OUR BLOG ENTRY WILL BEGIN AFTER THIS BRIEF WORD:
Last month, Mitt Romney appeared before the NAACP Convention and made some remarks about health care that, perhaps predictably, drew some verbal disagreement from the audience. It was widely reported that he had been booed, but a listen to the video showed only that people disagreed, not that they were rude about it. Commentators' interpretation notwithstanding, Romney had not been booed.
Now, Joe Biden has appeared before a (reportedly) predominantly black audience, to whom he made a remark about the GOP wanting to "unshackle Wall Street," which drew boos, and then joked that the GOP wanted to put America back in chains, which drew laughter.
Except from Mitt Romney, who put on his best shocked-school-marm face and explained how deeply offended black America was by the remarks.
Here's the video:
This example of faux-outrage from the GOP would be one more piece of electioneering, if it were not being picked up by a horde of political cartoonists, thrilled by the chance to draw a "Biden gaffe" cartoon despite the lack of any real gaffe. It reminds me of the joy that would spread every time Gerald Ford had the slightest misstep, that came from cartoonists, comedians and commentators lusting for a "clumsy Gerald Ford" gag.
It is the mission of this blog to point out good work, not to excoriate bad cartooning, but, with so many "Biden gaffe" cartoons currently floating around, I'm not singling out anyone. You are all a bunch of lazy hacks.
Go draw Mitt's dog on top of the car and then take off for the weekend.
MEANWHILE, BACK AMONG CARTOONISTS WHO WORK FOR A LIVING:
Here are two strips that delighted me today with great last-panel twists:
Kieran Meehan's "Pros & Cons" provides regular doses of bathos, with a big build-up that results in a tawdry bit of mental downfall, both in his "cops" segments and especially in his "shrink" pieces. But this one really stands out, even among those.
I don't know if Meehan has spent any time around felons, but this droll bit of unintentional disclosure reminds me of the time I interviewed an accused murderer who calmly explained how he was being falsely accused of killing the woman who had been his employer.
As he was admitting that he did have a criminal past, he casually told me about getting out of prison early but then having to go back because he found out his girlfriend had cheated on him while he was in the joint and so he had to beat her up. What was strange was that he said it as if he said, "I ran out of gas and had to walk to the next station."
Not only was there no remorse, but there was no sense that it was at all unusual, nor was there any sense that perhaps it wasn't something you should disclose in the course of trying to make yourself look innocent.
Okay, um ... that's not a funny story. No. And, by the way, the guy is now locked up permanently.
But I still laughed at today's Pros & Cons because, yeah, there are people with no moral compass, and we should laugh at the ones in the comics pages because at least we don't have to meet them on the street.
Gallows humor is one of my favorite kinds.
And, man, I am so glad I'm not a cop.
On a lighter note (and what isn't?), today's Zits also cracked me up, taking a so-so gag and, with a single off-hand observation, turning it into a gem:
Pierce is Ed Norton. His unfailing innocence and his semi-lunatic/semi-genius take on life has done more to breathe fresh life into this strip than anything else Borgman and Scott could possibly have done.
And "dandy" was a great, great choice of words. So many other ways to have said it without nailing the three-pointer.
If Zits were a TV show, they'd spin Pierce off into his own series and it would sink like a stone. He's best suited to be a sidekick, quietly commenting on the things about him, and elevating normal gags to a level they could not otherwise achieve.
Plus planting earworms, at least among the older crowd.