Political Cartoons: The Lowest Form of Communication

#2. Why Do You Need A Picture?

Ever since Plato, people have been putting their boring ideas into dialogue form to try to interest people in reading them. While Plato spiced up works like his Symposium with a lot of sexual innuendo and explicit man-on-man flirting (I'm not exaggerating, look it up), modern political comics often just have two people sitting there with big speech bubbles that the artist can put his opinion in.

This one has an entire essay listing everything that is wrong with the Democrats, in the speech bubbles of one man who I believe is cooking or something. I myself often memorize pre-written blog posts and recite them in their entirety to people I'm doing chores with, but I didn't realize how common it was.

If you think the entire comic can't be a straight-out essay and he must be using the conversation to make some kind of point, feel free to take a look at the original.

Meanwhile, here's a man who is so proud of the song parody he has written about the BP oil spill that he posts the entire song in unreadable size, including repeated choruses.

He didn't even bother to draw a picture because you don't need a picture when you've got dazzling wordplay that would make Weird Al shit his pants.

This is the same cartoonist with a shorter deadline:

For this next one, I've taken the liberty of replacing the original punch line (don't worry, you're not missing anything) with one that I think makes more sense in the context of a comic where two characters are supposedly talking to each other.

After his loyal straw man donkey does him the courtesy of setting him up, the elephant abolishes him from his mind and drifts off into reciting what appears to be the artist's compiled notes about Obama's unsavory associations. His friend becomes a distant and unfocused memory as he focuses on the daunting task of jamming as many talking points as he can into a speech balloon that had only been designed to contain realistic conversation.

#1. A Child's Wisdom

To top that, sometimes these straight political speeches are put into the mouths of cute animals or small children, to try to give the vibe of wisdom coming from the mouths of babes. One particularly terrible offender is Diversity Lane, a comic where a hateful female child with the face of an ageless malevolent being is able to see through the foolishness of her liberal hippie parents (guardians) with the clarity of a child's innocence. Or possibly using the power of the elder god incarnated in her.

In the first two comics, the children use simple, innocent questions to handily demolish common claims by climate scientists: that global warming models predict no snowstorms ever again, and that specific models of cars cause local weather patterns. In the last strip, the she-beast scores a point against Obama using a complexly worded tenuous analogy, in that charming way young children often do.

This strip appears to be implying that three major religious groups are retarded and naturally inclined to violence. Which religions I'm not entirely sure because I'm not clear what major religion wants to blow up the entire planet. Probably Presbyterians. Never trusted them.

You can see why they used the technique here: If an adult said this, they would just be an asshole maliciously stereotyping people with broad generalizations. But a kid and her horse, they're just calling things like they see them.

In the real world, kids that say actual childishly misunderstood things get indulgent chuckles. Kids that try to make smug pseudo-deep statements, whether about politics or anything else, are usually going be less endearing to adults:

Yes, I acknowledge that there are political cartoons out there that don't hit any of these pitfalls and get their message across clearly and intelligently. I don't want to say you'll have better odds of being struck by lightning, but I will anyway.

Check out more from Christina, in The 5 Biggest Mistakes Women (Like Me!) Make On The Internet and The 5 Miserable VFX Jobs That Make Movies Possible.

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