Friday Nite Lites: Binders, Cave Walls and the Importance of Editorial Cartoons

Via Kathy on my Facebook page…Scrolls full of women….love it!

Time again for those wonderful political editorial cartoons. First I want to bring you this essay by Mr. Fish. I’ve no doubt that many of you know my fondness for editorial cartoons. I think they are one of the most essential forms of expression and feel sure that you will agree they are vital in times like these.  So please read this essay in full. It is a long read but worth it.

Mr. Fish: Drawing Conclusions: The Editorial Cartoon – Truthdig

Mr. Fish is the curator of “Drawing Conclusions,” an exhibit exploring the history of editorial cartooning on display at USC Annenberg’s Second Floor Gallery and Room 207 from Oct. 24 to May 13, 2013. It is co-sponsored by The Future of Journalism Foundation, a project of Community Partners.

I have no idea what readership is of written editorials, but it doesn’t come anywhere close to the readership of editorial cartoons.
–Paul Conrad, editorial cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times

Stop them damned pictures! I don’t care so much what the papers say about me. My constituents don’t know how to read, but they can’t help seeing them damned pictures!
–William “Boss” Tweed, discredited New York politician responding to editorial cartoons by Thomas Nast

Art is a finger up the bourgeoisie ass.
–Pablo Picasso

For reasons that may have to do only with the perfunctory indifference that comes with incuriosity, there has never been a precise understanding by the dominant culture of what an editorial cartoonist is. Having been inexorably linked to journalism because their work has traditionally been published in daily newspapers, the value and professional integrity of editorial cartoonists have been unfairly forced to rise and fall with the health of the Fourth Estate.

Thus, with the steady disintegration of the print media and the pandemic elimination of staff cartoonist positions from periodicals everywhere, the question has become: Without an industry to sustain the definition of what an editorial cartoonist has come to mean to the public mind, what will happen to those men and women who draw pictures containing a political or social message? When circumstances in a society shift dramatically enough to make extinct a profession so narrowly defined by myopic and mainstream ideas, does this mean the end of the activity previously exercised within that profession, or does it merely demand a reconfiguration of consciousness allowing for the emergence of a more enlightened understanding of what the editorial cartoonist’s job is and where it might best find support, institutional or otherwise? In other words, is cartooning a vocation or a calling?

It’s arguable that editorial cartooning, in one form or another, has been with us ever since, in the words of Mark Twain, God made the mistake of preserving sin by not forbidding Eve to devour the snake, an act of bureaucratic mismanagement so fundamentally destructive that our sense of moral self-determinism has never been the same. Nor has our belief in the absolute wisdom of our authority figures.

But editorial cartooning has been around even longer than that.  In fact, it is not beyond comprehension that we have never been without it, particularly if we are to define the word “editorial” as the exposition of a personal opinion and “cartooning” merely as the rendering of that opinion in pictorial form. Given such a description, we come to find that the earliest practitioners of the art form were editorializing on the walls of limestone caves in the south of France some 33,000 years ago, eons before the Bible places the events that took place in the Garden of Eden. Of even greater significance is how these cave drawings predate the invention of the written word by the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia by 30,000 years, proof that when it comes to the mode of communication upon which human beings have historically most relied, it is the visual depiction of our life’s experiences, rather than phonetic symbols arranged on a straight line, that have proven themselves most deeply meaningful.

That is just the first few paragraphs. Read the rest at the link above.

Now on with the show.

Let’s start with some cartoons on Malala Yousafzia, the Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban early last week.

Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » Afghan Women

Afghan Women © Bill Day,Cagle Cartoons,Taliban,women,children,malala yousafzai

Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai © Pat Bagley,Salt Lake Tribune,Malala,Yousafzai,Taliban,Pakistan,education,knowledge,Women,malala yousafzai

Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » Malalas Courage

Malalas Courage © Jeff Koterba,Omaha World Herald, NE,malala,courage,taliban,shooting,education,women,teenager,school

Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » And a Child Shall Lead Them

And a Child Shall Lead Them © Mark Streeter,The Savannah Morning News,malala yousafzai,activist,school,terror,child,taliban,shooting

Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » CANADA Bullies

CANADA Bullies © Cardow,The Ottawa Citizen,CANADA,bullying,online,facebook,social,media,teenagers,Amanda,Todd,suicide,Pakistan,Malala,Yousafzai,Taliban,malala yousafzai

Now for some cartoons on Romney, including his binders full of women:

Talk about monsters in your closet, or at your front door: AAEC – Political Cartoon by Gustavo Rodriguez, El Nuevo Herald – 10/17/2012

Cartoon by Gustavo Rodriguez -

From my favorite cartoonist: 10/21 Mike Luckovich cartoon: Halloween candy | Mike Luckovich


A woman’s place is in the binder – Political Cartoon by J.D. Crowe, Mobile Register – 10/19/2012

Cartoon by J.D. Crowe - A woman's place is in the binder

AAEC – Political Cartoon by John Cole, Scranton Times/Tribune – 10/19/2012

Cartoon by John Cole -

Now a few on the debates:

Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » VP Debate: Smile over substance

VP Debate: Smile over substance © Rob Tornoe,Media Matters,Paul Ryan,Joe Biden,Fox News,media,Vice President,VP Debate,water,debate,biden ryan debate

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette – 10/19/2012

Cartoon by Joe Heller -

BB sent me this next one, from Pat Bagley at the Salt Lake Tribune:

A few on Paul Ryan, and the Right Wing:

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Matt Bors, Universal Press Syndicate – 10/17/2012

Cartoon by Matt Bors -

Cagle Post – Political Cartoons & Commentary – » 850 Calorie School Lunch

850 Calorie School Lunch © Bob Englehart,The Hartford Courant,school,food,calories,lunch,bread,water,students

(I do have to say, this cut in school lunch should bring healthier food, but they should not cut the portions.)

AAEC – Political Cartoon by David Horsey, Los Angeles Times – 10/19/2012

Cartoon by David Horsey -

And with that Trolling Ratfucker…I end this post!

28 Comments on “Friday Nite Lites: Binders, Cave Walls and the Importance of Editorial Cartoons”

  1. Hope you all have a wonderful evening!

  2. ANonOMouse says:

    Love all the cartoons JJ, but I especially love the last one. Trolling ratfucker. 🙂

  3. pdgrey says:

    JJ. I always enjoy the cartoons! I also loved the article on editorial cartoons. My favorite was the little girl “now understanding”. By the way i left a spill on the aisle below, i kinda of went on a tear. if I upset anyone sorry. Unfortunately i have to go back to work in 30 minutes so I can’t be here.

  4. dakinikat says:

    Am the only one that can see the Salt Lake Trib cartoon?

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Susie Madrack says the “Grand Bargain” has been put off until next year, at which point if Obama is elected, Obama will support cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

  6. RalphB says:

    Darrell Issa seems to have royally fucked up, again!

    Foreign Policy: Issa’s Benghazi document dump exposes several Libyans working with the U.S.

    House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) compromised the identities of several Libyans working with the U.S. government and placed their lives in danger when he released reams of State Department communications Friday, according to Obama administration officials.

    • bostonboomer says:

      That’s what happens when you put a car thief and arsonist in charge of oversight

    • RalphB says:

      msnbc: GOP blows secrets and risks lives in document dump ahead of debate

      The White House and State Department had no prior notice of what is often referred to in Washington as a Friday night “document dump” on the weekend before the presidential foreign policy debate. A senior official tells NBC News that many of these documents weren’t provided by the State Department to the Oversight committee— and there wasn’t any discussion about their sensitivity prior to the committee posting them online. Only about 50 pages of the 166 had been previously released.

      The official says had the State Department been given that opportunity, they would have pointed out which documents needed to be handled with extreme care so as not to endanger anyone.

      Wonder where the other documents came from if not from the State Dept hearing?

  7. RalphB says:

  8. NW Luna says:

    Luv the cartoons, as always, JJ. Especially the Bayeux tapestry one!

    (just catching up)