The Yellow Kid Rides Again?

In reply to Old Spice: Fictional characters, and their influence on humans. (With considerable assistance from Wikipedia.)

These are my opinions and not necessarily the politics of this site.


The Yellow Kid. Looks like he’s left off with the Propecia. Behind him, immigrants being railroaded to wheresoever. Is that Ivanka and hubby being dragged behind?

I find many parallels between the so-called Orange One (I see his thatch as more yellow than orange) to The Yellow Kid of Sunday supplement fame. The Yellow Kid was, from what I glean, a harmless sort, but other details are amusingly relevant to Our Golden-Shower-of-Propecia-Encouraged-Hair Leader.

A bit of background:

The Yellow Kid was the name of an American comic-strip character that ran from 1895 to 1898 in Joseph Pulitzer‘s New York World, and later William Randolph Hearst‘s New York Journal. Created and drawn by Richard F. Outcault, it was one of the first Sunday supplement comic strips in an American newspaper.

He was a bald (having to do, it has been suggested, with the prevalent lice of his milieu) barefoot boy who wore an oversized yellow nightshirt (Trump with his really long tie? And I’m sure I’ve seen him in a bright yellow tie, marvelous-marvelous) and hung around in a slum (with Trump, a moral slum) typical of certain areas in late 19th-century New York City. Yellow’s Alley was filled with equally odd characters. (Trump’s soonalasto-be-cabinet, and his staff.) He habitually spoke in a ragged, peculiar slang. (Sounds on the money to me.)

Yellow journalism: 

The two newspapers which ran The Yellow Kid quickly became known as the yellow kid papers. This was contracted to the yellow papers and the term yellow kid journalism was at last shortened to yellow journalism, describing the two newspapers’ editorial practices of taking – sometimes even fictionalized (ROFL) – sensationalism and profit as their priorities.


The Yellow Kid’s image appeared on mass market retail objects such as billboards, buttons, cigarette packs, cigars, cracker tins, ladies’ fans, matchbooks, postcards, chewing gum cards, toys, whiskey and many other products. (Steaks, golf clubs, universities?)

He was the first to demonstrate that a comic strip character could be merchandised profitably. (I’m not so sure about the steaks, but certainly politically.)

Historians attribute The Yellow Kid success to the fact that he was a children’s character marketed as an anti-establishment symbol packaged for mass consumption. (Anti-Washington gull – not to be confused with gall, though that applies also – marketed to the simple-minded.)

Outcault having been lured to the Journal, the strip continued to be drawn for the World by another artist. Pulitzer and Hearst both fought to give their competing Yellow Kids more and more page space. The Battle of the Yellow Kids represented a trend in the decline of journalistic integrity (decline of journalistic integrity. Check.), of which both the World and the Journal had been guilty for years.

One vocal critic, New York Press editor Ervin Wardman, had tried many times to pin a name on the papers’ sensationalistic, exaggerated, ill-researched, and often untrue reporting, calling it new journalism and nude journalism. With the epic battle of the comic strips, he had a name that stuck: Yellow-Kid Journalism, which was eventually shortened to Yellow Journalism.

From now on I call DJT The Yellow Kid. (Carl calls him Mango Mussolini.) I like that one too. Us flotsam from the sixties might enjoy: Not-So-Mellow-Yellow.

Donovan’s lyric with revisions (I don’t think he would object):

I’m just mad about Bannon, Bannon’s mad about me. I’m just mad about Bannon. He’s just mad about me, the not-so-mellow-yellow (Quite rightly!) tremendously smart fellow. (That I be!)

I’ve decided that my verse needs some thought. It’s too much like the rabble-rouser stuff I put into Sly’s mouth. I’m laying it aside for now. I do get carried away with myself at times.



10 thoughts on “The Yellow Kid Rides Again?

  1. You’ve educated me, Mimi. I’d heard the phrase “yellow journalism” before, of course–knew it was first associated with the papers of Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst–but never knew there was a comic-strip character tie-in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mimispeike says:

      This was so much fun to write that I went off the rails. The verse that I wrote sounds too much like the nonsense I write for Sly. GD sees problems with it, and my husband does also. I’ll set it aside for a while and work on something else.


  2. mimispeike says:

    Some might say this piece is too extreme. But it’s hard to be too extreme when it comes to Trump. He really is a cartoon figure come to life. A dangerous cartoon, as we already see.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. GD Deckard says:

    Writers Who Voted for President Trump are Welcome at the Writers Co-op. I think this needs to be said.

    The world is full of places where writers are made to feel uncomfortable because of their political beliefs. This ain’t one of them.

    We are all, as Carl E. Reed put it:
    “so VERY, VERY glad that we have no tiresome axe-grinding misogynists or misandrists amongst us at Writers Co-op. (Or racists. Homophobes. Religious zealots. Duplicitous right-wingers or sanctimonious left-wingers. Etc.)

    As Sue Ranscht wrote,
    “WritersCo-op is a welcoming cafe where you can share ideas about writing and marketing your work, help other authors by reading and commenting on their works in progress, and even seek their comments on yours. Plus, it’s a creative and enthusiastic bunch of fun folks!”

    So, if you have something to say about writers or writing, please feel comfortable saying it here. Repy to the posts and, if you email me at GD at Deckard dot Com, we can welcome you into our group of writers.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I think we can engage in the occasional heated political debate/sharply worded opinion/jeremiad without falling apart as a group. Let’s not kid ourselves: everything is political; so–be your authentic self on the Co-op, I say.

    Having said that, of course, I would hope that we refrain from ad hominem attacks on each other.

    Everyone’s politics fall somewhere on the spectrum. When I said I’m grateful that we don’t have duplicitous right-wingers or sanctimonious left-wingers I didn’t mean to imply that everyone gathered here practices a kind of flavorless gray centrist politics, but that I abjure and abhor (as does the editor of The Sun magazine) a certain kind of annoyingly strident right- and left-winger.

    Liked by 2 people

    • GD Deckard says:

      Thanks, Carl 🙂
      I understand what you mean. But anyone who tells you, “Everything is political,” wants something from you. The slogan is often used by politicians as justification for getting into our pants. And I certainly agree that we can survive the occasional political hit-piece. I just, personally, prefer the kind of Writers Co-op atmosphere described by Sue Ranscht.


  5. mimispeike says:

    I see GD’s point. Believe it or not, I don’t see this as a hit piece. I see it as a piece of humor, the parallels of which were too good to resist.

    I suppose that my big disagreement (and you see it in the tenor of my pieces) is that it should be more than a nuts-and-bolts site. I have hoped for a wider appeal, a writing/marketing-related magazine, ranging farther afield, the commonality being love of language.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Humorous, but also very informative – I learned a lot. Sure this isn’t a political site but I see nothing wrong in political opinions being expressed, nor in well-argued debate.
      A wider appeal – I fully agree. For that there has to be some form of concrete benefit beyond the reading of our pieces, however masterful they might be.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mimispeike says:

        This may be shallow of me, but my big goal is always to be entertaining.

        I’m testing a theory. I’ll tell you what it is in a month.


  6. mimispeike says:

    I’ve posted my totally rewritten poem to the Saturday Night Live Facebook page. It now sticks very close to Donovan, very little me. I’ll try to send it to HuffPo. I read a parody-poem there yesterday, by (apparently) no-one-in-particular, no big name attached to it. It’s very singable, by a Donovan clone. I admit, this may be a done-and-done-and-done idea. So obvious. Must be out there already.


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