Cartoon Violence Gets Back In The Muck
There are some Americans who believe that Cartoon Violence doesn't solve anything. “Stay out!” they say. “Let the cartoonists fight it out amongst themselves. It's a quagmire.” If, however, after all of those dead links and all of those wasted art supplies, there is still no end in sight, then I say the time has come for the American people to turn to new leadership.
Effective immediately — and for the entire month of January — Cartoon Violence will be strategically recommitting manpower toward the neutralization of only the highest value targets: decorated, senior-level cartoonists, Pulitzer Prize-winners, and other influential members of their command structure.
Yr. Wonkette's pledge is simple: We shall pay any price, bemoan any bad metaphor. Beginning with 2013 winner Steve Sack and culminating with 2010 winner Mark Fiore, we will gain back the ground lost since your Comics Curmudgeon withdrew from sustained hostilities four years ago. We cannot erase the mistakes of the past, the ink spilled, but we can and must draw over, so it looks like something else, way better, that we can pretend we drew correctly the first time.
We cannot say with certainty when the Cartoon Violence will end, but the fight must continue for a just and honorable peace.
Also, Josh Fruhlinger said it was cool with him if we steal this gig.
I know that some of you Wonkeroos are the kind of monsters who enjoy it when every otherwise decent character on Parks and Recreation busts on old Jerry/Larry/Garry Gergich. But to the rest of you, the humanitarians now thinking that Steve Sack seems like a nice old man who isn't harming anyone with his editorial drawings, I'd like to direct you toward this Saddam Hussein cartoon from 2002, “Snow-Job Globe.”
Saddam really pulled the wool over our eyes back then, didn't he? Claiming not to have the weapons of mass destruction he actually didn't have — just like someone who secretly DID have weapons of mass destruction would actually claim also! And don't get me started on that Mr. Magoo, Hans Blix! That, in brief, is the problem with Steve Sack: Like an antique weathervane, Sack's cartooning is quaint, inoffensive, and deeply American — and more-or-less an adequate indicator of which way the wind is blowing. Did you know he draws his cartoons on an iPad now!? The one you and your sister got him for Christmas! He just loves it!
If you're still feeling merciful, then please go look at your online bank statement (go on) and know, in your heart, that Steve Sack won a $10,000 cash prize for the following Pulitzer-winning contributions to our political discourse:
JPMorgan is GAMBLING with your money. Roulette specifically, yuk-yuk, yuk-yuk!
The Republicans sure are working themselves into a lather about Obamacare. People also lather shampoooooooo!
CIA director David Petraeus is in the news this week, after evidence emerged of the general's illicit sexual affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. You might say he's shifted his mandate away from top secret material to Victoria's Secret material. Hot cha cha! Criminal négligée ...
Oh, man. Doesn't this trumped-up nonsense in Congress with Susan Rice and Benghazi remind you of a noisy bowl of cereal? Rice Konspiracies, perhaps? Ha, ha: Pulitzer Prize!
What else can we say? As Scott Gillespie, the editorial page editor at the Minneapolis Star Tribunewhere Sack works, put it in his cover letter to the 2013 Pulitzer committee, “Steve's work is consistently excellent and he is beloved readers [sic] .” How can you argue with that?
We are, incidentally, ignoring for the moment all of the other editorial cartoons that Steve Sack produced during his Pulitzer Prize-winning year, including: yet another weaponized snow globe, a two-decade old Energizer Bunny reference, and a joke about Michele Bachmann that manages to be less coherent than Michele Bachmann herself. One of the inspiring things about Steve Sack's victory is that it suggests many of our own Grammies and Pee-Paws have within them the potential to be Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonists, if only we'd send in twenty or so pages from that legal pad near the landline where they doodle.
Other War Criminals' Recent Cartoon Atrocities, In Brief
Who could forget famed NSA whistle-blower Eric Snowden? Certainly, not these two cartoonists at Salon. Eric Snowden's name, Eric, has been on the lips of THE ENTIRE WORLD since his disclosures to Gilbert Greenwald and Leann Poitras of London's En garde, which exposed TO THE ENTIRE WORLD the massive Orwellian scope of the National Surveillance Agency's PRISON software. (No joke: This has been up on Salon uncorrected for over a week now.)
Cartoonist Jim Morin of the Miami Herald has a mind-bending analogy: our dysfunctional Congress is like the year 2014, as represented by a little loopy New Year's baby. Or Congress is the diaper of the year 2014? Time. Space. Matter. Energy. What the Bleep do we know?
Discomfited though we may all be by Steve Sack's 2013 Pulitzer victory, none of us (NONE OF US) could be more upset over it than the self-appointed dean of alternative political comixxxxxes, Ted “Theodore” Rall. Rall took to his syndicated column (He briefly also had a radio show in the late '90s, poor thing.) to pointedly ask “Why Does the Pulitzer Prize Committee Hate 'Alternative' Editorial Cartooning?”
“Why?” Ted Rall really wants to know. “Because it’s edgy? Because it’s left of center? You can’t get a straight answer. When you ask jurors who were there, who sat on the prize committees, they always say that alties were seriously considered, that many of us came very close but just didn’t make the final cut. Sorry, but when that happens 20 years in a row across half a dozen major prizes – 120ish times – it’s hard to believe.”
Perhaps we can look at Rall's most recent comic and give him some assistance. It's a nasty, sanctimonious piece of business, pairing laudably brave and cutting statements from a former U.S. Air Force image analyst, Heather Linebaugh, about our drone program with his signature 'toons. It makes you wonder how someone like Get Your War On cartoonist David Rees would have handled this material — oh! — except he did years ago and managed to produce dark chuckles and a worthy, broad indictment of all of us in the process.
Rall's single contribution with this cartoon — beyond what he could have accomplished by simply retweeting Linebaugh's essay — is to very trenchantly shame fans of the Chicago Bears who eat burgers and shop at malls for not being more politically active on America's human rights violations abroad. Very Chomsky on Sports! What Ted Rall doesn't realize is that the Bears haven't won a Super Bowl since 1985 and their fans cannot be shamed. Meanwhile, the rest of us can pat ourselves on the back for having read Rall's comic in our local alt weekly or at TruthOut or wherever, before checking back at StubHub to see on those tix, then see if that goddamn new episode of Sherlock is still torrenting. Good on fucking us for knowing about fucked up shit tho'!
And, But, Still, because Ted Rall is technically 'an ally' in the great war against shitty political cartoons, your humble Wonkette has done the right thing. We've fixed his comic for him!
[click to embiggen]