Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What a long strange trope it's been

By law, every editorial cartoonist must — at least once — draw the cliché of Father Time, passing his burden onto the New Year, a (sometimes) tophatted baby … each sashed, the old guy carrying a sickle, an hourglass passed between them. Maybe the sickle too, I dunno.
It's just enough to draw the cliché, not to know too much about it.

Smart/lucky cartoonists use this trope only once, then find something original to say instead. I used the cliché three times, in succession. In fairness, I tried once to make it fresh (above), twisting George Bush's "Thousand Points of Light" (which, kinda like Ronald Reagan's "Just say no," or President Obama's "Race to the top," really means, "Don't look behind the curtain — we got nothin'!")

The thousand points of uncertain light were certainly leading us into the darkness of war in Iraq.
Maybe I was a glass-half-empty guy, but I saw 1987 as a particularly bloody year, with the expectation of more to come.

Tragedy bookended Stockton's 1989, with a schoolyard shooting, five children dead, 28 others and a teacher injured in January, and a big rig hitting an Amtrak train days before Christmas, killing three people.

Notice a trend? Similarities, perhaps, to any recent years?

The word that comes to mind is intractable.

Happy (?) new year.

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