Monday, October 19, 2009

This post'll win me a Pulitzer Prize

"Well, it's a humor strip, so my first responsibility has always been to entertain the reader... But if, in addition, I can help move readers to thought and judgment about issues that concern me, so much the better." - Garry Trudeau

The official title is "Republicans," which isn't necessarily the case, what with the constant din of politics these days. But as far as obstructionist tactics and snarling, Pavlovian rhetoric, definitely gotta throw the GOP a well-earned bone. Sadly, bipartisanship is a foregone conclusion, and this administration's cleanup duty will take some time and effort , especially when dealing with feral, rabid animals. Personally I like this panel best of all that's been done so far this year, especially as far as coalescing concepts into a regionally specific image. And drawing it didn't take anywhere near as long as I'd originally thought, seeing as how all the dogs are, eh, white. The little Alaskan-y touches; flat-roofed kennels and the trademark drunken forest go with the vernacular of mushing territory.
Still wish I'd kept in the one who was lifting his leg on Obama's leg though...
This is the second illustration I've done that's graced the front cover of the Ester Republic which just hit the stands (website here, and also the publisher's blog here); well worth a subscription (hint, hint), if only to get my unedited editorials to collect for your outhouse library.

And within the very same issue, here's some editorial bifurcation that oughta inflict cognitive dissonance. The irony's gonna kill me: this spin on Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize might seem a little harsh, but I'm sure it pales in comparison to the suffering being inflicted right now upon innocent people while still waging war.
Yeah, I'm impatient. Yep, it's my own damned opinion that'll be summarily rejected as coming from a purity troll. Actually, there's another, more subtle interpretation, one that I favor over the shallow surface treatment that this image portrays, one that's even more twisted than the average viewer's imagination.
Seeing as how this image is "old," there's an occupational hazard of softening on your own stance - bad enough the topics are usually dated and timed with a current event that'll quickly lose context once faded from communal memory, worse still if a few days pass and you rethink it after reviewing. There have been some panels I actually slightly regret with the benefit of hindsight, and given the second chance I'd would pass on full, open display of my own damn opinion. How fortunate to have the seasoning experience of making a complete ass out of myself anyways with in the other world of single-panel gags, so guess that makes me a professional. You get over it.

Anyways, I think it would have been far more effective and made an incredible statement to gracefully decline the honor: that act alone would have afforded an unprecedented platform from which to really say something. Nevermind actually doing something, as lofty symbolism of words without deeds is utterly lost on most people. Just being better than Bush isn't enough, just like winning the election wasn't enough. Plus there's the pathological narcissism inherent in many who aspire to political leadership (fortunately no definitive case studies on arrogant, egotistical cartoonists) so the whole false humility thing doesn't wash either. Much.

There's a damn good reason I don't belong to either the Democrat or Republican parties (or for that matter, have many friends), and it looks as if the honeymoon is over for ratcheting up the rhetoric. My cynicism over the endless capitulation and spinelessness of Democrats in the past has tarnished any outlook I personally have on politics, which is a perspective that trumps blind party allegiance. What's amazing is how effortlessly either "side" slips into knee-jerk reactionary caricatures of themselves, and is absolutely incapable of being objective much less having a sense of humor or irony.

Now, I would love to be proven wrong...

"Satire is focused bitterness." - Leo Rosten

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