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Chris Ware Fortune magazine cover nixed

Can’t say that I blame Fortune Magazine for rejecting a commissioned cover by Chris Ware. The May 2010 cover depicts the United States with smaller images that include “Guantanamo Bay prisoners, Mexican factory workers, and a few potshots at business execs and money-grubbing politicians.”

If the story was focused or mentioned these items (I’ve not read the cover-story), it seems fair game to include them. If not, it seems inappropriate for the artist to toss in these editorialize issues. See enlarged images of the art in question on The Chicagoist.com.

Community Comments

#1 Dave Stephens
April/23/2010
@ 2:16 pm

By the same token, “Peace, Love and Harmony” magazine might very well reject a lovely illustration of a brutal lynching in Mississippi…

I’m sure Chris knew his art would be rejected – I mean, if he just flipped ’em off, he’d get the same reaction.

#2 Stacy Curtis
April/23/2010
@ 2:44 pm

You’d think they’d want a sketch of the cover first.

#3 Dan Bielinski
April/23/2010
@ 2:57 pm

Cool pic, regardless.

#4 Ted Rall
April/23/2010
@ 3:33 pm

Fortune is editorially left-of-center.

I drew cartoons for them for every issue from 1997 until 2001 and never once faced censorship. My moles tell me nothing has changed editorially over there.

Obviously there’s no way to know why editors killed Ware’s cover.

That said, this cover serves as another embarrassing reminder of how political cartooning should be left to the professionals. Illustrators like Ware simply don’t have the intellectual depth.

#5 Barney Dillweed
April/23/2010
@ 4:05 pm

“That said, this cover serves as another embarrassing reminder of how political cartooning should be left to the professionals. Illustrators like Ware simply don?t have the intellectual depth.”

Ted… statement’s like this make you look more & more like an ass. What is up with your elitist ego maniacal BS you jackass?

If being a cynical passive aggressive know it all ahole that hates on everything….is what it takes to do what you do…then I am glad I’m not a political cartoonist.

#6 Dave Stephens
April/23/2010
@ 4:50 pm

“Illustrators like Ware simply don?t have the intellectual depth.”

LOL

Uh, if you want to mentally ‘duke it out’ with Chris, you’ve already disqualified yourself with idiotic statements like that one.

Do you really think that YOU have the “intellectual depth” with statements as awesomely ignorant as that one? Ted, seriously, try not to act superior until your knuckles stop dragging, ok? LOL

#7 Jen Sorensen
April/23/2010
@ 4:54 pm

I think this is one of the best things Ware has ever done. Love the little Guantanamo underneath Florida!

#8 Ted Rall
April/23/2010
@ 6:23 pm

Actually, Ware drew first blood, attacking my work years ago. Which drew my attention to him. Which made me notice how insanely overrated he is, not as a draftsman–he’s a great illustrator–but as a cartoonist (his writing is godawful).

Zillions here will disagree with me, and they are probably right. Whatever.

#9 Mike Peterson
April/23/2010
@ 6:56 pm

Anyone who posts as “Barney Dillweed” (or any other phony name, for that matter) has no standing to accuse anyone else of BS. The rules here are few but clear: Use your full name and don’t cuss. If you haven’t got the cojones to stand behind your words, do yourself a favor and keep your fingers away from the keyboard.

#10 Dave Stephens
April/23/2010
@ 10:32 pm

Godawful writing? Seriously? Compared to YOURS? You are delusional, Mr. Rall. Zillions disagree? Or just experts in writing and drawing? Like these folks (from Wikipedia):

1999 National Cartoonists Society Award for Best Comic Book for Acme Novelty Library. In addition, Acme Novelty Library won the 1996 and 2000 Eisner Awards for Best Continuing Series, as well as the 2000 Eisner for Best New Graphic Album. Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth won the 2001 Eisner for Best Reprint Graphic Album.

In 2008, Ware won the Best Writer/Artist: Drama Eisner for Acme Novelty Library 18. Ware has won the Best Colorist Eisner four times, in 1996, 1998, 2001, and 2006. His publication design has been awarded the Eisner six times, in 1995?1997, 2001?2002, and 2006.
Ware has won the Harvey Award for Best Letterer four times, in 1996, 2000, 2002, and 2006. He has won the Best Colorist Harvey Award in 1996?1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004. He also won the Best Cover Artist Harvey Award in 2000. Ware won the Harvey Award for Excellence in Production/Presentation five consecutive years, from 1995?2000. In addition, Acme Novelty Library won the Best Continuing Series Harvey Award in 1995, and the Best Continuing or Limited Series in 1995?1996. Acme Novelty Library also won the Best Single Issue or Story Harvey Award in 1997 and 2000. The Jimmy Corrigan book won the 2001 Harvey Award for Best Graphic Album of Previously Published Work. In 2006, Ware was awarded the Harvey for Best Cartoonist.
With Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, Harvey Kurtzman, Robert Crumb and Gary Panter, Ware was among the artists honored in the exhibition “Masters of American Comics” at the Jewish Museum in New York City, New York, from September 16, 2006 to January 28, 2007. Ware is also the first comics artist to be invited to exhibit at Whitney Museum of American Art biennial exhibition, in 2002. In May 2006 he exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
Ware’s graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth won the 2001 Guardian First Book Award, the first time a graphic novel has won a major United Kingdom book award. It also won the prize for best album at the 2003 Angoulême International Comics Festival in France.
In 2006, Ware received a USA Hoi Fellow grant from United States Artists, an arts advocacy foundation dedicated to the support and promotion of America’s top living artists.

#11 Mike Peterson
April/24/2010
@ 3:58 am

Plaques are for haques.

#12 Ted Rall
April/24/2010
@ 9:17 am

I said Ware was insanely overrated. Posting a list of his numerous awards merely confirms my point.

And yeah, compared to mine. Compared to mine, compared to most other cartoonists.

#13 Terry LaBan
April/24/2010
@ 9:28 am

Chris Ware may or may not be “overrated”. But what exactly makes the graphic statements on his Fortune cover less intellectually deep than those of “legitimate” editorial cartoonists?They look pretty concise and well-presented to me, and they work well in the context of what he’s doing. But of course, I’m not a cartoon genius like Ted Rall.

#14 Ted Rall
April/24/2010
@ 9:48 am

Also, as someone pointed out to me offboard, Ware’s awards are mostly for his skills as an illustrator. So, in a way, his awards confirm my point there too. I win again! Mwahahahahahahaha!

#15 Robert George
April/24/2010
@ 10:50 am

@Terry: I actually have to agree with Ted. Drawing a laundry list of left wing gripes and stereotypes in an admittedly pretty way is not political cartooning.
But I didn’t like jimmy corrigan or acme novelty library, so I am not really a fan in general.

#16 Shane Davis
April/24/2010
@ 11:06 am

Ted,
Are you sure you’re not bald, wear a white Nehru leisure suit, live in a big fake volcano guarded by an army of identically outfitted orange jumpsuited henchmen and sit around petting a Persian cat all day?

Just curious…

#17 Jim Thomas
April/24/2010
@ 3:27 pm

I actually disagree that this is just a laundry list of left wing gripes and stereotypes…yes, he does this, but he also shows at least in his view, how it is all connected and how as a nation we are being affected, and he does this effectively in his style. Not being particularly left or right leaning, I felt like he showed his viewpoint quite well.

I also disagree that this is an embarrassing attempt at editorial cartooning. He was actually able to avoid many of the crutches that editorial cartoonists use to get their points across. He also doesn’t beat the viewer over the head with explainers and uncle sam cliches stealing a lollipop from a kid wearing a sign “iraqi oil.”

On a side note, I get how/why some of the “professionals” on here can talk down to those of us who are not when they disagree with our views or statements (and I also appreciate those who don’t outright disregard someone’s opinion because they are still struggling). Seriously, I do understand that. But for one pro to attack another pro because that second professional didn’t like their work years ago sort of lacks…professionalism, and class. Just my opinion.

#18 Terry LaBan
April/25/2010
@ 9:16 am

@Ted Also, as someone pointed out to me offboard, Ware?s awards are mostly for his skills as an illustrator.

Actually, just scanning the first part of the list above, anyone can see that your statement isn’t true. Ware has won multiple, top-of-the-industry awards which have acknowledged his writing as well as his art.

Look, I have my problems with Chris Ware. While I personally think he’s as good a writer as anyone, I find his graphics so intricate that his comics are almost impossible to read. And when I do read them, they’re so relentlessly depressing that I feel like calling Protective Services on behalf of his characters. And you could certainly argue that his Fortune cover was unprofessional, if not a bad cartoon.
That being said, it’s just a fact that, besides being one of the most awarded cartoonists around, he’s also one of the most influential. Go to any bookstore or comic shop and you’ll see Chris Ware imitators everywhere, and that includes people aping his themes as well as his graphics. So I just don’t see on what objective basis you, Ted, say he’s “overrated”, particularly in comparison to yourself. If awards and impact on the art form doesn’t count, what does? Have you noticed a raft of Ted Rall imitators lately? Me either.

#19 Tom Pappalardo
April/25/2010
@ 9:54 am

TR, I support your right to vocally not like a peer, but to imply that Ware isn’t *even* a peer (“political cartooning should be left to the professionals”) shows that you’re rudely slagging someone whose work you haven’t even looked at very closely.

re: the cover: The Guantanamo bit’s my favorite. As for the art itself, I wonder why he made the coastline so… puffy?

#20 Robert George
April/25/2010
@ 2:45 pm

@Jim: “I actually disagree that this is just a laundry list of left wing gripes and stereotypes?yes, he does this, but he also shows at least in his view, how it is all connected and how as a nation we are being affected, and he does this effectively in his style. Not being particularly left or right leaning, I felt like he showed his viewpoint quite well.”

That’s the thing, Jim! He doesn’t show that it is interconnected, and he doesn’t show how the nation is effected. He just plopped some crap on a map and calls it a day. Nowhere is this more clear than the Guantanamo picture or the sweat shop, which can in no way, even being generous, be tied into the themes he has on the rest of the map.

What’s worse, I don’t have any idea what Chris thinks is wrong here. What is his underlying diagnosis? Does he have a solution? Because he is unable to tie it all together, he fails to make a political statement. Its just griping.

I think the most important thing a political cartoonist needs to have is a solid grasp of politics and the events of the day. I am not sure Ware has that.

#21 Tom Wood
April/25/2010
@ 8:08 pm

Nowhere is this more clear than the Guantanamo picture or the sweat shop, which can in no way, even being generous, be tied into the themes he has on the rest of the map.

The sweatshops are probably in reference to maquiladoras in Mexico which provide low labor costs for products taken back to the US. The Guantanamo prison is the closest geographic symbol of a war for oil. Both of which fit right in with the other symbols at the base of corporate profits. No?

#22 Mike Peterson
April/26/2010
@ 4:37 am

I took Ted’s original remark to mean that editorial cartooning should be left to editorial cartoonists, as opposed to other types of cartoonists. That is, I think, a defensible position, though in the Grand Venn Diagram of Specialization there is a substantial amount of crossover between social commentary (like “Maus”) and editorial commentary.

The second part, then, is whether Ware’s work is good social commentary. My own opinion is that, from a critical point of view, Ware is an example of the cartooning truism that good writing can save bad art but good art can’t save bad writing. I had to force myself to finish “Jimmy Corrigan” just to find out if it was going to blossom into a coherent, compelling story at the end. IMHO, it didn’t.

However, this doesn’t stop Ware from being a “successful” cartoonist in most of the ways that matter, including being published, being popular and, yes, winning awards. I was recently in an on-line discussion of whether “Twin Peaks” was an artistic breakthrough or simply tantalizingly incomprehensible, and I loathed the self-indulgent laziness of the “stick-shift-in-the-eye” scene from “The World According to Garp.” This does not negate the fact that there are a substantial number of people who are attracted by the grotesque and the obscure, and that some of them decide which projects to bankroll, some of them decide who gets awards and a whole lot of them vote with their wallets in the marketplace.

I happen to agree with Ted that Chris Ware is over-rated. But I feel the same way about Thomas Kinkade. Mox nix. My opinions and a buck will get you a cup of coffee — any size — at McDonald’s. (I also think Starbuck’s coffee is over-rated.)

#23 Terry LaBan
April/26/2010
@ 7:28 am

@ Mike Peters

Saying Chris Ware is overrated is a defensible position. Saying he’s actually WORSE than most other cartoonists, including the individual who made the statement, is ridiculous. Saying political cartoons should be the exclusive province of political cartoonists is like saying Berke Brethhead shouldn’t have won a Pulitzer in 1988 because Bloom County was a daily comic strip, a position that seemed to evaporate at the AAEC convention he spoke at that year, when half the audience lined up for his autograph. Saying Thomas Kincaid is overrated is like saying maple syrup tastes good on waffles.

#24 Terry LaBan
April/26/2010
@ 7:29 am

I know, I know. I spelled Berke Breathed’s name wrong.

#25 Robert George
April/26/2010
@ 7:36 am

@Tom: “The sweatshops are probably in reference to maquiladoras in Mexico which provide low labor costs for products taken back to the US. The Guantanamo prison is the closest geographic symbol of a war for oil. Both of which fit right in with the other symbols at the base of corporate profits. No?”
The broader pictures relate to the financial crisis, and “Corporate America’s surviving on public largess while the country is wrecked. The sweat shops and Guantanamo have little to do with that, and Guantanamo houses prisoners from the Af/Pak region, not Iraq, which is hardly a war for oil.

#26 Ted Rall
April/26/2010
@ 7:57 am

@Mike: Quite right.

@Robert: “the Af/Pak region, not Iraq, which is hardly a war for oil.”

Really, Robert?

Gas War: The Truth Behind the American Occupation of Afghanistan, by yours truly

Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, by Ahmed Rashid

Well, oil and natural gas. It’s incredibly depressing that, a full decade after Rashid wrote his bestselling book, 99% of Americans still think Afghanistan was the “good” war, one not fought over energy resources.

Back to Ware: Obviously many non-editorial cartoonists comment successfully on politics. Trudeau is just one obvious example. Unfortunately, politics is the one field in America where it’s OK to spout off uninformed nonsense, and everyone has to be respectful.

Well, I call BS on that. Whenever Ware (and art comix types in his circle) comments on politics, he makes painfully clear that he has neither the historical knowledge or political insight necessary to do so.

Being politically aware is a lot of work: If you don’t read at least 3-4 papers a day, 5-10 magazines a month, and watch hours of news-related TV a day, you’re going to say stupid things (e.g., the Afghanistan war isn’t about oil).

I don’t know anything about sports. So I don’t draw cartoons about them.

P.S. Ware is an *amazing* illustrator. He is not a cartoonist.

#27 Tom Wood
April/26/2010
@ 8:20 am

You don’t even need to read that much to get to basic motivations, although it’s good to be informed. Just follow the money and you will find clarity. Everything the US does in the Middle East is related to oil and gas. There is no other reason to be involved.

Follow the money:

Who has the oil?

#28 Robert George
April/26/2010
@ 9:08 am

@Ted: I am familiar with the argument, Ted, I just disagree. And I am hardly alone in that. The problem isn’t so much that Americans have heard the theory, well informed ones anyway, as they don’t see much merit in it. This holds true in Europe, as well. More broadly speaking, I think, its a symptom of some on the left’s reductivist understanding of foreign policy. Which leads to you, @Tom. You can’t, in fact, just follow the money and find clarity. States do not operate their foreign policy in such a way as to maximize the wealth of their elites. In fact even the US under Bush regularly undermined that goal.

#29 Ted Rall
April/26/2010
@ 9:22 am

Most states do operate their foreign policy in order to maximize the wealth of their elites. The fact that they usually fail because they are stupid doesn’t change their motivations.

There has never been a war fought over non-economic reasons.

#30 Terry LaBan
April/26/2010
@ 10:50 am

Wars no doubt always have an economic aspect. But there are MANY other reasons for fighting them, including removing hostile governments which have sponsored attacks. But I guess it’s pointless to argue with people who make absurd and outrageous statements purely for the purpose of provoking conflict.

#31 Ted Rall
April/26/2010
@ 11:03 am

The last time the U.S. fought a war against a country that had launched an attack against it was 1941.

Afghanistan’s Taliban regime had nothing to do with 9/11. If he was involved, Osama bin Laden was not a state actor–and he lived in Pakistan on 9/11 and thereafter. So the war against Afghanistan was not related to the 9/11 attacks; indeed, it was planned and threatened months beforehand.

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt did play roles in 9/11–but we increased their allowance. We did not attack them.

I’m sorry that the facts do not fit your preconceptions, Terry. But pointing out the facts is not absurd, nor provocative.

The war against Afghanistan was fought for economic and geopolitical reasons, none of which serve to protect the United States or the interests of the American people.

#32 JP Trostle
April/26/2010
@ 11:13 am

>There has never been a war fought over non-economic reasons.

Actually, the First Crusade (1098) would qualify as the exception to your rule.

As to Chris Ware, I find it ironic that he finally does an actual “edtiorial” cartoon — and it gets spiked. Welcome to the club dude.

#33 Robert George
April/26/2010
@ 12:28 pm

@Ted: “Most states do operate their foreign policy in order to maximize the wealth of their elites. The fact that they usually fail because they are stupid doesn?t change their motivations.

There has never been a war fought over non-economic reasons.”

I disagree, Ted. Most wars are fought for non-economic reasons.

Just using the US as an example, the First Gulf War, the Spanish American war, and Vietnam, were fought primarily for balance of power reasons. The Civil War was, whether Beardian leftist or lost causer like it or not, primarily about slavery and federalism, not Northern corporate interests.

Going further out, it is hard to cast the various conflicts after the Treaty of Westphalia to the American Revolution in the west as primarily economic driven. Same for the Napoleonic wars. States trade in power, states fight for power, states worry about power. Power is the currency states are most interested in, with the well being of elites being, much more distant and primarily dependent on the domestic political structure the state has.

#34 Ted Rall
April/26/2010
@ 12:55 pm

Gulf War I: Are you serious? Kuwait was the US’ proxy OPEC scab, keeping energy prices low for the benefit of US and Western business.

Spanish-American War: Fought to steal Spanish land. That’s how we got Guam, the Philippines, and Guantanamo, and borrowed Cuba for half a century. Land=Money.

Civil War: Fought over access to Southern ports.

American Revolution: Fought by the original tax evaders.

Power serves no purpose other than to steal other people’s stuff.

#35 Robert George
April/26/2010
@ 1:21 pm

@Ted:”Gulf War I: Are you serious? Kuwait was the US? proxy OPEC scab, keeping energy prices low for the benefit of US and Western business.

Spanish-American War: Fought to steal Spanish land. That?s how we got Guam, the Philippines, and Guantanamo, and borrowed Cuba for half a century. Land=Money.

Civil War: Fought over access to Southern ports.

American Revolution: Fought by the original tax evaders.

Power serves no purpose other than to steal other people?s stuff.”

Gulf War 1 was fought to keep one country from dominating a third or more of the world’s oil. In my view, anyway. Which is clearly a balance of power issue.

Spanish-American War: Was fought to position the US as a Great Power by giving it coaling stations across the globe. Again, about power.

Civil War: Seriously, Ted? The South went to war over slavery, period. The North went to war over the integrity of the union. That’s what it was about.

The American Revolution was about whether or not we should get to vote on the taxes levied on us, not the taxes themselves. The taxes to pay for the war were much higher, and frankly the people (maybe even terrorists) who help precipitate the war like Sam Adams were motivated by ideology more than money.

And power is of interest to states, to defer to the realist, is desirable to power aids the state in survival, since it operates in a “state of nature”.

I find it interesting you did not address my other, non American historical examples, suggesting maybe you are viewing this from a kind of ideological, Howard Zinnesque POV.

But really this is going to be hard to debate in this forum. We see history in such a fundamentally different way and with such a different basic lenses it may be hard to overcome. As far as the Civil War bit goes, TaNehsi Coates, blogger extraordinaire, has been running a “Confederate History Month” column that may be of interest to you over at the Atlantic website.

#36 Dave Stephens
April/26/2010
@ 1:30 pm

Of course, taking Ted’s super-simplified arguments just a little further, wars are fought “because they wanted war.” That’s all. They wanted war and they got war. Desire is the ultimate over-simplification. ‘Cause, duh, um, er, dose powerful peoples wanna steal people’s stuff, huh… Sorry, Ted, at this point you might as well say, “Power is stealing.” Sounds reeeeeeal smart, right? No?

#37 Robert George
April/26/2010
@ 1:47 pm

@Robert: “And power is of interest to states, to defer to the realist, is desirable to power aids the state in survival, since it operates in a ?state of nature?.” This is a mess My point is states seek power to protect themselves, because there is no state they can go to for protection.

#38 Tom Wood
April/26/2010
@ 1:48 pm

I’m just going to pick out one:

Spanish-American War: Was fought to position the US as a Great Power by giving it coaling stations across the globe. Again, about power.

Coaling stations for ships to engage in trade.

trade = economic reasons

Why are you compartmentalizing ‘power’ and economic interests? They are one and the same.

In any case…. today is the day for…

Boobquake!

#39 Robert George
April/26/2010
@ 2:22 pm

I?m just going to pick out one:

Spanish-American War: Was fought to position the US as a Great Power by giving it coaling stations across the globe. Again, about power.

Coaling stations for ships to engage in trade.

trade = economic reasons

Why are you compartmentalizing ?power? and economic interests? They are one and the same.

In any case?. today is the day for?

Boobquake!”
Commercial traders could and did purchase coal at any friendly port. If your friends look at your warships in their harbor funny, which is why in the modern world docking them even in our friends ports requires treaties, payoffs and the like.

But the reason to compartmentalize power and economics is that what makes a country wealthy, or or even a countries elites wealthy, and what maximizes its power relative to other global competitors is not the same in most cases, and when these goals conflict I think states choose to maximize their power. So it is a very important distinction. This is the reason, for example, that countries like China piss away lots of money to prop up bad actors like the current Sudanese. Strictly from an economic stand point it makes little sense, but it annoys us and saps US diplomatic energy, which is a small but meaningful net positive for China.

#40 Robert George
April/26/2010
@ 2:22 pm

Also, I love the boobquake.

#41 August J. Pollak
April/26/2010
@ 2:28 pm

“Civil War: Seriously, Ted? The South went to war over slavery, period. ”

Yes, because slavery and maintaining it had absolutely nothing to do with money. Are you for real?

“Desire is the ultimate over-simplification. ?Cause, duh, um, er, dose powerful peoples wanna steal people?s stuff, huh? ”

Heavens, you’re right. We should go back to the more sophisticated arguments of Communists and terrorists simply “hating freedom.”

#42 Don Hagist
April/26/2010
@ 3:11 pm

(Trying to get this discussion back on topic from the surreal turn it’s taken…)
The lesson from this Fortune cover isn’t about intellect or political cartooning or what have you – it is a simple example of bad business sense on the part of the artist. It is critical to know your audience and give them something that it is the ballpark of what they want – especially if the audience is a customer commissioning the artwork.

Ware did a great piece of work from a technical and humor standpoint, but totally inappropriate for the customer that asked for it. That’s kinda dumb. There is a place in the world for artists going for ‘shock value’, but a commissioned job isn’t the place for it. Either ask the customer up front what sort of things they find acceptable, or research what they’ve used in the past, or run some suggestions by them. That’s just common sense.

In a similar vein – last summer there was a thread here about gag writers (which I somehow overlooked until recently), and one of the (depressingly) common sentiments was that gag writers provide ‘generic’ humor not tailored for this or that individual comic. Well… foolish gag writers may do this, but not all of them do. Good gag writers will submit only material suitable for the artist it’s being submitted to. Anyone with a bit of business sense will present to the customer the sort of things that the customer typically wants, not just a bag of generic products in hopes that there might be something in there that suits the customer’s fancy.

Now, perhaps Ware does have some business sense and did this cover with the intention of getting it rejected. Someone got the word out to the media – was it Ware himself? How often do rejections usually make the news? Most likely Ware set out from the beginning to parlay the overture from Fortune into publicity for himself and an opportunity to make a statement. If it was just a simple failure to understand the customer, it probably would not have made it into the news.

#43 Steve Skelton
April/26/2010
@ 3:21 pm

Waaaaitaminute. Most every illustration job involves delivering a sketch to the client before proceeding to a finish. The only exceptions are if there is a time crunch, then often the sketch phase is eliminated.

So, just how is this whole story “news”? I can pretty much guarantee that a cover illustration would have required a sketch first. So, my interpretation of this is that the art director dropped the ball (most likely. )

And the Trojan war was fought over a woman.

#44 Robert George
April/26/2010
@ 5:15 pm

@August:?Civil War: Seriously, Ted? The South went to war over slavery, period. ?

Yes, because slavery and maintaining it had absolutely nothing to do with money. Are you for real?

?Desire is the ultimate over-simplification. ?Cause, duh, um, er, dose powerful peoples wanna steal people?s stuff, huh? ?

Heavens, you?re right. We should go back to the more sophisticated arguments of Communists and terrorists simply ?hating freedom.?

Slavery had a monetary component, obviously, but the entire society in the South, the pseudo feudal structure, required there be an underclass to keep poor white sharecroppers from feeling like serfs. And protecting that, the power for the poor whites and the elites, was just as important as the pure monetary element.

As far as the hating freedom bit goes, well, “hating freedom” and “follow the money” are both stupid, simplified slogans ideologues use to capture political debate and bludgeon the opposition into submission.

#45 Carl Moore
April/26/2010
@ 7:16 pm

It’s fruitless to argue politics with Ted Rall because he’s read all those newspapers and watched all those TV news shows and until and unless you do the same you can’t possibly know what the heck you’re talking about. He’s an expert, don’t you see? End of argument…

On the other hand, if you want to skip all that reading and TV watching, just realize capitalism and capitalists are all evil, greedy and corrupt and the motives of any country that promotes capitalism and capitalists are equally evil, greedy and corrupt. There, I’ve given you the Ted Rall wisdom and insight won after so much sweat and heavyweight reading and TV watching (and he doesn’t even take the time to follow sports! Can you believe it?!)

#46 Shane Davis
April/26/2010
@ 8:19 pm

Wow. Blue Bell is a capitalist ice cream company.

Can I still like them?

#47 Dave Stephens
April/26/2010
@ 8:39 pm

You can lick ’em. ;)

#48 Jeff Stanson
April/27/2010
@ 12:05 am

@ Robert George: ?Civil War: Seriously, Ted? The South went to war over slavery, period. ?

I can find something to agree with in Rall’s cartoons more often than I can ever agree with anything he writes at The Daily Cartoonist ? but here, by George, he’s right. Or rather partly right, because access to Southern ports was but one issue ? although a rather key issue ? that initiated the American Civil War. To wit: The first battle of the Civil War was fought in Charleston Harbor, with Union troops fighting desperately to hold onto Fort Sumter. While it is easy to assume that Union troops were in Charleston Harbor to stop slave trade ? for which the harbor was a main port of entry into the US ? in truth the troops were there in defense of country before South Carolina ever seceded from the Union. Built after the War of 1812, Fort Sumter maintained the national defense and protected the commerce hub of Charleston ? including the slave trade. Once SC seceded, the Union realized how valuable it would be to hold Fort Sumter and control the Harbor for the sake of controlling the commerce. While slavery was/is abominable and we would all like to think our ancestors did something to help put an end to it, the truth is that it too was but one issue among many as to why the Civil War was fought.

#49 Gar Molloy
April/27/2010
@ 3:19 am

I think the confederacy wanting to secede from the union might have had something to do with it as well…

#50 Robert George
April/27/2010
@ 6:27 am

“@ Robert George: ?Civil War: Seriously, Ted? The South went to war over slavery, period. ?

I can find something to agree with in Rall?s cartoons more often than I can ever agree with anything he writes at The Daily Cartoonist ? but here, by George, he?s right. Or rather partly right, because access to Southern ports was but one issue ? although a rather key issue ? that initiated the American Civil War. To wit: The first battle of the Civil War was fought in Charleston Harbor, with Union troops fighting desperately to hold onto Fort Sumter. While it is easy to assume that Union troops were in Charleston Harbor to stop slave trade ? for which the harbor was a main port of entry into the US ? in truth the troops were there in defense of country before South Carolina ever seceded from the Union. Built after the War of 1812, Fort Sumter maintained the national defense and protected the commerce hub of Charleston ? including the slave trade. Once SC seceded, the Union realized how valuable it would be to hold Fort Sumter and control the Harbor for the sake of controlling the commerce. While slavery was/is abominable and we would all like to think our ancestors did something to help put an end to it, the truth is that it too was but one issue among many as to why the Civil War was fought.”

I think its important to distinguish between things that the Union didn’t like, like losing major harbors, important cash crops, and extensive capital investments, and the primary reason to go to war, the territorial integrity of the country. When you look at the writings of Lincoln and his cabinet from the time this was happening, as well as the newspapers and statements of other public officials, the “sacred institution” of slavery and the survival of the union get so much more play than any other topic its hard to say ports caused the war. Unfortunately, thanks to 150 years of aggressive revisionism by the lost causers and the rise of historical materialism this simple reality has been obfuscated.

This is not to white wash the North. It fought to preserve the union. could that be done and slavery survive for a while, fine. Lincoln himself’s views evolved on that issue.

#51 Kassie Schwan
April/27/2010
@ 8:04 am

I agree that Ware didn’t take into account the needs of his client, but having said that, what’s incorrect in the illustration? If the theme is the state of the Fortune 500, teapartiers and lefties alike wouldn’t disagree that the Treasury is being pillaged by big business and finance, we’re in thrall to the Chinese and getting cheap Mexican labor, etc…so I’m not sure about the “slant” of the commentary in the picture. Lots of fun to see in the drawing, but yes, letting down the client.

#52 Terry LaBan
April/27/2010
@ 8:24 am

@ Ted Afghanistan?s Taliban regime had nothing to do with 9/11. If he was involved, Osama bin Laden was not a state actor?and he lived in Pakistan on 9/11 and thereafter. So the war against Afghanistan was not related to the 9/11 attacks; indeed, it was planned and threatened months beforehand.

Well, hey, let’s just rewrite history to prove a point! I don’t even think YOU believe that, Ted. Next you’ll probably say Osama was operating out of George W. Bush’s guest bedroom. How’s that pipeline coming along, by the way? Haven’t heard much about it lately, but I’m sure you have the inside scoop.

Yeah, the American Revolution and Civil War were fought in large part over economic issues(and no, Charleston WASN’T the main port of entry for African slaves in 1860–the importation of slaves from Africa had been long-banned by then). But what was the big money-maker in Vietnam? Was it all just a big conspiracy to corner the world market in fish sauce? And what did Korea have in 1950 that we wanted so bad? Padded cotton suits and kimchee? I could go on and on. But then, so can you.

#53 Peter Allende
April/27/2010
@ 10:55 am

Ted Rall: Do you really believe your own Bull****? You are what is known as a socialist stooge…nothing more. Please forgive the ad hominem attack.

#54 Dave Stephens
April/27/2010
@ 10:58 am

Ted Rall sounds like George W. Bush – “It’s hard work!!”

Yeah, Ted. It is hard work. Keep shoveling. You’ll get there.

#55 Jim Thomas
April/27/2010
@ 11:33 am

I just want to go back to a comment made way back that reads

“P.S. Ware is an *amazing* illustrator. He is not a cartoonist.”

If one were to accept Scott McCloud’s definition of comics, or just go to a comics shop and look at the shelves, or look at the list of comic awards bestowed upon the work (I doubt this would be given to non-comics) it is clear that Chris Ware produces comics that people recognize as such, and in many cases as being very good comics. The general term associated with one who creates comics, graphic novels, strips, etc., is cartoonist.

The above quote is just patently wrong. Do you not like his cartooning, OK. There are a lot of cartoons I don’t like too for one reason or another. But that does not make their creators NOT cartoonists. Just baffling to read a “professional” cartoonist continually attacking other working professionals on such a consistent basis because he doesn’t like them, personally. It doesn’t make you come off as intelligent and knowing, but petty and jealous.

#56 Darryl Ayo Brathwaite
April/27/2010
@ 11:59 am

Pardon me if someone has mentioned this before, but most illustration contract jobs like this contain a “kill fee” clause.

So not only would Ware have submitted an illustration that he should have been reasonably certain would be rejected, but he would have been paid a percentage of the contracted amount. I find that interesting.

#57 Ted Rall
April/27/2010
@ 3:18 pm

@Terry: “How?s that pipeline coming along, by the way? Haven?t heard much about it lately, but I?m sure you have the inside scoop.”

Well, you’d have to read. And no how to use Google:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Afghanistan_Pipeline

“But what was the big money-maker in Vietnam? Was it all just a big conspiracy to corner the world market in fish sauce?”

http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/Vietnam/Full.html

They don’t talk that much about this on Hannity, I know.

#58 Ted Rall
April/27/2010
@ 3:19 pm

“know” how.

Damn! Way to look dumb while trying to slap down a dummy!

#59 peter murphey
April/28/2010
@ 7:34 am

Ted, I?m not quite sure how posting a chart of Vietnam?s current oil and gas production makes anything but a the most childlike case for the Vietnam war being fought out of capitalist greed for money. There is no more corroboration there, as a reason for America?s entrance into Vietnam, than there is in the fish sauce claim. You?ll have to do better than that if you want to position yourself as a more sophisticated advocate about foreign affairs than Hannity.

Seems to me Vietnam was the tail end of a series of decisions that were made to go to war, each influenced by the previous World conflict. During World War Two the European nations stood up to Hitler too late, which ended up allowing for a far longer and more murderous reign by the Third Reich. Everyone was slow to get involved because the world had been so devastated by the death and destruction of World War One, and they were understandably war weary. In Korea, we reacted swiftly, because the lesson we thought we had learned in WW2 was that waiting too long to stand up to an aggressive invasion emboldened tyrants and allowed for more carnage. We were rightfully fearful of the spread of Communism and of the unchecked annexations of sovereign nations. You can’t even make a childlike, pie-chart argument about money driving that war, because South Korea imports almost all of its energy.

Our involvement in Vietnam was engendered by the Cold War thinking, which had been grown out of the experiences of World War Two and Korea. That was what built the domino theory, which stated that if one country in an area fell to Communism all the surrounding ones would too?like dominos. That may not have been entirely accurate, but it is understandable as to why the conclusion was drawn, based on the way the previous three wars had unfolded, and the observable aggressive actions taken by the Soviet Union and China over a forty-year period.

#60 Terry LaBan
April/28/2010
@ 9:15 am

@Ted Damn! Way to look dumb while trying to slap down a dummy!

Actually, the way to look dumb while “slapping down a dummy” is to post links to charts that don’t corroborate your argument in any way. Vietnam has become an oil and gas producer in the last 20 years–so what? The war ended nearly 30 years ago and it started(for us) over 40 years ago. If they start mining uranium in Vietnam 10 years from now, you’ll probably claim we were REALLY fighting in ’65 to get that to. As for the Wikipedia pipeline article, it undermines your argument even more. If the real reason for being in Afghanistan is building the pipeline, why, after almost a decade of involvement there, haven’t we even STARTED it yet? Taking your own information at face value, it looks like Hannity and I have just torn you a new one. Sorry, sucker.

#61 Derf Backderf
April/28/2010
@ 10:03 am

To get back on topic AGAIN.

@Don Hagist: this cover wasn’t “bad business sense” by Ware. I’m sure he got his fee since the damn thing was finished before it was rejected, which means somebody at Fortune approved the sketch. He’ll get more mileage out of being “censored” by Fortune, especially in a week when Goldman Sachs and Wall Sy. is flipping us all off, than he would have from having a published cover. Hell, I didn’t even know Fortune was still around!

#62 Shane Davis
April/28/2010
@ 10:46 am

We actually fought the Spanish American war over mining rights on Mars.

It’s true ’cause it was on the Internets. All of them!

#63 Robert George
April/28/2010
@ 11:51 am

“?But what was the big money-maker in Vietnam? Was it all just a big conspiracy to corner the world market in fish sauce??

http://www.eia.doe.gov/cabs/Vietnam/Full.html

They don?t talk that much about this on Hannity, I know.”

You realize, Ted, that Vietnam’s energy reserves were largely unknown until after the war, right? In fact, it was the realization of some of those reserves that helped precipitate the Sino/Vietnamese war in ’79.

#64 Ted Rall
April/28/2010
@ 2:15 pm

Actually, Western oil concerns, particularly Shell, were deeply involved in the exploitation of natural gas from South Vietnam during the 1960s. The energy connection to Vietnam was widely discussed in the press at the time, and is well known by those who have read about the Vietnam War to a significant extent.

That is not to dismiss the “domino theory” and proxy war against the USSR, etc. Obviously there were other motivations.

But it was argued above that energy and money had nothing to do with Vietnam. It just isn’t so.

#65 Gar Molloy
April/29/2010
@ 2:44 am

It was all because Francis Ford Coppola wanted to make Apocalypse Now, and WWII or the Korean war just didn’t have the right kind of setting for an adaptation of Heart of Darkness. They didn’t want to film in Africa, so they sent in armed location scouts.

#66 Terry LaBan
April/29/2010
@ 7:33 am

Actually, every war in recorded history has really been about oil. The Greeks would never have gone after Helen if the Trojans hadn’t had significant reserves of olive oil. This was widely discussed at the time, for those who have read about the Trojan War to a significant extent.

#67 Robert George
April/29/2010
@ 8:57 am

“Actually, Western oil concerns, particularly Shell, were deeply involved in the exploitation of natural gas from South Vietnam during the 1960s. The energy connection to Vietnam was widely discussed in the press at the time, and is well known by those who have read about the Vietnam War to a significant extent.

That is not to dismiss the ?domino theory? and proxy war against the USSR, etc. Obviously there were other motivations.

But it was argued above that energy and money had nothing to do with Vietnam. It just isn?t so.”

US oil companies are interested in literally every oil and gas deposit on the globe. The US energy companies lose many of those bids. The US goes to war with a tiny fraction of those countries. The vast majority of the energy resources Vietnam has now were not discovered until after the war. I agree, and included the caveat of most, when I brought the topic up. But Vietnam was not, not really even slightly, about energy. We were on the path to Vietnam, and Shell saw an opportunity to piggy back a benefit. War profiteers profit at the margins of wars, usually, not at the heart of them. Its easy to go where no one is looking.

#68 Jason Karl K
May/16/2010
@ 12:26 pm

The ‘hidden’ research being done by Shell is all about harvesting the ‘natural’ oils from the Sebaceous Glands of junk food eaters, a sustainable source. Logistical problems notwithstanding, this is “essentially free biodiesel, eternally generated by a willing albeit highly gullible proportion of an aging vagabond population of human roadkill” (sic)(some shell guy i met once in a pyjama factory) …

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