Cartoon: The Bullshit Tragedy


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Kevin Moore and I created this cartoon back in November. I started to post it in public yesterday, but on rereading, realized that in the two months since the cartoon had become outdated. So, with Kevin’s approval, I rewrote some of the dialog.

 

Although I’ve changed some dialog, the core of this cartoon hasn’t changed at all. What I wrote about this cartoon two months ago still applies:

There’s not much to say about the issue behind this cartoon. A great many Republicans have simply become unmoored from reality (which is how Donald Trump was elected). And they’re ready to take down the world with them – even at the cost of spreading a terrible disease that will hurt them just as much as it hurts us.

This cartoon is trying to get at the feeling of hopelessness I have about communicating with the extreme right wing (but can we really call them “extreme” once they elect one of their own President? They are now arguably the core of the Republican party.) Without any mutually-acknowledged reality, what possible base of communication is there?

This cartoon (in both versions) is also about how the extreme right wing – not just random people at the base, but also many of their elected leaders – are in effect conducting biological warfare on the rest of us.

Rather than joining the fight against Coronavirus, they help it by treating indifference to science and to human life as a political virtue. They are making a point of doing nothing to avoid spreading disease, and that’s killing all of us, not just themselves.

How do you communicate or compromise with people who who randomly kill any number of Americans while patting themselves on the back for being patriots?

(Here’s some supporting links; I could easily post many more).


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has four panels.

PANEL 1

A man wearing a red baseball-style hat is in the foreground, yelling with brown spittle flying out of his mask. He’s yelling at two “Black Lives Matters” protesters, one holding a bullhorn and the other a BLM sign. The two protesters are wearing face masks; he is not.

MAGA DUDE: What about blue lives? All lives matter! You’re the real racists! If you can protest, why can’t we invade the capital? Double standards!

BLM DUDE: What? No!

PANEL 2

The MAGA dude’s mouth has turned into a spout, shooting out foul brown liquid like a firehose, soaking the bullhorn protester (who has raised her arms to block it) while the other protester tries to shield himself with his protest sign.

MAGA DUDE: It was a stolen election! Everyone knows Trump won in a landslide! Real Americans won’t stand for this!

BLM WOMAN: Aaaah! Stop it!

PANEL 3

As the MAGA dude continues yelling, the degusting, thick brown liquid is pouring out of is mouth in a torrent that is flooding the landscape. He seems able to stand in it fine; the two BLM protesters, however, are struggling to keep their heads above the surface, and are in danger of drowning.

MAGA DUDE: The violence was antifa in disguise! Trump was backstabbed by critical race theory wokes! Masks are totalitarian illiberal losers sad fake news…

BLM WOMAN: Help me!

BLM DUDE: Arrgh!

PANEL 4

We’re looking at a smart phone being held by someone’s hand. On the smartphone, we can see a female newscaster with very carefully styled hair talking with a disturbed expression. A graphic in a box next to her head says “Holy Crap”.  Another graphic, at the bottom of the screen, says “ZNY News.” There are two horizontal scrolling chyrons at the bottom of the screen; the first says “…udy shows nobody reads chryon te…” and the second says “…ZNY news is your only real friend you…”

NEWSCASTER: Tragedy struct today as the public square was literally drowned in bullshit.

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