N Rockerfeller, S Agnew, G Wasington and “Mouse”

N Rockerfeller/S Agrew/G Wasington/& “Mouse” – how the  famous long-running newspaper cartoon ‘Pogo’ by Walt Kelly relates  to Dylan
By Larry Fyffe

Nelson Rockefeller

The Vietnam War rages on in IndoChina.

Democrat US president John Kennedy shot in Dallas; “Long horn” Lyndon Johnson takes over the office.

After LBJ resigns, Republican Richard Nixon sits behind the desk.

The war ends, North Vietnam victorious.

Tricky Dickie leaves the White House because of Watergate; his replacement

Gerald Ford defeated by Democrat Jimmy Carter.

Then Republican Ronald Reagan grabs hold of the reins of power in the US.

Meanwhile, “moneybags” Nelson Rockefeller (considered a ‘liberal’ by hardline rightists) finds his political ambitions thwarted by the fierce opposition that’s generated by conservatives within the Republican Party  ~ led by Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon.

The economic ‘spirit’ dominating these times wears the dark shade of mean and lean capitalism.

For a skeptic like newspaper cartoonist Walt Kelly, Nelson Rockefeller’s just another wind-up toy floating around in the game of politics.

The deadly prison riot that occurs in New York State does nothing to help the skirt-chasing Republican governor’s political career.

That’s for sure:

Media blames it on the prisoners
But the prisoners did not kill
'Rockerfeller pulled the trigger'
That is what the people feel

(John Lennon: Attica State  ~ Lennon/Ono)

American politician Spiro Agnew loses air.

Richard Nixon harnesses up the right-winger, and sends him out to stomp on Vietnam War protestors.

However, Agnew receives a puncture from the sharp fingernails of Everyman “Pogo”.

Spiro is depicted as  as a short-sighted, big-nosed hyena.

Singer/songwriter Bob Dylan follows in the cartoonist’s footsteps.

He too blasts the masters of war for their lack of human decency regardless whether they belong to the Republican or the Democratic Party in the New Babylon of America.

Undresses the Commander-in-Chief:

... (E)ven the President of the United States
Sometimes must have to stand naked

(Bob Dylan: It’s Alright Ma)

Bob Dylan knows well that he stands upon the shoulders of great satirists.

And that nobody can draw the bow, and sling the arrows of burlesque like Kelly can.

George Washington

The creator of Pogo the Opposum is concerned about the destruction of the natural environment by capitalists seeking to make big profits.

Expresses the concern not in a didactic, preachly manner, however.

Instead, Walt Kelly makes fun of the myths of American history –

One being a madeup story that claims young George Washington is so honest that the boy just can’t tell a lie ~ the president-to-be admits ’twas he who cut down a cherry tree when his father confronts him about the matter.

In a Pogo cartoon, the tale is burlesqued; the cherry tree faked.

In the song lyrics beneath, borrowed be Walt’s sharp ax:

The city fathers they're trying to endorse
The reincarnation of Paul Revere's horse
But the town has no need to be nervous
(Bob Dylan: Tombstone Blues)


The bowler-hatted “Mouse” from the Pogo newspaper cartoon be a long-winded little fellow; like card-gambler Bat Masterson (Gene Berry on TV), he carries a gentleman’s cane.

Soaking one day in his tiny bathtub which is inside a mail box, Mouse becomes more than a bit annoyed when he’s interrupted by Howland Owl who’s likely delivering a draft notice.

Reminds one of the song lyrics quoted beneath:

Now there's a certain thing
That I learned from my friend Mouse
A fella who always blushes
And that's that everyone
Must always flush out his house
(Bob Dylan: Open Door Homer)

The little rodent growls at the big Owl because he considers that Howland is violating the sacred Constitutional rights possessed by every American:

Agh! You Peepering Tom ...
A man got a right to bathe alone ...
Besides, you is breathing a draft on me
(Walt Kelly: Pogo 'Possum)

Warmongers Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon ~ they just won’t go away.

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