I meant to post this last week when I saw it and here it’s been sitting in Blogger as a “draft” this whole time. Anyway, here’s what a positive news story looks like these days:
The Army last month stopped accepting felons and recent drug abusers into its ranks as the nation’s economic downturn helped its recruiting, allowing it to reverse a decline in recruiting standards that had alarmed some officers.
Some recent stuff for the OC Weekly. A twenty-something bully bullies a teen that was bullying his younger brother.
And a woman in traffic court encountered a maniacal Judge.
There’s an incredible lack of understanding about cartoons and illustrations in the media. No one seems to know the difference between illustrations and cartoons, what’s drawn and what’s photshopped, what’s traced, what’s swiped, what’s satire and what’s not. I think the infamous New Yorker fist bump cover by Barry Blitt was a good example of the first and last of those points. Now Blitt’s under criticism again for his work.
O’Reilly calls a Blitt illustration accompanying Frank Rich’s Sunday column a “cartoon” and an “atrocity” for depicting the Statue Of Liberty holding a whip. (Didn’t people draw things like that years ago?) O’Reilly doesn’t think torture is an outrage, just an illustration defiling a statue. Putting that incredible cognitive dissonance aside, O’Reilly doesn’t seem to understand the basic concept of cartooning, illustration or even opinion for that matter. Blitt was only doing his job in illustrating Rich’s concepts presented in the column. It wasn’t a cartoon. It was also on the Op-Ed page where I thought opinion was warranted.
Another thing: Cartoonists–or illustrators in this case–are never mentioned by name. O’Reilly wouldn’t cite an offending column in the Times without noting its author. Why no credit to Barry Blitt?
I give O’Reilly 5 loofas (out of 5) for this Pinheaded segment.
(via Comics Reporter)
Lord Reagan signed a document that would be characterized as “liberal” by today’s media. Three concise sentences in the UN Convention Against Torture demolish the arguments made in favor of torture in the last eight years. I wish people could read.
1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat or war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
3. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.
Not bad for a guy that funded death squads.
Another dangerous figure has been incarcerated in beard jail. Kevin Moore posts his own Photoshopped Ayatollah, riffing on my post from yesterday.
If there’s anyone you know who needs a stint in the beard house, I’d encourage you to make one and send it it. It only takes a few minutes.
A poll over at the Comics Riff blog caught my eye. It features a number of caricatures of foreign leaders and asks “which cartoonist drew your favorite?” Amazingly, the current winner is a cartoon by John Sherffius featuring Ayatollah Khomeini. He’s been dead for twenty years, but I suppose his ghost ordered the Iranian government to imprison that poor journalist in his beard.
I’d hate to be jailed in a beard.
Good caricature, huh? Sherffius can draw with the best of them but when he uses Photoshop he really nails the likeness for some reason.
I wanted to see how fast I could replicate this master so I hit up Google image search and grabbed the first result. Then I opened it in Photoshop and applied the Threshold adjustment. Putting the levels at 128 seemed right. Next, I made his eyes appear like they were looking forward and extended his villainous black cloak a bit.
I added Elvis in the weird jail beard because those crazy Iranians hate that hip-shaking troublemaker and all the swooning the ladies do over him.
5 exhausting minutes later I was all done.
Which one of these cartoons is a better caricature? Whose use of Threshold captured the face better? Please vote in my comments section.
During the Bush years it was a daily struggle deciding if policies were more “Orwellian” or “Kafka-esque.” Heated debates would divide the literate. Now conservatives need their own author of nightmares to characterize the Obama years and I’d like to suggest the term “Burgessian.” I finished reading “The Wanting Seed” by Anthony Burgess this weekend and it’s bound to frighten conservatives. Sales for this novel could soon be skyrocketing along with “Atlas Shrugged.”
Imagine reading a book that describes a wildly overpopulated planet where government bureaucrats run everything and enact the following:
If you just thought to yourself “OMG! THAT’S ALL COMING TRUE!” then this book is for you!
Seriously guys, time to dump Ayn Rand and get a dystopian novel to rally around. You can’t really be an opposition unless you have slogans from a poli-sci-fi book to put on your protest placards. That way you can walk around for eight years marveling at how “this is just like The Wanting Seed!”
You’ll also want to not pay attention to the last 2/3 of the book to see what happens when this crazy government collapses. (Imagine Afghanistan run by Catholics where restaurants serve human flesh.)
The CIA and members of the executive branch are either subject to the laws of this nation or they are not. And, if the history of those respectable institutions are any indication, they are not.
The media debate around this is puzzling. It’s nice to see more people calling torture by its name, but everyone is characterizing this in terms of the right and left. I had no idea the Constitution, Geneva Conventions, Nuremberg Principles, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Uniform Code of Military Justice and the UN Convention Against Torture were conceived to satisfy “the left.” The fact that torture cannot be talked about outside of the left/right paradigm says something about our political culture.
We need to follow this through to the end to reestablish the fact that we are a nation of laws. If we don’t, then we aren’t. And we aren’t. So we won’t.
This is sickening.
But as noted in the comments may not be real. I’m always glad if Wu Tang Torture Skit scenarios turn out that way.
We have 50 billion soldiers stationed in 4,000 countries and nobody bats an eyelid. If a Mexican police officer chased a drug dealer over a cattle fence into our country, Lou Dobbs would call for war. We impose all manner of things on other countries that we would never accept.
I mentioned before that Camel always sends my girlfriend coupons because she bought a pack with a debit card once. (They have access to the Matrix apparently.) She had a birthday recently so Camel sent her a card and some more coupons.
Happy Birthday! Keep smoking so you have less of them!
Luckily I work from home and can seize all this material before she gets off work. Now it’s in the shredder. Is that a Federal Crime? I say we should be looking forward and not backward.