Friday, June 12, 2009

Editorial: Palindrome + redux

Here's a "good" demo I did for the class, in that it illustrates how taking on too many topics and relying on obscure cultural references can sink a cartoon. Also it points up that nomatter how well executed the actual drawing is, the idea is central to its success or failure, the concept is crucial. So while this particular panel was done as a demonstration in technique with composition and line weight, it totally failed in its purpose: what I originally envisioned was an image that showed the continuing soap opera with Governor/ex-VP candidate Palin's constant invitations/disinvitations to Republican events, plus the evolving love/hate relationship and internal power struggles within the GOP over what and who constitutes their public face. So I thought of the Br'er Rabbit tale with the infamous tar baby character, and tried to show Republican elephants straining to disengage themselves from Palin. Unfortunately the point(s) are made even more obscure by a poorly executed drawing: the majority of folks that proofed it thought the elephants were humping her legs. Not to mention I screwed up the reference by making her the rabbit - sometimes I hate looking back on embarrassing misfires like this, but I'm certainly not immune from screwing up.
However, the other key aspect of the panel is still salvageable: I had stumbled over the totally applicable palindrome "party booby trap," and rather than double-up concepts thought it'd be more effective to just key off that caption instead. Now ideally you'd want to resolve all this with roughs before wasting so much time on what results in a complete miss, but if wasting time drawing is a concern to you, this probably isn't a good career choice to begin with. Still, every failure contains the seeds of success, or something to that effect.

So here's take II: this time juxtaposing the palindrome with another currently unfolding situation, our old friends Exxon getting on board with the continuing Alaska natural gas pipeline scenario. Needless to say, partnering with the biggest corporation in the history of the planet which royally screwed over Alaska is raising some hackles. I like the word "Exxon" spelled out in punji sticks under the trapdoor, along with the depiction of the Republican elephant by the more regionally appropriate (and especially considering the political climate change) woolly mammoth.

Speaking of raising hackles, as an update on an earlier posted panel, seems it garnered attention from Conservatives 4 Palin, a website devoted to cheerleading our governor from an anonymous, Outside perspective. Just from the spin on the title of the post you can immediately ascertain their selectively biased interpretation: "Fairbanks Cartoonist Jamie Smith Links Palin to Murder." Right away you know they have an agenda and will refuse to address at all cost the actual point of the cartoon. Here's a sampling of the comments which actually is a pretty fair representation of that website's following, and is indicative of the mindset which will tip over when confronted with any valid criticism of Palin:

Blogger ZH said..."Only sick minds and dishonest persons are doing this."

Blogger Doug (formerly DB) said..."Really who cares? Only 6 or 8 morons look at that website and those of the same ilk (mudflats, blue sh!thole, immoral minority, etc.) anyway. They're all the same."

Blogger LindaW said..."I really hate the liberal media."

Blogger juju said..."The majority of fair minded people would find this cartoon offense regardless of who was featured in the cartoon. It is tasteless. I would be embarrassed if a Palin supporter did something like this and would call them out on it. But, the Palin haters have no pride in themselves or anyone else."

juju said..."That's what makes us different from them."

Blogger techno said..."All everybody at C4P has to bear in mind is that the socialist-statist takeover of the American government has been 40 years in the making and that George Soros,, the Daily Kos, Huffington Post, labor union leaders, avowed socialists or communists, Lefty political pundits, radical professors, former domestic terrorists, Bush haters, Caucasians laden with white guilt, community organizers, Black liberation groups, inner city poverty groups, La Raza, ACORN, Muslims, Obamatrons and Obama and his merry men and women and their allies and fellow travellers are not about to let a 'hick from Wasilla', 2nd amendment yahoos from flyover country, and holy rollers from the Bible Belt to undermine their longstanding and long-suffering efforts to bring about the revolution."

Blogger bestbud said..."This is just sick...from a sick and perverse culture of spoiled rotten animals thinking they answer to no one..... its the way society has coddled and bottle feed the CLUELESS little self absorb misfits of worthless character all their pathetic lives."

Blogger Illinois Conservative (Whitney) said..."This is absolute crap. I know I shouldn't be surprised, but it still ticks me off, especially since she actually made a statement about this! Grr!!!!"

Blogger Kevin said..."If God smiles long enough on America to see the beautiful Governor elected POTUS, rest assured there will be a pandemic of psychotic hysteria and even waves of mass suicide among these people. Her victory will make their hate and rage completely boil over, pushing them into acts of desperation. And while the mass suicide thing may be the single best reason to vote for her, people of their sociopathic mindset who are pushed into that position very often don't care about what collateral damage their actions may cause. The harming of innocents is justified in their own sick minds as long as they can indulge their hate."
Here I want to specifically call attention to that last comment that I feel exemplifies the term "cognitive dissonance." Again:
"...while the mass suicide thing may be the single best reason to vote for her, people of their sociopathic mindset who are pushed into that position very often don't care about what collateral damage their actions may cause. The harming of innocents is justified in their own sick minds as long as they can indulge their hate."
That's an impressively smooth shift within the span of one sentence, and I honestly am completely baffled at both the classic projection and the jaw-dropping display of, well, here's some excerpted symptoms, common characteristics and criteria:
* Reckless disregard for the safety of self or others
* Deceitfulness/manipulativeness
* Lack of empathy
* Lack of remorse, indifferent to or rationalizes having hurt or mistreated others
* Lack of personal insight
* Inability to distinguish right from wrong

Dissocial personality disorder
1. Callous unconcern for the feelings of others and lack of the capacity for empathy.
2. Gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations.
4. Very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence.
5. Incapacity to experience guilt and to profit from experience, particularly punishment.
6. Marked proneness to blame others or to offer plausible rationalizations for the behavior bringing the subject into conflict.
7. Persistent irritability.
It also serves as a prime case-in-point that reasoning with these folks is perhaps asking too much; reasoned debate is simply beyond them, and many of them are actually a legitimate threat and should be viewed as dangerous people. Violent rhetoric encouraging domestic terrorism is a recurrent theme in the media, and Palin's conduct during the campaign fed into this as a deliberate tactic, and is consequently an albatross around her neck no matter how she tries to disavow the cause and effect results afterwards. I'd applaud her as a leader would that she emulate Obama's attempt at reconciliation on the abortion debate, but this might not only be a hopelessly naive position but an ultimately doomed one simply because probably there is no middle ground, or at least things are unraveling to that point. There's little or no reasoning with extremists on this and other divisive and emotional issues; the comment I quoted above is a perfect example of how it is possible for a pro-lifer to rationalize and justify murdering someone.

At least irony isn't dead. Yet.

1 comment:

  1. Irony will be the last thing to die. It's being fed such a rich diet, but it's getting plenty of exercise.