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Seek and ye shall find

By Tom Toles


Sounds of summer

I'm a visual person, so I often don't notice sounds. That's not even true, I realized as I was typing it. I AM a visual person, but since I play drums, I can't pretend that I never listen to anything. Actually, that may not be true, either, now that I think about it.

But I've started listening to random things lately, and here's what I've heard. Some sounds are completely unlike others. The sound of an aluminum extension ladder, for one. Clenk clenk clenk. You KNOW that sound. Unmistakable. Clinking is something different. I recently discovered that cleaning up 1 million beer bottles after a party has a special sound, too. You can't put them into the recycling bin without the clinking being just WAY TOO LOUD, no matter how carefully you place them. And then there are the birds. Since when is a really high-pitched, incessant sound pleasant to listen to? But when birds do it, it is. And a good thing, too, is all I have to say.

Oh, and, of course, I have to mention lawn mowers. Let's hear it for the presumed-extinct whirr of the push mower. I've started to notice a few in my neighborhood, in contrast to the aggressive snarling of those INFERNAL power mowers, which would be just unacceptable in a better world. What a sinking feeling when you hear the WA-RAAHNNNNN of one starting up. If you have too much grass to mow with a push mower, you have too much grass. --Tom Toles




By Tom Toles  | June 15, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Afghanistan  
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Next: Throwing in the towel

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A cheap cartoon that demeans the sacrifices of our troops and the all the people on 9/11 and the Afghans who have died.

Posted by: Singularitychris | June 16, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I enjoyed your cartoon, sketch today along with thoughts about the world, how each sound has its own song and the world's daily noise. The birds, yes, they think they are singing (or karaoke gone bad), but they sing, together or alone. Today's oil soaked bird cartoon doesn't have much to sing about, but someone's eating crow, in keeping with the bird theme.

Posted by: fromthecheapseats | June 15, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

bertzel---"MOBY DICK" by the late John Bonham of Led Zeppelin is the World's greatest drum solo. What do you think Tom?

I have to agree, however, inagodadavida has a very good rythym throughout and I've always enjoyed running to it.
I never said anything about "the greatest".
Just inquired if Toles was able to play it.

"common taters"....funny Dude : )

Posted by: bertzel | June 15, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

the sketchpad is awesome - and less bitter/conspiracytheorist. Obama is a rorshock (sp?) test in the same way... though he doesn't look like the oil spill - wait this is getting messy! Toles make a clear cartoon to get me out of this box!

Posted by: martin44 | June 15, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Sooner we leave, the better.

Let China or Russia - who are going to get these minerals anyway - fight and die there for them.

Our force projection to secure them there is not worth it.

Posted by: WillSeattle | June 15, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse


It may be too much grass for you, but I prefer to have some breathing room between myself and my neighbor and I need a lawn tractor to mow and maintain my 1 acre plot of US of A. Of course in your Soviet styled mind you would probably advocate for people living in high rise apartments and force people out of single family homes. It would be much easier to keep the sheeple inline then because you could control the entrances and exits.

Posted by: ATrueChristian | June 15, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Well, it looks like TT’s “common taters” had a hey-day with today’s blog-and-pic, and let’s face it: as they should. Mineral wealth in a way-mountainous country seems like it could have been an obvious realization as far back as when Alexander (that would be “The Great”) walked his army through there on the way to wherever. Of course in his day lithium did not weigh in like it does today. (It was probably one of those “nuisance minerals,” like plutonium is to the South Koreans, oil is to Gulf-ers, and our beer is to Canadians.) And why is that? There were no cell phones back in the day – duh. And it’s the cell phones (among our other electronic necessities) that require this valuable little mineral. At least that’s what the TV news folks told us yesterday. What I’m thinking is this: if we can put a man on the moon, then how come we can’t we make a synthetic form of lithium?? Then we could up-and-pull-out of Afghanistan with our honor intact – stuffed between our legs, as it were – and guess what? No one’s the worse for the wear (except of course if you want to count the families and friends of dead US service personnel, or the ones who arrive back here with various parts missing). And another thing: what’s the big deal with putting a man on the moon anyway?? Have you ever seen the level of technology that was going on back in the summer of 1969?? It was Tinker Toy technology. Not to mention that those guys (sorry ladies, it was all guys back then) in Houston were all way-bespectacled – not a single contact lens in the whole room. They all looked like cave men. (Now how dial-up is that?) And, speaking of back in the summer of 1969: how come nobody ever says, “If we can put nearly half a million young people in some farmer’s field for a music festival without any reported crime, then how come we can’t keep a better watch on the friggin' oil companies?”

Posted by: dudeupnorth | June 15, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

bertzel---"MOBY DICK" by the late John Bonham of Led Zeppelin is the World's greatest drum solo. What do you think Tom?

Posted by: JONAHandtheFISH | June 15, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Tom---Playing drums you really do not hear the rest of the instruments all that well. It's pretty much just you and the bass player.

Electric lawnmowers are really quite but one has to always avoid running over the cord. It would be great if our government would allow us to have those secretly developed Tesla technologies to be used commercially which would allow an electric mower to be cordless.

Afghan Minerals. Give me a break. How many minerals does it take to grow a poppy? Seeing the obvious and knowing the most of the World is ignoring it is a big pet peeve of mine.

Posted by: JONAHandtheFISH | June 15, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

“Seek and ye shall find”, interesting title.
I am curious (knowing curiosity killed the cat) as to what will become of the U.S. involvement now that they know that we know and we know that they know we know…
As for lawn mowers…
"In a well-conducted man-of-war every thing is in its place, and there is a place for every thing."
Frederick Marryat

Toles, can you play inagodadavida?

Posted by: bertzel | June 15, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Just waitng for GW and Dick Cheney to crawl out of their holes and start the Weapons of Mass Destruction game again.

Posted by: bavery1 | June 15, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Do you play drums with the same finesse, competence, and skill you bring to your cartoon drawings and political thinking?

Posted by: mbrachman | June 15, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

So that's where all that Gulf oil was destined to go.
Oh dear now we have the deprived Lawnmower man of the 'Good Old US of A' bemoaning the loss of the fuel that they need to power their lawnmowers!
Personally I reckon the exercise would do a lot of you the world of good......pushing a mower across your yard.......and without polluting the environment audibly as well as fumily!

Meanwhile I am sure the employees at John Deere have heard of diversification?
As the cartoon says 'Eureka!'
Now is the time of change. They could diversify into manufacturing push mowers. The climate bill ccould be dumped. Problem solved.

PS 'If you have too much grass to mow with a push mower, you have too much grass. --Tom Toles'
The definition of one acre is the area of land that one man with one horse and one plough could plough in one day. So maybe the idea of big is better has finally had its day. Just a thought in case you was wondering:-)

Posted by: KevinColeman | June 15, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

The "reason?"

I doubt that you can select any area of mountains on the world and not find significant ores and minerals to get rich. Just about any place in the USA will test out good. Just send the pack eagles to haul it out.

But if you do not know we have allies in Afghanistan and do not even know we consider it honorable to keep our promises to the people of Afghanistan, then you continue to look for "reasons." Any good conspiracy is better than the truth.

But so many feckless critics may force us out early.

Just let them live with that brave new world.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | June 15, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Dear MRA 104, The Left always starts out with a concern, then it leads to a complaint, then it continues on to be a threat to our environment, then it becomes a crisis, then it necessitates a ban. I have experienced your problem with neighbors who can't conduct themselves in public, especially in the wee hours. Have you ever heard of noise ordinances? Call the Police. But if I want the latest model of John Deere lawn mower that comes with air conditioning and power windows, and maybe even a sunroof, then I should be allowed to purchase it so that people can keep their jobs at John Deere. And so I can keep the lower forty nicely mowed so that the Neighborhood Nazi's don't send me a letter about my unkept lawn. Anyone have a problem with an American Flag prominently displayed on that lawn? Or is that a concern, SEE ABOVE.

Posted by: bobbo2 | June 15, 2010 6:59 AM | Report abuse

What a benevolent cartoonist allowing the people push mowers and small yards the people should bring offerings to celebrate your kindness.

Posted by: taxcutsin12 | June 15, 2010 5:06 AM | Report abuse

You folks are overthinking this one. No one here is advocating banning mowers. Having said that, your idea that we should let people do whatever they please is troubling. I live across the street from you: would you actually let me set off noisy fireworks in my driveway AND recite limericks featuring your fiance's name through a bullhorn from two to six a.m. the night before your wedding? No? But I really want to!

Posted by: MRA104 | June 14, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Are you now suggesting Mr. Toles that the government control how big a person's lawn should be? I don't see State and local governments using push mowers to cut public grass areas. How practical would that be? Banning gas powered lawn mowers? We could all use electric mowers. But that just uses more electricity from coal fired power plants. Gee, what to do? How about let people do what they please?

Posted by: bobbo2 | June 14, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

If a Republican is responsible you will do cartoon blaming the Republican every day for a month. If a Democrat is responsible you will do a bunch of those smoke screen metro and global warming cartoons.

Posted by: carbonhog | June 14, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

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