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Joe Heller's cartoon for 7/29/2016:

[h/t Jason Baldridge]


  1. Sam Houston said,

    July 31, 2016 @ 7:15 pm

    Now that's comedy! I don't care who you are.

  2. Karl Weber said,

    July 31, 2016 @ 7:43 pm

    Writings of this kind are sometimes called line palindromes. This article contains a fine example by wordplay master J.A. Lindon: http://www.english-for-students.com/Line-Unit-Palindrome-Poem.html

  3. Viseguy said,

    July 31, 2016 @ 7:55 pm

    In other words, Hillary is facing an uphill battle, at least with the Trump-infatuated.

  4. Roscoe said,

    July 31, 2016 @ 7:58 pm

    Another example: Douglas Hofstadter's "Crab Canon."


  5. Viseguy said,

    July 31, 2016 @ 8:02 pm

    @Karl Weber: But here, the meaning is reversed going in the opposite direction. Perhaps it should be called a Palin-drome.

  6. Max said,

    July 31, 2016 @ 8:14 pm

    It's not a line palindrome, since it doesn't read the same going up as it does going down.

  7. Pflaumbaum said,

    July 31, 2016 @ 8:28 pm

    Very clever, but for me Hillary's version stops making sense in the middle:

    Believe me,
    we need to do something
    crime, terrorists, illegals
    you should be scared

    That doesn't sound like Clnton's message in this campaign, it still sounds like the dark vision set out by Trump. Am I missing something? Is this section somehow meant to still be within the scope of "You'll never hear me say… "

  8. Ben Zimmer said,

    July 31, 2016 @ 8:30 pm

    Note the credit to Chanie Gorkin, whose poem "Worst Day Ever?" inspired Heller's political version.

    Today was the absolute worst day ever
    And don't try to convince me that
    There's something good in every day
    Because, when you take a closer look,
    This world is a pretty evil place.
    Even if
    Some goodness does shine through once in a while
    Satisfaction and happiness don't last.
    And it's not true that
    It's all in the mind and heart
    True happiness can be attained
    Only if one's surroundings are good
    It's not true that good exists
    I'm sure you can agree that
    The reality
    My attitude
    It's all beyond my control
    And you'll never in a million years hear me say
    Today was a very good day

    Now read it from bottom to top, the other way,
    And see what I really feel about my day.

  9. Ray said,

    July 31, 2016 @ 10:05 pm

    very clever!

    the best line I've heard so far that captures the contrasts between hillary and donald: lisa vs bart

    btw, this "depends-how-it's-read" technique has also been used horizontally:


  10. Uly said,

    August 1, 2016 @ 2:07 am

    If you like this sort of thing, you might like the picture book Mirror, Mirror. (There's two others by that author in that vein.)

  11. Joke Kalisvaart said,

    August 1, 2016 @ 4:54 am

    I once tried to translated Chanie Gorkin's version to Dutch for my grandmother, who doesn't speak English. It was a nice exercise, but it turned out to be really hard, because subclauses in Dutch have a different word order than main clauses. I managed to make something grammatically correct, although sometimes a bit awkward, with the same meaning as the original, but it didn't really flow very well:

    vandaag was de slechtste dag van mijn leven
    zeg dus niet
    er zit iets goeds in elke dag
    kijk beter!
    deze wereld is een slecht oord
    zelfs al denk je
    er schijnt wat goedheid doorheen
    voldoening en tevredenheid duren niet lang
    en dit is niet waar:
    het zit allemaal in je hoofd
    echte blijdschap kan worden verkregen
    slechts als de omgeving goed is
    het is niet waar dat goed bestaat
    ik weet zeker dat je dit met me eens bent:
    de werkelijkheid
    mijn houding
    ik heb er geen controle over
    en je zult me nooit horen zeggen
    vandaag was een goede dag

  12. Smith said,

    August 1, 2016 @ 9:20 am

    And for those who remember Sarkozy v.2007 (as opposed to v.2016), this was eloquently doing the rounds back then, entitled "Entrée en Sarkozie" (Sarkozie being the wonderland we were stepping into).

    A l'UMP, nous accomplissons ce que nous promettons.
    Seuls les imbéciles peuvent croire que
    nous ne lutterons pas contre la corruption.
    Parce que, il y a quelque chose de certain pour nous:
    L'honnêteté et la transparence sont fondamentales pour atteindre nos idéaux.
    Nous démontrons que c'est une grande stupidité de croire que
    les mafias continueront à faire partie du gouvernement comme par le passé.
    Nous assurons, sans l'ombre d'un doute, que
    la justice sociale sera le but principal de notre mandat.
    Malgré cela, il y a encore des gens stupides qui s'imaginent que
    l'on puisse continuer à gouverner
    avec les ruses de la vieille politique.
    Quand nous assumerons le pouvoir, nous ferons tout pour que
    soit mis fin aux situations privilégiées et au trafic d'influences
    nous ne permettrons d'aucune façon que
    nos enfants meurent de faim
    nous accomplirons nos desseins même si
    les réserves économiques se vident complètement
    nous exercerons le pouvoir jusqu'à ce que
    vous aurez compris qu'à partir de maintenant
    nous sommes avec Nicolas Sarkozy, l'homme de "la rupture tranquille".

    Un morceau de bravoure…

  13. Nathalie said,

    August 1, 2016 @ 2:53 pm

    I'm partial to this pronunciation myself:


  14. Gwen Katz said,

    August 1, 2016 @ 7:53 pm

    Here's another horizontal example:


  15. Florence Artur said,

    August 2, 2016 @ 1:21 pm

    The Sarkozy text doesn't sound like it was written by a native French speaker. There are a couple of grating anglicismes (nous assumerons le pouvoir). At least they are grating to me, but I may be over sensitive about this stuff.

  16. Frank Southworth said,

    August 2, 2016 @ 3:52 pm

    Love it!

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