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The Kluck Klams – The Ghost of Walt Kelly Speaks

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Pogo” was penned by a famous anti-communist conservative cartoonist and his missive was directed at the Southern Democrats who created the KKK and enforced segregation via Jim Crow Laws. Walt Kelly was often censored by the liberal media newspapers for posting strips like these, so he published his uncensored opinions in “The Pogo Poop Book” in 1966.

We need more people like Walt Kelly to fight the latest “Gibber of Goblins,” and these New Goblins don’t wear white hoods either…

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15 Responses to “The Kluck Klams – The Ghost of Walt Kelly Speaks”

  1. Yayagal Says:

    WOW. Lady, you have NO IDEA who Walt Kelly was or what he stood for. “Conservative”?? In your dreams! Man, you wingnuts just rewrite history to suit yourselves. Pathetic.

  2. Bunk Strutts Says:

    Yayagal–

    Thanks for your polite kudos, but I stand by my off-the-cuff commentary. I don’t know which political party Walt Kelly was affiliated with, but he was certainly a conservative as he subtly espoused conservative ideals in his dailies and published them out loud in “The Pogo Poop Book.”

    Please inform me where I was wrong and I’ll be happy to correct any factual errors.

  3. Coyote Kishpaugh Says:

    I grew up reading Pogo. I don’t know if Mr. Kelly would have trusted any political organization enough to align himself with it. I never met the man, but I think the Jack Acid Society Black Book speaks rather loudly on that score…

    Based upon what I read in his work growing up, I will say that I think the political definitions of conservative and liberal have changed mightily over the decades. A conservative during Kelly’s day might be called a liberal today. Who knows?

    But I mostly want to thank you for posting The Kluck Klams here. It is without exception my favorite piece ever penned by Walt Kelly, and has been since I was 8 or 9.

    Take care!

  4. Bunk Strutts Says:

    Coyote– Good points. Whatever he was, Kelly was one of a kind. I was introduced to him at a young age via an old faded copy of The Pogo Papers and I was hooked. As I grew older I came to appreciate the subtle satire sitting just beneath the surface.

  5. Charlie Messing Says:

    He did like the world as it Had Been, making him a Conservative, but he was totally open-minded and reasonable, making him a Liberal. One of the greats. RIP.

  6. Bunk Strutts Says:

    Charlie M– Conservatives are closed-minded and unreasonable? Where did you get that nonsense? Aside from that, Kelly was indeed a treasure.

  7. Paul Says:

    The Democrats were liberals by the time Kelly’s Pogo came into existence, and Kelly’s comics espoused the ideals of classical liberals and old-fashioned conservatives like Ike (who was socially liberal/libertarian in almost every way) but don’t let anything quite so trifling as historical facts stand in the way of the narrative you’re pushing!

  8. Bunk Strutts Says:

    Paul–

    You’re parsing my words a tad and missing my point.

    Kelly did NOT espouse the ideals of the Democrat Party and “classical liberals” (whatever that means). That he’s not alive to defend himself doesn’t help your argument.

    The KKK, racism and segregation are all planks in the foundation of the Democrat Party and they still are.

    Kelly mocked socialism, communism, fascism, racism and unions regularly (while fighting against censorship) that are all part of the mainstream left as promoted by today’s Democrat Party and others.

    The John Birch Society, once affiliated with the GOP, was reduced to ashes by William F. Buckley, and Kelly mocked them as “The Jack Acid Society.”

    I don’t dismiss historical fact. I dismiss historical revisionism. What else you got? 😀

  9. Thomas Gille Says:

    Hi Bank:

    Thanks for posting a copy of Kluck Klams – I’m happy to have finally found it, especially at this time in our country’s history.

    I’m going to respectfully but emphatically disagree with your description of Kelly as a conservative, though I know you’re not the only one who feels that way (see http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2010/07/willson-american-aesop-walt-kelly.html)

    In Kelly’s own words he was against “the extreme right, the extreme left, and the extreme middle.” In his poem One Way Street, he said extremists “belong to a curious team…maybe left, maybe right, maybe wrong.” I don’t think he “espoused” any party’s views.

    All of these groups wanted (and still want, apparently) to claim him for their own. But his approach to politics is far too complicated for anyone to prove that claim.

    But I feel that to state that he was a conservative is much harder to substantiate than that he was a liberal.

    He started his newspaper career at the New York Star, a leftist daily, and his political views were more in line with Cold War existentialist liberals than conservatives.

    His first political target in the ’50s was Joe McCarthy, the anti-communist crusader and Republican senator from Wisconsin. Eventually members of both parties repudiated “Tail-gunner Joe,” and Kelly skewered him most effectively, arousing ire among right-wing McCarthy followers, and even making liberal editors uncomfortable. McCarthy was anything but a liberal.

    As you mention, he satirized the John birch Society, another group that can hardly be called liberal. The claim that Buckley reduced them to ashes first is also hard to swallow.

    Buckley was an associate and supporter of Welch at first, though he disagreed with what he called “subjective intention from objective consequences;” imputing evil motives to failed policies. He finally broke with Welch not because of his philosophy, rather because Buckley felt the JBS gave liberals a broad brush to tar all conservatives. He was trying to protect his group.

    (Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/448774/william-f-buckley-john-birch-society-history-conflict-robert-welch)

    Most difficult to credit is your claim that “The KKK, racism and segregation are all planks in the foundation of the Democrat Party and they still are.”

    I’d recommend that you look up the Democratic and Republican platforms of 1952 – obviously neither one would put those planks in writing, and both reject racism – but I think you’ll find that the positions espoused in the Democratic platform more closely reflect the views seen in Pogo.

    The 1950s is the time that Southern Democrats started migrating to the Republican party because of the Dem’s increasing support of civil rights. This is pretty well documented – check out http://classroom.synonym.com/democrats-1950s-vs-democrats-today-23041.html for a quick look.

    I think it’s hard to support a statement that Democrats are the party of the KKK. Certainly the KKK isn’t supporting them right now.

    An article in City Journal from 2011 is a good compact view of Pogo and politics: https://www.city-journal.org/html/going-pogo-13429.html

    For in-depth examinations, there are a couple of good books about Kelly, his satire and its impact on American politics. One published in 2012, We Go Pogo: Walt Kelly, Politics and American Satire by Kerry D. Soper, is excellent but a bit dense.

    I’m currently reading Walt Kelly and Pogo: The Art of the Political Swamp by James Eric Black, and so far it is also excellent and a little more accessible in my opinion. But both books tend to identify Kelly as more liberal than conservative, without any axe grinding.

    Thanks again, Bank, and let’s all keep in mind one of my favorite Pogo quotes, a comment to Porky:

    “I figgers, Porky, that every man’s heart is eventual in in the right place.”

    Porky replies, “An’ I figgers, Pogo, that if a man’s gonna be wrong ’bout somethin’, that is the best wrong thing to keep bein’ wrong about ’til forever.”

  10. Bunk Strutts Says:

    Thomas G.–

    Thanks for the clarifications & links. Interesting stuff from a true Pogophile.

    I posted this years ago and I honestly don’t remember why I decided to get on my soapbox in December 2014, but I did so I’ll leave it unedited. I’m kind of surprised that it generated so much traffic recently, and all I can figure is that a lot of people still remember “The Pogo Poop Book.”

    I don’t equate the term “conservative” solely with the GOP, and I don’t equate the term “liberal” (aka “progressive”) solely with the Democrat Party, because there are both liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats. For example, FDR was a liberal, but JFK was a conservative. Of course there are many shades between the far left and the far right.

    There’s a bizarre movement underway in which liberal Democrats are attempting to erase their own ugly history and at the same time attempt to paint all Republicans as racists and fascists when the truth is the exact opposite. It’s Orwellian, and I’ve never seen anything like it in my lifetime.

    I also intend to read Dnesh D’Souza’s book “The Big Lie” and do some of my own fact-checking. https://www.dineshdsouza.com/

  11. F DuBois Says:

    I grew up on my father’s Pogo comics, and I disagree with your perspective, heartily. It’s difficult for me to even understand how or why you perceive what you do in Kelly’s work. I feel like you have an agenda…but as far as the world of Pogo reads, what else is new. I guess I’m just glad you enjoy it, but I don’t think you should flog or flap it as far as current political parties or ideologies go. It seems to me that that kind of nonsense (fomenting distrust and division) is exactly what Kelly was fighting, no matter which “side” called the “other side” what.

    • Thomas Gille Says:

      Well, here we are another year into a very divisive time in America. And I have to say, Bunks, your last comment about W.E.B. DuBois sort of undercuts everything else you say.

      It’s exactly the sort of ad hominem argument that Kelly would abhor, especially given that your only justification for bringing it up is that F DuBois shares or chooses to use the last name.

      I’m not sure why you dislike DuBois – he’s been dead for over half a century. Is it because he started the NAACP? Or felt African Americans should be well educated? Or because he was given the Lenin peace Prize?

      The latter was given, not solicited, and I’d guess it was another, earlier attempt to do exactly what one of America’s most dangerous enemies is trying to do right now: turn loyal Americans against one another in an effort to undermine our democracy.

      I hope you aren’t one of the people who are willing to overlook that because it benefits a particular ideology or policy.

      As Lincoln said, “Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never!…If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher.”

      Please don’t be one of the authors or one of the finishers.

  12. Bunk Strutts Says:

    F DuB –

    Not sure what you you disagree with. Kelly openly mocked socialism, fascism, nazism and communism, and he knew that they all came out of the same Marxist pig sty.

    BTW, Fuck W.E.B. DuBois.

  13. Bunk Strutts Says:

    Thomas Gille–

    Sorry. I’m not going to play your inane and unsubstantiated race-baiting game. You have no idea what my beliefs and opinions are. Why the unwarranted hate?

    Crawl back into your glory hole of bigotry.

    Your Pal
    Bunk

  14. Bunk Strutts Says:

    Once in a while I check the spam filter, and I found a long twisted diatribe by someone named “4859” (aka “jackhammer”) from Tukwila Washington who doesn’t like my opinions much. I thought about letting it go and posting it, but it was so full of revisionist history and hate that I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I don’t know who that violent mental midget is, and I don’t have time to rebut his/her idiocy

    that begins with
    “And the thin mask comes off once the facts start to drop. And yes, we know EXACTLY what your beliefs and opinions are. It’s what happens when your ilk gets flustered and drops the mask.”

    and ends with
    “Bunk, you are disgusting, and Walt would punch you in the face himself if he could.”

    4859, you got problems.

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