum of 20th century America I don't know what does. 

Friday, January 08, 2010

Words, Words, Words

"Many books require no thought from those who read them, and for a very simple reason; they made no such demand on those who wrote them." Charles Caleb Colton, Lacon, 1820's.

By the way, (or BTW in accursed netspeak) I want to thank you all for your daily comments, which I appreciate enormously and thoroughly enjoy. Time prevents me from always responding, but I usually don't think something additional from me is necessary. What you have to say stands on its own without my tacking something on. And for those who keep track of such things, today's post is The Fool's 1162nd straight without missing a day.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Fright Risk

Officials are now claiming that they realized the guy who attempted to blow up the plane on Christmas day was a potential terrorist while the flight was already en route. However, they say, even had they questioned him in Amsterdam he probably would have been allowed to travel, since they had no reason to believe he was an immediate threat. I guess the bomb in his underwear doesn't count.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Monkeys Shine

It's my contention that all films, like book sometimes do, should include with the credits a notice that any resemblance to any real person, living or dead, or to real places and events, is purely coincidental. Most films nowadays fully live up to it.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Like a Rug

So Rush Limbaugh had chest pains and checked into a hospital. Afterward he proclaimed there's no problem with our health care system, it works just fine. It shows just how far out of touch poor Rush is. As Voltaire said on this date back in 1759, "Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Get Smart

Today is the anniversary of the first successful appendectomy 125 years ago. Lost in the celebrating is the news that a team of Polish surgeons has performed the first appendicitis transplant.