Aung San Suu Kyi was described as the Nelson Mandela of Burma. She won the Nobel Peace Prize and was honored around the world. Now, as the leader of the party in charge of the government, and the de facto leader in Myanmar, she is silent while government troops slaughter, rape and burn down villages of Rohingya muslims. A huge influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees are streaming into Bangladesh as Burmese troops lay landmines to prevent their return to their homes. Perhaps I was being kind to Aung San Suu Kyi by drawing her as an evil, killer pig.
We don’t have comments working on the blog right now, so I thought I would share some of the comments from my Facebook fan page. The comments are an insight into the motivation of the ruling majority in Myanmar.
On Sunday, for Fathers Day and my birthday, my wife took me to the Creation Museum in Kentucky, outside of Cincinnati. I expected this to be a strange excursion into a foreign culture, and it was, but one I was prepared for after living in Tennessee for a couple of years. That’s me below with an exhibit.
This is a kids’ museum with lots of animated, life-size dinosaurs accompanied by exhibits explaining how the theory of evolution is wrong, the Bible is right, and dinosaurs are not so many years old after all. There are zip-line adventures through the lovely grounds, an ambitious petting zoo, and lots of shows. It is a place to bring the kids. I heard the same conversation everywhere in the museum as parents explained to their kids, “your teachers lie to you” and “don’t believe what they tell you in school.”
The photo below shows an exhibit where cave-kids are playing alongside the dinosaurs, much like in The Flintstones. It was explained that, in the beginning, animals were all vegetarians and everyone got along with the animals. It was only after Eve ate the forbidden fruit (depicted as berries) that the dinosaurs and other animals starting eating meat and getting surly.
Many of the exhibits are organized as rebuttals to science, contrasting man’s “theories” with God’s truth, and offering alternative explanations to rebut popular misconceptions – like the notion that Earth’s geology formed over millions of years, or that canyons are carved out by rivers. One recurring theme is the refutation of the scientific method, since the Bible gives us the truth as a starting point and the truth is not to be refuted. We learned that “natural selection” is OK, but “evolution” is wrong, a distinction that they seem to think is very important.
There is a lot of space devoted to the mechanics of Noah’s Ark, with descriptions of how the animals all fit into the ark and how they were probably cared for and fed while on the ark (for example, all the animals were likely young, so they would be small and easy to manage). There was a giant replica of a portion of the ark, and lots of talking, animatronic Bible characters. Methuselah was particularly chatty. There also was a lot of space devoted to how long these characters lived and how Adam and Eve’s kids had sex with each other, and why that was no problem. Different times. The museum also had a nice looking mural of the Skopes Monkey Trial from 1925 – the good old days when the government in Tennessee understood that evolution was a sham.
An interesting part of the museum was styled to look like an urban ghetto, with graffiti on brick walls; a heading on the entryway says “Scripture Abandoned in the Culture Leads to Relative Morality, Hopelessness and Meaninglessness.” Much like the attendees at the museum, the urban area featured no minorities. Peering through the broken windows on a blighted building there were videos of middle class white folks doing terrible things, like discussing how they were considering having an abortion. This was the chamber of horrors for the Creation Museum.
My math teacher wife tells me that her science teacher friends in Nashville get lots of blowback from students who call them liars. She said the museum made her sad. There is a big sign on the front door of the museum warning that anyone who acts disrespectfully, or who wears a t-shirt with a disrespectful message, will be kicked out. This is no place to argue. The docents seem hardened by many encounters with disrespectful visitors in the past; they have a stern attitude until they discern that the person they are talking to isn’t arguing, then they open up and are quite friendly. I didn’t test getting on their wrong side.
The museum has nice pizza, movies with impressive special effects, and a cool array of zip-line adventures. Also, as a father visiting on Father’s Day, my admission was free!
That’s me at the entrance with a nice looking dinosaur. Kids love dinosaurs. At the Creation Museum dinosaurs introduce kids to God and science – the museum hosts Summer science camps for kids, where “Science meets Truth,” encouraging kids to enter STEM careers. God help us.
This strange one from Randall Enos made me laugh out loud – it is a linoleum block print that Randy carves with a knife, inks and prints on paper, then scans, showing Jesus carrying a sleeping Carson at the head of the presidential race – I think that says it all.
Dr. Ben Carson seems to have a thin skin when it comes to the media.
Editorial cartoonists have a wonderful advantage versus other journalists; we can put any stupid words we want into the mouths of any public figure. Regular journalists have a slightly higher bar – they have to act like jerks to try to coax a testy quote out of a public figure. Carson’s calm demeanor likely encourages the press to prod him even harder.
Carson say plenty of stupid things without prodding. He holds some of the most knuckle-dragging views on the neanderthal right. What worries me most is the crazy religious views that color right-wing views of reality, like Carson’s rejection of the theory of evolution. His belief that the pyramids were built to store grain at the direction of Joseph (the many colored coat Joseph) is funky a one. Where this becomes dangerous is when right-wing candidates believe that we’re at the “End of Days”, and the turmoil in the Middle East shows that the apocalypse and the return of Jesus Christ is imminent – that can lead to some ugly decision making.
If not for the nutty religious stuff I might be a Republican myself.
Well, maybe not.
Here’s a very close-up blow-up of Ben Carson’s tiny face. From this you can see that I really do draw in pencil and crank up the contrast to make it look like ink. I use yellow Dixon Ticonderoga pencils, with little pink erasers on the end (I always use up the pink erasers). Pencils are forgiving to indecisive cartoonists, like me.
I get lots of e-mails with the same message, like this one from little Johnny in Nashville, who writes, “Dear Mr. Cagle, Please explain your cartoon to me. My paper is due tomorrow.”
I hate having to explain myself. So does Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker.
Walker doesn’t like “gotcha” questions from the media. When a reporter asks a politician a question, and knows that an honest answer would be an answer that many people won’t like hearing, that is a “gotcha” question. Walker has been clumsy while learning to avoid “gotcha” questions.
I drew a cartoon showing a reporter interviewing Walker.
Reporter asks, “Gays?”
Walker says, “I don’t wanna answer that.” Walker thinks, “Homos are so nasty.”
Reporter then asks, “Evolution?”
Walker says, “I won’t answer.” Walker thinks, “This liberal ape doesn’t know that evolution is only a ‘theory’.”
Reporter asks, “Do you think Obama is a Christian?”
Walker says, “I never asked him.” Walker thinks, “I never asked that liberal, Muslim, Kenyan atheist.”
Journalists must be accurate and report the exact words a politician says. My job is better. As an editorial cartoonist, I have the freedom to put any words into the mouths of politicians that I want; I can even choose to put any thoughts into their brains.
Republican candidates must pander to the basest of their conservative base, especially in the presidential primaries. My worry is that politicians really believe the blather that they spew. I would like to hear honest answers to the “gotcha” questions.
The problem with avoiding “gotcha” questions is that I’m left with the impression that Walker really believes the knuckle-dragging nonsense that I write into his thought bubbles.
An even bigger problem is that cartoons are not so funny when they are explained.
Richard Nixon is great fun to draw. It would have been wonderful to work as an editorial cartoonist during the Watergate days. It was an editorial cartooning renaissance.
This week, the pack of cartoonists all ran in the direction of comparing Barack Obama with Richard Nixon because of Obama’s worsening three scandals: the AP records seizure, Benghazi and the IRS. I draw metamorphosis cartoons every so often, when the news seems to be calling out for them. Here is the line art for Obama turning into Nixon, which most readers will see in newspapers that print in black and white.
Here’s the color version.
Just after the presidential election, the folks at Fox News were apoplectic about their loss, and ranted that Obama would be free to be the wild, radical leftist they knew he was all along, now that he was freed from the constraints of needing to be re-elected. So I drew this metamorphosis cartoon.
Back when Apple was rejecting my iPhone app applications, I drew this Apple metamorphosis cartoon …
And I drew this one when Disney bought Marvel Comics.
Cartoonists draw evolution themed cartoons all the time – which are pretty similar to metamorphosis, I guess. Here is Mitt Romney, and his evolving views about evolution, from back in 2007.
Here’s an evolving Donald Trump from 2011.
And a general evolution of man cartoon …
Cartooning, evolution and metamorphosis! It’s a tradition! I’m working on another one today.