The Kluck Klams – The Ghost of Walt Kelly Speaks

by

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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 occasionally censored by the liberal media some 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…


[Update: Some wording has been amended by popular demand.]

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70 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.

  15. Dan Stumpf Says:

    Can you give me some documentation about the “liberal”
    newspapers that banned or censored Kelly’s strip? Here in Columbus Ohio he was censored by the Right-Wing COLUMBUS CITIZEN-JOURNAL. What are the “Liberal” papers you mentioned??

  16. George Mostoller Says:

    This is completely and 100% wrong. Do some research. you have no idea what you’re talking about. You need to delete this post. You are misrepresenting everything Kelly stood for.

    • Thomas Gille Says:

      @Dan Stumpf – There’s an interesting article about Pogo and censorship by a member of a Canadian university’s history department. (Jarvis, Eric. “Censorship on the Comics Page: Walt Kelly’s “Pogo” and American Political Culture in the Cold War Era.” Studies in Popular Culture 26, no. 1 (2003): 1-13. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23414983.)

      It doesn’t list each newspaper that “censored” Pogo, or identify which were liberal and which were conservative, but it does indicate that it happened on both sides of that ideological divide. And it does give details of what the censorship consisted of, and how Kelly agreed to censor himself.

      His first political strips that specifically identified a public character were the Simple J. Malarkey strips satirizing Joe McCarthy and McCarthyism. Kelly was anti-Communist but didn’t like McCarthy’s techniques. Editors objected, and some dropped the strip temporarily, altered the strips, or moved it to the Op-Ed page. Kelly really didn’t care if a couple papers dropped him – by the mid-50s he was in over 450 across the US and around the world, the most followed comic feature in the US. He knew he was too valuable to drop completely. And though he didn’t like others messing with his art of words, he didn’t mind if they moved his strip.

      When he addressed desegregation and Kentucky’s response, the Richmond Time-Dispatch dropped the strip in November of 1958, but only until the story ended. Kelly got lots of mail on the subject, but claimed much of it was positive, especially from the South.

      He ran into the same problems, but only outside the US, when he ran his Khrushchev pig, Castro hyena and Cowbird Commies. In 1962 the Toronto Globe and Mail and a Tokyo English language paper called the Asahi Evening News dropped the strip while those characters were present.

      Kelly commented that anyone as close to the USSR as Tokyo had a reason to avoid pissing the Communists off, but I can imagine a conservative paper would object to Commie-bashing.

      Here’s what Wiki says about TGM: “While the paper was known as a generally conservative voice of the business establishment in the postwar decades, historian David Hayes, in a review of its positions, has noted that the Globe’s editorials in this period ‘took a benign view of hippies and homosexuals; championed most aspects of the welfare state; opposed, after some deliberation, the Vietnam War; and supported legalizing marijuana’.”

      In 1968 Kelly satirized the presidential candidates as wind-up toys, and George Wallace was portrayed as a Chicken Little toy. The Birmingham News dropped the strip while Wallace appeared. Kelly seemed supportive of the Civil Rights movement, he was also uncomfortable with the tactics.

      Also that year, he approached the Vietnam War somewhat gingerly and ambivalently, using only mild satire to address it. But even depicting LBJ (then still a candidate) as a weak-eyed longhorn steer was too much for some editors. Kelly compromised by offering “bunny strips” with non-controversial topics using only regular characters.

      Some defenders of Pogo saw this as a sell-out from someone they claimed was a liberal satirist, but not necessarily a crusader. Kelly probably agreed about crusading – he often played down the importance of Pogo – but he also on occasion claimed he wasn’t even a liberal. But he also never said he was conservative, leaving us to apply our own labels based on our own feelings and research.

      As for the assertion that liberal newspapers censored Kelly’s work, I can’t claim to have absolute proof in the form of a specific “liberal” paper that dropped the strip. Many editors of newspapers across the US felt the “funny pages” should ONLY be funny and NOT topical (regardless of their political slant) and availed themselves of the “bunny strips.” I think it’s safe to say that there’s a high probability that some of those papers were “liberal” during that time.

  17. Bunk Strutts Says:

    GeoMo–
    Not sure what you think is “100% wrong” since you didn’t specify any factual errors, and I’m not willing to delete this obvious tribute to Walt Kelly just because you don’t like something or other.

    Members of the hard Left believed that Kelly had joined their ranks. He reacted by deriding the “grinning gargoyle of a dedicated liberal searching for meaning.” All along, he contended, he had pursued only one goal: “to have fun and make money at the same time.” Long before, he had introduced a pair of repellent Communist cowbirds who spouted Marxist slogans and claimed to be doves. Now, in the 1960s, he offered new proofs of his independence: a nameless, mannerless pig who bore an ominous resemblance to Nikita Khrushchev and a scruffy goat who looked exactly like Fidel Castro. Both assured Okefenokeeans that a one-party system was the way to go; all would be well economically, they explained, because “the shortage will be divided amongst the peasants.”

    https://www.city-journal.org/html/going-pogo-13429.html

    Remember the two-headed Soviet dog that said “Da” and “Nyet” at the same time?

  18. Bunk Strutts Says:

    DanSt– Google “Post Hall Syndicate” and “Bunny Strips.”

  19. MG Roberts Says:

    Your description of Walt Kelly is pretty inaccurate, Bunk. Kelly wasn’t a party man. He said this often in things he wrote. No, he saw beyond parties and “isms” and into the bigger picture where man is mankind’s own worst enemy. His most often quoted line: “we have met the enemy and he is US.” When he started doing caricatures of political and foreign governmental figures, he poked at all comers. You could not have hung a party wreath around him then, and probably not now, because his pet peeves were the foibles of mankind that afflict all people in fairly equal measures. His heroic characters were those who had learned to recognize this in themselves and do their best to counter such traits with kindness, honesty, and charity toward all. Can you think of a political party in which those ideas are the main talking points? Nope. You can’t. Not without telling a big fib. He was not a fan of the rich, but he often skewered the uneducated presumptions of the poor, too. Basically, I think it came down to insincerity, vanity, narcissism, greed… the stuff of the “7 deadly sins”, and all that.

    Lastly, your history of the parties is uninformed. The big exodus from the Democrat party took place mostly after LBJ, and lasted through the Reagan Administration, during which a lot of very prominent and conservative dems became repubs. The KKK was prevalent up north as well as down south. Union-busters liked the KKK, because it made real worker unity difficult. Big companies often encouraged KKK and John Birchers to infiltrate the unions so as to foment disunion and even violence within the ranks. The world’s leaders seem not to want people to get along; when you get down to their real business, it serves them better if people aren’t comfortable with other people, or with themselves. THOSE are the ones Kelly targeted.

  20. Bunk Strutts Says:

    MG Rob– I don’t think I claimed Walt Kelly was a member of any political party, only that he was a conservative, at least in my opinion. Thanks for your comment – your description of him is pretty much spot-on.

  21. Dan Stumpf Says:

    Late last year, I asked if you could document any of the “liberal newspapers” that censored Walt Kelly’s work. Have you found any examples yet, or should I assume your claim is unsupported?

  22. Bunk Strutts Says:

    DanStu– I responded to your 30 December comment on the same day (above). G’head and disprove me if you like. I’ve got better things to do.

  23. Bunk Strutts Says:

    “Every once in a while some grinning gargoyle of a dedicated liberal searching for meaning, a professional liberal who believes in liberalism rather than in liberty, comes grinning at me with teeth set like a jack-o-lantern and says, “Walter, tell me, what are you trying to do? What’s behind the Strip?” Such a man is a cryptologist. The answer is simple, but unacceptable to such questioners. I’ve hinted at it all along. I’m trying to have fun and make money at the same time.” –Walt Kelly

  24. Dan Stumpf Says:

    Bunk — Yes you responded to my politely worded request, but you didn’t answer it. And since much of your case was predicated on this point, an actual answer is called for. Can you name any “liberal newspapers” that ran the bunny strips? Or were you just making that part up?

  25. Bunk Strutts Says:

    DanStu– Dang. I thought I was being polite, gave you some search words, and no, I wasn’t making anything up.
    A simple Google search turned up these papers:
    The Richmond Times-Dispatch
    The Birmingham News
    The Toronto Globe and Mail
    The Providence Bulletin
    The Asahi Evening News
    and (although not a newspaper per se) Life Magazine

    • Dan Stumpf Says:

      Bunk — Of the five papers you mentioned, three are described by Wikipedia as Conservative, and two supported segregation during the civil rights movement. Given this, do you think you should modify your claim that “Liberal newspapers” censored POGO? It might be closer to the truth to say that some liberal newspapers did so, as well as many conservative ones.I know the conservative paper here in Columbus Ohio did.

  26. Thomas Gille Says:

    @Dan Stumpf – There’s an interesting article about Pogo and censorship by a member of a Canadian university’s history department. (Jarvis, Eric. “Censorship on the Comics Page: Walt Kelly’s “Pogo” and American Political Culture in the Cold War Era.” Studies in Popular Culture 26, no. 1 (2003): 1-13. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23414983.)

    It doesn’t list each newspaper that “censored” Pogo, or identify which were liberal and which were conservative, but it does indicate that it happened on both sides of that ideological divide. And it does give details of what the censorship consisted of, and how Kelly agreed to censor himself.

    His first political strips that specifically identified a public character were the Simple J. Malarkey strips satirizing Joe McCarthy and McCarthyism. Kelly was anti-Communist but didn’t like McCarthy’s techniques. Editors objected, and some dropped the strip temporarily, altered the strips, or moved it to the Op-Ed page. Kelly really didn’t care if a couple papers dropped him – by the mid-50s he was in over 450 across the US and around the world, the most followed comic feature in the US. He knew he was too valuable to drop completely. And though he didn’t like others messing with his art of words, he didn’t mind if they moved his strip.

    When he addressed desegregation and Kentucky’s response, the Richmond Time-Dispatch dropped the strip in November of 1958, but only until the story ended. Kelly got lots of mail on the subject, but claimed much of it was positive, especially from the South.

    He ran into the same problems, but only outside the US, when he ran his Khrushchev pig, Castro hyena and Cowbird Commies. In 1962 the Toronto Globe and Mail and a Tokyo English language paper called the Asahi Evening News dropped the strip while those characters were present.

    Kelly commented that anyone as close to the USSR as Tokyo had a reason to avoid pissing the Communists off, but I can’t imagine a conservative paper would object to Commie-bashing.

    Here’s what Wiki says about TGM: “While the paper was known as a generally conservative voice of the business establishment in the postwar decades, historian David Hayes, in a review of its positions, has noted that the Globe’s editorials in this period ‘took a benign view of hippies and homosexuals; championed most aspects of the welfare state; opposed, after some deliberation, the Vietnam War; and supported legalizing marijuana’.”

    In 1968 Kelly satirized the presidential candidates as wind-up toys, and George Wallace was portrayed as a Chicken Little toy. The Birmingham News dropped the strip while Wallace appeared. Kelly seemed supportive of the Civil Rights movement, he was also uncomfortable with the tactics.

    Also that year, he approached the Vietnam War somewhat gingerly and ambivalently, using only mild satire to address it. But even depicting LBJ (then still a candidate) as a weak-eyed longhorn steer was too much for some editors. Kelly compromised by offering “bunny strips” with non-controversial topics using only regular characters.

    Some defenders of Pogo saw this as a sell-out from someone they claimed was a liberal satirist, but not necessarily a crusader. Kelly probably agreed about crusading – he often played down the importance of Pogo – but he also on occasion claimed he wasn’t even a liberal. But he also never said he was conservative, leaving us to apply our own labels based on our own feelings and research.

    As for the assertion that liberal newspapers censored Kelly’s work, I can’t claim to have absolute proof in the form of a specific “liberal” paper that dropped the strip. Many editors of newspapers across the US felt the “funny pages” should ONLY be funny and NOT topical (regardless of their political slant) and availed themselves of the “bunny strips.” I think it’s safe to say that there’s a high probability that some of those papers were “liberal” during that time.

  27. Thomas Gille Says:

    @ Dan Strumpf – You said “You make my point. Don’t you think the line about ‘liberal newspapers’ censoring POGO needs modification?”

    Perhaps a more accurate statement would be “some newspaper editors attempted to censor Pogo.” Or, “newspaper editors in all regions of the ideological spectrum attempted to censor Pogo.”

    But if the real motive is to prove Kelly was a political liberal or a conservative, or to prove Bunk Strutts is wrong about Kelly, I don’t think the evidence is there.

    MG Roberts says “We have met the enemy and he is us” is Kelly’s most often quoted line, but I feel that’s a gloss. It was used in an Earth Day strip in 1971, just a couple years before Kelly’s death. The specific point was obvious – as Porky and Pogo walked across trash while admiring the beauty of nature, Pogo indicates that humankind is soiling its own nest.

    Kelly repurposed this from an earlier work, in the introduction to 1953’s “Pogo Papers:”

    “Traces of nobility, gentleness and courage persist in all people, do what we will to stamp out the trend. So, too, do those characteristics which are ugly. It is just unfortunate that in the clumsy hands of a cartoonist all traits become ridiculous, leading to a certain amount of self-conscious expostulation and the desire to join battle. There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand. Resolve then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blasts on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us. Forward!”

    I think Kelly’s real message is not that Humankind is the problem so much as asking us to realize that our perceived enemies are human as well, and not to take his clumsy attempts at satire as an effort to paint every human trait as ridiculous, nor as an excuse to revile others or join battle over perceived differences.

    And I’d say that’s a great message for this thread specifically, and the US political scene at the present time, and the entire world in general. Kelly, through Pogo, espoused the belief that eventually everyone’s heart ends up in the right place, even if it takes a while to get there. Porky’s slightly more cynical reply is that while it’s a hopelessly optimistic philosophy, if you have to err, it’s better to err on the hopeful, positive side. Porky may not believe it, but he sincerely hopes Pogo is right and Porky is wrong.

    We know everyone who has read and commented on this thread loves Pogo, for their own reasons. Let’s take that as a reason to assume everyone here has their heart in the right place, regardless of what they believe in their heart of hearts.

    • Dan Stumpf Says:

      All that aside, I think we can agree the statement “liberal newspapers censored Kelly” is at least misleading. While not explicit, the connotation is that all or most liberal papers did so, and by inference, conservative papers did not. In fact, quite the reverse was true.

      Can we agree on that?

  28. Bunk Strutts Says:

    Thomas G. — Very eloquent and astute observation, that.

    Although occasionally I post my opinions, this is not a political blog, I am surprised that this post (unintentionally) hit a nerve with some, and for that I apologize.

    On the other hand, it’s garnered a larger than average amount of traffic and comments, and for that I thank you.

  29. Fremount the boy bug Says:

    @Dan Stumpf – Let’s not leave everything I said aside. I would agree that the statement identifying only liberal newspapers as censors is restrictive, since we’ve agreed that newspaper editors on both sides attempted at least some form of censorship.

    It does seem as though the original statement was attempting to support the notion that Kelly was conservative, which is actually the seminal or central reason for most of this thread. But keeping in mind the spirit of Pogophilia, let’s examine the original post:

    “Pogo” was penned by a famous anti-communist (1) conservative (2) cartoonist and his missive was directed at the Southern Democrats who created the KKK and enforced segregation via Jim Crow Laws (3). Walt Kelly was often (4) censored by the liberal media newspapers (5) for posting strips like these, so he published his uncensored opinions in “The Pogo Poop Book” in 1966 (6).”

    1). Kelly was famous, and like most of America in the 50s and 60s was anti-communist, but he wasn’t famous for being anti-communist. And the KKK was not a communist organization, so it’s not really apropos to this discussion.

    2). Kelly’s political affiliation is what’s being argued, and it hasn’t been proven by either side. I don’t think you can call him a “conservative” cartoonist any more than a “liberal” cartoonist. We can perhaps state that he preferred to remain un-categorizable – he was sui generis.

    3). I don’t see anything that indicates that Kelly aimed this at anyone but the KKK. Linking the KKK to the Democrats in the 50s and 60s is disingenuous – the Dems who ruled the party during and after the Civil War were long dead, and their platforms in the 50s supported Kelly’s views more than the Republican platform did. (see my 23 August 2017 post above). Linking the current Democrats to the KKK is even more of a stretch: nobody in the KKK endorsed any Dems in the last two election cycles, though they did endorse at least one Republican.

    4). The only times Kelly was censored was when he depicted public figures in his strip, such as Simple J. Malarkey for Joseph McCarthy. This happened only a few times during the 20+ years the strip was created by Kelly.

    5). I think we’ve established that the “liberal” media was not more or less likely to censor Pogo than the “conservative” press during the 50s and 60s.

    6). Kelly published a collection of his strips – sometimes two – every year for 21 years (sole exception was 1964). This statement implies he could only get his views published by putting them in a book, but Poop Book wasn’t a unique occasion; there were few papers that dropped or edited his strips; almost none cancelled permanently because of his views as expressed in Pogo.

    I think we can probably glean from Bunk Strutts’ posts and responses that he is unabashedly conservative, though perhaps he prefers to be regarded as more like Kelly. I think we can also glean that although he can be gracious and complementary, he is willing to be pugnacious and even insulting in defending his views.

    I don’t think that the above post was anything other than his spin on the topic; it’s his blog, and he gets to present the material with whatever slant he likes. He hasn’t lied about anything factual, and I doubt his intent is to trick anyone or bury anything. If he emphasizes certain aspects to support his view, that’s his right. He also has the right to defend his views and even take offense at insults, of which there are plenty in the responses.

    For the most part the defense is civil, if a little dismissive. Other times, it’s distinctly combative and insulting – I still don’t know why he said “BTW, Fuck W.E.B. DuBois,” or why he reacted so strongly to my post questioning it. I’d still like to know, but it’s in the past and might as well stay there.

    All in all, we have what I’d say is a good representation of what our democracy should consist of – different viewpoints offered, challenged and defended, “with small flags waving and tinny blasts on tiny trumpets…”. I’d prefer less acrimony and more acknowledgment of shared humanity, but I’d like to see that everywhere these days.

    Forward!

  30. Bunk Strutts Says:

    Fremount– Y’all be “jes’ fine” in my book. Huzzah! 😀

  31. Fremount the boy bug Says:

    Thanks, Bunk – I is quietly proud…

  32. Rosa Says:

    If you don’t know what classical liberalism is, why don’t you look it up to see if Kelly did or did not espouse its ideals?

    • Fremount the boy bug Says:

      Hi Rosa – who is your commented addressed to? I feel pretty confident we’ve covered all the liberal vs conservative ground here, but I think we all need to keep talking and sharing and learning, especially at a critical time like this in our troubled nation. What’s your take?

  33. Fremount the boy bug Says:

    *comment

    • Rosa Says:

      It’s addressed to the boy genius Bunk Strutts, who wrote on August 18, 2017, “Kelly did NOT espouse the ideals of the Democrat Party and ‘classical liberals’ (whatever that means).”
      (There’s no such thing as the “Democrat Party,” as you know, Bunk.)
      If he doesn’t know what it means, how does he know Kelly didn’t espouse its ideals?
      Anyway, I haven’t yet read as much Pogo as I would like, but Kelly didn’t. “Classical liberalism” seems to be about laissez-faire economics, the right of rich men to become richer, and basically just cold-hearted greed. Pogo wasn’t about that at all. It was socially liberal.

      You went too easy on Bunk.

      “For the most part the defense is civil, if a little dismissive. Other times, it’s distinctly combative and insulting – I still don’t know why he said “BTW, Fuck W.E.B. DuBois,” or why he reacted so strongly to my post questioning it. I’d still like to know, but it’s in the past and might as well stay there.”

      What the? Explanation is required. (Are you the same as Thomas Gille?)

      “All in all, we have what I’d say is a good representation of what our democracy should consist of – different viewpoints offered, challenged and defended, ‘with small flags waving and tinny blasts on tiny trumpets…’.”

      FLAME ON! This cutesy, platitudinous self-congratulation makes me gag. FLAME OFF! Rudeness, unwarranted condescension, denial when one is in a corner (“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”), ignorance, and no apologies is NOT what democracy should look like.

      “I’d prefer less acrimony and more acknowledgment of shared humanity, but I’d like to see that everywhere these days.”

      So that excuses his rudeness, willful ignorance, and…bunk? No, it doesn’t. It makes no sense.

      • Fremount the boy bug Says:

        Hi Rosa – if you can say, “Walt Kelly was a well-known liberal who baited Red-baiters. It’s as simple as that,” then I have to say with all respect that you don’t know Walt Kelly as well as you should, and it’s nowhere near as simple as you imply. Actually, nothing is.

        “This cutesy, platitudinous self-congratulation makes me gag.” Hmmm…what exactly are you referring to? This: ‘with small flags waving and tinny blasts on tiny trumpets…’. That’s a direct quote from Walt Kelly. Is that what you think is “cutesy?”

        Or is it this? “All in all, we have what I’d say is a good representation of what our democracy should consist of – different viewpoints offered, challenged and defended.”

        I’m not sure what you mean by platitudinous or self-congratulatory or cutesy. I doubt Walt Kelly would use those words to describe two or more people trying to establish some common ground.

        “Anyway, I haven’t yet read as much Pogo as I would like…” I think you need to read as much Pogo as you can get your hands on, as well as Kelly’s writings and interviews, and his biography, and the other books written about him. Then I think you’ll have a better foundation for understanding his philosophy and the times he lived in.

        You might actually try reading through the entire thread. It seems as though you might not have – as I said, we’ve covered all this. You might also check out some discussions of so-called “classical liberalism,” which is actually a retrospective term used to distinguish it from from later social liberalism, which is probably more akin to what Kelly would identify as his philosophy.

        And once you’ve read all that, maybe you’ll be able to quote some of your favorite Kelly sayings and poetry. Here are some of mine:

        Who put the men in mental,
        In things so governmental?
        Battling for the minds of men,
        Up the hill and down again.
        Who put the men in mental,
        In things so governmental?

        Really, how arch
        Can you be when you march
        With a sword,
        With a gun?
        You belong
        To a curious team,
        You’re in the extreme,
        Maybe Left,
        Maybe Right,
        Maybe Wrong.

        And my absolute favorite:

        Pogo: “I figgers Porky, that every man’s heart is eventual in the right place.”
        Porky: “An I figgers Pogo, that if a man’s gonna be wrong about somethin’, that is the best wrong thing to keep bein’ wrong about ’til forever.

        • Bunk Strutts Says:

          The introduction to The Pogo Poop Book (pages 8 & 9) clarifies Kelly’s views of liberalism. Unfortunately I can’t post the .png scan in the comment section, and taking a snippet ignores the context. Oh well…

          • Fremount the boy bug Says:

            Hi Rosa – I have all the Pogo Books. ‘ll take a look at what you’re referencing and get back to you with a few other things you might want to take a look at.

  34. Rosa Says:

    Walt Kelly was a well-known liberal who baited Red-baiters. It’s as simple as that.

  35. Rosa Says:

    I agree with 4859.

  36. Rosa Says:

    For you, Bunk: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/death-of-a-nation-2018
    And what’s with the link attached to The Pogo Poop Book? Did you really mean to link to “Google search for Beat Farmers, Road to Ruin”?

  37. Bunk Strutts Says:

    Hi Rosa! Nice to have you here. There’s cake and beer in the fridge.

  38. Bunk Strutts Says:

    • Fremount the boy bug Says:

      Hi Bunk – I got confused about who was referencing the Poop Book – sorry. And if she reads it I doubt Rosa will find much, or any, support for her contention that Kelly was a “well-known liberal.” It seems like we’re back in the world of the “Slide Rule for Infinity:”

      What kind of a game
      Where direction’s the same?
      You run and you race,
      You wind up on your face…

      You slide a la carte
      And you clutch at your heart,
      You’re in the right place
      But you’re back at the start.

  39. Rosa Says:

    Bug boy, I did read the entire thread before I commented. It seems you didn’t read what I said.

    “You might also check out some discussions of so-called ‘classical liberalism,’ which is actually a retrospective term used to distinguish it from from later social liberalism, which is probably more akin to what Kelly would identify as his philosophy.”
    Yes, that’s what I said before.

    My first comment had nothing to do with politics, it had to do with basic comprehension and logic. Bunk said, “Kelly did NOT espouse the ideals of the Democrat Party and ‘classical liberals’ (whatever that means).”
    I only wondered how he knew Kelly didn’t, if he didn’t know what classical liberalism was. No answer, still. Whatever.

    I actually own The Pogo Poop Book, and I’ve read it, but I didn’t have it on hand the night I found this page. I found this page looking for that poem, “maybe left, maybe right, maybe wrong,” because I wanted to add it to the Goodreads quotes page. I’ve since found the book and added the poem. I could have used your comment with it before.

    • Bunk Strutts Says:

      How are your studies going? I recall two people talking about Beloit, one said the name sounded like a frisbee landing on its edge in a parking lot. The other said it was the sound a marble makes when you drop it in the toilet.

      American communists couldn’t call themselves communists because early in the 20th century it became a pejorative, as did the term “socialists,” so they adopted the name “progressives.” People eventually saw through the ruse, so they switched to “liberals.” That one went out of style too, so then they went back to “progressives.” They’re all basically the same and they all lie.

      • Rosa Says:

        Is this dialogue still the ideal of what democracy is all about, Fremount?

        • Bunk Strutts Says:

          I’m not Fremount. He’s the boy bug.

        • Fremount the boy bug Says:

          To be clear: this is a reply to Rosa:

          Morning Rosa – I’d say you get what you get when you do what you do. I made it pretty clear that I don’t agree with Bunk’s stance but we do share some common ground and I’m not interested in pushing him off it as you seem to be.

          Ad Hominem arguments don’t carry much weight with me. I don’t mind being called “bug boy” if you think you’re insulting me as you seem determined to do. I’ve been a bug boy since my childhood, and now consider myself an amateur myrmecologist.

          But as I said, you get what you get. I don’t agree with Bunk’s latest either, but maligning him doesn’t give you any moral high ground.

          And, yeah – as a matter of fact, this still is the ideal of democracy. To quote Walt again, “Traces of nobility, gentleness and courage persist in all people, do what we will to stamp out the trend. So, too, do those characteristics which are ugly.”

          Note he says “all people,” not just liberals or whatever -ism you identify with. I’m still resolved to meet on the common ground and wave my small flag and blow tinnily on my tiny trumpet and engage in what someone sweetly called “cutesy, platitudinous self-congratulation” in spite of the possibility it might make you gag.

          Bunk is no more insulting than you are Rosa, and he was here first: if you expected something other than defense of his opinions in his own blog against your less than compelling arguments then all I can say is you must not comment on very many blogs.

          And here’s a ProTip: Telling him to shut up won’t work.

          • Bunk Strutts Says:

            Miz Rosa is not a happy person. I hope she finds out the cause ’cause it ain’t us.

          • Rosa Says:

            So long, Fremount, you fragile, self-righteous Internet persona. (“Fragile” because you seem sensitive about your ant fascination, and “bug boy” identity. I wasn’t insulting you before, just calling you by the latter part of your chosen screen name.) This blog post and your comments aren’t the “ideal” of anything.
            The fool whose little kingdom it is reminds me of Simple J. Malarkey, but without the shotgun or charisma. Back to obscurity with him.

  40. Rosa Says:

    Unless he changes for the better.

    • Bunk Strutts Says:

      You have issues, Ms. Rosa. I hope you can overcome them before they devour your soul.

    • Fremount the boy bug Says:

      Hi Rosa – I was wondering: Do you work in a movie theater? ‘Cuz you’re very good at projecting.

      I’d point out the difference between premodifiers and postmodifiers, and that the position of casual modifiers changes the meaning of the word modified, but you’re also good at English, mainly as a weapon.

      Anyway, you’re not as good at reading and comprehension, as evidenced by your response to facts. That might be a result of confirmation bias but I guess we all have that. Anyway, it’s “Fremont the boy bug,” not “bug boy.”

      The difference should be obvious. And people who know and love Pogo would recognize his as the young character who could only say, “Jes’ fine.” If you know him, then you know the less scrupulous characters in the swamp put him up as a candidate for President.

      But I chose the name on the spur of the moment when I realized I was putting my real name out there, so I created an “internet persona” for WordPress. (To answer one of your earlier questions that got OBE: Yes, I’m Thomas Gille.) As it turns out it popped up on other forums, but oh well.

      I’m not sensitive about it, although it’s hard to find people who share my bug and enthusiasm. It’s actually kinda funny, and has been since I was a five year old. The neighbors would call my Mom and say, “Is little Tommy all right? He’s been lying face down on the ground for quite a while.” Mom: *sigh* “He’s just watching ants.”

      My longtime hero is Ed Wilson, one of the world’s premier myrmecologists, as well as a pioneer in the biological and social sciences, and a noted humanist. I am pretty self-satisfied about the people I choose to admire and emulate.

      And unfortunately – or maybe not – he wouldn’t agree with you either. Which I guess in your not-so-humble opinion qualifies him for casting into the outer darkness. But you know what they say: Heaven for the scenery, Hell for the company.

      See you in Hell Rosa.

  41. Fremount the boy bug Says:

    PS: You can call me “Tommy” if you like. Only my friends do, but you can decide for yourself what you are.

    • Bunk Strutts Says:

      Master Fremount–

      Seems that civil discourse is no longer in fashion with the cool kids. To be honest, there are some things I posted five years ago that I could have rephrased differently or not written at all (and some of them were made after I’d had half a beer) but I won’t delete, edit or retract them. My opinions are subject to change, sometimes on a daily basis, but they’re still mine.

      Thank you for your service. 😀

      • Fremount the boy bug Says:

        “Regrets? I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.” Oh wait! I just mentioned them!

        Anyway, I’m afraid Rosa wasn’t quite up to the competition around here. As far as opinions, I always think of another song, not by Frank Sinatra, but by another hero, Pete Seeger.

        You might revile him, but I don’t mind, and he wouldn’t either. A lot of people did. But he had traces of nobility, gentleness and courage as well as flaws. And he translated a German poem/song called “Die gedanken sind frei” (Thoughts are free) as follows:

        I think as I please,
        And this gives me pleasure.
        My conscience decrees
        This right I must treasure
        My thoughts will not cater
        To duke or dictator!
        No man can deny
        Die gedanken sind frei.
        And should tyrants can take me
        And throw me in prison,
        My thoughts will burst forth
        Like blossoms in season.
        Foundations may crumble,
        And structures may tumble,
        But free men shall cry
        Die gedanken sind frei.

        Rosa may find it to cutesy, platitudinous self-congratulation, but I won’t cater to her either, and I’ve already told her where I’ll see her again.

        Maybe we’ll all have a entire beer there together? Something to look forward to !

        • Bunk Strutts Says:

          That’d be jes’ fine, son.

        • Bunk Strutts Says:

          I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but it deserves beating anyway.

          Every once in a while some grinning gargoyle of a dedicated liberal searching for meaning, a professional liberal who believes in liberalism rather than in liberty, comes grinning at me with teeth set like a jack-o-lantern and says, “Walter, tell me, what are you trying to do? What’s behind the Strip?” Such a man is a cryptologist. The answer is simple, but unacceptable to such questioners. I’ve hinted at it all along. I’m trying to have fun and make money at the same time. (Kelly, 1959)

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