See All Topics

Home / Section: Editorial cartooning

CSotD: Thinking things through

It would be too easy to say “The jokes tell themselves,” but, yes, Kayleigh MagaNinny really did explain to reporters yesterday that Dear Leader would wait until after the election results were in before deciding whether to accept them as valid.

Jokes are funny, and this isn’t, but, assuming you share my love of gallows humor, things can be both funny and frightening.

The challenge is in fictionalizing or exaggerating or otherwise finding a way to present the facts in a way that makes their stunning horror clear, and, while simply quoting the monstrosities verbatim can work, Ann Telnaes adds bandit masks to make the criminal conspiracy more plain.

Which still leaves us wondering “more plain to whom?” because the challenge remains to convert as well as to motivate, and maybe that’s just not possible in the current climate.

 

As a more complicated f’rinstance, after a Goodyear plant seems to have messed up a sensitivity training, Trump leapt upon them with a call for a boycott, and Jack Ohman depicts it this way.

When Ohman previewed the cartoon on-line, it sparked a conversation about how hard it was to avoid the Hindenburg motif, but doing something well gets you largely off the hook for not being the only one trying it at all.

I particularly like the notion that Trump’s little boycott balloon is expected to keep the blimp afloat, and Ohman also indicates the risk of alienating a key swing state, foreshadowing the disastrous tie-up.

I think Goodyear screwed up in the original policy which allowed statements of racial equality but banned statements against it, if not in banning specific political statements, and particularly in their lukewarm, unclear corporate response.

But Trump screwed up worse by drawing attention to it and certainly by urging a boycott of an American-made product for what are clearly partisan political reasons.

 

I think Bill Day scored by abandoning the blimp theme and going instead to that partisan blunder.

I like both approaches, but they’re different ways of addressing the topic: Ohman offers more analysis, while Day simply suggests the results.

 

Meanwhile, David Rowe offers this opinion of Dear Leader’s unhinged, ALL-CAPS Twitter rage over Barack Obama’s speech last night.

Again, there’s a lot to work with here: The lack of knowledge of how political conventions work, the apparent surprise that someone would endorse a member of his own political party and the paranoid notion that he was being spied on.

It could all be spun into a confusing, argumentative cartoon, but, instead, Rowe simply depicts a very small person being very small.

Less is more.

 

Steve Sack, by contrast, uses a fairly simple drawing to launch a fairly complicated thought process.

It shouldn’t be: The idea of supporting police by supporting responsible law enforcement should, as the fellow in the cartoon says, be fairly obvious.

But it’s not, in our divided world, and perhaps moreso because Sack is based in Minneapolis, where the George Floyd case was only the final spark in a long smoldering problem.

I grew up with “community policing,” in a small town with a pair of State Troopers who were fellow citizens — one of them was even the son-in-law of my second grade teacher and his wife was our school’s dental hygienist.

But I’ve also known deputies who put a drunken friend in a cell with convicts awaiting transport to the penitentiary, then left him there to be raped and have his jaw shattered, apparently because he had long hair.

And I saw “good cops” at a peace march in Chicago try to push us back out of harm’s way while their colleagues beat the living crap out of other protesters.

So, yes, the “problem” is people who feel it’s an issue of either liking black people and hating cops or vice-versa.

Good policing is possible, but everybody has to cooperate, and you can’t let the bad cops — or their union — intimidate good cops, local politicians or the people on the street.

Funny/Not Funny story: At one paper, I was alerted to a sheriff’s deputy who, asked to fetch a 17-year-old for questioning about a friend, went all Barney Fife on him, taking him down at gunpoint and handcuffing him.

I questioned him and the sheriff, but only later found out he got a 30-day suspension without pay. Later, I heard he bullied a young woman on the roadside, and then I heard he’d been shifted to inspecting recycle labels at the landfill.

Finally, he was fired after he and some colleagues rewired the security cameras at the county jail so they could watch “Seinfeld.”

It shouldn’t have taken all that.

We can do better. We have to.

And Sack is right: A demand for responsible community policework is supportive of the police.

If you don’t get that, you’re the one with the problem, but, then again, it’s everybody’s problem.

 

Juxtaposition of the Coming Horror Show

(Kal Kallaugher)

 

(Mike Lester)

I have to believe we’re going to come through this election okay, but it’s going to get ugly on a level we haven’t seen since Little Rock and South Boston.

Kal points out the disconnect between all the real crises we’re facing and the way Republicans are distracting from those Dumpster fires by exploiting a brief relationship Harris had with then-State Speaker Willie Brown to accuse her of “sleeping her way to the top.”

Thin gruel, indeed, as Snopes reports:

I suppose Lester is right that vicious spin is part of the free press, but he buttressed his opinion at Counterpoint with a link to a hateful article at the American Spectator that not only hurls degrading insults about women who don’t preserve their virginity forever, but adds the racist nonsense that Harris isn’t African-American because her father was from Jamaica.

Because, as we all remember from the Jim Crow days, they’d check birth certificates, and, if you or your parents were born in the Caribbean, you could drink from the white fountain, eat at the lunch counter and sit wherever you wanted on the bus.

And I have a bridge to sell you.

Not in Brooklyn.

In Selma.

 

Community Comments

#1 Nick Merritt
August/20/2020
@ 6:16 am

Can’t help but wonder if we should be reading anything in Lester’s (subconscious?) portrayal of himself with a witless stare…

#2 Paul Berge
August/20/2020
@ 6:34 am

btw, Does the right-wing narrative posit that Africans came to the Caribbean for the sun and the sand and the pina coladas?

#3 Mike Beede
August/20/2020
@ 6:41 am

I suppose the Greeks had a world for the technique Lester uses of claiming he’s not allowed to say what he in fact is saying, but I could never keep all those rhetorical terms straight. His effort seemed a bit weak, but I was thinking the same of Kallaugher’s until I saw Lester’s … huh, I guess they *are* doing that.

I guess if you don’t have a bass drum, beat on a coffee can. No coffee can? At least you can do Calvin peeing on the competition.

#4 Phil Maish
August/20/2020
@ 7:06 am

Straw tha Man argument

#5 Paul Berge
August/20/2020
@ 12:24 pm

As for Mike Lester’s cartoon, can we see a show of hands from all the cartoonists whose editors would let them draw the First Lady as a porn model?

#6 Hank Gillette
August/20/2020
@ 1:56 pm

Okay, it seems to be confirmed that Kamala Harris had a relationship with Willie Brown. But Lester says “politicians”. What other politician or politicians is she reputed to have had a relationship with, or is Lester just pulling this from his nether regions?

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.