Peter Kuper–“Little Donald’s Sneeze” (After Winsor McCay’s “Little Sammy Sneeze”) (New Yorker, April 27, 2019)

SOUNDTRACK: THE POP UPS-Tiny Desk (Home) Concert #13 (April 23, 2020).

When my kids were little I tried pretty hard to introduce them to interesting children’s music.  I often wonder if I ruined them by not just letting them enjoy Raffi.  Because they don’t like much of what I listen to these days.

I’m not sure how long The Pop Ups have been making music, but this is sure a fun (and informative) children’s band.

The Pop Ups (Jason Rabinowitz (on the keytar) and Jacob Stein) sing the theme song to the wonderful NPR podcast Wow In The World and perform at Wow in the World live shows. In their Tiny Desk (home) concert, they save the earth from an asteroid, explain sound waves through a sing-a-long and a keytar, and encourage us all to invent and create.

Before the first song Jason introduces the greatest instrument in the world.  The guitarino?  No, the keytar.  Then he talks about the kind of sound waves a synthesizer can produce: a square wave, a sine wave and sawtooth wave.  “Synthesizer” is a song about making these sound waves–and you are encouraged to dance around and make those waves yourself.

Then Jacob wants to see if we can stump Jason with sounds the keytar can’t make: saxophone, whistle, marimba, organ?  Nope, it can do them all.

The next song, “Meteor” introduces a puppet, Doctor Bronc the Brontosaurus.  Dr. Bronc saw a meteor in the sky so he created a laser to shoot at the meteor.  If everyone turned off their lights for one day, it would save enough energy to power the laser.  The moral: “You can save the world when everybody tries!”

The final song “Inventors” introduces us to a woman I have never heard of.  Mary Anderson in Alabama saw that snow was piling up on the street cars.  She figured there was something that could clean off the snow and so she spent much of her time coming up with windshield wipers.  Which we still use today!

Young inventors will help solve the problems that our generation made for you.

It’s sure inspirational, and a useful piece of history.

[READ: April 26, 2020] “Little Donald’s Sneeze”

I love any cartoon that is going to mock trump.  It’s especially excellent if you can use his own words against him (which isn’t hard because he never stops saying stupid things.

I particularly enjoyed this cartoon because of its old-fashioned look.  Since I can’t find the original cartoon this is based on (or maybe it’s just based on the general style of Winsor McCay’s strip), I can’t tell if Kuper did all of the art himself or if he judiciously used the original panels.

I also don’t know what’s at the header originally, but this one pretty succinctly describes the man who is killing people with his deceit.

The header of this cartoon lays it out clearly: He just simply couldn’t stop lying / He never told the truth!

Why is it that cartoonist knows this but news reporters can’t seem to catch on and actually believe him when he says things?

The panels show Little Donald watching a parade.

Panel one is dated Feb 20, 2020.  The parade-goers are holding banners like “Don’t Wait to Act!”  A woman next to him tells him that the coronavirus is starting to spread, just like experts told him.  Little Donald says he thinks the virus is going to go away.  But he is more concerned about the loss of 1,000 points on the stock market.

There’s even a bonus quote from March 27 where he says it will “disappear like a miracle.”

On March 4 the banner says “It’s 10x worse than the flu” and people in the audience are coughing. Little Donald says people are getting better by “sitting around and even going to work–some of them go to work–but they get better”

On March 5 he retracts: I never said people that are feeling sick should go to work.

On March 9 as the woman next to him says he should warn people that it may be a pandemic. Little Donald replies that the media and the Democrats are trying to inflame the situation beyond what the facts would warrant.

On March 17 the elephants in the parade are rearing in fear as Little Donald sneezes. The woman next to him says

Dear Lord people everywhere are dying! How can you keep lying and lying?

This is the day he said he always knew it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.

The final panel shows a Constable, the voice of reason that teh country so desperately needs.  While will no one with any authority stand up to this buffoon and say

This child’s ineptitude is downright criminal.  He must be removed from the premises immediately.

That’s the day that Little Donald found out he was number one on Facebook.  Whatever the hell that means.

Again, why is it cartoonists and comedians are the only one saying that the emperor has no clothes?


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