Two political cartoons

The New York Times doesn’t do editorial cartoons, but on Sundays, it reproduces a collection of them from other papers. Two from this Sunday (January 16): one, by Patrick Chappatte in the International Herald Tribune, alluding (alarmingly) to the Tucson shootings; and the other, by John Cole in the Scranton Times Tribune, with playful taboo avoidance, alluding to provocative political rhetoric.

Both related to the Tucson shootings (and the Cole, also to the snow blanketing much of the country): the Chappatte to the easy availability of high-powered guns and the Cole to the possibility — remote in this particular case — that provocative political rhetoric contributed to the event; neither takes up another relevant theme, the need for more effective mental health services.

But the Chappatte also has a chilling echo of Christina Taylor Green, the 9-year-old killed in Tucson, who was widely reported as having gone to meet Representative Gabrielle Giffords because she was considering a career in public service, sometimes reported as a blossoming interest in politics and American democracy.

The child was an extraordinary figure, passionate about baseball (she was the only girl on her Little League team), dance, and her school’s student council (I’m pretty sure my grade school didn’t have a student council), tutored her fellow students, and of course looked forward to that career in public service. That’s a lot for a 9-year-old.

By the way, public service takes in quite a few activities beyond electoral politics, including not only candidates for and holders of electoral offices, their staffs, and their advisers and consultants, but also appointed public servants who would not ordinarily be labeled politicians (city managers, cabinet officials, appointed judges, police and fire chiefs, superintendents of schools, government agency administrators, etc.), their staffs, employees of nonprofits and NGOs, and more. Probably Christina Green was thinking of getting involved in politics specifically, and that’s what drew her to Gabrielle Giffords.

As for the Cole, with its goofy mock-taboo vocabulary, note the obscenicons scattered around the father’s cursing.

2 Responses to “Two political cartoons”

  1. John Lawler Says:

    “As for the Cole, with its goofy mock-taboo vocabulary, note the obscenicons scattered around the father’s cursing.”

    Note also that the participial suffixes on the mock-taboo verbs razzablattin’, foofargin’, barfarglin’, while develarized to indicate informality, are nevertheless decently supplied with apostrophes.

  2. Political Cartoons Says:

    NYT should be running more editorial cartoons since the editorial genre of cartoons is on the decline. As most may know, publishers are letting editorial cartoonst go more and more and their popularity could be a thing of the past!

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