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Posts Tagged ‘Walt Kelly

“Having lost sight of our objectives, we redoubled our efforts”*…



During the 1950s, Walt Kelly created the most popular comic strip in the United States. His strip was about an opossum named Pogo and his swamp-dwelling friends. It was also the most controversial and censored of its time. Long before Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury blurred the lines between the funny pages and the editorial pages, Kelly’s mix of satiric wordplay, slapstick, and appearances by Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Nikita Khrushchev, J. Edgar Hoover, and the John Birch Society, all in animal form, stirred up the censors.

Taking place in a mythic Okefenokee Swamp, Pogo satirized the human condition as well as McCarthyism, communism, segregation, and, eventually, the Vietnam War. The strip is probably best remembered today for Pogo’s environmentalist’s lament, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Pogo was syndicated from 1949-1975, reaching its peak readership of about 37 million readers in the mid-1950s, when it was carried by 450 newspapers. The strip’s popularity put editors and publishers opposed to Kelly’s content in a pickle…

A story of sly satire: “The Most Controversial Comic Strip.”

* Walt Kelly


As we agree with Pogo’s friend Porky Pine “Don’t take life so serious, son, it ain’t nohow permanent,” we might recall that on this date in 1859, Norton I distributed letters to the newspapers of San Francisco proclaiming himself Emperor of North America…

At the peremptory request and desire of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I, Joshua Norton, formerly of Algoa Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and now for the last 9 years and 10 months past of S. F., Cal., declare and proclaim myself Emperor of these U. S.; and in virtue of the authority thereby in me vested, do hereby order and direct the representatives of the different States of the Union to assemble in Musical Hall, of this city, on the 1st day of Feb. next, then and there to make such alterations in the existing laws of the Union as may ameliorate the evils under which the country is laboring, and thereby cause confidence to exist, both at home and abroad, in our stability and integrity.

– NORTON I, Emperor of the United States.



Written by (Roughly) Daily

September 17, 2018 at 1:01 am

For that desperately lazy person on one’s gift list…

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos is a mechanical clock that winds itself– forever.  Introduced in the mid-1930s, the Atmos runs indefinitely so long as there is an ambient temperature change of at least 1 degree Celsius in the range between 15 and 30 C each day. As illustrated here, the clock stores mechanical energy from the thermal expansion and contraction of an hermetically-sealed capsule in its works. Atmos clocks are handcrafted, astoundingly accurate– the “lunar phase” model registers a difference of under one day every 3,821 years– and very expensive.

(Thanks to our friends at Make…)

As we rest our wrists, send birthday thoughts to the great Walt Kelly, the creator of Pogo (and other denizens of the Okefenokee Swamp); he was born on this date in 1913…  “Don’t take life too serious, it ain’t no how permanent.”

Walt Kelly’s Pogo on Earth Day, 1971

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

August 25, 2009 at 12:01 am

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