I seem to have annoyed just about everyone this week. It’s a character flaw that’s followed me throughout my life and at least partially explains why I’m not as successful as some of my other cartoonist brethren. I’ve been fired from more jobs than most people have ever had. It’s a good bet that I’ve lasted at The Union as long as I have because they don’t let me anywhere near the newsroom, where I would no doubt instigate some kind of office revolution.
It’s not that I don’t admire those who take a stand for their party’s principles, or those who put their opinions online where they will be subjected to the meat grinder of criticism and ridicule. I value the opinions of all those who wander into my little corner of the internet, whether I agree with them or not. (Just don’t make it personal, hint, hint.)
But I just can’t help but notice the inconsistancies in what some parties and governments say and what they actually do. It’s hard to refrain from pointing out hypocrisy when it’s in my face. It’s obvious to me, at least, when the national dialogue has sunk to the level of Romney Hood versus Obamaloney, we are all in deep doo-doo.
By pointing out these flaws, my hope is that it might cause a little introspection, thereby modifying the hardliner’s rhetoric and finding some common ground with his or her adversaries. Right. If anything, it usually leads to the digging in of heels and clenching of fists. No quarter, no sense.
That makes it even harder for my pea-brain to comprehend. Here we have this imperfectly wonderful country, and we’re willing to flush it down the toilet of history to preserve our unwavering belief that there is only one true path to the future. Even more annoying is that both parties actually believe that they can hold on to a majority long enough to implement their vision. If anyone hasn’t noticed, the last five or six national elections have been decided by spaghetti-thin margins. Factor in the Electoral College and the picture gets even muddier.
So Congress spends most of its time introducing bills that they already know are dead on arrival, just to make points with the base. That’s when they’re not perpetually fundraising and campaigning, or traveling to exotic locales on “fact-finding” junkets. Meanwhile, businesses and families continue to suffer from the uncertainy fostered by our elected representatives.
That’s why I wonder why so many people keep voting for these outdated institutions, hoping that this time they’ll get it right! History seems to dictate otherwise. And it doesn’t help that there is no credible third party to break up the duopoly. Like I’m going to vote for Rosanne Barr. Gary Johnson isn’t a bad choice for the libertarian-minded voter. I’m sure he’ll pull some of the Ron Paul votes away from the Republicans, but probably not enough to make a difference. Most people believe we need more government than the Libs would allow, they just want it working for them rather than against them.
Yes, my life would be much easier if I could just swallow the Kool Aid and bow to the party line of one or the other. Elections are one of the few growth industries in this funky economy, and I could make good money demonizing the enemy with my trustly croquill and a sheet of paper. But most media outlets have joined the great divide, and will only allow speech that backs up their own bias, true or not. Ah well, Kool Aid is fattening anyway.
Since I have cows in today’s entry, I can’t help but notice the debate over at Rebane’s Runminations has shifted to a discussion on the evils of meat. I’ve seen this one coming for awhile. The Forces of Goodness and Health point out that red meat is a bad thing, be it cholesterol, overgrazing or cow exhaust. It’s also a way to get rid of those corporate fast food restaurants that clutter our highways and streets. They’ll try to adapt; think Broccoli King or Mc Carrot’s, but I doubt it will catch on. We’ll just find our protein elsewhere, and the squirrel population will suffer.
Now I’ve probably upset the digestive systems of you vegans out there, but that’s the way it goes. Everybody’s mad, and I didn’t want you to feel left out.
As long as I known you Mr. Crabb, you’ve been Way too logical…and I’m afraid today’s post is no different. Logic just isn’t a part of the political equation (like I’m tellin’ you somthin’). You are brave to tread the waters Bob. But where to throw the vote? I gave in long ago. But thanks for you stalwart efforts. Carry on Crabbman!…I am a daily reader if nothing else.
That cartoon is very apropos! Like San, I am indifferent about politics, as a matter of fact there are only two things I really hate about all politicians: Their face.
However, political discussions seem to produce humorous conversations, and I’m into humor! Your cartoons and commentary are funny and intelligent — and the comments from readers never fails to amuse me!
I see much value in what Gregory Zaller suggests, but am skeptical that it would produce many laughs. It could happen, though.
I think you are right that it might not be funny the same as a pie in your face. Still I can imagine a sort of little chuckle coming from the shock of a reasonable hope not yet considered. But it is two birds with stone. The other bird is coming to accept that there are good solutions yet to be thought of.
Gregory, I agree.
By the way, your list (below) reminds me of a song called, “What If” — from the jazz/funk group, “War”. It’s a song from the mid 90s that was included on their ‘Peace Sign’ CD. It’s a fun, upbeat, yet somber reminder of where our country’s values are.
You may piss ’em off, Bob, but it just tickles me to see that you are know the name of the local newspaper consists of two words, both of which are properly capitalized and italicized. You are, in many ways, a rare individual.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
― Buckminster Fuller
Why not imagine sanity and write comics about that? Schools where children learn to be competent adults, businesses that profit from making a difference, police that nurture citizenship, homeless homes that teach self-sufficiency, politicians that solve problems, international organizations that build peace from the ground up, newspapers that give insight, families where the parents know what they are doing, prisons that successfully treat mental illness, courts that value prevention over punishment, television that teaches life lessons, farms that respect the earth, churches that reflect their founders etc. etc.
Why not explore in your comics the little steps we can begin to take that will head us in a better direction? In that manner you might realize your dream.
I would argue that my frequent critiques of the status quo have always suggested the solution to humanity’s problems. Cooperation, consensus, and a willingness to deal with reality instead of kicking the can down the road to the next generation; these are the qualities we need from our representatives. I do humor, which illustrates our shortcomings, foibles and prejudices. George Orwell once said, “Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie.” Well, that’s what I do, throw pies. Once you get over the shock of being hit by one, you do get to lick the custard off your face, so it’s not all bad.
I have done many positive cartoons over the years. Sometimes on my own or with other authors, like Brian Jones here…
Your comics are very thoughtful but what about new ideas?
In the book Toxic Charity, for example, I just read a story from the author that would be very effective as a comic. A Christian group was disseminating Christmas presents when he noticed the father had left the room. It then occurred to him that this way of providing presents was effectively emasculating the father and his family because they could not provide it and the presents were one size fits all. In the end he established a store where very discounted donated presents could be purchased by these poor or they could work in the store to earn them. The sales would go toward a community goal. The difference is night and day. A comic like this could inject solution thinking into our brains.
Why not tell stories that bring new ideas to life, as only comics can do, ideas that would make a positive difference? Throw seeds not pies!
Thanks, Gregory. Right now I have one book, Scablands, an autobiographical story, that is about three-quarters done. Meanwhile, I have another percolating in my brain that will be aimed at a younger audience and may incorporate some of the themes that you advocate. It may be some time before either sees the light of day.
Ithink that the meat discussion at Rebane’s is merely a temporary sideline, but I’ve now added a bit of fuel to that fire:
Most of the conversation now concerns fracking, and I’ve also covered that here: farstars.blogspot.com
Oh, Mr. Crabb, I love “By pointing out these flaws (hypocrisies), my hope is that it might cause a little introspection, thereby modifying the hardliner’s rhetoric and finding some common ground with his or her adversaries.”
Please keep up the story medicine towards our culture.
Thank you for spotlighting system/personal habits maintaining alienation by yakking antiquated mental yama-yama like a stuck recording defining otherness rather than “common ground” and wholeness. Holistic truth (a Universal Principle) requires respect for other perspectives and often stimulates unfamiliar inclusions. If someone is threatened by perceptual variance maybe there is a need for replenishing authentic self respect.
Want an Oreo? Yikes!
Yes, please, and a tall cool glass of 2% milk. Now can you tell me what cookies have to do with Ms. Folcks’ comment?
No thanks. I’ve got better things to do.
I’m not racist literate enough to figure that one out. We needs clues, Todd. (go for it!)
TD, you are right, that would be a difficult exercise for you. Sorry.
OK, I’ll guess. The Oreo cookies were actually filled with Strontium-90…or was that the dulce de leche?
R.L. I loved your line about “cow exhaust” and how several paragraphs later you alluded to broccoli which produces it’s own specific kind of exhaust. And speaking of specific kinds of gas…
It seems as if it’s easier to annoy people re political matters this election cycle than ever before. As I participate in any number of BLOGS and forums around the ‘net, I’ve found that if I or anyone else expresses their political opinions the reactions are more likely to produce various levels of personal attacks than any meaningful dialogs. Suddenly it becomes a pissing match rather than a discussion. I do know one thing for sure: people on both sides of the spectrum are equally outraged at the way the candidates and their advisors are behaving. It seems that both Obama and Romney are shooting themselves in the foot every time they spout their all but meaningless rhetoric. I’d really like to see them talk to us about their plans to fix our economy, our broken government and the other issues that concern most of the voters, or at least those who can still hear themselves over the hate-filled sophistry that has become the hallmark of the American political process in the 21st century. It’s not about who is the best candidate, but who is the one that can shout the loudest and spend the most money. How strange that in a recession, all this money can be generated. It kind of makes you think the wealthy may just be running the show.
Don’t have a cow in the middle of the road.
Kool-Aid is plentyful enough in this county, but I am having a heck of a time finding a pair of black Nike’s and a purple shroud!