Tag Archives: Tony Abbott

In Praise of Political Cartoonists Part 1

As a wee girl from Glasgow, Scotland growing up in Toronto Canada and ending up living in Vancouver, always loved comics. Beano, Archie, Superman, Batman…the list was endless.

Was a huge fan of Saturday morning cartoons on the telly. Even as a kid, was convulsed by the brilliance of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. Chuck Jones and Bugs Bunny‘s “What a maroon!” remains one of my favorite sayings to this day.

The teenage me grew to love Mad Magazine

whatamaroon  MAD-Magazine-140-Patton-Cover

As my interest in Canadian, American, British, Australian and global politics evolved, became aware of the art of the political cartoon, and I was hooked. A cartoon is after all, a picture – whether static or celluloid. And a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.

Political cartoonists have always been our voice and our conscience

Nothing made this clearer to me when 25 years ago, a dear friend loaned me his original folio of political cartoons by the great British caricaturist James Gillray, who was born in 1757. I was gobsmacked! Remember spending an entire 24 hours going over the large book, page by fragile page, referencing the illustrations to help me understand their meaning. In addition to being brilliant, flamboyant and very funny… these beautifully colored pen and inks (with some watercolors) were extremely daring. His toon of Napoleon and William Pitt carving up the world is even more relevant today than it was then!

Gillray’s predecessor, William Hogarth, was born in 1697. Hogarth was “a painter, pictorial satirist, social critic and editorial cartoonist. His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called “modern moral subjects”.

James Gillray  Gillray England France Carving Up World  William Hogarth  Hogarth The Marraige Contract

Caricatures go back as far as The Renaissance and Leonardo Da Vinci b.1452 … He brilliantly used distorted features to mock his subjects.  Visual protest is evident in Lucas Cranach‘s work during The Reformation in Germany  b.1472

Leonardo Da Vinci  Da Vinci Caricature  Lucas Cranach  Lucas Cranach Anti-Christ

Thomas Rowlandson, born in England in 1756, never missed a beat in satirizing the socio/economic/political scene… from the thoughtful to the naughty

Thomas Rowlandson PortraitThomas_Rowlandson_The_two_Kings_of_TerrorThos Rowlandson 5rowlandson-thomas--eine-szene-aus-der-farce-citizen-793031

Ben Franklin, b.1706 was a true Renaissance Man himself, Ben Franklin’s Join or Die is a masterly cartoon of the times. Harper’s Weekly Review featured the caricatures of men like Alfred R. Waud who captured the tragedy of the Civil War

BenFrankin Ben Franklin Join or Die Cartoon  Alfred R Waud Civil WarCartoon Massacre of the Innocents at New Orleans 1866

Thomas Nast b.1840, was considered The Father of The American Cartoon. He captured both the corruption of Reconstruction and Tammany Hall.

Thomas Nast Pacific Chivallry Thomas NAst BOss Tweed

Louis Dalrymple b.1868 depicts Teddy Roosevelt‘s New Diplomacy, embodying the iconic “Speak softly and carry a big stick”, for Puck Magazine in 1905. E.W. Kemble b.1861 who illustrated Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, also worked for Harper’s Weekly Review penned Roosevelt’s final frustration with “Old Man Ananias” in 1910.

Roosevelt New Diplomacy      Teddy Roosevelt Election

World War 1, World War 11:   Frank Henry Townsend complimented Britain’s Punch Almanack’s roster of illustrious cartoonists. Even our beloved Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel, created wartime cartoons.

Ww1 Cartoon / Punch    WW2 Dr Seuss

Vietnam Anti-War Cartoons:  North Carolina-born cartoonist Doug Marlette was killed in a car crash in 2007. Marlette felt that “Cartoons are windows into the human condition…It’s about life”. His principled take on life was reflected in his conscientious objector stance on the Vietnam War in some of the most poignant cartoons that I can remember. His long and illustrious career covered the Charlotte Observer, the Atlanta Constitution,  New York’s Newsday and the Tallahassee Democrat.

Vietnam Anti-War Marlette Charlotte Observer  Vietnam Quagmire - Marlette

I AM CHARLIE HEBDO:

It has always been dangerous to be a political cartoonist. Da Vinci risked loosing patrons and the wrath of The Church, as did artist Lucas Cranach. Harper’s Magazine Tammany critic Thomas Nast was threatened by supporters of Boss Tweed. But nothing has highlighted the perpetual risk of drawing for a living, than the recent massacre of artists at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. This tragedy has shaken us all to the core.

Je Suis Charlie Hebdo has become a global rallying cry. As it was centuries ago and so is now, caricaturists refuse to be intimidated.

charlie-hebdo  Rod-emmerson Charlie Hebdo

Iranian cartoonist, artist and activist Atena Farghadani was arrested in August 2014 for a cartoon that mocked Members of Parliament, depicting them with animal faces. Ms. Farghadani is charged with insulting The Supreme Leader and spreading propaganda. The 28-year-old, described by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience, languishes in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, having suffered a heart-attack earlier this year. On May 19, 2015 Ms. Farghadani was sentenced to 12 years and nine months in prison. It is difficult to reconcile this with the push to collaborate with Iran on a nuclear deal.  We must keep up the pressure on the Iranian government to secure Atena’s safe release. **

Atena Farghadani  Atena Farghadani Iranian Cartoon

So given the inherent dangers, not stellar salaries and relentless 24/7 news cycle, what exactly inspires political cartoonists to pick up the pen or brush these days? There is a far-flung family of artists from around the globe who share their thoughts with us on a daily basis. And of course we in The Colonies are some of the most brutal.

In Part 2 of In Praise of Political Cartoonists, we look at how editorial cartoonists depict the current chaotic global political scene:

Dave Weigel of Bloomberg Politics, calls Donkey Hotey “The Margaret Keane of Political Cartooning” He describes Donkey Hotey by saying “Nast used pen and ink; Donkey Hotey takes public images and alters them into parody or horror. He quotes DK… “I am remixing images, manipulating them and then treating the entire piece as a whole.”

GOP Clown Car Donkey Hotey

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott continues to provide David Rowe with endless toon fodder. Rowe’s watercolors (the most difficult medium to work in) are brilliant, brutal, and beautiful. Rowe is a Stanley Award-winning Aussie, who casts his paint far afield.

Tony Abbott Balls David Rowe Toon Donald Trump GOP CANCER DAVID ROWE AUSTRALIA

Canadian cartoonist Michael De Adder, is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. That fact does not stop him from commenting on the current rise of Facism in America. We are All Americans – North Americans, and what hurts our American cousins, hurts us all…

Melania Crying Child De Adder

Raising a Glass of Champers to Political Cartoonists Everywhere…and Those Who Sail With Them. Long May Your Voices (and Ours)  Be Heard! Long May the Ink Flow!

In Praise of Political Cartoonists Part 2 coming soon

@DonkeyHotey @DeAdder @roweafr

@MissMyrtle2  missmyrtle2@gmail.com

** Please sign and share #FreeAtena http://www.amnesty.org.uk/iran-atena-farghadani-prison-cartoon-womens-rights-activist#.VYo2N_lViko

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The Kansas City Royals and American Pharoah Saved 2015

Dearies, have not written about American Pharoah capturing the almost unattainable Triple Crown and The Kansas City Royals coming back from the abyss to win the World Series, for fear that I would wake up and discover that it had all been a dream. A glorious dream, but none the less the gossamer wings of a dream…

American Pharoah (2)  Kansas City Royals Win World Series

As we enter 2016, am finding it difficult to express my sorrow over the horrific global events  of 2015. The Paris, San Bernardino and Charleston Church terrorist attacks have turned the World on its head. We have been shaken to our core.

Paris After ISIS Attacks 2 San Bernardino Charleston Church Victims

The continuing genocide in Syria with the relentless bombings of Syrian citizens by Vladimir Putin and Bashar Al-Assad, created a humanitarian crisis the likes of which the World has not seen since World War 2. The deliberate starvation of of Madaya and Zabadani, the flight of Syrian Refugees and our failure to act, have almost paralyzed us.

Syrian Refugee Camp  Alan Kurdi  ISIS Flag

The year started with the horrific massacre of French political cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo, the satirical magazine, by Al Quaeda. Al Shabaab, an Al Queda branch, murders 148 at Garissa University College in Kenya. ISIS – the radical Sunni brand, expands its House of War – exploiting the chaos of the Middle East, to Europe and beyond. Disenfranchised youth from around the World are answering their siren call. ISIS continued its public beheadings, the murder and sexual enslavement of tens of thousands of citizens trapped in their grasp and the destruction of historic landmarks,.

No one in their right mind could have predicted the rise of bombastic, bloviating buffoon Donald Trump. His high-jacking of the Republican Party and polarizing of The Angry American Right Wing is breathtaking to contemplate. The GOP Clown Car is full: Space-cadet Ben Carson proves that going off of your psych meds can be a very dangerous thing, and Carly Fiorina demonstrates that grinding Hewlett Packard into the dust was just a warm-up for a Presidential run.  Jeb Bush underscores the fact that Dubya was indeed a doofus. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are embarrassments to their Hispanic roots: Mike Huckabee and rest of this motley crew prove that GOP Jesus is a vengeful, hateful, hypocrite. NEVER in its history has the GOP sunk this low. Teddy Roosevelt is turning over in his grave!

GOP Clown Car Toon (2)    Donald Trump Putin Horse BFFs

Canada’s very own fascists, The Alliance Party-In-Conservative-Clothing, were vanquished by an angry Canadian electorate. Stephen Harper was relegated to the dustbin of History. The Liberal Party and Justin Trudeau – son of late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau were elected by acclamation. Mine was not one of his votes, but I do wish he and his Cabinet well. They have the Herculean task of undoing nearly 10 years of Harper damage. Especially wish my friend Harjit Sajjan well, as new Defense Minister. Australia’s ruling Liberal Party dumped their despotic leader, Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

HarperTrudeau Cabinet Tony Abbott

But I digress…

Watching American Pharoah and jockey Victor Espinoza romp home in the Kentucky Derby, for trainer Bob Baffert and Owner Ahmed Zayat, had my heart pounding. His victory in the Preakness Stakes left me breathless and fearfully hopeful. But his victory in the Belmont Stakes in early June, accomplished what no other horse has since Affirmed and jockey Steve Cauthen in 1978…They won the Triple Crown. It was the same feeling of elation I had, being at Belmont to see Affirmed win. The Heart of a Champions is biggest of all…

American Pharoah KD WinnersCircle

And then, that Cinderella of baseball teams, the Kansas City Royals – who knew only too well that defeat can be snatched from the jaws of victory, made it into the World Series again, looking to end a 30-year drought. What General Manager Dayton Moore and Manager Ned Yost did for team owner David D. Glass was magical. Salvador Perez, Drew Butera, Lorenzo Cain, Christian Colon, Johnny Cueto, Wade Davis,  Danny Duffy,  Jarrod Dyson, Alcides Escobar,  Alex Gordon, Kelvin Herrera, Luke Hochevar, Eric Hosmer, Ryan Madson, Kris Medlen, Raul Mondesi, Franklin Morales, Kendrys Morales, Mike Mousakis, Paulo Orlando, Alex Rios, Yordano Ventura, Edinson Volquez, Ben Zobrist  all played with The Heart of Champions.

KC Royals

So it comes down to this – Did Kansas City winning the World Series or American Pharoah winning the Triple Crown, stop the bombing in Syria, the carnage in Paris or the chaos in the Middle East? No, they did not. But sport is also  a metaphor for Life.

As that great wit and raconteur, the late and much-missed Yogi Berra said, it ain’t over til it’s over. Terrorism, genocide, refugee crisis’ – man’s inhumanity to man, will always be with us. Thankfully, the Kansas City Royals and American Pharoah continue to write their stories.  There will always be another pennant to chase, a baby champion to create  and an impossible race or game to win.

And there will always be a reason for Hope in The Better Angels of Our Nature.

 

Miss Myrtle’s Rectal Cranial Impaction Hall of Fame Part 4

Illegitimi non carborundum – Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down

Here for your edification and enjoyment are yet more Inductees into the Rectal Cranial Impaction Hall of Fame. These are the folks who leave us dumbfounded, dumbstruck and dumbfucked, in no particular order:

DISCLAIMERS: Any picture/Inductee duplication is purely intentional. You may also notice that the majority of Inductees are men. Dearies, that should require no further explanation. This blog post has less written text and more photos…because a picture is worth a thousand words.

SPECIAL THANKS to Colonel Morris Davis, former Guantanamo Chief Prosecutor for creating the phrase Rectal Cranial Impaction

Your Nominations Are Welcomed

Al Jazeera     Mohame Fahmy    Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani

Al Jazeera and the Govt of Qatar Dearies, have always been a fan of Al Jazeera for shining a light on the world through the Arab lens, but that has changed with the disgraceful manipulation of Mohamed Fahmy & his colleagues Peter Grieste and Baher Mohamed in Egypt. The state-owned international news service put their journalists in harm’s way, then hung them out to dry. For ruling family leader Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, suing the Egyptian govt mid-trial is act of vindictive, ignorant & dangerous minds. SHAME ON THEM! Even Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was able to affect the release of Peter Grieste. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, defector and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Baird and current Minister of Foreign Affairs Rob Nicholson,  have failed miserably in efforts to obtain freedom for Mohamed Fahmy. AM ASHAMED TO BE CANADIAN!

Monte McNaughton      Vito Barbieri     Nevada-Assemblywoman-Michele-Fiore-R-official-Facebook-page-800x430

Monte McNaughton, homophobic Conservative MPP suggested that openly lesbian Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne should not be discussing proposed sex-ed curriculum with parents. Ms. Wynn responded with forceful intelligence, cutting McNaughton off at the knees.  Monte & his colleagues need to be sent to their rooms for a very long Time Out. Joining Monte in Time Out is Idaho Republican Rep Vito Barbieri, who thinks that women’s vaginas are connected to their stomachs. This should enable them to swallow a small camera for OBGYN exams, suggests the Capo di Tuto Medicos. Honestly, I can’t make this stuff up. The GOP are indeed the Party that keeps on giving, as underscored by Nevada Republican Rep Michele Fiore. Ms. Fiore assures us that cancer is a fungus, that can be washed away with baking soda! Rated No.1 Legislator by the Nevada Policy Research Institute (??!!??), Ms. Fiore is the poster girl for a state that is ground-zero for nuclear testing, home to the Mustang Ranch and that dystopian Disneyland – Las Vegas. Honestly Dearies, sooo wish there were a vaccination for STUPID…

RudyGiuliani   Phil Robertson   Tom COrbin

Speaking of stupid, Rudy Giuliani is at it again, race-baiting Americans with “Obama does not love America”. This sorry excuse of a man has squandered whatever good will he earned after 9/11. Alarmingly, he has become the poster child for the reactionary, fascist face of the GOP. He has subverted the meaning of patriotism.

And then we have another Biggeth Dicketh, CEO of Small Corporate Dynasties, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty. Phil has become a Fox News Go-To-Guy when it comes to talking about Radical Islam. My question is, do the ducks have a “Come to Jesus” moment before he and the Clan pump them full of lead?

South Carolina State Republican Senator Tom Corbin thinks that “women are a lesser cut of meat”… and should be kept barefoot and pregnant. He apparently directed these wise remarks to his colleague, GOP state senator Katrina Shealy, during a legislative dinner discussing domestic violence legislation. Methinks Senator Tom is the poster child for spaying and neutering…

Caribou  SNC Lavalin  Radical Brownies

Dearies, it doesn’t get any more cynical than the Alberta Endangered Species Conservation Committee. “Despite its name, the ESCC amounts to little more than an industrial development club, and it is directly responsible for delays in critical caribou protections. The ESCC is an initiative of the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Sustainable Resource Development (SRD), and has a short list of extractive industrial members including the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, two representatives from Alberta Forest Products Association, Alberta Fish and Game Association, Alberta Irrigation Projects Association and the Western Stock Growers’ Association” The Tar Sands destruction of arboreal caribou continues. By the by Dearies, when that great environmentalist Sarah Palin says that “caribou have to take one for the team”, this is what she means! Well it sure as hell isn’t my team…

Meanwhile in Quebec, that bastion of moral turpitude, SNC Lavalin Canada’s very own Halliburton, is facing charges of bribery and corruption. SNC Lavalin is alleged to have paid or offered millions to Muammar Gaddafi & his family in Libya, governments and individuals in Bangladesh and Canada, for construction, mining and other contracts. SNC Lavalin’s tentacles are everywhere. They are relatively new owners of CANDU Energy (Canadian nuclear reactors), acquired from the government’s Atomic Energy Canada. HOW THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN WITHOUT ANY DISCUSSION???

Breitbart    faux news radical-brownies_c0-10-640-383_s561x327

It would take a cage match to the death, to decide whether Breitbart or Faux News were the most reprehensible, but Breitbart is racking up the points with its meltdown over Oakland’s Radical Brownies. This is a group of 8 to 10-year-old girls study social activism, inspired in part by the 60s radical group the Black Panthers. Breitbart calls the Radical Brownies a “horrifying” development that is so “creepy and fascist” as to beggar belief” .” Be afraid America…be very afraid

Canada  MMIW  Veterans Slush Fund

There is a Special Place in Hell reserved for the Government of Canada, who are forcing survivors of St. Anne’s Residential School, that used an electric chair to torture students, to go back to court yet again.They are demanding the release of documents outlining the  physical and sexual abuse that took place and implicating staff members. The Residential School Scandal Is Canada’s Shame!

That same government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper who said that “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women are really not on my radar”, refuses to launch a national inquiry into over 1,200 #MMIW. Meanwhile, House Eskimo, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq ignores the plight of her starving constituents in Nunavut… This Is Canada’s Shame!

The Harper Regime continues to fight its own Veterans on every front! When not using them for cynical photo ops, the PM, Veterans Affairs & his Ministers are busy denying Veteran’s health claims, shutting down services for Veterans and eviscerating their pensions. This Is Canada’s Shame!

Am stopping here Dearies…it is all too depressing. So many Inductees, so little time

Remember to Submit Your Nominations to @MissMyrtle2

Many Thanks to Raw Story,  Mike Hudema-Canadian Green Party,  APTN News