Suzanne Fields from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sat, 25 May 2019 18:04:49 -0700 Suzanne Fields from Creators Syndicate e891dedba61febec3483d0405ef30535 Pomp, Circumstance and Cash for 05/25/2019 Sat, 25 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Pomp and circumstance depends a lot more on circumstance than pomp. The 396 graduates of Morehouse College in Atlanta learned that in an unforgettable way the other day at their commencement ceremony. The graduates whooped it up with their families and friends, with plenty to whoop it up for. The commencement speaker surprised them with the announcement that he was going to pay off all their student loans.</p> <p>Robert F. Smith, a billionaire investor, certainly deserved his honorary degree, and the Class of '19 was suddenly freed from burdensome college debt, relieved of monthly payments on their loans. They could now change their calculations for the future. </p> <p>"We're going to put a little fuel in your bus," he told them, and suddenly, the sun was providing not so much heat as light, a source of driving energy. "Let's make sure every class has the same opportunity going forward," he said, "because we are enough to take care of our own community." <p>Updated: Sat May 25, 2019</p> b12702c63ecdfc5bb665608bd7c2a8ca Doris Day Did it Her Way for 05/17/2019 Fri, 17 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Doris Day, who died this week at age 97, was a revolutionary who did it her way. She was the buttery blond beauty with the tantalizing, silken voice that could light up lyrics with seductive directness. Hard-core feminists hated her for how she did it, and have been trying to bury her image for years.</p> <p>The leading men in her movies, with a macho come-on baked into their characters, never noticed how smoothly she slashed them with her razor-like femininity. Oscar Levant, whose bitter wit was unique in Hollywood, said he "knew Doris Day before she was a virgin." Her timid bedroom scenes were once considered shocking, but innocent and playful coupling on the screen was quickly vulgarized, politicized or rendered absurd. And the days and nights for romantic comedy, as the critic Wesley Morris observed in The New York Times magazine, were over.</p> <p>A decade ago, seven of the 50 highest-grossing films in America were romantic comedy, and last year none were. Gone, too, were ordinary people &#8212; "no capes, no spaceships, no infinite sequels" &#8212; trying to figure out how to deal meaningfully with another human being and make it funny.<p>Updated: Fri May 17, 2019</p> b33a40632325adf80a5993e0854b515d Derby Loser Offers a Model for Angry Democrats for 05/10/2019 Fri, 10 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The less imaginative among us are calling it "Gait-gate." Not as clever as "Watergate" &#8212; derivatives never are &#8212; but it's about horses, not humans. Jonathan Swift might have included this story in "Gulliver's Travels." A horse goofs; humans whine; and the Kentucky Derby disqualifies the winner for the first time in its 145 years.</p> <p>In contemporary America, where everyone has an opinion and the means to shout it out, the Derby is an occasion when men and horses in their prime play to the best of form. The president of the United States tweets on the outcome as if remarking on a foreign policy failure: "The best horse did NOT win the Kentucky Derby &#8212; not even close."<p>Updated: Fri May 10, 2019</p> 7957404c4f500169a1a3e9ad16bf737c The Affluent Woman Falls Into a New Gender Gap for 05/03/2019 Fri, 03 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Freud was supposed to be a wise man, but he could never answer the question "What do women want?" When he suggested that women who want the power and authority to be like men suffer "penis envy," he coined a modern myth. He didn't get it quite right, but the meaning behind his diagnosis became a driving force of modern feminism. (You could ask the women running for president.)</p> <p>A half-century after Freud, ambitious women saw their chance. With the pill, affirmative action, college education and careers, they felt free not to marry. And today, they're marrying later and marrying less. Fertility doctors increasingly treat women in their 40s who delayed having children because they wanted to establish careers first and are terrified they waited too late.<p>Updated: Fri May 03, 2019</p> 19eb779af5c3e59cd15d035fa0934b04 Taming Men from Toxic to Timid for 04/26/2019 Fri, 26 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Identity politics revives sexist stereotypes, and like most stereotypes, they diminish us all to a multitude of prejudices. Generalizations seek the simplest common denominator and usually sink to the lowest.</p> <p>In conversations about manhood, which, in certain circles, is regarded as something like the black plague of the 14th century, we're reduced to talking about the toxic male as the key to understanding the nature of men. We know that not all men suffer the curse of venomous aggressiveness, but the popular media version of the male animal makes the slightest aggression &#8212; hugs, flirtatious banter and harmless hand and neck touches, once regarded as gentle gestures of affection &#8212; the weapons of masculine armament. They must be eradicated to save the male-female relationship. The race, after all, must stumble on. You could ask an old codger like former Vice President Joe Biden. He's having to learn that what once worked as an affectionate gesture doesn't work in the time warp where old codgers live. </p> <p>Thus the overdone toxic male &#8212; crusty on the outside, tough on the inside &#8212; is evolving into the timid guy, afraid of his shadow, something like the groundhog. But unlike the groundhog, he must test things every day. Life is a fearsome thing for Generation Z. Boston College now offers course lessons in "social courage" to help the frightened male find romance.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 26, 2019</p> 43ed25ceb85c8f935b19510182e3d354 A Crucial Election in Israel for 04/19/2019 Fri, 19 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Benjamin Netanyahu won his fifth term as prime minister of Israel. He's not the most beloved in the pantheon of Israeli leaders. As a patriarch, he has no aura. In this re-election he was haunted by allegations of corruption, and his political rhetoric of expediency lacks trustworthiness. He's not loved, or even that well-liked.</p> <p>The election was close, with diminished jubilation. But if you talk to Israelis and read what they write, there's a great sense of gratitude that he's still standing tall. <span class="column--highlighted-text">You can hear sighs of relief from many of his countrymen and from Jews around the world because he's a man who can keep Israel safe.</span><p>Updated: Fri Apr 19, 2019</p> 17403a2cfbec0d7f785f4850ea47411e Unexpected Costs of Total War Between the Sexes for 04/12/2019 Fri, 12 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Between the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the #MeToo movement of the present day lies a battlefield strewn with bodies and minds battered by the changing weapons of physical and psychological destruction. The war between the sexes, like all wars, exacts an unexpected price.</p> <p>Between stories of John F. Kennedy skinny-dipping in the White House swimming pool with two interns code-named Fiddle and Faddle, titillating capital gossips and former Vice President Joe Biden's nude swimming freaking out women in his security detail lies a sea change of aquatic moral attitudes.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 12, 2019</p> 9b6ec964ae89e563761834e4c610f6d7 Caught in a Time Warp for 04/05/2019 Fri, 05 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Generation gaps become generation ditches &#8212; with glitches.</p> <p>Former Vice President Joe Biden has transitioned through headlines and photographs from affectionate Uncle Joe to Creepy Joe, shorn of sympathy and solicitude. The cuddly, warm guy who came of age in the '60s, when touchy-feely expressions of warmth were the stuff of polymorphous pleasing, has been caught in the revival of a puritanical code of conduct associated with our pre-suffragette heritage. Time warps pinch.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 05, 2019</p> f4c3b965c09c125c544a1b74d8f767c9 Sexual Politics in the Age of Trump for 03/29/2019 Fri, 29 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The Mueller report ought to bring an end to the obsession that Hillary Clinton was robbed of the presidency, but it won't. President Donald Trump beat her fair and square. He didn't get any help from the Russians.</p> <p>Clinton empowered feminism by losing. Anger is a great galvanizer. That anger is a gift for the sisterhood that keeps on giving. Clinton, in defeat, inspired women to march, gave courage to female candidates and fired ambition to succeed where she had failed. Women who had been sexually abused were emboldened to speak up.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 29, 2019</p> ede8aa3e0b4bee86d5fcf8fc9b0bcb01 Lyricism Lost in the Mourning of a Massacre for 03/22/2019 Fri, 22 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The good news is that the technological revolution and social media have produced the swiftest and the most expansive means for the communication of ideas that man has ever known. The bad news is that we pay a high price for it. Fact and opinion linger long after proved wrong, as they often are. The magnification of fleeting misinformation and the coarsening of culture continues apace as every Tom, Dick and Henrietta taps a keyboard or speaks into a microphone.</p> <p>The simple act of mourning, which inevitably comes to us all, becomes a casualty.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 22, 2019</p> d60946cf7cdc1c9eccc7710585c8a933 When Anti-Semitism Is Reduced to Bitter Farce for 03/15/2019 Fri, 15 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Politics has always exploited the pop culture to reach "the people," but in our identity-conscious time when social media is employed as the mode of communicating, pop references can be hazardous to the health of your political party. Those using such new ways of talking must know the audience, like a traveling salesman must "know the territory."</p> <p>When Rep. Ilan Omar of Minnesota set out to offend and insult the Jews, she drew on a pop vocabulary familiar to her and millennials like her, ripe with the language of rage and rap. She understood that the broader audience needed a little help.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 15, 2019</p> 4871478ecf595aa48e80c42339208002 Lost in the Muddled Middle for 03/08/2019 Fri, 08 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The definition of who's a suitable friend, lover or lifelong mate has changed over the years. As racial prejudice has done a slow fade from the bad old days &#8212; it's still with us, but it's no longer respectable anywhere &#8212; the new, respectable prejudice is political.</p> <p>In the 1967 movie "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," white liberal middle-class parents were shocked and unhappy when their lovely daughter invited a black man home to meet the folks, and worse, she announced that she was marrying him. It didn't matter that he was an ethical do-good doctor at the United Nations and as handsome as Harry Belafonte. His parents didn't like the idea much either.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 08, 2019</p> 10115dc606015804d96c26619a4ff95d Art! Politics! Spectacle! for 03/01/2019 Fri, 01 Mar 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>We've survived another spectacle of the Academy Awards, with the protesters and the preeners celebrating politics, talent and craft. We watched a lot of posers with attitude.</p> <p>Academy Awards night is a night at the soap opera, comic and sad, where actors without a script written for them indulge a little self-aggrandizing, thanking friends and family from lists bordering on the absurd. Think Olivia Colman receiving the best actress award and praising Glenn Close as though she thought Close should be standing in her place. (So did we.)</p> <p>If, as Aristotle told us, spectacle is the lowest form of theater, it gets its hour in the eye of the camera. This annual ceremony reflects the zeitgeist for better and for worse, which critics love to itemize through the haze of hangover the next morning. Hype gets harder to exaggerate. Real-life politics intrudes, competing as a spectacle of its own, as we saw this week in the hearings on Capitol Hill.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 01, 2019</p> 58453fc59b790b973831b4706b345e7c The Female Ascent to the Top, on Screen and Stump for 02/22/2019 Fri, 22 Feb 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>"Ah, women" doesn't quite have the resonance or ancient history of "Amen," but if women had been as dominant in biblical times as they are today, that might've been how we would close our prayers today, though the word is derived from the ancient Greek meaning "truth" and doesn't relate to gender or sex. Today we're bombarded with changing images of women in pop culture as well as in the larger culture tracing a wide arc in politics and male-female relationships.</p> <p>Five women are running for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States, more than ever before, with more likely on the way. Their views run the gamut from A to B (or perhaps to C when counting Amy Klobuchar), but they're all considerably younger than Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, which entitles them to wear Big Boy pants.</p> <p>How competitive these ladies will be against the younger male strivers in the Democratic Party will soon begin to play out. There's a long, long time from February 2019 to July 2020 and the Democratic National Convention in Houston, Miami or Milwaukee, the last standing candidates to host. A year ahead of time, picking a nominee is even more difficult than placing a bet on who will be judged best actress and actor on the Academy Awards night.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 22, 2019</p> 6da9f0c9df485ff6493cf4adf02aa3d8 Unusual Allies Oppose Democrats' Equality Act for 02/15/2019 Fri, 15 Feb 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Radical feminists and conservative intellectuals make odd bedfellows, and you wouldn't expect to find them in bed at The Heritage Foundation. But these are odd times. They're united in support of the untrendy idea that biology, not "cultural identity," defines sex.</p> <p>"When Sally Became Harry" is a witty title for a book, and it sounds more like a comic novel than serious nonfiction. But it's written in scholarly prose that's thought-provoking and controversial, and finds a surprising group of defenders. An old commonplace becomes new again.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 15, 2019</p> 26c59b7984775f93b8d6d0e1b083eb68 Football in a Funny Place for 02/08/2019 Fri, 08 Feb 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Football fans usually don't agree on much. Arguing is part of the fun. But nearly everyone agrees that this year's Super Bowl, won by the New England Patriots by only 13 to 3, was a snoozefest. Still, it was a welcome respite from acrimonious politics. </p> <p>What the game lost in the U.S.A. it gained in, of all places, Israel, which is learning to love American football and to show its passion like fans in America, adding another reason for our "special relationship." It's a fascinating story about how Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, and his late wife, Myra, helped introduce American football to Israel, built a small stadium in Jerusalem and assisted in organizing eight leagues with the current participation of more than 2,000 men and women.</p> <p>Some of the teams, particularly in the leagues for women, play flag football, a variation of touch football. There's also the real thing &#8212; hard, hot, sweaty and swiftly growing in popularity.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 08, 2019</p> e8b2af0e580a0ebdae089eb6335531b5 Beware of the High-Tech Hustle for 02/01/2019 Fri, 01 Feb 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The culture pendulum swings inevitably and inexorably, and its wide arc often surprises us. Labels are nearly always limited to selected slices of reality, but they're convenient in marking important change.</p> <p>The latest is "digital drudge," convenient for measuring the lives of millennials and their computer labor, and hyped as creative grit in a newly minted "hustle culture." Slogans such as TGIM ("thank God it's Monday") glorify ambition as a lifestyle, an adrenalin-inducing, endorphin-producing high, making toil trendy and the grind glamorous, even if it disrupts relationships and chips away at the quality of life. "Rise and Grind" is a slogan for Nike, and it applies as well to high-tech millennial strivers.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 01, 2019</p> 0db1e4290230490147307ff577a78524 The Press Gets a Needed Lesson in Truth Telling for 01/25/2019 Fri, 25 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Donald Trump doesn't like The New York Times. Everybody knows that. So when a former executive editor of the newspaper offered a biting criticism of its performance, the president thought he had found a like-minded friend, a colleague in arms who shares his dislike for the newspaper he calls the "enemy of the people," and a purveyor of "fake news."</p> <p>Jill Abramson's book, "Merchants of Truth," will be published in two weeks, and in it she says the editor who succeeded her didn't want the newspaper to be "the opposition party," but that "his news pages were unmistakably anti-Trump," and "some headlines contained raw opinion, as did some of the stories that were labeled as news analysis."</p> <p>"Ms. Abramson is 100 percent correct," the president tweeted. "Horrible and totally dishonest reporting on almost everything they write. Hence the term Fake News, Enemy of the People, and Opposition Party!"<p>Updated: Fri Jan 25, 2019</p> 0061c0137b00e2911b1b7edf6d011723 What Would Tony Soprano Think of Donald Trump? for 01/18/2019 Fri, 18 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Tony Soprano is back, in the media if not in prime time. In the year of the superhero, the anti-hero is old news. But the ghost of the mob boss of "The Sopranos," the end-of-the-'90s blockbuster, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the premiere. "The Sopranos" was a true cultural and political icon, and Tony has been summoned from the grave to talk about what he thinks about Donald Trump as the president.</p> <p>Tony was only a make-believe character, and he died (we think) in the series, but he would have had an opinion about President Trump, since everybody else does. So why not hear it?<p>Updated: Fri Jan 18, 2019</p> ad7ecd16bb66362b128ea27d84ab6807 When a Woman's Vulgarity Is Neither Brave Nor Bold for 01/11/2019 Fri, 11 Jan 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>A sexual revolution, like a political resolution, goes through unexpected change between rebellion and triumph. Consider the two big political explosions among women in the previous century. We're still counting the collateral damage, along with a victory or two.</p> <p>First came the suffragettes, who fought bravely until they finally won the right to vote. They first voted like their husbands, but over the years, men and women established differences in the voting booth. And then came the feminist revolution. Now one party is popularly called among pundits and political scientists "the Mommy Party" and the other "the Daddy Party." Lots of exceptions, of course, and we see now that ne'er the twain shall meet.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 11, 2019</p>