Author Archives: Bok

Cartoon Punch Down

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If somebody tells you you can’t draw something, the proper response of any self-respecting cartoonist is to draw that thing. Bosch Fawstin did exactly that and won first prize in the “Draw Mohammad” contest a week ago. In his cartoon a sword wielding Mohammad says, “You can’t draw me”, to which Fawstin responds, “That’s why I draw you.”

He also drew a response. Two heavily armed would be jihadis were gunned down by a cop with a pistol as they tried to turn “Draw Mohammad” into a “Charlie Hebdo” style massacre.

Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau’s approach is different from the Fawstin way. He explained it in his acceptance speech for a Polk lifetime achievement award  last month. It’s the punching bag theory of cartooning. He says that satire must always punch up at the powerful and never punch down at the powerless.

Now they tell me. There are rules for satire.

I like Doonesbury but haven’t liked its politics ever since the entire cast cheered Nixon’s wage/price controls back in the early 70’s. But that’s no reason to not appreciate a good cartoon. Doonesbury has been like an ongoing play with well developed characters who grow over time. It’s witty too. Most of the time.

Steyn Punch Down

Mark Steyn, on the other hand, hates Trudeau’s guts. So I picked out some of the good stuff from his column A Contemptible Man Strikes Down:

“The Polk Award is named after a journalist shot dead at point-blank range in 1948 while covering the Greek civil war. So you might have thought it would be in ever so mildly bad taste to use the opportunity of a Polk acceptance speech to piss on the graves of a group of journalists similarly murdered. Nevertheless, that’s what Mr Trudeau did:

Charlie Hebdo, which always maintained it was attacking Islamic fanatics, not the general population, has succeeded in provoking many Muslims throughout France to make common cause with its most violent outliers. This is a bitter harvest.

Ah, so Charlie Hebdo is to blame for provoking ordinary, peaceful, moderate Muslims into supporting the Allahu Akbar guys who killed them.

Traditionally, satire has comforted the afflicted while afflicting the comfortable. Satire punches up, against authority of all kinds, the little guy against the powerful. Great French satirists like Molière and Daumier always punched up, holding up the self-satisfied and hypocritical to ridicule. Ridiculing the non-privileged is almost never funny—it’s just mean.

 

Brady Balls

150507-brady-ballsThe NFL says Tom Brady cheated his way to the Super Bowl by using deflated balls. He has thrown a record 12 touchdown passes in his Super Bowl career. Now Brady is throwing the guys who deflated the balls for him under the bus.

Update: NFL suspended Brady 4 games. His agent will appeal.

Bill has Bills to Pay

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I don’t know how the Clintons get by. They were dead broke when they left the White House. Bill says he has no choice but keep taking half million dollar speaking gigs to pay the bills.

When Hillary was Secretary of State the Russians bought 20% of the US uranium supply. Investors in the company involved gave millions to the Clinton Foundation and hired Bill for one of those $500,000 speeches. If she becomes president maybe they can buy the other 80%.

That’s a reset.

Gay Marriage Baked in the Cake

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The Supreme Court is considering whether same sex marriage is a constitutional right. Many court experts think it’s already baked in the cake. American tolerance of homosexuality has improved dramatically in a short time. Does the tolerance go both ways?

LGBT activists recently shunned and boycotted a prominent gay couple for hosting Ted Cruz for a discussion about gay marriage and the Middle East. A Christian couple in Oregon lost their bakery when they refused to bake a cake for a same sex wedding. Then a judge fined them $135000. They were kicked off GoFundMe where they were raising funds to pay the fine.

During oral arguments last week Alito asked if churches could lose their tax exempt status if they refuse to perform  gay weddings. The government lawyer said it would be “an issue”.

Mothers Day in Baltimore

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Nothing is more embarrassing than having your mom smack you upside the head and drag you home in front of your fellow rioters. Toya Graham didn’t want to see her son become another Freddie Gray . Her solution upstaged President Obama who condemned the violence in Baltimore, blamed Republicans, and called for more spending.